We had to do something immediately.
Or as soon after we had finished our desserts as was humanly possible.
After all, normal people get lunch breaks. Why shouldn’t we?
I mean, I’m sure everyone else’s jobs are important, too. You need to get that email written or finish the copy on that item. Or get to that super important, vital and boring-as-hell meeting.
And I need to stop the bank robbery across the street.
But there’s always something, you know?
It’s a bank robbery. Or a jewel heist. Or there’s a purse snatcher.
You know, I had to leave my little girl’s ballet recital because there was some madman on top of the Empire State Building threatening to blow it up if he didn’t get a million dollars?
Not that he would’ve. I mean, do you know hard it is to blow up a building of that size?
It takes a lot more than the explosives you could carry on your person. That guy was a total amateur. But they called me in anyway.
And I missed Gabrielle dancing in Swan Lake. Do you know how long she trained for that part? Months of her twirling around the living room in her little tutu. And I totally missed it, because of some moron who can’t even plan a proper bomb threat.
I can’t make that up to her. She was mad at me for a month after that. It’s pretty damn hard to make your kid breakfast when she won’t even talk to you.
And apparently, she’s allergic to oatmeal. I didn’t know that. Her Mom forgot to tell me before she went to work. How was I supposed to know?
I didn’t even know you could be allergic to oatmeal.
So, before you know it, Gabrielle has broken out in hives and I’m in the emergency room with a sick kid who won’t talk to me, all because some idiot decided that Friday night would be a good night to pretend to blow up the Empire State Building.
Stuff like that makes me wish I had another job.
Any other job, really.
But it isn’t as though I have a choice.
I mean, when you’re blessed with abilities no one else has, you learn that you’re responsible in a way no one else has to be.
With great power comes great responsibility, right? Where have I heard that one before?
I was a pain in the ass growing up, you know.
I’m sure you think you were, but really, you were a piece of cake compared to what my parents went through.
I bet you didn’t break the toilet when you were potty training. Yeah… super strength can sometimes be an issue.
I snapped all the damn pencils for the standardized tests…. Eventually I learned to control myself. But let’s just say I wasn’t very good at tests for a while.
The flying comes in handy most of the time. Less handy when you’re at the park playing with your kid and eventually find him sitting at the top of the flagpole, swinging on the flag like it’s a bungee cord.
Yeah, that might have happened to my Mom a few times. The fire department really doesn’t like it when you call them for that sort of thing. Especially when you do it about half a dozen times.
But where was I …. oh yeah, dinner.
It’s my wedding anniversary, for God’s sake.
We’re enjoying a lovely dinner in an expensive restaurant downtown. And I really thought I could just have an evening to myself this time – well, I had hope, anyway.
And it was almost perfect.
The desserts had just arrived – I got creme brulee, my wife has this amazing-looking fruit tart. We were each going to share. And then we were going to have another glass of wine, go home and go to bed.
You know, like a normal couple.
No sooner has the waiter set our plates down, then we hear shouting from across the street. It’s August, so the doors and windows are open, and the restaurant has the kind of removable front windows that leave some of the tables open to the warm summer air.
I don’t have to hear much to know what’s going on. I have incredibly good hearing anyway – not super, just good. But hey, not everything can be super, right?
It’s a stick-up.
And it isn’t that I don’t care.
And I’ll get to it.
But for the moment, this creme brulee looks amazing. And damn it, I’m going to sit here and enjoy dessert with my wife, for once.
The woman at the table beside us turns to look at me. Her eyes are wide with surprise.
“Aren’t you going to do something?” she asks. “Aren’t you going to help them?”
“Of course I will,” I tell her. “In a minute.”
I dip my spoon into my creme brulee, breaking the delicate crust, and take a bite.
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