You Were My Hero

April 4, 2008
By Robert Chachere, Houston, TX

Things seemed so easy back then, back in the 8th grade. They say "With age comes wisdom", well, I had been living for thirteen years, but it wasn't until one autumn day last year that I turned my life around. I was the most popular kid in the 8th grade. I bullied my way to this title. I remember, one time, this new boy named Rusty moved into town. Rusty instantly became the coolest kid in school with his beautiful smile and chiseled jaw and washboard abs and eyes that twinkle with understanding…Sorry, I've lost my place. I saw the kids in class swarm around Rusty when class let out and I hated how much I wanted to be him with his freckled cheeks and stylish hair and stunning, long legs. I created a flow chart while I sat in the library one day; Rusty with his pouty lips and hips that don't lie is currently the most popular kid in school, but if I beat Rusty senseless and strike fear into the innocent hearts of the 30 children in my class then they'll be too afraid of me not to want to go see movies with me and hang out on weekends! During Media Masters class, I pulled Rusty aside by his muscular arms and asked him, "Rusty, have you ever been knifed before?"

Rusty looked at me, puzzled, "No, Robbie".
I smiled, reached into my pocket, and asked him, "Have you ever been pulled away from your Media Masters class at," I paused to check my watch, "three twenty-six PM and stabbed with a red box knife in the stomach?"

Rusty looked at me, even more puzzled than before, "No, Robbie, and I don't quite understand what you're driving at".

Then I pulled my hand out of my pocket and punched him in the nose. He screamed. Even when he screamed, he had the voice of an angel. I got this odd déjà vu feeling and then I remembered why; I had been having a reoccurring dream very similar to this for almost a year. The only difference between this and my dream was that in the dream, Rusty falls into my arms and doesn't scream out of pain. In my dream, Rusty screams out of his love for me, "Robbie Q. Chachere, I love you".
The class hurried out of Media Masters class to help Rusty up- Rusty's seductive legs were of no use to him here.

"Who did this to you!" asked one student.

Rusty didn't answer.

"Rusty! Rusty Savage! Don't leave us! You were my everything!"

Rusty didn't answer.

The Media Masters teacher checked Rusty's pulse. She lowered her head and mumbled, "I don't think Rusty's going to make it, children. Though Rusty was only here for a short number of days, he'll always be in our hearts as that one smoking hot grace from God whose tender words touched us all". The Media Masters teacher kissed Rusty's forehead, "I loved you most of all, Rusty".
Ms. Issa couldn't be blinder. I loved Rusty the most. I loved Rusty most of all, but he was more popular than I and had to be destroyed. If Christopher Lambert has taught us anything it's that there can be only one. 27 Dresses truly is a film not to be forgotten.

I couldn't handle the cold stares I was getting from the Media Masters class. Mother taught me never to stare at others. Who's the real bad guy, the hardworking American who accidentally kind of killed someone or the satanic anarchists who hate their mothers who gave them everything?
After the whole "Me killing a guy" thing, I had almost completely forgotten my plan to get the kids in class to go to the movies with me. I walked up to Roger; we call him "Shakes" because of his intense case of Parkinsons. It's so funny- on rainy days, Roger shakes all of the rain off of him just like a dog.
I stood inches away from "Shakes" and asked him, "Shakes, have you ever been knifed before?"

Puzzled and twitching, he answered, "N-n-n-no, Ro-ro-rob-rob-Robbie"

I smiled and reached into my pocket, but before I could say anything, Ms. Issa told me that I should be leaving now. I needed to stay and convince all the other children I was cool. I want nothing more in the world than to see Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector, but I have no one to watch it with- only freaks go see movies by themselves. There was no talking Ms. Issa out of it. I put a gun in Rusty's cold left hand. I realize that most people would be thinking, "Hmm… Prison's gonna be wicked lame", but not me. I was thinking about what a rush it was to finally be able to hold Rusty Savage's hand. Dead or alive, it's a big step in our relationship. I only wish I had the chance to tell Rusty my feelings for him before the accident. I reached the exit door of my school and looked back at my class. The entire class was shunning me, even "Shakes".

I called out to "Shakes", "Don't ever anyone tell you that you're not important just because you don't have a chiseled jaw and tan skin and a cool Members Only jacket".

He screamed back, "R-ro-ro-rob-rob-rob-Robbie, I-I-I-I I always thou-thou-thought you were c-c-c-cool".

I was overjoyed, "Really?"

"Y-y-yeah, unt-unt-until to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to-to -to-to-to-to-to-to-to -to-to-to-to-to-to-to -to-to-today". His finger shook as he pointed it towards the exit door.

The door seemed unusually heavy. When I walked outside, it seemed unusually bright. I started walking home. It was a cold day and I had forgotten my jacket that morning so I put my hands in my pockets. The cold weather made me think back to Rusty's cold hands.

As I turned the corner to the street I live on, I heard someone scream, "Go home, wetback". My family and I have had to deal with people like this all of our lives- ignorant racists who judge us because of the color of our skin. We are a proud people who came to this country for opportunity, not to be verbally abused dozens of times a week. My father, Doug Enrique Chachere, was murdered by border patrol guards and my mother made me promise that I wouldn't let my father's death go in vain- she made me swear that I would fulfill the dreams he never got to and succeed gloriously in America. Racists say things like that to me all the time, like I said, but today, it was just too much.

