The Window
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Every night, I stare out my bedroom window.

It’s a hobby that started… well, I’m not sure when. Probably sometime around middle school? Whenever my depression set in, I suppose. I started looking out that window in my room and out into the open sky, searching for… something.

I never knew what I was looking for, exactly. The vaguest term I could use to describe it was “meaning.” There’s this fun thing depression often does to a person, where it makes your whole world seem gray, dull, and meaningless. It almost always results in terrible nihilism.

And so, it happened to me. The nihilism set in one night, and my innocent life suddenly did a backflip, falling flat on its head. My whole world was now gray and meaningless and the days trudged onwards, blurring into one another. Every single day I asked myself “What’s the point? Why am I still doing this?”

I waited for a long time, for some sort of divine intervention, for God himself to come down from the Heavens and tell me the reason why. But that day never came, and I grew restless and impatient. I decided to take charge and try to find the point myself.

And that’s when I noticed something in my bedroom window.

I had been sitting up all night, unable to sleep. My mind was too plagued with impulsive thoughts and urges of suicide. I was just about to do it, when I looked whimsically out the window as if I were in a movie.

And then I saw him. It was only for a second, but I swear to God, I saw someone in that window. I jumped out of bed and pressed my face against the glass, but he had disappeared the second I saw him. I was so confused and paranoid, that I suddenly became upset and began to cry.

That night, I didn’t sleep. I spent the whole night crying against my window, so confused at why the world would do this to me. I had gotten my first glimpse of something interesting, something worth finding the meaning in, for years. And before I even had time to process it, it was gone.

Yet the image remained burned in my mind. I could not make out any of the details of this person. In fact, I couldn’t even tell if they were a boy or not. Their appearance seemed to shift and change fluidly every time I thought about it. It hurt my brain to think about it.

That morning, I elected to ignore it. It was a fluke, evidently. It couldn’t have been anything big or important. Unless I was starting to go insane and seeing things, but honestly, what of it? That would just give me more of a reason to end it all.

I went to school normally. I continued to live my life normally. I returned to the dull and the gray and the emptiness and the drab, and everything felt the same… but different. No matter what I did, no matter how I tried to distract myself, that image remained burned into my retinas, as if I had just seen it.

I considered asking for a therapist, someone to talk to to ease my mind off of it. But I figured, that would be far too much effort, and far too expensive. Nevermind the fact that there would be no point anyways. I told my friends about it, but they all shrugged it off and laughed.

It was almost jarring, how easily they ignored it. It was almost as if I had not even said anything to them. How could their minds not be reeling over the sight I saw in the window that night? How could they not, at the very least, feel worried for me and ask me if I had been seeing things?

They did none of that. Nothing. The day continued as normal. I tried telling other people, with the same response. A passive shrug, and then… ignorance. No, it was more than that. It was really as though the words I had just told them hadn’t even reached their ears.

That night, I went to bed, as I do every night. I had a brief thought that, perhaps it wasn’t worth it to sleep. What was the point anyways? Sure, it was a tantalizing preview of what it would feel like to die, but… it was a preview I had already received, every night of my life. And a preview that ultimately kept me alive for longer.

As these depressing thoughts raced around my mind, telling me how meaningless it was to sleep, how I should just stay up until it killed me, I saw something out of the corner of my eye.

Instantly, I jumped out of bed, and I peered through my bedroom window once more. I pressed my face against the glass, hoping to catch even a glimpse of what I thought I had seen. I was thoroughly taken by surprise when out of nowhere, they appeared.

Once again, the figure in my window appeared to me. They stayed for much longer this time. I saw their shifting features, I saw their many mouths moving, their many heads turning to the side, their many different postures. It boggled my mind, trying to process what I was seeing.

I scooted backwards and looked at them in fear, and awe. I tried to open my mouth to speak for several minutes, but I could not get anything out. Until I managed to squeak, “Wh-who are you?”

Before I could even blink, all of the figure’s many, infinitely many heads turned towards me. Many of its mouths dropped agape, many of its heads turned to their side. Many instances jumped backwards in a gesture akin to shock.

I saw their mouths moving, but I could not make out what they were saying.

The night sky surrounding them started to shift, and I saw many iterations of a room.
This vision became less unclear, less blurry, but still completely and wholly unprocessable.

I stood up, and I asked them again. “Who are you?” I said, struggling to maintain my confidence. They tried to answer, I could tell, but I could not make out their meaning.

“Why are you here?” I asked.

They shrugged. They didn’t know?!

“Are you here to give me meaning? Is this the divine intervention I have longed for?”

They looked very confused, and very upset. So many different figures all contained in one, performed so many different gestures, said so many different words that I could not comprehend.

Then, just like that… everything started to go dark in the window. Fading slowly, ever so slowly into blackness, the figure reached out for me, with all of its many hands. I reached back, tears welling in my eyes, though I did not know why. The night sky returned, and just like that, they were gone.

It was in that moment that I realized, this window was not a window into another world, a world which would give me some sort of divine meaning. I had not been looking out.

They had been looking in.

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