By the ocean there is a bar... They called it Hannah’s Roadhouse once... I don’t know what they call it anymore. I just knew that she’d come and bring that thing with her. That thing that to me, was so precious, so deeply moving that just looking at it would blind me. But I had to have it and I knew that I couldn’t have it if she didn’t show up today...
There she was, red hair with a slight orange fleck in the Ocean’s sunrise. She wasn’t old, in fact, she was new, as if reborn, she didn’t see me as she opened the door to the bar. I let her walk, I had no plans. She bought 2 drinks and sat at the bar.
Was she alone? The way she was dressed suggested otherwise, clothed in a professional looking blazer and trousers she looked as if she was on a business outing, however her partner was nowhere to be seen. The drinks she had ordered were 2 colas with slices of lime, apt refreshments for the current weather.
The morning sun hit the ocean as if it were made of crystal, projecting a calming light across the room while a gentle breeze caressed the curtains through the ajar windows. The mood of the room was unlike the previous night. By night, the bar turned into a retreat for the unwanted. Bikers, thugs, people likely friendly with the mob, alongside women looser than the throats they drank with. By morning, however, the bar was a welcoming diner serving surprisingly appetising breakfasts, sandwiches, coffees and the like. It was my bar of choice by day, however by night I would venture deeper into the city where I could drink without fear for my life.
The bar was quiet at this time of the morning, although remnants of the previous night’s madness still scattered the room in forms of broken glass, sticky surfaces and the ghostly groan of a hung-over biker still unconscious in the corner, his body audibly struggling to keep his clogged arteries alive. The sight of this man may have shocked people from outside the area, but even the staff remained nonchalant over his presence. I couldn’t say the same for myself. My anxiety was not due to the unconscious biker, but the woman that sat no more than 5 feet from me.
I hid my unease under my usual disguise, an act I put on to stop people from getting near to me. It wasn’t an aggressive guise, but more of a lone wolf type act. I wasn’t hiding from the impressive looking woman in front of me, nor the biker in the corner who was now regaining consciousness, I was hiding from everyone. It was my problem, a problem I needed a cure to and this beautiful, mysterious woman had the vaccine. I spent my days hiding in my shell, denying anyone access to my feelings or thoughts, my soul rotting away in a stale pit of self hatred. My nights were much the same, dwelling in the earth’s darkness, the blanket of night providing another layer of protection from my enemies; humans. I had never been proud of being a member of the human race, their ignorance and instinctual hatred have been the centre of my thoughts since I can remember. This hatred may seem like a severe case of hypocrisy, but instead of deterring the worrying symptoms of such feelings, it simply fuelled the already volatile hatred I had growing inside of me.
This woman could help me, I felt it as soon as she entered the bar. It was as though I had known her my entire life, not as a person but as a glimmer of hope. No matter how deep into my dire state I sunk, there was always something I held on to. Feeling deep down that someday there may be a way out. At first I thought that the way out was something drastic, a word I dare not say, a solution, an idea, a possibility. Whenever I thought of putting my thoughts into action I felt scared, but also excited. It was like a taboo, the idea of it seemed so perfect and beautiful, yet so wrong and immoral. I felt helpless...
X-Men. At first these words meant nothing to me. Just another collection of letters sprawled against my computer screen. I had heard of mutants in stories and in novels, disfigured creatures hiding beneath a structured and safe community. Something I could relate to, however I tried to make it a rule not to fantasise over fiction. But fiction soon changed to fact.
The word that mutants were in fact a credible and existent force was something I initially perceived as an internet joke. These were far from uncommon. UFO sightings, government conspiracies and a whole plethora of “fan-made fiction” for all sorts of wives’ tales and stories have always existed on the World Wide Web. I was doing my usual midnight internet surfing when a user posted news story caught my attention; ‘MUTANTS, Evolution Begins’. Not one to be caught out by internet jokers, I opened the page expecting to be typing out a few facetious comments after reading the article with a grin. This didn’t seem to be a flame baiting joke, however. The article was convincingly supported with videos and other linked news articles from perfectly credible sources. My heart fluttered slightly with excitement as I was filled with hope that maybe something interesting would happen in my lifetime. The reports seemed to be more scathing than excited though, calling these “mutants” threats to the safety of the human race. Typical for the human race to respond to difference with hostility, were my thoughts at the time. I spent years researching this new and exciting event, which wasn’t hard as the entire world seemed excited by it. I ended up wishing I was also a mutant, which in many ways I already believed I was, but not in the way these “X-Men” were. At least these guys had special powers, I thought. At least they could differentiate themselves with this race I am a part of, and of whom I despise. It felt like my prayers were answered when I heard the name Jean Grey. It wasn’t the name which brought me hope, but what she could potentially offer.
I heard Jean Grey would be here on this warm, summer’s morning and I decided that I had to meet her. Before she seated herself in front of me I had managed to remain calm, which I personally owed to the soothing thoughts I may soon be free of my burden; the burden of being what I loathed. Unfortunately the calm vanished the second I caught glimpse of her. My palms were coated in a thick layer of sweat and my entire being felt as if it was fluttering through realities. I couldn’t quite believe this masterpiece of a being was so close to me.