Late afternoon, it was still breezy and sunny. Drew the curtains open and threw the windows wide open. Took a book to lounge by the window to make use of the last hour of sunlight. Reading by natural light is the best.
Children from within the estate and the neighboring estates were coming home from school and all. School buses stopping, shrieks of laughter, chattering, running...the usual daily sounds that soon faded into the background. Suddenly, a toddler's piercing scream sliced through the air. The eardrums were on auto-pilot mode and quickly adjusted to tune it out. A momentary lapse before returning to the word I stopped at.
The unfolding story was reaching a peak. I didn't notice how long the toddler had been screaming/crying. Till a man's harsh voice rang out, "For God's sake, shut the fuck up!" I was jolted out of the book's imaginary world. The screaming would have had gone on for at least 15 minutes. Had to pop my head out, but of course I couldn't see anything. The toddler was immediately silent. Quiet. No sound after that. The birds chirped.
Woah. The silence was instant. That would have to be the father shouting at the child. Mainly something like that. It couldn't have been a neighbor yelling. Possible, but highly unlikely. We only yell at neighbors who don't treat their pets well. Then I heard hushed voices and a woman's sobbing, followed shortly by the slam of what sounded like the apartment's heavy balcony doors. All was dead silent. Even the birds went quiet for a minute. Eeeks.