The Windows game
It was during the first days that I was all alone in a new school in a new country. I used to sit in the library and feel quite lonely. Not that I would miss the human contact itself, but I missed to be in a familiar place - to recognize faces in the crowd, to have some habits and a story. I felt weirdly unknown and anonymous in the place.
And then it started. First signs of a game that I was to play with a mysterious opponent. The window blinds in the school library were always precisely rolled down and the room was dominated by a mildly musty smell of the dust settled on the books. No fresh air whatsoever, neither a beam of light, everything was illuminated just by the artificial light of the bulbs. And that’s a “no me gusta” for me. I searched through the drawers and found a window lever that fit in the window - and I began to scroll some outside world into the room. Let there be light! I looked around and was happy. The world was instantly a little bit better like that.
Next day I came to the school and to my surprise the blinders were all rolled down again. Why would anyone invest that amount of work to darken the room again? Well never mind, I grabbed the lever and made the room lighter again.
At the third day I went to school somewhat curious. Are they gonna be…? Yes, yes they were - rolled all the way down again. And this might be a good time to mention that rolling all the blinders up or down takes quite a bit of time and effort - and definitely a drop of frustration too, if it should be done every day. So naturally I was getting mildly frustrated inside and got into the search for the nowhere-to-be-found lever. I couldn’t find it anywhere at first but I was not ready to give up this fight. Then, after quite some minutes, I finally found it cleverly hidden under a pile of papers. Feeling victorious, I rolled the blinders up and felt happy for my achievements. A little bit of a hide-and-seek game didn’t throw me off the rails. And I noticed suddenly that I was begining to like this little game. That day I was leaving the school with a sly smile on my face. Next morning I jumped out of my bed, ate my breakfast as fast as possible and ran straight to the library. And the blinders were… down! Yes, there was no doubt now; my rival was a strong one! I respected him for that then and even more when I realized that the lever is literally nowhere in the library and that it must have been taken to another room. A smart move, I had to admit, but I’m not giving up that easily.
It took some weeks to make the next move as I got preoccupied with other priorities and I also traveled around a bit. But I never forgot about my unknown competitor. I told all about him to my favorite person and to my roommates as well - and I even apologized to him in my head for taking so long to strike back. I wanted to continue our little play, and I was imagining how will he react when he suddenly sees the blinds up again after such long time. And then the day came and I finally asked the responsible teacher if there is another lever. I shortly introduced him to my persistent fight, and I tried to hide my excited smile.
And he just looked at me indifferently and pointed at the lever that was hanging from the window hole, probably for quite some time already. And the smile disappeared from my face and I suddenly felt silly and weirdly empty inside. I’ve yet tried to roll up the windows and wait but no one came to roll them down anymore. Nobody has ever taken the lever, same as nobody seemingly ever has hidden it under a pile of papers. Someone probably just throw the papers on the lever without any intention and the other day I didn’t search well enough or a teacher borrowed it to another class for a day. Nobody played a game with me, my rival has probably given up on rolling down the windows long time ago and nobody cared for the blinds anymore.
The windows are now always open, as I have wanted them to be since the beginning. But I have lost a friend, a person to relate to and I am now anonymous again. And it’s a sad thing to be. Because what are we without meaning something to another person - even if it’s just about a silly windows game.
Širín Ježková - Erasmus+ "European Youth in Alzira IV"