Although June’s narrative was short, Nigel envisioned the entire scene.  June alone in her gallery probably painting, a man storms in yelling, pulls out a knife and advances but before he can harm her he attacks her art which in Nigel’s mind was the lesser of two evils and he was thankful that June hadn’t been hurt in the incident.  The perp (obviously a loose cannon) cold have caused far more damage and injury.  Reaching across to June he said, “I’m glad you were alright.  Scary incident.”

“It was. I can’t believe I simply froze…I didn’t move a muscle other than the first couple of backward steps.”  She dropped her head as if ashamed.

“You weren’t prepared, June, had no reason to expect he was anything other than an art lover.  You’d be surprised how many people freeze, after all in a crisis it’s “fight, flight or freeze”, especially when you not used to dealing with criminals and violent situations, it’s a given. Even trained professionals freeze on occasion; especially if they know the individual being threatened.”

Sipping her coffee, she said, “I knew I was no match physically, he was in another place, crazy angry, red faced, eyes nearly bulging out of his head, flailing that knife around, I couldn’t see a way of handling him without injury or the incident escalating.  He was between me and the door and I kept staring at my phone over on the easel out of reach.  I remember being terrified if I reached for it he’d have stabbed me instead.”

“Thankfully that innocent bystander was there, took control of the situation.”

“Yeah, I had two more fire extinguishers installed.”  June smirked.  Nigel laughed.

“Good thinking!”  Raising his mug, he clinked hers and they shared a smile.

“He pops by the studio once a week now to say hi.  He told me he doesn’t usually walk that direction when he’s kicking back, and he wasn’t sure why he did that day, that it must have been fate!”

After a thoughtful pause June said, “It takes a certain kind of fortitude to become a cop I’d think.  You must see the seedier grimmer side of life more often than not.”

“Yes, that’s true, but still there’s nothing more fulfilling than giving assistance to those who truly need it, or providing closure to the mother’s father’s sister’s brother’s grieving over a lost family member.  Imparting that kind of news rips your heart out but at the same time, more often than not, the family on some level was resigned and needed closure more than anything.”

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