BLACK&WHITE (short story)

It was once all in color. The vibrant spring flowers of Battery Park. The obnoxious taxi cabs and bright lights of Times Square. The rich jewel tones of our tiny studio apartment furniture overlooking Central Park. It was all in color. And I was in love. And he was my soulmate. Life was in color. But now it’s always dark. And Everything is grey and dreary. And I no longer believe in color.

The urn on the book shelf of the apartment I can barely afford reminding me daily of the color my life now lacks. That gold and turquoise urn is all that’s left in color. But I wish I could bury it. Burn it. Throw it in the ocean. Do anything just so that I didn’t have to feel the same heart break every day when I come home from my miserable job to my lifeless apartment and dull cat named Mr. Mittens. But I can’t do that unless I fall in love, which I frankly have no interest in.

Falling in love is not something I ever imagined for myself. In grade school they taught us the wonders love had to offer. When we were little we saw glimpses of color, but as we grew into our late teens reality set in and everything went grey.

I knew in order to get the color I missed from childhood back I’d have to find a boy and fall in love. Not too hard. But being gay in this grey world is impossible. Yes, our mentors taught us to fall in love if we loved color and happiness, but they never taught me to fall in love. They never taught me how hard it would be to find my color. Or my soulmate. Or simply just another gay boy who was looking for some different hues besides grey. So I moved to New York and met the love of my life and life was in color.

I was at the Limelight with some friends. One of the most iconic NYC clubs. I honestly didn’t want to go, I’m not a clubbing type person, but I went. I felt something in me forcing me to go. I was longing to go. Some asshole spilled a sticky mixed drink on me, but that didn’t even matter the second I saw him. There he was. Sweaty. Careless. On the dancefloor. The most beautiful sight.

It all happened so fast. Everything I did I did for him. We got married quickly and discussed adoption. We settled on a cat seeing as we were only 22 and poor. Not ready for little feet running around. We never fought, except for about the color of the kitchen table, though we settled on a hideous sunny yellow. I always had a chest to snuggle in and soft lips accompanied by a scruffy face to kiss. I lived every second of every day in color admiring the blooming flowers, beautiful taxi cabs that reminded me of the kitchen table, and the bright lights of time square. Those 6 years were the best of my life.

Until it was all grey. My heart dropped and I skunk to my knees on the corner of Central Park West and and West 89th street. I was on my way home, a mere three blocks away. I felt it in every inch of  my body. I knew he was gone. My baby was dead. Everyone knew. The people walking saw all of the color being drawn out of every inch of my body. But they all just kept walking as I cried and screamed in agony. I don’t know what was worse. The color being ripped out of me or losing the love of my life.

Even after being in such breathtaking, heart stopping love, the only thing I love anymore is Mr. Mittens. He can’t give me any color, so when his time comes, there won’t be any color to lose and I can just replace Mr. Mittens. I don’t even want the color anymore. It’s too bright and obnoxious. The thought of it makes me want to throw up or cry. Maybe both. Definitely both.

The truth is, I’m not scared of love. I’m scared that I’ll never get my color back. I mean I know I will, or at least that I can, but it’s not going to be the same. It’s not going to be as bright and precious as it once was. And not only is your first colorful love your greatest, I’m gay and I’ve had that. Finding a fellow gay is hard enough, but adding the fact that I’ve had my firework love makes it a million times harder.

Do I regret falling for him, no never. I was young. I intended to love him forever, and I will. I wanted a forever firework kind of love or nothing at all. I wanted the moonlight kisses and picnics in the warm sun. I wanted to give away my heart completely. But now there is no color. My color was taken away, and so was my love before it even had the chance to begin. And you see none of that matters any more. It’s just me, Mr. Mittens, and the hollow, colorless apartment I used to call home.