The Girl Who Does Yoga
She lived in the apartment across from mine, which made our windows perfectly aligned in the city sky line. I wasn’t obsessed. I just liked to watch her sometimes.
I know you don’t care, but those were innocent stares. For six months; nothing separated our buildings but three feet, one single shitty block, and seven stories of sanctified air.
I never even knew her name. Not really. In my head, her name was always ‘Jane‘.
She was a beautiful girl.
Twenty-something with a head full of curls that was sure to unfurl on a woefully unprepared world. Every Sunday morning at six sharp she was up with a stretch of yoga and sip of tea. Jane loved to watch TV, and sometimes I would see my favorite shows on the faded reflection of her screen.
She played piano. In the afternoons she sang so loud, the sweet sound sneaked in through open windows and supposed cracks in the walls that were never quite there. But who could care?
It wasn’t a crime. I usually had a lot of spare time, and her voice was beautiful, like some obscure home-brewed white wine. It certainly kept my mind off the monotonous mimes of fingers slamming against my unkind old keyboard.
I called Jane’s boyfriend ‘Dwayne‘. I think that he was insane.
Jane must have teased Dwayne about his getting fat, because one night he responded with a couple smacks from his Louisville bat. She stayed in bed for a week after that.
And you should have seen the scene when Dwayne came clean about Josephine. She was only sixteen. She shouted that for hours, it seemed. In all of my life, I have never seen or heard a man act like such a monster and machine. Dwayne took a knife, that same night, and held it against his own throat. But that fight ended with nothing more than a little dried blood on his seldom clean coat.
The madness became too much to muster on my own. One sweet and simple Sunday, Dwayne caught Jane on the phone. It was only with a friend, but Dwayne still hit her on the head.
The swatting sound was so loud that my apartment was filled with the moans and groans.
I knew Jane was dead because her whole face was red. In a moment, her body broke through the glass window and sped to the waterlogged street before landing, unfortunately, on a shed.
I picked up my own telephone and dialed 911, for the first time, to report a crime to the dispatcher on the line.
In an hour, they were at my door.
The officer was annoyed at the waste of time. They had knocked and checked with the supervisor of the building, but not a soul was inside.
In fact, it had not been cleaned or rented since 2017. Before I moved in, that exact apartment across from me was a crime scene, when a woman was murdered in the same manner I had seen.
So you see… the reason for this song is not for you or for me. It is not to make myself seen with flowery language or pseudo-romantic dreams.
This song is for Jane, in the hope that it may lessen her pain.
Some Sunday mornings since… I still see her doing yoga.