I screamed back, not even looking at whoever had screamed, "Chut up, Lame-o!" I smiled. I had won, but then I heard footsteps running towards me. I tried to out-run them, but they caught up with me. The racist had a group of friends with him and they all wore punk rock t-shirts and swastika bands around their arms. One of the taller ones held back my arms while another one of them repeatedly punched me in the stomach. The pain was unbearable. This must have been how Rusty felt. They left me there on the street corner, bleeding. I thought "Good, the pain is over". I heard their car doors open and close. I almost smiled, but then I heard footsteps again. They Nazis came back with golf clubs and baseball bats- they were very athletic Nazis and you could tell they took advantage of Academy's Nazi discount. I was lying on the ground, so there was no need for the tall one to hold back my arms again. Nazi Tiger Woods took one big swing at the back of my head with the golf club.

It's all over.

No more pain, only bliss.

I realize now, as I tell my partner, Chewy, about my life through a series of blinks, that this was undoubtedly the greatest day of my life.

Suddenly, I appeared in a complete different world. I guess you don't need cabs when you're dead. I was greeted by a man with a thin mustache who wore an orange UT Hoodie, "Hello, sir. You are dead."

I thought, "Wow, is everyone in the after-life this insightful"? I asked the greeter, "What's your name and where am I? Am I in Hell? Am I in Heaven?"

He didn't say anything. I think he might have been deaf. If he had been deaf, I wouldn't have been able to ask him. Things seemed too bright for it to be Hell. Perhaps I was in Hell and all the pictures they showed us back in religion classes were just scare tactics. I wasn't surrounded by people with wings or anything either, so I wasn't in cliché Heaven. The greeter got on the front seat of his two-seater bicycle and gestured towards the second seat, so I got on. I felt great to ride a bike again; I hadn't ridden one since I was kid. Things felt a little bit more familiar.

The greeter dropped me off at a large building. The building felt like a castle. The king of this castle was Jesus, beard and all. I was surprised to see that Jesus hadn't conformed to society's standards in dress. Jesus was all too friendly; he greeted me with a smile and asked me, "Hey, Robbie. Why do you think you're here?"

"I don't know. I'm not sure exactly where here is."

"Well, Robbie, killing people is what we, here, like to call a 'no-no'. Are you sorry for killing Rusty?"

"Pretty much, yeah. Well, I guess. Wait. Yeah. I am, I'm sorry for killing Rusty."

"Rusty was going to grow up to cure cancer, AIDS, create world peace, become president of The United States, save the lives of countless millions, and well here". Jesus handed me a list of all the achievements Rusty would have accomplished had he lived to be thirty. The list was pages long and in very small font. "It's a real bummer Rusty had to die".

"Word, Jesus."

"So, why'd you do it?"

"All I wanted was to be cool, Jesus". I started crying. "I never wanted Rusty to be dead. I loved Rusty. I wanted to grow old with him and have children and get a little farm out in the country where we could spend our final days talking about how new Saturday Night Live sketches aren't as funny as they used to be".

I started crying even heavier. Mother told me never to cry over spilt blood, but I couldn't help it. I don't think I ever cried as hard as I did that day. Jesus watched me, very impatiently.

"I'm proud of you, Robbie."

I smiled, happy that Jesus was proud, but I still couldn't stop crying. Then the strangest thing happened, I heard singing. I looked up. That was Rusty's singing voice. Rusty has this very distinct singing voice. He's part of a Culture Club tribute band.

Jesus waved and said, "It's time for you to go now, Robbie. I think we can all agree that you've learned a very important lesson today that has undoubtedly changed your life for the better".

I woke up.

My entire Media Master's class was there, but more importantly, Rusty was there. The doctor told me I had been in a coma for three months and Rusty hadn't left my side for a moment. It turns out, I had only severely injured Rusty and he ended up being fine and dandy. I, on the other hand, am paralyzed and the only parts of my body that can move and will be able to move for the rest of my life are my eyes. Rusty's beautiful singing woke me up; he was singing my favorite song, "Opposites Attract" by Paula Abdul. I was so happy for Rusty and I to still be alive, but something seemed out of place.

I asked the man that the hospital had assigned to translate my blinks, Chewy, "Where Shakes?"

Apparently, Shakes is serving a life sentence after brutally killing Schmamantha Schmoyer. The class had a moment of silence for Shakes and then I told Chewy to ask all of them but Rusty to leave.

Rusty stood next to me, smiling. "I'm so glad you're alive. I thought I had lost you. The truth is, Robbie. I'm in love with you and crippled or not, I want you to go to Mexico and marry me. So, will you, Robbie Q. Chachere, be my husband?"

I blinked, "Yes and never have I been so happy in all my days".

Rusty laughed and said, "I love you, my little veggie-weggie".

I blinked, "Rusty, there's one thing I need you to do for me."

"What is it? I'll do anything for you."

"Will you sing me 'Opposites Attract'?"

He sang, sweetly, "I take-2 steps forward. I take-2 steps back. We come together. 'Cause opposites attract. And you know-it ain't fiction. Just a natural fact. We come together. 'Cause opposites attract".

If I could have smiled, you better believe that I would have smiled wider than I ever had before.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!