Red, Blue, White

Submitted into Contest #51 in response to: Write a story about someone who's haunted by their past.... view prompt

247 comments

General

To Bella,

 

Red was the colour of your favourite flower, roses. The first flower that I bought for a girl. The flower that you always liked to receive, regardless of the situation.

 

Blue was the colour of your skirt, your junior high school uniform. The one you wore when we first met at the entrance test for the high school that we attended.

 

White reminded me of the packaging of your favourite soft drink. The fizzy drink that tasted weird, the beverage that I hated. The only thing that we couldn’t seem to agree on.

 

Yet it all changed after that car accident under the orange-coloured sky.

 

Red became a strong and lasting imagery in my mind. 

 

It reminded me of the blood, as it gushed out from the back of your head as you gradually closed your eyes. The colour of the warm liquid that painted your cold body, the colour that got transferred to mine as I hugged you for the last time. 

 

It kept me awake at night, as guilt filled my heart. The feeling that grew bigger as I saw the pained expression on your father’s face, who was calming down your crying mother as they arrived at the bloody scene. 

 

The guilt that stayed within me, regardless of how many times I bowed down and apologized to your parents. 

 

The feeling that I still get every time I visit your parents, up until now.

 

It made me think of the accident. The exact memory inside my mind that relived again and again, as if it was a video with a replay button. 

 

The conversation that we were having.

 

The speed of the car before we hit the railing.

 

The loud thud as the airbag popped.

 

The few seconds when we floated.

 

The moment our car descended the rocky cliff. 

 

The memory that I wished to forget, the memory that scarred me for life.

 

Blue became this ambiguous connection between the two of us.

 

It was the colour of the car that I drove that day. The automatic sedan that I brought for the sake of showing-off, unfortunately, became the car that brought an end to your life. 

 

It became the epitome of regret. 

 

The feelings that raised questions inside my head.

 

What if I had never driven the car? Maybe you would feel disappointed that I couldn’t bring you to the observatory as promised, but you would still be by my side. 

 

What if I had never asked you out? Maybe my high school memories wouldn’t be full of happiness, but you would still be alive and well.

 

What if I had never fallen in love with you? Maybe this wouldn’t happen and both of us would never have to suffer the way we are now. 

 

The same set of questions that I still ask myself from time to time.

 

And the same set of answers that I still come up with.

 

It brought self-blame into my brain. The feeling that reminded me about the stupid idea to bring you to the mountaintop, about my foolish bravery to drive, despite the lack of my driving skill. 

 

The feeling that led to another voice inside my head.

 

“Why did you do that, Kevin? What were you thinking? Oh, you are such an idiot.”

 

“Now, look at you, a murderer. Begging for mercy, unable to forgive yourself.”

 

White became a new ability that I never wished to get.

 

It was the colour of the creatures floating around at the cemetery when I attended your funeral. Those that couldn’t be seen by naked eyes, those that were invisible to others.

 

It became the colour of the new you. The one who hid behind the tombstone as you watched over the burial of your lifeless body. 

 

Yes, you, the one who became a spiritual being, who didn’t know the burden of being the one left alive. 

 

Yes, you, the one who stayed behind in this world with a wish to talk to me once again.

 

Yes, you, the one that I still can see up to this day.

 

It forced me to think about what I should do.

 

If I become white too, what would you think of me?

 

Because if I do, I would be brave enough to see you.

 

Because if I do, we would be together again. This time, for eternity.

 

Because if I do, it would be easier to forgive myself for what I have done.

 

Yet it all changed after I met the green-eyed girl.

 

Red became the colour of her favourite dress. 

 

It was the one that she wore as she pulled my hands, saving me, pulling me out of the river after I jumped from a bridge.

 

The me who couldn’t stand to continue living in suffering any longer. 

 

The me who tried to run away from the life that you couldn’t have.

 

The me who tried to throw my life away, the life that robbed your future.

 

Blue became a turning point in my life.

 

It was the colour of the sky when I realized that she made me happy. 

 

The feeling that I got as this green-eyed girl put aside the rumours she heard about me.

 

The feeling that I haven’t had since the day you died.

 

The feeling that led me to think, “Let’s end this suffering, once and all.”

 

White marked the beginning of my new life. 

 

It was the colour of my shirt when I visited your parents. The time when I let out the truth about my ability. 

 

The same time when I asked their permission to move on, to be happy with the green-eyed girl.

 

It was the colour of the envelope given by your parents. Delivering the letter to you was the only thing that they wanted me to do as a way to atone my sin.

 

"Because moving on doesn't mean you forget; it means you accept what happened and continue living."

 

That's what your parents told me as they sent me off to the cemetery.

 

---

 

So, here I am.

 

Bringing a bouquet of red roses, white envelope, and golden-coloured wedding invitation in my hand, I walk between the tombstones, heading over to meet you.

 

And as I see your ghost, I gulp nervously.

 

“How are you?”

