I sat on the bed in the dorm room, with the telephone in my hand. I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking. My first day with the earth people had been a disaster.
I typed a number into the phone’s keypad. The only thing I learned about so far in this crazy world was how to use a phone.
“Hello. Daily Planet.”
“Is Clark there?”
“Now listen, Miss Lee, you can’t keep calling like this. I told you I’d tell Mr. Kent that you called. Now, Bye.” Click.
I felt a wave of desperation overwhelm me.
I crushed the receiver in my hand and just wept. I didn’t understand anything here. I could barely even speak the language. Fellow students asked about my accent, and I couldn’t tell them where I came from. A young man wanted to walk me back to the dorm, and I accidentally knocked him to the ground; I didn’t even understand my own body or my strength.
I didn’t even know how to kill myself.
About four weeks ago, the last society of Krypton perished. A thousand Kryptonian refugees, who had lived for twenty-five years on an inhospitable asteroid under a red sun, finally succumbed. I was one of many desperate people in Argo City, all struggling against our fate. I was poor, hungry, and terrorized.
But I also knew love.
I had many friends whose love became stronger as the end neared. We sang often and danced until we could barely stand, when we finally collapsed and cried in each other’s arms. That was how we stayed sane.
And I had my father, Zor’el, who always tried his best to protect me from harm. My father promised me that I would live, and he worked day and night during those final days and hours to keep that promise. That was how he stayed sane, making my life his purpose. When my father said that he would save me by building a ship and sending me on the path that Jor’el sent his son on many years ago, I kissed him and gratefully accepted the chance to live.
Four weeks ago, our asteroid collided with a meteor shower. We had seen it coming weeks in advance, yet could only watch.
I saw my people die. I sat in the spaceship and wondered why I was alive. I should have been with them. I should have been with my father. Why did I ever want to live through this?
I was in shock for about a week as the spacecraft rushed towards a small blue planet. Nothing could’ve prepared me for that trip. My life, my culture, my people, my universe—erased. And I was spinning in space in a tiny, black box towards a place that existed only in legend. I was drowning in emptiness, and disintegrating into the void.
When my spaceship crashed on earth, a man in red and blue was already there at the site. It was Kal’el, the son of Jor’el. He called himself Clark and Superman. The legend took my shell of a person, brought me to his home, and helped me learn how to live again.
He taught me simple things about Earth and tried to teach me English, but I couldn’t pay much attention. My life was in shambles. He tried to lighten my spirits by showing me what we Kryptonians could do on Earth; I was amazed, but I knew my new powers couldn’t reverse the holocaust that claimed my spirit if not my body.
Two days ago, Kal’el enrolled me in a school called “Metropolis University” and told me that I would live there, now. Just like that!
“I don’t understand these people”, I told him.
“You need to learn,” he replied, as though my life had undergone a minor change. “Just remember, your name is Linda Lee, and always wear the wig. Try to do what you see others doing. I’m sorry, but I am going to have to leave you alone for now.”
Kal’el had helped me overcome my culture shock. He understood my problems and my beliefs and some of my language. But Kal’el wasn’t here, and I wasn’t ready to step into this alien world. Maybe I would never be ready.
Mary turned the dimmer switch and flooded the dorm room with light. The intense sensation of light overwhelmed my weary eyes.
“Damn, Linda, what did you do to the phone?”
Mary was my roommate. Mary and I did not hit it off very well.
For one thing, Mary was black, and I had never seen a black person before. Kryptonians all had pale skin and blue eyes. I was shocked at the variety of people who lived at this college.
When I didn’t reply to Mary’s question about the phone, Mary shook her head. “All right, I’ll tell the office that it was broke already. Really, girl, you’ve gotta get a grip.”
Mary grabbed a few things off her dresser and hurried to leave. She stopped with the door half- open and glanced at me. Then she shook her head and left.
I wanted to say good-bye, but I was afraid to say anything. I was afraid of making any more mistakes.
