It was early morning, very dim and grey. There was this condo that my wife and I were interested in, and I rode over on my bicycle to have a look at it. The place was situated on nicely landscaped grounds with ponds and neatly manicured hedges, the buildings were painted in earth tones, and there was a quiet relaxed atmosphere, softened by the misty air and the glow of the carriage lamps that lined the walkways. I had been back several times over the past few weeks to crouch down and look into the windows at the empty rooms of the available unit, imaging our furniture arranged on the beige carpeted floors and deciding whether I really wanted to buy the place.
But when I rode up the lane that led to the unit and dismounted from my bike, I noticed that there was a light on in one of the windows of the recessed living room. I could hear the muffled thumping of music, indicating that someone had set up a stereo inside, and I noticed that the garage door wasn’t quite closed all the way and I could see the silver bumper of a car parked within. The empty condo was suddenly occupied, and I felt very self-conscious and paranoid about being there and wanting to look into the windows. I got back on my bike and tried to ride away as casually as possible.
Already I could hear voices behind me, even before I got to the end of the lane and rounded the corner. They had seen me standing outside the condo, staring at the light in the window. They were coming after me. I ditched the bike on the grass and I hid in a narrow space between the walls of two of the buildings. But it didn’t matter. They walked right up to where I was hiding. There was a blonde woman with her blonde daughter. They told me that they’d come home and found blood everywhere, sprayed on the floors and the walls of their condo, and then they’d seen me lurking around outside. They wanted to know what I knew about the blood on the walls.
I explained to them that I had only come to look into the windows because I was under the impression that the place was for sale and sitting empty, and my wife and I were thinking of buying it. I told them that I had a long established habit of returning again and again to look at something that I was thinking of buying. It was just part of my buying process. I assured them that I hadn’t been inside, and I had only looked in at the windows, and I knew absolutely nothing about any blood. The place had been immaculate the last time I’d seen it. I promised them that I would do anything I could to help them figure out what had happened. The mother and daughter nodded to one another and seemed satisfied with this, but as soon as the words had left my mouth, I wondered what I was getting myself involved in.