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Young Writers Project: Mr. Paddington

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The Young Writers Project occasionally offers our young writers prompts to stimulate their creativity. The YWP prompt titled "Alone" was very popular. It revolved around the incorporation of the phrase "I stood at the window and watched the red tail lights disappear..." Roland found inspiration in the prompt. "I really liked writing so I decided to go back and record it as well," he says.

Mr. Paddington
by Roland Downey
Grade Ten, The Putney School, Hanover, NH

I stood at the window, watching the red taillights disappear into the inky blackness of the night. I waited, hoping that suddenly I would see the bright whites of the car rushing back down the dead-end road, but as they turned the corner far, far away, I knew that would be the last time I ever saw her.

I slowly turned around, to face my almost empty house. Now that all the big boxes of clothing and furniture were gone, the house seemed too big, too lonely. I walked away from the front window, towards the dining room, where I expected the other occupant of the house to be.

As I shuffled my way down the long hall, my thoughts started to overwhelm me, and brought me to my knees.

You're gone. You've actually left me, and I'll never see you again. I can't make amends for what happened, I can't just say ‘I'm sorry,' anymore. I wish I could. I truly loved you, you know. I messed up once, but I'm not going to be able to fix it. I'm sorry.

Darkness began to close around me, as my tears streamed down my face, and I slumped towards the ground even farther. I sobbed openly for the first time in what must have been 15 years. I couldn't even see the wall in front of me I was crying so hard.

Dear, I only got drunk once, it was only once that I messed up. Why couldn't you let me screw up, why did I have to be perfect? You do realize that perfection is impossible, and whoever you're going out with now will not be perfect either. Right?

The darkness closed over my eyes fully and I could no longer see anything but my broken heart.

Time passed. I don't know how long, but I sat in the middle of the hallway and cried. Finally my vision began to lighten as an unintelligible sound barraged my ears. I looked around with what little vision I had, confused. The sound was growing louder. It was an inconsistent burst of noise, and each one was followed with a little pressure on my face, from an outside source. As my ears began to clear, I was able to discern the sound as pitiful mewling, and I realized the other occupant of the house had come to find me.

Hello, Mr. Paddington. I've missed you, too.