Days till last accident

October 14, 2011
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The George’s Glass Window Factory, I was dropped off there, my job. I exit the vehicle feeling a hard lump in my stomach for the events of yesterday. I had never thought that such an innocent kid, full of youthful energy, would be horribly injured. The worst part of his injury was that it was my fault. Not getting a good grip on the window, and it dropping and shattering all over Jon’s leg. I couldn’t believe it at first either, but it had happened, and when it did, the blood wouldn’t stop rushing out of his body.
This November night, the factory seemed to be a little too cold. Men were either hard at work or hiding from the supervisors just to talk on their phone. Many of them were immigrants, mostly Haitians and Latinos. The room had windows lined up that needed to be loaded and shipped off to the trucks to be delivered. Loading them was rather dangerous, especially in this weather because the cold always nips against your fingers, making it feel awkward getting a grip on something. The cold even got through two layers of coats and a long sleeve shirt and caused me to cough throughout the night.
I had worked as hard and as furious as I could but the supervisor’s always found something for me to do. I had to be further cautious to not recreate the incident of the day before. We had gone from one-hundred days without an accident back to zero days. I had just finished my break when poor old Jon asked if I could help him with a window. So I did, but the slippery glass of the window caused me to lose my grip. It shattered and glass had driven into his leg. He fell to his knees and was pulled back by another worker called Richard. He is a big show off with an appearance that is quite the opposite of my own. I have long, dark brown hair which I use hair oil to slick back. Richard has short, blond hair. Our physique however, is identical. In high school, we used to bench about the same amount of weight. We also ran the mile getting similar times.
A few hours of moving windows and scanning them had passed. No injury so far and I was glad about that. I didn’t want to see another kid younger than me by four or five years get injured because someone like me had made a mistake. My break had started and I headed off to the break room. I reached into my back pocket and pulled out my wallet taking out a few dollar bills and some spare change. I walked past other workers returning from their break or leaving for the day talking to their friends in Spanish or French, and a few in broken English. I make it to the vending machine barely listening to the conversation that was happening right behind me. I was focusing on the cherry coke in the machine that I wanted. Then all of a sudden I hear,
“And there he is. Give the world’s smartest factory worker an applause,” Listening to the man preach, a few workers began to clap. I turn and see Richard smiling over at me giving me a sort of sinister look.
“What do you want, Richie?” I asked him, the temperature inside of me rising.
“Nothing at all,” he laughed, “Just curious as to why you dropped the window.”
“It slipped out of my hand,” I said with my voice raised, I grabbed my soda and quickly opened it and took a quick sip. I turn then, walk directly towards Richard stopping a few feet in front of him. The distance enough for me punching him if things got too far. Richard kept his smug grin on his face and grabbed my glove out of my pocket. He then feels for the part that gives a grip onto glass objects. Those gloves I thought were always weird. They had these dull, half orbs that were made of plastic. Mine were all worn out for the months of hard labor. I was always too lazy to ask my father for a new pair.
“So, why on earth did you use those gloves Maguyver?” asked Richard.
“Never got around to replacing them,” I said with the temperature inside me rising to a boiling point. Quickly, I took sips of my drink to cool me down. Richard began laughing at this.
“Well, maybe you should have instead of almost killing a 19 year old kid,” Richard’s laugh transitioned to a serious tone. I was about to explode at him but I didn’t. I wanted to go for the punch, but felt like something had stopped me. I didn’t know what it was that stopped me. I felt like a hand kept me from swinging.
“I’ll just be more careful then,” my voice was incredibly shaky from all the built in anger waiting to be released. Richard threw my glove at my chest and then it fell on the ground. I picked it up and finished my drink to cool down from Richard’s barrage. After finishing the drink, I walked back to the factory loading room to continue with my day. As I walked in, I saw a man struggling with a few windows, so I decided to help him out. I stopped quickly as I began walking towards the man. It seemed as if scenarios started playing in my head, like little movie clips. Each scenario brought a somewhat horrific ending to what started as casually helping a coworker. The scenarios were too horrible to describe, each ending with a atrocious injury that would probably be used in a horror movie that didn’t deliver fright but brought buckets of blood.
I stared at my gloves for a while, and then walked over to my work area. Being extremely cautious that I was, stood at least ten feet away from every worker. I got back to my work area and started to scan the windows and shift them carefully, making sure nothing would break and fall on top of me. I would give hasty glances around the factory to see what was happening but the only thing that happened was that the other workers were doing what I was doing. I then turned and saw Richard laughing at my direction while he moved his windows. All of a sudden, the factory went black.
In the isolated darkness, all that could be heard were the crashes of windows on the ground, shattering my ear drums and possibly the ear drums of other workers. Another sound that stood out was the scream of a worker behind me. It was as if it were instinct, I grabbed my cell phone and turned on the flash for my camera, searching for the source of the scream which had quickly become a cry for help. I flashed the light on the ground and saw a puddle of blood and felt my stomach drop. I moved the light to the source of where the blood was coming from, and saw that a window shattered into multiple parts of Richard’s body including his right arm and his right leg. He even had a shard of glass sticking out of his stomach. I had shone the light to see if there was a box anywhere he could sit up against to prevent blood loss. I dragged his body to a nearby box and called the police to inform what had just happened. They told me to do certain things to ensure Richard would be safe.
I went back to Richard’s side after I covered his leg wounds with my work shirt. “You alright?” I asked, deeply concerned with an old friend’s safety.
“I’ve been through worse,” he said, “kind of like how my last girlfriend broke up with me,” he weakly laughed. I laughed too, I felt bad about laughing, even though it was to ease the mood of the situation at hand.
“I’ve called the paramedics,” I informed Richard. He gave me a look of relieve knowing that if I wasn’t there than somebody else would have found the bloody sight of a worker. “You’re going to be okay.”
Richard gave another frail laugh, “Imagine what I’d get,” he said weakly, “If I decided to sue this place. I’d be swimming in cash for years.” We shared a laugh. A good laugh too, one we hadn’t shared in years.
“If I lose my job because you become a millionaire, you better give me some of that money,” I said, laughing.
“You can be the butler,” he said in a joking tone regaining some energy. “I may need one after the therapy for this.”
The emergency lights came on, but the entire factory was so cluttered that it was still hard to see anything. The light created silhouettes that I assumed were the supervisors that were checking if everybody was okay. They got to, Richard’s station and saw me kneeling over him and him bleeding looking up at the supervisors. A supervisor motioned me to talk to him.
“Jack, did you call the paramedics,” he said in a thick Latino accent.
“Yes, I did.”
“Okay good. Well it seems as if there is great chaos here so maybe the other workers should leave but you need to stay to tell the authorities what happened.”
“Sure, I can do that.”
Within the next 10 minutes, a police officer and some EMT workers came in. The officer questioned me and at times seemed to think I was making up the story. Richard was spoken to later and then the officer apologized for his suspicions. Richard was then taken to the hospital where I knew he would be safe. I waited for my girlfriend to pick me up from work knowing that it would be safe to go back home.

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