Friday, January 9, 2009


Paul Diaz

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”

Ordinary Me Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Operation: Salvation

Days later Frank was brought to a five storey warehouse along the docks. From the outside the building looked so old and it seemed as it would collapse anytime soon. As they entered everything inside was different, Frank could not believe his eyes. “You seemed surprised mister Miller” said a well built military officer who approached him. “Hello, I am Captain Erick Harrison, please follow me and let me show you around” the captain said.

“You see it may look like an ordinary warehouse from the outside but this is a high-tech facility. As you can see we have lots of monitors around set up for observing the whole city. Oh yes the operation shall start city-wide first and if it is successful we shall go state wide then the whole country. Upstairs is where you will be staying, don’t worry the rooms upstairs are let’s just say cozy enough” Erick said. Frank could not believe what he was seeing, he thought that the whole plan was just a joke but now he could really see how serious they were.

They walked towards the far end of the floor and enter a room, a long table was set up and there were four people inside and only one he could recognize. “Frank, come in have a seat and meet the team” the senator said. Frank sat down and looked around, he saw an attractive woman with glasses seated beside a thin man on a wheelchair, across them was another attractive lady with blonde hair who was staring at him.

“Now that the team is complete I think we should start, but first let me introduce you to your team members. Everyone, this is Frank Miller and he will be our super hero” the senator said and lady with blond hair started laughing. “I can imagine what his super name would be…FAT MAN!” she said and she continued laughing. “Jennifer, don’t be rude to Frank. Jennifer here will be your handler, in layman’s terms she will be your body guard of sorts” the senator said. Jennifer shook her head and looked away, “Now the other lady here is Doctor Yehleen Pratt, she is a criminal psychologist and the man beside her is our resident genius as he would like to be called, John Mark Morris” the senator added. “Hey you can call me JM or Brainiac if you like” John said. Frank just smiled at the two and nodded his head.

“And the last member of the team I’m sure you have met, Captain Erick Harrison, he will be your trainer and point man during operations if ever they are needed. The heads of the police department and all government agencies will be at our disposal, all our operations. The police chief could not be here with us today but he is likewise a member of this team” the old man said. Frank looked surprised and reacted, “What do you mean trainer? What do you mean operations if needed?” he asked. “Yes about that, you will just be a poster boy; you will not be in actual operations. You shall only appear after the operation is done, to appear to the media perhaps” the senator explained.

“Hey! That was not part of the deal! Remember what you promised me!” Frank stated. “Now now relax let me explain first. Ladies and gentlemen this secret operation shall be called Operation Salvation. Frank here will be made to look like the hero but in actual situations there will be operatives doing the real works citywide. Once a major crime has been prevented or stopped that is the only time you have to show up in order for the people to know that you exist” the senator explained.

“Focus your attention on the screen, this is interesting because Frank the people already know about you” the senator added. He turned on the screen and a new report was being played.

“Superhero sighting, yes you heard me right. We have obtained video evidence that there might be a real superhero living within our city. Take a look at the first video; this was taken by an eyewitness last week using her phone. Two robbers stole a bag and out of nowhere a man came flying down from the sky to stop them” the reporter said as everyone watched the video on the screen.

“Hey! That is not what happened!” Frank reacted but the senator signaled him to be quiet.

“Another video from a grocery surveillance camera showed the same man stopping a robber, take a look at this video as the hero was shot twice on the chest but he was still able to throw the suspect at a far distance. We do not have a clear picture of the hero’s face but this is enough evidence to prove that one does really exist. Let me ask you how many people can fly? How many people cannot be harmed by gun shots? Sounds like a fantasy but you have seen the evidence ladies and gentlemen. This is Sarah Kelly reporting for TNX New live”

The screen was turned off and the senator stood in front, “There you have it, this has been shown over and over again and the people of the city do believe that a superhero does exist already and that hero is you Frank” the senator said.

“But that is not what happened!” Frank shouted. “Yes I know, we did some editing on the videos before we gave it to the media. Don’t worry about eyewitnesses they have been well compensated to keep their mouths shut. So in short Frank you are now a certified superhero of the city” the old man added.

“Geez, you sure have fooled a lot of people that’s for sure. Anyway what’s with this training stuff if I don’t even get to see any action?” Frank inquired. “Yes, about that, well you see this operation will require the superhero to be all around the city at the same time. We know that is not possible so we assembled a team of fifty cops to be you” the senator said. “To be me? I get it, they will be scattered around and wait for crimes to happen, and so tell me then what if a crime happens at the same time and the media is there at both times? Two superheroes?” Frank said.

“We already thought of that scenario that is why each of your clones will have a partner, communications will be very important. The job of the people in this office shall assess which crime should be given attention to by our hero, oh of course we will stop both crimes but we have to choose only one where our hero appears. It’s the same if three or more happen at the same time, the more sensational the crime that is where the hero will be but rest assured all crimes shall be stopped” the old man said.

Frank nodded and took a deep breath. “So tell me why do I have to train?” he asked. “Because you’re fat” Jennifer replied. “What the heck is that? Can’t a fat man be a hero? Do you really have to be that discriminating?” Frank reacted and he slammed the table. Jennifer turned away and played with her pen. “Now listen Frank, it’s not that we are discriminating you being fat. It’s just that you cannot expect us to make fifty clones of you fat, they are officers and their bodies are let’s say lean, so instead of bulking them up let’s just sacrifice you and you trim down a little” the captain explained.

“In short your fat” Jennifer quipped and Frank bowed his head. “Hey don’t worry even though your fat you are still cute” Yehleen said and John stared at her. “Oh my hubby is jealous, don’t worry John you are the only one I love even though you are crippled” she added as she embraced him. “So for a month you will be with me, I’m going to trim you down boy and teach you some skills that maybe useful, you never know when you are already famous people might attack you” Erick said.

“Who the hell would try and kill themselves by jumping from the second floor, that is pathetic” Jennifer suddenly said. “Jennifer shut up!” the senator ordered. “Only a dumbass would do that” she added. “Jennifer I am warning you! Dumbass you say? Frank has a degree in Electronics and mechanical engineering, he has a master’s degree in information technology and probably even if we combine your IQ and my IQ it still would not match his so be careful with the words you use” the senator scolded her.

“Wow, so I can’t use Brainiac anymore, that sucks” John said. “Ah before we dismiss what uniform would you prefer Frank?” Erick asked. Frank sat back and shrugged his shoulders, “well make it look normal, normal clothes maybe, jeans and a shirt will do, let them wear a black jacket and a black cap since I’m sure there will problems with facial recognition. This project of yours may be on the fantasy side but in order for the people to accept this here more he should be just a normal person like them” he replied and Yehleen nodded her head in agreement.

“Okay then, see you all in a month. Jennifer stay behind we need to talk” the senator said.

Frank walked out quickly with his head bowed but Yehleen and John caught up with him. “Hey Frank don’t mind Jennifer, she is really a nice person but she has issues” Yehleen said. “No its okay, she was just being honest” he said. “Hey Frank, if you don’t mind me asking why do you want to…you know…die?” John asked and Frank stopped and looked them. “John try imagining losing Yehleen for reasons you don’t know, what would you feel?” he said. John looked at Yehleen and remained silent, “Sorry but I have to go now, see you soon” Frank said as he and the Captain left for training camp.

Ordinary Me Chapter 3

Chapter 3: About Franky

Thirty days have passed and the conference room was filled with people. Salvation team members were present along with the heads of different government agencies were well seated. Standing in front was Captain Erick Harrison and all focus was on him.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please focus your attention on the screen. For thirty days it was my task to train the subject Frank Miller, this is what he looked like a month ago” he said and on the screen surveillance videos of Frank appeared including the two video clips of his heroics.

“I was tasked to train him, make him physically fit and capable of defending himself in one month but there is little we can teach in that amount of time so we focused on physical conditioning and some basic self defense skills. We let him join a troop of young recruits of the marines, he bunked with them, trained with them and he was treated the same like them. He never complained, as you can see in the video whatever the new recruits did he likewise did, although we had to give him extra and advanced training and even though his body could not take it anymore he still woke up the next day and did some more.”

“I have been in service for a long time and this is the first time I had a troop of recruits where not even one gave up. Even at the point where they were all drained out we the officers were surprised that they still had the strength to laugh all night and wake up on time the next morning. Hell week as we call it seemed like a normal training week to them, we were surprised so we tried to find out what was happening during night times. With their bodies aching and all of them in their beds, Frank was still standing making them all laugh, telling jokes about his being fat, even making silly jokes about me and the officers. Can you imagine bunch of men massaging in other? Well see for yourself, I don’t know how Frank convinced them but they did it and they are still doing it now”

“There were reports of some recruits who wanted to quit but when we confronted them they had already changed their minds. We asked them why and they all had the same answer, ‘Franky talked to me’. To our curiosity we the officers bunked with them for a night, the recruits were tense since we were there but Frank just continued his antics. We the officers actually enjoyed it and as the recruits saw us laughing and enjoying, the tension was gone. Amazingly we the officers bunked with them from that day on. Yes we even had to join in their group massage”

“I must congratulate you Senator for finding Franky, he sure is something. But let me tell you one big problem with him. Within one month he tried to kill himself four times, let me tell you we guarded him well after the first try but he is very sneaky ever since, in short he outwitted us, he sweet talked us to look the other way. He manipulated us to pretend he was okay. After the first attempt I asked the recruits to watch over him, thus they foiled his next three attempts”

“Whatever pain is causing him to do this must be so deep; I myself have never experienced that kind of pain that would want me to take my life. So that is the only problem with Frank, we must make sure someone is watching him constantly” the captain said.

