What is a villain?
I certainly am one.
I’ve killed hundreds, thousands.
And yet a child decides to cling to me after I happened upon him.
He follows close, holding my sleeve. Dirty white hair obscuring his face.
I walk through the streets.
This city is cold even with the summer sun.
Today I am a civilian. Jacket, black pants, winter boots. No gloves.
That boy from two days ago holds my hand while following me.
He’s three heads shorter than me. He is young after all. Impressionable.
He wears a white shirt and shorts. No shoes. He hates them.
“Don’t speak ok, Aya?”
We walk into the toy store.
Aya stares at tall shelves curiously.
He stopped walking seeing the colorful stuffed toys and art things.
I feel a tug, glancing at Aya pointing. He gesturing to a black and gold backpack.
I only stare.
We leave with the backpack in tow.
Aya moves his hair from his face.
Now, we are in a café eating treats.
I examine the other costumers. There’s a familiar face.
That pesky hero is here too.
I sip the coffee before looking at Aya.
He’s staring at the muffin and hesitantly pokes the blueberry.
“Aw! Who’s this cutie?”
I glare at the hero coming over.
‘Go away. Go away. Go away. Go away. Go away. Go away.’
The hero looks at me with a matching glare.
“Did you steal him?”
“No, I adopted Aya. I’m not that much of a monster.”
Her arms are crossed, eyes narrowed.
Aya looks at the hero, slightly tilting his head. He soon takes a bite of the muffin.
He’s- he’s cooing. Purring. Having a good time.
I can even feel myself smile.
This guy! He’s just brutal and awful.
I’m sure this child is desperate.
I reach out my hand to the boy with a forced smile.
“Come on. Let’s find your family, Aya.”
I’m ignored. I step back.
He’s just making soft animal noises and eating.
He then drinks his juice.
“He’s too cute. You’ll only taint him,” I mumble.
Aya goes to that villain guy and tugs his arm.
This child has already imprinted.
I see a smile on that villain’s face.
They leave after paying.
I take out my phone and call the Olympis organization.
“Yeah, he has the boy. Son of Roberson.”
I bring Aya home to freshen him up.
He sits still as I brush his hair.
I finish and let him roam the house for a while.
My phone rings and I answer.
It’s one of my colleagues.
“Sir, we finished registering the kid as Aya.”
My eyes flick to Aya observing my cat, Aries.
Aries stared back at Aya.
“That hero saw me with Aya. She thought I stole him.”
“You rightfully adopted him, sir.”
I thought back to the other smiling children. Maybe I’ll go help them too.
This man is very gentle.
That lady is scary. I saw her before in other places.
I crawl off his lap and explore this big place.
The floor feels nice.
I sit down and draw on it.
There’s something fluffy on the counter.
“Mrr”, I respond.
We exchange sounds until that man comes.
He explained to me that the fluffy creature is a “cat”.
Her name is Aries.
She comes toward me and paws at my arm.
Aries likes me he said.
“Joseph, why can’t we speak?”
“Because the mean people will get you.”
But I’m speaking now. I tilt my head and Aries meows.
“And most people can’t handle your voice.”