I have always loved Sarah. She was only thirteen when her father died. I watched her through my bedroom window as she hurt. Every night, before she went to bed, she’d looked out of her window, as if waiting for someone, then, she’d shrugged, and pull the curtains across the window, leaving me to wonder what else she did behind the curtains. Sometimes, I imagine her laying on the bed, sleeping with a smile on her face. Other times, I know she’d be crying because her father didn’t come home, again. I wish I could help, but I didn’t know how.
I was at her father’s funeral. She wore a simple black dress and tied her long brown hair in a simple bun. She greeted my parents and smiled at me as she walked by. When the corpse was finally buried, her mother cried hysterically and she, Sarah, wore a grim look. However, that night, I saw her crying by the window and looking hopefully, as if waiting for somebody. I wish I could offer a shoulder to cry on, but I watched instead.
It wasn’t long when I heard my parents discussing the possibilities of her mother getting married again. I wonder how Sarah would take the news. She took it well. For I sat on the pew with several others and watched her, she was laughing with a friend, looking beautiful in that pink long floral gown, for it was her mother’s wedding. She looked at me for but a second and waved. I wanted to wave back but she looked away, I wanted to tell her she looked beautiful but I couldn’t. I saw the small fear in her eyes when her mum said, ‘I do’ to the new man.
It’s been two years and Sarah never came to the windowsill anymore. I still did, hoping she’d show up every night, but she never did. I see her almost everyday during the day, but I could only see her clearly at night. Sarah had grown, she was taller, almost taller than I am. And she was adding weight, her face had acnes and I saw her buy a sanitary pad in the pharmacy the other day. Sometimes, she was with her friends, I would pass by and she’d smile. I never smiled back, I was afraid my smile would reveal all I felt for her and more. Other times, she was sitting on a lawn bench, looking at something in the distance with a peculiar sadness, an expression that makes my heart ache. I once saw her with a boy, holding hands and laughing together, I don’t know if he’s her boyfriend but I never did see him again with her after that once.
One day, Sarah came to her windowsill, this time she had her lights on and I could see every details of her face from the dark where I was, just across each other. She shook terribly, then I realized she was sobbing. She was really really crying, catarrh and all. Then she hit the window hard, mouthing something that sounded like, ‘OhmyGod’. The next day, I heard Sarah was pregnant. My heart broke into tiny fragments of heartbreak. How could Sarah do this to herself? to me. Later that evening, the boy whom she had held hands with denied the pregnancy. Sarah didn’t even look shocked nor was she scared, she didn’t cry when her mother called her a whore and she only scoffed when her stepdad said he was disappointed but I knew Sarah wasn’t that strong, I knew she’d come to the windowsill in the night and vent out her weakness. She did.
One morning, I walked up to Sarah and spoke to her for the first time. I said, “You could tell them I’m the father”. She looked at me as if I was insane, so I said it again, slowly. She shook her head no and I pleaded until she looked at me one more time and agreed. My mum didn’t believe us but she pretended to. Daddy was mad because I was only seventeen and he trained me well. So, I became the father of Sarah’s unborn baby and I was glad that for once, I could help.
This is the last chapter of the book. I am going to London next week to start a degree programme in Medicine. I am going to miss seeing Sarah every night through the window. I am going to miss her hopeful look. I am going to miss her smile and her laughter. I am going to regret not helping her early enough, I am going to miss that kiss we shared at the hospital, before she died with the baby she was carrying for her stepfather. Sarah told me everything and promised she’d tell me more when she got out of the delivery room, but she never did get out. There had been complications, yet the doctor said she died a happy death. I will always love Sarah. I…
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