“Hey cap is that Frank on the screen?” John asked and the captain laughed. “Oh no, he never wanted us to capture his video so wherever we hid the camera he always knew. But we were able to capture him from the backside, but still he knew it. We asked him why and the reason he gave was ‘so that there will be no memories of me when I die’” Erick said.

“Let me share with you this video clip taken yesterday as he left camp, I can’t say more just watch it” the captain added. On the screen was video taken by a hidden camera inside the sleeping quarters, recruits lined up all with heads bowed down as Frank hugged them one by one. All were crying and emotional and three of the recruits even blocked the door so that Frank would not be able to step out. “Up to now I get emotional watching this video, I don’t know what Frank did to them but can you imagine the effect if he did the same to the public?” the captain said with a shaky voice.

The lights turned back on and most of the people in the room were teary eyed. The captain took his seat and everyone looked to the center. “So are the clones ready?” the senator asked. “Yes they are senator, they have been assigned to major key locations around the city” the chief of police said. “We must begin this operation immediately, according to our sources the terrorist cells are on the move, several cells are known to be in this city” the chief of homeland security said. “But for sure they won’t only be in this city, how about the other cities?” the chief of police asked. “Yes we cannot deny the fact that it is only not this city but reports tell us that they are planning something big here and we must stop them at all costs. If we stop them here then hopefully the other cells would take notice and back down” the senator added.

“We already have blocked suspected bank transfers to known terrorist operatives, so rest assured they would be lacking funds to mount something big. But if they are desperate they will find a way and that we all know is resorting to the crimes that we are used to. But they are itching to take our country down lets not forget that so for sure they will find a way to attack, maybe not now or tomorrow but we should be ready and we must be one step ahead of them, better yet two steps ahead” the senator said.
“So how does this superhero thing help?” Jennifer asked. “Well right now we all have our hands full, petty crimes, local criminals and terrorists. If this operation is successful then we can reduce the crime rate by a big margin. If we are able to instill fear on criminals then that is a good thing, we can focus our resources in stopping the terrorist cells” the senator explained.

“And how about the other cities? I’m sure all the people would want this hero to be on their city too” Jennifer said. “Yes you are correct that is why right now all other city governments are preparing their own clones, but for now we shall start the operation in this city” the senator added.

“So everything seems to be all set, so where is Frank?” Yehleen asked. The senator looks at Erick and the captain picks up the phone. A few seconds later there was a knock on the door, “Come in Frank” the senator said.

The door opened and Frank entered the room, all eyes were on him. “Ladies and gentlemen, the new Frank Miller” Erick said and everyone clapped. Frank was no fat guy no more, he was supporting a crew cut, his body looked well built just like a military person, and the two ladies in the room could not take their eyes of him. Frank took a seat and smiled at everyone, “Can I eat normal food now?” he said and everyone started laughing. “Would you like pizza again Mister Miller?” the senator asked. “Are you sure all these people eat pizza? They look so serious and it seems they eat people” Frank quipped and again the room erupted in laughter.

“Hey Frank you look more handsome now, I’m thinking of dumping John for you” Yehleen joked. “Oh thirty days with all men has changed me, I like men now so I think I will take John away from you” Frank replied. “I’m just kidding, I would never leave John” Yehleen retracted. “Well I am not joking, hi John” Frank said with a womanly voice and everyone again was laughing as John shook his head.

After lunch the team members were showed to their rooms upstairs. The second floor was still an office area; the third floor was employees’ quarters. The fourth floor was divided into two; there was a gym facility, a game room, a kitchen and a dining area, and one big living room. The fifth floor was reserved for team members; there were only four big rooms, one on each corner.

As the elevator door opened John quickly rolled out and picked a room. “Two rooms have terraces, Frank you are not allowed to have any of those rooms, John and Yehleen you will have one room, and Jennifer you take the other room with a terrace” the captain said. “Your rooms will have their own toilet and bath area; sorry no television sets because since we are a team everyone has to share the television on the floor below. We shall be having breakfast, lunch and dinner all together, just like one big family. If there is anything you need just ask” Erick told them.

“Frank please follow me this way, I will show you your room” Erick said and they walked toward the end of the floor. They entered the room and Frank took a deep breath, Jennifer and the others took a peek inside and they were shocked to see the state of his room. “You can’t be serious!” John said. “It looks like a comfortable detention cell, no windows at all” Yehleen uttered. “It’s okay, I’m fine with this” Frank said as he walked towards the bed and sat down. “Frank I’m sorry, it had to be done” Erick told him. “Its fine, I understand why. Can you leave me alone…oh there are cameras so I guess I have no alone time too. I want to take a nap if that’s okay with you all” Frank said as he got on the bed and relaxed.

They left him and proceeded to the captain’s room where everyone sat down. “Now if you noticed Frank’s room has no windows and I am sure you all know why. His doors have no locks, and there are cameras installed to watch his every move. In your rooms there are monitors so that we all can watch him. There are people downstairs who will be watching him too. Even his bathroom is not spared I should say so I don’t know what you shall be seeing but whatever it is never talk about it. If you see he tries to do something suspicious go and stop him at once” Erick told them.

“I am just curious, with the power of the government; we could have chosen another guy. I mean we could easily make fake videos, we could have paid fake eyewitnesses and all that, so tell me why him?” Jennifer asked. “I really don’t know, I never asked the senator why” Erick answered. “We could have chosen a non-suicidal guy, now we end up with probably a nut case; sorry to say this out loud but what happens when he succeeds in killing himself? We would be the laughing stock of the whole world, can you imagine HERO TAKES OWN LIFE” she added. “That’s why we are here to make sure he doesn’t” Erick said and Jennifer shook her head.

“Yeah right, it’s just as if you want us to babysit this nut job for 24 hours, I’m sure he would find a way because he is brilliant as you say” Jennifer added and the captain stood up enraged. “Look here agent, we have been a team for several years now, last mission we had you had the subject killed because of your attitude! They pegged you to a desk job after that, now they are giving you this chance to redeem yourself and that is how you are going to act? Shame on you! We vouched for your return, if you plan on getting him killed you better tell us now because let me be the first one to shoot you in the head!” Erick yelled. “Hey stop it you two! Whatever happened in the past stays in the past; this is our chance to make amends. Everyone felt badly about what happened last time so shut it cap! You can’t put all the blame on her; we all are at fault but this time let’s make this work okay?” John said. Silence filled the room as their tempers simmered down; Jennifer stood up and left without saying a word. A few seconds later Yehleen and John followed.

Around six in the evening Frank knocked on the door of Jennifer, a few seconds later she opened her door. “What do you want?” she asked. “I would like to invite you to dinner…” he said but immediately Jennifer raised an eyebrow. “Oh, so you think just because you look good now that gives you the right to hit on me already” she said. “No that’s not the case” Frank replied. “You may look more handsome now but I will never go out with you so go away and leave me alone!” she said and she slammed her door.

Frank bowed his head as he walked towards the elevator; Erick, Yehleen and John were waiting for him there. “Frank don’t mind her for now, come on lets go celebrate your birthday” John said and Frank smiled at them. “Hey cap how about my troop mates?” Frank asked as the elevator door closed. “Relax Franky everyone will be there” Erick assured.

Ordinary Me Chapter 4

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”

Ordinary Me Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Ice Queen and Papo

Over breakfast one morning everyone tried to stay away from reading the newspaper. For two months all the headlines all over the country were about Frank and his heroics. “How come it’s always been you and Cap on the pictures?” John complained. “Oh shut up you don’t do field work remember?” Jennifer replied. “The pancakes are getting cold Jennifer, you should go wake up Frank now” Yehleen said. “Don’t bother he went out for his daily jog, relax he is just nearby” Erick said. “Since when has he gone out jogging in the morning?” Jennifer asked. “About a month now, don’t worry he always comes back with donuts” Erick explained. “Donuts? What donuts?” John asked and Erick laughed. “Sorry it is I who sees him first so we eat everything on the roof” he said. John frowned and stared at Erick, “You are selfish! You eat it on the roof so I can’t go there right?” John said and Erick acted innocent.

“Are you sure Frank is okay?” Jennifer asked. “My Jennifer you seem concerned about Frank” Yehleen teased her. Jennifer looked away and raised her eyebrows, “It’s not what you think, I am just doing my job” Jennifer explained. “Hmmm…when he is around you are rude to him, but when he is not you act so concerned” Yehleen added and Jennifer stared at her angrily.

