Today’s assignment: what was outside your bedroom window?
It was summer. School was starting in a week, and we were all soaking up the last few days of freedom and warmth. In Boone, most apartments don’t have air conditioning since it’s only warm for a very brief time, so open windows were mandatory from May til September, and my apartment was no exception.
There was a gentle breeze blowing through my open window as the sun started to hide behind the trees. J sat at my desk messing around on the computer while I blow dried my hair in my bathroom getting ready for a party. I shut the hair dryer off quickly,
“Did you hear that?” I put the dryer down on the counter and walked back into my bedroom. J turned to me.
“Hear what?” Just as he spoke, his question was answered.
Stop! Stop it! :scream: Let me GO!
“Oh my gosh,” I whispered and we both ran to my open window and peered into the apartment building that backed up to my own. “Where is it coming from?”
J stood quiet for a moment, then he pointed towards the screams. “There.”
“What do we do?” My heart started to race. We’d heard people fighting before, most walls in the complexes in Boone were pretty thin, but there was just something different about this one. The tone of her voice, maybe?
Then, our decision was made for us. A rage fueled male voice stung our ears.
Stay still or I’m going to kill you.
J and I looked at each other for a brief moment before he lunged for my cell phone resting on my desk. He called the police, and we sat on my balcony with just her screams between us as we waited for them. J met the police officers at their car, and they asked him to lead them to the screams. So I watched. I watched the man I love lead two husky officers into the dark towards a home with obvious domestic abuse. I was scared for him. I was scared for her. I was afraid of the entire situation.
I lost view of all but one of them: the one officer who coward down between my building and theirs, outside their open window where their screams were still pouring from. I watched from my window quietly, then I heard the other officer pound the door loudly and demand contact. My heart froze, afraid J was still with them. Then a hand rested on my shoulder and I jumped. J enveloped me in a hug as we waited. We could hear it all.
The officers talked to them for a good long while. And they urged her to leave. The encouraged her to move out, but she never did. My heart broke for her.
Three weeks later we heard her screams again. And once again, we called the police. A pattern that continued my entire lease.