The glass had been shattered years ago. It was still a window, but the glass seemed to be held together by the tinest of threads. Often when her parents fought, Abby would retreat down to the basement. She would drag the old rotting wood chair carved with hearts and lean it against the wall, climb up, and stare at the window. She wondered if she touched the glass, would it feel smoothe, like a window? Would it be rough and prickly like the shards? So she sat and pondered this window. Was it really a window? It looked like a window, but it let the cold air in and the wet rain in. She couldn't see out of it. But if it wasn't a window, what was it? She would get so deep in thought that she couldn't hear the screaming and yelling upstairs. The years passed and Abby grew older. But nothing changed in her parent's realationship so nothing changed with her fascination with the window. Between homework, school and track, she would drag over the chair and look at the window. Never quite daring to touch it, afriad it might break. Then one day, Abby's mother left in a flurry of curses and abgs that had been packed for weeks. She quietly tiptoed up the sitars and watched from the door of the basement as her mother's blonde hair whipped in the wind as she stormed to her car. Abby watched her mother's sad green eyes and she shouted the last words of their never ending fight to the man in the door holding a bottle of booze. She threw her bags in shotgun and opened the driver door. He shouted some swears drunkenly and made dirty gestures. Abby's mother was half in, half out of the car when she screamed "And to hell with you and your damned booze! There is nothing in this house i love anymore! There is nothing good enough to make me stay!". Abby let out a tiny gasp as tears flooded her eyes. The words physically hurt, like heavy pressyre on her chest. She wasn't good enough? Her mother didn't love her? Abby's father sneered and slammed the fornt door. And Abby's mother noticed little Abby standing in the doorway to the basement, crying silently. "Oh Abby..." her mother whispered. But Abby just blinked her green eyes slowly and closed the door. She ran into the living room where her father was hell-bent on getting wasted. "What did you do?" she demanded angrily. He turned a bloodshot eye to her and snickered.He began to talk, surling drunkly "Itsh not myy fault your mothersh a shtupid shlu-" "Shut up! Don't talk about mom that way!" Abby shouted. This seemed to rouse the anger in him. He grabbed her by the shirt collar and threw her down the basement stairs. He stumbled down and began to beat her with lousy aim but great force. Finally he was spent and lumbered upstairs to rejoin his beloved alchohal. Abby just laid there, sobbing and bleeding and sore. She slipped upstiars and took a little suitcase and put some clothes, some pictures, and her teddy bear. She sneaked back down to the basement, dragged the old chair to the wall and got up. She looked at the delicate glass, broken and not really a window at all, and drove her fist through it. She grabbed the suitcase and pushed it through, then manuvered herself through the empty windowstill. She brushed the shards from her skin and began to walk, slowly, to the bus station. She bought a ticket with the money her mother gave her every week. It was a long bus ride so she thought. Abby thought of her mother leaving them, of her mother's words. She thought of her father's beating, of how it breath sunk from his only true love, booze.And of course she thought of the window. She looked up suddenly as a realization hit. The window was her parents. It had looked like a marriage but had been held together by the tinest thread of what was once believed to be love. And the only way for Abby to be happy was to break free of them. She wandered around the city till she found a soup kitchen. She ate the food sitting on top of her suitcase when one of the workers came over. "Your Emily and Richard's granddaughter!" the white haired woman in anapron exclaimed. She pulled out a cell phone and spoke quick words into it. Abby didn't hear them, she was half asleep ontop of the little red suitcase. She remembered hearing "Oh Abby!" before falling deep into sleep. She woke up tucked in a warm bed. Abby tiptoed down th white steps and saw her grandmother cooking breakfast in her silk lavender pjs and her grandfather sleeping on the couch with their little white dog Charlie on top of him. "Good morning Abby." her grandmother sia dsmiling. Abby paused for a momment, then ran over to her grandmother and threw herself into her arms. "Oh, dear. Its alright." her grandmother cooed. Her grandfather and Charlie came over and hugged her too. "Its ok Abby." he murmured as Charlie licked her face. Abby smiled and nodded. Later that day she went down into the basement and dragged a white rocking chair over to the window. She climbed up and peered into the window. It was smooth and clear without a trace of breaking or any flaw. She touched the window gentle and smiled when it didn't break. She had found a home she could be happy in, because the love here wasn't shattered. And no preditction ever proved more right.
January 31, 2010