It's a Comic Sans Kind of Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Gracie's life had turned out just like she had always planned it, so why is everything so gray? And can someone from the past bring back the color she misses so much?

Gracie often asked herself "How did I get here?" Her eyes would glaze over and she would set adrift back in time, trying to dancing back across the path she had taken, trying to land on those key moments that had led her to what she had become. In her mind she was hopping across shimmering stones on the creek of her life, stepping barefoot onto her last promotion, tip-toeing across her job interview, twirling through her graduation from college, hoping to reach the catalyst where she had completely changed her life for the better. She told herself that she had changed her life for the better, but sometimes wondered if she was just trying to see where it had all gone wrong. It had become something of a problem, an obsession.

When her eyes began to sting from lack of blinking, she came back into focus and squeezed them tightly. Water trickled down the corners of her eyes and she carefully blotted them away and resumed her article. She was in charge of the "edgy" articles. In the short course of her career she had become known as the cynic and was given tasks as such. Why The Economy Sucks she typed in the title line, then deleted it. She sighed and closed her laptop. It was sunny out, she had been told, but the tall buildings blocked all light and made the streets and sidewalks dark and chilly. Gracie shrugged on her cropped jacket, slid back into her fuschia ballet flats and made her way onto the streets. It was a modest city, but still more than she was accustomed to. She had grown up with one-story buildings, yellow belle and azalea bushes and vast fields of nothingness that she always wanted to frolick through.

They were going to have an old farm-house. Really old but really roomy. They were going to paint the walls orange and green and yellow and let wild flowers andyellow belles grow freely around the house without weeding or trimming them. Gracie sat down on a park bench that was located in a ray of sunshine and allowed herself to relax. Her eyes lost focus again in her time travels but she smiled as she thought of the old empty bathtub she was going to put in the backyard and plant flowers in. The vision was blurry but bright. It was a vision of the future within a memory of the past. Gracie pictured them on the porch swing at her parent's house. It was painted white but beginnining to chip and had vines of plastic purple and red flowers woven around the chains. They were holding hands, her green nailed fingers intertwined within his, laughing at everything and nothing, and describing in vivid detail their improbable home. It was a good time in the midst of the bad times. She danced and twirled back even further. They ran silently in the white moonlight until they reached an empty spot in the woods behind her house. She tossed down a fluffy red comforter and he playfully tackled her to the ground. He made a trail of red hot kisses down her throat, dancing his fingers across her brown thighs under her powder blue sundress. She could almost feel the gentle bites that left tiny red spots on her flat stomach. Gracie pictured the red lipstick marks as she playfully planted them on his bare chest. They laughed and kissed and slept in the green forest.

She stretched her legs out in the ray of sunlight and welcomed the tingling sensation on her bare legs as her mind traveled. She pictured a particularly unpleasant arguement and for a second her heart twinged the way that it had at the time. She felt like a visitor in her own memory, peeping in through a closed curtain. She made her sarcastic biting comments and accusations as glistening tears ran rivers down her pink cheeks, he watched in helpless frustration, trying to reach out and touch her but feeling the frost of her skin and withdrawing. It was about his ex. It was always about his ex, about his blind devotion to her, masked as a casual friendship. Gracie had found another of his poems, odes to his ex. He tried to play it off as being about Gracie. She remembered the fight vididly for a moment and her heart began to flutter. The words he wrote about this other person were so pure and so impassioned that it only made her love him that much more.

Someone leaned over her to look at a bus scheduled and startled her from her "trip" as she had taken to calling them. She drew in her feet and apologized for being in the way. The old woman commented on her manners and guessed that she was raised in the country. Gracie tried to keep her accent in check while she was at work, but if she wasn't concentrating fully on surpressing it, it came out in all of it's shining glory. She blushed a bit and then politely excused herself from the bench. Suddenly feeling like the young, heartbroken, insecure girl whose memories were her own, she decided to just go back to work early and get her article done. She watched as each pink shoe stepped in front of the other.