I turned down the lights, again, and wanted to just hide, but I couldn’t stop the chaos all around me. A million voices were speaking all at once, and I couldn’t stop them, even by covering my ears. When I closed my eyes, I could see through my eyelids and into the next room. I couldn’t tell Mary about that. Would she understand? She would think I was insane. I was begining to believe that I was.
Someone was hitting the apartment door. I covered my ears. I wanted to shrink. I wanted to disappear. The banging started again. I looked through my tears, and I looked through the door, but all I saw was a skeleton.
Kal’el stepped in from behind the door, and I think I flew over to him. I held on to him like I held to my father when my mother died. “Kal’el, I can’t bear it here another minute!” I said in our native language.
“Shh. Call me Clark and speak in English.”
My heart winced hatred towards him. He was the only person who could help me, and yet he forced me to be an impostor, even with him. But I could see his concern, so my heart opened up again.
“I can’t talk this English well.” I said, trying to voice just one of my frustrations.
He hugged me with one arm and sat me beside him on the bed.
“It’s OK, really. Earth has many languages you can hide behind. Tell people you come from a small village in Hungary. I’ve checked it out—very few Hungarians go to school here, and your accent sounds vaguely hungarian. Say ‘Linda Lee’ is a name you adopted for America. If you want, you can tell them your real name; I don’t think most people will know the difference between an Hungarian and a Kryptonian name. But you should use the name ‘Linda Lee’. People will know you are trying to fit in.”
I shook my head. “People don’t know me a bit… And I don’t control myself. I could hurt people.” I grabbed my wig and threw it on the floor in disgust.
He picked the wig up, carefully put it back on my head and began stroking the long brown hair. “You may not believe this, but some other students are having similar problems. This school has many foreign students, and many are having as much trouble with this culture and language as you are. You need some stability in your life right now, and so do many of the other students here.
I shook my head in doubt.
“Of course,” he continued, “you have special problems, but you have special advantages, too. Be careful about your new powers. Try to limit physical contact until you understand your strength. You might practice holding animals before holding a friend’s hand.”
I felt more relaxed with him here and with his advice. He had obviously thought a lot about my situation, even when he wasn’t with me.
I asked him to stay longer.
“I’m sorry, but I have to be someplace. Several places, really.”
But he stayed for about an hour longer, and although I dreaded his departure, I felt more confident that I could handle my new life at least another day.
For a second night, I couldn’t sleep in the dorm. I could hear voices from the party on the second floor merging with the moans of love making down the hall. This time I didn’t just lie there and bear it. I left the dorm with a blanket and decided to sleep in the lounge of the library. The library was open all night, but a librarian told me I couldn’t sleep there. All the other buildings were locked. I was so tired and frustrated, I just walked out into the woods beside the campus. I slept at the foot of a tree on a mattress of leaves.
While relaxing and preparing for sleep, I looked at the sliver of the earth’s moon through the tops of the trees. Back home, we had a patch of woods; the smell of life and the sounds of animals and the gentle breezes all felt so familiar. But we didn’t have a moon. I felt like I belonged here, in the woods, and the moon was the outsider.
With this thought, sleep claimed my tired soul, and pleasant dreams filled my night.
I awoke to the songs of birds. Bird songs were one of the few things about Earth that I really liked. The bright yellow sun illuminated the sky from an unseen horizon, and dew covered my bed of leaves.
I stood up, stretched and yawned, and, amazingly, I felt really good.
I brushed off my pajamas and headed for my dorm.
A few dozen of the fifteen thousand students were trudging quietly about campus. I guessed that the rest were asleep.
Several people stared at me. I must have stood out in by wearing pajamas and carrying a blanket. I didn’t care.
I took the stairs instead of the elevator. One glance through the stairs above showed me that I was the lone occupant. I felt a little playful, and I slowly hovered up the stairwell. Kal’el had made it seem easy, but I was bumping against the walls and banisters as I rose. It was my first time, and I couldn’t help giggling like a little child doing something naughty but wonderful.
