This story was so easy to write, it was as if it needed to come out of me. This is a part of a project for school, so to accompany this I will be doing a photoshoot to match. Pics to come. You guys are the best. Hope you like it.
Thomas looked hard at his reflection, but still saw only himself, black and white. Black hair, grey eyes, white teeth. He had heard stories (Legends, he was starting to think,), of people who saw colors. They say it happens when you find The One. Thomas didn’t believe that. He couldn’t imagine that it would be a girl who eventually made him see color. But then, he’d never met a girl who didn’t make him want to rip his hair out. They were exasperating, and kind of scary. He had always been fine without them, seeing in black and white. It stood to reason that he would continue to be fine in the same way. He looked at his watch, realizing that he was going to be late for work if he pondered much longer. He smoothed his hair, and picked up his briefcase on his way out the door.
“Tom! I’ve been calling your name for like five minutes,” Veronica’s singsong whine suddenly burst through his cloud of consciousness, and he looked up at her.
“Sorry, Ron, just busy, you know.”
“No, I don’t know,” she said. “You haven’t produced anything in the last week. You haven’t even had artists in! That’s not why I’m here. Tonight’s opening night at that new bar down the street, The Lost Candle. Weird name, I know, but it’s supposed to be great. Seven o’clock. You’re coming, Mr. Busy-Pants.”
He sighed, “Okay, I’ll come. For an hour, tops.” She squealed like a small child and dashed out of his office, probably so he couldn’t change his mind. He fought the urge to go after her and rescind his answer. She was always trying to get him to hit up the bars after work with her certified “After Work Crowd” but he’d never accepted any of the offers. In fact, he really didn’t know why he had said yes today. Maybe it was the whining. He couldn’t stand adults whining, and Veronica did it often. Maybe if he went with them just once, she’d stop talking to him altogether. The thought made him smile.
When 7:02 rolled around as Thomas was just shutting down his computer, Veronica waltzed into his office, wearing a very short dress. She twirled, and said, “Well? Are you ready for the time of your life?” He shrugged, put on his coat, and led the way outside. The bar was about a two minute walk, but Veronica and her friends, two girls that Thomas didn’t know, were tottering on ridiculously high heels, and wouldn’t walk faster than a slow stroll. They made it to the door ten minutes later, and found themselves a table and a waiter to order drinks and appetizers from. Within less than thirty minutes, the girls had bored of Thomas, who tried to engage them in conversation, and had wandered away to find more worthy ways to spend their night. Thomas, his main goal accomplished, finished his drink and stood to leave. As he turned to the door, not looking, he heard somebody yelling.
“Well I didn’t ask you to buy it, and I’m certainly not going to dri—oof!” Thomas collided with the woman, sending her stumbling, and quickly reached out to catch her arm.
“I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry!” Thomas cried, trying desperately to help her right herself. “I wasn’t looking, it was all my fault, and I can—“ He trailed off when he caught a look at her smiling face. There, in the middle of all the black, white, and grey, her eyes seemed to be an explosion of something he couldn’t identify right away, but it definitely wasn’t grey, he knew that.
“Hi,” her voice was very soft. “I’m Austen.”
“Thomas,” he said, not letting go of her arm.
All at once, he realized what he was seeing. It was color.
Austen couldn’t shake the thought of those crazy myths from her head. Well, she had thought they were myths, until she saw the vibrant color of Thomas’s eyes. She didn’t know what color it was, she’d never seen anything other than black and white. But she knew it was color. They had exchanged numbers, and had been texting. She’d seen more colors, since that night: flowers, clothing, and the sky. She’d been doing research, trying to discern which colors were which, but she wasn’t coming up with much, all that she knew was that Thomas’s eyes were very similar to the color of the sky. They were meeting for their second date in two days, and she kept waking up certain that all the color was gone. But so far, it wasn’t. Everywhere she turned, she would find something vibrant. The sky was constantly color, though, reminding her of Thomas’s eyes.
Friday night found her sitting across the table from Thomas, wondering if he was seeing color as well. She was afraid to ask, because the myths said that seeing color meant that you had found your soulmate, which would be pretty awkward to bring up on the second date. But she kept noticing that his hair wasn’t black like she had thought. It was yet another color she didn’t recognize, wasn’t familiar with. The champagne wasn’t just clear, it had a tint of color. The food, the tablecloths, everywhere she looked, something was saturated with color. She had a hard time drinking it all in, she wanted to stare at everything. Suddenly, she realized that it had been several minutes since either of them had said a word. She looked at Thomas, who was looking at the world with as much wonder as she felt.
“You see it too, then?” he asked.
“Let’s get out of here.” She nodded and picked up her purse.
