She Came in Through the Bathroom Window

Two long and six short cracks spread like fingers in the paint on the ceiling. The ticking of a clock was loud in the girl’s ears. Everything else was silent. This suited her just fine. She reasoned that silence was better than her mother's false laugh or her father's "Do as your mother say"-s. However, she often wondered if she could feel at ease somewhere where there was not silence. That must be marvellous, she thought.

Joss, which was the girl's name, frequently fantasised about a different place. A place where she could be herself. A place where her highest wish was not to be alone and silent. A place where she would not be the daughter of a mean and devious woman. Because if there was something her mother was not, it was kind and honest. Although she looked like a warm and loving mother with a bright smile and chubby features, she always took the opportunity to gossip about some unknowing sod.

Joss often wondered how her parents could have become such horrific creatures. In an old picture she had of them they actually looked like decent people. Even her mother looked happy. Not the fake happiness she displayed every day, but something in her eyes conveyed genuine happiness. Fluffy puppy feelings-happy. All of that was gone now. Her military father and scheming mother – what a pair.

Furthermore, her parents had already planed Joss' future. She was to become a doctor, preferably a surgeon. The fact that Joss felt nauseous at the thought of blood and that she herself wanted to be an author or possibly a journalist had done nothing to the parents' plans. They were set in stone. She felt trapped. Looking up at the ceiling it was as if the cracks got longer. Soon the ceiling would look like a spiders-web. Maybe the roof will cave in and I will be free of this misery.

"Joss!" Her mother’s shrieking, high pitched voice could go through thick concrete walls and now brutally cut through her blessed silence. "Do your homework!" How could she possibly have known? Joss wondered as she dragged herself off her bed and started towards her desk. The mere look of her chemistry book had her depressed. Introductory Chemistry – as if! More like "This Book will have you Jump off a Cliff in Sheer Desperation"! Over 700 pages filled with complicated words Joss was forced to learn so that she could become the first doctor to faint before the patient did.

One night Joss awoke by a cold draft in her room. The window was open (Didn't I close it?) and the curtains danced in the wind. Come, she heard something whisper, come away. The wind was talking. I must still be dreaming. Winds don't talk. Despite this thought, she did not wake up. Instead she started to walk towards the window. To close it, she told herself. However, when she reached the window, she did not close it. She rested her hands on the windowsill and took a deep breath. Suddenly, a certainty filled her. She placed her foot on the sill and raised herself so that she stood in a crouch in the window frame. Then she let go, and fell…

***

…into something warm and solid. The air around her that just moments ago had been clear and chilly was now dusty and warm. The silence replaced with loud noises. The sweet smell of autumn night exchanged with the smell of dust and sweat.

"Are you alright?" A deep and warm voice asked. She looked up and saw that it belonged to a man, possibly in his early twenties. For a moment she did not speak for he was so beautiful she could not think of anything else. His eyes were sky blue and seemed to sparkle in the sun light. Almond coloured hair framed a narrow face. His jaw was strait and his lips curled in a pleasant smile. His bare chest did not help much either. "You came from no-where, I didn't see you."

She took his hand as he offered it, and he helped pull her up on her feet. She brushed of the dust from her pyjamas. With horror she realised that she was wearing her "I'm so cool" Snoopy pyjamas. She froze when she realised that the warm and solid she had crashed into was him. Mortified she turned to face him.

"I'm fine" she managed. Desperate for a distraction she looked around the place she had landed. The sight almost had her on the ground again. Everywhere she looked there were beautiful colours. She was in a square full of people. Everybody was dressed in gowns of light colours. The design reminded of ancient Greece. Some women where carrying baskets, others had people to carry their baskets for them. "Where am I?"
"If you're suffering from amnesia I would hardly say that you're fine." The man said gravely although his smile looked amused. "Or maybe you're used to it?"
She gave him a bewildered look. "No, but…"
"Well then, you're not fine. And… I'm so cool?"
"Uhm… I…"

She was interrupted by a melody coming from a small leather bag the man was carrying over his shoulder. The melody had an uncanny resemblance to She Came in Through the Bathroom Window. He held up a finger, as if to say to her "hold that thought", and picked something up from the bag.

"Hello! Yes, I'm on my way… No, this strange girl fell on me in the square… Yes, she has odd clothes and apparently amnesia… Of course, if you say so. Bye!"
"What's that?" She asked, thinking it rather strange that a man dressed in something that resembled a skirt had a cell phone.
"A mobile phone, you've never heard of them? Do you possibly live in a cave? It doesn't matter anyway. Come with me!"

With those words he started walking. Joss found herself willingly following, even though she could not explain why.

***

They soon came to the end of a broad street. A tall gold coated open gate decorated with flowers stood before her, leading to a lane bordered by explicit green bushes. The lane lead up to a great white marble building. The front of the building was covered with great pillars painted with a beautiful golden pattern of swirls, steadying the roof over the terrace. Stairs lead up to the terrace, and as she walked up, the stairs sang. The melody was unlike any she had ever heard, yet it felt strangely familiar. The man from the square smiled when he heard it, he smiled and he laughed. Somehow, she knew everything was going to be alright.

At the top of the stairs an old man met them. He was wearing a white dress without arms that ended just above his knees. At his waist was a beautiful gold girdle and on his shoulders rested a big square cloak. The cloak was decorated with thin golden patterns, shimmering in the light of the sun. Despite his age, he looked strong and healthy. As if he was going to live for a long time to come.

"John, my dear friend. What have you brought us today?" He said as they approached him. His smile was warm and he looked genuinely happy. So different from home.
"I suppose you heard the music. Wasn't it the most beautiful thing? I think she'll do great.”
Joss looked at them both. Did the stairs not always play? What in the name of Ian Curtis were they talking about?
"Hello? Am I invisible?! Perhaps someone might be able to tell me where I am? I'm not dead am I?"
"Dead!" The old man almost laughed in her face. "You are everything but dead my girl. You are most alive. Though I'm sorry to hear of your amnesia, don't you remember anything?"
"What I remember is jumping out of my window and somehow falling upon, John was it?"
"It's Egroeg Nonnel actually, but everybody calls me John. Sorry for not introducing myself earlier, how very rude of me! You must tell us your name now, strange girl."
"It's Joss. And now, if you please, where am I?"
"Joss love, you are Home."

When he said this she knew it to be true. Because people were talking and she was not miserable. She was not alone and she did not feel like running far, far away. I am somewhere else.