A/N. I haven't updated this story in months and I apologize for that. It's very important to me and I'm disappointed in myself for letting it go for so long. I think it's mostly because the subject matter isn't something I wanted to think about for several months, even though it's something no one should avoid. Depression, suicide, it's all very real and all around us. Whether it's people we known people we don't know or ourselves. It's not something we can or even should sweep under the rug and ignore. It will always come back to bite us, it will always hurt, and it will always leave scars. The best thing to do is to face it together and know that we're never alone.
I don't know how many of you have read my story, "September" or the stories based around it, but my favorite original character that I've come up with is, Luke Adams. You don't have to read anything with him in it, because pretty much anything you need to know, you'll learn from reading this as well. I hope this chapter goes as well as I'd like it to because it's just as important as the others. You've all known the other characters for the most part, so you've probably had a good idea of their relationship with Logan and the need for the chapter. When it's someone whom I've created, I need to get more across than usual. I really hope I do that with this chapter.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Reason Number Five: Luke
"I need a hero to save me now. I need a hero (save me now). I need a hero to save my life. A hero will save me (just in time)." -Hero by Skillet.
What is a hero? The dictionary defines a hero as, "a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal." It's interesting how the dictionary can say so much and yet so little at the same time. Two sentences to define such an important person. I remember being nine and seeing the obituary for Kendall's grandfather in the paper. I wondered how a person's entire life could be condensed to eleven lines. Perfect strangers would read every word and think they knew something about Grandpa Knight, but it's one thing to know about someone and another thing entirely to know someone. It's the second one that's important. The one that matters. Knowing about is all in the brain. Knowing comes from the heart.
Luke moves to Minnesota when we were seven. He was a rookie cop, straight out of the academy and assigned to work with Carlos' father. Mr. Garcia later told us that he was worried about Luke because he was reckless, impulsive, and basically a police chief's worst nightmare when it came to an officer in training. He thought that Luke wouldn't last long without either dying or losing his job. The very next thing he said was, "But I've never been so grateful to be wrong." It's no wonder he said that. Carlos wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Luke.
Like I said, we were seven. Our parents were finally letting us live our big dream at that time: We were camping in a real tent out in Carlos' backyard, all by ourselves. Okay, maybe not all by ourselves. The tent had two big rooms and Carlos; dad would be sleeping in one of them. But Papa, as I've called him ever since I can remember, was the coolest adult in the world, so it was okay. And, naturally, we thought we were the coolest kids ever and that it would be the most fun we would ever have together. And at first it started out that way. Once Mrs. Garcia had fed us her "world famous" (world famous according to us at the time), we went outside and planned the rest of the night. Make s'mores, tell scary ghost stories, stay up all night, play Hide and Seek. . .
That's where it went wrong. I can't remember who's idea it was and how we wound up going off into the woods behind the Garcias' house without telling anyone, but we did. Kendall counted and we went off to go hide. If we thought twice about our actions, I don't remember. I doubt we did. We were only seven and we didn't know what we were doing. We were just having fun. We had played Hide and Seek in those woods so many times that I guess we all thought we could find our way back to the house blindfolded. We never thought about how we only ever played back there in the day time when everything was bright and easy to see.
Have you ever noticed how different things look in the dark? Shapes disappear and you run into things. Shapes also appear out of nowhere, making you see and run from things that don't even exist. The darkness lies. Sometimes it tells you that everything is okay and that you're safe and sound when in reality, you're not. There are things or people that might take you and hurt you or- And sometimes the darkness lies by saying just the opposite: That there are monsters in your room when it's actually just your bookshelf. I don't like the darkness.
It didn't take long at all for everything, and I mean everything to go wrong. Carlos tried to climb a tree to hide, fell, and twisted his ankle. By the time we all found each other again, it was dark and we had wanted farther back than ever before. It was cold and raining and our one flashlight battery died shortly after we realized what was happening. We were lost and the only thing we could do since Carlos couldn't walk, was wait for a rescue. We waited for Carlos' dad and his dog, Scout to find us.
Instead it was Luke and his dog, Shadow. We had never seen or even heard of Luke before and I remember Kendall not trusting him right away. Carlos on the other hand. . . Carlos isn't stupid. He doesn't trust people he doesn't know. He never has. Not even when he was seven. But he's always had a sixth sense of sorts that has allowed him to know if someone is trustworthy or not, only seconds after meeting them. He reads people better than anyone else I know. And that night he trusted Luke when the rest of us, especially Kendall, didn't. And Luke proved him right.
