Chapter 1: Accidental Hero
It was one normal day in the city, lots of people walking briskly towards their destination. On the terrace of a second floor apartment building stood one man on top of the railings, head faced towards the sky and keeping his balance. He blocks all the noise from the car horns, the noisy chatter of people; he was listening to his own heart beat. He closes his eyes and memories from two months ago reappear on his mind.
“Hannah why are you packing your things? Where are you going?” he asked. “Moving to another state” Hannah replied. “Why? Are you not happy with your job here?” he asked her. “I am but I have to go” she said. “Let me come with you then, lets move together, just give me one day so I can settle things at the office” he pleaded. Hannah stopped for a moment and looked at him, “Frank, I don’t want you to come with me” she told him.
“Why? How can we be together if we are miles apart? Hannah please why are you doing this?” Frank asked. Hannah did not reply instead she zipped her bag and started to walk towards the door. “Goodbye Frank” she said as she held the door knob. Frank ran towards the door and embraced her. “Hannah please don’t say you are breaking up with me. Hannah we have been together for eight years. Is there a problem? Tell me if there is a problem. Did I do something wrong?” he asked. “No you didn’t” she whispered as tears started to fall down her cheeks. “So tell me then, why are you leaving me?” Frank said.
“Frank just let me go please” she begged. “Tell me why first, why are you leaving me?” he said. “Oh Frank please just let me go” she said. “Hannah I love you, don’t you love me too? How about our dreams? How will they come true if you are not with me?” Frank desperately told her. Hannah bowed her head, “Frank I have my own dreams…you have your own…” she whispered. “But Hannah you are my life, you are my everything, how am I supposed to live without you?” Frank said with a shaky voice as tears started to fill his eyes.
Hannah broke free from his embrace and she opened the door, Frank feel on his knees and bowed his head. “Frank I am sorry” she said. “Hannah without you my life is over” he whispered. “Every time we have a fight that is what you always say, I am leaving you and there is nothing you can do to change my mind. You say your life is over without me then go get a new one, go get a life!” she said as she slammed the door behind her.
He starts to hear again the noise of the city as he opens his eyes, the car horns from the streets, the chatters of passersby, and an old lady screaming for help. “I am sorry madam, how can I help you if I cant even help myself?” he uttered and he wiped his eyes but keeping his balance. He raised his arms and bent his knees; he leapt and dived towards the ground head first.
“Hey!!! Get out of the way!!!” Frank screamed as he was about to fall on two men on the street. The two men look up and see him falling towards them. It was too late, Frank fell on the two men and the three of them were sprawled on the pavement all dazed.
Frank slowly stood up shaking his head as he looked at the two men on the ground. “For Christ’s sake cant anyone have a decent suicide anymore?” he uttered as he scratched his head. An old lady comes running towards Frank grasping for air as she grew closer. “Thank you those two snatched my bag” she said as she panted. Frank took the bag and handed it to the lady, a few seconds later the cops arrived.
“Officer arrest this two, they tried to run away with my bag. And oh please bring this gentleman to the hospital and have him checked, he was the one who stopped them” the old lady said. “Oh no I am fine madam there is no need for that” Frank said as the cops take away the two men. “Okay then but will you accept this, it’s the least I can give you, don’t worry I won the lottery” she said as she handed him a bundle of money from her bag. “No, please there is no need for any reward, it was just an accident anyway” he told her. “Oh don’t be silly, I saw you jump from the second floor just to stop them. Anyway here is my card, give me a call if you need anything” the old lady said as she handed him her card. “Okay, I better get going now” he said. “Will you tell me your name then?” the old lady asked. “Its Frank Miller” he replied and smiled at her.
