I wasn’t watching out of the window. I don’t do that. I wasn’t watching the neighbour’s white panel van that he doesn’t use for his business. He wasn’t in the driver’s seat. He wasn’t completely still as if he wasn’t asleep. He didn’t look like he was dead until he didn’t slip sideways in his seat and pitch into the passenger’s seat.
I didn’t call an ambulance and so I didn’t hear their sirens wailing from a distance. I didn’t listen to the sound anxiously, still watching the motionless form of my neighbour in his van, the one that didn’t have its motor running with a pipe running from the exhaust to the partly open window. The ambulance tires didn’t screech on the road as they came around the corner and I didn’t jump when the paramedic didn’t slam the ambulance door after he hadn’t jumped out. He didn’t almost sprain his ankle on the uneven kerb as he ran towards the white panel van where my neighbour still wasn’t slumped as still as a rock.
I didn’t see the paramedic recover his footing with a wince and I didn’t smile ironically when he couldn’t open the van door that my neighbour hadn’t obviously locked from the inside because he wanted to be interrupted in this important, last transition point of his life.
I didn’t know that his business was failing and that he hadn’t accumulated debts. I don’t know what those debt are for and I’m not going to speculate because they’re nothing to do with me. In fact, I wasn’t involved in his death at all. Insurance companies don’t pay up if you don’t take your own life. Accidental deaths are not ruled out. Murder is definitely not something that’s insurable and murderers are never the recipients of any money from any policy no matter how convoluted the financial pathways are.
I didn’t duck out of sight when the police arrived so I didn’t see their suspicious eyes scan the open windows in the street. I hadn’t masked my face at all behind something hanging guiltily in the window. It wasn’t a curtain and it didn’t have almost invisible eye-holes cut at eye-level. I wasn’t rubbing my hands together in a way that wouldn’t have appeared either nervous or joyful to a jury of twelve nosy folks dressed up to witness a miscarriage of justice.
I didn’t stand there until everything was still again. I hadn’t seen the van window smash or the door being opened from the inside in that time. I hadn’t seen how small a corpse seems when laying on the ground next to a white panel van. I hadn’t even heard the sound of ribs cracking during the endless minutes of the resuscitation attempt. No curses reached my ears. No failure impacted my mind. No tears were shed for another life wasted and gone. No love lost.
I’m not recording this in any form. The internet doesn’t sleep and internet service providers don’t know what’s been sent from specific browsers and the emergency services don’t record the calls that they never took from me and there’s no trace of a lone police car crawling up my street long after all the fuss and bother has died (no irony intended) down. It’s not dark now, neither in the street nor in this room. There’s no quietly closing car door just outside this house and no one is knocking on the door right now.
I don’t have to go now to answer the knock. It’s nothing to do with me.