I came home this morning to find a dead woman in the driveway.
I saw the yellow tape and myriad police from a block away and thought, Well, I’m going to grab Ella and maybe not come back. I walked up from the back and saw the head of maintenance, a young, kind guy named Tony, standing next to an officer.
“What’s all this?” I asked.
“Drama,” he said. “Drama.”
“Um…well what happened?”
“They think you didn’t pay your rent,” he joked.
Inside, more police and residents hung in the lobby. I walked up to a friend of my landlady, who works at the front desk.
“Somebody fell…or was pushed. From the tenth floor balcony. That’s about all I can say.”
Another crack was made about me not paying my rent and I figured whatever situation had gone down had been resolved. The injured person had been taken to the hospital. If there were any suspects, they had been arrested. I could remove myself from the situation and start my day.
“God, that’s awful,” I said. “I think I need some coffee.”
I walked back outside and started across the street to the 7-11 (I can’t find my coffee pot; instead of always walking and buying expensive coffee, I go to the 7-11 across the street, buy a large coffee for $1.53 and come home and add my own milk).
“Megan! You got to go out the back!” Wow. Was Nice Tony yelling at me?
“Shit, OK. Slow your roll, I’m going.”
As I walked to 7-11, I saw news crews arriving.
A short time later I walked out of 7-11, crossed the short street to my apartment and headed for the sidewalk. And there. There was the blood. The sheet. The painted toes sticking out from under it.
“Baby, go around back,” a female cop said softly.
I walked back inside my building to a crowd of people. I stood at the elevator with my $1.53’s worth of coffee.
“You might need something stronger than that today, baby,” I heard someone say. I didn’t look up. As I walked into the elevator I heard the same person say, “Uh oh. White girl’s gonna have a time.”
You know, you watch CSI and Law and Order and all that shit on TV, and you think you’re probably good and desensitized to these types of things. I guess I’m not. When I got in to my apartment I heaved the contents of my empty stomach into the sink.
Now I just feel jumpy. Like I want to go run errands and resume normalcy. Once I get the all clear that this poor woman has been taken out of the street for all to see, then maybe.