The Superpower Within

“Don’t make me used my superpower!” Nathan yelled, slightly shakily.

“And what would that be?” Justin retorted, a smile playing on his lips, “Let me guess, you have secret lasers in your hands?”

His whole gang was falling about laughing.

“If I were to tell you, it would blow your mind. No one as mean as you could ever have my superpower.”

Suddenly, the smiles on the gang’s lips disappeared as Justin cracked his knuckles. Nathan gulped. He didn’t need to see it to know — he was cornered. At that very moment though,

“Get away from Nathan this second!”

Nathan recognised her voice immediately. It was Amelia, the toughest girl he knew, and his best friend. As soon as she spoke, the bullies backed away, and the two 13-year-olds were left on their own. Amelia took Nathan’s hand — the one without his cane in it, and she led him to his locker, just as the bell for their first period rang.

In class, as new student was standing at the front of the room. The teacher explained that the new student, Ben, would be assigned a buddy for that week to show him around the school.

“Any volunteers?”

When Nathan raised his hand, mutters broke out in the room.

“He can hardly see his way around the school!” someone sniggered.

The teacher was also surprised but said it would be a great opportunity for both of the boys.

At recess, Nathan was showing Ben around.

“Why do you hold that stick?”

Nathan patiently explained that it was called a ‘cane’, and that he used it to help him find his way around.

“Are you blind?”

Nathan told Ben that he had a condition that affected the nerves in his eyes, and he couldn’t see as well as the average person. Even having glasses wouldn’t help. He joked that he wasn’t as blind as the three blind mice, and, at that, they burst into laughter.

As the day went on, Nathan checked in with Ben. He seemed to be cheerful enough, but was struggling to find his way around, and was late for class more than once. Nathan assured him that he would soon get used to the school layout.

As Nathan walked home from school that afternoon with Amelia, he heard a sobbing sound. He asked Amelia to wait, and he set off. It wasn’t long before he found the source of the noise — Ben, crying in an alley. He was finding it hard to get used to the school, and Justin and his gang hadn’t exactly welcomed him kindly. Since Ben’s first day had been tough, Nathan wanted to give him a present he would never forget: friendship. Nathan comforted Ben, making sure he knew he was around if he needed him, and Nathan left feeling content.

Over the next few days, Nathan experienced flashes of magnified objects around him. He couldn’t understand it, until he realised it must just be his brain creating images of random objects in an attempt to see things. He shook his head in disappointment. These flashes continued until Nathan was able to see the objects for extended periods of time. He realised that if he stared hard at the object, it would become larger. He told Ben and Amelia about his weird new ability, and Ben became really excited.

“Scientists have been looking into this! They say that 0.0001% of the population have this ability, and that people with sight loss are more likely to develop it!”

Amelia was excited for him too and asked whether it meant he could see now. Nathan hated to disappoint his friends by telling them that he could only look at one object a time.

One day, Nathan’s vision zoomed in to a dark spot on the leg of the person in front of him. He thought it was just a freckle, but his vision zoomed in further, and he noticed black lines spreading pout from the spot. Nathan was no doctor, but he was worried.

“Who’s the person standing in front of us?” he asked Amelia.

“Justin,” she said, scowling.

Nathan hesitated before telling Justin that he thought he should check out the spot on his leg. Justin was very skeptical, but Nathan was stubborn.

Justin took the week off, and when he came back to school, he told Nathan, a little gruffly, that it could have been a fatal tumour. He did something that something that truly amazed Nathan – he smiled a little and thanked him.

Nathan’s superpower wasn’t his magnified vision, it was his kindness. Justin had shown Nathan the magic of his superpower, and that anyone can have it. Nathan knew that if only everyone had his superpower, it could change the world.

Kindness could change the world.

By Alexandra Shearer