“Mommy, can I play with Batman?” the young boy asked. His neck felt stiff from looking at the Batman in a box – he had his black mask on and his cape was frozen in a flutter behind him. His fists rested on his waist, feet apart. He stood proudly on the shelf.
“Remember what I told you, honey? Batman has to stay up there. We don’t want him broken.”
The boy remembered the day Batman was brought to the house. His parents told him that they bought the toy for him but as far as he could remember, he was allowed to touch and smell the box once – for five, no ten, seconds. Batman stayed atop the shelf the rest of its stay in the house. He could see him everyday, but he’s beyond his reach.
It simply was weird, the boy thought. Toys are supposed to be played with, not kept in a box. They said the toy was his, but he was not even allowed to hold it. He wanted to know how Batman’s cape feels between his fingers. He loved to see him fly over tables, cabinets and chairs, and jump high with him on his bed. If given a chance, he would bring Batman in school (inside his bag), in the bathroom while he bathes in the tub, and sleep beside him under the blanket. He would make Batman his very best friend. He would never break Batman.
The boy’s yearning grew each day he saw Batman. He knew he owned him, but he really didn’t. So that day, he decided not to crane his neck and look at Batman ever again…well, not until the day he gets tall enough to get Batman from the shelf himself, and old enough to be trusted that he won’t break him…