My Hero's Journey

By:Vivien Steenstra

Episode One:"The End to a Beginning"

I’m crying again. Why do I always cry before I go to school? Why can't I cry at night?, when I have enough time for my face to adjust from puffy, red eyes to soft glowy cheeks and a warm smile. I don’t even change out of my clothes from the night before because my foster parents of 3 years won’t take me to get clothes. I’m known as the smelly teen in my school because John and Annie won’t let me take a shower. They tell me they don’t want me to use it because I will take to long like “all teens do”. I usually take a shower at school when I can but the janitors catch me before the school opens and get angry with me.I suddenly realize I’m about to be late, I run to school that is two blocks away from my house.

I wouldn’t even call this place my house it’s only filled with their opinions and constant hurt. I have nothing here that has made me want to stay. I get hit by Annie on my way out she tells me I’m a brat again and don’t deserve to live. You’d think I would say something back or acknowledge her but I’ve learned it’s best to just accept people for who they are because saying hurtful things back will only make me into the person they are.

I always have the same repetitive school day but today was different I just got told I was elected as Student President but I don’t have anyone to give me rides for meetings and etc., so I declined. On my way home a girl named Tiffany (Dyed blonde hair, has PINK merchandise on everyday) passes by me I put my hood over my head so she doesn’t see me. She looks at me and then glances away but 5 seconds later she stands right in front of me not letting me move. “Hi Tiff…” I say but she interrupts. “ Hi Stinkstra” she says, mocking my last name, Steenstra. I try to get out of her way but she won’t let me, I feel this urge to tell her it's not her fault her parents have made her into who she is and she has time to change, but instead she pushes me on the ground like John and Annie have millions of times before but this time it’s different, I start to cry.

“Oh no she’s crying should I stop?” She’s just taunting me now. I can't stop crying, what do I do? I feel this feeling I have never felt before, I stop crying and stand up firmly and strong. I feel energy that eases my rapid beating heart and goes through my arm. I grab her hand and tell her “I forgive you and everything is going to be alright”. Her face changes she looks at me sternly I expect her to hit me again like Annie and John would but instead she says “Thank you, I am so sorry Vivien for all the pain I have caused you”. I am exhausted by the time she hugs me and walks away, I feel more drained than I have ever felt. How did this happen?; I think to myself. What did I just do? What was that feeling I felt in my arm when I touched her? That was far from normal. I get “home” and feel like I’m walking in a fog of confusion.

On my bed I find a heart shaped ring perfectly placed, it is glowing like it has been waiting for me, I put it on because I think it’s beautiful and breathe in deep automatically. I lay down on my sheet on the mattress and take a nap because this day has been crazier than I could ever imagine. The last thought I have before I go to sleep is that someone, not Annie and John had to have put this on my bed when I was at school because they would never give me a crumb of a cookie let alone a heart shaped purple diamond ring. Who could it have been? I start to relax and sink into my bed and then all of a sudden I drift off into an effortless sleep.

Episode Two: "Thief"

6 years later…

I'm walking to my car from a long day at work from the social worker building when I hear a faint scream I immediately run to the noise hoping and praying it’s not too late. I end up in a dark alley, it seems like the city forgot that the alley exists so they didn’t even think about putting a street light in the empty space. When I can finally see, the first thing I see is a woman being pinned to the wall by a tall man with a long beard that reaches to his bellybutton.

I put on my ring that puts me in my purple,red and yellow disguise. The woman is crying like she’s given up but once she sees me she screams again “Oh thank god!” I tell her to stay calm. I say to the man “Sir please look at me.” Once he looks at me I immediately grab his arm and tell him to let go of her she has caused him no harm so he should do the same. He walks away and says thank you, the woman immediately thanks me for saving her life. I escort her to her car; before she gets in she asks me what my name is, I say Agave. She drives away quickly wanting to go home before something else happens.

When I walk back to my car I hear footsteps behind me but they are insanely loud almost like the person is wearing 6 inch heels. I walk faster, the footsteps get a faster pace behind me I suddenly turn around and run up to who it is when the light hits their face I notice it is my assistant Melissa. “Mellisa what the hell, why are you following me?”, I say. She looks at me almost like she’s seen a ghost, “I know what you are.”, she says. My heart starts to beat so fast I feel like it’s going to pop out of my chest. I just stare at her and then suddenly she states“I want to help you.” I let her know that I don’t think she can and she replies back, “I’ve known you for years, I know you have won every child case you have gotten and now I finally know why and I want to help you win more.” I feel this rush of peace when she says this, I no longer have to keep this a secret. I can finally share my struggles and share anything and everything with someone. I nod and say “I would love that”.

