It feels like the first day of my new life. Two weeks ago I'd left my soon to be ex-husband. It hadn't been easy, but I knew, deep down, that I wasn't cut out to be a house-wife. Once my decision had been made, there was no going back. I'd been sofa surfing during the last fortnight, so today is a big day. I've finally moved in to my new flat. I feel free at last. The only downside is leaving my dogs behind. I had balled my eyes out this morning when I'd gone to collect the last of my things. I felt so sad, but, no pets allowed. No visiting rights either, he'd informed me; the only way I would get to see them again is if I went back. That's not happening, ever.
The flat is on the second floor of a three storey, old Victorian town house. It is spacious, with high ceilings. It is situated conveniently close to Penarth Town Centre, and only a ten minute drive to get to work. I work for British Telecom in Cardiff, mainly nights, taking emergency calls. I love my job. If you walk to the top of the street, which is quite a hill, you can see the sea. That is, if you stand on tip toes and look over the top of The Billybanks, those purpose built, high rise monstrosity's, the council call housing. Still, they do have a lovely view.
I have spent the day arranging and re-arranging: furniture, pictures, photographs and forgotten nick-knacks, a thoroughly enjoyable process, knowing that I only have myself to please. Now it is time to relax. I light a coffee scented candle that I placed on the table earlier today. The table is near the window overlooking the houses opposite. I collect a nicely chilled bottle of Chardonnay from the fridge and one glass and take a seat at the window. Alanis Morrisette's: Jagged Little Pill is playing in the background.
I pour myself a glass of wine and sing along to the lyrics, 'It's like rai, ai, ain, on your wedding day, a free ride, when you've already paid." I am smiling.
I gaze out of the window, it's very quiet, 10pm. and not a soul in sight. I am looking forward to meeting some of my new neighbours, hopefully I'll make some new friends. I glance out of the window again, there is movement in the brightly lit window directly opposite me, on the ground floor. The window is large and rectangular, identical to the one I sit at. There is a pale blue blind adorned with white flowers, obscuring my view. I can see the shadowy figures of two people moving around. I continue sipping my wine. I am day dreaming about my new future, all the exciting things I want to do. Travel is on the top of my list.
I gaze back out of the window, the hairs on the back of my neck suddenly stand up, as if someone has walked over my grave. Something is wrong, very wrong. Oh my God, is that a knife? My heart is beating erratically, my hands are shaking and my skins feels cold and clammy. I make a grab for the phone, the receiver falls to the floor, the base follows it. Shaking badly, I pick up the phone and dial 999. It feels like an eternity before someone says, the words that I normally use when other people ring 999, "Emergency services, how can I help you? Which service do you require? Fire, Police or Ambulance?"
"Ppp, Police please," I stammer, "I think I may have witnessed a murder."
"Stay on the line please, we're just connecting you," the operator says. This is so surreal being on the other end of the line.
"South Wales Police, how can we help?" a man's voice intrudes. I explain what I've seen and they tell me they are on their way.
I glance at the clock, it doesn't actually tick, but the ticking is in my head. Louder and louder, it feels as is my head is going to explode. Bang, bang, bang, the front door. I run downstairs and open the door. Three police officers are standing there, two male and one female. They usher me back upstairs and sit me down. "It's alright," says the female, just tell us what you saw, in your own time.
"There were two people in the room, one of them was waving a knife, it was huge. It looked as if one person was stabbing another person, repeatedly." I tell them. "Then the person who did the stabbing was waving the knife wildly, dancing around the room with it. That's when I rang you, I couldn't look anymore." I say, sniffling.
"We'll go and take a look. Show us which house," one of the male officers says.
I point at the window below and they leave. The female officer asks if I would like a cup of tea. I shake my head, I need something stronger, I take a large gulp of wine. The officer starts writing down my statement, going over and over what I've just witnessed. I am in shock. "Do you think it was a man or a woman holding the knife," she asks.
"I don't know, the figures were shadowy, but it was the taller one, definitely," I reply. The officer stands and simulates stabbing motions in the air. "Was it like this?" she asks.
"Yes," I reply.
"How many times, do you think, five, six, seven? She goes on.
"I'm not sure exactly, at least five, I think," is my answer.
"That's fine," she says kindly, "You've been traumatised enough for one night, is there anyone who can come and stay with you for tonight?" she asks.
"Not really, I'll be fine, this is my first night here you see, it's supposed to be my declaration of independence," I tell her, feigning laughter.
Bang, bang, bang, the other two officers are back. "I'll just get the door ," she says. I listen carefully as they come back upstairs. I hear laughter. 'What the fuck!' I think. They all burst into the room smiling.
"Well young lady, you'll be glad to hear that nothing untoward has gone on, everybody is fine." One of the male officers relays to me with a grin.
"You were right to ring the police though," the other male says, "It could have been a stabbing."
"In fact, it was a stabbing of sorts," says the female.
The three of them relate the strange tale to me, I join them in their laughter. Feeling relief and stupidity at the same time. They bid me goodnight and leave.
The strangeness of that situation remains with me today. The Murder, as it is fondly referred to by my new friends across the road, is a talking point at many of our parties. The play that they were practising for, Delilah, was a huge success.
updated by @baarbaara-sheep: 02/13/16 02:02:51AM