The Apartment is a three-part story. It is a mystery that can happen to any of us. Let’s hope it does not. Enjoy part two.
STARING INTO STEPHAN’S APARTMENT at his body did not seem real. But, there were my cell phone and keys on the floor right next to him. It felt like a television show. Scenes like that did not play out in real life. That is what I told myself. I had imagined it. At any moment I expected to wake up.
I felt a warm sensation on the inside of my thigh and jumped. I quickly glanced down and back up. I was so terrified I had urinated on myself. Go get your cell phone and keys, I told myself. Go get them. In my mind I was screaming at myself to go get them. But my body was not moving. I caught myself panting. I swallowed and vomited again.
My hands shook. My knees wobbled. I took a step across the hallway, got to his door and stopped. I listened. Whoever did that to Stephan could not still be in his apartment, I told myself. There was no noise coming from inside. I reasoned that if someone was inside they would have grabbed me when I walked in. Or, they could have gotten me when I was trapped beneath him.
Still I tiptoed back inside. My keys and phone were ten feet away. They may as well have been one hundred. It looked like a long ways to go.
From somewhere I got the strength to keep going. I was surprised to find myself standing beside Stephan’s body. I slowly bent over and picked up my cell phone and keys. Squeezing them tightly, I ran from the apartment to my door.
At my door I fumbled to find my door key among the many keys on my key ring. Hands shaking, I told myself to focus. Get the key in the lock. It seemed to take forever. I finally got the key in the lock and opened my door, ran inside and locked it.
I immediately called nine-one-one. I told the operator what I found. He asked me questions about Stephan’s body. Were they gunshot wounds? Was he conscious? Did I do CPR? Was I in a safe place? Did I see anyone hanging around Stephan’s apartment? Keep my door lock. Police were on their way. Don’t open my door except to the police. Stay on the line.
I told him I would. I peeked out my peephole. Stephan’s door was still open.
Someone walked by my door. I jerked my head back and stood still. Seconds later I exhaled quietly and was trying to catch my breath. I must have been holding my breath without realizing it.
I composed myself and looked back out the peephole. Another person walked by. Then more people began walking in front of my door. I could not make out who they were or what they were doing. What the hell? Were they the police? They did not look like the police. Who were those people? Maybe they were the police.
The operator asked if I was still there. I told him I thought the police were there. He asked if I could see them. I told him they were not wearing uniforms. They looked to be in suits. He told me the police were not there yet. He said that he needed me to stay inside and keep the door locked.
An eye looked directly at mine through the peephole. I jumped back. Knocking on my door followed. A male’s voice said, “Detective Pall, Los Angeles Police Department.” He put a badge up to the peephole.
The operator spoke into my ear and told me the police were there. I could let them in. I opened the door.
A middle-aged man with a serious face stood in front of me. He looked tough. He had to be close to six feet. He had dark hair. He wore a dark blue suit. His coat was unbuttoned. Two large semiautomatic pistols were in holsters on each side of him.
He introduced himself as Detective Pall. He wanted to know what I saw. I told him everything. It was not much to tell. The basic facts were I found Stephan on the floor and tried to render first aid. Then I called nine-one-one. That was it.
He told me to think carefully and to make sure I was not leaving anything out. I told him there was nothing else I saw. He told me to stay inside. Someone would come and talk to me soon and take an official statement from me. I asked him if Stephan was going to be okay. He told me they were working on him and for me to wait inside.
I waited for about ten minutes. I looked out my peephole several times. But, someone was always standing in my view.
Finally, there was a knock on my door. I ran from the kitchen and unlocked it and snatched it open.
I hope you enjoyed part two of this short story. If you did, send it to a friend and follow me on my blog. I look forward to seeing you next time.