“Are you sure you want to take the train home?” Plasma asked Soleil. “We could easily cab it.”
“No,” Soleil replied. “I want just want to be normal for today, and do normal people things.”
“Taking a cab isn’t normal?” Plasma said, cocking his head slightly to the left.
“Everyone can’t afford to take a taxi,” she said, standing her tip-toes to stretch her legs. They had finished their shopping excursion on 5th avenue and were at the southern entrance of Central Park .
“Yeah, but then, we’ll have to take a bus from the train station,” Plasma groaned.
“I’ll compromise,” she smiled. “I don’t want to do the bus either. At least not carrying all of these bags.”
“So powers once we get back to Coney Island ?”
“Sure,” Soleil replied, as she headed down the subway entrance to the N, R, and W trains at 59th St . Plasma followed behind her, and on the side of the turnstiles leading to the train platform was a man asking people who were exiting the station if they could swipe their Metrocard to let him in. Most people bustled past him or ignored him. Those who deemed to pay him attention simply walked past him or turned their nosed upward. Some people couldn’t even hear him because they had headphones in their ears listening to their iPod or some other MP3 player.
Soleil reached into her purse and pulled out her Metrocard. She motioned to the man to come over and she swiped him in.
“Thanks so much, miss,” he said as he went thru the turnstile and then towards the platform.
“What did you do that for?” Plasma asked, a little annoyed. “Now we have to wait fifteen minutes before you can swipe your card in.”
Soleil looked intently at Plasma before she answered. Then she said, “Sometimes doing a good deed for someone, even someone you may not know, may save a life or make a difference. Besides, it just makes me feel good.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make it a big deal. You’re right. It’s not like we have to rush home to anything.”
“Exactly,” Soleil said, smiling. “Besides, it gives us more time to just be normal. Our lives as GeoGrands can be so demanding sometimes.”
“I know what you mean,” Plasma said. He thought about his sister Ohm, and how she had decided to join the PolyGens. He hoped she was safe and would eventually realize she was following a cause that was wrong.
“What’s wrong?” Soleil asked. She had noticed the sudden shift in Plasma’s demeanor.
“Just thinkin’ about my sister. I miss her.”
“I’m sorry,” Soleil said, as she gently stroked Plasma’s hand. “If you want to talk about it, I’m here for you.”
Plasma blushed a little and turned away from Soleil so she couldn’t see. He didn’t understand what was happening, but he was beginning to feel a spark between him and Soleil. Soleil was in a committed relationship and was a lesbian besides, so nothing could ever happen between the two of them. Still, Plasma couldn’t help but acknowledge how beautiful and sweet Soleil was, and how it would be nice to have someone like her in his life.
Plasma pushed the feelings he had aside and said, “I’ll be okay. I just need to realize that she has to live her life the way she sees fit, and be here for her if she needs me.”
“Aw,” Soleil said, as she grabbed Plasma’s muscular arm and intertwined it with her own. She leaned her head on his broad shoulder, and said, “One day you will be in her life again. And when that day comes, we are going to have the biggest celebration. Just wait and see.”
Plasma was getting a little excited from Soleil being pressed up beside him so he said, “Why don’t I just buy a one-way fare card. We do have all of these bags, and I’m ready to sit down and relax.”
“Okay,” she replied. So Plasma went over to one of the automatic vending machines, slid his Visa card through the slot, and waited for the paper card to come out. He retrieved the card and his receipt, and then they both went through the turnstile toward the platform.
It was late in the afternoon, so the platform was packed. However, when the downtown N train pulled into the station and stopped, there were surprisingly seats available. Plasma and Soleil scrambled onto the train and sat down near one of the train doors.
“Whew, we were lucky,” Plasma said as he collected his bags between his legs.
“I’m glad we found seats,” Soleil replied. “My legs are a little tired.”
“Too tired to be normal,” Plasma teased.
“Oh, stop pickin’,” Soleil answered with a laugh.
While the were riding the train from midtown Manhattan , Plasma observed Soleil sweetness in overtime. A Mexican quartet hopped on the train at 14th street , and serenaded the customers, much to the chagrin of some of the passengers, and even Plasma was a little annoyed, but Soleil cheered them when they were done and tipped them generously.
A teenager was trying to stuff down him McDonalds, and accidentally spilled his Dasani all over his clothes and bags. Soleil secretly used her power in a tight sunbeam when the train went over the Manhattan Bridge to dry the water. The boy, a little warm, but no less more comfortable, was astonished.
When the train pulled into Pacific St , an old bag lady came on, and began begging for money. No one seemed to be paying her any attention, but Soleil stood up, approached her, and pressed a one-hundred dollar bill into her glove-tattered hand.
“God bless you,” the woman said joyously.
“You’re welcome,” Soleil said, smiling warmly on the old woman.
Shortly after the train had left 59th street , it stalled on the train tracks. An automated male voice came on over the loudspeaker and said, “We are momentarily delayed by train traffic ahead of us. Please be patient.” Some of the patrons groaned. Plasma closed his eyes to give them a rest when suddenly Soleil burst out and said, “What the fuck is going on! We’ve been sitting here for almost five minutes!” Then she got out of her seat and went toward the end of the train car and began pounding on the door. “What the fuck is taking so long!!” she screamed.
Plasma was shocked. He had never seen Soleil behave in such a manner. He quickly got out of his seat, and ran toward Soleil. “What’s wrong Soleil? Calm down.”
“What’s wrong is this inefficient train system!” she shouted.
“It’s okay,” Plasma said, trying not to look anyone directly in the eyes as he pulled Soleil back towards their seats. “See the train is starting to move again.”
When the train stopped at the next station, an elderly couple got on near Plasma, and he nudged Soleil while he got up to give one of them his seat.
“What’s wrong with you?” Soleil said, in a slightly annoyed toned.
“This couple needs our seats,” Plasma replied.
“Why do we have to give up our seats?” Soleil said. “There are plenty of other people on this train who don’t have half the stuff that we have to carry. I’m not moving she said,” and tossed her head and hair away from Plasma, diva style.
Plasma could not believe what he was witnessing. He had never seen Soleil act in such a manner. “You can have my seat,” Plasma said, turning toward the old woman.
“I don’t want to sit next to her,” Soleil said in a condescending tone.
Plasma ignored her, and the old woman sat down next to her.
After about a minute, the old woman said, “It’s too hot over here. You can have your seat back. Thanks anyway.”
“Too hot…,” Plasma said as another guy got up to give his seat to the old woman so that she could sit next to her husband who had already found a seat.
Soleil smirked confidently as Plasma sat back down next to her. “What did you do?” he asked.
“I decided to let off a little steam so I made emitted some solar energy. I feel marvelous,” she cooed.
Plasma didn’t know what to think. He had never seen Soleil act so selfishly, almost bitchy. And she used her powers in public to get her way. “Are you okay?” he asked.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Soleil replied.
“You’re just acting very weird. Not like the Soleil I’m use to.”
“Maybe you just don’t know me as well as you think,” she replied in a haughty tone and turned away from Plasma.
Confused, Plasma took out his iPod touch, and Rihanna’s song Disturbia came on. Perfect song for what I’m witnessing right now, he thought as he looked toward Soleil who was checking her makeup in her compact. Beautiful nightmare by Beyoncé came on next, and Plasma hoped that whatever was going with Soleil would end in the sweet dream he was use to instead of the beautiful nightmare he just witnessed.