Consider the following statement: Keep Out of Reach of Children. This conjures up images of rat poison or drunken mothers with coinciding drug habits. Does her bottle of prescribed OxyContin really need to state this? She takes enough of it to know that she shouldn’t offer it up to her child. But I digress. This is not a treatise about your mom’s opiate addiction. In a world of keen insight and heightened, altered realities, a child’s safety is usually a priority of all parents. This is also true in my case. Perhaps more so. Allow me to explain…
My daughter Olivia has…well how should I say it, powers. Even as I write that I realize how completely fucked up that statement is, but I feel the urge, no, the outright obligation to inform you that I am all too truthful. So it is with extreme care and trepidation that I relate my story to you.
Now, it didn’t happen overnight to be sure. Her mother and I came to the understanding that little Olivia (then only five years old) was special, one morning during breakfast. She had already had two bowls of oatmeal with chocolate chips. My wife instructed her to rinse our her bowl and go brush her teeth, but Olivia stayed seated.
“I want more.” She exclaimed.
Her mother had told her no. It was then that Olivia’s demeanor changed. It was as if (this is hard) she became something or somebody else. At first, we did nothing. I simply shrugged it off as a temper tantrum. But when she floated up and across the kitchen to the cabinet where the oatmeal was kept, opened it and hefted out the box with ease, we took notice. The spoon and the bag of chocolate chips appeared in her hands as if she willed them to be there. I had to lift my wife off the floor after pouring a glass of cold water on her face. I was shocked certainly but relatively calm; calm for a man that just saw his five year old daughter levitating across the kitchen. Personally, I don’t think that oatmeal is that good to require such insistence, but who am I to judge. After the performance and certainly after my wife had regained her composure, Olivia sat and ate; looking at the colorful box of oatmeal as if what she had just done was okay with the world.
“I have to head out.” I told my wife. “Sam has got a shipment coming in and he wants me to inspect it.”
My wife glared at me as if I had just threw up on her. I had my bag around my shoulder and stepped towards the front door. I wasn’t able to comprehend this now. My wife was the more down-to-earth of the two of us. She would analyze this and find an explanation. I, on the other hand, would forget it ever happened. I would sit in my office and go threw the paperwork from the day’s shipment. Cross-reference buyers and sellers, phone numbers, and selling prices. Then once that was complete I would take a leisurely stroll through the warehouse to inspect the new acquisitions, safe in the knowledge that my daughter Olivia was possessed by Satan. I sent a text to Sam to inform him he was on his own for the day. I was embroiled in family matters.
Today, at the tender age of twelve, Olivia keeps her “special activities” mostly to herself. Unless of course she needs oatmeal or some boy in class needs his nose broke and she doesn’t want to get her hands dirty. We made the unwise decision to take our daughter to a therapist. I say this is unwise because the doctor thought we were crazy. Olivia did nothing to prove his theory to be incorrect. Olivia’s best friend Maria is the only other person that knows of Olivia’s gift. Let’s talk about this special gift shall we. My beautiful, young Olivia is of course able to float, or fly or whatever. You know that already. But that’s just the beginning. She can do things by just thinking about them. In many ways she attempts to brighten our lives. In the winter she warms my car before I leave, and makes sure all the roads a free of ice. But she can also be a pain. She will change the television channel if she chooses to, even if she’s in her room, just to be funny.
Another form of Olivia’s special gift, and the one aspect that her mother and I are must concerned of, is her ability to cause intense calamity. At twelve, my sweet Olivia has been going through some physical changes if you know what I mean. So once a month the house erupts in flames. She’s able to put it out quickly enough but it’s impossible to keep the carpet clean. On one particular afternoon at school. Olivia witnessed her best friend Maria knocked down by a gangly 8th grader by the name of Beatrice. Maria’s books scattered to the ground and Olivia stood rigid while Maria dusted herself off and look at her friend. I can handle this, she told Olivia and Olivia watched as the two grappled and pulled on each other’s hair. Maria was able to gain some balance and she threw a right hook at the older girl who dodged but the punch landed at her chest and she stumbled back slightly. Beatrice wasn’t strong but she was tall and awkward. Her extra long reach landed square on Maria’s chin, throwing her body back on to the grass of the playground. Olivia felt a shudder go through her like a bolt of energy. She stood in place waiting for a cue from Maria. But Maria was on her back, struggling to get up. Beatrice saw this as an opportunity and placed her inappropriately large foot on her neck. Maria’s eyes widened with fear as she fought for air. Olivia took a giant step forward.
“And what are you gonna do, retard?” Beatrice said with malice in her eyes. Olivia took another step forward and closed her eyes. The crowd of children that had gathered around them gasped in horror and ran away when the heard a crack and Beatrice fell to the ground. Both of her legs snapped forward awkwardly at the kneecaps. Olivia, as if it were nothing at all, lifted her friend off the ground and the two of ran home.
To be continued…