Red is a Common Color

Submitted into Contest #53 in response to: Write a story about another day in a heatwave. ... view prompt

111 comments

Drama Adventure Thriller

 

A warm breeze brushes my shoulders as I bike down 15th street. It might sound weird, but I'm on a quest to find a butterfly. I want to find the prettiest one. The most delicate one with fragile wings. It's a steamy hot day so surely, they should be out there somewhere.      

  

  

As the wind plays with my hair, I think about her. Her bright eyes wander through my mind. The way she laughed every time it rained. "God's peeing!" She would scream at the top of her lungs. Her smile was a disease if you caught a glance you wouldn't stop smiling yourself.      

  

  

The sun glares down my back so I stop to take a sip of the water my mother insisted on me taking.     

  

"It's so hot out! The sun's gonna kill you!" she yelled as I walked out the front door     

  

  

"I hope it does!" I yelled back.    

  

  

I could almost hear her let out a sigh from a mile away. It's hard to not be so cold. I know it pains her too, but I'm not sure she knows how I feel. I get back on my bike and start racing the cars from the sidewalk. A red car drives by and I almost keep a steady pace for a few seconds. 

  

  

I imagine her red hair I envied so much. Jealously dripped from my eyes as soon as I saw her come home from the hospital. Her soft baby face matched her red hair perfectly. Growing up with her wasn't pain like it is with most sisters. She was the water that helped me grow from a seed.    

  

  

As I keep my eyes wide open I see her friend throwing out the trash. I notice how her eyes are still red. Still heartbroken. Her lips form a smile and I smile back. We have never really talked before.   

  

I keep on riding and take a quick glance back to see if she's still there. She is. I can see her tears shining with the sun's help.   

  

  

How can I be strong when everyone around me is dissolving into sadness?  

  

  

I pass the tree that once told the truth. We were little and out on an "adventure". This tree was where she broke her arm. We both tried to climb it limb by limb, but she lost grip. We rushed home and terror filled my mother's eyes when she saw.   

  

  

The doctors did a full check up on her. They saw her blood wasn't pure. It was cancer.   

  

  

Even if it takes all day, I'm going to find the perfect butterfly. I want to find the right one. The one that flutters by with a smile.     

 

I get back on my bike and fly through the streets. How can I attract a butterfly? Silvia could. Her red hair would look like roses to them.    

  

My mind swims in an ocean full of memories. She would call herself princess Ariel. She wasn't wrong, just add a tail and they would be twins.   

  

A wave of heat flows over me and makes my hair frizz up. I hate this weather.   

  

She loved to paint. Her hand moved so perfectly with a paintbrush entangled between her fingers. There weren't enough things in this world for her to paint. She hung them all over the house. I used to get annoyed by seeing them everywhere. Now I stare at each one imagining what could have been going inside that little brain of hers as she stroked each paper.  

 

 She loved watching movies. She only watched movies with happy endings. When I asked her why she said: “Because it's fun to imagine a happy life”. Even at a young age, she knew that happy ever after wasn’t always real. How does a kid handle that? Cancer taught her that lesson. 

 

I remember the day she left. God wasn't peeing that day he was crying. Lonely days get lonelier with rain. She passed away? No that could never happen. Right?  

  

  

I stop at a bright red stop sign and wait for happy families to pass by. I wish.   

They say time heals. It never does. It just hurts more as time passes. What if I could just get one more hug? One more smile? 

  

 

She would have jelly beans all day long. The red ones were her favorite. Little bags of jelly beans would be stored all over her room. I still find them sometimes when I go into her room looking for hope.   

One time she accidentally sat on them and her jeans were ruined. It was hilarious!   

  

I wonder where she is right now. What is she doing? Probably painting and eating jellybeans. I hope she's happy where she is. I hope she knows how much I miss her. How much her leaving affected everyone. I miss her contagious smile. I look up at the sky and almost map out her face in the clouds. Even through the white, I imagine her red hair shining like the sun.  

 

There it is. The wings move in a special rhythm. It looks beautiful playing around with the petals on the flower. I rest my bike on the grass and sneak up behind it. Up close it has magically colors painted onto its wings. It’s the color of a cherry. My eyes blur up and it reminds me of Silvia. With some struggle, I finally capture it with my sweaty fingers. Then I kill it.   

