“There’s magic in the world. But…there’s no such things as dragons, there’s no such things as wizards, and there’s no such things as fairies. However, there are pixies―well, there’s no such things as pixies, the tiny playful sprites creative minds made up. Rather, there are things called pixxa. P-I-X-X-A. Pixxa, they’re human, just like me and you. Only they’re different, not very different, but they’re different. They’re born just like humans (there’s a mommy and a daddy, neither are pixxa), they die just like humans (shoot them with a gun and they will bleed just like us), they grow just like humans (they need to wax and shave those annoying skin hairs just like us), and they need to eat just like humans (sometimes, they eat too much and need to lose weight just like some of us).

“There’s only two differences. A pixxa, male or female, will have only one special item. It’s a special item that found the pixxa, and only that pixxa can use that special item. And it is that special item that makes a pixxa magical. And without that item, well . . . a pixxa would only just be human. After all, a pixxa doesn’t have magic, and a pixxa is really no different from me and you. But…there’s only one more difference that sets pixxa apart from humans. You see, pixxa don’t die from old age. In fact, not many of them―maybe only a handful―live to see their sixtieth, fiftieth, or even their fortieth birthdays. They don’t grow old because many of them die between the ages of sixteen and thirty-two. They can die from illness, they can die from car crashes, and they can die from falling out of windows, but many of them die because their loneliness eats away at them until they’re nothing but bone and sunken skin. It’s slow, but it’s not painful―rather, it is painful; it’s just that a pixxa will become so sadden by their loneliness that their physical ache is nothing compared to their emotional agony. And once that loneliness sets in, it is close to impossible to reverse the effects. None have yet to survive even with the help of normal humans, but let it be known that a pixxa makes a lasting impression on a human it befriends. And that human will never be able to forget that pixxa, no matter how hard they try.”

This is the story your grandmother told you one day before she decided to take a nap and let her slumber erase the story from her memories. You can’t ask her anything further about pixxa because her amnesia has set in again, and she forgets even you, the kid she took in and raised for almost twenty years after your parents passed away in that plane accident. It is sad to see your grandmother this way, but you can only leave her there in the nursing home because of her old age. You wish your grandmother had a friend to talk to even if she cannot remember anyone for more than a few minutes. It’s too bad your grandmother’s only friend died when she was twenty-four. Your grandmother seems to remember only that one friend, so you suppose they must have been close. You recall the pixxa story and the fact that most pixxa die before they’re thirty-two, and you smile to yourself. Perhaps the story is something your grandmother made up after her friend’s death to cope with it.

But you know that isn’t the case. You’ve had an encounter with a pixxa too. You just don’t want to remember it.

It was during high school. It was an encounter that spanned all four years, and it was the only thing that made those four years interesting. You fell asleep in class whenever the teacher kept on talking about functions and fractions, and you were the kid who didn’t need to study because you naturally got A’s and B’s. There really wasn’t much for you to do and, since everything came to you so easily, you got bored of your classes, more so than any of your classmates. And so, one day, you decided to ditch school. And it was that one day that began it all.

It was a female pixxa. You don’t remember where you had been headed, but you do remember you first saw her alone in a corner, just standing there, content with just watching as people walked by her. You don’t know why you noticed her―she wasn’t beautiful, and she wore a plain t-shirt and jeans―but something drew you to her. At the time, you did not know she was a pixxa, but you knew there was something about her. And from that day forward, every day after school, you went back to the same spot and sat on a nearby bench watching as that pixxa watched the bustling crowd pass her.

You did not go home right away because you did not want to go back and face the harsh reality of your grandmother’s memory ripping away at its seams. You did not want to go home and pretend to be a part of your grandmother’s wonderland-ish world, a world she created that you were not supposed to be a part of. So instead, you sat at that bench watching the pixxa. It was irresponsible of you to leave your grandmother alone at home like that, but going home meant dealing with your broken heart, and you were not ready to have your heart be continuously ripped to shreds every time your grandmother asked who you were.

It was freshman year around Christmas that you stayed until the night was too cold for anyone else to be out. You stayed long enough for the pixxa to start heading home. And like the stalker you convinced yourself you weren’t, you followed her. It was the best decision you have ever made because you and that pixxa became the best of friends. You told each other everything, and you loved her but, at the same time, you pitied her. Before you came into her life, she was all alone. Her family had died in some tragic accident, and she was the only one left. She was left all alone with her magic mirror. The mirror wasn’t great company, though, because it wasn’t a magic mirror like in Snow White that told her she was the fairest one of all but a magic mirror that gave her a new look. You remember that, when you first saw it in action, you thought it was weird. You watched as her reflection changed. The first time you saw it, she had changed her brown hair to blonde and her grey eyes to green. You watched as she walked into the mirror, and you watched as she came out―the pixxa you watched for months was gone, and a new girl stood in front of you. Each time she changed something, you always thought of her as new. You could never understand why she wanted to keep changing herself. You thought she was fine the way she was. This was why you pitied her. You loved her for who she was, but she didn’t love herself.

But perhaps you didn’t pity her enough because you left her after senior year. You left her, and she was left all alone for five years as you built new relationships and fell in love with another. You left her, and she was heartbroken.

She died from loneliness. Maybe she died because she was so very heartbroken, but the thought made you feel even guiltier, so you keep telling yourself she died from loneliness. But you know you are to blame. She died because you were selfish. She died because you realized too late that you loved her. She died because you returned too late. She died because of you.

As years pass on, the guilt stays with you. You try to forget her, but the guilt eats at you―there’s something else too, but you cannot name it. Maybe it’s love, but it’s too unhealthy to be love anymore. Whatever it is, you cannot forget her, and you start to lose sight of everything else.

At first, you only lose track of the time. You think to yourself that it’s natural. Everyone forgets the time sometimes. But slowly, it becomes not only time that you forget about. You start becoming distracted from conversations, you forget about work, you forget about your friends, you even miss your own wedding and your grandmother’s funeral.

The only thing you remember is her, the pixxa.

When you realize this, it is already too late. You are already becoming just like your grandmother. You’re forgetting everything, everything but her. It’s painfully obvious as you sit in front of her magic mirror almost every day just watching her reflection, the only thing left of her you have. It’s like an obsession you have no control of, an addiction in which you only think of her when you already have a significant other.

It’s not love. It’s a curse.

When you realize this, you realize too late, but then again, when it came to her, you realize everything too late.

“There’s magic in the world. But there’s no such things as dragons, there’s no such things as wizards, and there’s no such things as fairies. But there are things called pixxa. They’re human, just like me and you. Only they’re different, not very different, but they’re different. They’re born, they die, they grow, and they need to eat just like humans.

There are only two differences between a human and a pixxa: one, they have a magic item that belongs only to them and, two, they die from loneliness. It’s a slow and painful death, and there’s collateral damage. Let it be known that a pixxa makes a lasting impression on a human it befriends. And that human will never be able to forget that pixxa, no matter how hard they try.”

Years later, you tell the same story your grandmother told you to some person willing to listen to you. However, you do not take a nap and forget the ending your grandmother wanted to tell. Instead, you continue the story and end it the way your grandmother never had a chance to.

“A human befriended by a pixxa will never forget that pixxa because a pixxa’s loneliness is like a virus, contagious and constantly reproducing. A pixxa’s loneliness will spread to that human but, once a pixxa’s loneliness latches onto the human, that loneliness transforms into a disease that eats away at that human’s memories until that human can remember nothing but the pixxa they abandoned.”