But when I landed, I felt a wave of guilt shake my body, as though a thousand deaths paid for each smile on my face. I paused for a moment and remembered a few of my father’s last words to me, “You’ve always lived in fear of death, Kara, and just once I’d like to see you smile a truly happy smile.” I felt dizzy as my father’s sacred words battled a thousand cries of blame.
I walked down the hall and met Mary getting dressed in our dorm room.
“Where were you, girl?” She said, looking at my dirty pajamas and ruffled hair.
I didn’t know what to tell her, so I just said, “Hi, Mary.”
She shook her head. “You gonna get yourself raped, running around dressed like that.”
“I’m sorry,” I said, not knowing what else to say. I felt the peace I awoke with evaporating.
Mary sighed. “Nothing to be sorry about. Hey, Linda I’m just your roommate, not your mom.”
I smiled and thought about what to say, then decided on: “I like you, Mary.”
She seemed amused. “You are OK, too.”
“I want a shower,” I said, as I opened my bureau and thought about what I needed. A towel, some soap and some fresh clothes. One of Kal’el’s friends picked out my clothes, but I barely understood how to wear them, much less match them fashionably. I also had a makeup kit that I was afraid to even open. I liked the perfume, though. Mary had said I used too much.
“You and everyone else,” Mary said. I shook my head, not grasping, so she continued, “You’ve got four girls ahead of you for the shower.”
I dropped the towel on my bed and sat down across from a mirror on the wall. I looked at my hair in the mirror, and saw a few blonde hairs mixing in with the brown hair from the wig. I fixed the wig and wondered how I was going to keep it a secret from Mary. (Why was I even keeping my hair color a secret, Kal’el, when many Earth girls have blonde hair?)
“Linda, would you like to eat breakfast with me and my friends?”
I must have looked nervous. Eating Earth food was really weird for me. The food was shocking: For dinner yesterday, I ate “spaghetti and meatballs” and had to use a “fork” and “spoon” and “knife”. I couldn’t figure out how to eat the spaghetti, and just the idea of eating meat disgusted me. I only drank some juice and ate some bread. If I had to eat with other people, I’d be very embarrassed.
When I didn’t respond immediately, Mary pressed on, “I don’t think there’s a Hungarian crowd that you can eat with, but you got to eat with someone. Really, I’d like you to come.”
I nodded and smiled despite myself.
Mary’s friends were all black, and I was the only white person at the table. But I guess I would’ve attracted attention no matter where I sat. Mary pointed out that the combination of my crucifix necklace, my “Black Sabbath” T-shirt with a big “666” between my breasts, and my long checkered skirt, was a “little weird”. I thought the clothes were comfortable but decided to change them after breakfast, anyway.
Hotcakes weren’t bad. At least I didn’t drop them on my lap like I had with the spaghetti, yesterday.
Mary’s friends were funny and they smiled a lot. They made me feel comfortable. They said they were “juniors” and that I was a “freshman”, and that was why I was so nervous. I felt better knowing there were thousands of nervous freshmen on campus.
Back in the dorm, I changed into a yellow blouse that hugged my skin and a short black skirt. A very short skirt. I saw another girl wearing something similar yesterday, so maybe I was OK. I’ve learned already to not wear those thick white socks with my shoes.
While showering earlier, I watched a girl putting on lipstick, so now I decided to try it myself. Most students were at their first class already, so I had the bathroom to myself, and I spent a long time getting the lipstick just right. The girl had put on other makeup as well, but I knew my artistic limits.
I headed off to class with a pack full of books. I took all of my books, since I didn’t know which ones I would need. They felt so light on my back, it never occurred to me that other girls would have collapsed under the weight.
My first class was in an auditorium with 300 students. “Anthropology 105: Society and the Individual.” I was fascinated, since the professor was teaching us about how America works in a way I could understand. He even explained the words he used that I didn’t understand. This was the first time I felt engrossed with one of my classes.
