My Friend Krypto
This is the story of how I met Krypto, the wonder dog and how he saved me from certain death. Not from some supervillain though to me at the time they were the greatest supervillains, but from the ones I was supposed to trust most, my parents. This is how I escaped them.
Childhood comes is a blur you know? Yeah sure you have memories that stand out, little faint flickers of events, snapshots of time that stand out in your mind, but there are very few times where the details of the whole event become enraptured within your mind.
For me, I remember one event in particular in vivid detail; it plays out in my head like a movie. I remember every beat, every jump of my heart as it felt like it might just leave my chest. It is the day that changed my life, forever.
That was the day that I met Krypto and later Superman. Superman is a person I came to know fleetingly, but the Wonderdog became my friend when I needed a friend the most. He stayed by my side through the darkest of days, the darkest of times to help me grow to become a person that benefited the lives of others I met.
I had taken a detour from my walk home to stop on a grassy hill. There wasn’t much to it, other than that it was secluded and I knew no one would bother me there. I did not like to be bothered to be honest.
I’ve always been afraid of being judged for the feelings I have, and I have to keep them all bottled up inside, I know that if I even let an ounce of emotion through the mask, I wear every day that it will burst and that dam will break. People would see the hurt and wounded girl inside and a torrent of emotions would poor fourth. That day was way harder than all the others.
The beating still caused my side to throb, it had been throbbing all day, so did my shoulder. I had to be strong. If I revealed how much I was hurting, my parents would beat me again, I would receive another beating and another until I could pretend I wasn't hurting so the pain and the abuse would stop, if only for a day or two.
Be strong…I told myself a lot these days.
And then unbidden, the words came to my lips. The kind of words that no one wants to hear a nine-year-old say. “I wish I would just die already.”
As I sat with my legs curled up against my chest, fingers digging into my jeans and looking up at the skies, I saw a speck high up in the air, just like the rest of the white clouds, but it had a little flicker of red.
“What is that?” I whispered under my breath.
It was flying high up in the sky, but as I watched, I realized it was getting bigger and was heading right toward me. Almost a breath later, a whoosh of air that sent dust and leaves flying everywhere caused me to raise my hands and cover my eyes. When I opened them again, I saw something that caused the breath to go out of my chest, and my mouth just dropped open.
There in front of me was a pure white dog, probably about as big as a Labrador. He had a red cape emblazoned with Superman’s big stylized S shield and wore a red collar with a smaller tag that had the same S shield on it.
He just stood there, spread legged like the happiest dog on earth, his big pink tongue hanging out lazily from the side of his mouth and his droopy white ears resting against the sides of his head.
I could not believe my eyes. “K-k-k-Krypto?” I finally managed to stutter out.
He lowered his head and then threw it back up. “Ruff!” he said excitedly.
He then walked forward slowly, his face becoming strangely somber with a seemingly magnetic emotion as he empathized with me and in those deep brown eyes of the superhero dog Krypto, that dam just broke.
It was a sudden welling of emotion from deep within my chest. At first, I fought it, pushed as hard as I could. My chest tightened, and my throat began to hurt as I kept trying to hold it in. And then, the darndest thing happened.
Krypto walked up, pushed his head into mine slowly. And I hugged him. The tears started to flow like nothing ever before. Every ounce of pain I felt, every painful humiliation just came out at once. Every time I had tried to push the pain I felt, the betrayal from those that should by all counts love me.
And I bawled uncontrollably.
I pushed my head into Krypto’s fluffy white fur, and it just seemed to absorb the tears like something you might see in one of those infomercials. I cried with all my might and screamed into his shoulder with such an anguished cry.
My body quaked uncontrollably and eventually started to hurt I cried so hard.
All through it all, Krypto just stood there, stoically waiting. He just was there and for some reason him being there, this dog I’d seen on the news, this dog that had fought supervillains that could level cities, was for that moment, not a superhero, he was just a dog. He was my friend. He was my companion.
