Chapter 4: Show Time
A week passed everyone woke up to the sound of a loud alarm. Jennifer opened her door to take a peek outside and she saw the captain running out of his room. “Everyone wake up!!! It’s show time!!!” he shouted. “What do you mean show time?” Jennifer asked as John opened their room door yawning. “There is a hostage situation in the city and they told me this is the great time to introduce Frank. I will go ahead to assess the situation, Jennifer have Frank suited up, John and Yehleen man the control center, come on guys let’s move!!!” cap said.
Five minutes later Jennifer was suited up; she enters Frank’s room and wakes him up. “Get up and get dressed quickly!” she ordered. Frank got and looked at her, “What’s happening?” he asked. “Your first acting job, move it now will you!” she said. Two minutes later Frank was dressed, Jennifer strapped the bullet proof vest around him, “Hey I can put that on myself” he told her. “Shut up” she answered. “I’m scared” Frank said and Jennifer looked at him as she places a communications earpiece on his ear. “Oh come on, all you have to do is act, what is so scary about that?” she asked. “Yeah I know but what if I get shot?” he answered and Jennifer looked him in the eyes, she saw that he was really nervous. “Well if that happens then you could die and that’s what you want right?” she said. Frank sighed and bowed his head, “I guess you’re right” he answered.
As the two of them were in the car Jennifer noticed that he Frank was shaking and could not keep still. “Hey Frank I was just kidding you a while ago. I won’t let anyone harm you okay? So just stick to me, I am here to protect you” she told him. Frank looked at her and smiled, “Thanks, but I am really nervous right now” he said. “Relax, don’t think about it, and think of what makes you happy instead to calm your mind” she told him. Frank bowed his head and smiled, “I’d rather not” he said. “Oh yeah I am sorry, so just tell me about your training camp was it difficult?” she asked and Frank looked at her and he understood that she was trying to calm him down. “Yeah did you know cap snored really loud?” he said and they both laughed.
Once they arrived at the scene they waited inside the car for the go signal from cap. “Frank do you copy me?” Frank suddenly heard, he looked at Jennifer and asked “How come you sound like cap?” Jennifer laughed at pointed at the ear piece. “Oh sorry, how do I speak to him?” he asked. “Push this button on your collar then speak” she said. Frank pushed the button and smiled, “God is that you?” he said and everyone in the car was laughing. “Yes Frank this is God” Erick replied. “God you know what you snore really loud and did you know we couldn’t sleep and we wanted to throw you out of the bunker” Frank said and more laughter erupted. “Frank now is not the time for this, listen the situation is under control, tell Jennifer to bring you at the back of the building so we can brief you on how you are going to act this out” the captain said. “Okay but I think she can hear you too you know” Frank replied but Jennifer pouted. “Oh so you two have a lover’s quarrel so okay I will tell her” Frank said and Jennifer raised an eyebrow.
They drove to the back of the building; Jennifer went out to check the surroundings. “Come on Frank it’s all clear” she said. “Are you sure?” he asked. “Yeah come on quick” she ordered. Then ran inside the building where cap met them and briefed him on the act that he will play out.
“Cap are these people dead?” Frank asked. “No we put them to sleep so they won’t know what’s happening” Erick said. “So how will they know I saved them?” Frank asked. “We are going to wake them up and once they do you will be acting with some agents, sort of a fight scene, look at this rubber gun, you know what to do right?” Erick said and Frank smiled. “How come there are real bended guns around?” Jennifer asked. “Of course we must show evidence that it really happened, don’t worry the surveillance cameras are shut off now but later your fight scene shall be recorded. Okay let’s do this” Erick said and everyone got into play.”Okay time to wake up the hostages and everyone get ready to clear out!” Erick ordered. “What about the real suspects?” Franks asked. “Relax we have this covered, the only ones outside that are not on our side are the bystanders and the media” the captain explained.
Jennifer and Erick got on a van and watched from the monitor. As the hostages regained consciousness Frank started trading punches with one agent posing as a suspect. “Yeah! I taught him that move!” Erick yelled as he giggled in excitement. Another agent approached Frank and pointed a gun at him; Frank held the nozzle of the rubber gun and bent in making sure the hostages and the camera saw it. Frank managed to take out all the agents and Erick could not stop pumping his fist. “Damn he is good; oh wait time for the great finale! Okay guys smoke bomb now!” Erick ordered.
From the outside of the building everyone heard a loud blast from inside. The building was surrounded by cops and the media. There were lots of bystanders and secret agents who blended in with the crowd. Smoke started to come out of the broken windows and amid the smoke Frank emerged carrying one lady in his arms. The other hostages were following him out as the people around erupted in cheers and claps.
The van was shaking tremendously as Erick and Jennifer were celebrating. “That was so cool! It’s just like a real movie!” Jennifer shouted and the captain could not help wiggling in his seat. “Come on lets go meet him, oh boy even I was fooled” Erick said as they rushed out and ran towards the building.
Frank handed the lady to the paramedic who first approached him. The cops quickly went inside the building to clean up. Seconds later everyone saw several police men escorting the still drowsy suspects outside. The media ran towards Frank and surrounded him.
“I know you! You’re the superhero who came flying down to stop the robbers!” one yelled and Frank looked at the man and recognized him to be an agent. Frank smiled as the other media people began recognizing him, “Yeah you’re the guy who got shot twice in the grocery!” said a real reporter. People were crowding him too much but Erick managed to squeeze in and make space. “Now everyone calm down, I’m sure our hero would like to say things but we have to back up a bit and give him some space” Erick said.