But I was also aware that many people were looking at me out of the corners of their eyes. At first I thought that I had broken another rule of etiquette, until it struck me that only men were looking at me. One of them was trying to look up my skirt. I shifted my position, but the tiny skirt provided little cover when I was sitting down. Why did girls wear them, anyway?
I felt better when I saw that men were looking at some other women, too. I didn’t want any attention, really, but, I thought, at least the attention was normal. I guessed that while we seemed to be in class to learn about Anthropology, the men were in the class to learn about the girls.
Just when that thought occurred to me, the professor said jokingly, “Anthropology is the ‘Study of Man,’ but don’t worry, we’ll be studying women, too.” I started to giggle at the coincidence, and I felt several men’s eyes riveted to me.
My 5:30 class was “English 101.” This class scared me because the professor had us read several pages immediately, in class—and all I saw on those pages were wiggly lines. Only about thirty people attended this class, and we were sitting in a large circle around the classroom, so everybody could see each other. I was terrified that people would find out about me. I was so nervous that I wasn’t learning a thing.
Only one man was watching me in this class, since the class was mostly female. He had dark hair and thin eyes, and he couldn’t have been any taller than me. I caught him looking up my skirt, and watching me almost constantly during the class.
When class was over, he came up to me. He seemed as nervous as I was. He said, “Your face is very familiar. Do I know you?”
I was surprised, and I said, “I don’t know.”
He seemed pleased by my reply, so he introduced himself. His name was Ge Hun Si. He came from Thailand, but his father was Chinese.
I told him the story Kal’el gave me. “I’m Linda Lee. I came here from Hungarian.”
“Hungary.” He corrected.
“No, I ate dinner before.”
He thought I was joking, so he laughed and I laughed with him.
“This English is tough,” he offered.
I nodded enthusiastically, delighted to find someone who agreed with me. I said, “This class is … hard for me.”
“Me, too.” He smiled, then hesitated. “Maybe we should help each other with our homework.”
I was extremely relieved by the offer. I nodded and said “Yes, very much… I would like that.”
He smiled and looked almost shocked, as though people never studied together. He offered to carry my books. I hesitated, but let him anyway. He could barely lift the pack but seemed determined to carry the pack regardless.
As we walked towards my dorm, the sun was setting, and the sky was turning a beautiful color of red—just like the sky under Krypton’s sun.
“You are very pretty.” He said, as I was reminiscing.
“Thank you,” I said, surprised by the compliment. I knew that Kryptonian men had found me attractive, but I didn’t know for sure about Earth men, or Oriental men, for that matter. I said, “You are pretty, too.”
He shook his head. “Pretty?”
“I’m sorry. You are handsome.”
Ge Hun Si told me about his journey to America while we walked to my dorm. He lived in Bangkok his entire life, but his family was Chinese. He learned some English at school, but he didn’t learn it very well. His mother and sister were helping him pay for school, and he was very embarrassed about it. He said he didn’t mind coming to the strange world of America, because he felt like a stranger in his own country. He always wanted to live in Taiwan and practice psychology, but his debt to his mother and sister would force him to return to Thailand, where he would probably live the rest of his life as a civil engineer.
I didn’t understand much of what he was saying. I sympathized with his story, but I felt voiceless to express my own. I wanted to tell him about my life and my losses, but I couldn’t. (Why, Clark? Why do I have to live a secret life?) Yet I believed in Clark’s wisdom, so I held back. I thought about telling Ge Hun Si that I was an orphan, but then he would want to know more. I had to keep the pain to myself, at least for now.
Mary was in the dorm when we arrived. She was reading from a large text book and was startled to see me.
“Hi Mary,” I said, not knowing enough yet to introduce my new friend.
She nodded, as she stared at my clothes for a moment, then she looked strait at Ge Hun Si.
He put down the book-bag, introduced himself, and they shook hands. He told her of our plans to study together.
Then Mary left with book in hand, saying, “I’ll go study in the lounge.”
