This post is in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Share a time when you narrowly avoided disaster.
Smoking saved my life. It’s a fact, and here’s my proof.
It was a day like any other. I was at work in my government office. My window looked out onto the delivery area that services the building. My view was boring. My job was boring. My life was boring. It was just another day.
I decided to go to the break room and have a cigarette. Yes, this was back in the day when we still smoked inside. I had no sooner lit up and taken a drag when a few of my coworkers ran into the room, clearly upset.
“Thank God you’re in here”, Susan screamed.
“That was so scary”, Margaret chimed in.
“You would have been killed”, Jeff added in a high pitched voice I didn’t know could come out of him.
When I finally calmed them down and asked them why they were so upset, they looked at each other and said I’d have to see for myself.
My desk was covered with tiny shards of glass. I looked left at my window and saw the bullet hole. I looked right and saw the bullet embedded in the column that stood beside my desk. If I had not gone to smoke that cigarette, that bullet would have gone straight through my head.
My legs started shaking. Isn’t it funny how the thought of something that didn’t happen can scare us so much? I sat in a nearby chair and willed my heart to calm its frantic beating.
The boss came into the office. He’d been out talking with the police. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) had been carrying piles of contraband into the building, including a hand gun that had not been properly stored. An agent had dropped it. When the gun hit the hard asphalt, it discharged and the bullet found its way to my workspace.
Smoking saved my life that day, but I still gave up the practice. It’s been more than thirty years since then. I’ve been smoke free and, thankfully, bullet free.