Finding Barcelona This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 25, 2010
It's funny how things you once gave little thought to may become all you dwell on. When I was a little girl, my mother, insisting it was my best color, dressed me all in blue. Maybe because it was routine for me, maybe because it was easier than trying, say, pink – I continued to buy aquas and navys when I began shopping for myself.

My shirt now is black, matching pretty much my entire wardrobe. Yes, this is a bit of a change, but the reason behind it is nothing new. Just another instance where I went along.

I'm thinking of this, as I have so often recently, when Lala walks in with her perpetual supply of Starburst. My roommate is someone I admire – her chocolate skin, hair in a million tiny braids, tropical wardrobe – but I know she, too, is here for a reason. She needs that Starburst to stifle her cravings for far worse vices, most of them the white powdery kind.

“Hey, babe. Whit wants you.”


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The trek down the hall feels the same as always. I would be fascinated if I wasn't so weary and preoccupied with everything I'm dealing with.

Room 116: Kate should be a model. That fact turned out to be the problem, when even a strawberry was deemed too many calories.

Room 110: The soft melody of Iron & Wine trails from Peyton's door, cracked open just a bit. That used to be the requirement back when she was a danger to herself. Now, I think she just likes the reassurance of company, even those merely passing in the halls.

Room 101: Smells floral. The first time I was here, I had cynically wondered if there was a plug-in air freshener before spotting the vase of magnolias.


*
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*

“I guess I'm just sick of blue, but my mom-”

“I thought we were discussing colors you would like to wear, Avery,” Dr. Whitman stops me gently.

“Something, I don't know … new. Something that'll …,” I trail off, unsure how to finish. Something that what? Won't remind me of bad things, bruises, anymore? Something that'll give me hope to start again? Both of these sound cheesy, so I leave it hanging. For once, Dr. Whitman doesn't prod; it's like she knows I'm done talking.


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The next day there is a green dress hanging by the fragrant flowers.

I wonder how Dr. Whitman knew that green – the color of life – was one I had not yet tried, and how she chose this precise tone that's so unlike that of my fading bruises. It's bright, happy, the skirt full. The type I could wear dancing barefoot in Spain. The girl dancing, laughing in my head would not let boys with angry red faces lay a hand on her, or her green dress. And for the first time in so long, I find myself looking ahead, hoping for the day when I whirl around, carefree.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

fraly01 said...
Nov. 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm
This is beautiful. Very sweet and decriptive.
 
MadisonReneeJane said...
Nov. 2, 2010 at 7:30 pm
I love it. Short and sweet, but powerful.
 
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