by LaVerne Thompson
“Hello…listen I’m at the corner of Delilah Drive and Spring Road, looking into the second floor of a garden style apartment opened onto Delilah, and it looks like there’s a…a robbery taking place.” The male caller spoke anxiously into the phone.
The emergency operator on the other end replied calmly, “I’m dispatching a patrol car to the area sir. Stay on the phone with me. Are you one of the victims or do you know the people involved?”
“No, no it’s not me and I don’t know them. I’m in my car. Hang on the light’s changing. I’m gonna make a u-turn and park on the street so I can keep watch.”
“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to remain in the car,” the operator insisted. “How many people are involved?”
“Two, I think. Hurry!”
“Help is on the way. Please try to stay calm.”
“My God!’ the man exclaimed. “ It’s a woman, he just hit her… she’s trying to fight him off. He just kicked a door open and…he’s…he’s trying to drag her in. She’s fighting back. I can’t just sit here watching this.”
“Sir, please do not leave your car,” the operator said firmly. “The person could be armed and dangerous, wait for the authorities.”
“I’m sorry. I’m already at the building. Tell the cops when they get here, it’s the first building on the corner, second floor, the door at the top of the stairs. I’m going to leave my phone on so you can listen in, but I’m putting it in my pocket.”
Without waiting to hear a reply, Stephan did just that.
As he ran up the stairs he could hear a woman’s screams. Why isn’t anyone trying to help her? There were three other apartments on this floor, surely one of them was occupied. It didn’t matter, he was here and he wasn’t going to do nothing. Too late, he wished he’d taken the time to grab a tire iron from his car. But he had stopped rational thought as soon as he glimpsed the woman in trouble. He’d just have to rely on all those kick boxing classes he’d taken when he was in college. It wasn’t like he was a fighter, even though he was in good physical shape, he used his mind not his muscle. He may have to use both tonight, and so far he hadn’t been using much of his so called intelligence tonight. An intelligent person would have waited on the sidewalk and point the cops in the right direction.
He had never been one to sit on the sidelines.
Stephan stopped at the door he had seen the man kick open, which was now closed. But there was a scuff mark near the bottom of the door. He turned the doorknob and found it unlocked. Placing his ear to the door he could hear nothing; cautiously he pushed it open and slipped inside leaving it slightly ajar.
He could hear muffled sounds now coming further from the interior of the condo; he took a step in the direction of the noise that suddenly turned into ragged cries. It was coming from the direction of a hallway which probably led to a bedroom. There were no lights on, but the curtains were open, and the glow from a street lamp provided enough light to illuminate the small room. Stephan could clearly see the kitchen on his left. Moving quickly, he headed there first for a weapon. As soon as he pulled a knife from the block he found on the counter he heard the distant wail of a siren, at the same time he heard a scream that curled his soul.
Throwing caution out the window he ran toward the area the sound came from, holding on to the open doorframe he came to a stop. The scene unfolding before him chilled his blood. There was a woman lying on her stomach on the bed, and the man on top of her straddled her legs to hold her down while he tried to rip off her clothes. The man on the bed was so engaged in his activity he didn’t even hear Stephan behind him.
His first instinct was to stick the sonofabitch with the knife in his hand. But he spotted a metal potpourri bowl on a stand near the door. He put down the knife and picked it up, using all of his strength fueled by his anger, he smashed it against the side of the bastard’s head.
Like a bowling pin toppling over, the man fell off the bed onto the floor, hopefully out cold for awhile. As soon as the weight holding her down was gone, the woman on the bed flipped over. Her tear streaked face momentarily collided with his wide open eyes before turning, and looking at the man on the floor. Returning her gaze to his, Stephan could clearly see fear still flooded her beautiful chocolate colored tear filled eyes, as she backed up against the headboard.
Stephan held up his hands, but he still held the bowl. He slowly placed it at the foot of the bed. “It’s okay,” he said trying to sound reassuring and nonthreatening. “The police are on their way. I won’t hurt you.” He spoke in very soft clear tones, to try to calm her.
“Th…that man. He tried…” Her voice came out jittery but husky.
“Shhh, it’s okay,” he said. “I’m not going to let him hurt you.” Stephan glanced down at the man still stretched out on the floor. “He’s unconscious, but maybe we should get out of here in case he comes to. The police are on their way.”
“Yes…yes, thank you.” She moved to get off the bed on the opposite side from where the man on the carpet lay. Her shirt had been ripped from the back to the collar but was still in tact in the front. She wrapped her arms across her stomach. Stephan took his eyes momentarily off the beautiful woman to check on her assailant, in case he stirred. Because even with puffy eyes, tear tracks on her face, and a bruise on her almond colored cheek her beauty was still apparent.
The woman came around behind him and grabbed his hips in a death grip. He twisted to put his hand around her shoulder, and coaxed her to move forward in front of him. He turned her toward the door. He could hear pounding footsteps coming up the stairs. “The cops are here, you’re safe now. Let’s…” That’s as far as he got before he felt hands around his throat. “Run.” He managed to say before turning to face his attacker.
Lena didn’t know who her rescuer was but she wasn’t going to leave him to face that vermin alone. The two men were about the same height and their hands were locked around each others throats. She couldn’t reach the metal bowl that sat on the bed; the fighting men were blocking the way. She looked around wildly for something to help with, but could see nothing. Then rage infused her.