Origin Story #1

Hi guys. I’m Solar Girl. I’m not your typical superhero and this won’t be your typical superhero story. I probably shouldn’t tell you guys my real name, so I won’t. Then again, I probably also shouldn’t be writing blogs about myself. If anybody finds this and figures out who I am, this story could end up a tragedy and not an adventure, like it has been so far. Although sometimes, tragedy and adventure are two sides of the same coin. Sometimes.

But I guess I have to. It’s taken me this far in, almost a year since it all really started, to realise that I want to keep track of all this, to remember all of it, when I’m older and want to look back on my golden age. Or hey, maybe I’ll lose my memory and need something to remind myself of who I am. Though if my name’s not attached, I might not know this even exists at all.

I’ve already thought about all the pros and cons of writing a blog about myself. Or most of them, at least. I’ve decided to do this anyway. Because I want to. Because I need to. And because I feel like it.

So. Like I said, I’m a superhero. I’ve heard lots of other names for who I am, like costumed crimefighter or masked vigilante and sometimes even just “cape”. I’ve always liked supergirl myself, but I know that’s already taken.

I’ve been a superhero for about seven or eight months, even though everything started almost a year ago to the day of my writing this. That’s another reason I decided to start now; on the anniversary of the event that changed my life forever. Not to sound too melodramatic or anything. It did, though. Nothing was the same after that.

I operate out of Spotlight City, which most of you have probably never heard of. It doesn’t really go many places so it’s not really famous for anything. It’s never been the subject of a disaster movie or terrorist attack and no one famous has ever come from here, with the possible exception of the All-Star Corps. Some of you may have heard of them, but most of you probably haven’t. I don’t think any of them actually came from Spotlight City anyway. But in the modern time, in the age of the internet and whatever else, I’m the first superhero here since the early 90s.

Spotlight City is what you would call unique, in this day. It has a kind of nostalgic charm to it, and walking down its streets are like walking into a comic book from the 50s. Before they got as realistic as they could and before the girls in it all started dressing like strippers. I like those comics and I’m glad to live in a city that reminds me of them.

I’ve always loved comics. I remember the first time I read one. I’d found it in my dad’s collection, an old Supergirl comic from the 60s. I’ve been addicted ever since.

You could pretty much say I geeked right through the roof when I first found it in the forest. The crystal, not the comic or my father’s collection. And the first time I put the outfit on? It was like discovering Santa Claus really exists. Except for me, it was more like discovering the world of comics really existed. Because that’s exactly what it was.

I mean, I know the All-Star Corps existed back in the 80s and all, but none of them actually had powers. And suddenly here I am, with actual freaking superpowers and an outfit and everything. I practically died.

There were two problems that sort of rained on my parade at the time. The first was how I was actually going to go about this superhero business, taking in criminals and proving they were criminals. The second was the recent death of my mom and dad.

I said this wasn’t a typical superhero story, but every good superhero’s origin has to involve the death of your parents. Batman’s parents were killed in front of him. Green Lantern’s dad died when he was a kid. Superman never even knew his parents.

Me, I knew them my whole life. My dad was a model agent and my mom was a fashion photographer. My dad found some of the most beautiful women in the world and my mom took some of the most beautiful pictures of them.

I wasn’t there when they were killed. I was at my best friend’s penthouse for a week-long sleepover, while they were gone I didn’t like being on my own when my parents were out. It was always so creepy there all alone. Not that I couldn’t be alone, I can take care of myself, even then. But I didn’t like it. I still don’t like being alone. Especially now.

I first heard about the fire on the news. There was a breaking news report that cut straight through the Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials local broadcast on CBS, a year ago today. When they said the address, I knew. I knew right then and there that nothing would ever be the same for me.

It wasn’t until several days later that I found out for sure what had happened. Those days were some of the worst of my life. The not knowing was what got to me. I tried going by the site of the fire and by the fire station and police station and whatever else, but they were so packed with other people trying to find out about their families who were there at the time.

