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“One Art”

I had come into the world at the price of my mother's life.

Dad never did quite forgive me for that.

I paint him in angry shades: fierce crimson reds, bruising purples and blues, flaming oranges. I paint him in the sorrow filled shades of sunset. One man standing alone amidst the colors, sorrow and longing etched on his face, anger and hate shining in his eyes. I name the painting 'Dusk'.

“Useless boy!”

My uncle tries to pick up where dad leaves off.

Nothing he does has real emotion behind it, save for pity.

I paint him happy shades: sunny yellow, cornflower blue, royal purples, vibrant greens. I paint him the artificial shades of a fake life. One man trying to take on the weight of the world, a forced smile on his face, his eyes hiding pain, the background a blur of the colors showing nothing he touches to be real. I name the painting 'Charlatan'.

“You should have never been born!”

My best friend is the only one who listens.

She hears the words I refuse to say.

I paint her in hopeful shades: powder pink, blues the color of chalk dust, soft greens. I paint her the pastel shades of Easter. She stands with her back to the canvas, dress and hair blowing in the wind, a basket full of the soft colors waiting to reveal the surprise within. I name the painting 'Wanderlust'.

“I hate you!”

The person I see in the mirror isn't me.

He's someone else entirely.

His painting has no colors: just black and grey lines on a white canvas. He has no hidden meaning. A boy curled fetal in a corner, watching the world go by. When I see him, I wonder: who would he have become if he had been born in a different place, different time, or to a different family. Would he see the world in the colors I see: crimson blood and grey-blue tears? Would he paint everyone the way I do: Dusk, Charlatan, and Wanderlust? Would he say the words I can't bring myself to say? I name the painting 'No-One'.

“You took her away from me!”

I'm sorry.





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