The chill outside hung in the air like a white misty blanket, my breath swimming within it. I pulled my jacket closer and kept on walking.
It was just 4:30pm, winter season.
My steps made little noise on the ground as I stomped my way hastely to my destination. I had a dinner to get to for 8pm and it felt like I was running late already.
A scuffle to my left perks up my attention, as I glance to see a group of boys surround a cowering smaller boy. I don’t break my stride, as the sound of the first punch hitting the smaller boy in the face got to me. If anything, they quickened to escape the scene.
After all, I don’t know him. I’m not involved.
A few mins of fast walking away from what sounded like a flurry of continuous punches and kicks, the screams of help had finally dwindled to a faraway whisper that I can ignore.
I don’t know him. I’m not involved. The ends are rough, I didn’t see shit.
My pace eventually slows back to its original tempo, left right, left right. My hands temporarily leave the edges of my jacket, as I bring it together to warm up. Hot air touches them, as I rub them together furiously, hoping that the friction keeps me warm.
A whistle blows through and I turn to see a lady being cat called by a few older men. She was covered up well but even from here, I could tell she was a babe. Date-able to be sure. More for the sex than anything, possibly.
Of the three men cat-calling her, one steps out of his way to block her. My pace had slowed now, a steady rhythmic pacing. She looked pretty enough for me to step in and pretend I knew her.
Well, until the one in front of her made a grab for a lady parts in Donald Trump fashion and she slapped him. He retaliated, his heavy counter causing her to hit the floor, blood spilling out of her mouth.
My walking pace almost immediately sped up, my focus forcibly torn away from the sight I had seen and back onto the road I was on.
I don’t know her. I didn’t see shit.
Or I hoped, that would be the case as I glanced back and made eye contact with one of the men who was standing over her now unconscious body.
It was brief but it felt like eternity, as the gears in both our minds clicked into place. My walk turned into a run, and I heard the footsteps behind me.
My stamina did not last for long, resulting in me being dashed against the wall of the back of a nearby retail store.
I don’t know him. I don’t know her. I don’t know anything. I’m not involved.
I say, repeatedly, stumbling over the words, sweat and spittle that dribbled over my mouth, with my hands up in surrender. The guy manhandling me slaps me and tells me to shut up. I obliged as he proceeded to threaten.
He made to punch me half way into his monologue of what he would do to me if I said anything when I noticed a staff member of the retail store at the end of the alley way looking in.
I tried to stop myself from shouting for help but the words had left my mouth before I could gate it.
I opened my eyes to the dark street. It hurt like hell to move and I am guessing something in my body is broken as it is severely hurting to breathe. My damaged watch reads 8pm. my right hand goes to search for my iPhone but I already know I won’t find it.
I finally manage to sit up after some mental coercion. I briefly wonder why I had been left unconscious for so long without any help when the realisation hits me calmly. The staff that saw me. They took themselves out of the equation like I would have.
I sighed and shivered before forcing myself up.
The officer I spoke to at the hospital questioned me about my attackers. As I was about to reply, I see a man rushed in on a stretcher through the ward. Something about a bullet wound. It was brief but I saw the face and something in me shivered in some version of primal fear.
The officer reiterated the question, more slowly, afraid that some concussion had dulled my hearing and response. I turned back to face him from the bed I was sitting on.
“I don’t know him, sir. I don’t remember much.”