Love Sees No Colors This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 12, 2012
I am scribbling this story on a worn-out notepad I found in my bag. The pages are unbelievably wrinkled and my pen is running out of ink. My head is spinning. Actually, I think that I am developing a slight migraine.

I am in Tokyo (yes, Tokyo, Japan), sitting on a bench in one of their well-celebrated gardens, writing. I am always writing. I suppose it is my therapy.

I am writing about you. I am smiling just with thinking. Can you remember the day we first met? I can honestly say I was not that interested in you, nor were you in me. Honestly, I gave you and three other people my number (bet you didn’t know that). You called first. I’m glad you did.

And so we started talking – I, in analogies. Isn’t it funny how I’ve always talked in analogies? You were pretty forward and honest, I admired that. There are a lot of fake people in this world. You were real to me, and right off the bat, I loved you for that. You tolerated my analogies (understood a few of them, too) and encouraged me – challenged me – to speak my mind. I had been hiding behind them, and you, being the perceptive individual you are, saw right through me. I became vulnerable to you, and you to me, but we didn’t take advantage of each other, as most people might.

Sometimes, when I’m walking down a street, whether in the city, or my own town, I wonder how people see me. Our world is composed of stereotypes – each person carries his or her views like a shield.

Isn’t it funny how people are afraid of differences? It’s funny, but, when we were together, I never wondered what people thought. It just didn’t matter. You were a Colombian boy, clean-cut and good-looking, who loved football, and I, a light-haired, light-skinned Catholic school girl who loved art and writing. I hadn’t the foggiest idea about football.

Life was sweet. But, of course, as there always is a silver lining, there can also be a thunderstorm. I began to notice the support I was not receiving from friends. My best friends (even though some did not agree with interracial dating) were still supportive. But some strongly opposed it, many who had previously been very close to me. I tried to explain my problem to you, but I just couldn’t speak. Isn’t it ironic, how I, such a verbal person, can become mute at such imperative times? I remained silent as it grew worse.

You are wondering, What got worse? First, people began to make jokes. They were horrible, yet I blamed their cruelty on “ ignorance.” I used “ignorance” as an excuse when, in reality, ignorance is, quite often, a choice.

The incident that I remember most vividly (even to this day) happened in chemistry class. One lab we were working with chemicals including iodine. Iodine taints your skin black or dark brown if it comes in contact with you. My teacher warned us about it. She didn’t want us to stain our uniforms.

A few minutes later, I heard a loud voice recommend that I dye my skin black so I could be like my boyfriend. I froze.

That is all I can think of now: those words. I hear them almost every day, sometimes over and over, like a bad dream, a broken record. Those were not words of ignorance; those were words of hate. And it makes me so sad, E.B., so sad.

But I am glad that we have not let them win. Isn’t it funny how people can take something as simple and beautiful as love, and turn it into a struggle? I can honestly say, however, that I would gladly repeat all those nights when I cried myself to sleep. A friendship like yours is worth more than any of that … much, much more.

And so, maybe we have won; I am not ashamed to come forward and say that I love you with all my heart, and that it would never matter to me whether you were white … black … or purple. Because love, my friend, sees no colors. Love sees no colors.

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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