Underdog Heroes

I for all my life have always felt a little different. A little special. But still, to this day I cannot grasp onto what is inside of me, what I have. Some praise me, while some seek to destroy me or make me feel like my life isn’t worth living.  But I was one of the lucky ones, I guess. I had a strong mom, a strong dad, and a strong brother to always keep my head up, when in reality all I wanted was to keep it down.

   I remember those days when I was kid, as if they were yesterday. My strong memory is sometimes like a curse to me but mom told me to never look at in such a way, for that if I could remember all the lessons I have experienced in this life, then that itself was the greatest gift of them all. In mom’s eyes, if I had forgotten them, then I wouldn’t have ever grown. And now that I think about it today, she couldn’t be any more right.

  Dad used to take me and my older brother Apollo out to the tennis courts almost every weekend, in the hopes that one day that we would be big stars someday. But now as I go back and look at those better days, dad was only character building us for our future to come.

  Me and my brother would sweat under the hot sun, nearly 98 degrees, wanting to stop but dad never let us. It was then I learned that even when you are winded, there was always a second wind or maybe even more. It was then as a child I found that just because one said that they were tired did not truly mean that they were. There was always something left in the tank. Always… But I guess you are all wondering what this is all about.

You see, me and my brother were really into comic heroes. We loved them all but out of them all only one had gravitated to me the most—Batman. And yeah, I know before you start to judge and say oh this guy again, please hear me out.

  My reasons for liking Batman or wanting to be him had nothing to do with his fancy suit or fancy Batmobile. But it had everything to do with what he represented. Although Batman was a man of wealth and inherited millions from his father. He still had to deal with the same kind of lost and suffering as any 9-5 worker had to in Gotham. Batman could’ve easily had taken his chips and ran and said screw everyone, but he didn’t. Instead, he decided to take the money he had and triple it so that he could do some good for the city. And on top of that he’d even learn some hand to hand combat to takedown some of the evils that lurked throughout his community. Some would call it vengeance from the murdering of his parents, but really all he wanted was for no one else to have to suffer from the same pain dealt to him. I don’t blame him. No one would. Maybe I was too young to know about money or crime for my age, but again, I was different than most kids.

  To make along story short over the years I had a lot of broken hearts. I would say more than most. Enough to drive one insane to contemplate the thoughts of suicide. I had thought when I was out of high school that would be when all the judgement would stop. That I would finally be accepted for who I was. But sadly, as an adult, it had only gotten worst. As if the stakes had been risen or something.

  I not only went through many heart breaks but saw my brother experience some just as worst, and watched my parents go through 2 foreclosures and both get laid off from jobs they put their souls into. But the thing I am most fortunate of throughout all of this, was that none of us died and that none of us gave up. We kept going. We kept breathing and letting go, until something magnificent would come knocking on our doorstep again. And it did. It always did.

To connect back to Batman. After those moments I’d made a vow to myself to become the Dark Knight himself. I trained in martial arts, Taekwondo specifically. I excelled in my mindset and mental toughness. I grew my money and invested it, and not focused on getting rich or fame, but wealth, because at the end I believe that it is not rich who save lives or determine the worlds fate, it is those who are of the wealthy. Even though, man was here way before currency, it still unfortunately is what controls, more so, saves all of us. I am not quite on the wealthy side yet, but I can see myself getting closer as the days go on. And when I do, I will end all of this god forsaken suffering man has created for centuries. It doesn’t have to be this way. With all the money funneling through the world we could all live like kings and queens. If I were batman, I wouldn’t just want to save Gotham but the world. Although I’m sure a few people would say that’s when the Justice League stepped in.

I know a lot think I’m just living in a fantasy world, but I just don’t believe we were all brought to this planet to suffer like this. Not at least by our own doing. There’s got to be a way, a better way of living than this.

Just a few days ago, I’d met this strange woman. She was like me in a lot of ways. Different. She was a short woman but was oddly disproportioning from the way her torso sat on top of her long legs. She had crystal gray eyes and grey hair.

“What do you seek young man?” asked the woman.

“Peace. I want to get rid of all the evil in this world or at least put it in its place,” I said. “You know? Like, silence it.”

The woman had chuckled.

“Oh, young man… be careful of what you try to start a fight with. Evil does not sleep,” she said. “The evil outside this window is ruthless and will do anything and I mean anything to keep an uprising over them to happen. Even if that means…”

The woman then took her pointy nail from her thumb and then slid it across her throat.

“Please, there’s gotta be a way,” I pleaded, nervously.

“Yes… There is a way, but that way only comes with selling a bit of yourself to that evil,” said the woman.

“What the hell does that mean? I’d never do something like that,” I said annoyingly.

You could say I was pissed by such a shitty reply, but little did I know that it wasn’t quite shitty at all. It was spot on.

“I see you’re a batman fan?” said the woman, observing the push pen on my backpack.

“Yeah… So what?”

“Well…” said woman, as she sipped on a cold glass of sweet tea. “Do you really think your hero Batman would’ve been able to do what he did without giving into a little bit of the darkness? I mean after all they do call him the Dark Knight.”

“No, he wouldn’t!”

“Naïve… So Naïve you are young man. Who do you think taught him how to fight? It surely wasn’t the angels from above. Don’t you see, evil is already inside of us young man. It’s just some of us choose not to give into it. Think back. There had to be a time you’d given into it,” said the woman.

I thought short and hard about it. And it didn’t take me long to find it. It had always been there, knocking on the doors of my brain but I’d always found a way to keep them all closed. But on that day one of the doors had opened.

“You see it don’t you…” whispered the woman. “If you want to beat evil, you can’t be merciless to it because only the heavens know that it wouldn’t be to you.” ‘


“But what?” asked the woman.

“But what would I become if I gave into that?” I asked.

“Human,” the woman grinned. “Although, just because you have the body of human doesn’t mean you have to become one. We all try to make our species out to be such saints you know. Like we always try and find ways to make ourselves feel as if we are the final level. As if you ever claimed yourself not human, than you are a monster. But I’ll give you a little tip before our time runs out young man…”

“What is it?” I asked, anxiously.

“You don’t have to settle with being human. You can be so much more,” said the woman, disappearing into the night. “You can be so much more… More than evil itself…”

I’d stood dumbfounded under what I’d finally realize was the hottest lamp. Although I was sure that wasn’t the reason for my sweating. Something about the woman just gave me the creeps. The next day I’d decided I needed help. So, I’d turned to the only person I knew that had gone through hell and back, my brother.   

June 15th, 2020, Author: Patrick Starks

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