Thursday, September 27, 2007

Le Accident

You know I was an Resident Assistant (RA) at the University of Tennessee, but did I ever tell you about the time one of my residents stabbed her boyfriend?


Well. One of my residents was an exchange student from France. Let's call her "Collette." She started dating one of the other French exchange students in our residence hall, "Pierre." And the passions flew. Unfortunately for everyone involved, they were mostly angry passions. His RA and I spent most of our time separating the two as they tried to beat each other senseless. Correction: as she tried to beat him senseless. When my resident got angry, she didn't use her words. She used her fists. And Pierre just meekly took it, and refused to break up with her, no matter how many screaming fights they had in the quad or how many times she was written up for throwing a 25-gallon metal trashcan across the community kitchen at him.

By the end of the semester, all of the residence hall staff was worried about Pierre. Because Collette never hauled off and punched him directly (or so he claimed), we couldn't just throw her out of the hall like we wanted to. She was getting on up there in write-ups, however, and we were hoping to be able to transfer her. We had called her in for countless conferences, and warned her that if she had so much as another noise violation we would throw her out before she knew what hit her. And of course, we recommended ad nauseum that she should go to counseling to learn how to channel her anger into non-throwing/pushing/screaming/threatening activities.

Then one day, the desk agent called my room and told me to get up to the third floor, because "there had been an accident and an ambulance was on the way." When I asked what happened, the desk agent said that Collette had just come downstairs in a frenzy and said the Pierre had cut himself, and she needed an ambulance. I sprinted up to the third floor to find the hall director, a police officer, and our lovers a fou, one of whom was gushing blood. "What happened?!" we all exclaimed in unison.

But we were met with a stony wall of French. They refused to be separated to explain what happened independently, and if they were separated, would only speak in French. The only thing we could get out of them in English was "it was an accident," so as Pierre was bandaged by the EMT, the cop agreed to let them tell the story together.

Collette Story #1: It was just another day, and our snuggle-bunnies decided to make a sandwich in Collette's room. Her only knife is a steak knife, so they were using it to spread the mayo and mustard upon their bread of love. But as she was getting ready to put the knife back on her desk, she stumbled a bit, and accidentally slashed Pierre!

Pierre Story #1: It is just as she says.


But waaaaaait a minute. Pierre's wound is an inch-deep puncture wound (through his jeans) in the back of his calf, not a shallow slash as would have been inflicted had she stumbled for a moment. And how did she stab him in his calf? The way she says he was sitting makes it almost impossible to reach the back of his calf. And there is blood on top of the bed, as well as the floor, and none on the side of the bed where his calf would have been touching. There's something wrong here.

Collette Story #2: It was just another day, and our tumultuous pair had just finished eating some sandwiches. Suddenly, Pierre was threatening to leave her. He didn't love her anymore, and told her he was seeing another woman. She turned around grabbed the steak knife off of the desk and waved it at him, just to scare him, but she tripped just as he was turning to leave, and accidentally cut him!

Pierre Story #2: It is just as she says.

Oh my goodness! You picked up a knife and threatened your boyfriend with it and then stabbed him because he was leaving you?! That's a crime, not an accident! And it still doesn't explain how you stabbed him in his calf, since in this version of the story, he is standing and about to walk out. Or the blood on top of the bed.

Collette Story #3: Her English must be not so good, as that is not what she meant at all! It was just another violent day, and she and Pierre were in a screaming fight. He was threatening to hurt her, so she told him to leave. He wouldn't, so she tried to push past him to get away from him. He just grabbed her wrists and laughed at her and then pushed her backwards, hard. Seeing he was about to hit her, she turned around, grabbed the knife off of the desk, and told him to leave or she would defend herself by force. He grabbed for the knife, a tussle ensued, and she accidentally stabbed him in his calf!

Pierre Story #3: It is just as she says.

What the #*%&^?!?!?

Cop, exhausted: Who wants to press charges?
Hall Director and I: We do! We do!
Cop: Pierre? Pressing charges against her for stabbing you?
Pierre: No! It was only an accident! We have settled our differences now! No harm has been done (it's only a little inch-deep stab wound, nothing they can't party around). All is well. It was a lover's quarrel, nothing more. Have a good day!

And so, basically, everyone went home. We had Collette moved to another hall (finally!), and she left the University almost immediately thereafter. We never did get a story out of Pierre, and we never got one from Collette that made logistical sense. The walls were paper thin at the hall, but none of her neighbors, many of whom were home, heard the supposed "screaming fight" they claimed to have been having. One did hear her shout one sentence, but didn't do anything because, well, she always shouts at Pierre.

This is what I think happened: It was just another day in which Collette teetered on the brink of criminal insanity. They made sandwiches. Pierre was laying on his stomach on the bed, when he committed some boyfriend foul. Collette became hysterical, and started to scream at him. He did not respond to her, or perhaps said he was going to leave if she was going to shout at him. She whirled around, picked up the knife, and stabbed it straight down into the back of his calf. Enough pressure to go straight through his jeans and an inch-deep into his calf. He immediately started bleeding, and she realized what she had done and ran downstairs for help.

If only Pierre were here to fill in the missing line: It is just as she says.

1 comment:

MofD said...

Think Collette is working with Beth now? (See Venting entry at "Quirky...")