OM2: Not Quite Ordinary
By Paul Diaz
By Paul Diaz
“I will never die on you”
Jennifer gets up and looks around her room, searching for the man who once told her those words. It has been a month since they bade Frank goodbye but still she could not believe it. She gets out of bed and goes to the terrace outside her room; she takes a deep breath and closes her eyes.
“Jenny, are you okay?” a soft voice asked. “I am alright mom, go back to bed” she replies. Liza embraces her daughter and caresses her back. “The same bad dream?” she asked. “How can I move on if I keep having these kinds of dreams?” she asked. “It’s because you don’t want to move on. Wait, do you smell that?” her mother said as the two close their eyes and smell the same scent of the fresh lilies found only on the pond near their farm house.
“Every morning mom, I know we are in the city already but the last time I smelled the same scent was when I was with him last Christmas” Jennifer shared. Liza smiled and suddenly missed their old house, “You never told me this, but it feels as if we are at home in the farm” Liza said. “Exactly, I never told you and dad because you might think I am going crazy and imagining things. I thought maybe I just miss him so much so my mind was playing tricks on me” Jennifer explained.
“This house he gave us, so he will always be with us. Come on inside dear its cold out here” Liza said. “He promised me that he would never die on me” Jennifer softly said as she bowed her head. “Hush dear, are you sure that he isn’t really a super human being?” her mother asked. “Oh mom how many times do I have to tell you that it was all an act, he was just ordinary” Jennifer said as the two ladies entered the room.
Amidst the shadows of the huge tree on the lawn sat a man holding a bunch of lilies. “I never broke my promise Jen” he whispered as Papo calmly sat beside him. “Well I have to go boy, I will be back again tomorrow. Did you like the steak meat?” he asked and the dog playfully started licking him. “I miss you too Papo. Okay off I go but again you keep an eye on her okay?” the man said as he hugged the dog. “Oh get rid of these lilies too” he added and the dog obediently took one lily and ran towards the neighbor’s house. The man started laughing and scratched his head, “Its either I am going crazy or that dog is really intelligent” he whispered.
As the early sun peeked several men were gathered in front of the bronze shrine of the world’s Ordinary Hero. All of them were at full attention wearing neat military uniforms. “Hey Franky, its me Erick. I have the whole troop with me. Well we have leads on who masterminded the attack so we are being deployed to go get them. Well actually it was not supposed to be us but I fought for it and told the upper ups that it had to be us. We are going to get them for you Frank…I think the boys want to be with you now” Erick said as he started to wipe his tears.
One at a time Frank’s troop mates spoke to him even if he was not really there. After everyone has spoken they all line up and saluted.
Two hours later an SUV parked in front of Jennifer’s home, Yehleen stepped out of the car and looked back at John. “You wait here and I will go and get her” she said. “Do you think she is still mad at us?” John asked. Yehleen shrugged her shoulders but managed to smile, “Well if she still, I know she would be happy to hear the good news” she said as she walked towards the door.
Yehleen was about to knock but the door opened; Jennifer quickly stepped out and walked towards the car. “Let’s go” she said. “Well good morning and nice to see you too” Yehleen told her and Jennifer laughed but got at the back seat of the car. The psychologist followed and the three remained silent for a moment. “Well aren’t you going to start the car and drive?” Jennifer asked and John nodded his head and turned on the engine.
There was silence inside the car as they traversed the way back to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Office, but Jennifer could not take it anymore. “So how are you two?” she asked. “I am really sorry Jennifer, it had to be done and I hope you are not mad at us” Yehleen said as John shook his head. “You should have not brought that up” he told his fiancée.
“Thirty days forced leave” Jennifer quipped and Yehleen turned to look at her. “Jen look, it’s part of my job. I know you had to grieve and recover so I signed and forced John to sign to” she explained. “Being idle at home, a house he gave us. It made me think of him more. I would rather have been working to keep my mind off but it’s okay I do understand that it had to be done so don’t sweat it” Jennifer told her. “Are you sure you are not mad?” Yehleen asked and the blond agent smiled at her.
“So tell me what have you two been up to?” Jennifer asked. “Well amazingly crime rate has gone way down thanks to all ordinary heroes who want to be like him. So we had all our attention focused on looking for the mastermind” John said. “So did you find out who was responsible?” Jennifer asked. “Yep, we have major leads pointing to someone in the middle east, oh Erick and his troop have been sent over there. Can you imagine what this guy did? He built that building for that purpose alone, I am sure he isn’t alone on that planning but at least once we get him the rest may follow” the man explained and the young agent clenched her fists and looked out of the window. “How I wish I was with them” she whispered.
“Frank hats, jackets, comic books and even toy figures are hot items and John has them all” Yehleen said and Jennifer started laughing. “Don’t tell me we all have action figures” Jennifer said. “Nope but they are planning to make a movie and we are included” John excitedly said. “Really? When is it coming out?” Jennifer asked. “Ah about that, they actually interviewed us but we said if they really wanted the story of Frank they would have to ask you” Yehleen told her and Jennifer’s mind began to wander away.
The car stopped since the traffic light was red and someone caught Jennifer’s attention. “Hey isn’t that Michael?” she asked as she pointed at the little kid about to cross the street. “Oh yeah! The superhero mania probably caught up with him too. Look at him guiding that blind man cross the street” John said as they all watched.
Michael held the blind man’s hand, his other hand was pointing towards the cars signaling to stop as the two walked slowly. As the kid gripped the blind man’s hand he starts to shiver because that hand seemed like the hand of the man who always walked him to school. As they reach the other side Michael looked up at the blind man and said “I knew you were alive but no one believed me”
Tears started to fall down the child’s face; the blind man knelt down on one knee and started to wipe them. “I am sorry to make you worry Michael but I am so proud of you” the man said and Michael immediately hugged him. “They wouldn’t believe me” the child cried. “Hush now, I am here but I have to ask you to keep this a secret for a little bit longer” the blind man replied.
“Aw will look at that, that boy is so sweet” Yehleen said as they all looked at the two hugging each other. Car horns started to beep; the traffic light was already green so John started to drive. As they moved Jennifer could not take her eyes off the two and Yehleen could not help but notice. “Is there something wrong Jen?” she asked.
Jennifer faced front but looked back one last time and shook her head, “Oh its nothing, I just thought…no it’s nothing” she said.
(For those who have not read Book 1 click here )