I'm No Superman

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Chapter Eleven

“Looks like I won’t have to interview Chad anymore.”

Aiden turned to Alex, relaxing on Damien’s couch and smirking as he drank his beer. “Probably not.”

Danny shot up from the carpet and sat in between the two of them. “Aiden, where the hell have you been hiding that?”

Aiden smiled and looked out of the window. “I haven’t man, just been practicing.”

Danny picked up the controller and continued pressing buttons on the pad. “Man, if you even go half as fast as you did today, Chad doesn’t stand a chance, that contest is as good as yours, mate.”

“Keep your eye on the flag man, you got a bunch of guys shooting me here!” Damien yelled. Within a few seconds, a “Game Over” sign showed up.

Danny sighed before picking up another beer. “Sorry, Damien. I’m just so buzzed!”

Aiden looked over at Alison. She had been extremely quiet all day and hadn’t spoken a word since the race. She sat staring at her phone, twiddling her thumbs, nursing a Diet Coke on Damien’s table.

Alex walked over and nudged her on the elbow, giggling. “Alison, what’s got you so quiet?”

She looked up for a moment to answer. “Oh, nothing, just got a lot on my mind, that’s all. You know, finals and stuff.”

Jimmy emerged from the kitchen carrying a bucket filled with ice and bottles of beer. Danny moved in for a hi-5. “Jim, my boy. You’re a complete star! Here, have one in celebration.”

Jimmy put his hand up. “That’s okay. I hate beer.”

“Suit yourself.” Danny laughed before popping the lid off of another one. “How did you perform that leap though, man? That was incredible.”

Aiden took a long gulp of the beer before grabbing another. “Adrenaline rush, I guess. I surprised myself today.”

“Alistair sure looked pissed, Scarlett too.”

Aiden smirked and sat up, continuing to drink. “Good, now they know I mean business. I don’t think we’ll be getting much trouble from them anymore. You’re all welcome.”

Alison shot up and threw her phone on the couch. Keeping quiet, she glared at Aiden before walking into the kitchen. Aiden’s stomach tightened as everyone in the room stared at him.

Danny moved over to the couch with Alex and put his arm around her. “What’s going on between you two? Is she okay?”

Damien got up and sat down next to Aiden. “Trouble in paradise, I reckon.”

Aiden sighed. “I don’t know. She’s been acting strange today.”

“Want me to go talk to her?” Alex asked.

“No, no. I should do it.” Aiden got up and headed towards the kitchen. When he entered, he saw Alison sitting down on the table with her arms crossed and a raised eyebrow, as if she had been expecting for him for centuries. “You’re welcome?” she asked.

Aiden’s eyes zoomed around. “What?”

Alison didn’t move, keeping her arms folded and her eyes glaring at Aiden. “You’re welcome? You think that’s the end of Chad and Scarlett bothering you? It’s not. If anything, you’ve just given them drive to hurt us more.”

Aiden stared down at the floor. “Did I do something wrong?”

Alison grabbed a glass from the table and chugged the contents of it down her throat, crossing her eyes and wiping her lips. “You’re the one with the plan here. Why don’t you figure that out?”

“Everything okay with you two in there?” Damien yelled from the sitting room.

Aiden looked away from her. “Yeah, we’re fine! Listen, I think we’re out of mixers, me and Alison can take a walk, go get some more!”

“Fast, agile and will get mixers without asking, you’re on fire today, Aiden!” Danny yelled.

Aiden looked back at Alison, and would have given anything to see that cheeky smile he was used to. She grabbed her bag and walked right past him, heading straight for the door. “Come on, let’s get out of here,”

Aiden put his head through the sitting room. “Be back in a few minutes, guys.”

Aiden walked up to Alison with a smile on his face, hoping she would do the same. She didn’t.

“So what way is it?” she asked.

“Follow me” Aiden responded.

This morning they had walked down a high street and it had felt like only minutes went by, with this, the walk from Damien’s front door to the street felt like years. They both walked in dead silence until Aiden stopped in his tracks, turning around to face Alison.

“Alison, what’s going on?”

She stared at him. “Nothing”

“Doesn’t feel like nothing”

“It’s nothing. Can we go to this place please? Stop stalling.”

After a long and tedious five-minute walk, they came towards the warehouse that he had fallen through. It looked even worse on the outside than on the inside. Battered up walls, wooden planks falling off, Aiden was surprised the place had stayed standing. They both walked inside and looked around. Aiden saw the broken glass from where he fell and looked up.

“I’m guessing that’s where you fell on your ass.” She pointed up at the shattered windowpane.

“Yep” Aiden replied. He felt a piercing pain all over his body as he looked up at the glass. He turned to the circuit board, which was much clearer now. It was rusted and covered with dust, and he spotted a fist shaped dent in the centre. He smirked to himself.

Alison looked at him for a moment, and then knelt down to inspect the area where Aiden had fallen, she noticed an open barrel next to her, that had some form of green substance.

“What’s that?” Aiden asked.

“Based on all the stuff here, I think this is what changed you.” Alison said, rubbing the green substance in between her fingers.

Aiden tried to crack a smile. “Well, be careful with that, I know it has some side effects.”

Alison wasn’t amused, as she just cleaned the substance off of her and stood back up. “Omnipotence” she said.

“What?” Aiden replied.

“Omnipotence, that’s the name of the stuff. Says so on the barrel, you heard of it?”

Aiden shrugged.

