Monday, 5 February 2018
I moved my head out of the glare and saw her. A gorgeous girl was gazing wistfully out of the window. The sun was hitting her full in the face, turning her hair into a cloud of gold. I felt like a birdwatcher, gazing on a fragile creature from the dappled undergrowth. As the moments ticked away, she looked neither left nor right. Her gaze seemed focused on some spot a thousand miles away and she was the picture of beauty. I had a feeling she saw nothing of the world outside her window. Sadly, my bus arrived and life moved me on from that perfect moment.
A day or two later I found myself standing in the same exact spot which made me remember the girl so I looked up. There she sat, just as before, but today the sun was missing and clouds had turned the world grey. Seeing her made me smile but after a few moments that smile slipped away. I nearly believed she were a mannequin when she lifted a hand to smooth a stray wisp of hair.
I'm not sure what worried me so about this girl, but something did. She didn't look distressed, or sad or anything at all. Perhaps that was it, she looked vacant, as if someone had shaken all the emotions out of her. Perhaps that was what she was searching for? The more I watched, the more I became convinced the girl was steeped in melancholy. I wished she would look down and give me a smile, or a wave, some little indication that she was alright, but she didn't. My bus arrived and I got on with a heavy heart.
I found myself returning to the bus stop more often than I needed buses and every time she was there. Her clothes changed, her hairstyles changed but the lost look she wore never altered. I tried waving at her but she never saw me, and what would she think if she did? Some madman gesticulating at strangers I guess because that was what I was, a stranger, but each day I felt more like her stranger. I prayed for a sign and yesterday it arrived.
It was raining and tiny rivers of silver ran over the glass. She wore her hair in a braid, which curled over her shoulder to lie along the line of her arm. As always, she gazed into the distance, her far away eyes searching for something. At first I thought it was a breeze that moved the net curtain, but something changed in her face. Her eyes hardened and her lips pinched tighter. I watched with fascination as a hand rested on her slender shoulder. It was a big hand, a hairy one. She didn't look away from the window but I saw the muscles on her neck bunch under her skin. I watched the fingers tighten and dig into her flesh. A moment before she vanished I saw revulsion cross her face. The net curtain fell into place then my window of wonder was empty.
I jogged across the street to the door of the house and looked at the row of bells. Which one would call her, which one would save her from those fingers? Should I pick one or press them all? What would I say if anyone opened the door? I've been watching this girl in a window and I think she is in trouble! I would end up being called a noseyparker or worse. No, it was a stupid idea. I had let my imagination run away with me. I walked away from the house not waiting for a bus to arrive.
Today, my window is empty. In my heart I know something terrible has happened and I could have, should have, done something, but I didn't. As I gaze upward the rain falls into my eyes and washes my tears of shame away.
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