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A Rose-Colored Lense

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My perfect world was to be taken from me. A small step out of line equated to banishment. I would be left to roam with the outsiders. Those without beauty. The imperfect ones.

A boon had been gifted to me. I was permitted a last visit. A final chance to collect memories of the ultimate bliss in my city.

My stroll revealed that nothing had altered since my conviction. The children frolicked in their yards; the adults gossiped gleefully and the aged enjoyed time with their grandchildren. All of them smiling. Content. Something I’d never be again.

I felt my heart shudder at the finality of my punishment. Once I was gone, I would never return. There would be no more perfection. My life would have fault lines, waiting to be split open...

A sharp pain tore at my chest as my feet led me to a safer place. My secluded pond.

As I walked a strange pressure was building up behind my eyes. Painful and all-consuming. I gasped.

Water leaked from my eyes, leaving trails down my face. A foreign feeling. I slowly raised my hand, brushing my face. Was this the fabled crying? My fingers came away slick with the salty liquid.

With the water came a slim rose-colored concave disk which I absently placed in my palm and curled my fingers around it in a fist.

It was at that moment that I sensed something had altered. My eyes probed my surroundings, seeking answers. Gone was the brilliant sun; the sky had turned an unfamiliar shade of gray. The formerly emerald field was specked with brown patches. They were imperfect.

Imperfect.

My heart pulsed. Something was beginning to dawn on me. My hands shook. I was possessed. I had to know. Had to see.

My feet pounded against the ground, heading back to civilisation, my fist clenched tightly.

No one took any note of my re-entrance to the city. To them, it was yet another blissful day. But the illusion had vanished for me.

I saw the ugly reality. Everywhere I looked images shattered and were replaced with the truth.

Beauty morphed into ugliness. Peoples’ features became warped.

Instead of the children clumped together in groups playing, I saw the lone child sitting on the sidelines. Alone.

Instead of the loving families, I saw the anger. The distrust. My utopia had become a dystopia. Everything was flawed. Hideous.

There was no point to anything. Life without perfection was meaningless.

Defeated, I headed back to my pond, expecting the imperfections of the civilisation to corrupt my haven.

Wrong.

I sat for a countless period of time, taking in every color, every figure that surrounded me, faults and all.

I could see the sections of grass where the sun did not shine. I could see the bugs buzzing about, the flowers, some slightly wilted.

I saw it all. Yet.

My love for my pond did not diminish. Hope began to grow within me.

I stood up and walked towards the pond, shaking.

The final test.

I hesitantly peeked into the pond. First I just saw the serene water, undisturbed.

Then, my reflection came into view.

My flaws were evident.

At first it was shocking. Frightening.

But...slowly...I began to see myself again.

I leaned forward to trace my reflection, causing waves to distort my face.

Then, I remembered the lens; the rose-colored lens gripped tightly in my hand.

I lifted it up gently to my eye. Immediately the world around me was warped back into the perfect lie I had lived within.

At first, It was glorious.

But.

It was a lie. A horrid lie.

Hesitantly I let the lens fall from my hand, splashing into the water.

I watched the ripples spread across the pond.

The perfection swallowed by imperfection.

I stood there silently, hypnotized by the rippling water.

Then.

I raised my hands above my head, and dived into the crystal clear water





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