the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,

  Authors & Artists


Faces & Voices 4
Faces & Voices 5

The Window
Keli McCain
Brooklyn, New York - Marketing

       Everyday Diana followed the same routine. Upon returning home from school, she would run up the stairs, nearly break her neck to get to the bathroom and make her way to the kitchen to fix a grilled cheese sandwich. She would take her daily commute to the window, and enter another world. At the window, she could see everything that her heart and her mind could ever imagine. At the window, she could be anyone and do anything she wanted. In reality, she looked out the window and saw groups of rusty brown brick buildings piled atop the other. She saw filthy, cracked sidewalks and overloaded dumpsters that smelled and looked as if they hadn’t been taken out for days.
       Yet, on the other side of the street there was a park, and that was where she could let her imagination roam. In the park, there was nothing but weed infested grass, a few swings (only one still functioned) and one slide, all surrounded by a gate. Despite what existed in real life, in Diana’s mind there was a lot more. There was a bright green pasture that went on forever and there were hills (if you ran up and down them fast enough, you would have thought you were on a rollercoaster). There were all different kinds of swings; the ones that you could sit in, stand up on and ones for babies; there were enough swings for everyone who entered the park. There were also slides that never ended, and ones that finally did end in a pool filled with turquoise-blue water that tasted like tropical fruit candy when it splashed in your face. The park was surrounded by water and it was in the middle of nowhere. It was an island only for children; children from all over the world; children whose parents abandoned them or abused them. Diana rescued these children and brought them to the island, where they could play all day, eat an unlimited supply of candy and escape their pain.
       Diana looked out the window at the same time everyday and saw only what she wanted to see. It was her way of escaping the depression outside of the window and the depression that occurred in her life. However, today was different. She stood at the window looking down the sun drenched street, but seeing only the blue shirted bowlegged postman as he slowly made his way from house to house, the bulging post bag bouncing heavily on his hip. When he stopped at her gate her heart nearly skipped a beat. There was something about him that screamed “rescue me.” His eyes were green like the color of the Caribbean Sea and his hair, a matching brown that was the color of the sand. His eyes even glared at her as the sun hit, and his smile made her feel as comfortable as a day on a warm beach, relaxing with not a care in the world. However, everything else was a completely different story. The postman’s uniform looked dingy and wrinkled as if he had never paid any attention to the “dry clean only” sign on the tag. Even his shoes were so run down they looked as if they had been run over by a truck, or even a few trucks, at that.
       This was the first time that she had noticed the postman and when he approached her house, he caught her staring at him from the first floor window of the brownstone.
They caught eyes and for a moment, they were no longer in their own worlds, they were both in the same place. They were both on the island laughing and running up and down the hills holding hands and playing with the children they had rescued together. For that moment, everything stopped in his world too. The annoying sound of the ambulances and police sirens stopped. The sound of people screaming vulgar language in the street stopped. All his worries and all his fears were gone. At that moment, the look in her eyes took him to a simpler place and rescued him from the chaotic world he was living in.
Then, not even realizing what had just happened, they both smiled. He went on to finish delivering the mail and she went back to the island. Yet, the moment that they shared would remain in their hearts forever.
       Diana never saw the postman after that. The next day, she sat in the window and stared out into the street, but he never showed up. She figured that he was filling in for another postman who didn’t show up to work that day, and wasn’t on his regular route, so all she could do was hope and pray that he would have to one day come back. Until then, she still had her imagination and in her mind she saw him everyday when she sat at that window. He was there with her every waking moment on the island and she had rescued him.

© 2002 Howard University
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse, Prose & Art, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2002. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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