There was no ulterior motive. He didn’t want anything from me. He just was there to help, and by merely being there, his strong presence made me feel safe. For the first time, I felt safe. Safe from fear, safe from anguish. I had never in my nine years of life felt this emotion. It was like every ounce of tightness, every ounce of anger, hopelessness, and everything in between seemed to flow from me into his big white fur.
It felt like forever. And eventually I was still, and I didn’t feel so scared.
Krypto took a step back and licked my face once, wiping a tear but leaving a big line of slobber. I laughed and rubbed at it. “Eww!” I giggled. And he licked me again just for good measure.
And then he howled toward the sky; It didn’t sound like a usual howl though, it was more high pitched.
A couple of moments later, there was a whoosh, and the breath was once again knocked out of me.
In the light of the street lamps, a figure stood before me that my classmates whispered of like a living legend. He was after all. Blue spandex strapped tight against rippling muscles. His chest was emblazoned with the S shield just like Krypto’s. He had a bright, broad facial features, a kind smile and a gentle demeanor. His hair was cut close to his head and he had a single curl of hair that fell from his brown hair over his forehead.
“Superman,” I whispered, once again aww struck.
He smiled at me and then walked over to Krypto who was wagging his tail as he sat on the ground, it thumped against the ground pretty heavily, enough to cause me to bounce slightly he was so strong.
Slowly he kneeled down and gently petted Krypto before sitting down next to us as well. He curled his legs up and hugged them just like me. And we sat there in silence for a while. He didn’t say anything, for a while, just let us be in silence. I liked that. I didn't have to talk. Talking was hard, considering I hadn't used my words to express what had happened in my life. He wasn’t prodding me or asking unwanted questions. He like Krypto was there. Just...just there. And being there with me, the present was more important to me than the entire world. I felt so safe and comforted that for a bit I forgot that he had saved the universe, the world, and my town.
I couldn't tell you how long that silence laster, but eventually he patted Krypto on the head. “My friend here seems to think you need a friend,” he smiled warmly to me. “My name is Superman. What is your name?”
I was surprised. Superman was introducing himself to me. Unbidden from my lips, “My name is Becky,” I blurted out, then quickly covered my lips.
He laughed warmly. “It’s nice to meet you, Becky,” he said smiling at me like I was an old friend.
And we sat there for a while, just talking about stuff. I asked Superman what it was like to be a superhero and he told me some stories. He had helped a lot of people, but it was something else to hear him say it.
I had no idea how late it was, all I knew was that it was dark and it had been dark for a while. “I need to go,” I said finally.
I have never been asked a more important question in my life than the one he asked next. “If that is what you want, I won't stop you. But if you do not want to go. That is okay. I can take you somewhere else.”
I had been lying to everyone for my entire life. I smiled that fake smile, laughed that phony laugh, hid my shame under baggy clothes, and didn’t talk about my home life with anyone. And for that one moment, for the first time in the entire time I had been alive, I was honest. I admitted to myself, what had happened to me was wrong. I did not want that.
My lips began to quiver as I looked at his kind face, tears welled up in my eyes, and I slowly shook my head. I tried to speak, but it was hard, so I just reached out and hugged Krypto instead. He placed a paw over my shoulder lightly and nuzzled his head against mine. And then I cried again. Not for as long as before, but eventually I managed to squeeze out a “No.”
Superman nodded. “I have some friends who can help. Would you like to meet them?” he asked. "We don't have to stay if you don't want to. But, it's okay if you do."
I looked at him and froze up. I was panicked, but then I nodded. But it was Superman. “Yes please.”
The rest, unlike these moments, was more of a blur. Superman asked if I would be okay with flying to where we were going to go. And of course, despite the situation, I said yes. Of course, I said yes! Who doesn’t want to be picked up and flown around by flipping Superman! Krypto came too and it was so cool. I flew around with them for a while. I think he intentionally made it longer, just for my benefit so I could enjoy it.
He took me first to a hospital where I met a lovely female doctor. I usually think they don’t allow dogs into hospitals, but they made an exception this time for Krypto. Superman couldn’t be in there with me during the exam, but I wouldn’t let them do anything without him around, so Krypto stayed.
