Today was one of those summer days in which the weather is good enough that I would feel like I wasted it if I stayed inside, but I was progressing nicely on the 69th chapter of my ongoing novel. I decided to go to the balcony and lie down in front of the privacy screen to read in peace for a while.
The peace lasted two minutes. Some guy starts screaming on the phone right under my balcony. Whatever conversation he was having with his girlfriend kept getting more and more heated; apparently the girlfriend didn’t want to come to the date with this charming individual. He insulted her on the phone loud enough that every person at the nearby park kept shooting glances, and people were avoiding the plaza where the shouting was taking place. Eventually the guy said on the phone that he was breaking up with her, that he never wanted to see her again, etc. Once he terminated the call, he stuck around to grumble for a while.
I was trying to get back into reading when I heard that moron’s voice again. His stupid girlfriend decided to come and meet someone who only failed to hit her before because he was talking to her on the phone. It didn’t take longer than a couple of minutes until he started screaming at her semi-incoherently with the kind of stuff these cretins shout in such circumstances (“you must have been with some other guy”, “you don’t do anything for me”, “I ask you to do something and you ignore me”, etc.) I couldn’t hear the woman saying anything.
Then he starts breaking stuff. First his cellphone against the plaza’s pavement, then some other item (possibly her phone). Then he wanders away a bit to kick as hard as he can the roller blinds of the office right under my balcony. I hear her warning him in a meek voice that someone will call the police. He screams that he doesn’t care, that nothing is going to happen to him, etc.
A moment later I hear the noise of something hitting wood: the guy is punching and/or kicking the bench that the woman was sitting on. Then I hear the noise of flesh getting punched. I stood up and got a still shot, through the branches of a tree, of the woman protecting herself with her arms while leaning to the side, and the guy standing next to her and screaming at her.
I go back into the apartment, then walk all the way to the landline. I call the police while I still hear the guy screaming in the background. They asked for my name for whatever reason. When I return to the balcony, it was one of those situations in which the moment you call the police, the altercation stops immediately. A middle-aged guy is standing nearby. He asks the woman, who seems to be in her late twenties, possibly hispanic, if she needs any help, if someone should call the police. She doesn’t answer. I recall vaguely that she was rubbing her arm.
A patrol car arrives less than a minute later. Either someone else called as well, or they were in the area. Every single police officer I’ve seen in this province is well-built and fit, including the women; they kinda look like models (so they haven’t gotten around to lowering standards yet).
The police officers look up at me. I point down at the woman, who’s close to the bench, crying in silence. Then the guy who started this whole shit made the mistake of returning. The moment the police officers lay eyes on him, he became all meek and reasonable. “Did you verbally or physically assault your girlfriend?” the police guy asks. “No, no, nothing of that sort. Just a simple argument.”
Turns out he had hashish on him. The guy tries to school the police officer on its use (here it’s only legal to smoke it at home or at certain clubs). I was sitting behind the privacy screen of my balcony. Although I couldn’t hear much else, one of the police officers took the woman aside to speak to her in private. When that police officer returned, the woman was gone, and I heard the police officers tell the guy that they were going to wait for another patrol car.
When that new patrol car arrived, another couple of officers came out and informed the guy that he was getting arrested for domestic violence. I heard that she would visit the hospital to assess the injuries. I didn’t leave until I saw the handcuffed guy getting helped into the patrol car.
I suspect that if anyone other than the police had interfered, the woman in question would have sided with her boyfriend. That seemed very clear from her actions and demeanour. In such cases it’s far better to force her hand. However, if she baited him to have this confrontation in public because she knew how both of them were going to end up, good for her.
So all’s well that ends well, I guess.
EDIT: I realized that the last sentence of the latest chapter I uploaded is, “Well, let’s make sure we don’t give anyone cause to call the police.” Life is one strange bitch.