The blood hit Thome’s body, left warm, steaming stains on his work clothes. Thome’s eyes closed reflexively before the blood spatter hit his face. Only now the picaroon got wedged and brought the band to a halt. Thome listened a few seconds to the sudden silence, then he operated the big, heavy bell which hung by the side of the door of the machine room.
It wasn’t long before the workers came running from all corners to find the cut up body of their foreman and Thome, who, smeared in blood, cowered on the floor next to the door to the machine room. He clasped his left leg.
It hurt still, it waited for the snow still, but it didn’t bother Thome anymore, and would he have been alone, he would have laughed.
This incident had made Thome even more silent than he had been already. About the precise course of events of the accident he didn’t want to talk to anybody. When his colleagues wanted to approach him about it, he only lowered his head and buried his face in his big palms.
Something else happened instead.
Every time when Thome drank to much, tears flooded his eyes, without him being able to do anything about it. This phenomena could strike him completely off-guard, sudden, while he would just laugh at a joke from a workmate or while his hand would lead a trump in a cardgame.
He didn’t realise it at first, so completely out of the blue they ran from his eyes. Thome didn’t know where the tears came from, he didn’t feel any guilt, not in the slightest. Quite the opposite. At the latest when he hobbled to the can of the bar with his mangled leg, to dispose of the beer, he realised how just his action had been and that Leschke hadn’t deserved any better. But the flood of tears just wouldn’t stop.
He stood in front of the smeared mirror, which hung above the toilet sink and watched how the tears rushed out of the corners of his eyes.
This can’t be, he thought. This can’t be.
It only got better when he left the bar and later rested his head on Elisa’s shoulder.
– Everything will be alright, Thome, everything will be alright. It must have been a terrible sight. But whyever this happened, there was a reason. Everything has a reason, nothing happens just out of nowhere. Who knows what guilt he had brought upon himself, that he had to find such a gruesome end. We can’t look inside anybody, there is only one, who can do that, and we have to trust him.
Elisa always found the right words. And when Thome’s life, which he had planted in Elisa, began to move, the tears dried up.
When he came home, Elisa was still in the garden. Thome put the bike in the shed.
– You shouldn’t work so hard, he shouted at Elisa.
Elisa slowly stood up. Her knees were almost numb.
– The vegetables have to be in the cellar before the frost comes, she said.
Thome shaked his head.
– There’s still time for that, it isn’t that fast approaching. You should rest more.