Later that night I’m almost about to head into my house when a man yells “Vivien!” behind me. I can no longer take people's sneak attacks they are freaking me out. “Jonathan?”, I ask. He replies, “ Ya it’s me, I’m just wondering why you never called me back? We were dating for two months and then suddenly you wouldn’t talk to me, text me back, or call me.” I am in complete shock he showed up to my house; I have to get inside. I say “I’m sorry Jonathan this just isn’t the right time for me.” I get out my keys, lock my car and unlock the front door and jump inside. I feel the urge to run back out there and tell him I love him and he has done nothing wrong and it’s all me, but it would just make things harder.

I don’t think I was meant to ever have a love of my life, the supernatural protection agency has made that impossible for me. They made rules where I am always like this, I don’t know if people actually love me or are filled with artificial love I give them when I touch their hand. It’s not a switch I can just shut off when I want someone to love me for me, the power is always at the tip of my fingers. I find myself in bed crying, not even changing my clothes and falling into a deep sleep dreaming about the perfect life and the perfect husband and children where I am powerless and free. Suddenly I wake up and my fantasy has turned into a nightmare.

Episode Three: "John"

I leave in the morning with a bitter taste in my mouth. I feel the urge to find something in myself I never knew I had. Why has the council given me this gift? I might never know, which gives me more anxiety than anyone could imagine. When I get to work Melissa tells me it’s a rough one. When she says “rough” she means, one of the worst cases I will ever have. I walk into the case room with the father and his daughter.

The father doesn’t even stand up or acknowledge me when I walk into the room. I go over to him to shake his hand; he ignores me. I guess I will have to communicate through words. When I sit in a chair directly in front of him and his daughter he finally acknowledges me. The girl looks at me and I can see the shadows beneath her eyes. The ones I used to have after getting no sleep from my foster parents screaming and threatening me.

“Hello Sarah, how are you sweetie?”, I say. “She’s fine.” the father mumbles. I nod at the little girl letting her know she is safe here and I am listening. The father bluntly tells me he doesn’t know why he is here and the teacher was a dumb cow and doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I keep myself in control and try to calm him down but no matter what I say he always replies back with “The bruises are from playing rough with her friends on her playground at school”, or “ She keeps on falling down the stairs like a clutz. I tell him there has been 16 reported cases from different teachers and how he has a criminal record of abusing his past girlfriends that would support abuse of his child. That sets him off. He grabs ahold of Sarah and screams names I dare not say. I don’t use my powers on my cases until I have a sit down and observe the parents and children's reactions to my questions and concerns. Everytime I try to get near him he steps 1 more step backwards so I can never try to calm him down.

When he storms out of the office I immediately know this is Abhor’s doing. He fills the parents or parent with absolute hate because he wants me to know he is near me. This time I’m going to catch him in the act. When I leave work I ask Melissa if she will come with me to the father's house so we can get in and I can stop Abhor. We take her car after work and I tell her to stay in the car and if there is any trouble I will call her. The house the man owns is dark and rotten which makes me nervous. The door is already halfway open so I just walk in.

Maybe this is a trap, I think; I don’t care I need to stop Abhor at all costs. I have my disguise on just in case the girl wakes up and goes toward the noise. I see a blue bright glow when I look at one of the rooms. The door is cracked open so I just walk in. I see Abhor using his touch to give the father hate and I go ballistic. I have not felt this way in a long time, pure anger. I shove him to the wall and start crying and punching but of course I’m not strong enough. He pushes me to the wall that has about a hundred holes embedded in it. The father is so knocked out from the power Abhor had put upon him he doesn't even wake. I grab Abhor from the wrist and use all my might to bring him to the backyard and use my ring to push him in the sky as far away from the father, Sarah and me as I possibly can.

When Melissa brings me back to the house I start to feel empty again like something is missing. My phone vibrates and I pick it up to see it is my foster parent John. I haven’t heard from him since I graduated high school. He wanted to meet and talk to me about his regrets and said him and his wife are still in the same house I had lived in. This is when I realize, my emptiness is from never making amends with them. I could never understand why they did what they did to me when I showed them so much kindness. I needed to go back home and find myself.