Sky’s the Limit
Part I: It Was Destined
“Are you ready Dúlla?” Mama’s voice echoed up the wooden stairs.
“Almost mama!” I yelled back, running around my room for the umpteenth time to check I had everything. I was already half a week late to the academy. What were the others going to think of me? Being late was definitely going to attract more attention than I was ready to deal with. I forced myself to take calming breaths before taking one more last look in my wardrobe.
“There you are!” I cried, finally finding my galaxy leggings hiding away under some bed sheeting. I threw them into my suitcase and zipped it up. I huffed a little as I picked it up. I’d been on HRT for a just over a year now to make my appearance more gender neutral. I should’ve realised muscle loss would equal less strong. Not that I minded much when I looked in the mirror. My shoulder-length hair stuck out at odd angles a little, the result of having dried out hair from bleaching.
“Papa, can you help me out?” I asked as I reached the top of the stairs. He emerged from his office, his greying hair a shaggy mess. He gave me one of his signature charming smiles and picked it up. I felt my own nerves soothe a little immediately. The charm of the Skylar smile wasn’t just an exaggeration. People on my father’s side of the family have always been very good at helping those struggling mentally. It’s not much of a surprise he was a therapist. My mother on the other hand was a nurse, using her healing capabilities on the down low. Neither of my parents had ever been interested in telling the world about their powers. I’d inherited some of both their skills alongside developing one of my own.
Mama was waiting downstairs, biting her lip nervously as she checked me over. Papa went straight outside to put my suitcase in the car.
“You’re sure you want to do this Dúlla?” she asked. A question she had been asking me every other day since I sent off the application. I don’t think any of us expected me to get accepted. None of my skills were that of a fighter.
“I want to help people,” I answered, giving my best reassuring smile without emitting my power. Mama didn’t like it if me or Papa did that to her without permission.
“They’ll be fine,” Papa said appearing behind me and giving her shoulder a small squeeze. Mama hesitated before nodding her agreement.
“Call every night, and remember not to let anyone push you around,” Mama began, hugging me and fussing over my hair and clothes. “Don’t forget to take your meds and if you’re tired don’t push yourself. The academy is well aware of your condition,” she rambled on.
“I’ll take care of myself, don’t worry,” I promised, taking her hands in mine. She nodded, her eyes watering a little. “I love you,” I said, pulling her into a tight hug which she readily returned.
“I love you,” she whispered back. Papa took my wrist and I followed him outside to the car. It was dark outside, the stars easily lighting up the sky above. Mama waved frantically from the kitchen window as we got into the car. I waved back as Papa started the car, smiling fondly at her. We spent the first few minutes of the journey in silence, the fields of Iceland taking up my attention. I knew our small town like the back of my hand and had only ever gone as far as Reykjavik. Now here I was driving to the airport to go to America.
“Remember, you can change your mind at any time and come home Sage. Neither me nor your mum will judge you negatively for it,” Papa said quietly.
“Quit babying me,” I replied with false confidence. “I want to help people,” I repeated.
“You can do that here,” he pointed out.
“Ravenhold will equip me to help more people on a larger scale,” I said.
“Yes, I suppose it will,” he murmured.
“And wasn’t it you who said I could be a hero if I wanted to one day?” I added, smirking.
“Well, yes. I didn’t think you would actually ever want to do it though,” he admitted with a defeated sigh.
“Your mistake,” I grinned at him and he returned the smile. The airport was quiet this early in the morning and we got through security checks far quicker than I anticipated. Mama had chosen to skip this part of the journey as she didn’t like crying in public. We reached the final gate that Papa couldn’t join me through.
“I know you’ll do us proud whatever you do,” he said, kissing my forehead.
“I’ll try anyway,” I replied nervously, my hand fidgeting over the handle of the pull-along suitcase. The announcer called for boarding to begin and I let out a slow breath.
“Guess that’s me,” I said awkwardly jumping on my tippy toes a little. “Bye,” I said, hugging Papa one last time. “I love you,” I said into his woody smelling jacket.
“Love you too Dúlla,” he replied and I could feel the smile in his words. I pulled away and raced towards the gate, waving as I went. I pushed away the water in my eyes as I handed my ticket to the woman at the desk. She waved me through with a smile.
Once I was settled and the plane took off I tried to sleep. It was a good idea to do it now when I had the time, but my nerves were too on edge, the excitement of seeing the world disappear below me making my body physically shake. I was going to miss Mama and Papa and Iceland, but I was so ready for this new venture in my life. My parents way of using their abilities was of course admirable, but I had always dreamed of doing more, being something more than just Sage.
Skynjun is the nickname mum had given to my ability and when I was eight I decided it would be my superhero name. My parents had humoured me back then, and supported me now. I knew it was difficult for them to let me go so far away. My own nerves were ragged at the thought.
At some point while my thoughts raced I think I managed to fall asleep.