“Here, a GPS monitor, I placed a tracker in his watch” Erick said and handed the device to Jennifer. She took a look and saw Frank was just three blocks away. “You like him don’t you?” Yehleen asked and Jennifer stood up, “I said its just work okay?!” she yelled. John, Erick and Yehleen smiled at each other as Jennifer walked towards the living room and turned the television on.

“Guys take a look at this!!!” Jennifer yelled and the three came rushing towards the living room.

“I am just outside the old orphanage as you can see the building caught fire. Several children have come out with the orphanage management but they say there are still a lot of children inside. Firefighters are on their way but according to bystanders they saw a man enter the burning building only a few minutes ago” the reporter said.

“Poor children, I hope they all got out safely” Yehleen said. “That sure is one big fire, at least one person was courageous enough to enter” Erick commented. “Yeah, maybe he thinks he could be a hero like Frank. This isn’t a movie pal!”John said. “Wait, isn’t that building three blocks away from here?” Yehleen added and they all looked shocked.

“Frank!!!” they shouted in unison.

“Wait there are more children coming out of the building along with two adult figures. I am going to get closer. Excuse me sir are you the one who entered the building just minutes ago?” the reporter said. “No…no…he is inside two more children upstairs…Frank is inside” the man said.

John and Erick rush towards the elevator as John sends out an emergency call downstairs. “John you know what to do!” Erick yelled as the elevator door closed. “Yeah I am on it!” John replied. “Wait look its Frank!”Yehleen yelled and Jennifer prevented the door from closing and they ran towards the television.

On the screen the camera focused on Frank as he walked out the door carrying two children with him. It was just like a movie, the burning building as back draft and Frank walking out with two children smiling as he approached the camera. Yehleen was in tears so as with John, “Damn you Frank you are just like a real superhero now” John said and everyone laughed. Jennifer stood up and walked towards the elevator, “Where are you going Jennifer?” John asked. “Where else to pick him up of course” she said with a straight face.

The three smiled at each other and laughed. “She is concerned about him “Erick said. “I can see it in her eyes she really like Frank, she is just trying to hide her feelings that’s why she acts rude to him often” Yehleen explained. “Yeah but Frank does not feel the same way about her, he is still you know, oh well at least he has not been trying to kill himself lately” John added. “Hey do you think Frank has moved on?” John asked and Yehleen pouted, “I really don’t know, eight years is tough, it would take half of that to totally erase her from memory, but the moving on part I am not sure” Yehleen said and the elevator door opened and Jennifer stepped out.

“I thought you were going to pick him up?” John asked. “I changed my mind, he knows how to get home by himself” Jennifer said as she sat down on the couch. The three remained silent and smiled at each other.

Thirty minutes later the elevator door opened and Frank stepped out holding two boxes of donuts. “I’m home!” he said and Erick rushed towards him to get one box. John wheeled quickly to take the other and Yehleen hugged Frank. As Frank was about to seat on the couch Jennifer stood up and slapped him on the face. Frank was stunned and so as the others. “Never do that again! You had them worried!” she said and she walked towards the elevator and headed up to her room.

Frank sat down and Yehleen sat beside him, Erick and John munched on the donuts as if they were having an eating contest. “She was worried about you” Yehleen said as Frank was still feeling the sting on his cheek. “Sorry guys, it just happened and I just did what was right” Frank said. “No need to apologize dude, but keeping the donuts from me every day that is really bad” John said and they laughed.

“Look heart shaped donuts” John said as he showed them the last piece on the box. “Me here too” Erick said likewise and he passed the box to Frank. “No thanks I will just grab some pancakes” he said. “No, you should give them to Jennifer” Yehleen suggested and Frank laughed. “Two heart-shaped donuts, really? And what get my other cheek slapped too?” Frank commented and they all laughed. “Just think of it as a peace offering” Yehleen explained and they all smiled at him. “Why are you all smiling then?” Frank asked and everyone started to act innocently. “Just go give the donuts” Erick urged him. “Isn’t it supposed to be three pieces to mean...”John was about to say but Yehleen covered his mouth; “Go on now Frank give them to her” she said smiling.

Frank knocked on Jennifer’s door and he heard her say “Come in” so Frank slowly walked inside holding the box of donuts. “Hey I brought you some donuts” Frank said. Jennifer stood up and walked towards him and opened the box. She stared at Frank and he innocently looked away. “Two heart-shaped donuts” she said. “It wasn’t my idea it was their idea actually” Frank explained. “So you were just forced to give me these donuts then?” Jennifer asked. “No, I wanted to give you donuts but the two parasites downstairs ate most of them and left these two” Frank explained.

“Have you eaten?” Jennifer asked. “Not yet, I will just go eat the pancakes” he said. “You can have the other donut if you want” she replied. “No, this are for you, I am fine with the pancakes” Frank said. “I left you some waffles, but they must be cold now” Jennifer told him. “Okay, I will just go now and eat the waffles” he told her. “You want me to reheat them for you?” she asked. Frank smiled at her and walked towards the door, “No thanks, I can eat them cold as long as you made them” he said and he walked out of the door. Jennifer closed the door and smiled, she looked at the two pieces of donuts in the box and she smiled even more.

The following day Yehleen and Jennifer were cooking breakfast as the three stooges just arrived from the first floor.

“How come I don’t get one of those?” John complained as the three took their seats on the dining table. “Because you don’t do field work” Erick explained. “What’s that all about?” Yehleen asked and John showed her the new communications device. “It looks like the old one” she said. “Yes and no, Frank modified it” John explained.

“Look at my unit, instead of having one button, now I made them four. The first one is for General communications meaning whatever I say can be heard by everyone. My second button I set if for Jennifer, third one is for Cap and the last one if I want to talk with you John” Frank explained. “If you press the button let’s say for Cap, he will be the only one who can hear what I am saying, it’s the same for the other buttons” Frank added. “Secret communications, why are you hiding secrets?” Yehleen teased Frank. “No, it’s just security measures and they said I have to wear this always because of what happened yesterday” he said.

“Right, secret communications” Yehleen teased him again and Jennifer suddenly placed a plate of waffles in front of Frank. She took her seat and examined the new gadget; Frank looked at the others feeling embarrassed since he was the only one who had waffles. “Uh Jennifer, why am I the only one with waffles?” Frank asked and Jennifer looked at the others. “Why do you want waffles too? I can cook some more if you want” Jennifer said. “Oh no, I don’t like waffles” Erick said as he looked at Frank and grinned. John and Yehleen looked at Frank smiling, “You want some?” Frank offered but their smiles turned to grins. “We don’t like waffles” John said slyly.

Jennifer plugged in her ear piece and tested the gadget. “Since we have these things on always I should say we use code names” Erick suggested. “I can’t use Brainiac anymore so I would choose Xavier, ha you like that just like Professor X of the X-men” John said. “No, I think you should not choose your own, let others choose for you” Yehleen suggested. “Fine with me” Erick said.

“For the Captain I would say we choose LOUD SNORE!” John said and Erick reacted. “Hey! Not fair! Choose something more decent, braver sounding” he said. “BRAVE SNORE!” Frank said and everyone laughed except for Jennifer who was busy still testing the device. “Oh you want to play that way okay, John I am going to call you TWINKLE TOES and you Frank, CRY BABY! Now how do you like that?!” Erick retaliated and more laughter erupted.
“Wait, why not Erick you choose for John, John you do the same for Erick. Then Frank chooses one for Jennifer and vice versa!” Yehleen suggested and she smiled at Frank. Jennifer raised her eyebrow and looked at Frank who bowed his head. “Okay, I say we call John…TWINKLE TOES still!” Erick said as he laughed louder. “Hey! I thought we were being serious already…fine! CHIEF LOUD SNORE!!!” John retaliated. “Oh you two shut up! I will choose for you two, Erick is VALIANT and John is MERLIN” Yehleen said and the two calmed down and nodded their head. “I like it, yes I can go with VALIANT” Erick said. “MERLIN sound so cool, thanks hon!” John said and he smiled at his fiancée.

“So Yehl how about me and Jen?” Frank asked and Yehleen smiled, “You two choose for each other, I just mediated with these two kids” she said. Frank looked at Jennifer as she looked back at him. “Okay, I would say your code name will be ICE QUEEN” Frank said and Jennifer looked angry. “Ice Queen, I see, because of my cold attitude towards you. I get it, fine with me!” Jennifer said. “No that’s not the point” Frank said but Jennifer walked away and headed to the living room. Frank bowed his head and shook it, “She even didn’t listen to my explanation” he murmured. Erick moved closer to Frank as he pressed the button on the gadget for Jennifer’s channel. “So tell us Frank why you chose Ice Queen” John said as he saw what Erick did.

