I am a city person. I feel nervous in the country, where no one can hear you scream. I feel nervous in the suburbs, where people can hear you scream, but will likely ignore it.
I rarely feel unsafe in Toronto. Wary, sometimes vigilant, often annoyed. Never unsafe.
And then I hear them.
Three distinct gunshots. Nearby. Perhaps in that alleyway.
The first time I’ve heard the gunshots, although I’m sure that they’ve been fired nearby before. I want to go to the window to look, and I want to huddle under the blankets. My heart is pounding.
“I’m such a lightweight”, I think to myself.
There are no other sounds, no yelling, no screaming, no sirens. I hear movement upstairs, and I realize I’m not the only one who has been disturbed.
I look out the window. A man walking a dog through the alleyway. A man loading stock into the store across the street. A white limo pulls up in front of my building, and the driver and a man in a tuxedo get out and begin unloading bags. A bride in full wedding gown gingerly climbs out of the back, attempting to keep the white material from brushing the ground.
Just another night.