My eyes are devoid of all color, as my days are experienced and portrayed in black and white. Of course, that’s fine with me. I have seen the world in these faded shades of grey, black and white ever since I was born. I wake up to a beautiful palette of charcoal greys and creamy whites. The trees surrounding my home, the birds that serenade me awake, the shooting stars that shimmer across the dark black night sky have no hue whatsoever.
My mother tells me, “Oh, Lillian, the sky is the most beautiful shade of blue, a beautiful deep blue, just like your eyes.” She then glances at my hair and runs her fingers through it as she describes the color of it. “And your hair, it’s so soft, and the most beautiful shade of brown I’ve ever seen, a mix between my dark brown hair, and your father’s light blond hair. It’s gorgeous.” I have no idea what brown or blond looks like, but from the way she describes it, it sounds pulchritudinous.
Talking to my mother about her color-seeing gift makes my day as illuminated as her “yellow-ish white” sun brightens the earth. Because she can view the world in color, and I am stuck with my day looking like an old 50’s television screen, I get a little bit worried about our differences. What if there’s something wrong with my eyes? What if I will never be able to view the world like mother? My mind races as these thoughts run about.
I ask her why I can’t see the world in color like her. “Sweetie, you haven’t found the right person yet.” She notices the utter confusion on my face, and chuckles. “ Dear, I used to see just like you do now. I had no sense of color, and both of my parents told me that they used to see in black and white…” The mention of grandmother and grandfather brings a smile to my face. “ When they found each other, their vision went from black and white to vibrant color, just like mine did when I saw your father.” She smiles as the memories come flooding back to her. “Yep, I used to see exactly like you did,” she lets out a happy sigh. “ I was in church when I saw him. He was in the pew in front of me. Before church started, my nephew caught his attention, and he watched the little one run right to me. He looked right up at me, and bam!” she puts up her hands as if she’s pressing them against a window and staring at the sight. “I saw the first color. That magnificent blue in his eyes. I started crying, it was so amazing. I got lost in the color of those eyes, and once I looked away, I noticed these beautiful shades of orange, red, white, as if God was telling me that he would make my world as colorful as the church that morning.” I watch as a sparkling tear races down her cheek, leaving a slightly darker line down her cheek. “I saw his color, and I knew that he was the one.” She looks over at father, who is almost on the verge of tears, his memories flooding him as much as mother’s tears flooded her eyes. She wipes her eyes, and lets out another sigh. “Anyways, you will get your vision. You just have to find that one person saved up for you, that one person that will add color to your eyes.”
My mind races as I toss and turn on my bed. The stars and the moon casts a silver aura throughout my room, and as I get up and turn on the string lights, I watch as the lights brighten up the walls with a pale whitish grey that lightens my soul. Plugging my phone into the large speaker in the corner of my room, I set it to my favorite music playlist, William Fitzsimmons, and as his soft voice and guitar music echoes throughout the room, my smile widens as I imagine all of this in color. I sit and think of the one who will bring the color to my sight. Will he be tall? Smart? What if he isn’t like me? I both laugh and shudder at the thought of him dragging me to social places, probably telling me on the way that my social anxiety is cute, and that he wouldn’t have it any other way. I catch myself thinking of the colors of his eyes. Will they be a blue? Green? Or maybe a deep dark brown? I feel myself slowly getting sleepier as I imagine the vibrant blissfulness of the colors he brings me.
He stands right on front of me at a cafe. His face is fixated on the ground, walking to my table. “May I, uhm...may I sit with you?” I blush and smile softly. “Of course.” He looks up at me and smiles, and as my eyes meet his, the first color I see is a dark brown.
My peace is violently ripped away by my alarm clock as I bolt upright. I look around my room, as I see an overload of greys, blacks, and whites. A sad sigh escaping my mouth, I get up and put on my outfit. Placing a white flower crown in my hair and fixing my shirt, I walk over to the kitchen. My mother’s hair is in a messy bun, and her nightgown covers her up. I look over and notice father can’t stop staring, and I smile. Even when she just woke up, she’s beautiful.
Saturday mornings are always calm and happy. Mother cooks breakfast as father gawks over her, and I chuckle as I watch outside, a bird chasing a curious squirrel away from its nest. Putting on a bright white purse, I tell mother that I’m going to get coffee, and I write down on a little drawing pad of mine that she loves caramel espresso.