They walked down Center Street hand in hand, not speaking, just looking for every glimpse of color they could find. Austen wanted to jump up and down and squeal for joy. Color! She thought, I never thought I’d see this! She looked over at Thomas, just as he looked her way, and smiled. He stopped, and moved to stand in front of her. “We take it slow,” he said. “Normal, traditional. That said, I’m going to kiss you now.” She smiled as he lowered his lips to hers, and closed her eyes. Behind them, as his lips touched hers, she saw an explosion of color, all the colors she could imagine, and she knew that nothing would ever be the same again.
2 years later
Austen slid out of bed, careful not to wake Thomas. As she did, she noticed the glimmer of the ring on her left hand. It was new, as of yesterday. She felt a thrill rush through her as she looked at the blue colored diamond. They were always very careful to pick things with color. They remembered what it was like to live without it. When they first started dating, they had done research, and made flashcards of all the colors they could find names to, and had practiced with them, memorizing the names, and making up names for the ones they couldn’t find. They picked new favorite colors almost every week, even now, two years later.
She wandered through the house, studying all the colors they had mixed together to make it uniquely theirs. The kitchen was blue and yellow, with plants growing in all the windowsills. The living room wine (Their own name.), and royal purple, and navy blue. The guest bathroom was mint green and coral. The guest bedroom was green, all shades of it. Their master bedroom and bathroom were blue and green, the colors of each of their eyes, the first colors they had ever seen. Austen smiled to herself as she walked back past a sleeping Thomas to get in the shower.
Thomas heard the shower start and turned to look at the clock. 7:15. Austen had always been a morning person. Maybe I’ll run and get bagels at that shop she loves, he thought, and then suddenly remembered that he had a meeting with an artist scheduled for 7:30. “Shit!” he said, as he ran into the bathroom. “Shit, shit, shit!”
Austen stopped singing and poked her wet head out of the shower curtain. “What?”
“I have that meeting today!”
“Oh yeah,” she said with a sigh. “Darn. I thought we could get a jump start on planning.”
Thomas kissed her. “I’ll be back before noon. We can go then. Besides, I’m sure there’s stuff to do that you don’t need me for, right? Super-secret bride stuff, yeah?”
Austen smiled. “Like I’m gonna tell you!”
Thomas smiled back, and left the room, calling out as he went, “I love you!” but Austen had already gone back to singing loudly.
By the time Thomas made it to the office, he was twenty minutes late to his meeting. Luckily, his secretary had covered for him, and his client was still there. She was fairly young, accompanied by her mom, looking to record a demo. He discussed styles and dates with them for an hour before everything was settled, and he was able to bring out the paperwork. He was looking it so intensely that he didn’t notice the change in his vision until he looked up.
All the color was gone.
He reached up to rub his eyes, once, twice, but nothing changed. The blue walls now looked gray. The chocolate colored chairs looked black. The clients were looking at him with concerned looks on their faces.
“Thomas, are you okay?” the girl asked.
“No,” Thomas ground out. “No I’m not. I’m going to have to have my secretary go over this contract with you, and you can make a recording appointment with her at the desk, okay?” He finished it with a question, but made it clear that it wasn’t an option by helping them up and herding them out his office door. He shut the door behind them, and moved quickly to his phone, punching in Austen’s number. No answer. He tried again. Still nothing. He called over and over again, swearing under his breath each time he heard the beginning of her voicemail, until he heard his secretary’s voice over the intercom.
“Sir?” the voice said, “Call for you on line two.”
“Thank you,” he called out and picked up the phone.
Thomas stared down at Austen, lying motionless on the steel table, in black and white. He closed his eyes and remembered her in color, her beautiful green eyes and copper colored hair. He motioned to the police officer. “This is her,” he said numbly. The officer nodded, pity evident in his features. Thomas turned to walk away, but the officer stopped him.
“Here’s what we found on her,” he held out a bag. “She was crossing the street, and the lady in the van, soccer mom, I think, just didn’t see her.”
Thomas sighed, “Well, she isn’t—wasn’t very tall.”
“But with that hair…I don’t know. Listen, if you want to take action, you know… Legally, just let me know.”
Thomas shook his head. “No,” he said.
The officer nodded, and this time, he let Thomas go.
1 year later
There was a knock at the door. Thomas looked around the room. It looked exactly the same as it had a year earlier, even though he couldn’t see the colors. Austen had loved them. He stood and moved to open the door. Outside stood a tall woman with wild curly hair. She smiled at Thomas. “I just moved in next door, and I thought I’d introduce myself around,” she smiled. “So, I’m Margaret. I’ve heard from the other neighbors not to come here, that you didn’t want to be disturbed, but I figure everybody needs to be disturbed every once in a while.”
Thomas nodded, and stuck out his hand. “Thomas,” he said. “And they were right, but so are you.”
“You wanna talk about it?” she asked.
“Maybe sometime,” he said.
She smiled. “Okay. Well, see ya!” and turned and left. Thomas closed the door, and turned back into his house.
There, in the vase on the coffee table, he noticed one of the roses was a beautiful, vibrant red.