“Well you see the Ice Queen is my favorite comic character, she is tough and brave woman just like Jennifer is. The Ice Queen has this diamond barrier which protects her, just like Jennifer, she has a barrier, I mean even though she acts cold most of the time but I can tell she is a kind person. She is caring just like the Ice Queen, and lastly they are both beautiful so I thought she would like the name but I guess she is not a comic fan after all” Frank said as he kept his head bowed. The three took a peek at Jennifer who was seated at the couch smiling as she held the ear pieced steady at her ear.

A few seconds later Jennifer came back to the dining area and everyone remained silent. “I can choose another name if you want” Frank said as he looked at her. “No, Ice Queen is fine” Jennifer replied and the three looked at each other smiling and giggling. “I have one for you too” Jennifer suddenly said and all eyes were on her. “What is it?” Frank asked. “Papo” she said and everyone repeated in unison, “Papo?”

“Yes I will call you Papo. If you guys need me I will be in my room” she said and she left. Erick looked at Frank who was bewildered just like the others. “What the hell is Papo?” John commented and Yehleen shook her head. “Sounds like a clown name” she said and they started laughing. “I actually like it” Frank said and everyone was surprised to see him smiling. “I am used to her calling me harsh names or insults, this Papo, I never heard before, and it doesn’t sound like an insult. So I am happy with it” he explained.

Frank went to the roof and lit a cigarette and enjoyed the morning breeze. He placed his earpiece and stared at the buttons, centered his thumb on the second button and pressed it. “Ice Queen are you there?” he said.

“What is it Papo?”

“Hi, I just wanted to thank you for the waffles”

“You are at the roof again are you?”

“Yeah just enjoying the breeze”

“You are smoking again”


“I told you to quit smoking”

“Okay I just killed it”


“Ice Queen, what does Papo mean?”

“I won’t tell you, if you don’t like it then choose another name”

“No, I actually like it”

“Hey Papo…isn’t Emma Frost a villain?”

“Yes and no, she used to be one, she joined the X-men so she became good, but now she is a villain again…but I didn’t really choose her because she was a villain”

“I know…hey Papo tomorrow when you go for a jog wake me up”

“I want to go jogging too”

“Why would you want to go jogging you have a great body?”

“Just wake me up okay?”


Ordinary Me Chapter 6

Chapter 6: About Hannah

“Three months and Frank-mania has gotten to everyone. Reports say he has been spotted in key cities around the country helping out our law enforcers. With this the national crime rate has gone down by 300 percent. So Frank wherever you are thank you very much!” the reporter said on the television.

“Hey how about us?” John complained. “Hey John, whenever they say Frank, that isn’t just me anymore, its every one of us in the team including the cops who poses as me” Frank said and everyone smiled.

“On the lighter side of the news, the President’s son Darwin Johnson arrived this morning with his long time fiancée Hannah Morgan. The two has been said to be engaged for five months now. Darwin is not only known to be the President’s son but likewise a good actor who starred in several hit movies. As you can see on the video they arrived this morning from a Caribbean vacation” the reporter said.

“Jennifer can you change the channel please” Frank said and Yehleen and John looked at him. “I am watching the news” Jennifer replied. “Please Jennifer can you change the channel” Frank repeated and even Erick was starting to worry. Jennifer looked at Frank angrily, “Go buy your own television set! I have the remote so whatever I want to watch you all have to watch!” she yelled. Frank stood up and walked towards the elevator, Erick followed him. As the elevator door closed Yehleen grabbed the remote from Jennifer and stared her in the eye. “You bitch! Didn’t you recognize her? That was his ex girlfriend! Hannah Morgan!” Yehleen yelled and Jennifer was shocked and looked at the two. “Oh my God I didn’t know” she said.

“What? You didn’t know? It’s on his file folder and you didn’t know? Did you even read his file?” John asked and put on his ear piece. Jennifer bowed her head and realized the problem. Yehleen sat on the couch crying feeling sorry for Frank, “She left Frank to be with that actor, poor Frank” she said with a shaky voice as John tried to make contact with Erick. “Valiant are you there?” John whispered. “Yes I am here Merlin” Erick replied. “How’s Papo?” John asked. “Not now John, not now. Don’t worry I am keeping an eye on him. And tell that wicked bitch not to show her face to me ever again!” Erick said and John made sure Jennifer heard it.

A few hours later the elevator door opened and Frank and Erick stepped out. Jennifer approach Frank immediately to apologize but Erick lunged at her to slap her face. A loud slap echoed in the living room at John and Yehleen looked on but they were surprised to see that Erick actually slapped Frank who rushed in front of Jennifer. “Ouch” Frank said. “Oh sorry Franky, why did you get in the way?” Erick said. Frank pushed Erick backwards and stared him down. “What’s done is done; she didn’t know so let it go. I am fine. You don’t have to blame her for what happened, she didn’t know” Frank said and Erick took a deep breath but still managed to stare at Jennifer. Frank walked towards Jennifer and lifted her bowed head, “You don’t have to feel sorry, I am not mad, I am fine okay?” he told her but Jennifer just stood still. “And it also goes for the both of you, don’t blame her for anything, I would have known eventually. I just beg of you all not to talk about it anymore, is that okay?” Frank said and everyone nodded.

For three days they watched over Frank secretly but he just acted normally. They took turns watching him sleep in the eventuality he tries to kill himself again. For three days Frank was jolly and acted as if nothing happened.

The following day Frank knocked on Jennifer’s door early in the morning. “What is it Frank, go back to sleep” he heard her say. “Jen I need to get my suit and stuff, I want to go watch a movie” he said. “You can’t go out without me, we can go later, go back to bed” she replied without even thinking. “I am going with Erick” Frank said. “So go with him, you don’t need your suit and stuff, he will protect you” she replied and Frank walked away.

Later that evening Jennifer and Yehleen were watching television as John wheeled in to join them.

“We are now live here in the grand opening of this new movie theater and anytime soon the President’s son will arrive. Darwin Johnson chose this theatre to show the premier of his new so we expect lots of celebrities to grace this grand opening” the reporter said.

“Speaking of movies didn’t Frank and Erick go watch one?” Jennifer asked and the two looked at her. “Why didn’t he invite me? And what’s taking them so long they have been gone since this morning” John said. “Maybe they went to visit the troops, you know how much Frank loves those guys” Yehleen said. The elevator door opened and they saw Erick step out. “Hey Erick where’s Frank?” Jennifer asked. “I don’t know I went to the base to handle some minor problems” he said and the three looked at each other.

“He told me he was going with you to see a movie” Jennifer said and Erick sat down and shrugged his shoulders. Jennifer felt nervous all of a sudden as she looked at the television, “Hey John is there a way Frank would have known about this theatre opening?” she asked. John was also starting to worry as he brought out his laptop and checked. “Damn it! He hacked his way to the security details” John said and Erick stood up. “How far is that city?” he asked. “Eight hours by car” John replied. “Oh my God, he went there!” Yehleen yelled.

“Suit up and let’s go!” Erick commanded as he ran towards the elevator, Jennifer followed him as John kept on typing on his computer. “Hey it says here he took the SUV this morning, he must be there by now” John said. “Okay, have the chopper ready and alert the operatives in that city tell them we are coming” Erick said as the doors closed.

“John I am worried, I think we should go with them” Yehleen suggested. “Yeah you’re right, come on let’s go, don’t forget to bring the portable television so we can keep watch” John said as they too rushed towards the elevator.

Thirty minutes later the crowd was getting noisier as celebrities and government officials walk through the red carpet. Flashing lights from cameras are all around as cheers and claps are heard all around. Amid the crowd stood Frank waiting to see her again, dressed in all black to signify he is mourning wishing no one would recognize him. Ten more minutes and a convoy arrives, security personnel get out the first few vehicles and spread out as a huge limousine parks.

Darwin Johnson steps out of the vehicle with all smiles as he waves to the crowd. He reaches his hand inside the car and suddenly Frank’s heart began beating rapidly. There she was the woman he loved, Hannah stepped out of the car smiling and waving her hands too. They walk side by side on the red carpet as more flashes are seen. Frank could not take his eyes of her, for a long time he has never seen her smiling this way, not even when they were still together.

Frank forced himself forward and the lady beside him recognized him but the attention still was on the two people walking along the aisle. Ten feet away, that was the distance when Hannah noticed Frank, her smile suddenly vanished and tears started to fall down Frank’s cheeks. Five feet away and Frank still had his eyes on her, Hannah’s lips were shaking and Darwin was beginning to notice.

A camera man with an official ID stood in front of the couple as the two stopped to strike a pose. Frank looked away and focused on the camera man and he noticed him bringing out a gun. Suddenly time slowed down for Frank as the camera man pointed the gun towards Darwin, without thinking he lunged out from the crowd and stood in front of Darwin and Hannah.
“Frank don’t!!!” Hannah screamed but the gun already fired and a bullet hit Frank at the center of his chest. Security details were able to pin the gunman down on the ground, more security rushed Darwin and Hannah away. People were screaming but Frank was still stand holding on to his chest. He turns around and sees Hannah being rushed away but still she was screaming his name. Frank just smiled and as the crowd dispersed in terror Frank walked away with his head bowed down.

