Christiana had never been what her mother would have called a “normal girl.” All her friends were boys instead of girls; her standard uniform was a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of running shorts instead of a flowery dress; she asked for posters of football players instead of boy bands; and now, to top it all off, she was as fast a jaguar and twice as strong.
It wasn’t something Christiana had aspired to. Sure, she wanted to be the fastest person on the pitch, and she’d always envied the girls who could kick the ball across half the field, but being short meant these were probably just more things out of her reach. Then one Saturday, while taking shots against her friend and reliable goalie Raul S., something strange happened. Her foot touched the ball, and it rocketed past Raul S. before he could even stretch out his hands, continuing right through the goal’s net.
“Jesus, Christiana. You could’ve taken my head off with a shot like that. Where did that come from? Better question: where did it go?”
They followed the ball’s trajectory and found it in the parking lot behind the park. Embedded in a car’s driver side door. The impact had bent the door’s metal around the football, and when the two failed to unstick it quickly, they simply ran away. Christiana ran faster. She had reached her parents’ apartment, poured a glass of water, and changed out of her clothes before Raul S. arrived. But Raul S. had run straight there from the park. And Raul S. was the second-fastest boy on the school team.
“You know what this means, right Christiana? You’re, like, some kind of superhero.”
Christiana certainly hoped that was not the case. She didn’t need any responsibility piled on top of her schoolwork and practicing to make a college football program notice her. She didn’t need to worry about not qualifying for the team because she was some kind of freak, or government agents kidnapping her to perform experiments, or accidentally crushing a boy’s ribs while she was trying to hug him. Raul S. was less pessimistic.
“Let’s see what else you can do.”