He sat at the smoking section with fellow co-workers. Listening to their conversations about work and life. He watched as the cars came in the gate, and when her’s pulled in his heart rate climbed a little. He had promised himself he would not be weird about it, so he did not watch her as she pulled into a parking space. He didn’t see the truck that came in behind her and block her in her spot, nor the angry man who got out of the truck and began walking toward her car.
Dean had been working at the plant for three months now. He was a little older than most of the people he worked directly with. Infact, he was twelve years older than she was. He had served in the Army twenty-five years before, she had only been eight years old when he ran into battle as a twenty year old sergeant. He had been wounded and lost a man under his command. This had affected him every since.
Dean had tried to commit suicide, almost successfully, three weeks prior to getting the job at the plant. He had spent two weeks in the VA Hospital, and even was able to get the plant job thanks to help from the VA. He also had begun a regiment of new medications to help with his PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety.
When Dean first met her, she scared him. Honestly, Dean hadn’t liked her very much because he found her to be intimidating. It wasn’t long before he realized why she was this way.
She was strong, smart, intriguing, and beautiful. She had been knocked down hard in life but was back on her feet. Doing what she needed to do to care for her two children, which were the center of her world. She was the hardest worker he had ever seen in his life.
He had lived his life since leaving the Army but had not gotten back up on his feat. Dean had been defeated on the battlefield, and never really tried again. Until he saw her. She had sparked an interest in him nobody had been able to do before. She had shown him it was ok, to get knocked down. Yet it was detrimental to get back up. That was what he had been doing for the past few months. Getting his life back in order.
He had also fallen for her. Something that scared him. He tried to tell her, in such a way which he was sure had scared her off. She had made it known to him, not actually in words, but in actions, she wasn’t interested. While it did hurt, Dean was ok with it because he knew you couldn’t force someone to love you. He wasn’t, however, willing to leave her unprotected. While only at work, he stood ready to defend her from anything.
That is why when the angry man began yelling at her in the parking lot, Dean noticed. He stood up from his seat and watched for a few seconds. The conversations continued in the smoking section without notice to his stance.
Dean watched the angry man pull a pistol from his jacket pocket. He took of running and jumped over the waist high brick wall surrounding the smoking section. This of course got the attention of everyone else. Followed by a gunshot into her windshield which caused every other coworker to notice the argument in the parking lot. She screamed and other men from the smoking section began running to the scene as well.
Deans proximity to the angry man was closing fast as he moved at top speed. Dean was still unsure who the man was or why the argument was taking place but knew there was a threat nonetheless. The angry man pointed the weapon at her, and she fell to the ground in fear. Dean leaped through the air grabbing the man at his neck with his left hand. Catching his ribcage with his left knee, Dean was determined to take the man to the ground. The pistol fired again. Dean was afraid he had not arrived in time.
Dean and the angry man hit the pavement with tremendous force and slid a couple of feet before stopping. The pistol had been knocked from the angry mans hand and bounced a good distance further away. Dean pounded the angry mans head against the pavement three times with a rage he could only remember from the battlefield. It was then he realized that he did in fact take the second round from the pistol. The pain to his abdomen was intense. His shirt and jacket were red and his blood was already pooling on the pavement.
Other workers had scooped her up and took her to the break room just inside the building to remove her from harm's way. She had told them the angry man was her ex-husband but she never thought he would have ever followed her to work. She couldn’t believe this was happening.
A younger worker whom Dean liked came to him and asked if he was ok. Dean couldn’t hide the fact he had been mortally wounded. Dean insisted, everything was going to be ok, as long as the other worker promised to tell her she was a good woman. The police arrived and cleared the scene and allowed EMS to come in, yet Dean was already gone.
The younger worker went into the breakroom and stood in front of her while EMS checked her out. He told her, Dean was gone, and the last thing he wanted, was for her to know, She was a Good Woman.