  

The world took the most beautiful thing away from my life so I did the same to the world. This is my way of stitching my broken heart. I couldn’t protect her.  

 

I don't know if this makes me the villain. Or the hero. I know it's terrible, but I wanna ask the world: why did you kill my sister? My happiness.  

 

Its wings fall apart and I crumple the body. I hold it in my left hand and dig a hole with my right. It was buried with love. 

August 08, 2020 02:21

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

111 comments

Amany Sayed
03:45 Aug 08, 2020

Oh, wow, what a heartfelt story Lata! This was great! I love how you kept going back to memories of Silvia, and then to real-time. You took the time to develop your characters, and it shows through your careful writing. You re truly growing with each story and I can't wait to read more. Wonderful job! Also, I've submitted a new story today and would be grateful if you could check it out. Thank you and keep writing!

Reply

Lata B
04:10 Aug 08, 2020

Thank you so much! :) I would be sure to!

Reply

Amany Sayed
04:22 Aug 08, 2020

Np and thanks!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
21:43 Aug 17, 2020

SMH you took this STRAIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH. How could you just say EXACTLY what I wanted to say????? I'm just going to walk away slowly....

Reply

Amany Sayed
22:03 Aug 17, 2020

heh, I don't know... Great minds think alike, huh? For a nickname, I was thinking K Cuz ChimamaKa, ya know? Do you like it? :)

Reply

22:06 Aug 17, 2020

Yeahhhhh, unusual AND cool, I've never had a nickname that doesn't start with M or C so YES, I'll TAKE IT! 😊😊

Reply

Amany Sayed
22:20 Aug 17, 2020

Yay! I figured, lol.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 2 replies
Hriday Saboo
14:13 Aug 24, 2020

Brilliant. I have submitted my new story Pls read it

Reply

Lata B
15:18 Aug 24, 2020

Thank you! I will do that soon! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
02:19 Sep 10, 2020

I know I already read this story and commented but I read it again so I am going to comment on it again... Wow! That was a fantastic story!! I liked how you kept going back to the memories of Silvia, it added a really nice touch. It was a really heartfelt and sad story. You wrote is so beautifully!!! I loved it!

Reply

Lata B
03:03 Sep 10, 2020

Oh gosh and I just saw that I didn't thank you last time...so sorry:( Aww thank you so much! Very sweet of you!

Reply

03:07 Sep 10, 2020

It's ok!! No problem! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Krishi Norris
20:44 Aug 19, 2020

What an amazing story! I can't believe how invested I was in the characters at the end! Also, do you mind checking out a few of my stories? Thanks!

Reply

Lata B
21:04 Aug 19, 2020

Thank you! I will be doing that!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Christina Hall
02:52 Aug 18, 2020

This story touched me, it was beautiful even in its pain. Great writing.

Reply

Lata B
11:40 Aug 18, 2020

Thank you! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
B. W.
00:35 Aug 18, 2020

i don't know what really to say besides i really like the story and you did an amazing job with it, imma give you a 10/10 for it

Reply

Lata B
00:36 Aug 18, 2020

Haha thank you so much! :)

Reply

B. W.
00:43 Aug 18, 2020

no problem :) and i was wondering if you could go check out my other stories and tell me what you think? i know you saw one of them but i cant remember which

Reply

Lata B
00:45 Aug 18, 2020

Sure, i will do so right now! :)

Reply

B. W.
00:48 Aug 18, 2020

thanks :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
21:46 Aug 17, 2020

Oh wow. This story was truly heartfelt Lata, so sad and yet loving. I loved the way you used the butterfly in the story, I actually thought she would keep it to remember her sister, then she killed it and I was SO surprised :0 This was a really great job you did right here, I loved it! (Sorry I couldn't say more things like I wanted to, Armani (Amany) took what I wanted out of my mouth and commented here before i could. *sigh* It's a shame. But I absolutely really loved your book. Keep it up! ;) P.S. Do you mind stopping by and readi...