Frank walked away laughing at himself, his goal to take his own life took an unexpected turn. He could feel his body aching all over; he looks back at his apartment and kept laughing. “Nope, I will never do that again. If I fail again I am sure I would end up in the hospital” he told himself. “Excuse me are you talking to me?” a guy asked, Frank turned around and saw a blind man beside him. “No, I was talking to myself” he answered. “Oh, what a coincidence then a blind man bumping into a crazy man” the blind man said. The two of them started laughing for no reason at all. “Hey crazy man is the light still red?” the blind man asked. Frank looks at the traffic light and from red it turned green. “Nope, it just turned green, are you going to cross the street?” Frank said. “No, I am just going to wait for it to turn red and then I will cross the street” the blind man said. Frank paused and looked at the man, “I am kidding okay, what do you think of me, suicidal? Come on help me cross the street” the man said and they again started laughing as they crossed to the other side.
“Where are you going anyway?” Frank asked. “I am going to watch a movie” the man replied and again they burst into laughter as people stared at them. “Hey they are staring at us” Frank said, “Where? Where? I can’t see them” the man said and the more the two of them laughed. “So does the crazy man have a name?” The blind man asked. “He sure does, its Frank. And the blind man’s name would be?” Frank replied. “Arnold, so Frank where are you going?” Arnold said. “Oh I am going to try and kill myself again” Frank said. Arnold laughed and patted his back, “Okay good luck with that, maybe we see each other again soon and I can tell you about the movie and you can tell me how you tried to kill yourself” Arnold told him. “Yeah sure, if I’m still alive. Take care of yourself and say hi to your two pals” Frank said. “Ahahaha…I get it three blind mice, you take care too crazy man, and maybe you should try jumping from a higher place next time” Arnold said and Frank was surprised. “Hey, wait how did you know?” Frank said but Arnold stretched out his walking stick and walked away.
A few blocks down the street Frank stood still and stared at a grocery, he had the urge to enter but he did not know why. He tried to think of stuff he needed to buy but nothing came on his mind. He entered the grocery and walked trying to remember the goods he lacks in his apartment. Suddenly a gunshot was heard, “Everybody drop on the ground!!!” he heard a man yell. Everyone on the grocery screamed and dropped on the ground, a person tried to run but more shots were fired forcing the escapee to drop to the ground.
“Hey are you crazy? Get down on the ground now or else he will shoot you” a lady beside Frank said. Frank just looked at the lady and smiled at her, “Don’t worry ma’am it’s just what I need actually” he told her. Frank walked towards the man and the gun was pointed to his chest. “Are you trying to be a hero? Do you want to die?!!!” the man shouted at him. “Maybe, come on pull the trigger” Frank dared him. “Get down now!!! I am warning you don’t take another step unless you are ready to die!!!” the man yelled. Frank took two more steps forward and the man with gun started shaking. “Funny thing is I was trying to kill myself this morning, so why don’t you just do me a favor and pull the trigger already” Frank said.
“Hey are you crazy? I am not joking, move back or else I am really going to shoot you!” the man said and he pointed the gun to the side and fired it. Frank did not flinch and he took another step forward, the man pointed the gun again towards his chest. “Waste of bullet, you should have shot me instead” Frank told him. Sirens were heard from the outside and Frank took another step closer, “Well the cops are outside, so I guess that makes me a hero again” he said but the man fired his gun and Frank froze. “You shot me!!!” Frank yelled and the man was surprised to see him still standing so he fired another shot at the same spot.
“Ouch!!! That hurts you know!!!” Frank screamed and rushed towards the man, the man still could not believe what was happening dropped the gun; Frank held on to the man’s shirt and tossed him towards the aisle. The floor was reeking wet with detergent fluid so the man skidded far away. The cops enter and point their guns at Frank, “Put your hands up!!!” the cops said. “Shoot me!!!” Frank answered.
“No!!! It’s not him!!! He saved us all!!!” yelled the woman. “The robber is over there” said another man as he pointed toward the suspect. The cops run towards the suspect as the lady ran towards Frank. “Hey you were shot are you okay?” she asked. Frank looks at the hole at his jacket and places his hand inside; he brings out his PDA which had a hole. “I should have left this at home” he said. “Oh thank God you are okay, thank you” the lady said. The store owner approaches Frank and hugs him, “You are a good man you, thank you” he told him.
