The Other Window

The window to the house next door was mere feet away and it was the only window without a curtain.

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Tommy was just big enough to peek over the fence between the two houses if he stood on his tiptoes. The new neighbors were always doing fascinating things and he felt sure that he could learn to do them too, if only they’d invite him over. He tried to replicate some of the actions, but he couldn’t quite figure it out on his own. It seemed like a two-person activity. But today, it was rainy, far too rainy for him to be outside, so he was relegated to the playroom in the attic. It was full of toys from when he was little, and he considered himself too old to play with them now, especially after watching the people next door. He wandered over to the window to glower at the clouds that had ruined his afternoon. 

The window to the house next door was mere feet away and it was the only window without a curtain. He knew – he had tried to see the inside their house from his mother’s kitchen, only to be thwarted by black blinds. Having watched them in the backyard, and observed the cars coming and going, he was sure he knew what to expect inside. After all, he wasn’t a baby anymore. He had seen James Bond movies. 

There would be banks of computers, showing maps of the world, with plenty of blinking lights. Or a lab where a genius scientist developed awesome tools such as pens that exploded or watches that were secretly radios. Maybe there was a boxing ring, a big gym, where they practiced fighting when they couldn’t do it outside. And most certainly, they would have a big room full of guns, and missiles, and bows and arrows. Maybe they even had a suit of armor that could fly and shoot lasers. 

He climbed up on the window sill for a better look. Which of these amazing things would they keep in the attic? He had to know. 

He shuffled around to just the right angle, and nearly fell from his perch. That was the last thing he had expected to see! Surely his eyes were fooling him!  He found his balance and looked again. 

The attic walls were painted a soft blue. Strings of light decorated the walls, and low piles of brightly colored cushions covered the floor. In the middle of the room was a young girl, close to his own age, playing with the most beautiful, fluffy golden retriever he had ever seen. The dog snuck under her defences, and licked her face. She fell back, laughing, and Tommy could see the very girly pink bed, covered in stuffed animals. 

He stepped down off the window sill. This was not what he had expected.