To Be The Hero Once More
by Paul Liadis
note: This was written as part of a flash fiction writing contest at the blog, The Clarity of Night, back in 2007. Here is a link to the original post. The idea was to write 250 words based on a provided prompt.
I should’ve listened to my wife.
She had told me, begged me really, to sit this one out, to stay at home with her and the baby ,to not try to be the hero. She knew this about me. I always have to be the hero.
She told me I’m not a kid any more, that I have responsibilities now. “What if you got hurt”, she asked. We both knew we couldn’t afford for me to miss any time at work, but I assured her that I’d be fine, that there’s no way “Sweet Feet” was coming home injured. She rolled her eyes.
Sure they were all at least twelve years younger than I, and most of them faster and stronger. And sure, at the last minute they had decided we were going to play tackle rather than touch. I was going to be Quarterback; all of the glory without having to do much running or even get hit.
I’m not sure what came over me. Watched too many Steeler games? All those girls in the stands, cheering us on? It’s nice to know you still got it, right?
It was fourth down, we were at the goal-line, and the game was on the line. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn’t have dove, but it felt right at the time.
And so, I find myself staring at the beautiful Fall Pennsylvania sky, with a headache and possibly a few less teeth. Was it worth it? Depends. Did I get in?