I went out to a movie and came back dead.
Batman, the movie was.
One of those superhero movies
Where a masked vigilante finds himself in
extraordinary situations and somehow emerges
A hero who could never die,
who could take down a hundred men
without any help.
Then there’s me – in the most ordinary
of situations – at the movies with my girlfriends,
laughing about the cute boy in our class,
slurping noisily on my milkshake,
trying to drown out the thought of calories.
If someone had told me my life was in danger,
That I was going to die that day,
I would have laughed out loud.
Who would want to kill me?, I would have asked them. I’m just a kid.
My biggest problem is
the history test next week
that I can never seem to start studying for.
Life gets in the way, you know?
I had more going for me than any superhero –
I was young. I was healthy. I was going places.
Was. Was. Was.
Where was my superhero?
I sure could have used one
when that boy came in and blazed his gun at me.
Yes, he was a boy. Who bought a gun because he could.
And decided to kill a bunch of people at a movie.
Because he could.
You can do that here, didn’t you know?
Here in America, we call it freedom.
He had orange hair.
And he had on a costume, like he was playacting.
The way we used to do when we were young,
throwing fake punches and cocking our fingers.
Pow! Bang, bang! You’re dead.
Except this time, the gun was real.
My life was real. And then it wasn’t a life anymore.
I didn’t get to see how the movie ended.
Did Batman save the day and get the girl?
Did they leave room for another story?
I didn’t get to see how my story ended.
This couldn’t have been it. I refuse to believe that it was.
Don’t I get a sequel? Another chance?
I wasn’t done.
It’s not fair.
*Inspired by the tragedy of the Aurora shooting – where 24 year old James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58.