Late for Work
by Gerardo Posada
It was the time when I worked as a cleaner, I had early morning shifts which started at 5:00 a.m. My duties were: emptying the litters, sweeping the autumn fallen leaves along the pavements and picking up any beer cans or wine bottles I found along the way. Each morning I followed the same route, I got to know the area very well and the people who inhabited it.
That’s why the fact that one of those mornings while I was making my rounds I met this man, whom I had never seen before, pushing a little trolley exactly like mine, where the rubbish collected from the street had to be dumped and carried, struck me as utterly odd. I was the only person supposed to work around those roads, he was even wearing the same clothes as I was, the council uniform; blue shirt, baggy trousers and the light green vest. When we finally met both of us stopped.
‘How you doing?” I asked, he seemed rather distressed.
“I didn’t know they’d placed somebody else in this area apart from myself,” I continued.
“Yes, yesterday, councilman, said,” he answered.
He looked very pale and slightly frightened.
“Is everything o.k., brother?” I asked him.
“No, no ,no I must work, getting late,” he said quickly and pushed the trolley hurriedly.
I just stood there, looking at him going away, he turned around the corner and disappeared, I shrugged and kept working.
“We have nobody else working around that area apart from yourself,” the manager told me, “what time was it when you encounter this man?”
“I had just started my shift, sir, with the only difference that I began from the road that I usually end up at, sir,” I answered.
“Odd, very odd, indeed; we’ll send some agent tomorrow morning to check on that man, you should start from the road you usually do, we’ll leave it to the cops,” big boss said.
Next morning I did as I had been told. When I finished, I headed back to the council building, where I left the trolley and changed my clothes. The manager came running to meet me and said:
‘”Come! Come upstairs! There’s news about the man you saw.”
We went upstairs to his office. He shut the door and offered me a seat.
“The man you met and who wore one of our uniforms, belonged to a human trafficking gang; they send him pretending to collect rubbish, but in fact he always knocked at this house where they would always dispense a black bag that he had to carry in the trolley to the park where they buried the rest of the ones they killed,” my manager told me.
“He usually did this right before you started your shift, so as to you both couldn’t meet at some point; they didn’t expect you to change your usual route that morning, you are a lucky man, Gerardo, take the rest of the week off, come back on Monday,” he finished.
I left the building and went straight to the pub.
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Gerardo Posada thrown into this world in Hell Salvador (El Salvador). Carries a book as a sword, and fires words instead of bullets. Currently based in London.