Robed Man #3

Powers.

It’s weird to know they’re actually possible. I watched a man light himself on fire, survive, and lose nothing by the shirt on his back. A room full of students only look for the fight that never happened.

“Can you imagine if they fought? Javier says, one of the students in the student dorm lounge. “Do you think he can control it?”

“He didn’t die.”

The five of us hang, talking about what just transpired. Most of us are sitting, but Javier’s excited and stands.

“Aw man, you think he can like, hold fire in his hands?” The other students pick up on his energy. “Do you think he can throw it?”

“How would that work?”

“He would chuck it like a football.”

“Would it have any weight?”

“Huh, I don’t know. “Javier sits down and looks over to me. “Hey Jim, what do you think?”

What do I think? It doesn’t matter. The moment word gets out we got powers, the world will be on us. Besides, would we even survive if the chemical cloud got us?

“We probably would never know.”

“What do you mean?”

“We probably die in the gas. Most students did.”

Javier thinks on that a gloom covers the room, thinking on the despair of the accident. Javier ignores it.

“I bet I’d be a telepath. I’m be all in y’all thoughts, broadcasting all your nastiness. “

That brings laughter back into the room. Javier laughs and looks at me again. He places his fingers on this forehead.

“Hmmm…Jimmy is a momma’s boy and a bed wetter.”

Totally not true, but I didn’t know how to respond. The chuckles intensify, considering making a retreat for my room.  I only stay because Javier continues.

“Li wishes she played football, but only if she got ice cream after each game- also a bed wetter.”

More laughs erupt and Javier continues moving around the room, reading everyone’s thoughts. It caught me by surprise. I elected to hang.

Javy (which is what everybody called him) Li, Nilesh, and Ruby all sat around talking about what their powers would do. Li would want to turn into stone. Javy mocked her until she realized she could say metal, or diamonds. Ruby wanted to be a shapeshifter, saying she could be whoever whenever she didn’t want to be herself.

“You know, not all the time, but sometimes.”

“Actually, I don’t want to turn into diamonds.” Li admits. “I don’t want to be that bougie.” It made Ruby laugh.

“You’re right. I’d make myself a bum sometimes to realize how great I actually aim. “

Nilesh has a different take.

“I’d want to be an alchemist…no, wait- ever better! I want to  make things out of thin air!” He moves his arms across his face, shakes his hands with his palms up, as if he’s holding something.

“Voila! The answers to next week’s quiz”

“Oh, come on.”  Javier explained. “That’s too strong!”

“Fine.” Nilesh agreed. “It would…I don’t know…last for a few hours.”

“Perfect.”

Javier thought hard. We all waited until he could think of something.

“I don’t know what powers I would have…this is hard.” Boos echo from the rest of the gang. “I know, I know. Jimmy, what about you?”

“I would be invisible.”

The crew made faces, not aware of how good that would be. Having the ultimate out would be perfect. I could be alone whenever I wanted and not have to deal with people. The truth doesn’t feel appropriate, so I lie. 

“I can go where ever I want.” They started to catch on. “I don’t need to make anything- I can just take it. Nobody can see me when I don’t want them too. Plus, you can’t hurt what you can’t see.”

Everyone looks at each other, and unanimously agree. It’s a good power.

“Nice.” Javier confirms.

Everybody starts to disperse and Javier walks with me.

“I like the way you think, Jimmy.”

“Thanks.”

“It’s a little dark sometimes, but tragedy will do that to anybody.”

“Yeah…” It just occurred to me. “You didn’t say a superpower.”

“Yeah.” Javier admits. “I couldn’t get pass the thought of hearing all of them.”

“Why didn’t you just say that?”

“I’d rather show them.”

It sounds weird. Something is formulating here, but it doesn’t make sense. Does he expect can just develop powers?

“Hey.” He turns to me. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure, go head.”

“Do you know Ian Westbrook?”