Sometimes, in the midst of yet another hopeless chess game, Life took a moment to think upon the super-human being that was his doing and his responsibility. With a glance into his grubby looking-glass, he watched -- partially in awe, guilty self-admiration, and partially in fear.
The boy was christened Samuel -- after his deceased grandfather. Creative folks that his parents were.
He was a shockingly robust child, reaching fifty pounds by age three, or four. Thick, sandy curls adorned his pink head, and his eyes and cheeks glowed like something eternal. Such life radiated from him that it was impossible to imagine him lying still -- and so he did not, remaining constantly in action. Samuel was the sort of child who would purposefully crash his bicycle and emerge from the wreckage scraped-up and giggling.
For the most part, Sam lived a life typical to those of young Americans -- middle class, with a fine showy house but deeply in debt; mother and father divorced when he was five; average grades in school; afternoons consisting of halfhearted homework, blaring television and basketball. Yet somehow, he was special. While others floundered, stricken with puberty as with a deadly disease, he glided on through with a certain cucumber-cool ease that aroused much envy from his peers. Never tried his best in school -- but he always passed his exams. The parents weren't on good terms at all -- but it didn't seem to affect him. Through every hardship he appeared to remain unharmed, untainted.
However, he didn't notice anything unusual in himself... until the day of the flight to his father's home in South Carolina. The plane crash.