Windows | Teen Ink


July 11, 2022
By DesdemoniaDee SILVER, Wördern, Other
DesdemoniaDee SILVER, Wördern, Other
5 articles 0 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”
― Ernest Hemingway

She stared into the darkness that engulfed her room as she lay shivering beneath her blanket. Only little light shone through the cracks of the shutters, so that everything was bathed in a faint glow. The girl was unable to sleep. Troubled by her thoughts, she felt like she could hear them racing uncontrollably through her head. Slowly she sat up and pushed back the blanket that had covered her but not protected her from the cold. The girl crept out of bed. Her feet touched the cold laminated floor and she quickly tried to find her slippers in the dark. They were old and she had grown out of them, so that they felt a little uncomfortable, but they kept her warm. On tiptoes she left her room and walked stealthily along the corridor of her flat, making sure not to wake her parents. She came to the living room. Here too the curtains were drawn in front of the only window in the room. The girl approached it and slowly parted them, revealing the outside world. She looked upon the city. Its lights illuminated the night sky, holding back the darkness as best as they could. The windows of boutiques and restaurants were lit with colourful lights. The world she saw outstretched below her was shiny and bright. From the window the girl observed. She saw women dressed in fur coats admiring dresses displayed in shop windows. She saw laughing children holding the hand of their parents and pointing with the other at toys and sweets. She saw couples, young and old, holding hands and looking forward to an evening at the restaurant. The girl watched and wondered if they knew that behind the facade, above the shops that surrounded them, there lived people, who did not belong to that world.

The girl turned away from the outside and instead looked down at her legs. She was wearing her pyjamas. She had grown out of them too. Once her trousers had been blue, but the colour had faded and the fabric had worn out.


Worn out.

She looked around in her flat. That was her world.


Worn out.

In moments like these, when she wished for more, she remembered what her father had said to her once. We can be grateful we at least have a home. It could be worse, her mother had added.


One day, as she returned from school the girl stopped in front of a shop window. Something caught her eye. A pair of shoes stood on a pedestal. They were light-blue boots, intense in colour and blossoms had been stitched onto the leather with a golden thread. The girl liked them. In fact, she thought they were the finest pair of shoes she had ever seen. She imagined striding along the street with the boots on her feet. Each of the women in fur coats, laughing children and blissful couples would look at her with admiration. She would be one of them. Finally.

But the price tag brought her back to reality. The girl stared at the beautiful, unattainable shoes a little longer still. Then she turned and walked home.


In the following days the girl had nothing on her mind but golden blossoms and the other world.


On that evening the girl wanted to talk to her parents. She wanted to tell them Christmas was approaching. Decoration had been put up on the street and in the shops. She wanted to tell them about the boots. She wanted to tell them about the finest pair of shoes she had ever seen. And she wanted to ask them a question.

All three of them were sitting at the dinner table when she said it: “May I have them?”. She remembered and added: “Please. For Christmas?”. Her parents stopped in their tracks and her mother put down the fork she was holding. Mom and Dad exchanged meaningful looks. She hated when they did that. When they talked with their eyes instead of their mouths. A language only they could understand. Her mother smiled. “We’ll see”, her father said.


That night the girl lay awake. We’ll see. What does it mean?  


It was a week before Christmas when she passed the window again. She looked and felt her eyes prickling and her throat closing with disappointment. The shoes were gone. They had been sold. Another girl in another world was wearing her shoes. She should have known.

So close.

Only a windowpane had separated them.

So unattainable.

A windowpane had been enough.  

The author's comments:

This is originally a piece I wrote in German as an assignment. The topic of the assignment was poverty. As soon as I had written it, I thought I could translate it and submit it.

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