He didn’t go when the lighter gray light told him to. He stared, ignoring the traffic racing around him.
This is color. He wasn’t sure which colors, but he didn’t care.
He was fixated on her hair – her hair. It was brown, red, blonde, black, and every other color he had learned hair could be but never seen. Normal people saw like this. Every day. It only lasted a few seconds for him before he was thrust back into his monotonous world when she drove around the corner.
He spotted her a few days later at a café. Suddenly, he developed a strong craving for coffee.
She was easy to spot in the gray-scale crowds, especially today. Her hair glowed like sheet metal. She wore a bright red blouse. Maybe it was just regular red, but it stood out in the endless sea of gray.
She was sitting at an outside table with a drink in her hand, staring at her laptop screen with a look of perplexity on her face.
He crossed the street, ordered a coffee, and found himself sitting at the table next to hers. He could stare for hours and still never figure out how she made the very air around her shimmer with vibrancy.
Her hair was black. That much he knew.
Not a colorless, dead black like he was used to, but a black like obsidian – glossy like the reflection of the night sky in a lake.
Black hair, red coat, blue jeans.
He watched as she reached for her cup, and ovals of color appeared around her fingers as she gripped the cup sleeve. It was brown. As she put the drink to her lips he saw the cap was white, but not in a colorless black-and-white way; she managed to make this white a color, a new color that he had never seen before.
He frowned when she put the cup down and the moment was shattered.
He set to work trying to figure out the color of her shoes. She looked up, noticed his gaze, looked down at her shoes confusedly, then looked back up at him.
Her eyes – her eyes. Hazel, the most beautiful shade of hazel he had ever seen, with sun-colored flecks of gold mingling with green streaks.
“Excuse me?” Those eyes were on him. “Can I help you?”
He was under the scrutiny of those eyes.
“Your, uh- I like your shirt,” he blubbered.
He stared at his coffee cup, trying to re-create the color that she had so easily made. He couldn’t.
“Can I buy you a muffin?”
She squinted quizzically.
“Or – or a scone. Biscotti?”
A slow, unsure smile crept on her face,
“Sure. What’s your name?”
“Well, Harris, it’s nice to meet you. My name’s Lucy.” She closed the laptop, setting it aside and motioning for him to sit with her.
Minutes later, they were laughing, talking over blueberry muffins and coffee. That was the day he learned that blueberries are actually purple.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.