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This is How a Hero Starts

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Parker’s hands trembled as they opened the postal box for apartment 701. Take a deep breath, Parker. You’re just getting the mail, not taking on a super villain. Taking a deep breath, Parker eagerly pulled out the mail in nervous excitement. They flipped through the various pieces of mail, searching for the Speck Community College letter. Bill…Bill…Coupon…Sale Circular...Speck Community College…Junk Mail. Parker gasped loudly, nearly dropping the mail in shock. Flipping back through the mail, Parker found the letter from Speck Community College.

Parker shrieked in excitement as they jumped up and down. “I got the letter! I got the letter! I got the letter!” Hearing a delighted laugh, they stopped jumping up and down, turning around. Parker’s face turned a bright red color and they let out an embarrassed laugh. Rubbing the back of their neck, Parker apologized. “Sorry about that, Mrs. Liu. I just got a letter from my first choice.”

Mrs. Liu waved off Parker’s apologies. “I hope it’s an acceptance letter.”

Parker froze, the look of happiness disappearing from their face. Fuck, they hadn’t even opened the letter yet. What if it was a rejection letter? What if they knew Parker was related to Dr. Stench and assumed that Parker would turn out to be evil too? “I…um…actually haven’t opened it yet.” Parker admitted sheepishly.

“Isn’t that the point of a letter? Opening it?” Mrs. Liu teased, causing Parker to smile again.

“Yeah, I promised I would open the letter with my mom! Do you need any help, Mrs. Liu?”

“No! Go open your letter! We’re all rooting for you!”

“Thanks, Mrs. Liu! Have a good one!” Parker exclaimed, dashing towards the stairs. They flung the door to the stairs wide open and ran up the stairs, skipping a few steps at a time. Their stomach flipped nervously, hoping that the letter would detail their acceptance into Speck Community College.

Bursting through the apartment door, Parker shouted, “MOM! I GOT THE LETTER FROM SPECK!” They held the letter high in the air as if it was the Holy Grail. Mary jumped in her seat on the couch, nearly dropping her tea. Humphrey, Parker’s elderly Golden Retriever, raised his head sleepily. Kittyfuzzer yowled loudly from his seat on the back of the couch. He continued to spit and hiss as he dashed into one of the bedrooms.

Setting her tea down, Mary got up shakily, walking over to Parker. “Remember Parker, what kind of voice do we use in the apartment?”

“Right! Inside voice!” Parker replied, feeling slightly embarrassed. However, Parker’s embarrassment faded as they shoved the letter from Speck Community College towards their mother. “Mom! You have to read this! I don’t know if I can!” Mary took the letter from Parker, opening the envelope. “Do you think it’s a rejection letter? I mean it is kinda small. Too small for my liking. Aren’t rejection letters small? If it wasn’t a rejection letter, wouldn’t it be---Shutting up now!”

Mary placed her hand on Parker’s shoulder, calming them. “Whatever the letter is, I’m proud of you Parker. A rejection letter doesn’t determine your worth neither does an acceptance letter. I know your father would be proud of you too, Parker.”

Wiping tears from the edges of their eyes, Parker said, “Thanks Mom. I just wish Dad was here too.”

Me too, sweetheart.” Mary replied, pulling Parker in for a hug.

Releasing each other, Mary and Parker wiped tears from their eyes. “So, are you gonna read it, mom?”

“So impatient.” Mary laughed. Clearing her throat, Mary read, “Dear the Inspector, we are pleased to inform you of your acceptance to Speck Community Coll- “

Parker screamed in happiness as they tackled their mother in a hug. “I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN!”

“I’m so proud of you, Parker! You did it!” Mary nearly stumbled back, letting the tackle hug slide. “How about we go to Edith’s Diner to celebrate?”

“Can Julia and Patrick come?”

“Of course!” Parker pulled out their phone, dialing Julia’s number first. I did it, Dad. I really did it. I’m going to be a superhero and stop the dirty dozen once and for all!