Frank kept walking away and each step he took he felt weaker. Two SUV’s stopped suddenly in front of him and Jennifer quickly got out and ran towards him. Frank stood up straight and smiled at her, “Are you okay?” she asked. “Of course I am, why shouldn’t I be?” Frank replied and Jennifer breathed a sigh of relief. Frank walked towards the second SUV and he saw Erick get out, he quickly gripped Erick’s arm tightly and showed him the blood on his hands. “Please don’t make her worry, it’s my fault” Frank whispered as Erick quickly got him inside and they sped away.

“Where are they going?” Yehleen asked as she alighted from the vehicle. “I don’t know, he said he was okay” Jennifer said and as she looked on the ground she noticed drops of blood and she remembered Frank didn’t have his vest on. “Oh my God he was shot!” Jennifer shouted as she got back on the vehicle, Yehleen panicked and quickly got inside. “Quickly go after them” Jennifer ordered the driver. “What’s going on who was shot? Frank? He has his vest so why are you worried?” John said from the back but Jennifer bowed her head weeping.

On the other vehicle Erick had Frank in his arms, “Hang on buddy, don’t you die on me now” he said as he kept pressure on Frank’s chest. “Hey, don’t get mad at Jen, it’s my fault. I really wanted to see her you know” Frank whispered. “I know don’t worry, you had to see her” Erick said. Frank smiled at him and closed his eyes, “Erick I feel very sleepy” Frank said. “No! Wake up! Keep talking to me buddy” Erick said with a shaky voice.

“Erick, are you crying?” Frank asked and Erick laughed. “Yes, but don’t tell anyone” he answered. “Erick you snore too loud” Frank said. “I know buddy, I know, keep talking for me okay?” Erick told him but Frank closed his eyes once again and fell silent.

Ordinary Me Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Someone Extraordinary

The following morning on a secured wing of the city’s main hospital, Jennifer walked past the suited guards and headed towards the room on the far end. As she enters she saw two women standing beside Frank’s bed. John was quietly seated on his wheelchair typing on his laptop. Jennifer walked towards the other side of the bed and saw Hannah holding Frank’s hand.

“Why is she here?” Jennifer asked Yehleen. “It’s okay they know, president’s son remember?” Yehleen replied. Jennifer pouted and stared at Hannah who was looking at Frank who was still unconscious. “Did he wake up yet?” Jennifer asked and Hannah shook her head.

“Hannah I think you should go get some rest, let us be the ones to watch over him” Yehleen suggested. “No, its okay I am not tired” Hannah answered. “So tell me how does it feel like to be the fiancée of the President’s son?” Jennifer asked and Hannah looked at her. “I really would not like to talk about it” she said and Yehleen signaled Jennifer to quit the subject.

“Hey Frank you better wake up now, you have to get my donuts” John said and everyone started to giggle and laugh. Hannah caressed Franks head and smiled, “Frank is such a kind person, very thoughtful and he always sees to it everyone is happy” Hannah said. “He could make anyone laugh, he makes his own jokes about him being fat, but I guess you don’t hear those jokes anymore since he isn’t fat now” Hannah added.

“Oh yeah we do, but this time he uses the past participle and still he makes us laugh” Yehleen answered. “I bet you have heard him sing” Hannah said and Yehleen giggled, “He has a great voice and we were actually surprised, he should have been a singer” John said. “I don’t remember him singing” Jennifer said and Yehleen and John looked at her. “He sang during his birthday party” John said. “Birthday party?” Jennifer asked and Yehleen pouted at her.

“Of course you weren’t there because you thought he was hitting on you, remember the first day at the base he invited you to dinner and you shut him down?” Yehleen said and Jennifer shook her head as she bowed slowly. “Sorry, I really thought he was hitting on me” she whispered and Hannah started laughing.

“Frank is a shy person, actually he didn’t court me, and I courted him” Hannah revealed and everyone looked at her. “Seriously?” Yehleen asked and Hannah smiled as she held Frank’s hands. “Yes, we were schoolmates and we always bumped into each other. He was a geek and I enjoyed his company because he would always make me laugh, he knew the right words to say when I was down, I don’t know I just fell in love with him. I waited for him to court me but funny thing is he was too shy perhaps so I courted him” Hannah revealed and everyone were smiling.

“So did he say yes at once?” John asked and Hannah shook her head. “He actually avoided me for a whole week and once I got him cornered I asked him why, he said maybe what I was feeling was just a passing fancy so he wanted me to have time to think very hard about it” Hannah said. “But I really was in love with him so instead of answering I kissed him” she added and Yehleen giggled. “Then what happened?” she asked.

“He ran and did the cartwheel, he ran some more and came back to me asking me to wake him up. So I kissed him again and then we became a couple. But you know he was still shy, when we are alone he holds my hands but when there are people around he distances himself. He said he did that so I would not feel embarrassed when people look at us. I got mad at him for thinking that way, I told him I don’t care what people say but still he could not hold my hands in public. There are times when I introduce him to my friends he would always say that he was my pet pig, of course my friends would laugh but I really don’t like seeing him degrade himself” Hannah narrated.

“When I got my license to be a nurse I was assigned to the emergency room of the hospital. He intentionally cut himself and I was the one who treated him. He said he wanted to be my first patient, although I had three ahead of him I just pretended that he was the first one I had that day” Hannah said and Yehleen started to cry. “Such a sweet guy he is” she said as she wiped her tears.

“I know, there wasn’t a boring day with him, he loved surprising me. Frank please wake up now” Hannah whispered. “So tell us then why did you leave him? Why did you exchange him for that better looking rich guy then?” Jennifer suddenly asked and Hannah bowed her head. Yehleen looked angrily at Jennifer as the tension started to mount, “Come on tell us, you left him because he wasn’t good looking? You chose a better looking man. You expect us to believe what you are saying? That Frank is this good, this kind, isn’t that what a dream guy is made of? Oh sorry he is fat that time so you just had to leave him didn’t you?” Jennifer continued. “Jen! Shut up!” Yehleen shouted and Hannah turned around. “Sorry, I have to go” she said. Yehleen went with Hannah outside the room; John followed them shaking his head as he looked at Jennifer. “Well it’s true! You do the math! They were seeing each other even before she was with Frank; didn’t you hear what the reporter said? They have been engaged exactly the time she left him!” Jennifer said.

“I know you’re awake, she left already” Jennifer said and Frank slowly opened his eyes and took a deep breath. “You shouldn’t have been that harsh on her” Frank said and Jennifer pouted. “Well she deserves it” she replied. “Don’t be mean to her please, she did what she had to do, she wasn’t happy with me anymore so I really can’t blame her” Frank said.

“I’m sorry” Jennifer said as tears started to flow down her cheeks. Frank held her hand and smiled at her, “Come on now, the Ice Queen doesn’t cry, stop crying Jen” Frank said. “It’s my fault, I should have given you your suit and went with you” she explained as she started sobbing. “No, it’s not your fault, I chose to stand in front of the bullet” Frank said.

“I’m angry at you, why did you do that? The gun was pointed at him not her. If he died wouldn’t you be happy? You would have another chance at her. Didn’t you think of that?” Jennifer said as she gripped his hand tightly. Frank sighed and closed his eyes, “I actually did think of that” he whispered and Jennifer looked at him. “So tell me why you saved him?” she asked and Frank smiled as tears started flowing.

“The moment I saw her on television, I saw her smile, not just a smile but a smile I have never seen before. He made her happy like I never did and you can see that on her smile. I could not accept it so I had to see it for myself. So I went there, she smiled that way again. I never made her smile that way so when I saw the gun I didn’t think twice anymore. I didn’t save him, I save her happiness, and he makes her happy so I didn’t want to take that away from her. I love her so much and I always want her to be happy, so I did it knowing that I could die. I just had to do it do you understand, she was so happy with him” Frank explained as he was crying.

Jennifer wiped her tears as she slowly walked out of the room, as she closed the door she saw Hannah leaning on the wall crying. “Did you hear what he said?” Jennifer asked her. “Yes” Hannah replied. “Even though you have hurt him he still thinks about what’s best for you, can your hubby beat that?” Jennifer added but Hannah remained silent. “Congratulations on your wedding” Jennifer said and she walked away.

Hannah turned towards the door and held the knob; she didn’t have enough courage to turn it so she fell on her knees sobbing.
The following morning Jennifer was spoon feeding Frank as John, Yehleen and Erick came to visit. “Oh look how sweet they are” Yehleen teased and Jennifer smirked. “I am just doing this since he can’t move his hands” she said. “Here buddy I got you donuts” Erick said as he handed the box to Frank. Frank reached out his hands and got the box, “Can’t move his hands?” John teased and Jennifer looked at Frank angrily. “You said you can’t move your hands” she said. Frank smiled and said “It’s a miracle I can move my hands now!” Everyone started laughing as Jennifer shook her head.

