The Window This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 1, 2010
The dusty, yellowed blinds hid what I had been waiting anxiously to see. They were falling apart; unbinding from the live portrait of the world that small suburban house my tiny family once called home. The unbounded yellow cloth offered a sliver of what was going on around us, but not yet what I wanted to see. As most things in a child’s mind what I patiently waited for wasn’t visible to others. To other, what I had longed for was forever far beyond existence—an average existence almost.

I held the aged blinds to the window and pulled the string. The sun invaded our empty living room. I blinked my eyes a few times before they adjusted to the light, and stood back. The newly constructed tree house basked in the sun across the street. Other children that I would befriend the coming year of school climbed the ladder up to their hide out, smiling and laughing. I didn’t want to join them though, as I had my hopes high for seeing him.

Like I had seen him just yesterday, in my mind I could picture the wavy chocolate hair on top of his head, the sea that rocked back and forth in his eyes. Like that day, I sat waiting to see him in that same window so many days before. Waiting for that familiar face with the nose practically identical to mine, the dimples that were revealed when my mother and I sang “Happy Birthday” as I prepared myself to help blow out the candles I begged to put on the cake so many months before. Waiting for the overdue embrace I’d receive when he came home.

I watched cars drive by, the dog walker pass by with Labradors, a Golden Retriever, and an odd looking dog with a perky nose and shaggy grey hair…but no tall man with sea green eyes and the hair that reminded me of the Hershey’s that he once kept in the refrigerator that ran loudly in our kitchen—now empty of chocolate delights. The children in the tree house stuck their heads out of their own window, waving down at the man who obviously had the same nose as them but not quite the dimples that probably appeared on their faces when they smiled brilliantly. However, they would not be the dimples the man in my life had when he smiled. The children had disappeared inside the wooden structure again when I broke my gaze.
The presence I so strongly felt behind me, said soothingly, “Come away from the window, Blaire.” My mother put her hand on my shoulder as she said these words, the same words she said to me almost everyday now. “He isn’t coming home.”
The smell of spaghetti filled the small, barely furnished living room, escaping the kitchen in which it had already taken over. It made my stomach rumble, telling me of it’s longing. I held the unbounded blinds to the window and pulled the string once more. This time, they went down, slamming against the wall. Darkness crowded the room, equaling the overwhelming stench of pasta and sauce. I turned away from the damaged shield against the outside world, walking towards the clamor of dishes and silverware. But, the shield came down with a crash before I could abandon it, releasing the sunlight back into the room that would not hold our tiny furniture for much longer; a portrait I would no longer peer into weeks after school began. And, I continued walking away from it: the bright but dismal window of my childhood heart.

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