Freedom Awaits Outside Your Window
Sometimes I heard the rain against my window. And sometimes when the rain
passed, it left a gloomy feeling in the air. But, the clouds would part and sunlight would
sweep it away.
My favorite part of the house was the single window in my room. It was the only
one I was allowed to look out of. From my window, I can feel the wind, I can hear the
bluebirds that rose every morning, and I could see past the brick walls of the mansion and
out into the world.
I didnít always lead a life of imprisonment and captivity. My experience of life
outside these walls however, were just as terrifying and lonely. When I was barely 2
years of age, mother fled the house. The reason escapes my memory, but a large part had
to do with father. That, I was sure of.
Life on the streets were hard, but we managed for a month or so, until one
morning, I woke up and mother was gone. I waited and waited, but she never came back.
The only company I had was a stuffed elephant I had found. I named him Eli. I was
sitting on a doorstep when a wealthy couple approached me and whisked me away.
At first, I thought it was heaven. Their house was larger than any I had every seen.
Complete with a set of beautiful golden gates that led to marble doorsteps. The mansion
was in a nice secluded area outside of town. A few houses dotted the street, but that was
it. However, a new desperation clawed at me. It was no longer hunger or security, but
loneliness. Not until I grew to about 6 years of age did I realize my new deprivation.
From when I was 2, I had become their slave in exchange for food and shelter. It
wasnít much, but I was satisfied with what I had for most of my youth.
12 years have past since then. Iíve watched little by little, as the dirt roads become
paved, as the fields rise and to become buildings, as the song of the birds become the city
cacophony of the people. The time of silent pastoral wonders has gone by, replaced by
the era of knowledge and technology. From my bedroom window, Iíve witnessed my
beautiful country meadows birth into a bustling city.
Now, as I open my window, I canít feel anything, I canít hear anything beyond
the jumble of noise pollution, and even though I can see past the brick walls of this
mansion, I canít see past the brick walls of the next one. I wanted to see past all the other
brick walls. I didnít want to stay here any longer, I wanted to go back to the silent
I had thought of escaping numerous times. But the family that owned me had 5
dogs, each of a different, aggressive species. All were faster than I was.
But then, in one glorious moment, a simple solution came to me. I just didnít
have the courage to do it.
One day, the members of the household went out, and they took their dogs with
them. But they had forgotten to lock my door. I ran down the stairs and arrived at the
front door. I put my hand on the golden ornate doorknob, but I didnít turn it. I hesitated.
It was the perfect moment, maybe the only moment I would ever be granted, so why was
I hesitating? I couldnít do it. But I vowed to escape from that place. I did. I jumped
through my window.
The first thing I did was check that I was still alive and then I was sprinting down
the street. I donít know how long I had been running for, but I kept running until my legs
threatened to collapse from under me. I sat down on a curb. Where was I suppose to go
now? I remember that the rain was bucketing down with all its might that day. I knew I
couldnít wait here, they would come for me soon. I stood up and kept walking.
Eventually, I made it to a familiar doorstep. But it was already occupied, with a little boy,
seemingly 8 years of age. He noticed me and introduced himself. His name was Ben. And
then he asked me for my name. Back at the mansion, they had always called me
Samantha. But I knew that wasnít the name my parents had given me. I decided from
then on that my name would be Barbie. The occupants of the mansionís little girl liked to
play with dolls, and she had called them Barbie. After she had told me about Barbie, I
had always noticed a faint resemblance between me and Barbie. We were both blonde
and we were both helpless.
The little boy offered me an apple which I munched on gratefully. He was a rickety
little boy with big holes in between his teeth and his smile was too big for his face. Once,
he was searching through garbage at a dumpster, and then he had accidentally fallen in.
Watching him, it was the first time in over a decade that I had laughed. I found it so
hilariously that the feeling was unfamiliar and it brought back memories. Soon, I was
choking back the tears. The little boy came up to me and offered an apple.
The little boy died the next morning. I wasnít sure why, but after he fell
asleep, he just never woke up again.
Because the people at the mansion did not adopt me legally, they did not search
for me. I kept walking along the street. I learned from the newspapers that the city was
called New York. I traveled down the same street in New York for weeks. Living on
whatever I could find. Just when I thought I could see the end of the road, I would cross
the street and then the end would seem farther away than ever. I couldnít stop, I had to
find my way back into endless fields. It had always hurt to walk, but then eating became
painful. I stopped eating altogether.
And then, I saw the end. I just had to cross my very last street, wait for the very
last greenlight, and I could finally be free. The light flickered emerald and I continued
walking. I was dizzy from the lack of food and couldnít even walk straight. I urged
myself to continue forward. And then, just before I stepped onto the other side, my legs
gave way and I fell sideways onto the cement. Nobody noticed. They just walked around
me without even a glance downward. I stared up and the masses avoiding my body, and
as my last shred of consciousness slipped away, I thought I heard a bluebird.