Gracie had wanted to believe that the first time she saw him wasn't going to be some earth-shattering experience for her. She tried to convince herself that she was young, thin and successful and that she was better off without him. She knew that it was true, so why was she having such a hard time believing it. She didn't want to think that love was unconditional and that no matter how much he hurt her and how much he wanted to be with someone else, that she could still love him just as much. It suddenly dawned on her, the catalyst. What changed everything, she had of course known all along what had changed everything. She had decided that she was done humiliating herself, that if he wanted someone else that he should be able to try for her, and that Gracie deserved more than to be someone's silver medal.

It had been like a stab wound. At some point right after graduation Gracie had found another poem, a poem about a boy who has always loved a girl and a boy who gives said girl a letter of invitation on their last day of high school. A letter asking her to reconsider their friendship, a letter of confession of years of unrequited love. He and Gracie had been sitting in his bedroom floor, looking through a box of love letters of theirs through the years and making plans for the summer. They were going to go camping by an orange campfire, go hiking in a green forest, practically live by the sparkling blue ocean. They smiled and they laughed and gave soft kisses while remembering years of colorful history and planning years of bright future.

Then she found the poem by accident. The fight that ensued was monumentally calm. It was a silent explosion. Knowing that it was over, she gathered a handful of letters and crammed them into her jean pockets. She marched silently to her car with him following her and delivering the same fruitless explanations. She waited until she was out of sight before she allowed the tears to fall like a rainbow from her eyes. Gracie said goodbye to him alone in her room for the next few days, weeks. Her parents knocked on the door a few times a day to check on her and then allowed her to grieve. Each phone call she had to ignore broke her heart all over again. Eventually a few weeks later, there came a day when he didn't call her. She cried that day the hardest of all, and then she was done. Things were not so painfully red anymore, they were just a cool gray.

Gracie packed up their letters and pictures and his gifts from her and asked her dad to put them away in the attic. She shopped and cleaned and prepared for college. She managed to avoid him for 4 years even though they were at the same school. Gracie knew it was for the best. She studied hard and majored in journalism. She came home to intern at the local newspaper and then took a job at a newspaper in the city. She was quickly promoted to assitant editor, and everything was going just as she had envisioned it would from elementary school, before she had ever met him.

It had been a few weeks since "the incident", or when she finally had to see him again. She was sauntering down the steps toward her flirty co-worker who was awaiting her at the bottom. Chris was fun and Gracie couldn't deny that it was nice to have someone to hang out with on the weekends. And she wasn't complaining about having someone to banter with and hug and kiss, without any more complication than that. As she reached to wrap her long lean arms around Chris' neck, she noticed a familiar stride from the corner of her eye. He had such a distinctive walk. She perked up momentarily, as if it were senoir year in the hallway at their high school and he was walking toward her for a hug. She quickly realized that it had been 5 years and the entire world had changed. He was with someone. Gracie could only see her back. Was it her? She had to find out. Her heart hammered in her chest. The sun seemed a brighter yellow.

She wrestled between explaining 10 years of history to Chris in 30 seconds, or feigning a sickness and sending him on his way. She decided on the latter and he left disappointed at his cancelled lunch date. She didn't have time to feel sorry, she had to know who he was with. She quickly darted behind trucks and lamp-posts and bus stops until she had gotten ahead of them but on the wrong side of the road and without her glasses. She felt like she was in a sitcom. She was playing the part of the psychotic girlfriend, a part that she swore to herself she would never play again. She squinted until her head ached trying to focus on the face. The girl he was with had her reddish brown hair and her lanky frame. If it was her, then her hair was shorter than it used to be. Gracie scowled, he had always said he hated short hair. The girl was wearing a long green dress and a white sweater. She looked to have walked out of some designer's spring collection.

Gracie realized that they were crossing at the next light and hurried on her red stilettos to meet them in the middle. As she passed she kept her head down, hoping to pass unnoticed but to catch a glimpse. What she realized though is that she was more interested in getting a glimpse of him. He looked good. His hair was cut short to his head and he had a slight beard, which was how Gracie had always liked him best. In his waist he was slim, and wide in the chest and arms. He was wearing a Dave Matthews Band tshirt and baggy khakis. She had a vision of what it would be like to go up and kiss him after all of these years. What would it feel like? What would it feel like for him? Had she become the girl he always wanted? Had Gracie become his new obsession.