Ge Hun Si and I were alone, now, and I didn’t know what to say. Back home I would ask him to pet our dog—a person didn’t feel welcome in someone’s home unless the dog welcomed him. But, of course, we didn’t have a dog in the dorm. I would also ask him to take off his shoes, but I didn’t know if Earth people had the same custom. All I could think of was, “Do you want to study, now?”
He shook his head, “Sure.”
It took me a moment to figure out that he meant “yes”.
I grabbed the book bag (I should have pretended that it felt heavy), and I opened it while sitting down on my bed. I had to guess which book was my English book.
Ge Hun Si looked at me with a strange expression, and then he sat beside me and fetched his own book.
He was holding the same book, so I knew that I guessed right. But what next? I couldn’t pretend that I could read for very long, but I didn’t want to tell him the truth. Several times today, I fantasized hopefully that many students couldn’t read English. Maybe even he couldn’t read English, and we were both foolishly feeling the same fear.
I noticed the sweat on his forehead, and the way he clenched his hands. This gave me the courage to tell him.
“Ge Hun Si?”
“I can’t read.”
He laughed a short laugh, and then said, “I’m sorry. I had no idea. I also couldn’t read English until three years, ago. This class is going to be much harder for you than for me.”
That wasn’t very reassuring, and I think he saw my frown. I had a sudden nightmare that lasted for about a second: Ge Hun Si told some college authority about my illiteracy, and they threw me out of the dorm and into the unknown again. I dismissed the fear, but I never could be sure if I was being paranoid or not.
Ge Hun Si put down his book and asked, “You can’t read at all?”
I shook my head.
“Then you shouldn’t be taking this English course,” he said with some regret in his voice. “The university has courses for English as a second language. One of my neighbors is taking such a course. You don’t have to know English at all.”
“You are sure?” I asked, my confidence returning.
“Yeah, I’ll help you add one tomorrow, if you want.”
I nodded and smiled. “Thank you.”
“We can take a trip to the book store after, and exchange your book.”
“OK,” I said, but I didn’t really understand what he was saying. The light in the room was bothering me. I turned the dimmer, until the bulbs changed from white down to a shade of orange, and the corners of the room were almost black.
Ge Hun Si face was blank with surprise, and I guessed that I broke another rule of etiquette by turning the light so low. “I’m sorry. The light was hurting my eyes. Is it OK?”
He nodded and started to take the books off the bed.
I just watched him and thought about how differently everything must have seemed to him. He couldn’t hear the background sounds of people chatting in other rooms, or see the moon through the ceiling. I thought of how very strange I had become.
He looked shyly away and said, “I’ll need another reason to visit you, now that we won’t be going to the same class.”
Stupidly, I thought he was saying that he wouldn’t be visiting me anymore. I had expected this, yet I was stunned all the same. “I understand,” I said, while clenching my hands together. “I should have said the truth before. I wanted to … to …”
I started shaking, and I couldn’t control my vision; I felt some of the same helplessness that had possessed me yesterday. My first new friend was already rejecting me.
Ge Hun Si took my hand in his and said, “You don’t need to say anything at all.”
He held my hand like an egg—as if it was a fragile thing. I felt a calm sweep over me, but I didn’t know why.
Later, I would understand what this situation meant. I’d understand why he wanted to help me with my homework in my dorm room, and why Mary had left us alone. I could hardly believe it. In my native world, when men wanted to make love to me, they just asked. Now, they try to have it happen by “accident”. I guess I was the perfect girl for this ritual, because I was not expecting a thing.
Then again, he was not getting what he expected either.
After caressing my hands like holy objects, I felt all my stress melt away. He looked into my eyes, and I felt my legs go weak. I had been trying so hard to just fit in and understand the people around me, I hadn’t thought about being intimate. But from somewhere down deep, desire rose like a whale surfacing from the ocean. The chaos of my emotions rapidly became a focused hope of passion. When he finally kissed me, I felt paralyzed by desire and fear of expressing it.
His intoxicating scent and minty breath put me under a spell. Much later, I learned that earth men didn’t smell that good in nature, but for now I was awed by their attractive powers. As he explored my mouth with his lips and tongue, I was careful not to kiss back.
