Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If You Play With Wire...

Sweat drips down my back and I grimace. Cradling Justin on my hip I point the flashlight at the breaker box where Jason is struggling to remove a screw. Beside him, Jayden, wearing only his dark blue uniform shorts, is holding the metal door open, all the while balancing on a cheap plastic stool. 

I’m helping, but I don’t want to. 

We had a petty fight. He said I was bossy, I said he didn’t know how to share and now there I stood, wishing I could tell him to do it himself, just out of pure spite. 

“Can you point the flashlight a little lower?” He asks me now. 

I want to rebel, to say ‘No, I’m not helping you now, figure it out yourself,’ but I know if I do we won’t have power tonight and the setting sun is casting her last glimmers of light into our kitchen. 

Reluctantly I obey. 

“Kaboom!” Sparks fly, and Jason leaps backwards. 

Momentarily stunned, I freeze. 

“Owww..” Jason moans, clutching his hand. 

“You okay?” Suddenly the petty fight is forgotten, replaced by real concern. 

“My finger. Oww” 

“Let me take a look.” 

He lifts it towards me. It looks nasty. 

“Let me get some ice.” I reach in the freezer for the ice bag, realizing too late I had forgotten to refill it. Only a few tiny crystals cling to the sides. Better than nothing I guess. Jason dips his finger in. 

“I’ll be right back,” I now tell him. Quick as a flash I deposit Justin on the playroom mat all the while instructing Jayden to watch him. Then I head for the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. 

For big pain I need some big pills. Two extra strength Advils should take the edge off. 

I give Jason the pills which he quickly downs with some water. 

"What else can be done for electrical burns?" I wonder out loud. "Hmm.. could check on google. Oh that's right, no power so no internet." 

“You can use 3G on my phone.” Jason says. 


'ELECTRICAL BURNS' I skim the contents. “Shock, racing heart, exit wounds.” I rattle off the list to Jason and he shakes his head. 

“You want to try some burn cream on it?” 


I dig through our first aid kit and find one small package left. I’m a bit of a klutz so all the other packages have been used up by me. All those countless times I burned my hand on the stove or a hot pan. I sigh. I know that pain. I feel for him.

The light continues to fade. 

“Do you think the breaker box is fried?” Jason asks. “Because if it is, that means no power for us tonight.” 

“I guess we won’t know till we try fix it.” 

“You willing to give it a shot?” He looks at me, and I nod.

Thankfully the advil is starting to kick in a little. 

“Since you turned the main breaker off, where is the power coming from?” 

“Must be from the batteries.” 

“Okay, well let’s start by disconnecting those.” 

We head outside. Anoud and Denise are sitting there, wondering what happened. Jason shows them his finger and explains. They look worried.

Together we walk to the battery cage. Opening it up I follow his instructions on how to loosen the cables. 

Out of the corner of my eye I can see Denise fold her hands and close her eyes. I’m pretty sure she’s decided right now that we are both out of our minds and there’s a good chance we’ll die. 

After a bit of struggle the cables are loose. My hands are black and greasy. I wash them and then get to work finishing the job Jason was doing inside. 

After 45 minutes everything is back in place. 

Do we dare flip the power switch? 

“Who’s going to do it?” Jason asks. 

“It might as well be you since you’re hurt already,” I tease. 

He nods. We look in each others eyes. 

3 loud clicks and..

 We have power!! 

The lights go on. We smile, we laugh, our hearts fill with thanks. Undeserved blessings.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhhhhh Will you are so honest. Love you all, be careful please!!

    H & J