Reply

Lata B
23:12 Aug 17, 2020

Thank you so so much! I will be sure to do that! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Willow Bird
13:55 Aug 17, 2020

This was such a touching story. I loved the connections and symbolism you wove throughout the story. Amazing work!! Keep writing! I would love your feedback on one of my stories if you get the chance :)

Reply

Lata B
15:23 Aug 17, 2020

Thank you so much! I will be sure to do so!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Erik Meyers
20:33 Aug 16, 2020

Wonderful!

Reply

Lata B
21:06 Aug 16, 2020

Thanks!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
15:18 Aug 15, 2020

The is a beautifully written story of heartbreak and grief. Mother , sister, and friend all mourning the loss of this little girl were unable to grieve together. This reveals how raw and excruciating the pain can be. Look forward to reading more of your writings.

Reply

Lata B
21:05 Aug 15, 2020

Thank you so much! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
✰ Jessica ✰
13:33 Aug 15, 2020

Wow this is a very emotional story! I actually really enjoyed it. I liked the flashbacks of Silvia, and how you described the nature and weather outside so distinctly. Great job. I can't wait to read more. I know you've read one of my stories, but if you'd like, could you check out a couple others and give me some feedback? Thank you so much, Lata!

Reply

Lata B
14:06 Aug 15, 2020

Thank you so much! Sure! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Miles Gatling
06:16 Aug 14, 2020

That 15 lucky number 😆. Very emotional, I enjoyed the metaphors.

Reply

Lata B
12:46 Aug 14, 2020

Haha! Thank you!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Lily Kingston
00:55 Aug 14, 2020

This story so beautifully written and tragic. Amazing. I love the symbolic connection between her sister and the butterfly. Keep up the good work and keep writing.

Reply

Lata B
00:58 Aug 14, 2020

Thank you so much! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Pepper Mint
08:34 Aug 13, 2020

Wow, I love your description and how the story flows. What a nice story!

Reply

Lata B
12:41 Aug 13, 2020

Thank you!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
D. Jaymz
18:12 Aug 09, 2020

A very tender story. Well-written. ~~~~~~ I believe it should be 'magical' in the sentence, 'Up close it has magically colors painted onto its wings.', to be, 'Up close it has magical colors painted onto its wings.' ~~~~~~

Reply

Lata B
01:57 Aug 10, 2020

Thank you!! Yep another typo!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Uhava Bhigdik
04:15 Aug 09, 2020

Just a great story lata! Keep up all the hard work👍

Reply

Lata B
13:48 Aug 10, 2020

Thank you:)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
P. Jean
23:44 Aug 08, 2020

Lovely story but I mourn the butterfly. I agree with most of the previous comments. I will just add. I liked the tempo. Not frantic but smooth and forward. Loss is a terrible thing to try to describe.

Reply

Lata B
23:51 Aug 08, 2020

Thank you so much!

Reply

P. Jean
23:52 Aug 08, 2020

You’re very welcome

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Charles Stucker
22:28 Aug 08, 2020

Typos "Gods peeing" God's- unless you mean several gods are urinating. "The suns gonna kill you!" sun's It's a nice, if maudlin, story. The pacing is brilliant and accenting it with extra spaces makes it feel more chaotic and random, like a tween who mourns a favorite sister might seem. Your last sentence "It was buried with love." Should that be "It is buried with love" or even "I bury it with love." ? Mostly, your tense indicates the present or a flashback, which is a technique I like to see used. But the close is the present. Typo,...

Reply

Lata B
22:35 Aug 08, 2020

Ok thank you so much for this! I will be fix everything!:)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Doubra Akika
16:20 Aug 08, 2020

Lovely story! Very emotional. The sadness felt so real! The opening was intriguing. Very nicely written! Take care of yourself and God bless you!

Reply

Lata B
16:49 Aug 08, 2020

Thank you so much! Have an amazing day! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Deborah Angevin
11:38 Aug 08, 2020

The opening was nicely written and intrigued me to keep on reading. You conveyed the emotions to the readers well too... Great job! Would you mind checking my recent story out, "(Pink)y Promise"? Thank you :D

Reply

Lata B
15:16 Aug 08, 2020

Thank you! I would love to!:)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply