Nixie, the little pixie, had an appointment with a shaman doctor — who used prayer and plant medicine to heal.
While awaiting his arrival, Nixie was trying to explain to her mom that her shaman, who she had been going to since she was a newborn, was making her feel uncomfortable. Lately, every time he saw her, he went on and on about “how stunning” she is. Once he was trying to be funny, covering his eyes and yelling, “I can’t look at you! You’re too beautiful! It hurts my eyes!”
Nixie’s mom responded to her with dismissal, “oh, he’s a handsome shaman! I wish he spoke to me that way! You should be flattered!”
“Ugh!” Nixie shot back with disgust, “it’s creepy, Mom! I’m eleven-years old! Can I please switch to a female shaman?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she rolled her eyes, “he’s being nice. He probably sees that you’re nervous and wants to make you feel better.”
“Well he makes me feel even more nervous. It’s weird, okay?”
“I don’t understand, but sure,” she shrugged, filling Nixie with relief.
But her relief quickly faded when her mom decided to make a scene about switching shamans.
As soon as they approached the shaman, her mom opened her big mouth and said, “so, my daughter is saying that she feels uncomfortable around you, that you compliment her too much. She’s wondering if she could switch to a female shaman?”
Absolutely mortified, Nixie felt her face turn red as a tomato, heat flushing through her cheeks. She never felt so awkward in her life. Why does my mom have to be so embarrassing and make a big deal out of everything?
However, tragedy struck, when her mom got caught up in terrible storm.
The nature spirits were rioting — in recent years, they had become more divided, arguing about their village. Half of them wanted to dismantle the royal establishment and create a new leadership for the beach residents, while the other wanted to keep tradition and maintain the order of kings and queens given by birthright.
With tensions rising, the nature spirits were creating storms to battle out with one another. It was the heaviest rainfall in centuries. Thunder roared and lightning crashed like never before. Winds were picking up full speed, a tornado swirling around, knocking trees over left and right. The ocean waves grew tall like skyscrapers.
Nixie’s mom was passionate and never one to hold back her feelings, so she could not resist jumping into the battle. Nixie’s dad pleaded for her to stay out of conflict, but she was so fired up. She firmly believed that this was a time for change, for new tradition, for the common people to take over as the royals step down.
Nixie’s mom had fiery energy, but the rioting was still far too much for her. The storm ended up taking her out. A tsunami formed and pulled her down into the bottom of the ocean.
Death is different for nature spirits than it is for the humans. Rather than “the end,” it’s more like “another chapter.” The mystical creatures become ghosts until they are ready to step into a new body and begin another life. Once they have reached enlightenment, they truly become one with nature — such as morphing into a tree, the grass, or part of the ocean.
Sobbing in the sand, Nixie shrieked when she saw her mom’s ghost for the very first time.
“Please don’t cry,” her ghost-mom begged, “I’m right here with you, and I’m not moving on to my next life until I see all my children grow up.”
“Dad told you not to get involved in the riot. Now do you feel sorry?”
“I have no regrets!” Her mom struck back, “those idiots had another thing coming! You have to stand up for what you believe in, Nixie!”
“How does it feel to be a ghost?” Nixie inquired.
“I feel much more at peace, although I’m still so angry about those rioters who are trying to keep royalty alive! Everyone is so terrified of change! Can’t they see past their own ignorance? We deserve to choose who our leaders are!” She ranted.
Hearing her mom go off on her usual vents brought Nixie a sense of comfort. She was right — she was still right here with her.
By her sixth year of schooling, Nixie had become much more withdrawn. She felt alienated from her peers, like they were all so much different than her. Even her own family made her feel like she didn’t belong. The only one who truly understood her was her best friend Callie — but lately she had been pulling away from her, making new friends.
Another thing was that Nixie felt so drained after being around others for too long — physically, mentally, spiritually. Being all by herself was magnificent — imagination took over and the sky was the limit. It was the best time to unleash her creativity and do her own personal projects.
Nixie became an observer, blending into the background as everyone else talked too loudly, fought too much, overreacted about everything, and visciously competed with one another. Her classmates were so caught up in “who said this,” or “who did that,” or “did you hear about so-and-so?” Etc. Nixie hated engaging in gossip — it just made her think about how badly she would feel if she was the one being gossiped about.
When she would overhear her sisters complaining about their friends to one another, Nixie would cut in and say, “do you think your friends talk about you that way?”
In which they casually responded, “probably,” with a shrug, “that’s what people do. They trash-talk behind other’s backs. That’s life.”
Nixie had absolutely no interest in making new friends unless she knew she could count on their loyalty. And now, her longest and closest friend Callie, didn’t seem to be showing her much loyalty anymore.
As she grew up, Nixie taught Callie to defend herself, but now it was getting to the point where she was changing for the worst. She became really snappy, and always had a look of disgust on her face. Callie was no longer that sweet little toddler who let people steal her toys without a fight. Now, she was intentionally looking to start a fight, just like everyone else.
Observing from the background, Nixie noticed that all the pretty girls had boyfriends. Nixie wasn’t sure if she was pretty or not. Many adults would tell her she was beautiful, but none of the kids her age ever said so — and adults tended to be liars, she thought. A few mean girls in her class had called her “ugly” and “annoying,” and this stuck with her.
“I wish I was pretty,” Nixie cried out, looking at her reflection in the water. “I’ll never have a boyfriend or get married. Guys only want girls who are pretty…”
“You’re beautiful!” Her ghost-mom appeared out of nowhere.
“Of course you’d say that,” Nixie rolled her eyes, “you’re my mom.”
“But you truly are!”
“What about all my flaws? The marks, bumps, and scars on my skin…”
“All of that is what gives you character.“
And for some strange reason, Nixie felt much better, even if it was coming from her own mother.
“Hmm, character…” She pondered, “yeah, anyone can be plain… but I have character!” And Nixie felt proud to stand out and be different from the rest, both inside and out!
Nixie continued to keep to herself until a new girl joined their class near the end of the year. Ariel was a fellow water pixie with gorgeous, dark hair that fell down to her toes. Nixie thought about befriending her, but all of the other classmates swarmed her with attention. Just like Nixie, they were all curious about who she was.
Nixie stood back in the distance and observed Ariel trying so hard to fit in with Kimmy and all her friends. Kimmy treated her like a little puppy, having her follow her around and suck up to her.
“What’s the new girl like?” She overheard someone ask Kimmy.
And Kimmy replied, “she’s nice and all… but she’s kind of weird.”
Nixie continued to watch Ariel from afar, analyzing her every move, taking note of how desperate she was to be liked by everyone.
One day, Nixie excused herself from class to go pee behind a tree, and that’s when she heard someone crying. Popping out behind the bushes was Ariel, tears steaming down her face.
“What’s wrong?” Nixie asked with concern.
“I just told Winston that I have a crush on him, and he said he doesn’t like me back!” She whined, crying even harder now.
“Hey, who cares about Winston?!” Nixie comforted, “he’s got a pig-face, anyway!”
“No one seems to like me,” she moaned, “none of the boys, not even Kimmy and all them…”
“Why would you wanna be friends with a girl like Kimmy?”
“Cause she’s so cool!”
“No,” Nixie shook her head, “she’s a brat. Nobody likes her, ask anyone, they all hate her. That whole front she puts on is a facade. She knows you’ll buy it cause you’re new here.”
“Really?” She rubbed her eyes, wiping the tears away, “well, you seem nice. Do you wanna be friends?”
“Yes, of course!” Nixie nodded with delight, leaning in for a tight hug.
“You really meant all that? Nobody likes her?”
“Trust me, when you’re quiet like I am, you hear all the gossip. And I’ve never heard anyone say a single kind thing about Kimmy. If you want people to like you, stay away from that girl. Although personally, I really don’t care if people like me or not. But why suck up to someone who’s so snotty and ungrateful? And why cry over a boy who’s so stupid and blind?”
“You’re right,” she cheered up, sniffling.
“Come sit with me and Callie and the rest of our group for lunch,” Nixie offered.
“Can we be best friends? With inside-jokes and everything?” Ariel urged.
“Totally,” Nixie smirked.
For Nixie, friendship had its ups and downs. Sometimes there were fights, hurt feelings, and jealousy. Other times there was so much fun and a deep sense of connection. All of the drama was worth it through those moments of love and laughter.
Still, Nixie felt like the only person she could ever truly rely on was herself. Friendships would come and go, it was natural, but she was stuck with herself forever. And so, if she wanted to make it through life, she would have to be her own best friend.
Nixie had trouble figuring out who she was. There were so many different parts of her, all completely distinct from one another. It felt like multiple people living inside her body.
There was the side of her who was super girly, sweet, confident, outgoing, and a bit superficial; there was another side of her who was silly, goofy, who thought outside of the box; another side of her who was deep, dark, and mysterious; another side of her who felt more like a boy than a girl; the side of her who felt more like a wild animal than a pixie; the inner child who would never grow up; and the spiritual part of her who felt like an old soul.
All the different parts of her were always clashing, fighting over who had control. They all had completely different viewpoints, perspectives, and opinions. Which left Nixie constantly wondering… who am I?
Even Nixie’s family had trouble figuring out who she was. They called her “unpredictable” as they never knew what to expect from her — how would she be acting today? What kind of things would she be saying today? What type of outfit and hairstyle would she be wearing today? They could never predict…
By her seventh year of schooling, Nixie was determined to find a boyfriend. She was growing jealous of her classmates who were all dating each other. At the same time, she knew she wasn’t missing out on too much — how fulfilling of a relationship can you actually have at twelve, thirteen-years old?
Most of the girls who “dated” ended up getting broken up with after a few weeks, crying their eyes out, and then getting teased about it. Still… there was a strong yearning inside of Nixie…
She painfully decided that it was time to let go of Figg. After all those years of fantasizing about him over and over, it never really seemed to go anywhere in real life. Perhaps there was a reason why he got placed in the advanced classes while she was stuck behind, maybe it was the universe’s way of saying that they were not meant to be.
