About a Lucky Man

By Mel



Disclaimer: He belongs to Marvel. Paige belongs to Marvel. His Mom belongs to Marvel. His friends belong to Marvel. The fear belongs half to Marvel, half to me. Georgie, Mrs Budd, and she, belong to me. See? I got my name engraved and everything.

Note: This is a companion piece to I Saw The News Today, Oh Boy.

I got an email from Paige today. She went home for a visit last week. She said she went shopping with Mom, and saw Mrs Budd and Georgie. Shopping is a social affair back home. It's where the housewives get out and meet their friends.

I wonder if she still despises that.

She's a Mom now. She works, pays bills and has a son. I envy her sometimes, so normal, so mundane, so not heroic. Not having the world depend on you. It must be nice. No one saying that you have to do something or life as the human race knows it will cease to exist. A certain security.

Does she know she has that security?

Paige said that Georgie was growing up to be a big boy. She said that Mrs Budd seemed more cheerful now. She took Mr Budd's death really badly. I didn't know much about it at the time, but Mom's written about it a little lately, since they've been friends again. It's mostly because of Georgie, Mom says. Apparently being a grandmother suits her. Mom was trying really hard not to make blatant hints.

Does she like being a mother?

We never really talked about this. Not specifically. Bits and pieces, sure. We talked about everything. What it would be like to fly. She'd enjoy it, I think. In some ways she might have enjoyed this more than me. She was always someone who liked going out on a limb. Literally too. To get as close to the top of trees as she could. I was the one who climbed behind and worried.

I wonder if she remembers those trees.

It was almost inevitable that my first friend outside the family would be a girl. I never really thought of them as a different species. How ironic. Most other kids did, and made fun of us. Only ever once though. We both knew how to hold our own in a fight. She was a sight to behold when she was angry. Her ponytail bobbing and her bony elbows and knees ready as weapons.

Would she understand the fight I have to fight now?

I don't even know how she reacted when she found out. When someone said "He's a mutie." No one's ever told me. She never told me. She could have written, she could have visited while I was home some time. We used to spend all out time at each other's homes.

I wonder if she hates me.

We have been told again and again that we are against a world that hates and fear us. It frightens me that it might include her. That she might hate, or worse, fear me. That this might be why she's never contacted me. Maybe she's just forgotten. Maybe she's got more important things than an old friend-who-was-a-boy.

Why does the thought of being forgotten hurt as much as that of being feared?

I remember that she always got annoyed at me when I did something for her mom. She said it made her feel bad. Then, she'd come home with me, and take the babies off Mom to play with. She didn't see that we appreciated that. That Mom really appreciated every minute of those doting games.

She'd make a good mother. I always thought so.

Does she remember the games we'd play with my kid sisters?

I knew she didn't get on as well with them as she did with me. Paige told me once that she was sort of intimidating. She was, in a way. All determination and stubborn will. Then after our Dads died, she had to stay. She had to stay with her mother, who retreated from the world, and had to get a job.

Does she know how brave she is?

I should have written to her. Better still, I should have seen her. Things happened so fast after Dad died. I was suddenly a mutant. It's a terrible thing to admit, but I didn't think about her for a long time.

Maybe she doesn't want to know me.

That isn't true. When you've been friends with someone for a long time, you do think of them a lot. You see something you think they'd find funny. You hear a good joke. You meet someone who you know they'd like. You think about their opinions. She was part of the way I learned to think about things, so, in a way, no matter what was happening, she was there in the back of my mind. That doesn't mean I don't miss her.

I wonder why when I think of her, I'm scared?

I really value her good opinion. I counted on it when I was younger. I almost expected her good word before I'd do things. My first girlfriend got her okay. To be precise, she said that I'd got some taste. She was so bossy. Every time someone says something about being a leader, I think about her. She was a natural leader. I would have followed her off a cliff. Worrying all the way, of course.

What would she think of my friends now?

I should just get it over with. Go see her. Wouldn't everyone think it hilarious that I'm more scared of facing a skinny, single, working-mom, than facing any super-villain.

What if she hates me?

She is tied up with so much in my mind. I don't know what I would do if she hated me for what I have become proud of. For what I have become. I fear that thought more than I should. I should be proud enough, and strong enough to face her. Even if she has tried to forget me, because I am a mutant. Even if she fears me, the person who she persuaded to skip school so we could catch eels.

I wonder if she fears me.

Maybe, one day, I'll talk to her.

But not yet.

The End.

Incidental credits: This is for those people who said that I should write something about Sam. No, it's not a happy ending, but people are like that. The moral of the story is that fear sucks. Big time. Especially when it limits your life.

The song goes :
I read the news today, Oh boy.
About a lucky man, who made the grade,
And though the news was kinda sad,
Well I just had to laugh,
I saw the photograph.
He blew his mind out in a car,
He never noticed that the lights had changed.
A crowd of people stood and stared,
They'd seen his face before,
Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords.

It's "A Day In The Life." By the Beatles.

If you've never heard it, you are an alien, and your cover has just been blown. :)

Feedback would be appreciated. The sun is warm. The Atlantic ocean is wet.


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