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The Girl With Rainbow Leggings

Krista listened to the song playing on the radio and wondered why all the babysitters turned up their music so loudly. But in that moment, as her face felt the rush of the fall breeze seeping through the monstrous window above her right shoulder, she didn’t mind the music as much as she usually did. It was slow enough to learn the words, not like the songs by that awful rapper whose name always had her craving the small chocolate candies that her mother hid from her. She tilted her head upwards to look out the car window and felt a jolt of exhilaration when she saw her favorite color splashed across the evening sky. In between these pink strips, her eyes met Jon’s favorite color and another— one that reminded her of the delicious apples that her dad used to bring her. But that was all over now, so she may as well forget about those apples and the way her mouth watered and her stomach grumbled when she thought about them. As the song transitioned into the light but fast-paced chorus, her eyes traced the pretty colors as they ran into each other smoothly over the slowly darkening sky. Krista liked that the song matched the sky. When Krista told the babysitter this observation, she was annoyed at the babysitter’s giggling and the way she called Krista insightful. She hated not being able to understand her grown-up words, especially when Jon laughed along and pretended he knew exactly what she meant. She knew he didn’t. I wonder why he loves orange so much, Krista thought to herself. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as pink. Then again, she realized, everyone loves pink. She would have to remember to find a new favorite color.

Well, she thought, might as well figure it out now. There’s no sense in doing it later. She looked down at her rainbow leggings and analyzed each color. Orange was out of the question, since Jon had already claimed it. Purple was her mother’s favorite and today, she learned, the color of royalty. Princesses have fathers who are kings, and Krista knew for certain that purple could not be her favorite since she didn’t have a dad. Now, all of the babysitters could choose purple. All of her friends could choose purple. But no, certainly not Krista; she was not a princess.

Yellow is the color of the sun and white is the color of snow and blue is the color of the ocean. Blue, she thought. Blue is the biggest color of them all. Krista played with the idea of a big blue sea in her mind and imagined herself in an airplane, looking down. She could see the fish, the whales, and the sailboats amidst the lapping waves. She would never see the ocean; a big blue sea is no place for a little girl like herself. But maybe one day she would fly over one. Yes, she thought, my favorite color will be blue.

Krista took out the worn book from her purple backpack and flipped open to her favorite picture of a busy street in the middle of the day. On one side of the street it was raining, and on the other, there was sunshine. Although she was familiar with the picture, she never quite understood how it could be raining and sunny at the same time. She liked the rain better, anyway. It was cool and felt good against her skin. Krista closed her eyes and saw herself spinning around in that picture, standing on the rainy side of the street, of course; she giggled at the thought of the people on the sunny side who were squinting in the sun. If only they knew what it was like to dance in the rain-- to hear the heavy rain drops hit the grass with such force that it sounded like a chorus of applause. She loved to dance for an appreciative audience.

She looked back out the window and saw the deep blue of the night stretched over the sea of headlights on Oakton Street. It was as blue as she expected, and no more than that. She took it as a reassuring sign that her favorite color should be blue. But green is nice, Krista thought. Green is really, really nice.





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