Climbing up the tree I noticed that her window was open, which was odd since it was usually closed on Thursday nights. Not one to complain I positioned myself so that I could see what was going on in her room; there was quite a bit of noise coming out of it. Leaning towards the window on that branch as I was, I was able to make out a clearer depiction of the sounds coming out of it. I heard her voice speaking in a calm but worried sort of way, almost in a quiet resistance. I heard another voice along with hers, the voice of a man well out of puberty, probably in his late teens to early 20s. It had an insistent, almost coercing tone to it, like he was trying push something onto someone without being too assertive. I couldn’t make out the scene with just sound alone, and since there were several small branches full of leaves blocking my view, I had to gently brush them out of the way so as not to be heard.

Finally, my view unimpeded and my cover still secure, I had a full picture of the entire scene. The dame, whose name is Emily, was wearing a pink spaghetti-strapped t-shirt that showed a bit of the lower midriff. Any shorter, and it would’ve passed for a bra. Along with it, she wore matching pink panties. Sitting on the fluffy light-blue carpeted floor with her was a soap opera stand-in, whose name I later found out was Dante. He wore no shirt, only baggy, loose jeans and a pair of socks. They were still speaking softly at this point, so I could contrast their individual expressions: Her round, sad brown eyes trying to avoid gazing into his intense and narrow glare. She tries to turn her freckled face away from him ever so slightly, only for him to raise his hand and carefully turn it back towards him. Much like a soap opera.

Not that I had any personal stake in this; I was just a horny teenager trying to sneak a peek at a friend as she was undressing, at least that was what was supposed to be happening. I’d never seen this guy before in my life so it’s not like I had any opinion of him or anything, which is funny considering what later happened that night. To me it was just a boyfriend and girlfriend (weird as s--t now that I think of the age difference but, sure) having a moment to themselves (also weird).

I was having a good old time watching the whole thing too; it was alot like a really good but really cheesy TV show that you don’t ever want your friends know about, but you watch it anyway because “why not?”. At least, that’s what it was supposed to be until my foot slipped, causing me to almost fall off the whole damn tree and onto my face. I wrapped my arms around the branch just in time, so I managed to avoid falling, but the sudden jerk of the branch and the rustling of the leaves made enough noise to catch Emily’s notice. Being on the opposing side of the room from where the window was she focused her gaze in my direction away from Dante. She very probably would’ve spotted me had it not been for the fact that her lamp, the sole source of light in the room, was sitting on a bedpost nestled in a corner of the room, leaving the area outside the window in complete darkness. I’d climbed all the way up this stupid tree just to see her strip, and now I was stuck clinging sideways onto a branch all so she wouldn’t notice me. I’d done this before so imitating total paralysis on a dime wasn’t much of a problem; the problem was that I couldn’t see anything. She seemed to be the only one who heard me, because she said audibly:

“What was that?”

Dante didn’t seem to notice a thing; he just turned her head back towards him and said:

“Alright, now you’re just hearing things”

I thought that since my cover was secure I could relax because Emily’s attention was averted from my direction. I carefully slid myself back on top of the branch and waited for things to continue in their cheesy, soap opera-ish way. As you can imagine, things did not go in that direction. Dante asserted:

“C’mon, I know ya love me, an’ we’ve been at this for a month. Time to get serious”

And it was in this way that the snake began to squeeze the mouse, in a manner of speaking. He started groping her body in a way that made my own skin crawl. She tried to resist, as was her habit to any amorous advance, my own included, but this guy was inescapable. She said a few things to him, but they were spoken in a low tone of voice so I couldn’t make out the words. Not that I really had to; it seems he didn’t take a liking to whatever it was, became violent, and forced himself on her. She fought, she cried, she bit and she scratched, but I knew she was gonna lose; it wasn't even a contest. The tears, the gnashing, the tearing and scratching: it was more like a violent episode of Wild Kingdom than any date I’d ever seen. Confronted with this while sitting on that branch, astounded and petrified, I had two options (actually three but the third was rational, and who takes the rational option?) I could crawl down the tree, get the f--- back into bed, wake up the next morning and pretend it never happened, consequences be damned. Or I could deliberate, grit my teeth, clench my fist, grab my pocket knife (always carry one past midnight), jump in the window and do what I actually did. Sure I might have saved her life, or rather prevented it from being forcefully taken (yes, there is a difference), but that sure as s--t didn’t stop her from calling the “third option” on me, forcing me to run.

It sucks pretty hard. I probably wouldn’t be a fugitive right now if not for that. Spontaneity at its finest.