Years after they had met, Elaine and Neil Pinto recalled the events that had led up to them ever running into each other in the first place.
Perhaps their meeting had been inevitable–fixed by the position of the stars, or the alignment of the planets. Perhaps it had just been a coincidence. And most possibly it had been planned by the therapist who had mixed their appointments up two years ago.
Either way, they had both showed up for their sessions at 4:30 on a Saturday.
The therapist apologized profusely before asking them if they would mind having a joint session, instead of individual ones.
“Yes,” they both thought.
“Not at all,” they both said, plastering on fake smiles.
Once they were seated, the therapist turned to Elaine. “Will you tell us your reason for coming today?” She asked.
Elaine replied tentatively that she had a superpower. “I can turn invisible.”
There was a slight silence.
“But only when no one’s looking.”
The therapist scribbled something down in her notebook and looked up with a carefully unreadable expression. “Continue.” She said.
“Well, understandably, no one believes me. They think I’m crazy.”
“I believe you.” Neil piped up, slightly shyly. “I have a superpower too.”
“You too? What is it?” Elaine asked unbelievingly.
“I can see through my eyelids.” He laughed nervously. “Not only is it a completely useless superpower, but I can never get any sleep.”
“Could you show me?” Elaine asked.
“First you show me yours,” he replied excitedly.
“Indeed,” said the therapist enigmatically, to remind them of her presence.
“I can’t turn invisible though, not if you’re looking.” Elaine explained. “You’ll have to shut your eyes.”
Both the therapist and Neil complied, closing their eyes. And as soon as they were shut, Elaine looked down at the fading image of her body and let out a deep sigh. “What a ridiculous power. All my life, no one’s been able to see me in action, yet alone believe me.”
“I see you.” said Neil. His eyelids had turned translucent and his green eyes shone with visible awe behind them. “Or rather, I can’t see you. And you look, or should I say don’t look, amazing.”
After the session was over the therapist drew her curtain back to watch the developing friendship between the woman who wanted to be seen when she was invisible, and the man who never stopped looking. They were ambling down the footpath, deep in conversation. Perhaps they were both crazy, or perhaps everyone else was.
“Such rubbish.” She said. “No one can turn invisible, and it’s certainly impossible to see through one’s eyelids. I don’t buy into this super-power nonsense.”
So she packed her briefcase, unfurled her gossamer wings, and proceeded to fly home.
Gayathri Sankar is fifteen and studies in Class X of Mother’s International School, Delhi.