The Colour of Choice

From the far end of a narrow tunnel through blue, Stephen’s gaze travels and falls on his own wrists. The blue soaks back into his skin, radiates upwards, out through his mind, back down to his wrists and around again, endlessly. Like an electric circuit, only devoid of energy.

He sits slumped over on the green park bench. The yellow sun warms his body and a gentle breeze strokes his hair. A detached part of himself observes that it’s good ‒ it goes no further.

Stephen doesn’t often leave home, but he’s been told he needs to get out.  His doctor calls it ”depression”. To Stephen it’s a matter of one syllable versus three ‒ life is blue.

So here Stephen sits on the bench:

– a pigeon strolls by.

– a dog on a leash.

– a skateboard.

– the long sound of an aeroplane.

– and a pair of legs walk up…

”May I sit here?”

She’s wearing a red summer dress  ‒ a person from the other end of the spectrum. She unwraps a sandwich and starts eating.

”I haven’t seen you here before.”, she says

Stephen responds quietly:

”No, no. I don’t come here often.”

It’s a Skype call through the tunnel. He’s distant, somewhere blurred in space, with a time-lapse. She’s defined, here and now, exactly where she’s supposed to be.

She takes a smoothie out of her bag and drinks.

”My name’s Rosie”, she stretches out a hand, confident in her absolute right to existence. Stephen takes it.  Warm and soft.

She rests, her face towards the sun, then she turns and looks at him quizzically, smiling:

”You have a kind face.”, she says. ”Maybe I’ll see you here tomorrow?”

Rosie packs her things and waves goodbye. Stephen closes his eyes and turns his face to the sun. The blue inside him becomes tinged with yellow , blending into a bright shade of green crossing back into blue, and right at the center, at the edges of the opening of the blue tunnel, is a hint of purple.

He’ll be here tomorrow.