Wednesday morning started out like any other; hitting the snooze button way too many times, and finally rolling out of bed when I heard my roommate come back into the apartment after walking her dog. I made my bed and headed to the bathroom, and after I flipped the lights on it only took about 15 seconds before things went way, way weird.
My roommate was talking to me through my closed door. We never interact before I leave my room. I was immediately suspicious.
"Something happened with one of our neighbors. There are a ton of cops outside and I was just questioned by a detective."
Guys, this was some heavy s#!% for 6:40 in the morning.
She continued updating me as I brushed my teeth. The detective was asking her about a girl that lives on the floor above us; does my roommate know her, had she seen her car, did she notice a particular man around recently, etc. My roommate asked the detective if everything was okay, and he said no, but that things were safe and we had nothing to worry about. So that at least was good to hear, but clearly there was something very, very wrong.
I finished getting ready for work and ate breakfast and whatnot, and we kept talking and wondering and speculating. My roommate left for work a few minutes before I did, as usual, but eventually it was my turn to head out into the world and see what was going on. The building we live in is sort of open-air, with stairways on either end of our "hallway," if you will. The up stairs at the far end were blocked off with that yellow "POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS" tape, and the up stairs closest to my apartment were blocked off my a cop.
"No I haven't, but yes my roommate has."
He pointed down into the parking lot. "There's a van over there with all sorts of flashing lights. Head over there so you can talk to someone."
So that's what I did. I went over to this van, where I was met with a man from the District Attorney's office. He came with me to my car where he took my information and questioned me. I'd been home in New York for the last week (I'd only gotten back the previous afternoon) so I was mostly useless, especially because I didn't know the girl they were asking me about. I wouldn't have known who she was if I'd fallen over her in the street.
Basically, if this had been an episode of Castle, I wouldn't have even had a speaking role. You know how there's always a scene in which someone says, "We canvassed the whole building, and no one heard or saw anything," and then Beckett looks vaguely frustrated? Yeah, I would've been one of those useless neighbors. Whoops.
When this detective was done questioning me, he asked if I had any questions for him. I couldn't help myself, and I asked him what happened. His answer?
"Well, I'll tell you because you're gonna see it on the news anyway. There is a dead body, and it looks suspicious."
OKAY WELL THANK YOU SIR I'LL JUST BE ON MY MERRY WAY TO WORK NOW.
We found out later that it was, in fact, a homicide. They found the suspect on Thursday, I believe, and based on what they asked my roommate and I, it sounds like this was a personal, isolated incident. So I don't feel unsafe where I live. This is a safe area, and a nice apartment complex! And the police department is basically right around the corner! That's what makes it so crazy! I've never even seen cops around here, let alone been worried about suspicious deaths!
But again, I have to reference Castle -- in one episode there was a murder in an extremely ritzy building. Castle was shocked and asked Beckett how often things like that happen in buildings like this. Beckett answered, "Same as anywhere else, Castle. Just the once."
Stuff like this can happen anywhere. It's pure coincidence that it happened in my building. (You can bet I'm now going to be extra vigilant about locking the door, though.)
Something like this certainly put all my stress into perspective. That morning I was worrying about going back to work after a week away, and applying for jobs, and finding furniture for my apartment, and my roommate's imminent departure and the stacks of moving boxes that are absolutely everywhere... but suddenly I was content. Because the bottom line is that I'm alive.
So hopefully this weird saga turns into nothing but a weird life experience -- there was a MURDER in my building and I was QUESTIONED by a DETECTIVE! -- and a reminder to appreciate the little things in life. Stay safe, friends! Tell people you love them and take a minute to slow down and be happy!