The Real Heroes

October 8, 2010
Heroes are not special. Everyone wants to be a hero and anyone would jump at the chance to be one. Villains though, they're the important ones. Without an antagonist there would be no need for a protagonist. Without a problem there would be no opportunity to find out who can best solve it. If that man in the alley hadn't painted the streets of Gotham City with the blood of Bruce Wayne's parents, there would be no Batman.
In a twisted way, the villain is the real hero. Sacrificing his own reputation in order to let someone else shine. They take a boring situation and make it interesting. All the hero does is clean up the mess. Any old average Joe can take out the trash. Ripping that bag of trash open and making something out of it though, that takes some creativity. Destroy something beautiful, and anything is possible. "Losing all hope is freedom." Thank you, Chuck Palahniuk.
It's funny how time works. A terrifying minute may feel like an hour, but then in the blink of an eye, it's over. After a person stops breathing, it takes three minutes minimum for the heart to stop pumping blood and become still forever. It will soon be just a morbid anatomically correct rock.
One second we're singing along to a cover of "Don't Fear The Reaper." I can almost taste the irony. The next, Gavin lets go of my hand to put both of his on the steering wheel. Then, black. Black that suffocates, but at the same time is peaceful. In the darkness, I'm being thrown around. A big whirlwind is tossing me every which way like a rag doll. As fast as it all started, it stops. Here I am, laying in the nothingness and all I can do is breathe. I'm set to manual, forcing my lungs to take in oxygen, but all the while wanting to stop. My body betrays my will.
"Amelia!" A voice calls from far away. I don't want to wake up. "Oh my god I'm so sorry. Can you hear me? Why isn't she moving? Get her out of the car!" The voice says in a jumbled mess that I can barely make out.
"No." I say, slowly coming out of my dark room. I can feel everything. My senses are going haywire. I'm sticky with red corn syrup blood. My head is a half-squashed watermelon, leaking its juice all down my body.
"Amelia I love you. I'm so sorry. Please wake up," my boyfriend, Gavin says to me. I open my eyes. He's no longer in the driver's seat next to me. Did I imagine his voice? I panic, looking around the wreckage that used to be his car. The car that we used to drive around in having deep conversations about life. The car that we sang at the top of our lungs like idiots in. This car is now just a pile of metal in an embankment.
Finally, I find Gavin. He's laying in what was the backseat, with his head through the back windshield. Now I can't breathe. In a few minutes, I'm sitting by the road, being watched by a crowd of people all wanting to be the hero, all wanting to play the leading role in my story.
Sitting here bleeding, my first real thought is "Oh my god my parents are going to murder me." My second is, I just bought this swimming suit and now it's ruined. This is pathetic. This is my life. Welcome to the 21st century, where everything that shouldn't matter does. Gavin's laying next to me bleeding and I'm concerned about getting the pieces of tree out of my matted hair.
Earlier, I never mentioned anything about how victims play a part in the whole hero/villain ordeal. I say that the victims get to decide who the real hero is. Anyone could call 911 and anyone could've gotten me out of the car. My savior is not the ambulance driver or the doctor. Gavin crashed the car. I was the innocent victim, affected by the actions of this antagonist. Gavin crashed the car and gave me the most beautiful memory I have. In this story, the villain is the hero. He saved me from my boring life. He ripped that bag of trash open and created something amazing with its articles. Everyone needs to have at least one near death experience. Everyone should be able to see how fragile life really is. I'm not numb anymore. The pain let me know I was alive and breathing and sacred like every other living creature in the universe. I wonder if the trees felt sick as we ripped their bodies apart. I wonder if we changed their lives like they changed mine.

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