The Blue Window

Posted: December 1, 2013 in Mystery
Tags: , , , , , ,

Blue_WindowThe boy stood and stared. On the other side of the street, there were two illuminated windows on the upper floor. The right one glowed in a warm yellow colour, the left one emanated a bluish glow. Tim stood in the middle of the side-walk, totally lost in thoughts. The other pedestrians had to push by. A business man gruffly said “Stop daydreaming, you…”, followed Tim’s gaze and stood in awe. An elder woman approached, shaking her head, she started to rumble about their meanness of standing in her way and fell silent as she looked in the same direction. More people gathered, wondering about the blue window.

Finally home, Tim told his family about the blue window. His parents and his younger sister were only mildly interested. Tim was disappointed. He called Matt, his classmate and best friend since kindergarten. Matt was thrilled. “Cool!” As Matt lived pretty close to the house in question, he sneaked out to take a peek at the blue window. He was inclined to cross the street and find out the names on the doorbell, he didn’t dare to do so. He hurried home before his mother could realise that he had been away. He could hardly sleep. The blue window still occupied his thoughts.

Next morning, Tim and Matt met at the usual corner. They entered the school premises still debating about the blue window. Before the bell rang, they found out that they were not the only ones who had seen the blue window. Their heated discussion continued in class. Miss Mortimer finally put an end to the constant mumbling. This class was difficult. All her pupils seemed to be the laziest in this school. They didn’t seem to care about their final exams, about their future. Today, they were even worse than ever. Nobody seemed to pay any attention. Miss Mortimer was relieved when the doorbell announced the end of class.

Lunch break was filled with explanations and suggestions. Those, who had not yet seen the blue window, wanted to get their at once. “Nonsense,” Tim said. “The window is not illuminated at this time of day. Back in class, all continued their thoughts while pretending to listen to their teacher. Marsha answered “Blue!” when asked about the colour of the Canadian flag. Jack’s answer to the question about the Empire State Building’s top was “Window!”. After a full week, Miss Mortimer had enough of this. Friday morning, she told her class to follow her, and led them to the house. As it was still rather dark, the window was illuminated. All watched the window very intently – until the lights went out behind the window. Back at school, Miss Mortimer looked at her pupils who – for once – were really listening and said sternly: “All of you had the opportunity to watch this ominous blue window. I expect you to write an essay about it, about its purpose, at least 1,000 words. Be aware, this essay is going to be a vital part for your grades.”

All pupils in Miss Mortimer’s class were relieved when the last bell rang. They were all keen on writing about the blue window. They only stopped if they absolutely had to, feverishly filling page after page with their stories. Tim’s idea was that a psychiatrist had ordered a patient to live in a pacifying blue flat, to keep aggression at bay. Matt wrote about a private laboratory, testing the effect of the blue colour for improved growth. Marsha described the flat as part of a big aquarium, the blue colour being meant to make the fish, crustacean, turtles, etc. feel at home. Danny explained that the flat’s inhabitant didn’t like insects; insects are known to abhor blue coloured environments. Alex favoured the idea of a man who just wanted to have his favourite colour all around him. Sam liked the idea of a Swedish guy, showing off the blue and the yellow window together. Judy, always a romantic, wrote about a couple living in the flat. The guy having a blue room, the girl having a pink room. Sean suggested a therapy centre in the flat. Joy wrote about The Blue Man Group, she was convinced that they preferred blue to any other colour.

On Monday morning, all were in class on time. Miss Mortimer smiled for the first time in months. Bill collected the essays and handed them to the teacher. She thanked him and addressed the class: “I start reading your essays in the afternoon. Hopefully, I can hand them back to you on Thursday, after lunch break. Until then, we will have to intensify some topics to prepare you for the final exams.” She had Bernie and Jade distribute some photocopied sheets. For the first time in this year, everybody concentrated on the studies. For the first time since Miss Mortimer took over this class, she got feedback, was asked questions, answered them. This was fun. The lack of her pupils’ interest had been quite unnerving. It was a relief – she already had considered quitting.

