Martha switched tabs in her browser and paused the YouTube video. Amy Lee of Evanescence stopped singing about ‘[her] immortal.’
Martha held her breath and focused. She was right – it wasn’t the song; raised voices could clearly be heard from the apartment next door.
“Teddy? They’re at it again,” she called out to her fiance.
The last time the neighbors argued was two nights prior at 3am, right outside Martha and Ted’s bedroom window. It got heated to a point where grabbing and shoving came into play. Unable to sleep and concerned for the well-being of the couple outside, Ted called the cops, who arrived promptly on the scene, separated the couple, and then left. Thankfully, once the police departed, the couple chatted calmly for a few minutes before parting ways.
“What are they arguing about this time?” Ted asked, zipping his pants.
Martha shrugged her shoulders and put her finger up to her mouth. While it was easy to hear the screaming, it was much more difficult to hear the calmer words. Plus, she did not want the couple next door to know they were being listened to.
“Mind your own damn business,” Martha could imagine the woman saying to her. She only saw her once, in passing, but felt that she could ‘just tell’ the kind of person the neighbor was from that encounter, supplemented by the various screaming matches from the past.
Teddy and Martha stood face to face, with their ears pressed against the living room wall.
“I’m just so tired of this bullsh!t!” the female yelled. “You sent him my photo without asking,” she continued after no response from the man. “Now I have to clean this mess up. A mess YOU created.”
Martha raised her eyebrow, and now Ted was the one shrugging his shoulders. Neither one of them could figure out what the argument was about.
At that moment, the man replied, but neither one of them could make out what he said. Martha made a mental note to grab a glass next time to magnify her hearing. She wished she had seen the man so she could figure out how he compared to the female. Surely that would help Martha craft a more complete story.
“You motherfcker!” the woman next door screamed just before a loud bang could be heard.
“Was that a gunshot?” Martha asked, looking to Teddy for comfort and direction.
But Teddy did not answer. Blood spilled from his mouth, and his body slumped onto the floor.
Now it was Martha’s turn to scream.
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