The World Through A Shattered Window

Dear Yuri,

Throughout isolation I have found myself going back to one particular night in my childhood every night.

The world has stopped spinning, and I find myself in the childhood bedroom of a young girl. She lays restless as her brother sleeps soundly in his own bed. I look around, wondering why I am there.

Then comes a loud noise that causes her to sit up… she turns her head in my direction and I fear that she has seen me. She doesn’t make a sound. She continues to stare as if she’s looking straight through me. I can hear her heartbeat so clearly as if it’s my own. As the seconds pass us by, I see her. Long brown hair.. similarly coloured eyes widened with fear… a scar through her eyebrow from a childhood injury… realisation hits. The girl is me and I am staring at the wall dividing our bedroom and our mum’s.

Right then, the shattering of a glass window.

I jump out of my bed and dart out to the hallway just in time to see her running past me. I’m right on her heels as we run, someone is chasing us and I know who it is, but I’m too afraid to look back. We run through our backyard, and through a gap in the fence leading onto our neighbour’s property. We run around the side of their house and onto the main road… but this is as far as we’ll get. He has caught up to us.

As he eventually runs off into the darkness and sirens approach, the world begins to spin again. Suddenly I’m 22. That night is far behind me, but I can still hear the shattering of glass windows.

Mahli, Sydney, Australia

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