Frank decided to call it a day so he headed back to his apartment. He got on the bed and he reached inside his pocket and found two bullets there. Two times he tried to get rid of himself but he ended up being a hero twice. He takes out his damaged PDA and removes the memory card, he gets up and take out a new PDA from his drawer replaces the memory card with the older one.
He lies back and turns the gadget on, opens the message folder and starts to read the only message stored there.
Hi Frank. I’m at work. I miss you already. I love you and don’t forget that. See you later.
A message from Hannah dated four years ago, a message he has read more than a hundred times. He turn his head towards a table stand, a picture of him and Hannah years back, he was still happy then. “I miss you Hannah, please come back to me” he whispers as he closes his eyes and goes to the only place where they can be together…in his dreams.
A few hours later Frank woke up feeling hungry, he has not eaten the whole day. He walks out of his room and was surprised to see several men in his living. “Oh Mister Miller you are finally awake, come have a seat” said an old man seated on his couch. “Who are you guys and what are you doing here? And how the hell did you get in?” Frank asked. “Relax Mister Miller we are from the government and we are here to offer you a job” the old man said as two well suited men approach Frank. “Please have a seat sir” one man said and was shaking all over. Frank sat down across the old man, “You might be terrified right now but I promise you we mean no harm and like I said we are from the government, my name is Senator David Richards, and these men are from the FBI, CIA, Homeland security, name it they are all here” the Senator said.
“What do you want from me? I don’t want a job” Frank said. The Senator signals the man guarding the door and he opens the door and another man enters with a box of pizza. “I am sure you are hungry, come join me let’s eat” the Senator said. Frank didn’t think twice as he took one slice, “Well you see Mister Miller, we saw what you did this morning and we know all about you” the Senator said. “No everything this morning was just an accident” Frank said as he took a bite. “Yes we know that, twice you failed already on taking your own life so let’s just say we are very interested in you. Since you want to throw your life away, why not make good use of it first and serve the government” the old man offered. Frank took a deep breath as he chewed slowly, taking a good look at each man in the room.
“What am I supposed to do assassinate your opponent for re-election or better yet kill the president?” Frank asked and the Senator laughed. “We are on the good side mister Miller, what we want of you is to become a hero, a superhero” the old man said and Frank almost choked as he started laughing. “That is the most outrageous thing I ever heard and to make it worse it came from you a Senator. Oh boy a superhero, no wonder our country is in recession right now because of crazy people like you” Frank said and the men standing started laughing. The Senator held his head up and the men stood still, “Look Mister Miller I am not joking, you are right the country is in recession, crime rate is up, the criminals are not afraid anymore of the police, the terrorists are not afraid of us anymore. We have lost lots of leverage, sooner or later if all of this continues there will no longer be a home of the brave and of the free” the Senator said.
Frank looked at the old man as he took another slice of pizza, “Okay I am listening, hey tell them to seat down and order another box or two and let them eat too” he said. “There will be no need for that they are trained for this” the old man said. “Yeah, if you want to talk to me at my home you have to abide by my rules or we don’t talk at all” Frank said and the Senator took a deep breath and gave the signal.
A few minutes later five more boxes of pizza arrive and all guards were seated comfortably. “That’s better, okay so you were saying I am to be a hero?” Frank said. “Yes, although we know that is really impossible but we have to make it possible. What the country needs right now is a symbol of hope, what the criminals need is someone to fear about, so you mister Miller will be the new symbol of hope and fear at the same time” the Senator said.
Frank was giggling but tried to keep his composure, “Are you serious? Who the hell would believe that I am a superhero? Hey who are you fooling? It might work if everyone were children but even though I go wear tights and a mask only a few kids would even believe I am a superhero” he said laughing. “Mister Miller we are serious, we already have a plan and the government is very powerful. Leave everything to us, if this plan fails then it was worth the try we are going to compensate you very well. But if the plan works you will be doing a great service for the country, so what do you say?” the senator said.
“Will there be a chance I get killed in action?” Frank asked. “Well yes of course, if the plan works then all our enemies will be targeting you” the old man said.
“Good, then count me in”