Frank opened the box and picked the heart shape donut and handed it to Jennifer. “What? You want me to feed you this donut too?” she asked. “No, this is for you” Frank said and Jennifer blushed, the three pretended to look away but they were all smiling. “Hey I was thinking about it and I think I don’t want to be a poster boy anymore” Frank said and everyone looked at him.

“You are quitting?” John asked. “No, I mean I want to get into the action, I want to do real hero stuff and not just acting stuff. I did some training, I think I can handle it, I can go running after bad guys or if you let me hold a gun I can shoot at them too” Frank said and everyone in unison said “NO!!!”

“Okay no guns then but I really want to go after bad guys. Being shot gave me a sudden rush, maybe that’s what I need you know to get over this sad feelings I have inside” Frank explained and Erick took a deep breath. “Sorry no deal” he said. “Why afraid that you will cry again when I get shot?” Frank said and the three looked at Erick grinning. “I didn’t cry, why are you making that stuff up?” Erick said and everyone started laughing. “Chill Cap, everyone cried for Frank, you don’t have to be shy” John teased him and the room was filled with laughter.

An hour later there was a knock on the door, Erick opened it and he was surprised to see the President and his body guards. Erick led him inside and everyone stood at attention and greeted him. “So I finally get to meet the man who saved my son’s life” the President said as he approached Frank and shook his hand. “Nice to meet you mister President” Frank said. “No it’s my pleasure to meet you Frank, thank you for saving my son’s life” the president said. “I actually came here to discuss something with you in private” the old man said, everyone in the room started walking towards the door but Frank stopped them.

“Don’t go, if you have something to tell me you can say it openly, they are my team mates” Frank said and the President nodded. “Okay then, kindly close the door and I hope whatever we discuss here shall not go out of this room” he said. Erick closed the door but the guard would not let him, the president nodded his head and the guard gave way and closed the door.

“Well you see my son wanted to come and thank you personally but he told me that there might be some tension if you know what I mean” he said and Frank nodded his head. “So he told me that he did not want to be in debt to you, he is very rich I should say and so he is willing to offer you anything you want” the President said and Frank took a deep breath and looked at the others.

“I don’t want anything; tell him I save his life for Hannah. He is in no debt to me” Frank said and John raised his eyebrows. Erick shook his head but the president was persistent. “I don’t think he would accept that answer, so you have to tell me what you want, I too am offering anything you want as long as it is within my powers” the old man said and Frank looked at his team mates one by one.

“Fine, I want you to give bonuses to all my clones, and a pay grade increase and full insurance coverages” Frank said and the President nodded his head. Erick stood beside John, both of them pretending to look innocent and Frank laughed. “One rank promotion for the captain and to if possible to these three too, two pay grade increases for my team mates and a vacation package wherever they want” Frank added and again the president nodded. “Is that all? How about you? Is there anything you would want?” the president asked and Frank remained silent.

“Tell your son to keep Hannah smiling and never make her cry, that is all I ask” Frank said and the president smiled at him. “I will tell him that, but Frank if there is anything else you need don’t hesitate to call me. Anything you need remember that. So I will be seeing you in three days then” the president said as he walked towards the door. “Mister President, what do you mean in three days?” Erick asked and everyone was surprised as he was. “Well yes, Frank will be presented to all heads of States, Frank is going global” the president replied and everyone was in shock as he left the room.

Yehleen was jumping for joy as Erick kept shaking John, “We are going global? Is he serious? How are we going global?” Erick said as everyone rejoiced. Frank looked at Jennifer who was smiling at him, “Thank you” she said and Frank smiled back at her. “Hey Cap, if you get promoted what should we call you now?” John asked and Erick grinned. “Major” he said brimming with confidence. “Major problem, major snorer” John joked and everyone laughed loudly.

Several miles away on a deserted land area three men were standing under the moonlight.

“Hello Nathan, nice to see you again, do you remember Doctor Snyder?” Senator David Richards said as he shook hands with another old man. “Good evening to you two, sorry for meeting me in a place like this but I know you understand my situation” Nathan said and the two nodded.

“So David, why did you call me out?” Nathan asked and the Senator turned to Doctor Snyder as he brought out several X-ray films. “See for yourself Nathan” David said as he handed the films to Nathan. “Okay I am not good in medical explanations so doctor help me out, what am I looking at?” Nathan said as he raised the film towards the moonlight.

“As you heard Frank was shot nearly point blank range with a caliber 45 pistol. Usually when that happens people die or if not the bullets penetrates through and through. If you can see clearly the bullet stopped half inch entering his body, it ruptured a major artery but the mere fact that it didn’t go through is something extraordinary” the doctor explained and Nathan grinned.

“So our hunch was right after the first shooting then” Nathan said and the senator nodded. “Well the first incident he was aware that he would be shot, this scenario his mind was preoccupied I guess so the bullet was able to penetrate a little, nevertheless it is just as you said, sorry for doubting you” David said and Nathan laughed.

“Who else knows about this?” Nathan asked. “Only the three of us” Doctor Snyder replied. “Good, let’s keep it that way” Nathan said. “So are you taking him in already?” David asked and Nathan shook his head. “Not yet, maybe one day. David thank you for looking after Frank through all these years” Nathan said and David patted his shoulder. “You don’t have to thank me buddy, I owe so much” the senator replied.

“So tell me David, what is Frank like?” Nathan asked as he lit a cigarette. David laughed and shook his head, “Just like his stubborn father I guess” he said and they all laughed. One driver got out of the car and approached the three, “Nathan we have to go” he said and Nathan looked at him. “Oh I am sure you still remember Arnold don’t you?” Nathan said and David nodded. “How can I forget him I see him guarding Frank everyday” David said and Arnold laughed, “So we have to get going, oh David, my daily supply of donuts have stopped, take a look into that for me” Nathan said as they walked towards their cars.

“Does Frank like donuts?” Nathan asked and David laughed, “Just like his dad, take care of yourself Nathan. Oh by the way, what other abilities of Frank should we watch out for?” David said and Nathan grinned.

“I can’t tell you, just wait and be amazed. See you my friend” Nathan replied as he waived his hands and got in the car.

Ordinary Me Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Falling

Two weeks passed and Frank has gone global, they just returned from a worldwide tour on countries implementing Operation Salvation. Yehleen and Jennifer just got back from a girl’s day off and as they reach the warehouse they were surprised to see a crane hovering over the building.

“I wonder what that crane is for?” Yehleen asked as they stepped out of the car. “Wow, it’s my first time to see a crane up close, how many feet is that? Looking up just hurts my neck” Jennifer said. “Hey look there is someone on the crane, oh my God is that Frank?” Yehleen said and the man on the crane waived at them.

“It’s him, what the hell is he doing up there?” Jennifer asked as they looked at each other. “Don’t tell me he is…Frank don’t do it!!!” Yehleen yelled as Jennifer looked up.

“Hey!!! Watch me!!!” Frank shouted as he raised his arms in the air and jumped. “Frank!!! Nooooo!!!” Jennifer screamed as she ran towards the crane. Frank came flying down as he was screaming his lungs out; Jennifer came right under where he would land and opened her arms as if to catch him. Jennifer was scared and seconds later their faces were so close to each other but Frank bounced back up which bewildered Jennifer.

“It’s a bungee!” Yehleen yelled as she laughed. As Frank stopped bouncing up and down, he was still hanging upside down and he was face to face with Jennifer. “Were you trying to catch me?” Frank said and Jennifer pouted and shook her head. “How was I supposed to know it was a bungee, of course I tried to catch you I was worried!” she shouted and Frank laughed. “We almost kissed, speaking of kiss does this remind you of a Spiderman and Mary Jane when they kissed?” Frank said and Jennifer twisted his ear. Seconds later they heard another man screaming; as they looked up they saw John falling downwards screaming like a girl.

As John steadied Yehleen embraced him and they kissed just like in the movie. “I’m so jealous” Frank said and Yehleen and John laughed. “Jennifer why don’t you kiss Frank too, just for fun” Yehleen suggested and Jennifer shook her head blushing. “Oh yeah Erick is next” John said so they all looked up and they saw Erick waiving at them. “This is going to be a funny one” Frank said and he and John already started laughing.
Erick came falling down but he stopped midway, “Hey!!! What gives!!! I think the cord got stuck!!!” they could hear him yelling but John and Frank laughed louder. Jennifer unfastened Frank down as Erick was still screaming for help. “Frank did you do this?!!!” Erick shouted and Frank and John could not stop laughing. As they got John down they all waived at Erick who was already laughing at himself. “Hey okay get me down now please” he begged.

“John how did you get up there?” Yehleen asked and he smiled. “Frank carried me on his back, boy I never imagined I could do that with my condition, thanks Frank” John said as he sat on the ground. Jennifer looked up and sighed, “I would like to try it too” she murmured and Yehleen said the same. “Okay why don’t we all go up but first we have to get Erick down” Frank said. “Why? Let him stay there for a little longer” John suggested and they all looked at each other and laughed.