The wind tosses my hair back, making it shine a bright silver in the white day. Hopping on my bike, I ride over to the cafe that was in my dreams. Seeing the cafe makes my stomach churn with nervousness and anticipation. As I finish parking my bike, a smile and a wave greets me from the window of the cafe; I’m a regular customer, and the guitarist that plays for the cafe every Saturday morning is one of my best friends. I open the large door, the scent of warm sugar and vanilla filling my nose. I get a calm feeling that can only be described as joy. The employees greet me happily; I usually give a large tip to them. I order a caramel espresso and a hot tea, as well as some cinnamon rolls. Sitting down at a small table, the warm food and drinks send an array of scents to my nose.
“Hi. May I, uhm...may I sit with you?”
As I look up, I see a tall boy, a grey hoodie covering his eyes, his dark black hair sticking out of the hoodie. Memories of my dreams flash before my eyes, and as my adrenaline rushes through me, frantic thoughts invade my mind. Is this really happening? Will I get my color today? Is he actually the one? I blush as he sits down slowly, having to scrunch up his limber legs to comfortably sit. I watch as his hands travel up, as he clasps his hoodie and takes it off, making his curly mess of hair more visible. His voice sweet, yet deep, he almost whispers out the words, “I’m Rhyan…”
He swoops his hair out of the way.
I stare into his eyes.
His dark grey eyes slowly start turning into a dark brown.
My gasp is audible enough to call the whole cafe to attention. As I see his eyes fill with color, I can’t help but smile. My first color, brown, seen in the eyes of my soulmate. The warmth spreads out, turning his grey cheeks a light brown, with tints of what I can only assume is red and pink as his blush becomes noticeable. The sun shines off of his black hair, and his hand reaches out for mine as his hoodie turns to a dark navy blue.
“I…I see in color now..Rhyan…”
He nods his head, his crooked teeth becoming visible as a grin appears on his face.. “I see I’m not the only one who gained color today.”
As I look up, I notice the cafe has gathered curiously around me, so closely huddled around us that I can feel their soft breaths hot on my neck. My face becomes very hot as I notice the attention that has found me. I look back into his dark deep eyes, noticing that they are my only escape from the piercing stares of the gathering crowd. As silent thoughts fill the room, I notice some kids smiling and exclaiming that “That girl over there found her true love, and he found his. Oh, if only I could see in color like her!” As I scan the faces around me, I see my friend playing the guitar for the cafe, and as the employees watch happily, the sounds of loud conversing grows ever louder. I barely notice when a large male pats my back. My body, and mind, is as numb as the moment itself. The only thing that is running through my mind at the moment is his eyes.
As I run home, my mind visualises my mother’s different reactions. I hope her reaction is happy I found my color. My eyes wander restlessly around the scene, and I notice the white fluffy clouds in the now vibrant sky. Blue. I glance down at the soft grass that reaches around my flip-flops and tickles my feet. Green.
With a reason now to talk to mother, I open the door happily, and while handing her her caramel espresso, she notices the goofy smile stuck on my face.
“You seem happy,” she grabs her coffee and takes a sip of it. “Anything new or exciting happen?”
“The sky is very blue today, and the grass is green.”
She almost drops her coffee as her gaze meets mine. “Yes, Lilly, the grass is green, how could you tell?”
“Well...I met this guy…” , I can’t help but smile as I remember his dark eyes, “I met this
guy and-” I am cut off by the sound of mother’s happy squeals of joy as she embraces me tightly, spinning me around and making me dizzy.
“MY BABY! MY BABY HAS FOUND THE ONE!!”
The air is filled with my laughter and her squeals as we loudly celebrate. But even as we laugh and talk, the atmosphere seems to be missing someone. “Where’s daddy?”
Mother, although overjoyed with the fact I found my color, seems to turn a little grey as her smile softly fades. “He’s on a business trip, he’s a little busy but should be back soon…” She takes another sip of her espresso and looks up at me. “So, tell me about this ‘Rhyan’ guy.”
My mind rewinds back to his soft voice, and as I tell her everything, I make sure to add enough detail. Her eyes resemble saucers as she listens intently, her eyes fixated on mine. We sit for hours, talking and laughing about the memories of mother seeing color for the first time. “Hey, sweetie,” she suddenly sits up, smiling. “How about you invite Rhyan over for dinner? I’d love to see him.” I grab my phone and dial his number. The phone beeps three times, then pauses as he picks up the phone. “Hello? Lillian?”