Alison turned around and took a photo of the logo and wandered around the warehouse. Aiden walked up to the barrel, as Alison backed up away from him. Noticing a small bit of crumpled paper taped to one of them, he took it off discretely and shoved it in his pocket before Alison could see it. “Probably not a good idea to take pictures here. Police could seize that as evidence.” Aiden said.

Alison continued snapping pictures. “In that case, you’d be evidence, wouldn’t you?”

“Yeah, what’s your point?”

“Haven’t seen any men in black show up at your doorstep yet.” Alison turned back and gave her famous cheeky grin, but what came next was a more sour tone. “I think we’ll be fine.”

Aiden’s blood boiled. He’d had enough of this snarky attitude. “Okay Alison, what the hell is going on with you?”

Alison looked down. “Nothing, why do you ask?”

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s the sour attitude, the sarcastic remarks, the general negativity? I don’t know, you pick.”

Alison smiled and laughed to herself before crossing her arms. “Okay Aiden, you want to know my problem, it’s you.”

“What have I done?”

She crossed her eyes. “What have you done? Look at you. You’re not someone I recognize anymore. What exactly are you intending to use these ‘powers’ for?”

A spark spread it’s way around Aiden’s arm. He shook it off violently. “Is it not obvious? I’m finally going to win that contest.”

“Exactly, and don’t you find that the slightest bit selfish?”

Aiden’s heart dropped. “How’s that selfish? No one gets down on Chad for using his natural talent.”

Alison laughed. “Natural talent? There’s nothing natural about what you can do. Running faster, those leaps you took and I don’t know what you did to Alistair back at the track but that could have seriously hurt him.”

Aiden turned away, taking a seat on one of the barrels. “Since when do you care about what happens to Alistair?”

She walked to the barrels and towered over him. “I don’t, but today it’s Alistair, what if it’s an innocent bystander next? What if it’s a driver that pisses you off? Or anyone that gets under your skin? The Aiden that I know would never want to hurt people. You just…it reminds me of when you used to hang out with Chad.”

Aiden looked back at Alison, not annoyed, but shocked at what his own best friend was telling him. “I’m not that person anymore. You know that.”

“You’re sure going the right away about it. You’re letting this sudden ability you have now let people see you as more than you are. Don’t think I didn’t see that smile in your face back at the track. You wanted that glory, and if even you can’t see that, then you’re the last person on Earth who deserves that kind of power.”

Anger swelled up inside of Aiden like a nuclear reactor. He took several deep breaths before responding. “If that’s what you think, maybe me and you shouldn’t be friends after all.”

Alison’s eyes widened as her voice went quieter. “You don’t get rid of me that easily. I’m the only one who knows your secret.”

Aiden shot up. “Oh, please stop with all the superhero bullshit!”

Alison took a step back with her hands in front of her. “Aiden...calm down.”

“No, you need to hear this now, because I want you to remember this. I am not a superhero, and I am not a hero. I think both of us know that I can’t stand Chad, Scarlett or Alistair for what they did to you. If anything, I’d say you’re a little jealous of me.”

“Oh, screw you.” Alison said, turning away.

“I’m not finished, you need to stop living your life like a damn fairy-tale! This is not a fairy-tale world, you’re not the princess, and I’m not the guy who comes and saves you whenever you come across something you don’t understand. You should know better than anyone that people in this world are selfish. You’re selfish, I’m selfish, like it or not, that’s just the way we are. You know what people would say if they knew what I could do? ‘When is he going to put on a costume and start getting kittens out of trees?’ That’s not me, and that will never be me. I can’t help that suddenly now I’m different. I didn’t ask for these powers. What do you want me to do? Go out there and save everybody with a problem? I got a news flash for you. EVERYONE has problems. One guy can’t save the world. I couldn’t save my mum. I couldn’t stop what happened with your ankle, I’m not a fucking hero! So don’t stand there all high and mighty telling me you think I’m gonna go back to who I was because I have some new abilities. Any person with a brain would use their abilities to help solve their own problems. You would do it, and I will do it. If people are smart, they look out for themselves, and if they aren’t, then why is that my responsibility? We aren’t superheroes; you’re not a poor distressed damsel, and me. I’m no Superman.”

Alison looked speechless. Her eyes shot around the room as she quivered with fear. “You know what I think? I think that serum has gone to your fucking head.”

She picked up her bag and headed toward the exit. “And just for the record, I’ve always accepted you for who you are, ever since we were kids. The problem is, I don’t think I know who you are anymore.”

Aiden’s hand started to glow and make a crackling sound. Within seconds, all he saw was a crimson red flashing before his eyes. “If that’s what you think, then just leave me the hell alone until you do!”

As soon as Aiden had said that, a ray of red energy blasted from his hands, blasting the door and knocking Alison to the ground. The door in front had a small singed hole, glowing from the blast. As the frame from the window above fell and crashed to the floor, he snapped out of his anger and began to see clear again.

Alison was lying on the ground, panicking and with a tear in her eye. Her face had a few cuts on it, and she looked way too frightened to even say a word. Aiden, realizing what he had just done ran over to pick her up. “Are you okay?”

She slapped his hand away, getting up and brushing off the dirt from her clothes. “See what I mean? What the hell was that?”

“I don’t know.” Aiden slammed his fist into the barrel, ignoring the immense pain.

Alison headed for the exit. “Do me one last favour. Please keep away from me for a while. I need some time away from you.”

“Alison, what are you saying?

“What I’m saying is you’re right. You are different, and honestly, you kind of frighten me.” She slammed the door behind her.

Aiden stood silent in the warehouse as the door shut; he began to question what had just happened. Why had he gotten angry? Why did he say the things he did? And most importantly, what was the meaning behind Omnipotence?

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