When I was a little girl, I wanted to save the world.
A lot of us do, in one way or another. Almost no one has the same definition of 'world', though, and a lot of people don't think 'save' means the same thing. A lot of people fight about whether 'save' means 'preserve' or 'ameliorate'--or which it means more.
I wanted to do it in the really simple way. I wanted to be a superhero, with strength and speed and intelligence and a bunch of other stuff, plus the heart to do the right thing. (Intelligence and powers could cover the possibility of doing so, but I also needed to consistently want to.)
When I was a little girl, I got to save the world.
There isn't much point to explaining that. Whether you've heard my story or not, you know it. I was a magical little girl who fought people who were beyond saving, and redeemed people who seemed beyond saving. I took the nickname Echo. I say it's because I wanted something that's easy to understand, so I went with something from the NATO alphabet. My name is Emma, so people don't ask much past that.
There's more to my name's story, of course. I didn't pick a name for the longest time, and no one who was telling my story was particularly interested in giving me a good one. (I was, I understand, given a number by some organizations, but news stations kept missing me. Or ignoring me.) One day, I was reading Echo's story, how she met someone she admired but could not add anything, only repeat the ends of things back. I save the world, and it's good I do, but I'm the next identical link in a very long chain.
Saving the world is necessary; I rarely found it interesting.
By the rules, my story should not still be going at this point. But I think I'm owed a little something, even if the only person who owes me is myself. I owe something to the little girl who dreamed, perhaps; more importantly I owe it to the woman I'm starting to be.
Echo was a good name. Echo is necessary, showing things back almost as they are, and that's how I've redeemed the supposedly irredeemable on more than one occasion. Now...
I am a good person. But that is, I think, not quite the same thing as being a good girl. Not in the way my once-superiors mean it. "You're such a good little girl." I think... I think I need to think of myself a little, too. Maybe be a little selfish. Not hold myself above others, but hold myself as important.
The simplest way of finding where my happy place is is to go beyond it in several directions. I've been Echo. Someday I may settle on a permanent name: not a magical girl's name, not a child's name. Maybe I'll even be Emma, someday.
Today, I am Narcissus.