My senior year of college, I lived in the ghetto in Oklahoma City. My college wouldn’t let my fiancé and I live together on campus since “that was a sin,” so we risked our lives living in an apartment complex that had been recently emptied of meth labs and crack heads. Clearly the university was looking out for the wellbeing of the students.
Truth be told, the apartment was beautiful. We had a roommate, so it was a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with walk-in closets. And usually, things were fine. We did find a drug addicted kitten, and the family below us might have been really into screaming at each other. But still, it was home.
Until one day, I was walking home from class, and as I approached our building, I noticed that there were lots of people on our yard. People with matching hats and vests. Holding big guns. When I realized that a swat team was between me and the staircase I needed to climb to get to my apartment, I decided that maybe I should go spend some time studying back on campus. When I got home later that night, the men in vests were gone, and I thought it was all over. Not that I had known what was happening anyway.
A few days later, I was getting ready to go out when I looked out the window, and the SWAT team was back out there, lying in the grass. The only room in the apartment that didn’t have a window was the bathroom. So, to avoid being hit by a stray bullet, I decided to take a nice long bath. I figured that if a bullet was coming up from the apartment below, if the floor didn’t stop it, the tub would. (I didn’t get a chance to test that theory.)
I never heard any shots, and I didn’t notice that any of the neighbors had gone missing. But the cops never came back, and the building went back to its usual drug-addled self. The good thing, though, is that I was prepared when I moved to the Bronx the next year. Nothing there ever scared me.