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Into the Grayscale This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

She stood there and watched.

She watched the two of them walk away from the very spot she was standing into the distance. She felt like she was in a movie, where she and everything around her turned black and white while the two of them were in slow motion and lit up like someone set the camera mode to “high saturation.” She knew that it wasn’t a movie, though. If it was, he would’ve come running back, slow motion, and told her how he had loved her all along. But that wasn’t going to happen. If this was a movie he would have dumped that other girl on the spot for saying such things. But instead, he stood there and laughed. Laughed. At her.

His best friend. The one who had sheltered and hid him from an abusive father. The one who sat through countless documentaries at one in the morning. The one who was unfailingly there for him. Who comforted him and coaxed him out of every heartbreak, even when her own heart was breaking.

She stood there and held her breath, waiting for his head to turn, even the slightest bit. Any small sign of remorse. It didn’t even have to be remorse, it could be any emotion, as long as he turned around. But when he didn’t she let out a huge breath, and stared out into the setting sun. She tried so desperately to call out his name, but no words formed on her dry lips. So instead she helplessly walked to where they were standing.

This place really is much too pretty for anyone to fight on, she thought. It was early summer, and there was a quiet breeze that picked her caramel hair off of her shoulders. The small wildflowers that grew in patches on the hill swayed gently in the wind. The girl slowly sat on the ground, and then repositioned herself so that she lay on her back on the ground. She inhaled through her nose and got a faint smell of flowers, and she smiled a sad smile. One that brought back memories of past summers, spent on the beach and on the hill, cloud-watching and daydreaming. A solitary tear rolled down her cheek as she recalled memories of their younger years, full of snow forts and scraped knees. And yet another tear. She made no effort to stop them from coming or to wipe them off her face.

As she lay there, although she looked quiet and peaceful, her mind was racing as she tried to erase form her mind the words that had hit her, each one like a dagger. The girl then picked a wildflower from beside her and held it to her face. She again thought of the boy who had been like a brother to her, and how he had slowly slipped from her grasp.

And then she sat up and placed the flower softly on the grass next to her. She then smiled yet another sad smile. She stood up for a moment, and she too, swayed slightly in the breeze. Her light purple dress filled out as she twirled like a spinning top in the sun. The girl took two steps, walking heel to toe, to the sapling they had planted only last spring. She stroked its tiny branch lovingly and let the smile fall from her face, as her shiny green eyes released more tears onto the earth. She turned and faced the other direction.

She started to walk back into the grayscale, leaving all off the fake brightness behind her. As she walked, something crossed her mind. He will be happy, she thought. He will be happy. As she walked on, she could’ve sworn that far off into the distant grayscale, there was a streak of blue sky.
And she smiled.



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