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The Death of Our Hero

Friia Astrup

I t was strange, I thought, that John was the first to die. He had always been seen as a nearly all powerful figure. He had been kind and good; everything a society needed. Yet, now we no longer have him. Everyone had loved him, of course, but I took a strange amount of pride in the fact that no one had loved him the way I had. No one else had known about the smiles he had saved for me. 


I met him for the first time when I was twenty one. There had been a new article discussing the newest hero in town, a man by the name of John who possessed inhuman strength and speed. He had truly filled the role of a hero. He stopped bank robbers and shooters, but still always had time to greet all the kids around town. 


I had always been the opposite. I had shifted from being a juvenile delinquent to an adult one. I had started with petty crime and worked my way up to more serious infractions of the law. One day, when I was involved in some childish vandalism, it had been John who stopped me. He had been much kinder than I expected and simply asked me if I would stop. I had expected a fight, but John never gave me one. I stopped. No one had made me stop before. 


I returned day after day hoping he would come back and talk to me. Hoping he would do something to change me. Eventually, he came back. He once again asked me gently to stop and I did. We talked for hours that day. 


This routine continued for several months before he made a casual remark about how he spent so much time with me, that I might as well move in. I did exactly that. He took me to his apartment and suddenly it was ours. 


Every day John would go out and do what superheroes did and I would stay home. I cooked and cleaned and did all the things I never imagined I would do. 


Two years later, John came home with a ring. It wasn’t anything extravagant, just a plain silver band with a small flower engraved on the side. It fit me perfectly, and I haven’t taken it off since. 


We got married in a church because it was important to John and I don’t think I could have denied him anything he asked for. I loved him. I loved him before I even knew him. 


Three days later, he was shot several times. I heard the news and rushed to the hospital. 


He was dead before I arrived. 


I saw the body and heard a scream. I think it came from me. 


It seems cruel that someone who occupied so much of my life can occupy so little space but lying there on the table - he might as well have been a child. His arm was curled around his stomach, yet his face was at peace. It seemed like a cruel joke but the bloodstains looked like flowers. 


I have loved him and I have lost him but at least I had him. I pity those who have gone through life without knowing the curve of his smile or the texture of his hands. I have loved him and I have lost him but at least I had him.

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