Sunday, November 15, 2009

OM2: Not Quite Ordinary Chapter 4: Never Let Her Fall

OM2: Not Quite Ordinary

by Paul Diaz

Chapter 4: Never Let Her Fall

Jennifer slowly opened her eyes, she was awakened not from a nightmare but from Papo continuously barking. She looked at her desk clock, it read sixteen minutes after three in the morning, always the same time she wakes up during her nightmares.

She got out of bed and wore her robe and was greeted by a chilly wind as she opened the door to her room terrace. Jennifer looked down and saw Papo looking up and barking. “You are too noisy Papo, what’s wrong?” she asked and the dog started jumping and kept barking at her. “Tone down Papo, you might wake up the neighbors” she said but still the dog kept barking.

“Wait for me” she said and Jennifer got inside her room and changed to her jogging attire. Minutes later she stepped out of the house and saw Papo behaved but still looking at her terrace. “Papo I am already here, come on lets go for a jog” she said and the dog looked at her but again looked up at her terrace. “Come on Papo, I promise to buy you donuts” Jennifer called and the dog ran towards her. Jennifer knelt down and hugged the dog, Papo again looked up towards the room so Jennifer likewise looked up.

“Is it a cat? What is it Papo?” she asked but the dog licked her cheek and Jennifer laughed. “Oh come on lets go so we can get those fresh donuts that you love” she whispered. Jennifer started to jog and Papo ran beside her but stopped to look back at the roof of the house. “Come on boy, no time to waste” Jennifer said and the dog playfully circled her. At the roof of the house there sat Frank smiling as he watched Jennifer and Papo jog away.

Two hours later Jennifer and Papo were back home, she sat down at the lawn and opened the box of donuts. Jennifer takes one and feeds Papo, she leaned back and stared at the the roof of the house. 11 donuts later Papo pushed the box towards Jennifer, she looked at the dog and laughed seeing what he was doing. “Are you full Papo? Finished them all?” she asked but the dog kept pushing the box towards her.

Jennifer looked at the box and saw one donut left, it was heart shaped and she suddenly remembered Frank. Papo once again pushed the box forward and barked, Jennifer was teary eyed so she hugged the dog and took the heart shaped donut. “Thank you Papo” she whispered as she took one bite.

Two hours later Jennifer was at work, the desks around hers were all empty so she goes to her supervisor’s office. One knock on the door and she heard a man tell her to enter. “What is it Jennifer?” Jeremy Redford asked. “Sir I was wondering where everybody is” she said. Jeremy barely looked at her, he took out several folders and moved them towards Jennifer.

“They are on the field. Here work on these reports” the middle aged man said. Jennifer wanted to argue but she was barely one week back on the job so she took the folders and went back to her desk. Jennifer turned on her computer, she took one folder and opened it. Just like when she was suspended from field work she did lots of paper work so this was nothing new to her.

Two floors above Yehleen enters the IT department office, she saw John ranting and pulling his hair. “John whats wrong?” she asked. The IT department head quickly shut of his monitor and turned to greet his fiancée. “Hello my love, what brings you here?” he asked. Yehleen came closer and turned on the monitor screen to see a chess game ongoing. “John don’t tell me even at work you play Chess?” she asked.

“I am sorry my love but this guy is a tough one. Can you imagine me losing four hundred games to this guy? What is he a computer?” John said. “If you know you don’t stand a chance then why keep playing him?” his fiancée asked. John took a deep breath and faced the monitor, “The only guy who beat me this badly was Frank. So I really don’t care if I lose, its just like me playing with Frank” he revealed.

Yehleen embraced her fiancée and kissed him on the cheek. “So how is Jennifer doing?”” she asked. John points at a separate monitor and they both see the agent busy doing paperwork. “She seems to be fine. So I will be going out for a while is there anything you want me to get you?” Yehleen asked. John flexed his arms and smiled, “Lots of food, there is nothing much to do so I am going to beat this guy today” he said and Yehleen laughed. “It takes much more courage to admit defeat you know” she said and John pouted. “Maybe when this guy admits that he if Frank then I will admit total defeat” John replied.

Lunch time was no different, Jennifer found herself alone so quickly bought a sandwich and ate her meal at the employees’ lounge. She turned on the television and enjoyed her sandwich. On the television screen was a familiar face located at unforgettable place. It was Sarah Kelly reporting from Frank’s monument.

“It has been over a month and still hundreds of people flock to this area to pay tribute to the man who showed the world that even ordinary we can do extraordinary things. Due to the recession several individuals have raked in lots of money by selling Frank Miller memorabilia”

“Videos of his staged heroic exploits have been circulating the internet and they have generated millions of views worldwide. Even if his non staged last video was so depressing to watch it has been watched over a billion times thus immortalizing Frank in everyone’s hearts”

“Children wanting to be like him, many people following his footsteps and doing a good deed daily. The government reports crime rate amazingly falling at its lowest ever in history, even lower when Frank was still with us. It just shows that people are more vigilant, some criminals might have been touched by Frank so they have changed their ways. Frank even in death continues to do wonders, and if there was something he left us all, it was hope”

“This is Sarah Kelly reporting live from the Frank Miller monument” the reporter ended and Jennifer turned off the television and wrapped her sandwich. She took out a small flash drive from her pocket and walked back to her desk.

Jennifer looked around the office, there was no one else there. She plugged in her flash drive and adjusted the speaker volumes. On the screen was Frank coming out of the bank carrying in his arms was a female hostage. This was only one of the videos Hannah had compiled but tears started flowing down Jennifer’s cheeks as she sat back and watched.

