The Window

June 17, 2010
By Anonymous

The sky was growing black as the sun disappeared for the long, winter night. Stars were already out, dimly glowing from behind a set of foggy clouds. It was a moonless night, darker than all the rest. The normal chirping of crickets couldn’t be heard. Instead just one single owl, hidden by the darkness of night, cooed a sad melody, one seemingly made for this moment.
Sprawled out across an overstuffed recliner lay Henry. A nearly empty bottle hung from his fingertips, liquid swishing around as his hand swayed. His tie was loose, he was missing one shoe, and his shirt was untucked. Dark bags were forming under his eyes from the many sleepless nights. The picture of failure thought Henry, looking over himself. CEO of the biggest company in the city, almost bathing in money, yet he couldn’t go a single night sober.
Staggering out of the chair, Henry wobbled over to his open window, the breeze blowing out his messy hair. He climbed onto the windowsill, and stood there, the icy air stinging his face as the wind blew harder. He looked down to the busy street, alive with honking and people running to their late night destinations. From his 55 floor of his apartment, they all looked small and insignificant.
It was so tempting. Just one misplaced step, you can do it, he thought. It would look like an accident, a mistake, he told himself. He stretched out his arm and let the now empty bottle slide from his hand. He watched as it sailed down, crashing on the sidewalk into a scattered pile of glass. He sat and looked out over the town, contemplating how much it would hurt, if at all. Surely not as much as this, he thought. How could anything possibly hurt as much as this? “Happiness is a lie, there’s no such thing.” He whispered, the wind taking his soft words with it as it blew through the air. Closing his eyes he lifted his face to the sky and breathed in the cold air, freezing his insides. Looking back over the city he wondered if this really would be the night. The night he ended all his miseries.
Suddenly the loud shrill of his clock rang from inside, informing him of the time. Turning, he glanced at his apartment, basking in the warm glow of a single lamp. No, not tonight, something in him told him tonight wasn’t the night. Henry sighed and jumped back inside, shutting his window for the night. He stumbled to his bathroom, doing the best he could to prepare for bed in his drunken state.
Glancing at his window one last time before he turned his light off, he sighed once again, knowing he’d end up there again, just like he had every night before.

The author's comments:
This was inspired by Edith Wharton

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