Hero—A short story


The first thing I saw when I woke up was light. Bright, luminous light. Way too much light. As my eyes adjusted, I noticed that the room was all white. On the wall in front of me was a tv, and to my left and right were various kinds of medical equipment. There was a light grey curtain separating my bed from that of the other patient.
I looked down at myself. As I tried to recollect my memories, figure out how I got here, I noticed a huge bandage on my chest… and I was shirtless. This would be okay if not for the fact that I looked up and sighted my girlfriend, Josie, my mother, my little brother and sister, and a chubby, black haired, bored looking nurse walk into the room.
I stared into my mother’s eyes, those of my brothers, and then stared right into Josie’s eyes with a stare that must have been pitiful, for Josie at once rushed over to attempt to hug me, even though I was laying down, had a really bad wound (ouch, that made her hug hurt…), and the nurse was telling her in a monotonic, lethargic, almost robotic voice not to touch me around my chest.
“Are you okay…”, she breathed, her voice breaking, as if she was about to cry (but with your boyfriend in the hospital with an… umm… is this wound even fatal? I don’t know, that’s not what I’m talking about right now… who wouldn’t?
“Fine.” I got that out, then there was silence. There was weeping, tears falling on my chest, my family and Josie surrounding me, but no words… until my brother spoke.
“You’re a hero for what you did.”
My mother sighed. Josie wiped her tears with her hand. The nurse yawned. I suddenly remembered all that had happened, what led me to this overlit hospital… The little girl… The gunman… Me jumping out in front, knocking her out of the way… The agonizing pain of the bullet entering my chest…” My memories became clearer than reality for a second there.
But me? A hero? As what my little brother said lingered, I denied myself as a hero. “I wasn’t a hero… I was simply striving to do what Jesus would do.”
But there’s something that makes me sickened, and befuddled, yet dangerously curious. What would that man want? What heartless man would shoot a little girl? Was it a family feud? Revenge on an ex-girlfriend or ex-wife? Just some sick-brained scum trying to have his sick fun…? As I thought, Josie was stroking my short, curly blonde hair. I looked down at my hairy, bandaged chest, and looked up at the bright white ceiling, and fell suddenly fell tired. I gripped Josie’s smooth, tanned hand gently, whispered an “I love you.”, then fell asleep.

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