He urged me back onto the bed and slid on top of me. He kissed my lips and then my cheeks, then my eyelids, my ears and then my neck. When his lips settled on one spot, his hands continued to explore. His body rubbed against mine, and I could feel his erection through both of our clothes.
I didn’t do a thing. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to hug him and kiss him back, but I was afraid of what I might do under the influence of passion.
He was stroking my hair as he kissed me, when my wig loosened.
His eyes brightened at the discovery, as my blonde hair spread out of the wig onto the sheets. “What a beautiful secret.” He kissed my hair, and then began to unbutton my blouse. “What other secrets do you have in here?”
He struggled with my shirt for a moment, but then just tore it open.
I didn’t wear a bra, so there was little suspense as my breasts were instantly and fully revealed. He began sucking on my nipples hungrily, as I pinned my arms to my side. It took all my energy not to touch him, but the restraint actually felt exciting and a little kinky. I was the object of his lovemaking, and I found this passive role thrilling. His hands slid my skirt down from my waist, while he worked on my nipples with his tongue.
He didn’t look surprised that I wasn’t wearing panties (actually, I didn’t even know what bras or panties were, yet). I kept my legs open as he dived between them. He kissed my thighs for a moment, but then, losing patience, he buried his face down deep. This was a new kind of lovemaking for me—a wonderful shock—and I couldn’t keep my legs from shaking. But I managed to keep them from crushing him within. His tongue explored both deep and all around, then he focused on my clitoris and sent small explosions of pleasure throughout my body, before he began climbing up my body again.
I hadn’t noticed that he had lowered his jeans while he was working on my passion. Once again, his mouth explored mine. I could taste some of myself on his lips. Then I felt his penis enter me. Something should have alerted me, but I guess I was consumed by desire. He stroked my hair, fondled my breasts and kissed me, while his penis massaged my insides. What a sensation!
Then his body shook, and he let out a groan. I was instantly alert and alarmed. I had felt my muscles compress on his penis. My legs and my arms and my lips obeyed my will of submission, but my muscles inside had a will of their own.
I was terrified by what I saw. His penis looked misshapen and wrinkled. I felt like a monster, and I turned away.
“What happened?” I said, pretending ignorance, not knowing what to say. I fidgeted with the torn remains of my blouse.
He winced in pain, then smiled at me with an embarrassed smile. “I don’t know. I think I twisted it or something. I’m sorry.”
He didn’t sound like I imagined a mutilated man would sound, so I looked again at his penis. I felt a great weight lift from my conscience when I saw that he was wearing a flesh-colored rubber cover over his penis, and the organ underneath looked normal.
But I knew I had hurt him, even if he wasn’t hurt bad. And I could have injured him much more seriously. What if I had kissed him back? or embraced him? I covered my face with my hands, and lamented in Kryptonian, “I am a monster!”
Ge Hun Si sat beside me and hugged me. He tried to comfort me, yet he couldn’t understand my anxiety.
“What’s wrong, Linda?” he whispered while kissing my hair. “I’m sorry I messed up. I’m not very experienced at sex. I guess I was eager. I promise I’ll do better next time.”
I saw his embarrassment. He didn’t understand. “We can’t do this, again.”
He shut his eyes, and sighed. “That’s OK. But I hope you will change your mind, because … I like you very much.”
I smiled and saw the honesty in his eyes. We spent a silent minute, just looking into each other’s eyes. Obviously, he didn’t think I was a monster.
“You don’t know me at all.” I said.
“I know you are a nice person. I know you are very attractive, and I know we feel good with each other.”
I nodded, and I decided. “I want to tell you the truth.”
“You can’t tell anyone!” I turned cautious, afraid of making another mistake—yet determined to tell him, nevertheless.
“Sure. Of course. What’s the big secret?”
“I’m not Hungarian,” I said, hesitating, “and my name is really Kara.”
He nodded. “OK, then Kara. Where ARE you from?”
