Laura knew it was the right thing to do. Even though all her friends, her parents and her talking animal familiar said she was making a mistake, she was firm in her decision. She took her magical rose pendant off the chain around her neck, put it in a shoebox and put that in the bottom drawer of her desk.
She was a member of the Rose Reapers, a squad of magical girls who fought to protect the world from the evil forces of the Earth Assassins. When a girl's powers awakened, she gained the ability to transform into a Rose Reaper whenever a member of the Earth Assassins was ready to attack the unsuspecting public.
Laura had really taken to being a Rose Reaper, but now she had decided to give it up. The first person she had told was Tiffany, another Reaper and one of her best friends.
"You are gonna give up being a Rose Reaper?" Tiffany had said, putting down her coffee.
"Yeah, I think I have to," said Laura.
"But you are great at it, and you love it! There is no way we can fight without you."
"Sure you can. More girls are awakening their Rose Reaper powers every week. And besides, we have not had an attack in months. And that last battle completely wiped me out. It took everything I had to defeat that cave monster, and then I was sick for two months afterward," said Laura.
"Well sure, but we all had to recover after that one. It was the biggest attack yet."
"No, I mean I was laid up in bed that entire time. I forgot how to live a normal life, Tiff. I still feel like a different person than I was before that fight."
"We all changed when we became Rose Reapers, Laura."
"Yeah, I am just not sure I became a better person as a result of it. At least when I am not suited up. Anyway, my decision is final and I hope you will respect it," said Laura, hoping to end discussion there.
"It just won't be the same without you." said Tiffany.
All the other conversation she had about leaving the Rose Reapers went the same way, but they each convinced her more she was making the right decision. The hardest person to tell was Alba, her talking hedgehog familiar.
When Laura's powers first manifested, Alba had shown up in her room, telling her how to transform into a Rose Reaper and all about her powers. Now she kept Alba as a pet, and even though the hedgehog treated her like a little girl, they were good friends.
"There is no way, I refuse to accept it," Alba had said when Laura broke the news to her. "The Rose Reapers need you and you need them just as much. How can you just walk away when they have given you so much?" she asked.
"Don't you get that this is hard for me too? I love being a Rose Reaper. To feel that much power, to be able to fly and shoot energy from my hands. I am gonna miss every second of it" said Laura, her hands clenched into fists.
"I wish I could be a Rose Reaper every single day. Who wouldn't? It is like a better version of myself. Every minute I spend transformed is just a reminder that I can't be that person. Not all of the time, anyway. And I can't keep spending every other minute of my life thinking about it."
"So you want to just be a normal girl instead? You're okay with being boring and normal?" Alba asked.
"Yeah, I guess I have to be, because I am not a magical superhero like everyone seems to think. This is all that I am, a normal girl."
Alba was still having none of it, but she grudgingly accepted it and stormed out of Laura's house. She had not seen the hedgehog since.
A couple weeks later, she turned on the TV to see a news report that the Earth Assassins had launched their latest plot and the Rose Reapers were on the scene. She immediately felt a pang of sadness that she was not there and reached for the drawer that held her rose pendant. But she stopped herself, instead holding her hands up to her heart. She thought of her friends she was missing, wished them the best, and proceeded to go about her day.