Authors: Penny Baldwin
It was an unusually warm day for
April in Ohio. The campus was mostly deserted because everyone, except the four
of us, was on Spring Break. We decided that we would have a night away from all
of the superhero-ness and just have a fun evening out.
It started with the guys finally getting
us the tacos they had promised when we first met. We held them to buying us
margaritas, telling them that with how long it had taken them to pay up, they
racked up margarita interest. A few margaritas later, their debt was paid, and
we were feeling pretty good. Colin and Drew, on the other hand, stayed
completely sober to make sure they could ‘protect us from ourselves.’ Their
words not ours.
The guys were walking us back to our house, while Liz and I sang
‘Sweet Caroline’ at the top of our lungs. I think they were hanging back a
little bit so they didn’t have to be seen with us.
“I know what we need.” Liz stopped
abruptly, making us all stop short to avoid hitting her.
“What’s that, babe?” Drew put his
arms around her and pulled her to him.
“Insomnia. Doesn’t that sound
Drew and Colin’s “no” was trumped
by my insistence that Insomnia was awesome.
Colin’s assurance that I “don’t
love Insomnia and have frequently compared it to pencil shavings,” fell on deaf
I was trying to remember which
drink I disliked the least when the bell chimed indicating someone opened the
door. We turned toward the sound just in time to see a man with a gun coming
straight for us. Instinctively, Colin pulled me behind him and stood in front
of our group.
“You.” The gun wielding man
pointed to the girl at the register. “Give me the money from the drawer.
Everyone else give me your wallets.” We all grabbed our wallets and dropped
them on the ground.
I allowed myself a quick glance in
Please don’t be a hero. Please don’t be a hero.
I know it was selfish and unfair
of me, since this was the kind of moment he was waiting for, but I really just
wanted to have Colin back home with me in one piece.
The cashier, who was understandably
shaken, tried to give the man money but dropped half of it on the ground. That
caused the gunman to lunge for the cashier, trapping her below his arm while
holding the gun at her.
The girl was young, probably a
student working for extra money, and she looked terrified. Seeing her made my
She needs a hero. She needs him. He has to save her.
The distraction gave Colin enough
time to become invisible and rush over to the guy, knocking the gun out of his
hand. The man turned to attack, but was surprised to find no one there. When he
saw his gun lying on the floor, he moved toward it, but was tripped on the way.
Drew kicked the gun so that it was nowhere near Colin or the robber.
That entire time, Liz and I had
been stuck to our spot.
"Liz, Baby. You and Lucy have
to go. Head to the donut shop next door. Lock the doors and call 911."
When we continued to stand,
unmoving, Drew yelled. "Get out!" Reality kicked in, and we both
fled. As we opened the door to leave, I heard him tell the girl behind the
counter to get down at the same time I heard a crash. I turned around to look,
and saw a display full of mugs scattered on the floor.
Liz grabbed my arm and pulled me outside.
By the time we reached Brutus Donuts,
the old man behind the counter had already heard the commotion and called the
He locked the door behind us, and
even offered us each a free cruller. Liz immediately broke into tears, while I
sat there in a state of shock, unable to speak.
"Lucy, Drew can't become invisible.
He's not a superhero," she managed to get out in between sobs. "He's
over there helping Colin, and he has nothing. What if something happens? He
could..." Her sobbing took over, and she could no longer speak.
"He doesn’t have
nothing," I said, determination temporarily overriding my feelings of
hopelessness. "Drew works out with Colin all the time. Drew's strong too.
And Colin's not going to let anything happen to him. That's his boy."
Liz nodded, but continued to cry.
We sat in silence, waiting for
something to happen. The shop owner silently brought us cups of tea. I sipped
the tea, and picked at my donut, feeling the need to do something.
Finally the welcome sound of a
police car arrived. We both let out sighs of momentary relief that at least the
guys had help.
Our wait turned from minutes to
over an hour before anyone came to talk to us.
We were relieved when a female
officer in her forties tapped on the door of the donut shop. Al, the storeowner,
opened the door for the officer and brought her a cruller. Apparently crullers
were standard protocol for these types of situations.
"Ladies. I just need to ask
you some questions." The officer seemed almost apologetic.
I nodded, but Liz continued to cry.
"First, you have to tell us if they are okay," she choked out.
I held my breath while I waited
for the answer.
"Everyone is alright. Drew,
does he belong to one of you?"
Liz laughed through her tears.
“You must be Liz Mollohan. Drew’s
really worried about you. I told him you could see him as soon as we are done
with questions. The cashier is understandably shocked, but she’s doing okay."
She chuckled before going on. "It's great that your boyfriend was there
Miss Mollohan, but let him know that he shouldn’t play hero next time. He could
have gotten hurt."
“Oh, no worries there. This is
Drew’s first and last day in the hero biz,” Liz answered, before turning to me
with a concerned look. I’m sure she was thinking the same thing I was.
Colin was invisible, so the officer didn't even know he was there.
Which means she has no idea if he is okay, if he is even alive. Where the hell
I wanted to cry. I wanted to throw
up. I needed to get out of that place. But I still had to answer her damn questions.
