Wonder Woman 1984: One Week After
The past few days have been hell for me. The worst days of my life, filled with nothing but pain, and grief, and more pain. It’s consumed me. I don’t remember the last time my lips parted in a smile. I’ve forgotten what laughter sounds like. My eyes are red and swollen from crying a bucketload of hot salty tears.
It’s my first day back to work since my loss. I sold my car to pay the bills for his healthcare, and well, life happened either way. I shouldn’t even be resuming to work today, but I desperately need the cash. Without a car, it’s going to be tough. I’ll have to walk the distance every day until I can pool together enough money to get a new one.
I’ve been standing at this this crossing for minutes now and the light still hasn’t hit green. Honestly, given everything that’s happened to me, I really am not in a patient mood. Screw it. I can’t be late to work today because of this stupid crossing. There are no cars passing anyway.
I’m halfway across the street when the roar of a car engine suddenly tears through the silence. The driver sees me too late to swerve and is coming right at me. I won’t be able to get out of the way in time.
I clam up, expecting to be knocked to the ground by the speeding car, but gentle arms grab me by the waist and whisk me into the air.
I look behind me and see Wonder Woman, dressed in all her Amazon glory, smiling graciously at my still stunned self.
She lands us safely at the other end of the street and gives me a moment to catch my breath.
“Are you okay?” Her voice is as gentle and graceful as her aura.
I shake my head. “No, not really. No.”
“I understand.” She sympathizes. “I’d be shaken up too if I nearly got hit by a car.”
I wave her sympathy aside. “Honestly the car thing is fine. You’re the real reason I’m not okay.”
Wonder Woman reacts as mortified as anyone else would to an accusation of that manner. “How’s that possible? I only just met you.”
I say something that might jug her memory. “The whole wish thing, remember? I had a son. He had cancer, and when I saw that crazy man on TV asking us to make a wish, I wished for my son to be healed. But you had to come and ruin that, didn’t you?”
Wonder Women allows a moment of silence to pass before she speaks, out of respect for my loss.
“I’m really sorry to hear about your son. But wishing for your son to be healed is cheating. It’s selfish. It’s not truth, and truth is all — ”
I deck Wonder Woman on the jaw, and God it feels good. She’s shocked, but thankfully doesn’t return the favour.
“Wishing for my sick son not to die is cheating? Selfish?”
Wonder Woman’s eyes drip with sympathy for me. “I truly am sorry about your loss. But the world is a beautiful place just as it is. You cannot have it all. You can only have the truth, and the truth is enough. The truth is beautiful.”
“What the fuck are you even talking about?” I would have decked her again, but I’m scared I won’t get away with it this time. “What the hell is that speech even? The world is beautiful as is?”
I gesture to the empty, downtrodden streets that surround us. “If that were true, we wouldn’t freaking need you, would we? We only need superheroes because the world is a fucked-up place.”
I scoff. The gall of this woman. I can’t freaking believe it. “You cannot have it all. You can only have the truth, and the truth is enough.”
I repeat her words to her in as irritating and mocking a voice as I can make. “Ugh. You’re basically telling me if my son wanted to live, he should have defeated cancer fair and square like a real upstanding human being. You suck Wonder Woman. How’s that for some truth?”
Wonder Woman looks struck by my harsh words, but hey, she’s the one going on and one about truth.
“I had to give up something too you know?”
“Oh yeah, and that was a super big sacrifice.” I roll my eyes. “Some guy you met for a weekend like a hundred years ago. I hope you didn’t sleep with him in that body because, well, that’s bad. You’re a literal goddess, strong, beautiful, confident. I’m not saying Steve wasn’t a great dude, but surely no man is that great that a literal goddess fails to get over him for decades.”
“You know what’s funny?” I ask her, with no intention of allowing her the chance to answer the question. “You tell little girls they can become like you. But when a friend who admires you makes a wish for exactly that, suddenly it becomes bad.”
Wonder Woman tries to speak but I don’t give her the chance.
“Let me guess. It’s because gaining some much-needed confidence and superpowers through a wish is cheating, right? She should have earned it by working hard and honestly like you did for your powers and your beauty.”
I say all this knowing fully well that Wonder Woman was born with her powers.
Wonder Woman’s anger bubbles to the surface. Gone is the pity from her eyes, replaced by something else, something less merciful. “You gave your wish up by your free will.”
“Your lasso literally compels people to act a certain way Wonder Woman. I didn’t give up my wish to save my son out of free will. Does the criminal that confesses his crimes under the influence of the lasso do it out of free will? I can’t believe you really thought your speech was so great that you convinced literally everyone in the world to give up their wishes willingly. The hubris.”
“I had to do what I did,” Wonder Woman says, “Your wishes came with consequences that were destroying the world.”
“Couldn’t you simply have wished that the Dreamstone grant wishes without bad consequences? I mean if that son of a bitch could outsmart the stone by wishing to become it, surely you could have figured out a way to outsmart it too. It’s not like the damn stone had any rules to how it worked. Or better yet, you could have wished that his wish be renounced. What, you didn’t think of that? You just had to let my son die.”
Wonder Woman can’t bring herself to say anything in reply to my tirade.
“If you’re wondering how I know all this, Minerva’s a friend.”
Well, it’s time for me to go. I’ve gotten everything off my chest. “Thanks for saving my life Wonder Woman, but to hades with you.”