One day while I was shopping with my mother, we were walking past a store with a big front window. In this window there was a little boy, just standing there looking back at me. He had a black eye and bruised cheek. And the look in his eyes was so sad. They were filled with so much pain and sadness that just looking into them brought tears to my eyes. And I turned away.

Some years later, while walking past the store again, I saw that same little boy. He had grown some but it was apparant that it was the same boy. He still had bruised cheeks and his nose was taped up from being broken. In his eyes I could still see all his pain, his loneliness, his sadness. Once again it brought tears to my eyes, and once again I turned away.

In my teenage years, I walked past the store again. And again the boy was there. He had grown into a tall young man. No bruises on his face this time. But his eyes had changed. They hadn't lost their sadness or their pain or lonliness, but they had taken on a hard edge. Looking into his eyes this time scared me. This time I not only turned away but I walked faster than I had before because I couldn't bear to see this boy's eyes anymore.

Since I've been a man, I haven't gone back to that store. Maybe because I'm afraid to see the man that boy has become. I was going to go once, but I decided I didn't need that in my life at this point. I mean what is he to me anyway? I don't need it. My life is happy.

Yesterday, I was in my house and I just happened to walk by a mirror. The strangest thing happened. That boy from the window, he was a man now, and he was in that mirror staring back at me. His eyes don't have that hard look to them anymore and he actually looked happy now.

When I think back to the little boy in the window, staring into his eyes, into my eyes, I can't believe I was ever that sad. And I can't believe that his eyes, my eyes, scared me so bad that I couldn't bear to look.

It shows me that anyone's life can change for the better. If that little sad boy, who turned into a hard angry teenage boy, can change into the happy man I saw yesterday... then anyone can change for the better, given the right circumstances.

Copyright © 1998 --- J. James