Chapter 2. It's a Superhero Date!
I’m sprawled on the couch, watching TV. I take a chip out of the bag and eat it. My favorite: regular. I push back a lock of my light brown hair, and munch. If only Gotham was playing, but the Internet limit has been reached for this month so I can’t watch Netflix. Bummer. Now there’s a boring 1920 romance movie playing… The only interesting thing about it is how it’s in black and white.
I grab another chip. Mom’s keys rattle in the kitchen’s corner. I bend my neck backward as best I can and smile at her. She’s getting ready to leave for her barmaid shift, like every Saturday. I wish she’d stay home sometimes and enjoy some leisure time… but with a single revenue in Montreal and as a single mother, that’s not possible.
“So, remember to text me when you’re home safe, okay?” she tells me with a nod.
“Tell Amy I said hi! Love you, darling,” mom says.
I get up and hug her as is customary before she leaves for work. We barely see each other, but we cherish our meager time together. Me and her, that’s always how it’s been since he left. My so-called dad. I prefer the word “genitor”, to be honest. Slammed the door on us when I was five. Never heard of him since and don’t care. We don’t need him. We’re strong together, me and mom. We don’t need a man with us. I can take care of myself just fine.
“Love you too, Ma’” I say.
We exchange a smile, then she heads out. The key turns In the lock and I’m home alone. I glance at the clock on the microwave: 19:20. Time to get ready! Amy should be here in half an hour now for our movie night, a.k.a the second Saturday of the month.
All jumpy with sudden excitation, I shake myself and chuckle, then run to my bedroom. I fling the closet’s door open and… no, not this shirt. Maybe these jeans? Yes! What about this purple shirt? Hmm, might look good with that denim jacket. After dressing up, it’s time for my hairdo! Nothing complicated, really, just a black hair tie pulled high thrice around my thick hair. After a look at the standing mirror to the left corner, I’m ready. Clothing-wise. I still have that mascara and eyeliner to put on with a dark pink lipstick. Being sixteen isn’t easy, okay? Nor is becoming a worldwide boxing champion. People get the wrong impression of me, mostly at school: they assume I’m a tomboy because I train a lot (every day, in fact, thanks to the Sport-études program at my school), but I love to be pretty and feminine too on my days, you know? Except they don’t get to see this side of me, only Amy and my Ma. Their loss.
Huffing at my own bitter thoughts, I head to the bathroom so I can put on my makeup. It doesn’t take me too long as I’m finally getting the hang of those gorgeous cat eyes. They’re not too pronounced because my mom told me she’d lock up all of my makeup if I insisted too much on them. So, they’re reasonable, but still evident.
When I come back into the living room, it’s 19:52. Time to put on my black mid-boots. The doorbell rings right as I zip the last boot up. I bounce to the door and open it wide, and there stands Amy on my balcony. She’s beaming with pride in her cute pink fluffy jacket, striped light green shirt and loose jeans. She’s wearing golden loop earrings, topped with a sweet wavy hair band and light pink blush and eyeshadow. All of which goes well with her tanned, Latina skin. One word: cute.
“Hey there!” I exclaim, pulling her into one of my compressing hugs.
She giggles and pats my back. I pull away and hold her at arm’s length.
“Girl, you’re spectacular!”
I’m looking her up and down with a raised eyebrow. Amy just waves me off, chuckling.
“Bah, it’s just a pair I had lying around and the jacket’s… Okay, it’s new,” she admits, fluttering her eyelashes. I’m not sure if the corridor light’s making the blush appear pinker, or if she’s gaining colour.
Amy has a habit of downplaying anything she’s proud of. Even when she’s excited about what she owns or does. I suspect it’s because she wants us to probe her for further info, which is fine by me! She’s a pleasant ball of energy to be around—I’ve never seen anyone so enthusiastic about… Well, pretty much everything. And movies. Yes, mostly movies and characters she loves… and clothes. Like I said, pretty much everything.
I laugh and twirl. “What d’you think?”
My best friend lets out a sexy growl and arches her fingers at me like claws. Right before waggling her perfect, thin eyebrows at me, that is. We both burst out laughing.
“If I saw you on the street, I’d set my eyes on you.”
I always appreciate such reactions out of her, because it means she’s right. She’d know, what with her being into girls and all. Her positive comments on my appearance and personality always make me feel better and stand a bit straighter. I might not be a lesbian myself, but I would sure punch the face off anyone who insulted her about it. Call me an ally, it’s fine, I’m proud of it. Everyone has the right to love who they want, as long as it harms no one. That’s what me, my mom and Amy’s family stand by.
Grinning at her compliment, I punch her arm gently but Amy stills lets out a sound of pain. She brings a hand to the top of her arm and narrows her eyes at me.
“Sorry,” I say with a grimace.
“It’s all right.” She scrunches up her face then beams up. “Ready?!”
“Ready as you are! Let’s go!”
“Oh, wait! Selfie time!” Amy exclaims, taking out her cellphone from her pink purse.
I get closer to her, and stick out my tongue, energised by the thought of seeing Wonder Woman soon. Amy grins like a teasing little elf and takes the picture. As I grab my Joker/Batman bag off the coat hanger, her fingers move nimbly onto her mobile screen, uploading it on Instagram and hashtagging it properly so her fans (that’s what she calls them, but they’re technically followers. I never tell her otherwise, though) can all get excited over our night out.
Amy lifts up her chin and grins at me. “Done! Betcha I’ll get 30 likes, at least.”
I smile kindly, cocking my head. Mom can’t afford to pay a cellphone for me, so the only way I interact with such apps are with Amy—it’s fun, yeah, but I’m not addicted. I guess that has to do with me not having access to them… I do go on a few social media sites though, since we have a computer. It’s new, and I got it as a gift because I’m going to college next year and mom wants me to have the best tool possible: a pc that actually works. Mom’s awesome.
“I’m sure. You always get what you want,” I tell her with a wink.
“Sure I do, cariña!”
“Come on, I don’t want to miss the movie.”
“Right, Wonder Woman, here we come!” Amy shouts, reaching out at an invisible Diana.
I adjust my bag so it doesn’t slide off my shoulder (as it’s wont to do) and we’re off to the subway. Direction: Sainte-Catherine Street for a special, inspiring evening.