Wistful lampshade

He often thought about the outside — what was out there. Leaning against the patterned wallpaper, which smelled of smoke (the man) and lemons (the woman) and stickiness (the boy), he would look through the large window and wonder.

He imagined what the world world feel like: the warm press of the sun, the wind’s gentle exhalations passing by, rain travelling down the length of him to the ground. Quieter. Nicer.

The people who walked by each day: where did they go? The woman with the purple scarf and briefcase, the red-headed boy on the red bike, the teenager with the black hood. Once they slipped out of range, past the window frame, and further along the tree-lined sidewalk, where did they go?

Outside had all the answers. Inside had all the problems.

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