After that day, Mark kept talking to Celeste in class and the kids kept teasing him, calling him “Mad Mark” and “Warren the Weirdo”. But he didn’t pay them any mind. Because he knew that one day Celeste would change the world.
“They won’t be laughing then,” he kept telling himself.
And for another month, he and Celeste kept working. But at one point, Mark got incredibly sick and had to stay home from school all day.
“Control knows what we’re doing,” Celeste explained. “He’s trying to stop you.”
“But…” Mark said behind his runny nose as he lay in bed. “…he can’t…”
“And he won’t,” Celeste reassured him. “I promised to protect you and that’s what I’m gonna do.” Then she flew away and came back moments later with a vial of shimmering light with a glowing pink liquid inside of it. She gave it to Mark and had him drink it. He’d tell her later that it tasted like hopes and butterflies. And when it hit his stomach, he fell asleep, had a dream of Celeste, and woke up the next day better than ever.
“I won’t let him stop you,” Celeste promised him in the morning.
“Thanks,” Mark said, doing their secret handshake.
And he was back in action again.
And for a while it seemed that nothing could stop Celeste and Mark. They were a dynamic duo that no bullies, sickness, or bad idea could ever stop.
But one day something happened that brought everything to a slow crawl.
“Your teacher called today, Mark,” his mother said after school one afternoon. “He said you’re failing your classes. What’s going on? You never fail anything.”
“I’ve been working with a new idea!” Mark explained.
“Really?” she said. “Another one? Good for you. Where is it?”
“Right here,” Mark said, waving to Celeste above his head. “Her name’s Celeste. But I don’t think anyone else can see her for some reason.”
His mother nodded. “I believe you.” Even though she couldn’t see Celeste, unlike his friends at school, she believed him. Because she, like all good mothers, understood how important it was to keep her son’s creativity alive. But she also knew how important it was to keep him focused. “I’m happy for you, Mark. But you have to bring your grades up.”
Mark lowered his head. He knew what was coming.
“If you can’t bring them up, you’re going to have to stop working with Celeste.”
Mark was devastated. But he was determined to do whatever it took to keep working with Celeste. So he went back to his room, sat on his bed, and made another deal with his idea.
“I don’t want to stop working with you,” he assured her. “But I have to bring my grades up.”
“So what are you gonna do?” Celeste asked him.
“I have to study during the week and get all my homework done. But on the weekends we can work as much as we want. Deal?”
Celeste didn’t like this deal. But she reluctantly agreed and slowly shook his hand. “Just don’t forget about me.”
“I won’t,” Mark told her. “I promise.”
But what he didn’t know, was how seriously ideas take their promises.