Other agents were called out to man the ground as the four climbed back up. “Hey please get me down” Erick pleaded and they all ignored him. First to go were Yehleen and John, both screamed and laughed all the way but Jennifer suddenly wanted to back out. “Hey what’s wrong?” Frank asked. “I don’t think this is a good idea” she said as she knelt on the platform shaking. “Oh come on, you have to try it, don’t worry I am here” Frank reassured and Jennifer slowly crawled like a baby.

As Frank attached the cords to both of them Jennifer was still shaking, “Hey I know you are afraid but look at Erick, he is still hanging right? It’s safe I promise and I am here, if you want you can hold my hand and we will jump together” Frank said and Jennifer slowly stood up and embraced him. “Hey, if you two need privacy just tell me so I can close my eyes” Frank teased them. “It’s not what you think! I am just scared” Jennifer said. “Come on hold my hand” Frank said and Jennifer looked at him and reached out her hand. “Now take a deep breath, don’t close your eyes or else you will miss the fun” Frank told her and Jennifer took a deep breath and Frank suddenly grinned at pulled her. As they fell of the platform Jennifer immediately embraced Frank, “Frank!!!” she screamed. “Don’t close your eyes!!!” Frank responded as they plunged downwards. Jennifer’s scream turned into laughter as they reached the lower peak and started bouncing up and down.

As their cords steadied Yehleen and John were there to greet them. “So romantic jumping down embracing each other” Yehleen teased and Jennifer quickly released Frank. “He tricked me and I got scared” Jennifer said. As they got released from the cords and the harness Frank looked up and waived at Erick. “I am coming get release you, so hang on a little longer” Frank said as he walked towards the ladder. Jennifer tugged on his shirt so Frank looked at her. “One more try” she whispered and John and Yehleen laughed at her. “Jen! You are acting like a child” Yehleen said and Jennifer pouted. “Okay let’s go up again, how about you guys?” Frank asked. “No, that’s enough for the two of us” Yehleen said as she patted John’s head.

“Okay, let’s go Jen” Frank said but Jennifer tugged his shirt again. “My knees are still shaking” she said. Frank knelt down and told her to get on his back, Jennifer was ashamed but Yehleen egged her on. Jennifer got on his back and wrapped her arms around him, John and Yehleen smiled at her and Jennifer could not hide her smile anymore. She leaned her head on his should and waived at them as they started to climb up.

“Who thought of this?” Jennifer asked. “I did, I wanted to fulfill one of John’s wishes, and well at least everyone had fun” Frank said. “You must be tired for carrying him up twice and now me” she said. “Nope, I don’t feel tired at all” Frank replied. “I think I am falling…” Jennifer murmured so Frank stopped, “Hold on to me tighter then” he said but Jennifer wasn’t about to fall off but still she embraced him tighter. Frank then started to climb again this time slower, “Frank what if I lose my grip and I fall?” she suddenly asked. “Then I would fall after you, I’m sure I am heavier so I would reach the ground first just in time to catch you” he said. Jennifer smiled and closed her eyes.

“A while ago I was really scared, I thought you were going to kill yourself again. I know there is no way for me to catch you but I tried” Jennifer said and Frank laughed. “Relax Jen, I am way past that stage, from now on I promise you I won’t die on you” he told her. “Liar” she said. “I am not lying, that is a promise. And besides if I die who will catch you when you fall? So I can’t die, I have to be there when you fall” he said and Jennifer couldn’t stop her heart beating rapidly as she listened to his sweet words.

Ten minutes later they were ready to jump, Erick just touched ground and Yehleen was helping him off his straps. Jennifer held Franks hands and she closed her eyes. “Are you ready?” Frank asked. “Wait, can we stay like this a little bit longer?” she asked. “Okay” Frank said as he imitated what she was doing. “Frank, I really wish you were a real superhero that could fly” she said and Frank laughed. “Why?” he asked. “Well so you could swoop me in your arms and fly me across the city, we could go pick up my favorite flower miles away everyday. I know its just wishful thinking though” she said.

“Be careful what you wish for, you never know it might come true” Frank said. “Yeah right, let’s go!” Jennifer replied as he pulled Frank off the platform. This time she never screamed but once again she embraced him. She never closed her eyes but she focused on his face. “Frank…I am falling…” she told him. Frank looked at her and smiled, “Don’t worry I am here with you” he said as he embraced her back.

Ordinary Me Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Moving On

One morning over breakfast Frank was nowhere to be found and the whole team was again starting to worry.

“Where is Frank?” Erick asked and John shrugged his shoulders. “He should have been back by now, I wonder where he is” Yehleen said as she stirred her cup of coffee. “Relax I am sure he is fine” Jennifer reassured them as she played with her food. “How are you sure he is fine? He didn’t bring his watch with him, I know he has been acting happy for a month now but you never know he can revert back to his old self” Erick said.

“I’m sure he wouldn’t because he promised me that” Jennifer said. “Promised you what?” John inquired as all eyes were on her. They heard the elevator bell and they turned their heads and saw Frank. “See I told you” Jennifer said as she smiled at them. Everyone looked at her suspiciously grinning, “You know something that we don’t, don’t you?” Yehleen whispered and Jennifer grinned back at them.

For the whole day Frank avoided them making them wonder if he had reverted back to his old self. He never cracked a joke, never made a prank, and they never seen his smile. He didn’t eat breakfast and he barely touched his food during lunch.

As dinner time approached Frank told them he would not be eating dinner with them and told them not to worry for he just wanted time for himself. They let him go but they were awfully worried so after ten minutes they followed him secretly.

They saw Frank enter a restaurant near his old apartment, and for almost two hours they waited for him to come out. “What is he doing there?” Jennifer asked. “Eating what else?”Erick said. “For two hours?” Jennifer asked and Yehleen leaned on Jennifer and said “Maybe he has a date” Jennifer pretended not to hear her but the scenario played on her mind.

After ten minutes Frank came out with his head bowed and walked away. “He must be going back, come on lets go” Erick said but Jennifer told them to go ahead. She walked towards the restaurant and went inside. She noticed there were only a few customers and most of the crew members had sad faces. She approached the counter and noticed the cashier crying. “Excuse me, did Frank come here?” Jennifer asked. The woman wiped her tears and took a deep breath, “Yes he was here a while ago” she said.

“Was he with someone?” Jennifer inquired but the cashier started to cry again. “Sorry, is there a problem? I noticed so many sad faces in here” Jennifer said. “Frank and Hannah frequently come here, that is their favorite spot” the woman said as she pointed to a table near the window. “So Frank was with Hannah a while ago?” Jennifer asked and the woman shook her head.

“Today is their anniversary; they always come here for their anniversary. Everyone here knows this day and we even prepared their favorite dishes. We all knew that Hannah is not with him anymore but still we prepared for them because it has been already in our system for eight years” the lady said and Jennifer started to feel sad.

“The moment he came in we didn’t know what to say to him. He just smiled at us and went straight to their table. We served him food but we were hesitant to place the dishes for Hannah but he told us to place them still. For two hours we watched him…he seemed so sad, he barely touched the food. When he left he told us not to prepare anymore next year and he gave everyone a thousand dollar tip. He promised he would come visit often and check on us, I really feel sorry for him” the cashier narrated.

Jennifer walked out the establishment with a heavy heart; she knew he was not over Hannah yet. And as she walked a few steps she saw Hannah get out of a cab. The two women stood face to face staring each other in the eyes. “You are late, he waited for you for two hours” Jennifer told her. “Old habits die hard, I just came from the airport” Hannah said.

“Have you eaten? I am starving, would you like to grab dinner with me?” Hannah asked and Jennifer didn’t want to for he was on Frank’s side. “Please, I would like to know how Frank is doing. My treat” Hannah begged and Jennifer agreed. “Do you know another place? I feel embarrassed eating here now” Hannah whispered and Jennifer hailed a cab and they both entered.

On a restaurant near the docks they dined and there was a little bit of tension in the air. “You said you wanted to know about Frank, so you ask the question and I will answer” Jennifer said. “I know you all see me as a bad person, I can’t blame you for that. I admit I was wrong, I just fell bored of the same routine and one day at work I met Darwin” Hannah narrated. “Why are you telling me this, I don’t want to hear your excuse” Jennifer told her. “Please, I have to get this off my chest, so please listen” Hannah pleaded.

“I saw something different in Darwin, it all happened so fast. Next thing I knew we dated, then he asked me if I wanted a better position so I said yes. I really was not thinking straight at that time, I became selfish and I left Frank. Frank cried in front of me that day and that image of him haunts me every night. I wanted to go back to him, I really did I swear but I was ashamed for what I have done. I planned to quit my job and go back to him but again things moved to quickly. Darwin pampered me and let me experience things I have never done, I was happy…I thought I was. He asked me to marry him, I didn’t want to say yes but I was again ashamed to say no. I didn’t reply I just cried and he thought of it as a yes”

“I saw Frank on the news stopping the two robbers, and getting shot at the grocery, I didn’t finish the news report, I quickly booked a flight back here and looked for him. I searched for him for two weeks, I waited for him but I could not find him. So I went back to Darwin, funny thing is Darwin never asked where I was or he didn’t even look for me when I was gone. If that was Frank he would have filled my phone with text messages and missed calls, that’s the time I realized I made a huge mistake in my life” Hannah said as she sobbed profusely.