“A place called Argo City. People here would say I’m a Kryptonian.”
He nodded unconsciously, and then just stared at me for a moment. “You mean where Superman came from?”
“Yes,” I said, and I felt relief that now someone knew.
He shook his head in silence, then said, “oh, poor Linda. I had no idea. You are going to need some help.”
I nodded, “Yes, it’s hard.” Did he really understand?
He was quiet for a long time. “I think we should go see someone,” he finally said while rising from the bed. “Do you feel up to meeting someone, now?”
I stood up, myself. “You said it was secret.”
“He will keep it a secret. Helping people with secrets is his job.”
“Can he help me control what I see and hear?” I asked while finding a new shirt and dressing myself again. “I am always hearing things and seeing things that aren’t even in the room.”
He looked concerned. “I hope he can, Linda. I really do,” he said as he dialed a number on the new telephone.
“Thank you,” I said, while fixing my wig.
I shrugged, “Just thank you.”
Ge Hun Si was awfully quiet, as we left the dorm. I thought he would have a lot of questions, but just asked me how I felt. I said I felt fine, but he acted like I was in pain. He held me in half an embrace while we walked.
He treated me with such care that I actually felt physically vulnerable. As we walked along the moonlit street, I felt comforted by his sheltering arm. His arm protected me from the stares of strangers, and ghosts that had followed me to earth.
“Where are we going,” I asked, noticing that we were leaving campus grounds.
“His office is off-campus,” he replied.
The scenery was changing. Now, many cars were parked along the side of the road, and all the buildings had lit signs. Alot of noise was coming out of a large, rusty blue vehicle.
A few men got out of the vehicle. They smelled funny, and they looked a bit dizzy. Ge Hun Si did not look at them, but he urged me to move faster.
“Where’s the fire, slant eyes,” one said.
Another said nothing, but spouted out words and obscenities rapid fire, as though he lived in accelerated time.
A third ran out in our way, forcing us to pause. Obviously, they meant us no good, but I didn’t know what they wanted.
Ge Hun Si was sweating, as he whispered in my ear, “Run, Linda.” And he stood in an odd stance.
“Oh, the china man thinks he’s a karate expert,” the largest one said, and he took a similar stance, but he appeared much more confident than Ge Hun Si.
Ge Hun Si muttered a curse I couldn’t understand. He was panicky. “Run Linda, now!”
One of the men grabbed my arm, and I had an impulse to hit him. But I would probably have killed him. Maybe he deserved it, but I couldn’t understand why they were attacking us, and I was afraid he was just a victim himself. Maybe he was like we were on Argo City during those last few days, driven mad by our terrifying destiny.
I ignored his hand, and I put my arms around Ge Hun Si.
“I’m sorry, I wish I could …” Ge Hun Si began, then stopped as we levitated off the ground. I struggled to keep our flight steady. I bumped his head off a tree limb (“Sorry”), and then settled us on a nest of intertwined branches.
Our attackers stood as still as statues, and then one said to the others, “Damn, did she just do that, or am I just too stoned.”
No one answered him, and the stunned druggies got back in their van.
Ge Hun Si touched the bump on his head. He looked at me in disbelief himself. Then he said, “You were telling the truth.”
“Of course,” I said, wondering why he thought I lied.
He touched my cheek, as awe filled his face. “I thought you were a special girl, but I couldn’t believe you were a supergirl.”
“Supergirl?” I asked, smiling at the idea.
“Yeah, MY Supergirl.” He removed my wig and ran his hands through my hair, “with her super hair of gold.”
I felt a burst of confidence, and I leaned forward to kiss him. He didn’t scream in pain, as I curled my lips around his. Then when I embraced him, I didn’t hear him struggle for breath.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “Nothing could make me tell your secret.”
“You don’t want to tell anyone?” I asked, suddenly tempted by the idea of telling all of earth.
He shook his head. “Supergirl will belong to the world some day, but I want you for myself.”
I smiled, and we had a special few minutes up in that tree.