Last Wednesday was a typical quiet evening with JD on night shift. I fed L her sweet potatoes, we read some books, I watched crappy TV, then slept safely, soundly through the night. In a different part of the city, there was a whole different world of things going on that I didn’t even know about.
I woke up to a text. “I almost had to shoot someone. I’ll tell you about it in the morning.” I got ready for work, fed L, and dropped her off at the babysitter’s. From the outside looking in, my day was progressing as normal, but inside I was anxious as I waited for JD to call. He called later than usual, not surprising since a big incident had apparently gone down last night.
I got the call as I was pulling into the office. I could hear the adrenaline and tension in his voice. He’d responded to a domestic disturbance call where a man pulled a gun on a fellow officer, who also happens to be his best friend. Of course, JD and the other officers on scene drew their weapons on the man. “I could have killed someone last night,” he said. “I haven’t been that close since Afghanistan.”
Sometimes when JD tells me about work, it feels surreal, like he’s telling me about someone else’s life. It’s hard to believe that this is the type of stuff he deals with on a daily basis; what a strange, strange life we lead. I think I spend a lot of time in denial about the danger of his job, because it’s the only way I know how to function without worrying every second of every day. Every so often, something like this will happen and it acts as a wake-up call.
As my day at work progressed, reality sunk in. A split second could have changed everything. His friend and fellow officer, who is a husband and father to 2 young kids faced down a very grave threat. JD could have potentially taken someone’s life and spent the rest of his own life dealing with that.
Just another day at the office.