Voices in the Night

It started with a “Fuck You!” and I looked up from the flute of champagne I was pouring to meet eyes with my wife. She too looked shocked, and both our eyes turned to the large sliding glass door that separates our kitchen from the back yard.

“What was that?” my wife asked, her question punctuated by a loud shriek from beyond the glass. I set aside the glass and moved toward the door. I flicked on the solitary 40 watt, which barely threw enough light to see the fence on the far side of the yard, much less anything in the field beyond. Sounds came again, a choking rush of sound, something like the noise my toddler makes when she isn’t sure if she should laugh or cry because she’s too excited.

“Maybe, its just some kids playing?” I said, with more uncertainty than optimism.

“Get your fucking hands off me!” came as the reply from the voice out in the darkness.

“That isn’t playing,” my wife said. We met eyes only for a second and then I ran down, barefoot, to the far side of the small suburban back yard, hoping that I might be able to see more through the fence as the sounds that have broken down into something that wasn’t language anymore. I hoped to see young lovers in the midst of an overly dramatic fight, but instead could only see darkness. Something inside of me wanted pick up a stick and go running, to find what was happening and put a stop to it. My wife took the more sane approach and dialed 911. The dispatcher took down what they needed and said police where en route, and asked if we’d like the police to come speak with us. We agreed that would be ok, and then I went to the front yard to wait, not wanting their arrival to awake our then sleeping daughter.

For what felt like an eternity, but was perhaps only minutes, I sat in the yellow glow of our porch light waiting for something – anything – to happen. It didn’t take long, soon a helicopter was flying in tight circles around the field behind our home and a squad car went roaring past with siren and lights all ablaze. A few neighbors came out to stare up at the low flying helicopter as it swept in circles above our homes, but none of them stayed for long. I waited and waited, but the helicopter turned back and disappeared into the night and a several more squad cars came and went without one ever stopping to ask us anymore questions.

I hope that they found nothing, or that they found a tear streaked teenage girl who only needed to work on appropriate volumes for public conversations, and not a trip to the hospital. I don’t know what they did find, and I guess I never will.

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