Liz had her eyes trained on me as
the officer asked question after question. We tried to remain as consistent as
possible, only giving the officer the story as if Drew had done it all. Drew
knocked the gun out of the guy’s hand. Drew tripped the guy and pulled the
display on top of the would-be robber. The whole time, my head was barely
there. Only one question plagued my mind.
the hell are you, Colin?
I kept my tears at bay for the
duration of the officer’s questioning, even with them threatening to erupt
every five seconds that the officer kept us. My anxiety was rising to the point
of panic, so much so that when the door opened and another officer came in, I
The cop that opened the door was a
young guy, probably not much older than me. He asked our officer a couple
questions, then left. I couldn’t take it. I wanted them all to just stop. No
more questions. No more interruptions. I suddenly couldn’t take seeing the cruller
in front of me.
too much. I’m going to be sick.
Just when I started to get up to
run to the bathroom, I felt a light, barely there touch. I jumped, causing the
officer to raise her eyebrows.
"Cold chill." I answered
her unasked question. She nodded, looking back down at her report.
Did I really feel that? Is Colin here?
My hands started to shake. I was
praying for that touch again. My hope quickly faded when I realized that we
would have seen the door open if he had come in. Then I remembered the young
officer. He could have walked in with him. I held my breath, waiting, hoping it
Liz sensed something going on, so she
distracted the officer by asking her questions.
While Liz had her attention, I
felt the hand on my arm again, followed by a kiss to my head. That’s all it
took. I could no longer stop the tears. Colin rested his hand on mine, gently,
so that the officer wouldn't notice.
"Well, we got the guy. And
there were plenty of witnesses, so I think...." the officer stopped when
she glanced in my direction and saw my waterworks.
"It's been a busy day hasn't
it Miss Sayre?"
I nodded, unable able to form
"Okay. I think we got what we
need. Why don't you go see your boyfriend Miss Mollohan.”
She didn't need to tell us twice.
We headed straight over to Insomnia, and burst through the door where Liz
jumped straight into Drew's arms.
There were still police officers
around, one of which was talking to the cashier. Apparently when the guy claimed
someone he couldn’t see was tackling him, the cashier said the guy was
delusional. She was my new best friend.
At that moment none of that
mattered. I wanted, needed to see Colin.
"Would it be alright for me
to go to the bathroom?"
asked one of the officers. He nodded, and I breathed a sigh of relief. As soon
as the door closed, Colin appeared before me. He looked like he had been in a
scuffle. His forehead had a large cut, dried blood surrounding the edges. His
fist had a bruise, probably where he had punched the guy. I’m pretty sure at
some point a drink had spilled on him, since his shirt was wet, and he smelled
"Colin," was the most I
could get out before my crying turned into sobs. He pulled me into a hug, and
began kissing my head, my cheeks, my lips, anywhere he could to assure me, or
maybe himself, that we were safe now. He held me for a long time, and just
breathed me in.
Once Colin was pretty sure that I had regained
my ability to speak in full sentences, he spoke. “Are you okay?”
I nodded. "You?" I asked, my
voice still a little shaky.
In that moment, his nod in return was
enough for me. I pulled him into my arms, needing my confident Colin to kiss
me, to reassure me that he was really there. He didn't disappoint. He kissed me
like he knew I needed all of him. And judging by the way he held my head firmly
in his hands, he felt the same way. He only pulled away long enough to whisper
to me, "I love you, Lucy. I love you so much,
against my lips, before returning to the kiss.
first time he’s ever said that. And hell if we aren't in the ladies’ room of
"I love you too." I
whispered in return. Our admission to each other seemed to propel our kiss
further. I lightly bit his lip, while he picked me up and leaned me against the
wall, my legs wrapping around his waist. We kissed like that for a while, until
the realization of where we were set in.
I pulled away, taking in my
surroundings. "Why does all the good stuff have to happen at
Insomnia?" When I shook my head at Colin, he grabbed my waist and laughed.
"Hey, you girls are the ones
that just 'love Insomnia.' Liz practically dragged us in there."
"True. But you didn't have to
choose to tell me that you love me, for the first time I might add, while
making out in their bathroom."
"Yes, actually I did."
He said, pressing one more gentle but quick kiss to my lips.
"Well, if you had to." I
teased, so happy to have him back, I didn’t really care where we were.
The walk home was quiet, either because
no one wanted to talk about it, or due to the sheer exhaustion of the events.
For me it was both.
To be on the safe side, Colin
remained invisible until we got to our house. Liz and Drew went straight to
Liz's room, while Colin and I hit the showers. Afterwards, I threw on a t-shirt
of Colin’s that he had given me, then we snuggled under the covers, his arms
wrapped tightly around me.
Having him there with me, safe at
home, snuggled closely to me, I was finally able to relax a little. I let out a
deep breath, and fell asleep shortly after.
The next day, after the danger was out of the way and the shock wore
off, Colin and Drew couldn’t stop talking about their rescue. Colin replayed
his part of the save, since we weren’t privy to the visual. Drew filled in his
part too, turning it into their own reenactment.
Liz and I did not share the same
enthusiasm. For me, the prior day’s rescue mission was one rescue mission too
many. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to handle seeing Colin put himself
in harm’s way again.
“Just because you are invisible, doesn’t
mean you are
,” I told him
during one of our many discussions. We had just finished Chinese takeout and
were relaxing on his couch, my feet propped on his lap while he flipped through