“Don’t do it Mr Serc, don’t jump” Thomas yelled from behind the distraught man about to end his life.
He didn’t acknowledge him and he kept his feet firmly on the one concrete slab between life and death.
“Mr Serc, think about who you’re leaving behind, your loved ones. They must be worried sick”.
This was Thomas’s first day on the job and he get’s called in to handle this. Why him? He is still a rookie trying to work his way up, if this man jumps he can kiss his career goodbye. There is no logical explanation as to why sheriff would send him to do this. There’s no backing out now.
Voices came in over the police-radio and Thomas quickly turned it off. The man on the edge of the seventeen-story building turned around. Thomas could see his face, red and tearful. The wind was strong, his tie was flying all around his face.
“Mr Serc, my name is Thomas, I can help you”.
His face turned to anger.
“Help me! Is that what you think you can do. Boy, you are barely out of your mothers womb, how the hell can you help me!?” He screamed and started crying again.
Thomas put his hands up in the air, nodding, agreeing with what the man is saying. He is right. He doesn’t know shit about talking someone out of killing themselves. He tried that once before with his ex girlfriend in high school and that ended up in a funeral. Fuck.
“Think Thomas think” he whispers to himself. He studies the man dressed in a denim and white t shirt. The blue cap captures his attention.
“Deep sea tuna huh”? Thomas asks and man looks up, clearly startled by his remark.
“Yeah” he replied and takes his cap off to look at it.
“I used to go out fishing with my dad when I was younger. I used to hate it.” Thomas laughs walking closer.
The man smiles and sits on the edge of the building, police sirens and lights flashing below him.
Thomas reaches him and pulls himself onto the ledge to sit next to him. He extends a hand to the man.
“Thomas, nice to meet you sir”
The man looks at him and shakes his hand.
“Carl, nice to meet you”
They sit in silence staring at the cap.
“Mr Serc, uh, Carl, you should take me out fishing sometime. I miss that. Maybe not the fishing but spending time with my dad. He passed away last year due to lung cancer”
Carl stares at him and sees the pain and loss in Thomas’s eyes.
He puts his hand on Thomas’s shoulder.
“It’s going to be alright son. It will get better with time”.
“Thank you sir. Mr Serc, it’s seven-forty five am, do you mind if we get off this building, I have an extreme fear of heights and I’m really starting to get hungry. Let’s grab breakfast, on me” Thomas says and holds out his hand to the fragile man next to him.
Relief washes over him as Carl crabs his hand and they walk towards the fire escape.
“Thomas, Mr Wolf wants to see you in his office, it’s regarding the case of this morning”
“Thank you Tracy I’ll be right there”
The walk to the sheriff’s office is a short one.
“Thomas, come in side and sit down” the sheriff barks.
“Let’s talk about this morning shall we. You did an excellent job. I am proud of you. I told Ramsey your negotiation skills needed work and he setup an actor for us to play the part, you handled yourself exceptionally. ”
A frown forms between his eyes.
“Sheriff, I don’t understand. That was not a real suicide threat? That was acting”?
“Acting Thomas, that was all acting, did you think we were going to send you in to a situation like that alone on your first day after training”
“N…n…no sir, of course not”
“That’s all then, paperwork is on your desk. Go catch the bad guys”
“Yes Sheriff, thank you Sheriff”
“Oh and Thomas…”
Thomas reaches for the door and stops when Sheriff calls his name one last time.
“I’m sorry about your father, my condolences”
“Acting Sheriff, never knew my father, I’m an orphan. I knew the only way to get that man off the ledge was to relate to him and give him purpose”
“Good job son, good job”