Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DULL (05/12/17)
- TITLE: Colorful Memories
By Judy Sauer
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“Sure,” said Helen who then felt uneasy inside. It was like butterflies had tossed about. She had a secret and was not ready for it to be revealed.
Ready and waiting at the door, Helen turned and said goodbye to her mom as she saw Annie’s family car arrive.
Throughout the drive, everyone chatted happily; they were excited about this family outing. Meanwhile, Helen’s flustered butterflies had gotten worse. I need my secret to remain concealed.”
When they entered the award-winning Botanical Gardens, Annie said, “This garden is so colorful.”
“It sure is. A beauty to behold,” replied Helen.
Not rushed for time, the girls walked leisurely. They didn’t want to miss anything.
“That rose was magnificent,” commented Annie.
“Looked like crimson color to me,” replied Helen.
“No, it wasn’t. It was a shade of tangerine,” Annie reacted. Something wasn’t right with how Helen answered. It bugged Annie.
Helen asked, “What color would you call this flower?”
Still confused about Helen’s strange color of the rose, Annie said, “Blue-green.”
Helen responded, “It’s more like turquoise.”
This response bothered Annie. She decided to say, “Yay, you’re right.” A weird sensation stirred in her stomach because the flower was actually Pepto-Bismol pink. Troubled about this, Annie decided she’d talk to her mom later.
Helen’s secret proved to be challenged the whole time they were at the Botanical Gardens. As they drove home, she felt the bitter pangs of angst had grown in her chest.
After they dropped Helen off at home, Annie talked to her mom about what puzzled her. Later, they researched impaired color vision. They discovered that a small percent of people were colorblind. An even smaller percent of people had monochrome vision; they only saw black, white, and shades of gray.
The next day, when the girls walked to school, Annie quizzed Helen on colors she had seen along the way. Annie wanted to confirm what she had suspected. She asked things like, “Don’t you think that’s an odd shade of grass?” or “That male cardinal bird was colorful, right?” When Helen left the questions unanswered, Annie said, “I know something is off. What is it?”
Helen hesitated. She closed her eyes and took a long breath. She knew her secret was out. Worried on how her answer would be received, she explained what happened. “It started in Pre-School. My eyes started losing the ability to see colors.”
“I’m so sorry,” Annie said, as she hugged Helen with arms wrapped around her friend’s neck.
Helen wanted to stop talking, but her tongue flapped on its own. She continued, “It happened gradually. No doctor or test explained how or why. All colors had drained from my sight by the time I was eight. Only shades of gray are what I saw from that time on. I’m full of gratitude though because I had colorful sight once. Those wonderful memories of colors never escaped my thoughts.”
She closed her eyes again. She felt thumped blows to the chest. Tears had formed. She took another deep breath and said, “Because I had colorful sight when I was young, I got by ever since, without suspicion, when I hung out with friends. I often wondered if my friends knew I had a secret—one that I was embarrassed to admit. The last thing I needed was to be singled out because of an oddity.”
“Oh, Helen, I’m so sorry. There’s no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed. You definitely are no oddity.” Annie said compassionately. She hugged Helen again.
“I don’t want my secret told to anyone. I want it revealed by me when I am ready,” Helen said.
“Thanks, Annie,” Helen said, who gently returned the hug as her inner butterflies finally relaxed.
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