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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)

TITLE: Orange Smells Like What?!
By Ruth Neilson


"Thomas, your friend, Philip, smells like he's orange." Naomi stated, resting her hand in the hook of my elbow. She always said odd things like that, almost as if she had seen the colors, even though I know she hasn't.

I sighed and patted her hand. "Okay, I'll bite, Naomi, why does Philip smell orange? And please don't tell me that with your super-power nose, he just literally ate one!"

She merrily laughed, throwing her head back as I continued to walk her away from the large crowd. I hate it when she gets like this. It's like she knows all the secrets in the world, and taunts me with them. Her left hand cradled lightly in my elbow and her right hand gripping the white walking stick, I knew we made a pair for people to gawk at, especially when she started to laugh like that. It never seemed to bother her though.

"Philip smells like orange just like you smell like blue, Thomas." Naomi stated as I helped her into my car.

"Okay...?" The question hung in the air as our seat belts clicked.

She giggled again, looking proud of herself. "You're blue because you are always so serious and you have to question everything."

"So that makes me blue because...?"

Naomi sighed, furling her forehead together in concentration. "I can't explain it, but it makes you blue—like you're afraid to step into the light and see what color you really are. But Philip," she paused and smiled a little, making me wonder for a brief second what else she knew. "Philip, he's an orange and what two colors make orange?"

I laughed, glancing at Naomi quickly before checking the traffic flow around us. "Why, Ms. Roman, I believe that orange is made by combining red and yellow."

She laughed and bobbed her head. "I'm glad to see that at least someone learned something from my teaching."

"Philip smells orange?"

"That's right. He's got passion, which feels like red to me, and joy, which is always bright—feels like the sun to me."

Naomi goes quiet again, and I wonder what she is thinking. Finally, she speaks again. "Thomas, you have a good friend there, a rare one. Hold tightly unto him."

"Naomi, you still haven't answered my question of how he smells like an orange and how I smell like a blue."

She bit her lip, and turned her face sky word, as if she was searching for the right words. "Oranges smell like an open field in the middle of summer, light and airy, full of life. I could almost hear life and hope buzz around Philip like they were bees attracted to pollen."

I was almost afraid to ask, but I did anyways. "And blue smells like...?"

There was another pause before she nodded once again, before answering. "Like a river. Like you're drifting through life and don't really know what to do."

"But, I'm your big..."

Naomi cut me off, fidgeting with her cane. "I know you are my big brother. You've always been my big brother and you used to smell orange but lately, you've smelt...blue."

I frown. There was no way that Naomi could even know what I was even starting to consider. She had always depended on me for transportation.

"Thomas, talk to me. What's bothering you?"

I grip the steering wheel harder, not wanting my secrets to be revealed to my little sister. She pressed again and I sighed. "I'm struggling, Naomi. I doubt everything that I thought God has told me to do and I almost feel like I'm drifting."

Naomi reached over and patted my arm and whispered. "You're starting to smell orange again, Thomas. Stop doubting and drifting and just do. I'll be okay without you driving me around. Honest."

I take a deep breath before looking over at my sister. "I got a job offer, but it's across the country. I wasn't sure if I should accept it because...because of you."

Naomi flashed me a grin as she prompted. "But?"

"But, I think I’m going to take it..."

"Now you smell orange!" She shouted, laughing loudly.

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This article has been read 703 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Barbara Lynn Culler11/28/09
I love this story! How unselfishe and encouraging Naomi is! I never thot of colors having characteristics-brilliant!
Mariane Holbrook 11/29/09
I've often wondered how you would explain the smell of oranges to a person who either lost or was born without that sense. This is a very good entry! Kudos!
Catrina Bradley 11/30/09
I love the creative "look" at color by a blind person. And you can really tell these two love each other. Nice entry. :)
Colin Swann12/01/09
A very moving and interesting story which I thoroughly enjoyed. Colin
Jan Ackerson 12/02/09
Superb title, and your characters are quite endearing.
Connie Dixon12/03/09
I like Naomi. She sees so much more than the normal person might. Loved your take on the topic. Good job!