I can still see it happen like it was yesterday. Probably because for weeks afterwards I had nightmares. Watching your best friend almost die right before your eyes is never easy, and keep in mind that we were seven. Just little kids. We didn't even fully understand and up until that point, we had already been scared out of our minds. What happened next was nothing less than traumatic. I will never forget it as long as I live. Carlos almost died. He slipped, running to Luke and Shadow, and fell into the stream that was separating us.
It was too deep and too fast for Carlos to swim in even if he wasn't hurt. I don't think I ever saw his head above the water until after Luke jumped in and pulled him out. He had completely disappeared from view and instantly I thought we would never see him again. Just because I was seven didn't mean that I was completely clueless about death. My mom had died the year before and I knew what it was like to have someone in your life one day and then have them gone the next. It was horrible and I didn't think I could handle losing Carlos too.
But then, just like that, Carlos was there again. Luke had him and was pulling him to safety. He was big and strong, just what we needed that night. He was also really smart too and thank goodness, because pulling Carlos out of the water wasn't enough. Carlos wasn't breathing. He had swallowed too much water and filled his lungs until he was still and unconscious and looked, to us, dead. He looked like my mom had the day we were in the accident. He wasn't moving and his face was white, but also blue. The last person I had seen that wasn't breathing was my mom and she had died. I thought that Luke had rescued Carlos only to give us a body to bury for the funeral. But Luke saved him a second time. He gave Carlos CPR and before we knew it. . . before I knew it, Carlos was breathing again.
After that, everything was pretty easy in comparison. Luke carried Carlos to his car and we followed him. Luke won a still wary Kendall over when he asked him to watch over the rest of us and make sure that we didn't fall asleep. Luke took us home. We were safe. Our parents, even my dad once he came, couldn't thank Luke enough. He was a hero to us all. To me. Because he didn't just save my best friend's life, although believe me that was definitely the best part. Everything else was just extra, but I'll still always be grateful for all of it.
Luke is a hero to a lot of people because of what he does. He's a police officer and like the men and women like him, he risks his life every day to make the world around us a safer place. He has the courage and ability that the dictionary mentions and he's admired for being brave and noble. He's a role model. He's a hero to me personally because he saved my best friend's life. He's also saved me in another way.
Heroes, I've learned, are everywhere. As a matter of fact, I believe that anyone can be a hero if they let themselves. It's not easy. Some of us prefer to fade into the background of life and are just content with being invisible. We might be afraid of what others might think or do when we open our mouths and let everyone around us know that yeah, we do exist. But maybe being a hero isn't about us. It's not about us being praised for doing something right or being admired for doing something amazing. It's much more simple than that actually. Being a hero is being at the right place, at the right time, and taking the right course of action. Doing or saying the right thing no matter what it means for us. Being a hero is letting go of your pride or lack of self-esteem and caring about someone else more than you care for yourself. It's fighting for what's right no matter what the cost. Standing up for those who are too weak.
Maybe you think you're not strong enough. Maybe you think you're too small or too quiet or too invisible. Too unimportant. Here's something for you to think about though: Maybe you're wrong. Maybe you have a strength inside of you that you're not aware of. Maybe your size, your sex, your race, your personality. . . maybe none of it matters. Because all of that stuff is about you and I honestly don't believe that being a hero is about you. It's about others. Everyone needs a hero and so I believe that everyone is a hero. For someone else. Maybe to find your hero, you have to be one first. You have to believe in yourself and then you can help someone else. Maybe it will all come around right back to you.
A/N. This was an incredibly short chapter and they've all been pretty short. But I don't want to lose anyone in ramblings or digressions. I just want to try and get my point across, whatever it may be. For this chapter, i just wanted to say that sometimes I feel so alone and I hate everything about myself. But I am far from the only one who feels like this, especially in today's society where we're constantly being told to be someone other than ourselves. We all need help. I just don't want to lay around and feel sorry for myself though. I want to help everyone as much as possible. Sometimes I have to let go of my own selfish tragedies and care for others. I know that, deep down, someone will always be there to pick me up when I fall, and I want to be there to catch someone else when they fall. I think that's what a true hero is.
The next chapter will be the Diamonds, so in other words, James' parents. I honestly don't know where I'll be going with this chapter so if any of you has a suggestion or two, please feel free to let me know either in a review for a personal message. In the meantime, I'll consult my James expert, Courtney to see if she has any ideas. I hope to update soon, but just in case, let me say again that I love you all more than words could ever say, even though I don't know you. I'd love to get to know you and if you ever need someone to talk to, please know that I care and that I am here for you. :)