The nurse asked me to wear one of those hospital smocks that look so goofy, like a big ol’ poncho. She examined me and asked me a few questions, then wrote some stuff down. She took a few closes up pictures of the bruises on my side and my shoulder. They took a few X-rays. Then she left, and I put my clothes on.
All the while Krypto was there with me dutifully keeping guard. I don’t think I could have done it without him around, to be honest, but all the while he was there, and I felt safe. Safer than I had ever felt.
I met with a friendly police officer as well, and he asked me a few more questions. For some reason, I felt safe enough with Superman and Krypto there to say the truth.
Afterward, Superman and I went outside. "Becky, do you want to go home? If you decide that you don't want to, you don't have to."
“No, I don't," I said meekly. For some reason, I felt like there was no way I could stay. I was going to wake up and be back at home, and the abuse would start back up again the next morning.
He smiled at me with the same warm smile as before. “No, I have a friend who will be happy to take you in for a night until we find a new home for you.” He flew me to meet a nice woman that worked at the daily planet. I got to stay at her home. Her name was Lois. She served me hot cocoa, and I got to have dessert for the first time in years! She let me eat at much chocolate cake as I could stomach!
Superman and Krypto talked with Lois for a while, and then they came back to say goodbye to me. I didn’t want them to go. “Please stay,” I whispered.
Superman had something in his hand, and he gave it to me. It was a watch with the Superman shield on it. “This is for you Becky. I can’t stay, there are other people that need my help.” He pointed to a small button on the side. “But if you are ever feeling scared, unsafe, or just need a friend you can push this button.” He patted Krypto on the head, and that happy dog nodded his head in response. “Krypto will come.”
That night, Krypto stayed with me. He slept in my bed, curled up next to me. The warmth of his body so comforting. Occasionally I woke up and cried into his fur. He didn't complain or protest, just licked the tears from my eyes and I would go back to sleep.
And then the next day a woman who was dressed in a purpose suit came to the door, and she took me to a boarding house, where I met a few other children. Krypto came with me, and I was the talk of the home! Everyone wanted to pet Krypto! He left that night, but I felt safe.
Later I was transferred to a couple of other foster homes, but I never saw my parents’ house again.
I still kept the watch Superman gave me. I used to press it once a week, especially at first. And every time I would push it, Krypto would come. Sometimes it would take him a while, but he would come to me eventually. I understood because you know, he was important and had a lot to do. Saving people is not easy. But, he would come and spend time with me. Sometimes Superman would go too! And I would usually press it when I was feeling down, but eventually, I pushed it less and less, until I wasn’t touching it to feel comforted, but to see my friend simply.
Eventually, I became a social worker and helped children who were in the same kind of situation I was in. And one day I met a little girl that had trouble speaking as well, she was having a rough time, so I pressed the button, and just like all the other times, Krypto came. But this time, it wasn’t for me, and I think he sensed it, because when he landed, he rubbed up against me to say hi, but walked straight to the small girl who reminded me so much of myself at that age. And he did the same thing for her that he did for me.
I sat there for a while, my legs curled up to my chest in silence for a time, till she was ready to speak. And eventually, after a long hard cry, she started to open up. We talked about all kinds of stuff!
And finally, the fateful question I had asked so many years ago. She asked me if she had to go home and I found myself asking her the same question Superman had asked me many years before. “Do you want to go?”
And she said “No.” So I introduced her to some of my friends. I stayed with her the whole time as she talked to the policemen and when she went with the nurse, I waited outside. Krypto though went with her.
Finally, as she was about to be led away by the social worker, I gave her the watch that had helped me through my childhood into adulthood. And as I handed it to her, I saw a nod from Krypto, who rubbed up against me. I petted him a bit, and then he went with her.
That is the story of how I met Krypto the Wonderdog, or as I knew him, my best friend.
P.S. And before you ask, Krypto still comes by every once in a while to say hi.