For those who don’t know, I am a locksmith in the city of Philadelphia. Being a locksmith is a very interesting job. You get a chance to meet with so many different kinds of people, in so many different environments. I seriously wouldn’t want to do anything else as a full-time job. My boss and I are very close. That gives me the liberty to work when I want, how I want. It gives me plenty of time to write and maintain a social life.
When I first started as a locksmith, I didn’t know if it would last. I was a bit younger and honestly a bit dumber. I never saw so much money at one time. My first day I had almost eight-hundred dollars in my pocket. At the time, I was all about having fun. A certain percentage of the money I usually had in my pocket belonged to the company. I met my boss about once a week to do numbers and give the company their share of the earnings.
About a month went by and everything was great. I always had money, my relationship with my boss had grown, and I felt like I finally had a job I could keep. One Saturday morning, after a night of drinking with some new friends, I woke up and realized I was missing a a good amount of money. I did not know what happened to the cash. I could have dropped it or it could have been taken right off me unknowingly. I shouldn’t have been carrying around so much cash in the first place. That was a lesson well learned.
At that point I knew I had to tell my boss I had lost the companies money. I hesitated to call him because I feared he would be so angry that he would fire me. I eventually made the call. What I didn’t expect was for him to be so understanding. He told me a story about how he had spent companies money before when he first started out. He figured I had just blown the money, when in reality I lost it. He went on to ask me if I needed money to continue working, mostly for gas and food. I did indeed. The only problem was that he was not around.
He told me that he would call a co-worker that wouldn’t have any problem lending me a few dollars to get back on my feet. He made the call and I made my way out to meet this guy Eugene. I got to his place and he answered the door. Eugene was Russian, tall, and skinny, and a really down to earth person. I heard music I liked in the background. We instantly had something in common. I was invited inside. I entered and took a seat on the couch. He handed me the money I came for and we got to talking about the music and work. A call from my girlfriend broke our conversation. I told her my whereabouts and of my new friend. I noticed start to get uneasy while I was on the phone. Eugene got up and start frantically looking around for something. I was done my conversation and he was done his search, whatever he was looking for he really wanted to find it.
I asked him if everything was okay. He said he was fine. I wasn’t sure if he was telling the truth but I didn’t bother to dwell any deeper into the situation. I told him that my girlfriend had called, and just as I was about to tell him her reason for calling, he quickly interrupted and asked if I wanted to go grab a bite to eat, his treat. I agreed, so we left out the door. We made it to a nearby pizza shop and took our seats inside. Eugene seemed bothered so again I asked him if he was okay. This time he seemed to open up a bit more. He apparently had just been left by his girlfriend. They were together for more than 5 years. She admitted to cheating on him and being in love with another guy.
I didn’t know Eugene all that well but I knew he was deeply hurt by the situation, who wouldn’t be? I tried my best to lift his spirits, something I am good at. I told him how it just wasn’t meant to be and there’s obviously better opportunities out there for him. It may have been hard for him to accept that at the time. I told him about a few of my failed relationships and how they always worked out for the better. I didn’t know if I was reaching Eugene but I knew it was worth the tries. My words had run out and so did the pizza. We proceeded back to his place so I could get my car and head home.
The ride home was silent. I knew what he was thinking about as he stared onto the road ahead of him, seemingly lost, scared, not knowing how to move on. I’d been in his shoes before, at least I thought so. We pulled up to this house and a whimper broke the silence. Eugene had reached the breaking point, he was reduced to tears. I tried to reassure him that everything will be okay, and he told me I was right and that his tears were those of relief. He told me he is more than glad he met me tonight. Before I arrived at his house, he told me he was looking for his gun, as he pulled it out. I became scared myself, not knowing his intentions.I know knew what he was searching for while I was on the phone, but not why.
I remained as quiet as possible while he stared at the gun. He humbly said he had contemplated suicide after his girlfriend broke the news to him. If it were not for me and my words in the pizza shop, his contemplations would have become a reality. I handed me the gun and told me to take it and do away with it. Eugene thanked me for saving his life. I was no longer afraid, but humbled. I felt like not only did I save his life but I gave meaning to my own life. I didn’t feel like a hero or a savior. I just knew for whatever reason, I was supposed to be there, at that very moment, for Eugene. I left that night knowing Eugene was okay, I could feel it. I gave the gun to a family member who was on the police force after I told her my story. I didn’t want to know where it was going, I just wanted it out of my life. Til this day Eugene and I are co-workers and friends. We don’t talk about that day much but we know how much it meant to the both of us.