“Since I was living with him I got to know about Operation Salvation, funny thing is that I really thought that Frank was a real superhero but living with Frank he never showed signs of unusual stuff” Hannah said and they both laughed. “Then after reading the files I learned he was just a poster boy but still I was proud of him. Darwin got jealous actually one night when we turned on the television, the footage of Frank rescuing the hostages, it was as if we were watching an action flick, I was really happy and cheering because Frank really looked so cool” Hannah said and Jennifer agreed and laughed with her.

“I learned again that the ending was staged but still he looked so cool. So when I watched the footage of the fire incident I didn’t worry. But later that night I learned that it was real, it was no operation and Frank really went there by himself to save those children. I asked for copies of all his video footages and every time I watch them I realize how evil I am” Hannah narrated and Jennifer smiled at her. “During the movie premier I saw Frank and my heart beat so fast, but in an instant I saw the gun pointed at Darwin so I just froze. I saw Frank move in front of us but I could not move, I knew he was not a real superhero so I knew he could die. I really wanted to push him away but I couldn’t move. I saw him got shot but next thing I knew I was being dragged away, all I remember was Frank smiling at me. I saw him walk away but I knew he was shot, I wanted to run after him but they would not let me” Hannah said.

“I was ready to leave Darwin but in the hospital I heard what Frank said, his voice sounded in pain and I just could not forgive myself. The smile he was talking about, that was forced, I have to show that smile when I am in public view. I was taught to act that way. That was not my real smile, but how was I supposed to tell him that? It’s too late now and I will never forgive myself for hurting Frank” Hannah said sobbing.

“Do you still love him?” Jennifer asked and Hannah looked at her. “Very much” Hannah replied. Jennifer felt a mild pain in her heart for she too was in love with Frank. “Do you know where Frank lives now?” Jennifer asked and Hannah shook her head. “Classified information, top level clearance” Hannah said and Jennifer smiled. “There, that warehouse, that is where Frank lives” Jennifer said as she pointed at the warehouse. Hannah looked at her and was surprised, “Why did you tell me? That’s supposed to be classified information” she said.

“If you still love him then go to him and tell him. I would suggest you bring him some food because he hasn’t eaten yet” Jennifer said and Hannah smiled at her. Hannah ordered some food for Frank; as soon as the food was ready she remained silent. “Well would you like me to take you there now?” Jennifer asked. No, I won’t go there” Hannah replied. “I thought you still love him, so how are you going to tell him?” Jennifer said. “I won’t tell him” Hannah answered and Jennifer was surprised.

“What do you mean you won’t tell him?” Jennifer asked and Hannah smiled at her. “I have pained him so much and I still won’t forgive myself even if he takes me back. I still love him and I will forever love him even we are not together. You bring the food to him” Hannah said and Jennifer looked at her. “What Frank needs is a new start, he has to move on. And I can tell that you are in love with him am I right?” Hannah said and Jennifer again was surprised. She wanted to deny it but she just could not. “Bring him the food, he gets grumpy when he is hungry” Hannah said and they both laughed.

Jennifer noticed some bruised on Hannah’s arm and she asked about it. Hannah quickly covered the bruises and fell silent. “He did that to you?” Jennifer asked. “We had a fight, he stopped me from leaving” Hannah said softly. “That bastard!” Jennifer exclaimed but Hannah tried to pacify her. “Please don’t tell Frank about this, you don’t want to see Frank angry” Hannah said. “Frank angry? Never happened, Frank is a gentle guy I am sure if he knew he would just talk to Darwin” Jennifer said but Hannah shook her head. “No, you have never seen Frank angry; when he is angry he becomes a different person. Insult him, hurt him he will just smile at you or tell you it hurts. But when you hurt someone he loves he gets very angry” Hannah narrated. “So what does Frank do when he is angry?” Jennifer asked and there freight written on Hannah’s face.

“One time when we were window shopping, I moved away from Frank to check on an item. A man suddenly approached me and he groped my breast. I screamed and Frank saw it. For the first time in my life I saw Frank very angry, he didn’t say a word but he walked towards the man who was still laughing. I was even afraid to stop him, he told me to take a cab and go home. I didn’t think twice and I did, when he got home he was all smiles again and even though I asked him what happened he wouldn’t tell me. Next thing I knew I saw on the news the man who groped me being rushed to the hospital. He suffered bruises all over his face and all his bones on both of his hands were broken” Hannah recalled.

“So please don’t tell him” Hannah said and Jennifer who was still in shock just nodded. “You should go before the food gets cold” Hannah told her. “What about you? Where will you go?” Jennifer asked. “Don’t worry about me, just go. Please take care of Frank for me, that is all I ask” Hannah said as she smiled at her.

As Jennifer stepped out of the elevator she was surprised to see Frank standing by the door. “Do you know what time it is?” Frank said and Jennifer was surprised. “Is it late?” Jennifer asked and Frank nodded. “Sorry I had dinner with a friend, here I even got you food” she told him. “I was worried about you, you should get a watch like mine so I know where you are too” Frank said and Jennifer smiled at him, she actually liked what she was hearing.

“So you’re concerned about me?” Jennifer teased him as they walked towards the dining area. “Of course I am” Frank replied as he set the food on the table. Frank got two plates and they sat down. “No, that food is for you, I told you I already ate” Jennifer said. Frank pouted and looked at her, “I can’t eat alone, you must eat with me even just a little” he said and Jennifer agreed. “You are going to make me fat with this” Jennifer said as she took a spoonful. Frank looked at her and smiled, “Don’t worry even if you get very fat I will still like you” he said.

Jennifer blushed and almost choked, as she finished swallowing she asked him “What did you say?” Frank looked calm as he looked at her, “I said even if you become fat I will still like you” he said as he took a spoonful and started to chew. Jennifer was happy yet unsure of what she heard since he just said those words as if they were so easy to say. “Even if I grow fat you will still like me?” Jennifer repeated and Frank smiled and nodded.

Jennifer could not help but smile, her heart was once again beating fast. Still she was not contented with what she heard, there was something missing for her believe what he was saying. She thought maybe it was just a friendly gesture from him so she would eat. “Frank when you say the word like, what do you exactly mean?” she asked him. Frank paused for a while and thought deep, “I don’t know, there is only one definition of the word like right?” he replied. “Yes, but like as what? Like as a friend?” she again asked. “Yeah something like that” he replied and continued eating. Jennifer was frustrated; she thought that he liked her too in the same manner as she liked him. Nevertheless she was just happy being with him so she just smiled as she watched him eat.

After eating they both headed to upstairs and as Jennifer was about to enter her room she stopped and looked at him. “Frank, I have been mean to you from the start, you should hate me right?” she asked. Frank looked at her and shook his head. “I never hated you” he said. “So are you trying to say you liked me from the start?” she again asked. “Hmmm not really, but it doesn’t matter because I like you now” he said. Jennifer smiled and she really wanted to talk with him longer. “Tell me when you started liking me?” she said. Frank took a deep breath and leaned his forehead on his door, he turned to her and smiled, “When you started smiling at me” he said and she bowed her head and started to giggle. She looked at him smiling and Frank started to laugh, “Jen don’t smile at me too much, because if you do I might totally fall in love with you. Good night Jen” he said as he entered his room.

Jennifer entered her room feeling wonderful, she stood in front of the mirror and she could not help herself from giggling. She got on the bed and she could not stop laughing, she saw the communications set so she turned it on.

“Hey Papo, if you’re listening…I like you too” she said.

“You pressed the wrong button Ice Queen…ahem ahem…I will just pretend I didn’t hear that” she heard Erick say so she felt embarrassed.

“You actually pressed the general button Jen, so we heard it too. You two keeping secrets from us huh” she heard Yehleen say. Jennifer didn’t reply but even though they now know she was simply happy.

“What are you all talking about?” they heard Frank say. “Frank were you listening since a while ago?” Jennifer asked. “No, I just put my ear piece on, why did I miss anything?” he asked. “You actually missed a lot” Erick said. “Like what?” Frank asked. “Cap, John, Yehleen if you say a word I swear I will not forgive you!” Jennifer said. “Jennifer was bidding everyone goodnight” Yehleen said. “Ah okay, good night everyone, thanks for the food Jen” Frank said and there was communications silence.
“John do you think Frank heard what Jen said?” Yehleen asked as she hugged. “I don’t know but as far as I remember I saw Frank wearing his earpiece ever since he got back. “Oh those two, they make a great couple, funny thing is I noticed they are both shy” Yehleen said. “Oh leave them alone, but it would be really fun watching them from now on” John said and kissed her goodnight.