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Once upon a time there was a girl, Lucy. Lucy was a fairly average girl, or at least it seemed to those who looked at her from the outside. However, Lucy had a gift. She could see color. Blues and indigos danced before her eyes, and the warmth of reds and oranges casted a comforting glow around her body as she gracefully twirled in all that she did. Lucy was nothing other than lovely, enveloped in a sea of brightness. While Lucy lived in this world of beauty, everyone around her lived in something quite the contrary. They had nothing to keep them warm other that the stiff blankets that covered them at night – they had nothing enchanting to dazzle their eyes. They floated along in a space of gray.
Soaring above the skyscrapers of Manhattan, clouds stood immobile for as long as anyone could remember. Lucy knew that behind the clouds stood color – layers upon layers of wonderful color, the most magical shades of everything possible – that everyone was lacking.
On one cloudy morning (as it was never anything different) Lucy rose in bed and felt that something had changed. Today was the day Lucy decided she would let everyone know about the spectrum in the sky; what lay behind everyone’s imagination just far enough to be reality. Today, Lucy had hope.
Lucy threw on a sweater and brushed her teeth. She hopped in the elevator to begin her mission, and only a few floors down the large steel doors opened again. Another teenager with an unfamiliar face stepped inside. Lucy gazed into his speckled eyes. She liked how she had the privilege of seeing others as they couldn’t even see themselves. At the same time she still felt torn and broken, because people could not see or appreciate the beauty they each truly possessed.
“I’m Leo, I just moved into the 12th floor a couple of weeks ago.” He had a classic grin and messy hair that somehow still seemed perfect. Leo stuck out his rough hand for Lucy to shake.
“Lucy,” she introduced. Leo gave her a questioning look with his kaleidoscope eyes – Lucy seemed hesitant to befriend him. But instantly she inevitably let words rattle off her tongue to this stranger as swiftly as the wind was on that usually cloudy day. “You’re going to think I’m a liar, or better yet, mentally insane. But… but I see color. You and everyone else, you all see black and white. Everything here is painted, and different, and beautiful. I’m alone in this colorful world that no one even knows about! Yes, it’s magnificent, but it’s also the scariest thing imaginable,” Lucy sighed. “I don’t even know you, and now I sound like an twit. Lovely.”
The elevator rang as it hit the ground floor, and an awkward silence quickly stemmed from Leo’s lack of speech. Lucy thought he would to press the fire escape alarm and dash from her messy state, but all he really wanted to do was talk to her. She intrigued him. “Lucy –” she froze, “Talk to me.”
So, they talked. For hours and hours and hours, sitting on the floor of an elevator that went up and down along with the rhythm of the words that bounced back and forth between Lucy and Leo. At the end of their ride, Leo told Lucy without doubt, “I’m tired of seeing in black and white. I’m tired of filters and deceit. I trust you, and I want something real. So let’s do it. I’m in.”
Lucy and Leo spent the rest of the day hanging up fliers and running around the city spreading the word. Mass texts, mass emails, mass BBMs, mass instant messages – everything was massively sent around Manhattan. They all read the same message: “3:30 PM. WHERE EVER YOU ARE, HEAD TO THE ROOF. BLOW ON THE SIGNAL, JUST EXHALE. IF YOU GO UP, SO WILL THE BRIGHTNESS. ” There was talk of the messages all over. No one had any idea what was going on, but it hit New York by storm. Everyone figured they might as well just do it. Since life was so plain, the people were easily willed to stir things up.
After a long and difficult confrontation with the NYPD earlier that day, Leo convinced the officers to send out a siren at approximately 3:30. Lucy and Leo thought that if everyone could get as close to the gray sky as possible, and blow as hard as they could, the clouds would relinquish and color would pour in and rain down. It would splash everyone and everything. Lucy’s world would be untamed and unleashed.
The time neared 3:30 and Lucy and Leo stood atop their apartment building. All across New York you could see people like ants, one by one climbing their mountains. All Lucy could do was stare into Leo’s eyes and think about how wonderful it is going to be when everyone could see them just as she did. It was going to be lovely.
The siren was sent and everybody blew. It was a strange sight, watching so many chins turned towards space. Lucy saw babies hoisted on the hips of their mothers, men dressed stiffly in work suits, children, teenagers, and people in wheelchairs. Everyone on earth was so different in such an amazing way. Lucy knew that by adding color to the world, they would all realize this so much more.
“Leo,” Lucy turned to her unlikely friend, “Thank you for everything. Because of your help, I can live life. But now I won’t have to do it alone. No matter how much you and I can do, everyone will always be a little colorblind. We’ll all be. These people, they might just watch. But we are giving them the opportunity to see.”
“Without you Lucy, I wouldn’t have been able to understand anything. I wouldn’t know anything real. So thank you,” Leo grinned.
Everyone was blowing, and Lucy closed her eyes for a second. Everything was going to be lovely. Everyone was going to be lovely.
Sure enough, the gray clouds began to part and white light rimmed the cotton-ball clouds. The light became brighter, as it deepened into golden vanilla. Then came the blue – the blue of the water and pen ink and planet Earth. Everyone’s eyes opened wide as pupils dilated and light dripped down from the gap in the sky. Thread by thread, Leo’s jeans were blue and Lucy’s shirt was red. Leo’s eyes – everyone could see them now. Color was alive and flooding the world. The clouds parted until the entire sky was just space – but the fullest space Lucy had ever seen. She did it. The world was everyone’s. Lucy felt the moisture of a tear glide down her freckled face as reality hit her. The past and all things bad were held in this translucent reminder. Regardless of the effort that Lucy and Leo made, it was impossible for them to leak color onto everything. Lucy understood that translucency would always be held in sadness. Still, they had succeeded. Everything was Technicolor, and Lucy was no longer lonely. She was lovely.