*Disclaimer: No implication of rights to the Superman character exist, non-commercial use only. Commentary on current events using the idea of a superhuman character**
Context: Present day
The hero felt compelled to apologize. He wasn’t sure why he felt so guilty about this, he hadn’t done anything wrong of course, but he felt guilty all the same.
He lives two lives. In one life, he was known worldwide as an incredible, super powered hero. He flew around the world doing impossible things wearing a bright red cape and bright red boots. In the other life, he was a midlevel reporter for a prestigious newspaper. He wrote hard news, had a couple close friends, and generally tried to live a quiet, low key life. He couldn’t be a hero all the time.
He’d tried it before, giving up what he called his “civilian” life. It didn’t work, though he tried several times because of similar guilt he was feeling now. He always found that it damaged his perspective. he would begin feeling like a god, he would take the use of his powers too far. Sometimes he had treated the humans coldly, like his personal play things.
That’s not why he did this, not to be some kind of demigod. He wanted to help where he could and inspire the humans by being the best he could be, and by treating all of them the same. He hoped they could look at him as an symbol of they way they should all treat each other. That if they wanted to, they could all be heroes. If they all worked together, they could be a much greater force for good than he ever could be by himself.
So, he always ended up going back to his civilian life. He needed it, how could he understand them if he didn’t live as them? Besides, he needed some social interaction, just like all creatures did. Inevitably, this meant he couldn’t use his abilities to save everyone all the time. Even the times he had tried to be the ever present hero he couldn’t be everywhere all the time. Just wasn’t possible. Sometimes he thought how, by living his civilian life, he had to effectively allow people to die. It happened literally every day, and now it had happened in Boston where the whole world had been watching.
That’s why today, he found himself in the Mayor’s office, apologizing. The Mayor was stunned, didn’t know what to say. So the hero kept speaking, becoming more upset and emotional the longer he went on. Why had this affected him so much, and how was he going to get over it?
Finally, the Mayor stood up and walked out from behind his desk and stood next to the one of a kind hero, tears streaming down his face. The Mayor put his hand on the red cape and said, “Son, its OK. It’s not your fault. I know you feel a tremendous burden. I know you can’t do what you do 24 hours a a day. You’ve been saving lives all over the Earth for a decade, done things I could never do - but more than that, you’ve treated every person you’ve ever met kindly. Much more kindly than I could if I’d seen some of the things you’d seen. I need you to let this go. It was not your responsibility. It was mine. Do you understand?”
Hearing the grieving mayor remove the burden from his shoulders made him feel a lot better. He talked some more with Mayor Johnson and then left, saying, “If you ever call me, you know I’ll be here.”