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colors of grief
There was, at some point in Kamalei’s life, a time when music was his light. When his fingers twitched and ached constantly in longing to play any instrument he could get his hands on. To be able to sit in front of a crowd of people, the crack of his knuckles resounding around him as he rests his fingers against the aged, white keys of the piano before him. He remembers the brief silence of the colorful crowd, the soft peach lights, and the pastel music. A tune, a masterpiece created by something so complex yet simple and beautiful. He remembers the orange cheers, the bright pink smiles, and the golden glint of a medal around his neck.
And he remembers when everything lost its vibrant color. The glint of gold becomes a grey— a silver— for years and years. Despite his constant practices, sleepless nights, tears, tears, and more tears— everything was grey– (silver).
The pink smiles became a mocking shade of desaturated grey, the lights became black, and the orange cheers faded into a milky white on deaf ears. He remembers what the cause was— who the cause was. Someone, a boy, whose hair was as dark as the lights during his performance. An inky, jet black void that made Kamalei’s world darker than it should have been. As the different competitions passed, one month, two months, one year— it felt as if this boy, this younger and inexperienced boy, was mocking him. The roots of his hair grew into insulting waves of silver, silver, silver, before fading into obsidian that made his world empty.
He remembers when the colors finally return to him— or more specifically, when one color invades his vision. The boy with a name Kamalei never bothered to remember approached him once, on stage, with a shy, nervous smile. Kamalei remembers looking down at the boy with something similar to a sneer on his lips, staring at the onyx of his hair that whispered taunts and pulled him into an ebony void of hatred, fury, despair— loathing for the boy that made music, something that was once his light, his life, his paradise, into his everlasting torment. He recalls the boy’s soft voice, standing with him on the stage, his pale lips parting and forming the word, “Good luck!”
And he never forgets how suddenly the boy’s silver and black hair seemed to get brighter, blinding and almost burning him with his diluted smile, and something he can’t quite describe bubbles up inside of him.
Kamalei wonders how he’s ever had any self-control as his monochromatic vision is replaced with a brilliant, flaming vermillion.
Something ugly constructs inside of him, something that can only be described as rage, fury, and everyone seems to drown in a sea of jet black until it’s just Kamalei and this boy. He’s still smiling at him, unaware of the demons inside of Kamalei’s head, but it ends immediately when the violet haired, sneering male, unstable and furious, clenches his hands into a fist and lashes out. There’s a ringing in his ears as his fist connects with the younger boy’s face. He’s briefly aware of hitting his nose and cheek with a heavy fist— one, two, three, then six, then nine— and he sees him go down at the impact. The boy is small, petite, and fragile— and his vision is still red but he feels a satisfying shade of lavender wash over him to see the boy clutching his nose and a crimson spilling from beneath his hands. His face is violet, blue, black, like Kamalei’s hair. Kamalei is being restrained at this point, by two pairs of arms, by two men larger than him.
Kamalei is forcibly kicked out, something about being disqualified, and he’s goes out kicking and screaming. There’s a brown heaviness in his chest, but an almost lightweight shade of chestnut is right beside it. It was agonizing, asphyxiating— to feel such a raw form of dark red hate become so passionately pleasing, yet filled with guilt all at once.
He remembers at some point when his blue guilt morphed into the purest form of self-deprecation and pity. He practically swam in it, and was physically, emotionally, mentally incapable of accomplishing anything. It ruined his relationships, his peace of mind, his empathy. It destroyed anything good he ever came across.
Yet, in the end, it became his oxygen. He’d learned to breathe it without a gasp, and it made up most of what he was now.
He stopped playing for others, for anyone aside from himself. If only for himself, but there was no more taking pleasure in the activity. Only for himself would Kamalei touch the keys of his own destruction, playing the melody that drowned him further and further into the depths of obsidian, perfidious lies.
And truly, honestly, he felt the world turn against him once more. He saw his vision grow scarlet, and his ears ringing with vibrant, blinding yellow flashes. All he could see was his best friend and the boy that ruined his life, in the halls of his school. All he could hear was the voice of the student council president— no, his best friend.
“Meet the new transfer student.”