Every superhero has an origin story. My favorites are the ones about heroes that are born with their powers and don’t realize that what they can do is abnormal. With these types, there is always a moment in their childhood where their powers are suddenly exposed in public and everyone totally freaks out, and the person with the powers is confused about why. No one knows what to do. Then a little while later the child’s parents are visited by a bald man in a wheelchair that offers to enroll them in a special school for gifted children where they will learn to use their powers to protect mankind from dangerous supernatural criminals. It’s a thrilling storyline, and it’s even more exciting to watch it happen in real life.
Take my daughter Lydia, for example. The other day we were sitting in the family room watching Samantha, An American Girl: The Movie. Lydia was flopped in my lap and I could tell she was starting to become anxious. We had arrived at this very exciting scene were Samatha was attempting to break her young friends out of an orphanage, but her plan was falling apart and they were about to be caught by the headmistress. So, the girls ran into the headmistress’s office and closed themselves in her cupboard.
“They will be okay,” I whispered to the girl on my lap, sensing that she was about to explode.
But my reassurance was met with a faint whining sound that was slowly growing inside of her. It vibrated out of her tight little chest like a nest of bees. She seemed to have herself strapped together with her own crossed arms, her knees pressed up against her chin as she crushed herself into a tiny whistling cannonball.
The headmistress looked behind the desk.
“Lydia… Lydia, it will be fine,” I said again. “Nothing is going to-”
But then one of the little orphan girls sneezed, and the headmistress said “Ah HA!” and lunged for the cupboard.
“No!” Lydia screamed at the top of her lungs. “No no no!” She spun in fifteen circles in my lap. “I don’t want to watch! I don’t want to watch it anymore! Cover your eyes!” She turned around and frantically started slapping me in the face.
“Ow! Stop! What in the world are you doing!?” I cried. “Stop it!”
“I don’t want to see this part! Cover your eyes!” she repeated, still slapping me in the face, painfully trying to press her palms into my eye sockets.
I finally lifted her squirming spidery body into the air and struggled to place her onto the couch next to me.
By that point, the exciting part was over. Somehow Samantha and her friends were already casually walking down the street as if nothing had even happened. I looked back at Lydia, and she too looked as if nothing had happened, quietly staring at the screen with a pleasant smile, legs crossed and her hands resting loosely on her knees.
Everything was back to normal. And yet it wasn’t. Because now I knew. She had revealed her secret. I now knew that somehow this strange little girl could actually ~see through other people’s eyes~. I watched her, wondering to myself. Could she invade other senses as well? Could she listen through their ears? Could she listen to their thoughts? Was she watching herself through my eyes right now? Could she see through more than one person’s eyes at one time? How far away could these people be? How dangerous was this little girl with the bony arms and knobby little knees that could somehow see everything from every angle at all times? The possibilities were absolutely terrifying.
My thoughts were interrupted by a sudden knock at the door. I paused the movie and walked upstairs. Who would be visiting at this time of night? I opened the door and was greeted by a bald man in a wheelchair.
“Good evening, Mr. Smith,” he said. “I’m here to talk to you about your daughter.”