The last dying rays of the sun caught the teardrops as they slowly ran down the face looking out the window.
The threatening rain clouds that had shrouded the sun during the day had left, and the red tint of the dying sun now
lit the evening sky with a pinkish hue.
Though the sky was clear, the face of the woman was covered in clouds, and thunderstorms of tears streamed down her face.
This was the day he would have arrived. The ship was due, she told herself as she had done the
last week, he would be there. She continued to look out the window, hoping to see the rocket signaling
the arrival of a ship in the harbour. There was no sign of the ship; no news had been heard for some time.
She looked and hoped, she wished she prayed, and she waited. The house waited, ready to greet its master and
her husband on his return. Instead there was a pale tear-stained face that looked through the window,
and waited, as she had done for the last week, empty, lonely waiting, as she would forever.
Her man would return one day, but the window and the woman knew in their hearts that he would not be coming back.
A face pressed up against the glass, small hands drawing pictures in the steamed drawing pad of the window. Excitement filled the frame and small hands, and eyes tried hard to look for the expected visitor. She had been there for a long while, or so it seemed to her, but still there was no sign.
She once again breathed on the window, and wrote in small childish script ANNA, she prided herself at the way she could write her name. Once again she turned back to the window, and pressed her small features up against the glass. She had waited so long, but he must be here soon, he must,. What would the rest of the day be like if he didn't come. She let out a little sob.
Once again she looked to through the window pane. Was that him?
She brushed her arm across the window, and looked again. Yes, yes! He was there coming down the street, heading for her house. He looked up at her face pressed against the glass, and shrugged, starting to walk on. Her heart sank, but he turned and with a huge smile headed for the door.
She rushed to meet him, flinging open the door, and he handed her an armful of cards and gifts. "Happy birthday, Anna," he said, leaving her a smiling 6-year-old, who was enjoying their birthday.
The old lady looked out the window. The glass was dirty, and slightly cracked in one corner. The street outside was lit by the gaslight. Shadows played along the street, made by passing cabs and cars. A tram rattled down the street, sparks filling the air from the overhead lines. A couple walked by arm in arm, not noticing anything around them, lost in each other, oblivious to the world. The old woman let out a soft sigh. She too had been like that once, she too had loved, had known the feeling of being in love. The wonderful feeling that filled your heart and made every day a new experience. The way that a brush of a pair of lips on yours could make your heart beat that much faster. She sighed again. Where had those days gone? Where was that love that made her life so special? She wiped a tear away from her eye, noticing the wrinkled skin on her hands, and sighed again. That was a long, long ago. Time will not wait for anybody. Love, like a flower, can blossom, but also like a flower, it can grow old, wither and die. She had lost him a long time ago. He was one of the many that never came back from the Great War.
She let out a little laugh. The Great War. So many lost, so many lives changed, and for what? She once again looked out the window. She felt a pain in her chest, and a glow seemed to fill the sky. She looked up, and the window seemed to disappear before her. She found herself being drawn towards the light. Suddenly she heard his soft voice.
" I'm here love. I have been waiting so long for you, but now you're here and we will be together for ever."
She reached out and took his hand, noticing that hers were no longer wrinkled. He was as the day they had got married, young, handsome, and oh, how she loved him. There would be no more looking out of the window,. They were together now and forever
He looked out the window, the glass painted black to protect them through the blackout, tape criss-crossed the panes to protect the people in the old house from flying glass in case of bomb explosions. The radio crackled behind him, news of the Dunkirk and the evacuation was the main news, and he half listened as his he looked through the window. His son was over there, one of the flotillas of small boats that rushed to answer the call to rescue the army from the beaches of France. He had wanted to go, pleaded to go, but his son had reminded him that with only one leg, it was not really the place for him to be when so many lives depended on them. So here he was waiting and hoping. The news told of dive-bombers and many lost boats, of bravery above and beyond anything that could be imagined.
He looked once more, and his vision blurred, from the darkening skies or from the tears that now filled his eyes. There was his son, slowly making his way down the road, looking so tired, head bandaged, but he was there. The old man turned and let the tears flow. Before covering the window with the blackout curtains, and making his way to the door, to welcome his son, home safe and sound.
The last dying rays of the sun caught the teardrops as they slowly ran down the face looking out the window. The threatening rain clouds that had shrouded the sun during the day had gone, and the red tint of the dying sun now lit the evening sky with a pinkish hue. Though the sky was clear, the face of the woman was covered in clouds, and thunderstorms of tears streamed down her face.
She waited, looking through the window. He had been gone so long. The war was over, and there were tales of prisoners being repatriated every day on the news. She had not heard any news for so long, but she waited and hoped. Then only this morning she had received a letter dated many weeks before. He was coming home; he was coming home. She never read any more of the letter then. Her eyes would not let her; she could not read because of the curtain of tears that covered her vision.
So now here she was, her face pressed against the old glass of the window. How may others have looked out the window, she wondered. How many others had waited and hoped? Her mind was brought back to reality by a knock on the door. She looked out the window. A stranger was here outside the door. But then he turned, and her heart caught in her mouth. Not a stranger, it was him, there after all this time. Tears this time of happiness filled her eyes and she rushed to the door and into his arms,. The wait was over.
Barry Eva 1999
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