A Light though Frosted Glass

By , Winner, SD
Useless. Pointless. Broken. Nobody. That’s what I am. A pathetic soul forced to wander this empty void forever… Well, not forever. There is nothing for me here. I hope my plan will work… Next to my pillow lies a handgun. Slowly, I take it up into my hand and looked down at the glistening barrel.


Look outside…


I have a sudden urge to obey. I do so, immediately feeling regret. The window is frosted over. I can’t see anything… I cannot hold back the tears, now. What kind of failure am I if I can’t even look outside?!


I raise the gun to my open jaw. It should be over quickly… I click the safety off and… What’s that? Something in the window distracts me. There, a soft glow, shimmering palely through the frost. I lower the gun and run over to the window. The cold draft seeping through makes me shiver. I try to look through, but it’s no use. It’s too frosted over.


Shaking my head I open it. The cold air hits me like a bullet and I fall back slightly before peeking outside. A shrill scream fills the air. My eyes widen in fear at what I see. The other building’s on fire! Without thinking, I got my shoes and coat on and ran downstairs, not even locking the door.


A few people are standing outside watching. Only one was on her cell phone calling the fire department. “How can you just stand around and watch?!” I yell at them running over to the building’s door. Some of them look at me with a glazed expression. Angered, I threw open the door with a curse and rushed inside.


There were no flames here. They hadn’t reached the bottom level yet, so I began to run up the stairs, skipping three at a time. Maybe I just imagined the scream. Hopefully all the people made it outside.


The smoke began to grow heavy as I raced up the stairs. I must be getting close… My breathing by now was labored. Then I heard it.


“Mommy?”


At the fifth floor, I heard the muffled cry. I slowed near a door and yelled, “Hello? If you can hear me, say something!” Smoke was seeping through the bottom, beckoning to me with its grey tendrils. Biting my lip, I waited for a reply.


“…M-Mom?”


The sound was from the next door over. I grabbed the doorknob, but quickly let go with a gasp. The knob was insanely hot. I looked down at my hand, which was slowly beginning to blister. The fire had to be just behind the door…


“I’m gonna get you out! Are you near the door?”


“Daddy, Is that you?”


“Please back away from the door! I’m gonna get you out!”


I kicked the weakened door open and rushed in. Flames and smoke were everywhere. I lifted my shirt over my mouth and began to look for the child. Ceiling tiles were falling all around me. A constant crackling filled my ears. I looked frantically for the child, worried. The fire was growing worse. Sweat ran down my cheeks like tears. Then I saw her near the window, eyes large as she watched me. Running over to her, I tore my coat off.


“I know you don’t know me, but you’re going to have to trust me, okay?!”


She looked at me with wide eyes, coughed and then nodded. Without hesitation, I wrapped her up in my coat, picked her up, and began to run for the door. Suddenly a beam fell from the ceiling and landed on me, trapping my leg. I fell and gasped, only to choke on the ash on the ground. I heard the little girl crying from within my arms. Gritting my teeth, I pushed the flaming wood off from my leg, resisting the urge to scream.


Getting it off, I grabbed the girl and proceeded to run out of the apartment, ignoring the pain in my leg. I ran down the stairs as fast as I could. Near the second floor, my leg gave out on me and I fell. Luckily, a fireman was there to catch both me and the girl. Feeling like everything would be okay now, I passed out.


It was three days later when I had awakened in the hospital. They said my mother wanted to see me, but I wouldn’t let her. I hadn’t seen her in three weeks. For the first time, she would have to wait for me. The next day, the girl’s parents came to visit me and to thank me. The little girl came, too. She had a few minor burns, but nothing major. Not like me…


They had to amputate my leg, the burn was so severe. They said it was a miracle I could run at all after receiving it, nevertheless three flights of stairs. Her parents told me that I was a miracle. That if I hadn’t ran into the building, that their daughter would be dead. They asked if they could pray for me, but I declined. I felt so guilty as they left. So guilty to think that I had actually almost committed suicide right before… How selfish could I have been to take my own life? If I had, then maybe that little girl wouldn’t be alive today…


It seriously makes me wonder. Maybe I do have a purpose. A hope to believe in… I thought of something today. Life is like a light shining through frosted glass… You may not be able to see everything so clearly, but it’s still there. A tiny halo shimmering in the frost...Sparkling with the life and purpose that burns in everyone. This fire… This changes everything. I may not be able to walk ever again, but at least I have something. Maybe even, when her parents visit again, I’ll pray with them.


There is a hope. A hope to believe in…





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