Different Shades of Yellow

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story was longlisted in the Second Anniversary Writing Contest in Brilliant Flash Fiction.

Submitted: June 21, 2016

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Submitted: June 21, 2016



As a child, I always wondered why sunflowers never get tired of following the sun’s direction. Every tilt and turn is so precise. The sun is like a general inspecting his soldiers.

“Why?” I asked my father.

“They are teaching you to follow rules,” he said.

I was tempted to ask him what rules, but I suspected he would tell me sunflowers never question; they just act, or find themselves acting.

A sunflower in a vase stands at the corner of the kitchen, yet no single time have I ever seen it facing my wife as she breaks eggs for scrambling. In a kind of way, yolks glitter like the sun indoors, I thought.

They are more radiant than the amber dress I saw her wearing during autumn, three years ago. It had white dots all around it. She was the most beautiful thing I saw that day.

My skin could feel the heat as I walked towards her. I started a conversation with a stranger, later turning to a date. Wedding bells and rings later sealed our commitment.

Sometimes we argue even about things that don’t exist. She wins often without me noticing. I’m allergic to invisible things. “You are always bitter because you eat a lot of lemons,” she tells me. I wonder if that’s the reason she rarely kisses me. My tongue, I imagine, tastes like bile.

Long gone are the days we chased each other in the cornfield like children, and watching the sunset together. Scarecrows now are scattered everywhere, chasing crows and memories she wishes she would forget.

Photos, a tiny bed, and plastic balls were all burnt to ashes, weeks after his disappearance in the cornfield. Fire was the only way my wife thought could burn away all the memories of her faithful canine.

At times she stares at a matchbox, as though she wants to lit herself to flames, burning all the remnants of her memories. Apricot juice, her favorite, is all I can give her to sooth her mind. I just wish my kiss tasted like apricot.


© Copyright 2018 Teddy Kimathi. All rights reserved.

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