If she really wanted a boyfriend, she decided that she would have to be logical about it. So, she pealed a piece of bark off a tree, used her alchemic powers to turn it into paper, grabbed a bird’s feather, dipped it in ink, and wrote a list of possible contenders. She wrote down the name of every boy she knew, rated their compatibility, and proposed an action plan for how they could get together.
“Boy #1… 5/10… we have astrology class together, so we could compare birth charts and see if we match… but I think he might be gay. Boy #2… 4/10… he’s easy to talk to but I just can’t picture myself kissing him and enjoying it… plus I think he also might be gay. Boy #3… 6/10… he has a great sense of style so I could ask him to take me shopping… he’s very feminine… could he be gay?“
Nixie scrapped her list — it was hopeless!
…And then, like magic, a mysterious new boy entered Nixie’s class!
His name was Lazarus, and he was also a pixie, as he was quite small like Nixie. Yet, there was something else to him… it looked as if he was also part vampire. His hair was midnight black, his snow was sickly pale, his eyes were brown and beady, and his teeth were sharp like fangs.
Nixie desperately stared at him from afar, waiting for him to make a move, to do something… She didn’t know how to talk to him, so she just stared.
And then Nixie noticed that he was staring back. But it wasn’t going any further than staring, so she decided she would have to go a little further by smiling. And then he smiled back.
They still weren’t talking. Not until Nixie found him talking to one of her girlfriends. By now, she had gushed about her new crush to all of her friends — so why was one of them talking to him now?
“Hey,” the boy said to Nixie as she walked up to them, “I know you, you’re the girl who’s always staring at me!”
Mortified, Nixie completely shut down. And just like that, all of her feelings for him disappeared completely. All of a sudden she became all too aware that this boy she had been daydreaming over was nothing but a fantasy.
Just when she was beginning to give up on her search for a boyfriend, a boy in her class named Teddy walked up to her — it was totally random.
“Nixie, I have to tell you something…” he began.
Nixie looked back at a group of boys — his friends — giggling in a corner and watching them intently.
“What’s up?” Nixie greeted.
“I love you.”
Completely caught off guard, Nixie attempted to read the tone of his voice. It was sort of reluctant, in a I-have-to-do-this type of way. It wasn’t like in the fairytales, when the knight in shining armor runs up to the princess and proudly declares his love for her. No, it was much more cowardly.
“Uh,” feeling speechless, she replied, “okay!”
And then he ran back over to the group of other boys.
One of the strangest moments of her life, Nixie spent the rest of the day pondering just exactly what had happened. Was it a joke? Was it a dare? Does he really love me? Or was I just the best target to pick on?
Nixie had never really thought of Teddy in that way before, but now she was letting herself fall into fantasy with him. She imagined, perhaps he really does have feelings for me, and he’s being insecure…
So she decided to give him a chance. The next day in class, she walked right up to him and said, “hi, Teddy!”
However, he was really standoffish. She had no idea what to think. So she left it alone, and that was that…
Later in the year, Nixie heard a rumor about a boy named Damian having a crush on a girl named “Nixie.”
Nixie was ecstatic, bouncing off the walls, to hear about a cute boy having a crush on her — finally! This was it! Her first boyfriend!
Nixie enjoyed talking to Damian and thought he was a really funny guy. He would make the perfect boyfriend, she thought. Letting the cockiness get the her head, Nixie bragged to all of her friends about the news she had just heard. She sent out telepathic messages to everyone, telling them how excited she was.
A few moments later, a friend telepathically replied back, saying, “don’t you realize he’s talking about a different Nixie? It’s some girl who’s a year younger than us, not you!”
Once again, Nixie had made a total fool of herself in front of everyone. It was horrifying.
Nixie began seriously questioning the loyalty of her friends. Lately, it seemed like most of them secretly enjoyed making a fool out of her. She questioned if they bad-mouthed her the same way everyone else seemed to bad-mouth one another.
So, Nixie decided to hack into her friend’s telepathic messages. It was a little trick she learned from one of her older brothers. She was able to unlock telepathic messages between Callie and their friend Shelly.
“Nixie is so boy-crazy. She’s going to grow up to be prostitute. Did you see how she started wearing makeup now? So pathetic,” said Shelly.
“Oh my God! I can’t stand her anymore! All these stories she tells us about boys must be total lies! I think she’s a pathological liar! I don’t trust her at all!” said Callie.
“Did you hear that she was boasting about how she thought that Damian had a crush on her? Turns out it was a different ‘Nixie’! How hilarious!” said Shelly.
Nixie was fuming. My own best friends speaking so harshly about me, while smiling like an angel to my face?!
Her whole world came crashing down. All of these losses, her lifelong best friend, her lifelong crush, anyone else… It all brought her right back to the loss of her mom. The world didn’t feel so innocent anymore. She knew that in the years to come, her perception would become even more corrupted. Innocence is something that — once you lose it — it’s gone forever.
The most struggling aspect about sadness to Nixie was the fact that she felt like she didn’t deserve it. She knew she was sheltered in a bubble so much harsher than what reality is capable of presenting. She felt like she was living in a sunny day with her eyeballs full of stormy clouds that were blinding her. It was nearly impossible to accept that her pain was real and her feelings were valid…