My smile instantly grows bigger as his calm voice flows into my ears. “H-Hey Rhyan, do you think maybe uhm… you could come over f-for dinner?” I’m blushing intensely by now.
“Of course, love, that sounds fun!” As I run upstairs to tidy up my room, my reply is short. “Thank you, I’ll text you my address, be here by seven!” I kiss the phone and hang up.
As I clean my room, I look in the mirror at myself. I notice my skin isn’t grey anymore, but a beautiful creamy shade of yellowish-pink. I stare at my light pink flower crown, which matches my pink top well, and I smile as I see my greenish-blue eyes sparkle. My long moment of staring is caught off by an excruciating shriek from downstairs. I bolt to my mother, but stop in my tracks as I see her, hunched over on the ground, her eyes covered by her hands. Her piercing wails send me to a hell I have never experienced, and shoots a rocket of dread through my soul . I know exactly what happened. She lost her color. Father is dead.
Helping her back up, I can’t help but take in her absolutely shattered shell of her once happy self, as she stumbles on her feet, only to fall back on the couch, her face buried in the plush pillows. Even though I see in color now, the world has never looked so grey to me. As I grasp the reality, I stumble up to my room, and as I angrily toss myself onto the bed, I feel myself shatter, and I let out a howl of pure despair and agony. Daddy’s gone. I never even said goodbye to him. I loved him so much and now all I have left is our memories together. My tears flow out of my eyes as I silently cry, my short piercing breaths sending sharp aches throughout my chest. I grab my phone and call the one person whom I know is still there for me. The phone rings four times, then is cut off by his soft voice.
“Lillian, hey sweetie, what are you-” he pauses as my loud sniffles and soft whining sends a jolt of worry through him. “Lilly, I’m heading there now. You just wait. I promise.” He hangs up, and as the phone lets out a beep, I look at my dark room and feel a heavy emptiness attacking any last remnants of joy left in my heart.
As I sit in the silence of loneliness, I hear the doorbell ring, and as I slowly amble downstairs, I open the door and help Rhyan into my room.
“Wait here for just a second, please.”
He smiles and nods his head respectively.
I head downstairs to mother.
Wrapping my arms around her, I can feel her warmth and the salty wetness of her tears staining my clothes. Her soft sobs grow louder as she feels my heart beating, and she repeats her love’s name over and over, as if it would send her husband back into her arms. Deep in her eyes, I see the painful memories of that Sunday morning, seeing his eyes, her color appearing. Her voice is dreadful and low, almost dead as she monotonously groans.
“I’m….going to bed…”, she utters out softly.
I kiss her forehead protectively, and as the words run through my mind, I am still here. I love you and I will always protect you. No matter what, she seems to read my mind as she kisses my cheek and wipes away my tears. “You’re so precious…”
“I’m going to talk to Rhyan for a couple of hours…”
I open my door back up. He looks up, my soft string lights reflecting off of his large dark eyes. As I remember what has happened, I let loose a waterfall of tears, and he wraps his arms around me as I sit down on the bed, his warmth engulfing me, I let out a soft sigh and look into his eyes. He looks down at me, love and nervousness dwindling in his eyes. He caresses my cheek and as he leans in, I feel my face glowing a deep red. As his lips touch mine for the first time, he holds me tighter, his thumb rubbing against my glowing cheek. He pulls back, and stares into my eyes. I stare back into his, and I feel the same amount of nervousness I had felt when I first saw him in my dream. He smirks softly, his thumb wiping away the tears from my eyes. I smile, and for the first time in what seems like eons, I feel a small amount of joy and hope return to my broken heart. Sitting next to him, we share stories, some happy, some tremendously sad. The hours seem to pass as quickly as my sadness, and he gets up to leave, leaving me trailing behind him. As he says goodbye, he blows me a kiss and I let out a soft chuckle. This boy really is amazing. I watch him turn and leave, and I notice that his very existence makes me feel like myself again.
As the months pass, so does the aching pain in my heart. Rhyan and I spend our lives learning about each other, our days now filled in color, our hearts now beating for each other.
He tells me of his life, and I tell him of mine. We spend our hours together laughing, our stories and actions filled with love I could have only hoped for. The cafe is our trophy paradise, and we escape there when our worries get the best of us. He is the true love, the one that girls only dream about meeting. He shows respect and compassion to me. He is the one that father would have always wanted me to meet. He is the reason that there is color in my life. And as he holds my hands in his, he brings me the warmth, vibrancy, and happiness of a million colors.