Friday, July 2, 2010

Murder, She Wrote

I probably shouldn’t be writing about this. I mean, the police didn’t tell me not to say anything, but it feels like I could… I dunno, be affecting the investigation or something. But I can’t help it. I’ve tried to tell people in pieces, tell them what happened, but people get tired of my dithering and I find myself apologizing for it.
I’m going to start at the beginning.

It has been a long time since I’ve felt safe in my apartment. I’ve known since shortly after I moved in that my neighbors were… well, lets just say that they had a lot of visitors at all hours of the day and night. But I’ve never really had any problems with them. I’ve been living there for almost two years now.

In the first week of December, I woke up to a shout. “Fuck that!” The sound is engraved into my head. Seconds after that shout I heard the first crash. Glass breaking. Our neighbours window. I started to panic. A fraction of a second later, the window exploded above our heads. I don’t remember moving. But the next thing I knew, I was shrieking at the end of the bed, and Gilles was slowly sitting up, groggily trying to calm me down. There was glass everywhere.

As soon as I calmed down enough to regain my mind, I told Gilles to call 9-1-1. I was still in too strong of hysterics to do so myself.

I went out into the hallway, dressed only in my pjs, and found several of my neighbours there. The cops made it to the apartment in less than two hours. An hour later, I found out that they had caught the guy. This event, traumatic to me, was the result of a temper tantrum on his part.

Since then, I have had a hard time sleeping there. I didn’t sleep through the night for months, waking up of nightmares. I had Christmas lights up over the window at the time, blue ones. I still haven’t taken them down. Every night I turn them on; they have become my safety blanket.

The first time that I had to sleep there by myself was awful. I spent most of the night awake, walking from window to window and back again, checking to make sure no one wanted to hurt me. When I finally did fall asleep, it was with every light in the apartment on, and hugging a baseball bat.

By the end of February, the nightmares were starting to go away. Instead of every night, I was only waking up 3 or 4 times / week.

Then, we went on a trip to the farm.

We left the city late – it must have been 10pm already when we left. I can’t remember why it was so late.
I was sleeping in the car, Gilles was driving.

Shortly after we drove through Chamberlain, Gilles woke me up. We were stopped. There was a car on the rest stop in front of us, engulfed in fire.

So, we called 9-1-1. We sat there and watched the car burn for an hour and a half before the fire truck go there. It was a volunteer team, from a town an hour away. By the time they got there, there was nothing left but the frame. The paint had even burnt off.

After that happened, my nightmares came back full-force, except this time they were breaking the windows on my car before coming to rob / hurt us. Go figure.

On Wednesday, I found my neighbour sitting on the front steps inside of the apartment building. He was in rough shape. It looked like he had been living on the street for awhile, and that someone had given him a good beating. I asked him if he was okay and if there was anything I could do to help. His response was tell me to go to my apartment and leave him alone. He thanked me when I finally agreed.

Today, when I was leaving the apartment to go home there was a bunch of police officers in the building. I asked them if everything was ok, they said no. They told me that Fred was dead, and asked me when the last time that I saw him was. I told them.

I asked them if it was a natural death, they said that they couldn’t tell me.

I’m glad I don’t have to stay there this weekend.


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