We walked down the sunny San Diego sidewalk. The August heat pounded down, but Avalanche and I were walking under some shady trees.
I was still in disbelief that this super cool hero wanted to eat lunch with me, this weird pale girl who doesn't shave her legs or wear makeup. Since I saved her life, I guess she was just doing this to return the favor.
"So, the restaurant should be up ahead," I stated calmly.
Avalanche gasped. "Wait! I can't eat in this outfit!"
As I began to ramble on about going back to my house and getting her a change of clothes, considering we're probably the same size, she touched the snowflake charm on the white choker around her neck and in a flash of light, she was in normal clothing: a blue tank top, a white hoodie, black yoga pants, and blue sneakers to be specific. Even her hairstyle changed to a single bun instead of two.
"Whoa! How on Earth did you do that?!" I exclaimed. The only people I heard of that could change outfits instantly were magical girls like Sailor Moon, and they only existed on television... or did they?
"I'll explain after we get our food!" Avalanche smirked. Although technically, she wasn't supposed to be called Avalanche anymore, since she was in civilian clothing.
After we entered the restaurant, ordered a mountain of food, and brought said mountain of food to the table, she informed me that her name was actually Alexandra, and that she's been traveling the world over her summer break, her final stop being San Diego. She then asked me my name, and I told her.
"I'm Shelby Morgan," I answered shyly. "Didn't you say you were going to explain that rapid costume change to me?"
Alexandra's face lit up, and she pointed to the white choker on her neck with the snowflake charm dangling from it. "I have this magic choker that lets me transform into Avalanche hella fast. All superheroes have one! Kind of just floats down from the sky once someone gains their full powers."
"So, you don't have to go into a phonebooth to change or anything?" I inquired.
"No way! That would waste so much time!" Alexandra giggles.
At that moment, everything I knew about Starlight just sort of made sense. There was a reason she arrived so fast after a supervillain attack began, and it's because she didn't have to spend 10 minutes getting into her costume. I should have noticed the star choker on her neck earlier. The more you know...
"Anyway, thanks for saving me, girlie!" Alexandra said while eating fries. "If you hadn't come through, I would have lost my Snowflake Staff!"
The Snowflake Staff appeared in my mind, the one I saw today in battle, the one Avalanche was holding. Another one came to memory, one wielded by Wintera, one of the top heroines in the 1980's. Naturally, I brought this similarity up to Alexandra.
Instantly, upon hearing Wintera's name, Alexandra's expression turned to one of disappointment. "Yes, I know who Wintera is." She sighed, but then managed to psych herself up again. I wonder what that was about. "You should be thinking about your own powers, Shelby! You're amazing!"
I blushed, thinking about the heat I felt in my hand, the zap I heard in my ears, and the unconscious demon laying on the pavement in front of me. Even an hour afterward, I still had no idea how I did that, or even what I did. "Um... what did I do, exactly?"
"You zapped that demon guy with a bolt of electricity!" Alexandra revealed to me.
Electricity. That's my power. I smiled and fireworks went off in my head. Maybe I wasn't a complete loser.
"You're a superhero, like me!" Alexandra continued. "I wouldn't have told you about the choker, otherwise. That's a trade secret, you know! You should enroll at the Academy for Enhanced Adolescents!"
"What's that?" I asked.
"It's a high school for superheroes in St. Petersburg, Florida! You get to learn all sorts of cool things that will help you become a pro crimefighter after you graduate!" Alexandra explained.
After she mentioned it, I started panicking. I don't know what had gotten into me. My whole life, I had dreamed of joining the ranks of Starlight and Wintera, and now that I had the chance, I was going to throw it away.
Come to think of it, there was a lot of times that I missed really great opportunites in the past.
One day, I chose not to go to the grocery store with my family, and it turns out that they met Michael Cera! You know, the guy who plays just about every awkward teenage boy in Hollywood? I would kill to get a picture with him.
And there was another time when I chose not to go on a ride at SeaWorld with my siblings. The ride broke down while they were on it, and they all got front of the line passes for any ride they wanted! Just my luck to have chosen not to go, huh?
Even with those incidents behind me, I obviously didn't learn my lesson.
"Um, I have to go, right now, immediately," I stammered. I stood up and began to walk away from the table, when Alexandra stopped me.
I looked back at the disappointed expression on Alexandra's face. She pulled a scrap of paper and a pen out of her hoodie and wrote something on the scrap before holding it out to me. "Before you go, please take my number. I truly think the Academy is the best place for you. If you're interested... call me."
Hesitantly, I approach her and grab the slip of paper. After one last wistful look at her, I made my escape.