I love getting massage. Being a massage therapist, I have friends who are also therapists who also love getting massage. For years, I traded every week with one of my friends. He'd come see me. I'd go see him. Every week.
In my conversations with another friend, I'd tell her about our massage visits and things we talked about. She never met him. For years this went on.
Finally, she said, "I don't think he is real. I think he is your imaginary friend."
And, so...that's who he became.
One day, I was eating lunch in a sidewalk café with her when he walked by. He joined us and to her became real.
However, I so enjoyed having an imaginary friend he kept his title.