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The Worst Kind of Evil This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Pomona, CA

White likes to pretend that it’s your friend. It likes to pretend that you’re close, and that it’ll keep you safe. It pretends to be the good guy,  that it’s truly righteous. But that’s nothing but a facade. White is the worst kind of evil.

White isn’t order, it’s control. It may be clean, but it’s not a natural clean: it’s a slate full of memories and emotion that was wiped into a blank one. It worms its way into your life, it grabs on tight and it never. Ever. Lets. Go.

Stop It.

Breath.

I’m six years old, and we’ve moved somewhere new - an apartment complex in the heart of Claremont. Somewhere with pretty white walls on the inside and outside. White is boring to me. “Can’t we paint my room blue?” I ask Mama. It’s windy today, Mama’s crimson hair  is whipping back and forth. “I’m sorry, honey,” Mama replies, “The landlady doesn’t want us to mess up the house with paint or posters. She spent a lot of money to get these walls painted.” Pretty white walls, pretty white walls that can’t be touched. Pretty white walls that are too pretty for Mama and me.

I’m fine with it, though. White isn’t so bad, living upstairs was a new experience, and Mama was happy here. At least, she seemed happy. Things were starting to look up for us. I would soon start kindergarten - real school.

Fast Forward.

I’m nine now. Mama’s got a blue, plastic cup in her hand. I don’t know where it came from. She’s had that cup in her hand for a while, and the only time she lets it go is to refill it. She doesn’t let me drink from it, and she’s been a lot sleepier now. Too sleepy to drop me off or pick me up on time. “ You’re gonna be late,” she’d say. Then she would click her tongue : “Might as well get breakfast today.” I don’t mind being late, though. Mama seems happy still. Besides, the corks came in all different types, and they made for a good hobby. I collected them in a shoebox under my bed, but it was pretty much full. I’d have to get another one soon.  I never got why they call it white - it looked more yellow than white, and I thought that was a weird name for it.

It was evil. That’s why they call it  ‘white’.

Then it began.

Mama doesn’t trust these pretty white walls anymore. She puts cameras up to find what they’re hiding; she puts band-aids on our computers so they can’t see us. She doesn’t spend much time at our house anymore. “I’m visiting Anna,” she tells me, “ You know where to find me.” I listen to her walk down the steps to Miss Anna’s apartment, hear Anna’s blind old dog bark at the door. I like to look down our flight of stairs into Miss Anna’s garden, bending so low I might fall in. Miss Anna’s garden is prettier than ours; it isn’t full of broken porcelain. Mama replaces that blue, plastic cup of hers for a bigger red one. The circles under her eyes worsen. Mama doesn’t really work anymore, but she’s still too tired to pick me up on time. She’s quieter now - doesn’t do much other than look at her computer. I want to say something, but I don’t know whether or not I should say it. Afterall, Mama’s home more often now, and despite it being selfish, I’m happy about that.

And then, it all came crashing down.

Mama looked at her computer one day, and broke out in sobs. She slammed the screen shut, and begged me not to look. She seemed to be contemplating throwing the laptop into the wall. She motioned me over with her hand and hugged me tight, to the point of discomfort. Her tears were wet and hot, and her sobbing was loud. “ I KNEW IT!” she screamed over and over. “I knew it, I knew it, I freaking knew it!” I didn’t know what else to do, so I hugged her back. I glanced at the laptop, curiosity digging into me. Something about Mama’s sobbing made me dispel the thought from my mind. That night we didn’t spend within those pretty white walls; we stayed in a motel room.

White: that’s whose fault it is. Later on, I had decided that I couldn’t stand those pretty white walls, too.

After that, a lot of things happened real quick. I learned that 3rd grade was going to be the last year I spent at Oakmont. That upset me - 4th grade was the starting age for the music program, and that year’s field trip was an overnight trip in the desert. It upset me, but I kept my mouth shut. My mind kept going to the thought of Mama’s sobbing. Never again did I want to hear those kinds of sounds - from anyone. Never again. So I said my goodbyes at school, and I bid farewell to those pretty white walls. Mama didn’t look back.

Everything changed. All because of white.

Skip Ahead.


We moved to a lot of places in the following years, but none of them had walls quite as white as the ones in Claremont. I know the names of places now. Claremont,  Fontana, Ontario, Fontana, Upland, Highland, and finally Fontana again. Sometimes, I wish I hadn’t been so selfish. I wish I hadn’t been afraid to ask Mama why she didn’t go to work anymore. I wish I hadn’t just sat back and watched things happen to me. Watched white happen to me. “I’m sorry,” Mama would say. “It’s only temporary,” Daddy would explain to me. “It’ll get better,” they both assured. I nodded my head, hugged them, and told them “I know,” and, “It’s ok.” Mama didn’t get better for a long time, almost as long as it took me to discover the ugly nature of white. Now, I recognise it. Now, I see why white is the worst kind of evil: It worms its way into your life and befriends you. It destroys your life in such a subtle way you don’t realize what’s happened until it’s too late. There’ll be nothing left.

Nothing but an empty plane of white.






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