When asked what superpower people wish they had, so many say invisibility. This is because the gossips want to listen in on conversations, the fangirls want to sneak into concerts and backstage, and the creeps (you know, the peepers, panty-sniffers and stalkers) want to get as close as they can to the object of their desire.
But of course, that’s always selective invisibility, which is the biggest distinction between what they want, and people like us. We didn’t choose this life. We just reached a point where being ignored and feeling invisible was a normal thing. And one day we just disappeared. Not in the gone forever, never to return sense. We’re still here. but no one can see us. Or at least I thought no one could see us. As it turns out, we could see each other, we just didn’t know the other was invisible.
Do you remember the day we met?
The corridor was crowded, body against body in the rush to the canteen for lunch. I’d managed to find a corner to stand in, where no one was pushing past. For a little while anyway. I had to move out of their way quickly, resulting in me being forced against a wall on one foot, desperately trying to keep my balance and not fall under the stampede.
Because even though they can’t see me, they can still bump into me. I am very much solid. To be honest though, even if they could see me, they weren’t watching their path. And with people like them, the collision would have been my fault regardless.
I’m not sure whether I would have minded some kind of impact. Some reassurance that I haven’t faded into something from the spectral realm, a spirit, just watching, no longer able to participate in life.
Eventually you want someone to look for you, to realise you’re supposed to be there, but aren’t. You want someone to care. There’s only so many times people can look through you before you’re close to grabbing them by the shoulders and screaming, “Look at me!”
When being invisible becomes a full-time occupation, you realise that all the pros to being invisible were temporary. In fact, they have an incredibly short life-span and, when they run out, you seriously question why you would even consider it.
That’s what I was doing the day we finally saw each other – listening to some fourteen year-old boys debate invisibility over flying.
“But if you were invisible, you could just sit in the girls’ changing room and enjoy the view,” one of them, the ‘leader’ from the looks of it, said with a sagely nod.
I don’t know what you were doing exactly. It looked like you were just politely stepping out of the way of a group of girls, who didn’t even have the decency to thank you. I was drawn to you because you seemed to shimmer. The air around you looked like it was charged, crackling and glimmering. I thought it was my imagination. People don’t actually have their own forcefield of energy.
But then you looked at me. Not just the general area I was in, or the people bustling past me. Me. You looked me in the eyes, and you were scared. Scared and confused. As much as I wanted to approach you then and there, I couldn’t. What if I was wrong and you walked right past me like everyone else?
I made my way through the chaos and waited for you outside. Would you come? I didn’t know. Being outside made me feel less unknown. There was a small ounce of reassurance in the breeze that someone, someday, would see me. I hoped it was you. I’m not even sure why I suddenly wanted you to see me in that moment, but I did. And when you followed me outside, I realised there was a chance I wasn’t hoping in vain.
We didn’t say anything for a while, just stared at each other in wonder. We almost didn’t have to speak. Our quiet shock was loud enough for us to ask, “You too?”
In that moment, something happened. The air around the two of us started to crack, whips in the wind. We were an isolated bubble of electricity on fire. In that moment, something changed. Your glimmering outline seemed to be absorbed into your body, shining instead from your eyes, your smile, your face. If I could see myself, I’d probably have witnessed something similar.
I didn’t know how, but I had a radiant feeling, an instinct that told me I was visible. For the first time in a long time, someone could see me. Someone wanted to see me. I felt solid. I felt real. If I’d gone inside and walked through the corridors, people would bump into me, not just an empty space. And I have you to thank for that.
Not only did I feel visible, I felt vibrant. As if you’d somehow made it possible for me to shine a million colors at once.
Maybe it’s because we were both invisible. Maybe when two invisible people find each other, they become so clear and technicolor that the world is finally forced to look at them and see them. Even though we no longer need them to.
Hey readers! Hello? *Cricket sounds* Alrighty then! In my last post I said I wanted to post more frequently, and part of this is writing more short stories instead of just weird rambly rants. Hopefully I’ll find enough inspiration to keep short stories coming every Friday!
If anyone has any prompts they’d like to share, feel free to do so! I’m always on the look out for new ideas!