My parents had been to a kind of convention, and I guess something just went wrong. I never found out what caused the fire. But it wasn’t until the 14th that I found out for sure that they had died.

The one who told me was a redheaded older guy, a police officer I’ve since made friends with as Solar Girl. He’s the commissioner now. That day, though, I think I hated him more than anything else, but only because he’s the one who told me my parents had died. He’s the one who made it real.

Up to that point, up to that loud knock on the morning of the 14th, it had all been just a maybe. Just a sick sort of what if in my mind.

He’d knocked very loudly that morning, and it woke me up. The first thing I thought was that maybe my parents had come by to pick me up, at last. Maybe they weren’t dead after all. But by the time I reached the entry hall and overheard his gruff voice asking my friend’s mom for me, I knew I was wrong.

I will remember the heartbreak in her face until the day I die.

I would’ve asked her what was wrong if I didn’t already know.

I got to the door and he asked me if I was the girl he was looking for. Then he told me my parents were dead. He didn’t say it like that. No, he said it in some way that was supposed to be kind and gentle, but there’s no particularly gentle way to let someone’s daughter know they’d never see their parents again, is there?

Hearing that sort of thing for the first time, especially from a total stranger, can make you feel all kinds of things. For me, most of what I felt was hatred. I’d spent days not wanting the images in my mind to be true. I wanted more than I’d ever wanted anything to know that my parents had not burned to death, and I hadn’t even been there to say goodbye. I wanted him to step aside into the hallway and see my parents there behind him, feel them run up to me and hug me and say it was all a bad joke. I wanted it more than anything.

But there he was, and he had suddenly made it very, very real.

Most of what happened after that is a blur. I don’t really care about the couple months after that. Most of it was me crying and hugging my best friend. I love her for being with me then. I don’t think I could’ve gotten through it without her.

I moved in with her, after the bank reclaimed my old penthouse because I couldn’t pay and didn’t want to live there without my parents. And I probably couldn’t take care of myself with all the crying I was doing. So my friend and her family took me in. You guys may now know her as Moonshine.

I’ve sort of lived there ever since. Moonshine and I moved to a place I won’t mention soon after we took up the whole superhero thing. I have some of my old stuff, but I didn’t take all of it. Most of it reminded me too much of my parents to want to keep around. I took my father’s comic book collection. I had to. I couldn’t live without it. And I took my mother’s pictures. I ended up putting them up all over my new room. I loved them. I still love them. They make it feel almost like it never happened, unlike most of the rest of the stuff in that old penthouse.

I eventually got better. Well, not really. I stopped crying on the outside and replaced it with false smiles and too many repetitions of “Yeah, I’m doing fine, you know, moving on” to keep track of. I was never fine. How could I be?

But I didn’t want to hurt my friend anymore. I knew how much I was breaking her heart by having my own heart broken, so I stopped showing it. For both of our sakes. But it’s never stopped hurting. I doubt it ever will.

Something did help, though. That something came about a month after I moved in with Moonshine. She wasn’t Moonshine then, and I wasn’t a superhero. But after I found that crystal and that outfit in the forest, I sure was. It didn’t take me very long to figure out what exactly it all meant, which was that I could be a superhero.

For the first few months of training, I thought I was delusional. I thought I had been too heartbroken to keep living in reality and had dropped into some fantasy world where I could be the superhero I’d always wanted to be. Sometimes, I still think I’m crazy. You probably will too. You’ll probably pass this off as the idealistic fantasy of an optimistic daydreamer.

Sometimes, I wish I was making it all up.

Over the rest of 2011, I had quite the adventure. I even got a sidekick.

I thought 2012 was going to be a lot of things. The end of the world. The start of a new one. But I never thought I would be a superhero by then, and especially not with real superpowers. But when that new year rolled around and I was still a superhero, I knew it was going to be a long-term thing.

Today was a sad day for me. But I hope the rest of the days this year have as much adventure in them as most of 2011‘s had. I think that would be really awesome.

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