I knew this would be our last battle, or at least my last battle. Things were changing and I couldn't keep fighting in my condition. I knew it the second we lined up side by side - that each of our powers were now in what we thought were their final, advanced stages. I hadn't told the girls yet, but I planned to.
We always started our battles the same way. Pilar moved first. She struck a match on the bridge of her tongue and a fireball the size of a fist formed instantly in her mouth, our cue that the battle had begun. She had the amazing gift of taste. Anything Pilar put in her mouth could be enhanced in some way, shape or form; she could learn a language by licking a foreign dictionary or turn a piece of ice into a snowball…the possibilities were endless.
My job was on the sidelines. I listened to our enemies' thoughts, and I could change them, too. Like a coach, I plotted our next moves and anticipated our foes', doing my best to keep us from harm. My gift was that of sound. I could hear the smallest of patters from miles away, right down to a whispered thought, and I always knew when the enemy was coming.
It wasn't always the easiest gift to control, Sometimes you heard things you wish you hadn't, and I always had to concentrate to stay out of the other girls' thoughts. This was partially out of respect, of course, but also because sometimes all the thoughts - all the sounds swirling around in my head simultaneously - were overwhelming. But I learned quickly.
Ronnie had the gift of touch; she could move people or objects with the wave of her hand. She could cripple someone with a mere tap to a shoulder, or produce immense pleasure. It was all at her discretion.
Then there was Jane. She could see everything. Literally - she could even see behind her while, looking forward, her peripheral was expanded exponentially. Her sight covered unimaginable distances and was finely tuned to make out minute details. But the best part of her power was imitation. She could make anyone see what she wanted them to - the caveat being that the vision only lasted a short while.
Finally, there was Quinn. She had an enhanced sense of smell (I liked to call it "enhanced inhalation.") I still believe she could inhale the soul right out of a person if she tried, but she never did. Honestly, she rarely used her power.
Quinn was a fighter, trained in 6 forms of martial arts and a master in several forms of weaponry. I don't know if she really appreciated her gift as much as we did, but she should have, because she was also a healer. Quinn could suck the illness from your lungs (or anything else, really) and heal you without bringing any harm to herself. But it was a difficult gift to control, and there was always the fear that she would take too much from someone. I don't think she liked the idea of having such a fatal power. We all did, in a way, but to be able to sniff out someone's soul - the very essence of their being – was a heavy cross to bear.
When we fought, we fought hard. We were unstoppable. Our gifts, used in succession with one another, couldn't be stopped until that day - the day we stopped ourselves.
This gift that we were given, these powers that we were entrusted with, consumed our lives. I thought I was the only one who was tired of the responsibility, but I wasn't. We all were. That night we decided to go our separate ways, and even though I had already planned on telling them I was out, it hurt to know everyone had made plans for their own exits as well.
Either way, we had to be separated. We needed millions of miles between us just to get our powers to begin to fade. As much as we loved one another as friends - and as warriors - we needed to disband.
We needed our own lives, a chance to grow up. And, most importantly, we needed to be normal again. That day, 16 years ago, we walked away from one another and never spoke again. The only parts of each other we held onto were our clips. Soon after our separation, my hearing fully returned to normal and eventually…I just moved on.
I don't know how anyone else's life turned out; I'm assuming their senses returned to normal, as well. I mean, that was the point of separating in the first place: to be normal. And even though I'm a different person now, sometimes I wonder what could have been; sometimes I even wish we still were….