Last night around 11:00 I started hearing loud noises coming from the apartment below me. At first it was really loud door slamming. It happened about three times. I just moved into this apartment, so I don’t really know what the norm is for noise in this building. It’s been really hot here and everyone has their doors and windows open with fans blowing. I thought maybe it was accidental. But it was extremely loud, as if someone was slamming doors in anger on purpose.
Then I began to hear shouting. I went out on my deck and I could hear their voices piercing the quiet stillness of the hot summer night.
“Whose fault is it!?” he yelled. BAM@!! Something was hit with a huge force, rattling the walls of the apartment.
I could hear her voice, pleading. She was explaining, appeasing, trying to reason with him. She was crying.
When something like this happens and I’m alone, initially I freeze. Should I do something? Should I call the police? I felt immobilized. I felt angry. I wanted to go and knock on their door and tell him I was going to call the police. I reconsidered. He could have a gun. I decided to walk my dog, who needed to potty anyway. I walked down the three flights of stairs past their door. As I reached the ground floor I saw a police car just parking out front. Relieved, I walked up to him as he was exiting his vehicle.
“I’m so glad you’re here! I didn’t call you but I’m glad someone did.” I pointed him in the direction of the apartment. On my way back up the stairs the officer was standing at their door and it was open. My dog thought that was an invitation and tried to enter their apartment. “Wrong door”, I told him, keeping my eyes on the ground.
The cop took the guy out front for a talking to. I couldn’t hear what they were saying. It was quiet for a while and soon the cop left. A short time later they started up again, there was a brief period of yelling and then quiet. I knew he was probably blaming her that the police were called. I knew that the level of risk to her was raised exponentially because he had been exposed.
After it was over all I could think of was the number of times I have been the girl who was pleading, cajoling, and crying. Multiple times with my first boyfriend in high school. A short time after that with my first girlfriend after high school. There was sadness and anger. Sadness that after a childhood filled with alcoholism and violence, I was compelled to recreate it again and again. Anger at the perpetrators who excelled at making me feel like it was my fault.
I’m going to report the incident to the management. It seems likely that this could happen again. Next time I will call the police as soon as I hear it without second guessing myself. If I see him in the stairway I will give him a death look that says, I’m on to you.
I’m not going to let him disturb my sanctuary.