Originally published on July 26, 2008
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“Heyulp! Heyulp!” was what I thought I heard one morning, coming faintly through the thin wall separating my living area from the rest of the flat.
I had one earplug in, one had fallen out, and I was still half-asleep. So I wasn’t sure I’d heard anything.
Then came a crash, followed by some guttural, angry expressions in Czech. Something bad, something possibly violent, was happening in Bryan’s room.
I knew there were at least two boys in there, although there was often a whole gaggle. One was Station Daniel. I thought for a minute and concluded that a passive boy like him wouldn’t be making such a ruckus. It had to be the other boy, Jaro, a veteran Pinocchio muscle boy, and inveterate piko abuser.
I didn’t know much about him, other than a feeling from my gut that told me not to trust him. When I first met him in Bryan’s flat, I’d been charmed. After a couple weeks of observing him, and detecting a wicked, condescending edge to his interactions with Bryan, I was no longer charmed, and thereafter avoided him. Further, I knew why a boy like that was sleeping overnight in Bryan’s room, and that realization didn’t put me at ease. Not at all.
I propped myself up on one arm and fumbled for my glasses. Putting them on, I listened to the continuing conflagration in the next room, and heard Bryan call for help a couple more times. I thought: Should I get involved or should I not?
There was no lock on the kitchen door, so it was quite possible that whatever was happening could spill over into my room whether I wanted it to or not. More importantly, could I just lie here while something bad was happening to Bryan? I may not have liked Bryan very much, but he was a blogger, an American, and besides, I liked piko-crazed Czech šlapky even less.
I heard another thud, which sounded like bone on flesh, or flesh on bone, and heard Bryan call for help again and mention the police. I made up my mind, and went on in.
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