July 22, 2020 09:20

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247 comments

Geneva Savage
15:33 Jul 31, 2020

Awesome, girl! Probably my favorite in the series. I teared up a bit. :) That's my favorite kind of story.

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Seasi Bergultz
15:19 Jul 31, 2020

This was a good story, I haven’t read others so will need to go read the Orange-Coloured Sky after reading the comments, but this one felt complete, like it wasn’t necessary to read before. You were able to capture grief and guilt in a way that wasn’t just emotional manipulation of the reader. Your use of color to create the story, as opposed to create the imagery, was beautiful. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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Nico K
16:24 Jul 30, 2020

Aw, oh my god! This story was heartbreaking, and then all of a sudden heartwarming, when you got to the end. I love the whole theme about 'colors' and since I'm an artist myself, (I paint a lot) it really stuck to me! If you write a sequel to this, feel free to reach out to me ;)) Also, if you're free, could you please give me feedback on one of my stories? I'm new here, and haven't received much. It would mean a lot!

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Deborah Angevin
01:57 Jul 31, 2020

Glad that you enjoyed the story! Sure, will read yours! :D

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11:52 Jul 30, 2020

This story literally amazing! The only thing is, the transition to the relationship with the green eyed girl couldve been smoother and a little more developed to give her a little more of a spotlight and a perspective on the situation outside of the protag's. With the word count restraints though, it's a truly well written and beautiful story.

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Deborah Angevin
02:02 Jul 31, 2020

I believe you would love to read my newest story, "A Very, Very Dark Green", then; it is about the green-eyed girl after all!

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Anna Rogers
10:36 Jul 30, 2020

Hi Deborah, I was actually sent a couple of other stories to critique, but I wanted to choose for myself and your title intrigued me. Then I started to read and was immediately hooked. Your imagery is strong, and found the idea of basing your story around the colours red, white and blue both powerful and very original. You also demonstrate real empathy with Kevin a teenage driver who must live with the knowledge that his poor driving behaviour has led to Bella’s death. I read in your reply to Niveeidha that we have Bella’s back story to l...

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Deborah Angevin
10:53 Jul 30, 2020

Hi Anna, thank you for the kind words (thank you for finding this story and enjoying it too!)

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Lynda Walsh
07:26 Jul 30, 2020

Hi Deborah, I enjoyed this very much. It was sad; just how I would imagine someone who was responsible for the death of another, would feel. I liked the paragraphing, it left to stand alone images, which I thought was appropriate. The idea that Kevin needed to go back to the parents before committing to another relationship, was sensitive and tied in beautifully with the white envelope. Lovely writing.

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Deborah Angevin
10:54 Jul 30, 2020

Glad that you enjoyed it, Lynda! I'm glad that someone noticed (and appreciated) Kevin for coming to Bella's parents :o

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Kendall Defoe
03:10 Jul 30, 2020

This is quite beautiful. You manage to sustain a beautiful tone throughout this narrative... Well done!

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Deborah Angevin
10:54 Jul 30, 2020

Thank you for enjoying it, K! :D

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Saron Mengistu
17:44 Jul 29, 2020

TISSUES TISSUES I CAN'T FIND MY GODDAMN TISSUES. LOL, but seriously. I am rarely moved with writing as I was with yours. This is the epitome of marvelousness!! The metaphors yous used in colors are nearly flawless. The emotions of grief were quite original, and I thought at first you couldn't do it without making it awfully cliche, but I was wrong! But you found a way to do it! Well well well done!! I would improve the transitions between the ideas. It was all very consistent, but it also kind of hopped between concepts. Just another t...

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Deborah Angevin
20:50 Jul 29, 2020

Thank you for the review, Saron! Glad that you enjoyed it!

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Alystair White
03:50 Jul 29, 2020

Greetings, Deborah! I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your story here. I definitely felt that Kevin truly regrets the circumstances that led up to Bella's death. I think his deep sadness is pretty evident. I have to agree with some of the previous comments on how to improve. Although I feel that I understand Kevin and his sense of loss, I don't really FEEL his loss because I'm not as emotionally connected to Bella. I don't really know her. I also agree with the feedback on the paragraphing and format of the story. Was there ...

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Deborah Angevin
09:33 Jul 29, 2020

Thank you for reading (and for the feedback too, Alystair!)

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23:41 Jul 27, 2020

I really like the significance of the colors. The living with grief and unrest as a ghostly apparition. This story is gripping and keeps reader fully engaged. Look forward to reading more of your writings.

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Deborah Angevin
08:37 Jul 28, 2020

Thank you for reading and enjoying the story, Vickie :D

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Kylie Gillins
23:20 Jul 27, 2020

I really like how the flow of the story was broken sort of like the character. It felt like poetry.

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Deborah Angevin
08:38 Jul 28, 2020

I purposely make the structure to be like poetry (as in having shorter sentences instead of long paragraphs). Glad that someone noticed that! :D

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J. Ernst
19:23 Jul 27, 2020

Very original story. I liked it.