Her eyes finally shifted to his companion's face. It wasn't her. And on closer inspection, the girl had blue eyes like Gracie, had tanned skin like Gracie, had pink eyeshadow like Gracie used to. Just who was this new girl standing in for? Had he made some sort of mixture of the two ofthem in this new girl. Had he tried to get his dream girl and then realized that he had two. Gracie suddenly felt light-headed, wondered momentarily if every decision she had ever made was exactly right or horribly wrong. They were gone then, had crossed by her and turned a corner. She walked a block to her apartment and rushed up the stairs.

She swung open the door, she ran to her bed and dug in the boxes beneath until she found the pictures of them together. They were at the spring fair. It must have been 6 years ago. She was eating a red snow cone and laughing, her blonde hair shining in the bright lights as the strands lay across her blue eyes. He was staring at her in admiration, his brown eyes full of tenderness and amazement. They were at the lake that summer. She stood in a yellow bikini that was brilliant against her bronzed skin. He wrapped his arms around her from behind and kissed the side of her head. They laughed in the sun as the camera flashed. They pose before the prom in bright blue, they lay on the golden beach, they lay around in an empty green field. She took the fair picture, replaced the box and laid down on her bed, and cried sparkling tears over him for the first time in 5 years.

The next few weeks were a blur of work and those trips down memory lane. She had found the changing point. The point that skewed her life from the colorful, weed-covered farmhouse wonderland, and her current life doing exactly what she had always wanted. Now she just felt the need to decide if she made the right choice. After the initial shock of moving on, the past 5 years had been easy and drama-free. She had made friends and had laughs and dated without getting hurt. It was nice for things to be simple and easy for a change. She wondered now if things were a little too easy. Was life too easy because it was too empty? Would she be better off living in a vibrant old house in the country and having raging red fights about exgirlfriends for the rest of forever?

Despite the last five years, Gracie was anything but level-headed. She was a bundle of nerves and emotions and passions. She was kidding herself that she was the perfectly pressed, manicured, professional with pin-straight hair and gray suits. That emotion and passion only now manisfested itself as a pair of fushcia flats or a whirling dancing fantasy in her pretty little head. Life was perfect, but was it too perfect. She had always been a little messy. She thought about her hardwood floors and her white sofa and her crisp white sheets. Was that who she was now? She was a writer, but she wrote about the economy and local politics and crime rates, and with such a biting voice that it couldn't help but depress her. She wanting to take the fantasies that were dancing around in her head and etch them onto paper, show the world what kind of happiness and beauty she could dream up.

He was responsible for these beautiful images, they had only started again after she had seen him. Their past was beautiful and their future had been beautiful, and now there was only calm and gray. Was she willing to give up peace of mind for a chance of beauty? Was misery the only thing that makes you appreciate true beauty? There had surely been misery before, back when she was happiest. Was the girl on the street his wife? Was there a chance that Gracie could forgive him now after all of these years and continue the life they were on course for? Afterall, he couldn't help who he was in love with before . . . right?

Gracie stared at her laptop screen and decided that the article could wait. She had accomplished all of nothing anyway. Seeing him again had been so painful. The blue burning flame in the pit of her stomach had been almost unbearable, but it had awoken something inside of her. Had started thoughts and dreams blooming, gorgeous yellow belles growing all around her. She realized that it didn't really matter if he wanted her back, if she wanted him back, if they were going to be together. There was love and beauty and pain and longing in the world and that made her smile. Gracie closed her laptop. She had colorful thoughts in her head that wouldn't translate into the standard black font of her article. This was a Times New Roman world and today she felt a little . . . Comic Sans.

Submitted: March 12, 2009

© Copyright 2022 Ashley Faye Wilson. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Very good... We need more color in this dull world. I want to know what happens next! ;]

Mon, March 16th, 2009 11:34pm


thank you for reading!

Tue, March 17th, 2009 6:00am

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