The media people moved back but more reporters and camera men arrived to take pictures and videos of Frank. “Did the cops call you to help?” asked one lady reporter. “No I just happened to pass by, I was on my morning jog” Frank said and Erick and Jennifer looked at each other. “Tell us your name!” another one asked. “My name is Frank Miller” Frank said. “Frank tell us what happened inside” one shouted. “Well everything happened so fast but if you like you can ask for the surveillance video I am sure it caught everything that happened” Frank said and Erick smiled and nodded his head.
Frank answered so many questions for ten minutes but Jennifer signaled him that it was enough. As Frank was about to leave a lady reporter rushed towards him but Erick was able to stop her. “Frank! My name is Sarah Kelly, can you really fly?” she asked and Frank looked at every one of them. Frank stepped forward and everyone looked at him and remained silent. He slowly raised his arm and looked up, he bended his knees a bit and everyone started to look up. All cameras were tilted upwards; even Erick and Jennifer looked up.
“Why are you all looking up?” Frank asked and everyone looked at him some scratching their heads. Jennifer was laughing as Frank walked away from the crowd. “Sorry but I am hungry now and the cops offered to treat me for breakfast” Frank said as he ran towards the van and got in. The media people ran after the van but they quickly sped off.
“Did you see the looks on their faces when you pretended you were about to fly?” Jennifer asked and they all laughed. “You looked up too, were you expecting me to fly?” Frank said and Jennifer blushed but Frank smiled at her. “Damn! We should have planned your exit strategy too, anyway good job. Now it’s the media’s turn to spread the news” Erick said.
Just as expected the word went out to the whole city. News about Frank spread like wildfire over news programs nationwide and even internationally. All the local broadsheets had Frank as its cover and just as they predicted the hero mania was buzzing even on the internet.
Over breakfast they were still discussing about it, John was busy monitoring the internet buzz while Yehleen was analyzing the whole situation. “So Yehleen do you think the criminals dig into this news?” Erick asked. “It’s too early to tell, but for sure there are lots of people who are joining the bandwagon. Some may still be skeptical but it’s alright since its Frank’s debut” she said. “Well hundreds of blogs are talking about him and you wouldn’t believe the theories that they have, take for example one said Frank may have been exposed to gamma radiation, who is he the Hulk?” John said. “Speaking of Frank where is he?” Erick asked and looked at Jennifer. “Hey don’t look at me, I just woke up” she said.
All of them rushed to find him; John checked all surveillance footages, after five minutes of looking they end up back in the dining area. “Well? John any signs of him?” Yehleen asked and John shrugged his shoulders. “Last video footage of him was an hour ago he was leaving his room” John said and Erick ran towards the elevator, “I will go check downstairs, keep looking for him” he said.
Jennifer had a hunch so she rushed up to the roof. She found Frank leaning on an exhaust pipe sobbing so she approached him slowly. “You really scared us you know” she said and Frank quickly wiped the tears on his face. “I was just getting some fresh air” he replied. “Fresh air from an exhaust outlet? How convenient” Jennifer said as she sat down beside him. She noticed several cigarette butts scattered around and saw another tear flow down Frank’s cheek. “Smoking could kill you, consider quitting” she told him. “It helps me relax my mind” he answered. “You came up here to smoke or were you hesitating on jumping?” she asked.
Frank took a deep breath and smiled, “No, I don’t want to jump anymore, if I don’t get killed it surely would hurt all my bones and I hate needles” he said. “You know what I know that you are not really suicidal, you are scared to take your own life right?” Jennifer said. “Maybe” Frank replied. “Well, look here, you jumped from a second floor, I know you are intelligent so you knew from that height you surely won’t get killed. But about the grocery incident you were very daring indeed but your life was in the hands of another person so you didn’t have problems with that am I right?” she asked.
Frank took a deep breath and shrugged his shoulders and took out another cigarette. “You know what just let her go without knowing the real reason why” Frank shared and Jennifer took away the cigarette and tore it apart. “So up to now I don’t know what part of me she didn’t like but aside from the obvious physical reason I could not think of anything else” Frank said. “Love is not just about the physical aspect you know, she loved you for who you were but maybe there was a real reason why she had to leave” Jennifer said. “Maybe you are right…eight years and I can’t think of anything I did wrong” Frank said.
“Wow, eight years, maybe you really did something to make her go” Jennifer told him. “I met her eight years ago and I was already fat then. I liked her a lot but I didn’t expect anything since I knew that someone like me would be chosen at all. I just loved making her laugh when we were together, then one day she told me that she liked me too. For someone like me that was just like a fairy tale coming true. I mean rarely do you find fat guys landing a beautiful girl like her. From that day on she became the center of my life; I never wanted this rare chance to slip away. I did everything for her, she was my inspiration and even though I was irritated at her childish attitude at times, just one smile from her makes it all go away” Frank said as tears again started to flow down his cheeks.
“I turned down lots of opportunities to be rich just to be with her, maybe that’s where I went wrong. Or maybe it’s just me that’s wrong on the way I looked like. Maybe she realized that she didn’t want to be with a fat guy the rest of her life. Life just sucks” Frank related as he brought out another cigarette.
Jennifer remained silent for she did not know how to console him. Frank lit the cigarette and smiled, “Look the smoke makes me teary eyed” he said and Jennifer chuckled. She stood up and looked at him, “Do you promise me to just finish that and you wont jump?” she asked and Frank smiled at her. Jennifer walked away slowly and somehow she could feel the pain he was enduring. “Hey Jennifer, you called me pathetic for jumping from the second floor right?” Frank said and Jennifer turned and looked at him. “You want to know why I jumped from my terrace that day?” Frank asked and looked at her.
“It’s because the door to the roof was closed”
Friday, January 9, 2009
Chapter 4: Show Time