I heard screaming. I thought at first it was a dream since I had been dozing in my chair, but I sat forward just as another scream shattered the night. I was frozen. It was not a female screaming. That was the weird part. I had heard a guy scream just once. My brother, Mike, had hit his own hand with a hammer once, breaking three fingers pretty badly. He had screamed loud enough for our neighbor a half block away to hear him. So I knew what a guy screaming sounded like and I heard it again. I wanted to raise my blinds but I couldn’t make my hands work. I couldn’t even stand up. My legs felt like rubber and I couldn’t move. My phone was across the room and I couldn’t get my body to cooperate enough to even reach for it.
Then it was quiet. After about 4 minutes of trying to breathe again, I finally peeked through the blinds. Tara was sitting there combing her hair. She seemed completely relaxed and still wore the same slinky gown as before. I wondered if the man was in bed or had he left? I watched for a couple of minutes before Tara stood and went into the other room, turning off the light as she went. I let the blinds fall back into place and sank back into my chair. It was all so very strange. All these months, I saw no men in her apartment and now today there were two. Today, there was a man screaming and today, Tara had waved my way. It all made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and I didn’t really know why.
Finally, I figured it was safe to move so I went over to the refrigerator and took out a beer. I hadn’t turned the light back on so I just raised the blinds and sat back drinking the cheap beer. I heard nothing from Tara’s apartment and she never came back into her bedroom. That in itself seemed odd to me since she had been dressed for bed..or maybe play. I was starting to wonder if I knew her at all. I then reminded myself that I really did NOT know her. I felt as though I was falling deeper into the fantasy life I had created and it was beginning to be a bit scary. Suddenly, I stood, picked up the notebook full of notes on Tara and her life and threw it into the nearby trash can. I had to stop this craziness and find a real life. I felt calmer at the thought, but that calm was suddenly ripped from me. Someone was banging on my door. They were banging in a way that could only be described as frantic.