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.