Shattered Window

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Story for English class

Submitted: February 10, 2014

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Submitted: February 10, 2014

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The image of the shattered stained glass is still fresh in my memory.  Mr. Stites precious window lay in pieces on the front porch destroyed by two neighborhood hooligans. 

My friend Larry and I had just built these cool rock launchers from some oversized rubber bands Larry’s Father had left around the house.  We took some two by four’s and nailed the rubber bands onto them.  One dark, foggy Saturday night Larry and I placed our newly constructed rock launchers against the curb to give them a try. The crisp night air was extremely frigid, which caused our puny fingers to become uncoordinated, making rock loading extremely difficult.  The first rock I placed in the launcher tumbled out and rolled to a stop a few inches in front of me.  Larry took a turn next and flung one over the neighbor’s roof and into their pool. We launched rock after rock in the direction of the neighbor’s roof across the street.  I don’t know about Larry, but I was trying to send one down the chimney.  Contact with the roof was confirmed when I heard the deep thudding sound of the rock as it bounced across the wooden shingles.  This noise gave us great pleasure that could be easily recognized by the mischievous smile that followed each shot from the launcher.

 This one time we fired our launchers almost simultaneously and in a second or two heard an awful crashing sound.  It was the unmistakable sound of breaking glass.  I know it only took a few seconds to destroy the window, but to Larry and I it felt like an eternity.  Soon as the window finished breaking we made a run for it.  We ran straight for this pitch-black alley between some houses where we laid flat on our bellies.  The blades of grass were saturated with dew and my jeans soaked up the moister as I lay there scared stiff.  It only took a second for Mr. Stites to burst through his front door and begin franticly searching for the culprits.

 As Mr. Stites approached the lawn were we lay, I could feel my heart begin to beat faster and faster.  I slowly lifted my head from grass to notice the frustrated man in front of me.  At this point Mr. Stites was so close I could read the genuine leather tag on his boots. As he stood above us glaring into the darkness I found myself concentrating on breathing as shallow as possible not to make the slightest sound.  He towered over Larry and I for a few seconds, which felt more like hours, then he stormed off.  By now my clothes were soaked and my muscles sore from lying perfectly still for so long.  I bounced to my feet, slapped the grass and mud the best I could off my clothes and bolted for my front door.  I don’t know how long Larry laid there; I never looked back after I got up.

The next afternoon when I got home from school and went outside to play, I noticed Larry across the street talking to Mr. Stites.  I could tell by their expressions, they were having a heated conversation.  I knew Larry was in trouble when he gestured to me to turn around and go back inside.  I immediately turned around and snuck back inside my house without Mr. Stites ever noticing me.Later that day Larry called and explained to me that he told Mr. Stites he was solely responsible for the window and he would pay the two hundred dollars Mr. Stites was demanding to have it replaced.  At first I felt so relieved to hear that Larry didn’t mention my name, I thanked him then hung up the phone.

 As I sat back and began to ponder the situation, I thought about Larry’s Dad and how terribly angry he would get when Larry did something wrong.  How could I just sit back and let Larry take all the blame?  After all, this window was going to cost two hundred bucks to replace and Larry would have to do extra chores for the rest of his life to pay for this.  On the other hand I would have to tell my Father about what I had done, since I had no way of getting my half of the two hundred dollars without my Father’s help. 

I was reluctant to tell my Father because feared the belt and loathed all the time I was going to have to think about what I had done while restricted to my room.  It would be so simple to let Larry take all the blame I thought, but every time I wanted to take the easy way out and let Larry cover for me I would envision Larry’s furious Father and the extreme punishment Larry was about to go through.  At the same time I was also afraid of my Fathers temper and that fear was pressuring me into keeping quiet about the situation.  I wondered to myself if I say nothing and let Larry take all the blame would he still want to be my friend?

I sat for hours wrestling with my emotions until I couldn’t take the guilt any longer.  I decided to go over to Mr. Stites house and confess.  Leaving my house wasn’t easy, I felt safe and secure there and in a strange way it felt good to be getting away with this crime.  Half way down the street I had second thoughts about confessing and I started searching for an excuse to turn around and go home.  As I approached the front door I noticed Larry’s bike if front of the house.  I looked in the front window and saw Larry and Mr. Stites sitting on the couch.  When I rang the doorbell they both looked up equally stunned to see it was me.  They invited me inside and I started to confess my part in the breaking of the window.  Larry gestured in the background for me to keep my mouth shut, but against Larry’s will I explained that I was also out that cold Saturday night launching rocks onto the surrounding rooftops.  I offered my apology and agreed to pay my half to fix the window.

With the apology accepted I went home to explain to my Father what I had done. As I walked across the street my body began to tremble.  When I got inside I expected the worst.  After explaining the situation to my Father he just sat there.  I wondered did the news of the window stun him?  He leaned back in his chair then warned me about the dangers of sling shot devices.  When that lecture was over Dad took me outside and had me destroy my launcher.  I also had to promise I would never shoot rocks like that again.  I went to bed that night with this strange feeling of satisfaction.  Honesty really did seem to be the best policy.  Larry was still my friend and my Dad didn’t beat the crap out of me.  Maybe breaking that window wasn’t such a bad thing after all.


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