I live next door to a relatively normal young couple. They’re both around the age of 21 and I can tell they’ve moved out of their parents houses together for the first time into an apartment. Sometimes I smell marijuana coming from their door. I don’t mind at all, it’s just an observation. Sometimes he comes home looking exhausted, he has told me he paints houses for a living. Other times I hear them screaming at each other at the top of their lungs.
I ignored the screams as something that was none of my business, especially because I’ve known lots of young couples that scream at each other and have a rocky relationship without any physical abuse. I’ve always thought emotional volatility was pretty normal in young couples. Any thoughts of anything more that could be happening I put into the back of my mind, because I really didn’t want to imagine it.
The girl is sweet. She’s thin and always smiles at me. She has brown curly hair and is in love with my pets. Other than those few things, I don’t really know her all that well. So imagine my surprise when I woke up on their couch after partying on New Years Eve. At first I didn’t realize where I was until I looked out the window. My car wasn’t there, but why wasn’t I in my own apartment? She must have heard me rustling around her apartment when she came out and I swear at this moment of being desperately hungover she looked like an angel. She stood over me while I was laying on her couch with a cup of water in her hand. She asked me if I was feeling ok and explained to me that I was dropped off by a cab that I took and my friend had my keys. This friend would drop them off that morning. Apparently she took care of all this while I drunkenly passed out on her couch after she found me trying to break into my own apartment.
I asked her about her cat that my dog always sees in her window and she looked concerned and says “Why are you allergic?” I explained that I’m not and I just wanted to pet him. She laughed and basically told me goodnight and not to worry about the (horribly embarrassing) situation I was in. She made me feel perfectly at home and comfortable in a horrible and uncomfortable situation. Even in my hungover state I was wondering why I wasn’t friends with her.
She made such an impact on me that, immediately after I got my keys, I headed to Target at 8 am in stilettos and a flashy NYE mini dress to get her a $25 target gift card and thank you note. I wrote “You’re a great neighbor. Thank you for letting me stay the night and let me know if you ever need anything!” and placed it on their door.
Only a few nights later I was getting ready for bed when I heard them screaming. I hear him scream “YOU BITCH I KNEW IT!” and I hear her scream afterwards. Their door slams and then I hear a knock on mine. It was her. The angel that helped me when I was locked out of my apartment standing at my doorway looking battered and crying.
“Can I come in, I’m so sorry. I need to use a phone,” she sniffled.
Of course I let her in. She wouldn’t sit down or take a drink of water and she was crying hysterically while trying to explain to me that her boyfriend found a text from another guy and thinks that she’s cheating on him. She’s been working later hours and he was suspicious. When he found the text he screamed at her and punched her in the face.
Maybe it was none of my business, but I asked if he’d ever hit her before. She didn’t answer.
I asked if she had anywhere to go. She told me “not really” and began sobbing harder.
My heart melted. She explained to me after that her parents kicked her out of their house and he took her in and he’s “really a nice guy.” She also kept trying to convince me that she didn’t cheat on him, but I told her it didn’t matter.
She asked if I think she should call the cops. I said yes, and asked if that’s what she really wanted to do. She nodded her head yes and I dialed 911 on my phone. The cops arrived a little while later and she told me she could stay at her parents for the night.
I haven’t seen her since and it’s been two days. I’ve looked out the window obsessively because I don’t want her car to come back. I know what it’s like to be young and on your own. I know if her parents kicked out their sweet, 21 year old daughter they’re probably not the most supportive people.
I hope that her parents come through for her. I hope that she never gets hit again and my heart stops every time I think I see her car pulling up in front of their apartment.
I still haven’t seen her car, but I titled this entry Volume 1 in case I do.