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I need to apologize to you.

Dear nameless woman,

I’m sorry.  I don’t know what else I could have done.  Maybe if I had rushed downstairs I could have helped you from your attacker, or found a way to assist you in gathering your things and taking you somewhere safe until the police arrived.

All I did was call 911 and request police assistance with an altercation.  I described him, you, your vehicle, and the threats I heard him make to you; that he’d kill you, run you over, beat you, make you hurt.

I knew those words, I carry them under the skin everywhere I go.  But still, I reported; as calmly and clearly as I could to the person taking the report.  I gave my name, but requested that I not be called.  And I don’t know why they called me, twice, but I didn’t hear the phone.  I was too caught up in my own head, feeling those words and the menace behind them and knowing that they are being said somewhere to someone else, at this very moment.  ALL THE TIME someone is being hurt, raped, murdered, silenced.  I know all these things.

I’m sorry, I feel like I did nothing.  I did nothing to try and save you myself, nothing but dial and talk.

I watched you run off, screaming and begging for someone to hear you on a street where cars go by regularly, watched in the odd silence as the minutes ticked by, and the words tumbled from my lips; height, build, description of clothing, hair, coloring, etc.  Yet, as the words fell into the ears of the operator, my body felt the mark of his threats made reality.

I’m sorry, I hope it was enough.  And I’m sorry if it wasn’t.  I’m sorry if what I do will never be enough.  I’m trying with all I have.

Please forgive me.

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