It was just Mr. Peterson, leaning out of his door.
“Stop monkeying around up there! The next class'll be here in a second.”
He shut the door. He hadn't said anything about the suit. The fellow did seem a bit nearsighted, maybe that had saved Daniel.
Daniel shifted again and looked down through the hoop at the floor, a good few feet away. What was he worried about? He jumped and landed softly. As he did, something tickled his cheek.
He was wearing the rabbit ears, he could feel the headband itching. Daniel yanked it off as if it might have grown onto his scalp, and stared at it. Now this was impossible, he'd left it in the box on his bed, half a mile away. As if the rest of his suit teleporting onto him was any more realistic.
He looked around, but he was alone. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to focus on his gym clothes: the T-shirt with its faded UCLA print, the shorts, the darkened sneakers. For a panicky moment he was certain it wasn't going to work, then the disorientation came, with an impact that knocked the wind of him. When he could see clearly, the gym clothes were back on him.
“Nice trick if you can do it,” he said out loud. All he could think of was anime magical girls whose outfits teleported onto them when they transformed. Was that what he was, now? Not a superhero, a magical boy?
He remembered the time and rushed to the locker room to grab a shower. His friends had already left, but the white suit lay on the bench, as neatly as he'd folded it before class. The headband lay on it.
He waved his friends off when they parted: Pammy and Jake to David's place, Gassan was being dragged off to watch his brother in some sporting event. Now, with no-one nearby, would have been a good time to tell them, maybe even show them – he could feel the clean fabric close around his chest, almost actively pushing his body into something lighter and straighter. Again he didn't, out of that fleeting feeling that the power might only persist as long as he didn't acknowledge it. The moment had passed.
Whenever he was sure he was out of sight, he ran. He reached home and got to his room where the box was still lying on his bed, opened his bag and sat down to study for the English exam. His heart wasn't in it now. There were plenty of people who were smarter than him, better at cracking the symbolism in Milton's dramatical works or whatever. Someone had given him the suit. They must have wanted him to use it for something.
He could hear Mom and Dad downstairs, Dad saying something over the sound of the TV. There was no point in worrying them. He locked the door, then wedged the window open on the early evening air. He took the headband too, as if it were a good-luck charm.
He scrambled out the window, clung to the eave for a moment, then pulled himself onto the roof. His body still obeyed.
Written by on 11 April 2019
Magical Boy Daniel