Being A HeroSubmitted by bart at 2003-08-19 05:33:35 EDT
Rating: 1.76 on 51 ratings (51 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
Now that I've finally had my first imposter, I feel a certain comradery with hidden, loren, loki, berzerk, and all the others who have drawn similar attention. Not to discount the efforts of any of those nice folks, but I can certainly see why someone would want to be me.
After all, not everybody can be a hero.
The other day I went out with a lovely young lady and I explained this story to her. Ordinarily, this is the kind of thing I would keep to myself, but I finally broke down and decided to tell somebody else. First I told her, and now I tell you.
It began on a warm Chicago night, not unlike any other over the typical summer season. It was starting to rain and the forecasts were calling for thunderstorms, so as I left work, I walked straight to the elevated train outside the office for my normal fifteen minute journey back home. I waited a couple minutes for the train. When it arrived, I walked on and sat in an open seat right behind a girl who couldn't have been more than eight years old. She looked to be alone, so I kept my eye on her to make sure she was doing alright.
It's pretty typical to keep to one's self while riding the train. Most everybody is on their way to or from work so nobody really feels the need to start up a conversation. On this particular ride, the young girl sitting in front of me kept turning around, smiling, then quickly turning back to face forward. After her doing this a few times, I started making faces and smiling wide to get her to giggle. Where was her mother?
The rain had begun to come down strong and the crackle of thunder began to drown out the voices of the passengers on the train. All in all, the ride was fairly typical up to this point. However, as we began to cross over a bridge, typical came to an end.
As soon as the train crossed about half way over the bridge, CRACK! there was a sudden flash of lightning immediately followed by the ripping of thunder. With this, the train made a loud squealing sound and the lights fell dim as the train attempted to screech to a halt. A passenger on the other end of the train screamed in the now pitch black train car.
At this point, as though in slow motion, the train car began to slowly sway to the side - we were no longer riding on the track. The emergency stop had derailed the train and now caused our car to slam into the side of the bridge. Not only that, but the lightning must have struck the bridge directly because through one of the windows, in the near distance, I could see the glow from a fire.
The passengers began to panic, so I decided something needed to be done.
The train car was in complete darkness, but the small amount of light coming from the fire gave me the opportunity to notice an emergency hatch built into the ceiling. I jumped from my seat, ran over to the hatch, and ripped it open as quickly as I could move. With the assistance of another passenger, I lifted myself out of the train car and onto the roof.
One by one, I began to pull the other passengers out, but it was difficult to see without any lights in the train. I helped all the passengers out and to safety, but the little girl, the one who had been sitting right in front of me, had not come out yet. With my body anchored on the roof, I leaned down into the car to look around for the girl, but the fire wasn't providing enough light. I couldn't find her in the darkness.
Just at that moment, I heard the whirring blades of a helicopter overhead. I looked up into the sky, and sure enough, a news helicopter was flying overhead. I screamed for help, but there was no way they could hear me at that height. I began to wave my arms frantically and I must have caught someone's eye because they shone their spotlight right on me.
This was my chance.
With the beam from the news copter's spotlight and the whirring blades overhead, I leaned back into the car and looked around. I saw a small reflection of light coming from one corner of the train and I realized it was a reflection of light off of the young girl - tears running down her face.
As I hung there, she looked up at me, I stretched my arm towards her and I yelled, "Give me your hand!"
Tears streamed down her face.
"GIVE ME YOUR HAND!" I yelled again.
Ok, who am I kidding?
Natural disaster? How about "laundry day". Hanging from the roof of a train car? How about hanging off the edge of my bed. The whirring blades of the helicopter, the beam of the spotlight shining down on me? How about the lighted ceiling fan built into my bedroom ceiling.
I'm not a hero, I'm just a kid with an overactive imagination. I'm an eight year old with a career and a digital camera.
The only thing heroic about me is my Spiderman boxer shorts.
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Submitted by Random Joe at 2003-08-19 08:41:28 EDT (#)