Chapter 17: Ordinary Me
They started evacuating the building, bomb disposal experts were beside Frank as they tried to figure out how they could take out his hand. One officer whispered to Erick’s ear and Jennifer didn’t like what she saw.
“What is it?” she asked and Erick shook his head. “Tell me, what is it?” she repeated and Erick took a deep breath as the bomb disposal experts exited the room. “Why are they leaving?” she asked and Erick walked towards her and put his arms on her shoulder. “We can’t remove Frank’s hand, if we do the whole building blows up” he told her and Jennifer was shocked.
Frank had his head bowed as he tried to resist the pain as the two metal balls were crushing his hand. “What do you mean we can’t?” Well chop it off!” Jennifer screamed but Erick embraced her. The cameraman focused on Frank’s hand as Sarah stood in the corner shaking.
“Jennifer look, even if we chop Frank’s hand off, he is standing on a pressure switch. If he moves then we all blow up just the same” Erick explained and Jennifer tried to approach Frank but Erick would not let her. “The good thing is that device is only a switch, the bad is that it seems the bombs were already implanted as they made this building. The worst of it all is that there is a timer set as a backup trigger. They really made this well, if the main switch was stopped the timer would start and I think it already did” Erick said and Jennifer fell on her knees.
“Frank? Say something” Jennifer said but Frank remained silent. Several agents arrive and they escort Sarah and her cameraman out. “Wait!” Frank said and they all stopped. “That camera, can it broadcast live?” Frank asked and the cameraman nodded. “Good, set it up in front of me. Erick it was nice meeting you, please take care of Jennifer” Frank said. Jennifer stood up and tried to reach Frank but Erick stopped her, “Frank! Don’t do this Frank!” she shouted. One agent approached her and stuck a needle on her neck, several seconds later Jennifer fell asleep.
“I’m sorry Frank but we had to do it” Erick said. “I understand, now go. I would like to speak to everyone so if you could please ask everyone to watch the broadcast” Frank said and Erick nodded as tears started to fall down his cheeks. “Erick…please watch over her” Frank said as Erick and the others exited the door.
The building was totally evacuated; rescue units were parked two blocks away. Bystanders were asked to move back as the building was going to blow up any minute. Erick reached the van and John was surprised to see only the two of them. “Where’s Frank and why is Jennifer unconscious?” he asked. “Erick why are you crying?” Yehleen asked but as Erick released Jennifer he shut the door and turned on the small television. “You have to watch this” Erick said with a shaky voice.
Television programs stopped all around the world as the only feed they saw was Frank’s broadcast.
Frank stared at the camera and he smiled as if nothing was happening.
“Hello world! It’s me Frank. Okay first let me tell you that I am in pain because I have my hand stuck between two trigger balls. If I remove my hand then I go BOOM!” he said and he laughed out loud.
“Okay, let me tell you all a secret. We did not fool you all; it was just part of a plan to make the whole world better. Please don’t get angry, but there is no real superhero. I am not a superhero. I don’t have extraordinary powers. I am just an ordinary human being like all of you. I am just ordinary. The superhero that you all thought was just the ordinary me”
Look, I am even wearing a bullet proof vest. I got shot and I have the scar to prove it” he said as he unstrapped his vest with his other hand. He slowly lifted up his shirt and showed his scar. “There, remember when I jumped in front of the gun man to save the President’s son? Yep I got shot and I got hurt but I’m sure you didn’t know that” he said.
For ten minutes Frank tried to explain all the extraordinary feats that the people thought he had done. For ten minutes all the people around the world were surprised and could not believe his revelation.
“Please don’t get mad. It had to be done so that the criminals would have someone to be afraid of. I think it worked thought. Anyone can be a hero, well for now I think I am one since I was able to stop this bomb from detonating. Kidding aside, I am just ordinary like everyone. I can get hurt, but I can do wonderful things at the same time. You all can be heroes with even the simplest act of kindness towards anyone”
“Any moment now I will cease to exist. I really hated cameras and videos since I didn’t want to have something that people would remember me by. But today I wanted to tell the whole world about me. So please bear with me a little longer”
“You see almost a year ago I had my heart broken. For eight years I was happy, loving one person, and yes that is you Hannah. I do hope you are watching. Almost a year ago she left me to be with someone else. Please don’t get mad at her, we all deserve to be happy. She wasn’t happy with me anymore so she had to leave me to be happy. I know everyone wants happiness so Hannah, I still love you and I do forgive you”
“I am human, I felt pain, I became depressed and I tried to take my own life several times. That was how hurt I was. Then the government approached me and introduced Operation Salvation. A month later I was super Frank; yes we fooled you all but it was for the best of everyone. I am sorry”
“I met this girl, Jennifer, I hope she is awake now and watching this. I fell in love with her. I am human, I was hurt but I was able to love again. Just recently we had our first kiss, do you remember your first kiss? It felt great right? Yeah it did!” Frank said as he managed to laugh. At the same time Jennifer woke up and saw Frank’s face on the monitor.
“I love Jennifer, very much. But I broke a promise with her. I promised her that I would never die on her. I told her that I would like to spend the rest of my life with her. Isn’t that what love is all about? I love her but now I have to leave. I have to break the promise with her”
“Jen, I am really sorry. I didn’t plan all of these. How I wish I didn’t stick my hand in between these two balls. I meant everything I told you but I guess I have to make you cry again today” Frank said softly as he started to cry.
“Damn it I’m crying on live broadcast. Almost a year ago I wanted to end my life but since I met you Jennifer my life had a new meaning. I lived on for you but now no matter how hard it is for me…I have to say goodbye. I love you Jennifer”
“To everyone else that believed in me, I am sorry. Your superhero has to take leave now. My nose is itchy” he said and suddenly the screen went black.
A thunderous explosion was heard and dust and smoke started to fill the city block. The live feed from Frank was cut and a live feed from the outside area was beamed worldwide. Everyone witness the horror of the building blowing up.
“Frank!” Jennifer screamed loudly as the van was filled with people in tears. Gone was the first man she ever loved.
The whole world fell silent as they watched building crumble down. The ordinary man who they knew as their hero was already gone.
Even as the smoke has not cleared emergency people rushed towards the building. Bystander ran towards the ruin and tried to look for Frank. Heads of states with their security personnel joined the fray as they all got their hands dirty.
“What’s happening?” Yehleen asked but Erick ran outside and joined the others. More people gathered and helped out. They all screamed out Frank’s name, hoping that a miracle would happen. It was their time to save him, this time they all wanted to be his hero.
One day passed and more volunteer rescue workers arrived from other countries. All kept searching for him, even though it was said to be impossible they still tried. Being ordinary meant being human, being like everyone else. At the end of one week there was no sign of Frank, no one gave up but there was nothing else they could do but accept that Frank was gone.
Frank was just ordinary.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Chapter 17: Ordinary Me