Territory Greyscale

Territory Greyscale

A Story by r.k

She gently placed her dainty fingertips to mine and the world revealed itself. It started with her eyes, as I thought it would. As everyone said it would. To say they were just green would be like saying the sun was yellow. It was sufficient and it was true but not even nearly enough to tell you accurately. It wasn’t enough to capture the nature of her warm emerald eyes or the contrast between the grass-green colour and the stark white. It wasn’t enough to tell you about the light brown flecks that dotted her irises so carefully and neatly. They were the picture of perfection, slicing into my soul. They were the first burst of colour I had ever seen. The first thing I had ever laid eyes on that wasn’t a tiring shade of grey. And they filled me with life, with joy and hope.

Growing up, I wasn’t even sure if it was true. I always had a sceptical mind. I thought they fed us the tale to plant hope in our young minds. 
“When you fall in love, the world will come to life. You’ll see colour. I promise you, Al. The grey will leave and you’ll see it.” 
I read about it. I wrote about it. But I could never let myself believe it. There was no proof. No one could even describe colour to someone who couldn’t already see it. And that was something I couldn’t understand until I experienced it. A lot of young people took the tale as gospel, their sole purpose in life to meet someone and see colour. Sceptics like myself weren’t so easily roped in. For the longest time, I thought it was a simple story. A story to give youth a reason to live in such a wearisome world. It gave people something to look for, to strive for. Maybe people died, still in greyscale, disappointed as they had failed to achieve what was they believed to be their only purpose. People refused themselves happiness if they couldn’t see colour. They were not allowed to feel joy while they remained in monochrome. And I was almost positive that everyone lived and died in black and white but no one wanted to ruin the vision of hope for anyone else. 
Her green eyes proved me wrong.

The relief in my mothers smile when I told her I could see her red lipstick for the first time was one of the only times I saw an expression of true happiness cross her face. When I told my grandmother I could see it, just like she said I would, she shed tears of what could only be solace. And I saw it all in colour.

I travelled the globe with Ana shortly after. We were both in love with illuminated world around us. We saw the satin seas and the crystal clear lakes and the forests that matched her eyes. Our feet met with the deep brown leaves of Autumn with a crunch and we welcomed the fresh buds for many seasons after. We watched the once lifeless sunset turn into a beautiful bleed of pink and orange. The once tiresome gradient of white to black was now one of the most breathtaking sites we had ever seen. We gazed in awe, watching the dawn prelude fade to night first. The fiery hues of the evening’s goodbye fading into purple and then midnight blue. Our first sunset, we saw together.

I loved the colours of home too. The fading red brick of home was always a welcome sight, along with the rich green garden, dotted generously with every single shade a flower could be. Ana and I found the beauty in everything, never wanting to return to a life in grey. Our lives were bright because we had each other and we both tried to never take anything for granted.

Ana didn’t even take the stinging white colour of the hospital bed sheets as anything less than beautiful. She looked at the red medic cross as if it was the most stunning thing she’d ever had the pleasure of seeing. Her courage was scarlet, her bravery a burning amber. I thought she must’ve lost her mind when she told me she quite liked the dark brunette her hair had turned out to be, as she held a clump of it in her hand. Months prior to chemotherapy, she told me she couldn’t see the neutral blues of her protruding veins but that she could now, and she thought the shade was pretty.

The times I left her alone in that hospital room were few and far between. And I’ll never forget the day I tore myself from her side, just for a few hours. And as I approached my familiar, red bricked home, everything turned grey.

© 2017 r.k

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Added on June 19, 2017
Last Updated on June 19, 2017
Tags: fantasy, fiction, love, heartbreak, death, short story



Cork, Munster, Ireland

I'm 16 years old and I live in the Republic of Ireland. I have a passion for writing short stories and I really love tea. more..

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