To start this short story from the beginning, click here.
I take the box of this week’s letters and hold it close to me so that Kevin can’t hug me. With a quick wave I leave the office and head for my car across the parking lot. I throw the box in the trunk and close it tight. I get in the car and speed off to meet my two best friends for lunch. I like them because they’re never bursting with color, but dim like me.
When I arrive at the cafeteria on the ground level of our dorm building, Jade and Andrea are already waiting. “Hey, we were about to go inside without you,” Andrea says.
I catch up with them. “Sorry. Crowley let us out late again. Always seems to do that on Mondays. Then I had to run to the paper office to hand in my movie review.” They nod knowingly as we fill our plates with food.
Sitting down, the conversation turns to the past weekend. Andrea’s basketball team lost the match. Then she fought with her mom on Sunday. They always fight but she doesn’t even care anymore, she says. I see a bit of red anger and bitterness inside her, though. Jade went home this weekend too, saw his family for the first time in awhile and had an uneventful time. I study him. He’s bright today but he’s grey, which means something’s wrong and he’s avoiding it. The grey can be like that at times.
“Hey guys,” I say after a lull. “This week is so full of tests and midterms, so I was thinking we should do something to celebrate on Friday when it’s all over.”
Jade grunts his approval and Andrea becomes instantly animated. The red is replaced by a soft blue and I let out a breath. “That’s a neat idea! I totally need something like this after how stressful this week’s going to be. I have two tests on Thursday and two papers due this week.” Andrea’s a double major in political science and biology. We met in the neurobiology class we shared last semester.
“But what’ll we do?” Jade asks, sounding tired. “I mean, we’ve done the party thing more times than I can remember, and it’s getting old.”
“We could just chill out, order pizza and rent a movie,” I suggest.
“Boring!” Andrea says with a smile. She says we need something more exciting and Jade doesn’t want to do anything. Skating, driving to the beach, dancing, nothing’s right..
“All right,” I say with a playful pout on my face. “I’ll just have to survive studying for psych without any incentive.”
“I thought you liked psych,” Andrea says. “I mean, it’s your major.” Andrea’s very into her majors and everything she’s studying so she probably won’t understand.
“Well, no one says I have to like it to major in it.”
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard,” is Jade’s almost hostile response. He’s consumed by the grey now and I almost wonder what’s up.
“Well, why are you doing it then?” Andrea asks, shoving the last bite of pizza into her mouth. She’s always the first one done.
“Everyone tells me I’ll be good at it, and it’s pretty easy for me. I just don’t like it is all.”
We finish our food in silence then. Andrea has to run off to a meeting with her Biochem professor and Jade says he’s going to write some new songs. He’s very talented with the guitar and singing, and knowledgeable about music. We met because he does an occasional piece about new music for the paper. I have to go start sorting through the piles of letters. I watch them leave, grateful for the solitude. I go to the trunk and pull out the box and hurry into the dorm, taking the back staircase to my room.
I haven’t done any more current fiction in awhile, so today I’m posting the continuation of my short story “Dark As Roses.” The beginning is here and the second installment is here. This is a story about a girl who sees colored auras around people and is somewhat at odds with her psychic ability. At the end of the last section, Iris was meeting with Kevin for her secret job as the advice columnist for a campus newspaper. Her friends have no idea that she does this or about her seeing colors.
Don’t forget, you can always check out the Samples section, including Older Works and Published.