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Speculative Sad People of Color

  Thomas rapidly opened the doors to his room, screaming out loudly.

,,Mom where did you put my red shirt? I can’t find it, so obviously you had to put it somewhere!’’

His mother is in the kitchen at this time preparing food for the family. He can clearly hear the sound of glass plates being placed on the table and the smell… the smell that makes everyone hungry - chips coming along with fried chicken. Thomas screamed again.

,,Vanessa are you deaf? Where is my red shirt!’’

,,Calm down Thomas, its all gonna be okay, we will find it. Come on.’’

His father Ellis decided to talk to Thomas while he tried to find his shirt. They entered his room and began to search for it together. Young Thomas felt a great anger towards his mother. I mean, what kind of mother is she?

,,I really don’t appreciate your tone against your mother. You know her condition… damn it she’s colorblind, Thomas! She sees world by shades, not by colors!’’

Ellis Hampton spoke these words so softly and earnestly that the boy felt the sense of guilt boring into his stomach, accompanied by fear. He pretended to look for his shirt, which he was anxious to put on, but in reality he was only waiting for his father to find it.

After ten minutes of searching, Thomas’ father had finally found it.

The red shirt was simply lying under his son’s blue bed. There was nothing special to see there. As he was about to point it out to his son, knowing that anything he might say after that would be completely forgotten by Thomas, Ellis said to him.

,,Your mom… she’s trying her best. I…I understand your anger and sadness. I truly, truly felt the same after my wife, your mom…its horrible.’’

His father walked slowly towards him. His face could only describe a strong feeling. The feeling of emptiness that filled the room and made the atmosphere deep and burdensome for Thomas. No, he can not be in this position again. He is not ready.

,,I understand it, I really do. But you have to accept that we can’t go back in time and save her.’’

The boy froze on the spot and slowly turned to his father, who knelt before him and paid respect to his son.

,,You are the one that deserves the respect the most in this world. Don’t let the greed take it. Don’t let yourself drown in it. Show as much respect to your mom as I’m showing to you. I know you understood what I said, but lets be clear. Do you?’’

Damn, he really fell for that color-blind bitch - thought Thomas. He felt really confused, like his stomach wanted to jump out and drill a hole in the floor because of his weight.

,,I… do. I’m sorry for yelling at Vanessa.’’

His dad’s face changed, now Thomas can feel the good vibes again.

,,And, here’s your red shirt! Now go to your mother, maybe she needs help.’’

Thomas reached for his shirt and instinctively hugged his father for a few seconds, then went down the stairs to the kitchen. Then he walked slowly to his mother, feeling a complete emptiness in his mind. It was as if all the words and feelings in his head had just disappeared, leaving him with an awkward face and gesture.

,,Hello Vanessa.’’

After boy said these words, he wanted to run away as quick as possible or completely vanish.

,,Hello sweetie. Sorry I didn’t help you with your clothes, mommy’s really busy this morning. Ya hungry?’’

His mother said this while draining the pasta in the sink. The pan was so hot that she had to hold it down with a cloth. Besides, the noodle seemed pretty well cooked.

,,Vanes…I mean mom, I… will really enjoy the dinner today. Thank you for all that you’re doing for us.’’

Thomas didn’t want himself to look like a total “shellfish”, so he didn’t hug her after saying these.

,,Honey, I know what a boy like you is going through right now. You need time and I get it. Now, eat up!’’

It had been thirty minutes since his father decided to go downstairs after an hour-long shower. His steps were quicker than usual, he seemed quite excited as he entered the kitchen.

,,Guess what!’’

,,No.’’

Thomas answers while eating fried chicken with noodles, next to Vanessa who is scrolling on her phone.

,,My boss just called me and wants me to… travel to New York City for an appointment. I decided I can take you both, right now. Actually, we have to go. Pack up!

Hearing these words, his mom instantly stopped scrolling.

,,But El, what about Thomas? I mean, he can’t stand long travels, right?’’

Boy hearing these words felt so cringe about it.

,,It… it passed, I’m okay now.’’

Vanessa’s face changed immediately. She was really hoping to spend time with Ellis, only with Ellis.

,,Okay it’s all good between you both, finally. Let me eat the pasta and we can go.’’

During this scene the faces of all concerned were entirely different. Thomas’ father appeared excited and happy, for obvious reasons. Vanessa was concerned about her feelings for Ellis, who can hardly be dependent on his son. Thomas showed nothing, as usual. Maybe a small smile in his eyes; the pasta was really good.

