My professor’s words were haunting my mind. How high blood pressure leads to arteries and stuff tightening, leaving the body prone to heart attacks or other badness. Of course, as I tried to calm my nerves with this reminder I could feel myself becoming angrier. Fuck. What was it Giles said? That a true warrior can calm their head as well as they can fight in battle? Hmmmph. Obviously Giles never had to deal with rush hour in Cleveland. Besides, shouldn’t a slayer’s body protect itself from high blood pressure and crazy capillaries?

Ok. Breathe. Good. That was a nice deep breath. Not bad for someone stuck on the highway when all they want to do is run home and be surrounded by family. Hmmm… Actually, I probably could run home faster than it would take to navigate this sea of cars. Ever since my powers awakened I’ve been able to run pretty damn fast. I pondered on this for a second, but I realized I should probably arrive in a normal fashion. I’ve been trying to keep my wackiness on the DL for a while now to the fam and shouldn’t blow it now, of all times.

This would be the first time I’ve seen my family in over a year, just in time for mom’s birthday. It’s amazing – all my life I wanted to leave the madhouse known as my home and travel the world. Now that my life consists of living five time zones away in England and traveling to battle the forces of darkness worldwide, I often wish I could be able to come home more frequently.

With nothing to stare at but the brightly colored metallic husks on the road, I reflected on my life. Five years ago my life changed drastically on a rather normal May afternoon. I was 17 and eagerly anticipating graduation. My friends, Serena, Isabella, and I were just ending our evening at the touristically typical, but nonetheless beloved Hard Rock Café. With graduation looming before us, it seemed like the perfect place to dine and talk about how awesome our lives would be if we were rock stars or married Romeo from our beloved bachata group Aventura.

Of course it’s just our luck that reality set in when my Ford Tempo refused to start. I went back to open the trunk to retrieve some jumper cables where the strangest sensation came over me. I’ll never forget that feeling but it’s almost impossible to describe. Warmth spread over me, like diving into a heated pool. The world seemed sharper somehow, like I was seeing it for the first time.

The sensations shocked me until Isabella screamed at me, “Oye, I popped the trunk! Apurate por favor porque my mama’s gonna be pissed if I don’t get home on time.” Shaking myself slightly I pulled at the trunk, but it didn’t budge. I relayed the information to Isabella and she informed me that when her trunk does that all she needs to do is hit it a couple times to come loose.

So I did. I hit it once, like a normal person hits a car in frustration. Unlike a normal person, I put a 5-inch dent in it so smoothly that my beautiful baby had my knuckle indentations. I screamed and looked down, expecting to see my hand a broken bloody mess.

But it wasn’t. It sure as hell felt sore and bruises were beginning to travel across my hand, but I failed to see broken bones or blood. With my scream of course both the girls came running over from previously talking on their cell phones about ten feet away. Their eyes darted frantically as they asked me what was wrong. Then Isabella shouted about how some pendejo dented my pinche trunk. I was so damn shocked and disturbed that I just nodded and dealt with her conclusion.

A couple weeks passed and I began to notice the changes. Sure, I played varsity softball but I was never the greatest when it came to strength or agility. Events occurred and I realized I had changed. In Phys Ed during a volleyball game I spiked a ball only to accidentally break the teacher’s nose. During a softball game I was playing right field and jumped abnormally high (enough so to make the crowd go ‘Whoa!’) to catch a ball. While I loved salsa, I was never good with the feet coordination and twirling part, but at prom I was the Queen Bee of the dance floor.

Needless to say part of me was fucking freaking out. The other part of me was feeling like a badass and yearned to buy a leather jacket and a motorcycle.

Soon arrived the big revelation of my life. There I was walking back from the park with this skinny redhead came out of nowhere and asked me if I had been going through changes. Thinking she was one of those damn religious freaks I told her I heard the puberty talk in 5th grade and thank you very much, but please peace the fuck out. The nice thing with these newfound abilities had me ready to shit talk anyone, knowing I could probably kick their ass. She said my name and I turned around ready to do Xena move because there was no way she should know my name, unless she was a creeper.

But when I turned around to look at her face her eyes captured me. It was like riding a roller coaster for the first time. I slid down the summit and had no idea where I was or when the ride was going to stop. A millennia seemed to pass as I fell deeply into her eyes that seemed to hold the world. Flickers of celestial bodies, endless oceans, and brown earth passed by as I stared deeper. ‘Sofia, know that I come here in peace. My name is Willow and I understand that you have developed new powers. Your mind doesn’t understand this new power and that is why I am here. Sofia, you are a vampire slayer.’

You know how in movies something shocking happens that makes the characters go ‘Whoooooa’ and a record scratches to a stop? At that moment I could have sworn I heard that.

Willow and I sat at a park bench for a couple hours talking. I didn’t want to believe her because her because her story sounded so fucking insane. Her best friend Buffy, who sounded more like a Hugh Hefner girlfriend than a terror to denizens of the night, was a vampire slayer. Essentially Willow was a witch who performed a spell to put the essence of the slayer into any young girl that could be a vampire slayer and – lucky me – I was one of them along with hundreds of others. Oh, and just what was a vampire slayer? Willow explained that it is a girl who battles vampires, demons, and anything else evil enough to harm humankind.

It’s probably unwarranted to say that everything she said freaked me out to the extreme. With her freakily magical eyes and uncanny ability to speak in my mind, I knew she spoke truthfully. To be honest, there was just something so wholesome and good about her that made her appear so angelic there was no way I could fault her words. Not to mention, I was sure it wasn’t my Wheaties that were making me stronger and faster.

A loud honking yanked me out of my reverie as I realized it was now my fault cars were backed up. I pressed the gas pedal and rode off home.

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