The Color Within

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It was a beautiful summer day at the beach. The sun seemed to be happy and welcoming as if it gave warm golden kisses on its children below. Waves softly caressed the sand cooling it off for second or two before it grew too hot to even walk on. On this secluded beach there were a few families laughing, playing, and watching their kids splash in the salty water. There were also couples, desperate heart throb teenagers trying to catch the opposite sexes’ attention. A couple of homeless folks were also at the sandy shore, glad for the light of day, glad for the left over lunches in the garbage pail. Everyone was wrapped up in their own lives, their own now. In the distance, on the beach, there laid three girls, trying to soak up the sun.


Sarah had spent many of her finest day basking in the golden, warm sunlight. She twirled her soft chestnut locks around her porky fingers as she let out a weary sigh. Jealousy slowly filled Sarah’s emotions as she quickly looked right to left, glancing at her two friends who laid beside her so still. Her friends, Jessica and Tiffers, were beautiful in all accounts. Their long blonde hair flowed down their backs in a cascading waterfall that looked refreshing and a bit fake. Their bodies looked as though an artist had sculpted them out of delicate marble, carefully placing curves in all the right places. They were the kind of girls that boys drooled over. The kind of girls that would make other females green with envy. Sarah nervously looked down at her own body, hoping that the figure that had been accompanying her for 15 years might have miraculously changed since she last looked in the mirror. She frowned. No such luck. Sarah still had the same jello thighs and misshaped belly that she has woken up to every morning. She wondered how she could change herself to be more beautiful. More like her friends.

Every afternoon, her friends would come to this exact same spot on the beach to turn their pasty white skin into a deep, delicious chocolate colour. Everyday they sat ,silent and still, only moving when the suns direction changed. And every week, their skin would turn a deeper, shinier, and rich brown. Sarah would also come to this same exact beach every afternoon with Tiffers and Jessica. She would also try to lay very still and follow the lights’ direction like a Sun catcher. But her skin was not a beautiful colour with glints and highlights of shiny chocolate. The skin that clothed her body was bright red with white flakes accenting the entire surface. She looked ,as she put it, like a dead pig in a Hawaiian luau. She laughed as she imagined herself on a spit roasting over a fire and opened her eyes. Boredom overcame her as she sat up and tried to pull her thoughts together. Out of habit she combed her fingers through the sand ,like a rake, trying to make sense of it all. She wondered why after all of these weeks of coming day after day her friends were able to gain a cocoa goddess colour while she was developed a pinky-red tint. As she bit her bottom lip, she concluded it was because the sun knew her deep secret. The sun knew she hated coming home from school everyday ,tugging on her snug bikini and laying on the beach for hours on end until the tired sun rested in the horizon. The sun knew that she would much rather be at home reading, sewing, or doing anything other than ’sun bathing’. But the fiery sun also knew something else. Sarah was afraid. Afraid of telling her friends of what she really thought. Fearful of what they might say to her or ,even worse, not say at all. She fidgeted some more making huge circles in the sand with her fingers.


“Sarah!,” Tiffers whined as she looked up annoyed, “will you PLEASE just lay down! How is anyone going to get a decent tan with your fat body in the way?”

“Yea Sarah,” Jessica complained, rolling her eyes at Tifers. They gave each other a look and started giggling. “ wow, tiffers. Looks like they left the ugly beached whales on the side of the ocean again!” They laughed in a high pitched, whiny chorus as they snorted. Sarah could not believe the words coming out of their mouths and her face was just as confused. Jessica laughed even harder holding her stomach to prevent herself from splitting apart.


“Omg sarah,” Tiffers sang mocking me, “did you actually think we like liked you?” Jessica stopped laughing and rolled her eyes once more.

“Because we NEVER did.” Jessica voice spoke, cutting me like sharp knifes, “Never.”

“oh…,” Sarah mumbled, embarrassed as she laid back down on the toasty towel. As her head hit the warm cloth, soft sand crunched like Styrofoam underneath her. Tears formed in her eyes as she thought about what they said. Whale? Ugly? She couldn’t believe it. Sarah thought they liked her. That they were all friends. A salty, warm tear glided down her cheek to her rosy lips while she wished she was more like these perfect girls. Meanwhile, Jessica and Tiffers sat up and started coating their skin with shiny oil, completely ignorant of their harmful actions. Sarah also slowly sat up ,but with pain in her heart from her ‘friends’ hurtful words. She rubbed the tears from her eyes and her blurry vision started to become more defined. As the girls came into clear view, Sarah was taken aback. A strange feeling overcame her body starting at her baby pinky toe and climbing to the tip of her head. Something came over her. She had no idea what it was, and even now (if you ask her) she hasn’t the slightest idea. No longer did Tiffers and Jessica look so appealing with their blonde hair and their tan, sculpted bodies. She now saw that tiffers hair looked as dry and choppy as straw. She now realized that Jessica’s ‘sculpted body’ was really not sculpted at all. Sarah saw that their shiny tan bodies were also flaking and splotchy. She was perplexed. These perfect girls that she looked up to so much weren’t perfect at all. As Tiffers and Jessica gossiped about the days events, Sarah felt a cool breeze cover her slowly. “That’s funny,” she thought to herself, “I had no idea there could be a breeze this time of day.” The cool wind wrapped around her face to comfort her and wiped the last painful tear from her eyes before disappearing. Sarah laughed to herself slowly as she tilted her head to the side and looked at the ocean she never noticed before. “wow, that is beautiful.” she thought to herself ,tears forming in her eyes, but for a different reason then before, “really beautiful…”

It was a gorgeous summer evening on the beach. The sun was drifting away into the horizon, and caused beautiful colors to dance in the sky. The heat of the day began to die away replaced by a cool evening breeze. In the distance on the beach there laid three towels. Two of them were occupied by tan girls trying to soak up whatever sun was left in the day. The last towel was empty. On the sand next to the empty towel were footprints, that led all the way back into town, to a small house. Inside was a Young girl, red like a roasted pig, reading a book, and thinking about what she was going to do with all of the extra time she would have tomorrow.





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