It was five in the afternoon, Yehleen entered the IT office to pick up her fiancée. “Ready to go home my love?” she asked but John never looked at her but kept staring at his monitor. “Oh my God, don’t tell me you are still playing Chess” she said. Yehleen stood beside her fiancée and was surprised to see a video of Frank playing. She looked at John and saw him in tears. “Why are you watching that?” she asked and her fiancée wiped his tears and cleared his throat.

“Jennifer was watching Frank’s videos over and over since lunch time so I could not help myself” John said. Yehleen turned to the other monitor and tapped John’s shoulder. “Speaking of Jennifer, where is she?” she asked. “Oh at her desk watching” he replied but as he looked at the monitor she was not there. “Oh maybe she went to the wash room, you know tears and stuff” John said.

“You should be watching over her, I told you that” Yehleen angrily said as John switched surveillance camera footages. “Relax, I told you she might have just gone to the washroom. So here is the camera outside the washroom, wait for her to come out” the man told her.

Ten minutes later there was no sign of Jennifer so John began to panic. He took a look at all surveillance cameras but they didn’t find Jennifer. “I told you to watch her, now where is she?!” Yehleen yelled. “I am sorry okay? I just took my eyes off her a minute to watch” John reasoned but still they didn’t see any sign of Jennifer on any monitor.

“Wait she might have gone home” John said so he started punching on his keyboard. “Gone home and left a video of Frank playing? Her bag is even at her desk” Yehleen said. “You are right, her access card has not logged out yet so she must still be here inside the building. But where?” John said as sat back and took a deep breath.

The computer monitor suddenly blacked out and several alarms were sounding. “My system is being hacked!!!” John yelled as he started keying security measures. Seconds later his screen turned back on but this time it was video showing Jennifer on the roof and standing on the edge of the building. “This isn’t a surveillance camera footage!” he said and the screen turned back to normal. “She is on the roof” Yehleen shouted. “Lets go!” John said and the two turned towards the door. “Oh I am crippled so you go ahead and I will catch up later” he added and laughed.

With eyes closed and a strong breeze blowing against her face, Jennifer tried to maintain her balance as she was one step away from a deadly fall. She takes a deep breath and looks up towards the sky. “How come I can still feel you” she murmurs and again closed her eyes.

“What the hell are you doing?!!!” Yehleen asked as she leaned against the wall to catcher her breath. Jennifer remained silent and started to spread her arms sidewards. “Jennifer! Get down from there immediately” Yehleen yelled as she walked towards her friend but still grasping for air.

“Jennifer please come down” Yehleen begged. “Frank is alive, I can feel him” Jennifer said and the psychologist shook her head. “Jennifer get down so I can help you. We all know that Frank is dead, everybody saw what happened. There is no chance for anyone to survive that kind of explosion. I thought you already accepted that?” Yehleen told her.

“He is alive and I know it. I can feel him” Jennifer said. “Be real Jen and get down from there. You are just suffering from depression so come down here so I can help you” Yehleen insisted but Jennifer started laughing. “You don’t understand, I am okay and I am telling you that Frank is alive” Jennifer said.

“Okay, tell me why do you say he is alive?” Yehleen asked and Jennifer turned around and faced her. “Every morning I wake up and feel his presence. Every morning at 3:16 in the morning I always get up, just like before he used to wake me up at the same time just to say I love you. I cant explain everything but I can feel he is alive” Jennifer related.

“Jen its normal to feel like that especially when the person you lost is someone you truly love” Yehleen explained. “You don’t get it. Frank is alive and he didn’t die from the explosion. Look, he can fly, that says a lot. He flew me around the city. I know that was not a dream. That time when Erick and I were ambushed, he said he got to that place riding a cab. I didn’t believe it because it was impossible, he got there in a different way. I cant explain it but I just know he is alive” Jennifer explained.

“Okay, lets say I believe you so come down from there because it is not safe” Yehleen told her. “No!” Jennifer replied and turned around. “He promised me that he would never let me fall. He promised me that he will never die on me. He is alive and I can feel it so if he loves me he will come and save me” Jennifer said as she again spread her arms and closed her eyes.

“Frank I know you are alive! If you love me come save me!” Jennifer yelled and she began to bend her knees. “Stop!!! Don’t be selfish!!!” John yelled as he crawled out of the stairway huffing and puffing. “Do you think you are the only one suffering?!” he angrily added.

Yehleen helped John up on the roof but the man was very angry. “You may be the person in his heart but we are his friends. He was my friend! I am a man but for one whole week I cried like a baby in front of my fiancée. Do you think you are the only one hurting?” John asked.

“You say that you feel he is alive because of many things but you know what there are many things too that remind me of Frank. I have this online opponent who I cant even beat, just like Frank. It is humiliating enough to lose more than four hundred times to the same opponent but I don’t mind because he reminds of Frank and I do miss him so much”

“Do you think I still enjoy driving the car he gave me? Every time I get inside that car I always think about him. Do I think he is alive? Yes but only inside our hearts. There are so many things that remind me of him, it makes me think he is alive too. Frank is gone but will never leave our hearts” John said as Yehleen started to comfort him.

Jennifer lowered her arms and bowed her head. She slowly turned around and got off the edge. “How come I feel he is really alive?” she murmured as she fell on her knees and sobbed. Yehleen rushed to her friend’s side as John crawled towards her.

“Frank will always be alive inside our hearts and don’t forget that. He is gone, you have to accept that but never forget about him” John said and Jennifer wiped her tears and nodded her head. “He may be gone but he is alive within us, within everybody” Yehleen added and the three hugged each other.

On top of the building across there stood Frank, he sits down and exhaled. He closed his laptop and shook his head. “What if she jumped?” Arnold asked and Frank turned around and looked at him.

“I will never let her fall”