For the past couple of weeks I have been working on a short story titled, "The Woman Murdered Upstairs." In this post I will be posting the first chapter of this work. In the future I will post other installments of this story. I hope that you enjoy it.
“Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” Gen 4: 9
“WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN APARTMENT AFTER 5 DAYS MISSING.” Did you see that?” asked the man as he nervously looked at Peter, giving him the paper.
Annoyed, Peter tried to look the other way, but he failed in his attempt as he caught him right at that moment that he was looking directly at him. Peter took the paper, which had a peculiar smell of rotting wall paper, (realizing later that it was the smell of alcohol and the stale musk cologne that the man was wearing) and quickly browsed, passed the title and onto the picture of the woman who was murdered.
The paper stated that she was murdered by repeated blows to the head. After feeling sorry for her for about 3 seconds Peter hurried to give the paper back to his rude neighbor when he caught with his eye the victim’s name: her name was Susan Williams…
At first Peter wasn’t too concerned, but then he remembered that he knew her from somewhere. The more he searched his mind the more confused he was, but after peering through his mind for some minutes he came to the startling conclusion that Susan Williams was his neighbor who used to live above him in his old place. It was years since he last saw her, but strangely he couldn’t make her out from the picture that he saw in the paper. After finally giving back the paper to the man, the man exclaimed, “It’s a shame that she died like this.”
The man continued, “Based on the accounts of the witnesses and the police report there was screaming and banging for about 30 minutes, followed by a ghostly silence and a man walking out. Nobody thought much of it since the couple always fought. It is a shame though that she was discovered 5 days after by her land lord; her body already in the state of decomposition, her body being eaten by maggots.”
He continued, “It’s a shame that the neighbors did nothing on that night or in the other nights when they heard the couple fighting.”
Peter was briefly able to clear his throat and utter in a semi audible tone, “I agree.”
The man continued again, “It seems that no one cares anymore. We are all too busy living our lives; heck we are so busy trying to survive that we don’t even have the time to think or care about others.”
Peter answered, “I agree somewhat with you, but in this case don’t you see the wisdom of not meddling in the affairs of others? A person should always use discretion when helping another person out.”
The man responded, “That is the problem with this world. No one wants to help anyone else on the pretense that one shouldn’t busy themselves in the affairs of others.”
He continued, “If that were the case no good would ever be done since goodness always involves some type of risk in order for an action to be good.”
Peter replied, “There are different ways of doing good.”
The man asked, “So when is the right time to act in your opinion?”
Peter answered “In this case once one has exhausted all of the legal avenues.”
Surprised the man asked, “So you are telling me that if you saw someone hurting your child, you wouldn’t defend your child first then call the cops?”
Agitated Peter answered, “Of course I would protect my child first, your point is irrelevant.”
“Irrelevant. How so?” He asked. “Based on your answer a person only has a duty to protect another if they are related by blood.” Is that correct?
Peter answered, “Partially. I believe since I am a Christian that praying for a person is the best that I can do in any situation.”
Disgusted the man replied, “So you are telling me that instead of helping a person you would pray for them instead.”
“That isn’t what I meant, Peter said, but I can’t expect you to understand since you are probably not a Christian.”
The man asked, “What makes you think that I am not a Christian or another religious sect, or even spiritual?
Peter replied “Honestly I don’t want to answer that. I just have a feeling that you are not religious or even a mildly spiritual person.”
The man replied, “Based on your answers I also don’t think that you are a Christian or mildly spiritual.”
The man continued, “Isn’t one supposed to love their neighbor as themselves? Isn’t that what Jesus said in one of his speeches?”
“Yes it is what he said.” Peter nervously answered while sipping his cup.
The man continued, “So how is that you can excuse yourself from helping your neighbor if you call yourself a Christian?
After saying this the man began to violently cough and briefly excused himself as he sipped his last drops of coffee. After regaining his breath he said, “You are right to say that I am not a Christian, or even spiritual. Honestly that stuff doesn’t interest me. I knew many people of different faiths and they come across as the same; morally selective to a flaw. Religious people are the greatest rationalists on the planet. If something doesn’t suit their desires they conveniently point to a passage in their sacred texts to justify their position. And if they can’t find their justifications they just conveniently do what they want to as long as they attend their communal worships. That is the extent of my religious belief. I don’t have any. I live on life’s terms and that’s it. And occasionally if I can help someone out I will do so.”
Peter, in a somewhat defeated tone answered, “It sounds like you got it all figured out.”