On Tuesday morning, Miss Mortimer realised that they were all very attentive and utterly polite. The hours flew by, all pupils concentrated on their tasks. A day at school as it should be, Miss Mortimer thought. As promised, she had already started reviewing the essays. They were astonishingly good. Instead of the usual Ds, Es, and Fs – she had so far only seen As and Bs. The suggestions were amazing, beautiful, unexpected, incredibly witty. She found herself looking forward to continuing this normally rather dreadful task.

Wednesday was a very successful day for Miss Mortimer and her class. A job consultant visited, presented perspectives, and all her pupils listened, asked intelligent questions, and surprised the experienced consultant with new questions. In the afternoon, Miss Mortimer finished reviewing the Blue Window essays. Only As and Bs were written on the cover sheets. Contentedly, she stacked the essays in her folder, finished her coffee, and put on her coat. She left her flat and went to the house with the blue window. She was still reading the nameplates when a dark-haired, green-eyed man approached. “May I help you?” Miss Mortimer told him that she was looking for the person living in the flat with the blue window. The young man smiled – it was his flat.

“My pupils are fascinated by your blue window. After they detected it, they were even less concentrated as usual. The blue window was their only topic for a whole week. I had them write essays over the weekend – about the meaning of this blue window. They had many great suggestions.”

“And now you want to know, why my window is blue.”

Miss Mortimer nodded. Her cheeks felt hot. ‘Such an attractive guy,’ she thought inwardly.

“I’ll tell you over a coffee. There is a café around the corner.”

Miss Mortimer nodded shyly. They walked the short distance to the café. When they arrived, she had learned that his name was Tom Sandler, an architect working for a local firm; he had learned that she was Jane Mortimer, a teacher at the local school. They ordered coffee and settled at a table by the window. Jane Mortimer gingerly sipped her macchiato, torn between being embarrassed or super embarrassed. Tom smiled at her reassuringly, noticing her slightly flushed face, and started to tell her the story of the blue window.

“Before I started working for this firm, I travelled to Germany to visit my brother. The town in question uses buses and trains for public transport. I once rode on a bus that was covered with a huge ad. I expected the bus to be rather dark inside – due to the huge ad! It wasn’t. For these ads, they use a coated film. You can print everything on this film. On the outside you see patterns, colours, text, etc. On the inside it is just slightly shaded, the colours are only on the outside. This special film is weatherproof, the glass keeps the cold outside, provides only a slight shade. I was fascinated by these coated films. I asked where I could buy some. They provided me with an address, I went there and – bought some coated films for my flat.”

“Wow! None of my pupils came to this conclusion. I do not think that they are going to believe me.”

“Would your pupils believe you if you provided some photographs?”

“I guess so.”

“Why don’t you tell me your mail address and I’ll send them right away? I’ve got them right here on my device.”

Jane Mortimer blushed even more. Tom apologised.

“Wait, I’ll go home and print them for you. I’ll be back in a jiffy.”

Tom was back in less than 10 minutes, carrying an envelope with the promised photographs and a note with his phone number – and the information that he was a frequent guest at this café.

On Thursday, Jane Mortimer went to school full of anticipation. She was as impatient as were her pupils. The morning lessons seemingly were eternal. Candidly, she checked her watch every few minutes. Lunch break also seemed to take forever. As she briskly entered the classroom, her class was already assembled. Miss Mortimer took out her folder and started to distribute the essays. There was an eerie silence in the room. Every pupil seemed stunned. “What is the matter with you? You have all done a great job!” Jane asked perplexed.

Sam cleared his throat. “We have never achieved such grades, Miss Mortimer. Thanks to you, we realised that learning can be fun. Suddenly we also have a perspective.”

“You did great! And I didn’t really doubt that you would pass the exams. I am convinced that you can make it – all of you. I really enjoyed reading your essays. Now I owe you the real story. Please take a look at these photographs.” As her pupils contemplated the photographs, Jane Mortimer explained the coated films, her pupils discussed this and agreed that this was a brilliant solution.

Apparently, her class had discussed something else as well. Tim stood up: “Thank you so much, Miss Mortimer. As this is the last class for us today – we would like to invite you to a café. There is one just around the corner of the Blue Window.”

Jane Mortimer agreed. They all went to the café and – met Tom Sandler. Some pupils raised their eyebrows hearing “Hi Jane!” and “Hello Tom!”

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This blog post and/or photo by Matthew Richards inspired me to write The Blue Window


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