What An Opportunity


In Life on October 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm


The pager goes off again.

He rolls out of bed and rubs his eyes in disbelief at the time.

The subtle hint of gasoline disseminates around the small apartment as he climbs into the shower.

His body operates on auto-pilot as his mind tries to wake.


“You look dead”, remarks Johnson as he gets out of his car at the station.

“You getting any sleep?”

He continues on in auto-pilot.

“Suit yourself. Coff…oh wait, you don’t drink coffee, right?”

He shakes his head as his mind comes to.


“Hey everyone, gather ’round,” the captain calls as the other firefighters file in.

“Everyone’s here? Ok. Here we go. Got a house fire downtown. 5th one in the past six months. Same M.O. Been empty for years and then up in flames.  Good luck and Godspeed. Move out”

He sits inside the truck as the vehicle whines and weaves through the city streets. The streets lights blur and spin as his head catches up to the moment. The rush of adrenaline hits his bloodstream. So alive. Ready.


That’s when he feels the heat.

The house is consumed in flame. The incandescence is felt all the way down the street.

“Let’s move fast. Contain this thing.” Johnson yells as everyone moves.

Everything is a blur as the moment envelopes him.


His body moves while he sees everything in slow-motion.

His hands grab a hose and point it towards the fire. His feet shuffle to gain the right trajectory. Eyes peeling left to right to keep people at bay and see the family of fighters working together.

But his mind…his mind hearkens back to earlier that evening. Before the new day had begun in which he found himself.


He knew no one in this area wanted to report a stranger in an empty house.

This was the last time. Absolutely the last time. And as he walked out of the structure, an orange flame held to a corner of the 1st floor bedroom.

It didn’t take to long after that. He stood a little ways down the street and watched it in admiration. A small grin found its way to his face as the flames danced. The wood would cave under the immense burden. Such beauty.


He snaps back to the present and everything is under control.

A win for the family.

And as they all venture back to the station, a supposed truth is buried deep in his tired mind. Under the stress, fear, loneliness, and regret is one beautiful lie:

I am doing the right thing.


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