January 18, 2015

The Window

Once there was a big house across the plaza of a small town. It was inhabited by a kind and wealthy family. Though the couple has so much money, they were unhappy. Their son, their only child, got sick and was getting worse every day. The boy was once a healthy lad, smart and kind hearted just like his parents. One day, he fell ill. He was taken to the best doctors and hospitals but he only got worse. His father gave him the best room in the house with a big window where he could look out and see the whole town. Every day, the boy would be seen looking out from his window. Every day, he would watch other children playing at the plaza, couple walking down the road and vendors selling various oddities. He would wave at them and smile at them and they would smile back at him. When he died, the whole town mourned for the passing of the boy.
After several years, the house was sold to a politician. Though he appeared to be charitable, the politician was mean. The man was jealous and possessive. He was cruel to his wife whom he kept locked inside the room with the big window. The unhappy lady was not allowed to leave the house nor to have visitors. She could not speak unless permitted to do so. She was a prisoner in her own home. She would be seen peeking from the window every once in a while. One night, the lady threw herself off the window. She was rushed to the hospital. But since she lost her will to live long before she fell, she died.
Several years had passed. The house with the big window remained unoccupied until a family arrived. Unlike the former inhabitants, the family was not of great wealth. Father was a bank employee and Mother was a small-time businesswoman. They have a grown-up son and almost grown-up daughter. The family was nice and, except for the daughter who was a little wild,  got along well with the townspeople. After a few years, the daughter got a little older and on some very fine nights, she was seen climbing down the big window to meet her boyfriend somewhere. After a few more years, the daughter got pregnant and for the first time after the big house was built, a wedding was celebrated. The succeeding years were happy and fruitful. The son got married, had a family of his own and moved out of the big house. The daughter and her family migrated abroad which left Father and Mother to grow old and die together.
A few years after the death of the previous occupants, another family moved in the big house. But this time, there was only an unmarried daughter and her old sickly father. The daughter was a kind and gentle lady who chose to devote her whole life taking care of her father. She would be seen carrying a basket at the market, walking along the street going to or coming from the church and pushing her father’s wheelchair at the plaza. She was a nice lady who kept candies in her purse in case she came across small children in the street and who exchanged recipes with neighbors. Her father, a retired Literature professor, was equally nice. He always had a nice story to tell older children and a ready square of colored paper for origami to entertain smaller children. Most of the time, he would be seen looking out of the window of the big house to watch pedestrians go back and forth. When he died a few years after they came, the town mourned his passing. Eventually, the daughter was offered a teaching position in the public school. She soon married a widower and moved out of the big house.
This time, the big house was no longer its old majestic self. Compared with the new houses built more recently, it now stood more of a relic than the house it once was, an eyesore to the new generation of citizens armed with various electronic gadgets. It was an accommodation only the poor and desperate would live in. So, when a single mother with two small children moved in, the townspeople felt pity. She was a newly widowed young woman who sells refreshments in a cart to support her children. She takes her children with her in the plaza where she sells her goodies. At night, the light in the room with the big window would be seen from the street and  the noise of children’s laughter would be heard. After a few months, the small family was settled and was accepted as part of the community.
Then one night, the widow, tired by working the entire day, fell asleep on a chair while cooking supper for her children. She woke up amidst the smoke that filled the entire kitchen and probably the entire ground floor of the big house. She ran upstairs and scooped her two children off the bed. But when she was about to go down and out of the house, the stairs gave out trapping the family on the second floor. The widow ran back to the room and directly to the big window. As she expected, there already were people yelling at her to come out. As the smoke was almost everywhere already, she knew there was only very little time. She looked out the window and yelled..
Please, save my children…”
Then, she saw a blanket being held by the people and without thinking twice threw her older child on it. Then, she saw another blanket being held for her second child. Trusting the townspeople with all her heart, she dropped her younger child to the blanket. With her waning strength, she climbed up the window hoping to climbed down the street for safety. When she was up the window, she realized how beautiful the town was and how nice the people in it were and then she blacked out.
She woke up in the hospital and was told that both her children were safe but the old big house with the big window was gone.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

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