Atomic Structure #3
Disclaimer: I own nothing which is owned by DC.
I tilted my head back, skyward, barring an annoyed face to the heavens. Stars were twinkling, and the clouds seemed to be lost in their game. Never before has dusk look so lovely. Unfortunately, it did not match my mood; I did not get the job. People always told me: accept failure. Sadly, when being a hero, accepting failure is not easy.
It was not a bird, it was not a plane; it was my heart going miles an hour. Billowing, I sighed. It was disheartening, and I felt as if the strenuous pressure on me was about to explode. It did. My left hand dabbed at my cheek, wiping away the trailing salty substance.
“C’mon, Dena,” I whispered, trying provide comfort for myself. “It wasn’t your fault this time.” I glanced sideways, shedding some of the tears onto the concrete pathway. I surreptitiously did the correct thing, even if I lost my opportunity. They told me, “It was just business.” I smiled eyes only damp now. “Come back next time.”
I did the right thing. I know I did the right thing. However, it is weird, SHADE was supposed to help and defend people, and yet, because I did; I lost my opportunity. Life is not fair, I guess. Many people cannot receive work, and sometimes, people die because of it. Life just is not fair.
Too suddenly or soon, for my liking, a phone started rumbling in my pocket. Hoping my voice was satisfactory, I answered. I got nothing; a prank call I guess. Angrily, I chucked the phone into a nearby bush. A soft thud, exact replication of my emotions, sounded through the looming night.
“Why” I whispered, glancing to the sky again. “Why wasn’t I able to do it?”
“Saving the day isn’t easy, Kid.” A voice said behind me; I did not even need to turn around. I was now used to him sneaking up on people.
“I know; I’m just mad I didn’t get the job.”
He walked closer, and I moved further away. “You and I both know you aren’t crying just about losing that job.” I said nothing, continuing to stare at the wall connected behind my house’s garden.
“I’ve failed countless times.” He said, looming over my shoulder. “Heck, I’ve even failed today.” His hand touched my shoulder, gripping firmly but softly. “But you can’t let those failures get to you.”
I shook his hand off, and I moved closer to a pond. “Dena,” I heard Ray say from behind. Drip; a tear fell, and then another. Inside that pond, I saw the face of that little girl… that beautiful little girl that I should have been able to save. If only I was not an idiot for leaving those thugs on the airship, forgetting to capture them. Because of me, they escaped and one of them murdered a little girl, only five years old.
“Why,” My hands trembled, and I fell to my knees. “Why didn’t I capture them?”
“Dena, it wasn’t your fault.”
I twisted around. “It was my fault!” Tears ran down my cheek as I continued to yell at the Atom. “I could… I should have captured those grunts. I shouldn’t have let my cockiness cause me to make such a rookie mistake.”
“You’re human, and every human makes mistakes.”
“But I am a superhero, a person who shouldn’t have made mistakes, especially one like this!”
The ground was wet, and I whispered into it. “It’s my fault.” From behind, I heard footsteps. Coming closer and closer until I felt the same hand on my shoulder, Ray just did not understand. I glanced sideways, not even bothering to wipe the source of the fog.
“Power can be taken, not given.” He said, kneeling on the ground. “Always remember that, Dena. Sometimes people make mistakes, and it was what we do with those mistakes that make us heroes.”
I nodded wiping a tear away. His hand reached out to me, and I hesitated for a moment. Slowly, my hand reached forward, stopping an inch away.
“We got a bug to catch.”
Meanwhile, upstairs at the same house, a light was on in a nearby window. An old man, wearing a cotton robe with the initials, “SG”, watches. His breathing induced with a respirator went in and out. His hand touched the glass, and he whispered, “You’re going to be a great hero, kid.”
“Take care of my granddaughter, Ray.”