Finally, he whispers, “Are you okay, love? How do you feel?”
And I smile to myself, thinking of all the ways I could answer that question.
I think of how my body is more exhausted, more defeated, more drained than it’s ever been in my life. I think about how I’ve had nothing but a glass of water in 2 days. How I’ve never been more confused about people, about who they seem to be and who they actually are, and I think about how I’m lying here, sharing a bed in a house we were told doesn’t exist anymore, with one of the most hated and feared people of Sector 45. And I think about how that terrifying creature has the capacity for such tenderness, how he saved my life. How his own father shot me in the chest. How only hours earlier I was lying in a pool of my own blood.
I think about how my friends are probably still locked in battle, how Adam must be suffering not knowing where I am or what’s happened to me. How Kenji is still pulling the weight of so many. How Brendan and Winston might still be lost. How the people of Omega Point might all be dead. And it makes me think.
I feel better than I ever have in my entire life.
I’m amazed by how different I feel now. How different I know things will be now. I have so many things to do. So many scores to settle. So many friends who need my help.
Everything has changed.
Because once upon a time I was just a child.
Today I’m still just a child, but this time I’ve got an iron will and 2 fists made of steel and I’ve aged 50 years. Now I finally have a clue. I’ve finally figured out that I’m strong enough, that maybe I’m a touch brave enough, that maybe this time I can do what I was meant to do.
This time I am a force.
A deviation of human nature.
I am living, breathing proof that nature is officially screwed, afraid of what it’s done, what it’s become.
And I’m stronger. I’m angrier.
I’m ready to do something I’ll definitely regret and this time I don’t care. I’m done being nice. I’m done being nervous. I’m not afraid of anything anymore.
Mass chaos is in my future.
And I’m leaving my gloves behind.