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Deborah Angevin
23:03 Jul 27, 2020

Thank you for reading and enjoying it :D

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Arushi Ramayanam
15:26 Jul 26, 2020

Hi Deborah! I love how descriptive you are in this story! I have little tips for you though: It would be nice if you're more sublime with your dialogue and more dialogue. It would be nice if you had more inflexible words in the story You just need to develop the scene more. If you had some kind of suspense or drama it truly would have made this story better. But over all, I LOVE your story, Deborah!!

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Deborah Angevin
10:05 Jul 27, 2020

Thank you for the feedback! I planned this to be an inner monologue of Kevin (since the previous story was already full of dialogue, I thought it would be refreshing with just narration).

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Arushi Ramayanam
13:55 Jul 27, 2020

I think that's good if you narrate more and dialogue-less then. I don't believe I read your other book can I read it??

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Deborah Angevin
23:03 Jul 27, 2020

It is just the story before this, the title is "Orange-Coloured Sky" :)

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Jessie Nice
15:15 Jul 26, 2020

This gripped me to the end. A haunting and heart-wrenching tale about love, loss, life-long guilt and repent. Well done, you got me in my feelings!! Beautiful piece of work.

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Deborah Angevin
10:05 Jul 27, 2020

Glad that I can convey the emotion of the character! Thank you for reading!

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Tempest Juvano
06:01 Jul 26, 2020

Hey Deborah, I opened my laptop, with its red wallpaper jumping out at me. I opened your story and read the title, Red, Blue, White, written on a blue background. And I type this now, in this white comment box: I loved the story. I haven't read Orange coloured sky, so I don't have any perspective of these characters. I loved your narration technique. It is a perfect inner monologue, of someone in Kevin's position. And although Kevin isn't to be pitied, you made me neither hate Kevin nor Love him. Because there are so many kinds of Love...

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Deborah Angevin
12:07 Jul 26, 2020

OMG, I really loved how you impersonate my narration technique for the comment! Yes, you are exactly right; Kevin can see Bella, yet due to the guilt, he chooses not to meet her for ten years (it's not written here implicitly, but it was on the "Orange-Coloured Sky"). Glad that you enjoyed the story :D

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Katrina Lee
03:23 Jul 26, 2020

Haunting, beautiful, tranquil and yet so incredibly deafening tale, all told through the threads of colors, that's so brilliant!!!

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Deborah Angevin
12:08 Jul 26, 2020

Thank you for reading and enjoying the story, Katrina! Really appreciate it!

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Katrina Lee
12:25 Jul 26, 2020

My pleasure! Will be sure to read what's coming from you next XD By the way, if you have time will you be so kind to check out my story "Gravity in the Mist"? I'd appreciate it immensely! <3

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Deborah Angevin
12:26 Jul 26, 2020

Sure thing, Katrina, will check out yours! :D

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Sara Ullah
21:34 Jul 25, 2020

Amazing story! I loved how you didn't give too much away about Kevin's situation at the beginning and how you linked everything back to the title! However, I think it would be easier to empathise with Kevin if we were told a bit more about how Bella's death effected him or maybe a few flashbacks of him having fun with Bella. Those are just a few tips but other than that it was a wondrous story and an enjoyable read. Looking forward to reading more of your work!

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Deborah Angevin
23:09 Jul 25, 2020

Thank you for reading, Sara! I wrote this while thinking that Bella's backstory will be in another submission (when I see the prompt that fits). So, stay in tune! :D

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17:48 Jul 25, 2020

This story draws the reader instantly towards its amazingly written plot. The inclusion of colors for describing each and every incidents that happens or have happened to the protagonist is quite admirable. As you unfold your story, somewhere in middle you also come across numerous situations of what-ifs. And that is the most intriguing part of the story, which gives the reader a chance to think what if the protagonist never met bella in the first place!?! None of this would've ever happened. Kudos to your writing Deborah! I absolutely l...

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Deborah Angevin
23:11 Jul 25, 2020

Thank you for reading it! I reckon everyone will have the "what-ifs" moment in their life for stuff that they regret doing... And sure I will check your story! :D

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Marilyn Carter
16:24 Jul 25, 2020

Hi Deborah, I think you certainly pulled out the emotions very well. I didn't see your first story that others have referred to, but with this story I felt Kevin's pain and grief. I really liked how you put colours to the various emotions and showed how those colours could still reflect other emotions as you change and grow within yourself. You are a very good writer. Thank you for sharing your skill with us.

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Deborah Angevin
23:15 Jul 25, 2020

Thank you for reading, Marlee! I have designed it in a way that this story can be enjoyed as a standalone and not just a follow up to the previous one, so it is alright! :D

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Kanchan K
16:15 Jul 25, 2020

The story is well written, great work.

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Deborah Angevin
23:15 Jul 25, 2020

Thank you for reading it :D

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