The sun was unusually brighter that day. It was not like I have been that observant but the light just kept on hurting my eyes each time I faced the crowd that was going against me. A bad day? Yes, it was. But I needed a new pair of shoes.
The mall. Finally. Five minutes of walking from the platform with all those people made me lose a week’s worth of energy. I went directly to the department store and secretly hoped that no saleslady would ever offer her help. But all of my hope has been left to die and a single soul was there doing some sales talk. I could manage, I thought. I grabbed an item on display and asked for my size. She told me to wait and so I did.
It wasn’t that long after the lady left that I heard some screaming and gunshots. For Pete’s sake. Gunshots. The emergency alarms went ringing and I sensed panic. As vigilant as I have always been, I took refuge behind an empty and abandoned cashier’s desk. I was searching for the nearest exit but too bad for me, one of the crooks was right there. He was holding a handgun, to my relief. It would have been a different story if he used some kind of automatic. At that time, I heard some exchange of shots between the security personnel and the criminals. I could only see 3 bad guys. One was at the exit, another was right behind some frightened customers which have become their hostages, and the other one was about 5 meters away from where I was hiding. Unknown to them, there was a guard who was taking his break and this guard just passed me and immediately shot that guy who was nearest to us. But shit happened and the other two fired back and the guard was right there, dead. I could hear police cars but the police could not make their move as there were hostages to be considered.
The next two hours were a mixture of despair and negotiations. Apparently, the gunmen wanted to have a talk with the president of the country. Yeah. Some leftists from the dreaded region in the south. I was still keeping an eye on everyone, of course. The gunmen have been guarding the hostages now, facing the window and the police. That means I was out of their line of vision.
I imagined the things that I would do. It was a bad day but I could make it a good one, if fate permits. So, I took my first steps and got the dead guard’s gun and ammo. I hid behind a shoe rack. I aimed like a pro. I should shoot them in their shoulders and legs, I thought. And everything happened in a blink of an eye. I was able to take them down. The rest of the hostages did their part afterwards. I ran outside and gave the signal to the police.
No need to thank me, I told them. I was simply living my superhero dream. But the manager of the department store insisted so they gave me that pair of shoes that I wanted.
But words spread like fire. As I stepped out of the crime scene, reporters suddenly approached me. There were video cameras, I tell you.
One of them asked, “Did you ever have proper training on guns and shooting because you hit them right where you want?”
“Does playing Counter-Strike count?” I said.