Thomas packed in his backpack things he could do without - a cell phone charger, headphones, and a couple of mojito energy drinks. When he went outside, he saw that his parents were already waiting in a car, arguing. Vanessa seemed to be the one frustrated and attacking his father. The boy didn’t waste time staring at something he sees and hears every day, instead he got in the car, put on his headphones and searched for a good road trip playlist. As his dad adjusted the GPS and drove off, he heard a strange metallic sound coming from the front of a car. Too bad his parents didn’t notice it.

Time passed so quickly that Thomas didn’t even realise they were near the town of Danbury. This is where his father met his mother, the first. He only knows this because his parents told him. Natalie used to work as a waitress in one of Danbury’s best restaurants. When Ellis Hampton looked briefly at Natalie Westler that morning, they both felt the familiar feeling.

,,You should take the right path, it’s a shortcut actually.’’

Vanessa kept teaching Ellis how to drive a car. The sun was shining so powerful that Thomas’s father could not see anything that was on the road. The sound… the same sound the boy heard two hours ago, something’s wrong.

,,Dad, are you sure we can make it there in one piece?’’

,,What? Why wouldn’t we be? Are you okay?

Dad took a turn to the roundabout, then they’ve driven to a second one, leaving the highway. Thomas thought that probably from a plane view, it looks exactly like a pair of eyes.

,,See? Heh, you thought you’re smarter than me-’’

It happened so quickly. A few minutes later, after leaving the highway, Thomas’s father fainted on a road, but the car was still moving.

,,El? Ellis? What are you doing?!’’

Vanessa tried to take control of a car by moving Ellis’s head slightly to the right. She couldn’t anticipate what happened next - a red truck was going from west to east so fast that his mother knew it was over as soon as it hit a car Thomas was in. She yelled at him one last time.

,,Thomas, forgive me!’’

Thomas still can’t forget the exact feelings and images in his head - of his father crashing into nothingness with a piece of metal, his mother being thrown out the window in an unnatural pose, and him sitting strapped in the back seat. Paralyzed, scared out of his wits, angry. He was about to get out, but then the car driving behind the truck hit the wreck even harder, causing it to explode. The boy can’t remember that, his brain won’t let him know any more.

After the accident, Thomas wakes up to the sound of the hospital machine. He slowly opens his blue eyes and… he opens them again and again. No, this can’t be happening.

,,Nurse! Nurse!!!! Help, I’m… I can’t… Where are the colors? Where?? How?!’’

The white ceiling turned into a light gray piece of nothing. Trees outside the window turned yellow… Maybe I was in a coma and it’s autumn? Please, I don’t want… - Thomas thought, before moving the bed sheet up.

His red shirt, which used to be bigger than himself and had a very, very intense red color on it - turned into a dirty green color. There is no doubt about it. Thomas became colorblind, forever. The rest of his sad and lonely life without parents and love will become more depressing, without any colors in it… A few minutes later, a nurse enters his room.

,,He’s awaken! Doctor, he woke up!!’’

After these words, Thomas wished for him to never wake up. Doctor Mr. James B. entered his room, smashing the doors. He knows what’s gonna happen next.

,,Mr. Hampton, Mr. Hampton! Do you hear me?’’

Thomas didn’t even look at him. He just wanted to stare at nothing.

,,Which year… what year is it?’’

,,Okay. Thomas, right? It’s 2038, five years later after the end of COVID-19 pandemic. You… you were in a coma for seventeen years. I can’t believe you woken up, nintysix percent of car explode victims… they never make it, not even mentioning coma. You are the luckiest person on this planet. And you’re alive.’’

Thomas was too tired to ask questions, but he couldn’t let the doctor leave without it.

,,Am I colorblind?’’

Doctor looked at him like crazy and thought its a trauma from losing his parents and coma, that was longer than boy’s lifetime.

,,What? Why would you be colorblind? I don’t know anything about that young man.’’

,,Can you examine me? I…I can’t see, anything. I mean colors. Red, green, pink… I can not see!’’

Thomas catches a breath and then adds.

,,I remember my step-mom was colorblind. My dad kept telling me that when I was making trashy jokes about her… How is that possible?’’

Doctor looked at him again, this time with more serious face, treating it like a real thing.

,,Okay, I can do some tests. Hold on one second.’’

Those were the last words anybody has even spoken to him that day. From that moment, nobody ever seen and heard of Thomas Hampton and anybody else from car accident.

Young Thomas wakes up due to alarm clock. Its eight o’clock - he’s gonna be late for school.

August 05, 2021 21:10

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