The Room at the Top of the Stairs
Mateo and the Waterfall
His parents had been together a very long time. Whenever they would begin to argue, they would decide to paint a mural in the room at the top of the stairs. Mateo was never allowed in this room. His parents warned him of its danger every time he asked about it, saying he could see it one day when he was ready.
This night, his parents were beginning to argue when his father suggested they go paint. Mateo was a very curious eight year old. After years being told to never go into the room at the top of the steps, Mateo decided he wanted to risk the danger.
He waited for them to tuck him and pretended to be asleep until his parents went back to painting. Slowly, Mateo grabbed his trusty blanket and tiptoed to the closed door where his parents painted.
He always thought that his parents liked the distraction of painting while the talked about their issues but he heard no talking behind the door. It was completely silent, not even the sound of a wet paint brush on the wall.
As a curious eight year old does, Mateo laid on the floor and peaked under the door. The light was on but he did not see his parents feet. With his small hands, he grabbed for the doorknob and turned, finding it surprising it wasn’t locked. When he pushed the door open, he saw the most beautiful murals he had ever seen.
The walls has many places all different a beautiful. Each mural showed a different place, and each mural looked extremely realistic.
Mateo saw the brushes and paint on the floor by a mural of a beautiful waterfall. The water fell down into a crystal clear pond. There was a large rock where someone could sit and listen to the water for hours, surrounded by tall trees. Mateo had never seen anything like it.
He looked around the room and realized his parents were not anywhere in the room. There was no closet for them to hide in and no window for them to climb from. All that was in the room were four walls and many many paintings.
Mateo walked closer to the waterfall, holding his blanket tight around him. He figured that this was the last one they painted. He could not think of where they could have went and it scared him. He longed to be able to sit on that rock and listen to the waterfall until his parents returned to him.
Reaching out expecting to find wet paint, Mateos small hand went threw the wall and to the humid air of a forest. Shocked, Mateo pulled back and looked at his hand. It had droplets of water on it, but no paint.
Mateo, curious as ever, decided to try and step through the wall. Dropping his blanket next to the paint brushes, he stepped through. He was breathing all new air as he felt the waterfall splash him as it met the pond.
For fear that this could all be a dream, Mateo pinched his arm as hard as he could, and when he opened his eyes, he was still there. He smiled wide and made his way to the rock.
Briefly forgetting about his parents disappearance, Mateo sat on that rock and listened to the waterfall roar. It was much louder than he had expected, yet he loved it no less. He watched as birds flew by, perching in trees. He felt the way the water splashed at him onto his skin. He tasted the fresh air on his tongue, better than his city air he was used to back home.
That was when he remembered about his lost parents. Quickly, he stood and looked around for any sign of them here. Lucky for Mateo, there was a lot of mud in this forest with two clear sets of footprints.
The young boy followed the footprints all the way to an open field. In the center of that field sat both his parents. They were laughing and picking flowers as the pointed at the clouds in the sky. Mateo was so happy to see that he ran towards them as fast as he could. Before his parents could understand, Mateo was on top of them.
“Mateo, how did you get here? You are supposed to be sleeping.”
His mother rubbed her sons back as she asked, although she already knew the answer, “I came through the wall. I couldn’t find you guys, I thought you had left.”
“We would never leave you, my dear Mateo.” His father stood and held out his hand, “Why don’t we all go home and get some rest. Tomorrow we can answer all the questions I am sure you have.”
With that, Mateo and his parents walked through the field and back to the waterfall all the way to their home. Mateo was surprised when he he suddenly appeared in his home from walking between the trees of a forest.
With a last goodnight from his parents, Mateo went to sleep and dreamed about the room at the top of the stairs.