I pull my foot out of the disgusting New York puddle I just stepped in and walk down the street in a huff as I feel the disgusting brown liquid soak into my sock and stick to my skin revoltingly. The freshman I'm tutoring, Philip, just HAS to be living on one of the sketchiest blocks in the city. Just my luck. But I happen to feel safer strolling down this scary alleyways now that our friendly neighborhood Spiderman is swinging around the city and guarding all us alley-dwellers. Although I like to think that he gives me some special attention, me being his girlfriend and all, I know that everyone in the city is able to sleep a little sounder thanks to him.
I walk up to the Philip's house and ring the doorbell, and I quickly see his chubby face smiling at as he swings the door open. "Hi Gwen! Come on in!" He says, pulling the door wide open as I walk into his house. I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and quickly tuck a stray blond strand back into my trademark ponytail, and wipe the mascara that slid under my large, doe eyes. I walk into the dining room, where we usually work and take my usual seat at the head of the dining room table, as he comes in carrying two glasses of hot cocoa, which is just what I needed after walking down eight blocks from the subway station through the city's frosty suburbs on this windy February evening.
"Thanks Philip, you're always the most gracious host."
"Oh, it's no big deal." He mumbles, his cheeks going red as he plops down in his usual seat on the table.
"So let's start from where we left off last session, which is at trigonometric identities?"
He gives me a small nod and I start sketching some triangles.
And after about an hour and a half of solving identities and drawing some more triangles, I get up and gather my pens. "Well, Philip, you seem to be too clever to be making these mistakes. You should be able to ace your next quiz."
"Only with your help, Gwen!" He says cheerfully, giving me a braces-clad smile as he lets me out the door. "Well Philip, you keep practicing, that's key!" I say as I hop down the steps of his porch and walk off down the sidewalk. "Sure thing Gwen!" He yells as I walk down the street.
After a tiring 8 block walk in the February chill, I finally get to my subway stop and hop onto the train just in time. I quickly take a seat on the train and take a deep breath to try and stop my panting. "Mommy, mommy! Do you think we'll see Spiderman today?" I hear a little boy say to his mother while she bounces him on her lap. "You never know, deer." She says, giving him a small smile. I hope he doesn't end up in a situation where he needs Spiderman tonight, since he usually swoops in when serious trouble starts to brew. I catch myself smiling in spite of myself at the thought of the ever so dashing Spiderman, or rather Peter Parker, who is the brave soul behind the mask, as I think back to the day where he came after me a few weeks after my dad's death in the school parking lot.
I was walking down the school parking lot on that fall day with a hollow feeling in my heart, which I feel every time I remember my father. As I walked down the school's parking lot, I feel a familiarly large hand encircle my wrist and gently pull me around and I see Peter in my face, his big brown eyes full of apology. A small shy smile spreads across his face as we stood in the parking lot facing each other, his large hand still encircling my wrist.
"Hey." He says in a smokey whisper
"Hi." I reply, trying not to burst into tears on the spot. He dropped me flat right when I needed him most, and that still stung deep.
"So, umm, how've you been?" he says a bit awkwardly.
My heart plummets and I let out a scoff of disbelief. "How've I been? Well considering the fact that my father died, and the person who's comfort I want most hasn't looked me in the eye for weeks, I'd say I'm pretty-what's that on your cheek, Peter?" I say, cutting myself off and reaching to gently touch what looked like a nasty bruise on Peter's left cheek. He winced a bit and dropped my gaze as I examine it closer.
"Peter?" I say in a soft whisper
"Well, it's dangerous being me, or being near me, which is why I need you to understand why I haven't been talking to you. I made a promise, one I now realize is really hard to keep, and one that I deeply regret." He gazes into my eyes and I feel a bit shaky on the inside. "But Gwen, I can't stay away." I feel my heart melt as I quickly completely understand his pain too, losing my defensive demeanor right on the spot. "Oh Peter." I pull him into an embrace and feel his long arms squeeze me closer. He put one finger under my chin and pulled my head upwards to face him and gently put his lips to mine.
I sigh in contentment at the memory as the train jolts to a stop, bring me back to reality. I stand up and hurry out of the train and walk home in a hurry. I walk into my lobby and give my straight-faced doorman a small smile which he returns with a curt nod. I quickly step into the elevator and hum to the familiar elevator music, hoping out of the elevator's car as it dings, opening it's doors that let into my floor. I grab the keys to my front door from the little pocket on the inside of my bag and walk into the spacey loft I grew up in.
I smile at my little brothers playing on the living room carpet as I take of my muddy ankle-boots and heavy coat and put them in their places, dropping by the kitchen to say hi to my mom, who was busy at work developing a new fish recipe for her latest cook book. After Dad died, Mom threw herself into her cooking instead of falling into what would have been an understandable yet disturbing depression, and has already wrote two extremely successful cookbooks, which makes me proud.
"Dinner'll be ready in a half hour."
"Thanks mom." I say, gently kissing her on the cheek and walking out of the kitchen and down the hall towards my room.
I quickly close the door behind me as I enter my neat room and plop myself onto my bed, peeling off my sticky wet socks then throwing myself horizontally onto my bed, sighing deeply and snuggling into my warm and soft duvet, when suddenly I hear a gentle rapping on my window