Dark Colors

 

The Green Mask: Part Four

Just to recap, Goldie wants to make a trade with Matthew that will ultimately change Matthew’s life. Goldie offers the green mask to Matthew, in exchange for Matthew’s red aviator sunglasses. Goldie explains the power the green mask holds to Matthew, and how it’s the key to his happiness. Then, Gold tells Matthew that all he has to do is face the mirror, lose himself in his reflection, see his soul and put the green mask on his soul. Then, Matthew questions why Goldie’s mask is not hidden. Also, why does he wear a yellow, tiger mask. Goldie responds that he has a reason that he cannot share, and it hides what it needs to hide. After that, Goldie faces the mirror and asks Matthew if he will give up his red sunglasses. Matthew is reluctant, but Goldie begs Matthew to give up the sunglasses to gain something better. The green mask will give Matthew hope, and it will give him something that was lost and forgotten.

What will Matthew decide? Will he keep the red sunglasses that have showed him a whole, new world? Or will he change the boy in the mirror?

Let’s find out in “The Green Mask: Part Four.”

Matthew starts to tear up and cries that he can’t give up his sunglasses. “They’re mine, and I don’t want to let them go,” Matthew says.

Matthew apologizes to Goldie and wishes that he could give them up. He does want to wear the green mask, but Matthew’s too scared to commit to it. He’s too scared of letting go. Goldie tilts his head to right and says, “Well, why don’t you want to let them go, bro?”
Matthew sniffs and replies, “I just don’t want to let them go. Can’t you understand that?”
“I wish I could, but you have to explain yourself,” Goldie pleads.

Matthew turns away from the mirror and just finds himself looking at all the masks in the treehouse. Matthew sighs and responds, “These glasses are mine and only mine to bear. I can’t just forget why I have these in the first place.”

Goldie tilts his head to the left and says, “Oh, I see. So you’re just punishing yourself with those glasses.

Goldie chuckles and walks over to Matthew. Matthew takes off his glasses and tries to quickly wipe off his tears before Goldie gets close to him. He doesn’t want Goldie to see his tears. They have to be hidden. Once Goldie reaches him, Matthew puts on his sunglasses and explains that he’s not punishing himself. Goldie stands in front of Matthew, looks him straight in the eyes and says, “You are punishing yourself. Bryan was a monster to you, and you took it upon yourself to become a monster as well. You unknowingly condemned Bryan to a terrible fate by getting him suspended and abused by his father. Then, you found his sunglasses and thought to yourself that you were no better than Bryan. So, you wear them to remind yourself that you’re a monster.”

It’s silent as Goldie and Matthew just stare into each other’s eyes. Matthew can’t deny what Goldie was saying because it was the truth. He felt like he was a monster for what he did to Bryan, and he’s ashamed of himself. After a few minutes, Matthew says, “I don’t deserve the green mask, Goldie. I just don’t.”

“And you don’t deserve those red sunglasses, either. You’re a good kid, Matthew. You were bullied and exposed to a world that you never should have seen in the first place. Stop looking at this dark world and remember the beauty that exists in your world,” Goldie says.

Matthew shakes his head and cries, “I can’t. That good kid is gone, and I have to live with who I am now.”

“No, you don’t, bro. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance, and the green mask is your second chance. Please, wear it,” Goldie says.

Matthew sighs and explains that he’s made up his mind. He is keeping his red sunglasses. “There’s nothing you can say or do to change my mind,” Matthew says.

Goldie starts to clench his fists, looks down and starts muttering words under his breathe. Matthew tries to hear some his words, but they’re unclear. Then, he looks up at Matthew and whispers, “Let me just show you one last thing before I let you go.”

Matthew says okay, and he sees Goldie starts to slowly take off his mask and reveals his face. Matthew can’t believe who he’s looking at. It’s not possible, he says to himself. The boy he was facing was Bryan. Matthew asks how this is possible, Bryan chuckles and says that it’s a little complicated. Matthew laughs a little, and Bryan says, “Look, I’m sorry for bullying you the way I did, bro. You didn’t deserve that. Can you please forgive me?”
Matthew is still in shock that he’s facing Bryan, but he quickly gathers himself and responds, “Yeah, I forgive you. And I’m sorry for what I did to you, and got you in trouble with your dad. Can you forgive me for that?”

“Absolutely, but one last thing,” Bryan says.

Matthew asks what is it, and Bryan replies, “Can you please forgive yourself?”

Matthew starts to tear up, and he tells Bryan that he’ll try. Bryan smiles and says, “Well, I know how you can try.”

Bryan presents the green mask to him and points at the red sunglasses. Matthew can’t help but smile. He takes off the red sunglasses and hands them to Bryan with ease. Bryan takes them and hands Matthew the green mask. Matthew walks over to the mirror, faces it, loses himself in his reflection and puts on the green mask. After the mask is on, it fades away and is no longer visible to the eye. Matthew turns to Bryan and thanks Bryan for saving him. Bryan says you’re welcome, and Matthew proceeds out of the treehouse. Matthew walks back into his life. He is happy and fulfilled with the green mask.

After Matthew is gone, Bryan faces the mirror and transforms into a man in a red suit. He chuckles, puts on the red sunglasses, walks over to the white mask and picks it up. He looks at it and says, “Now that I have these precious red sunglasses, the fun can really begin now.”

This is the end of “The Green Mask: Part Four.”

In October, I will be posting the six-part, horror story “The White Mask” on the Warfield Zone.

This weekend, I will be posting and sharing poetry.

The Green Mask: Part Three

Just to recap, Matthew is surprised to see himself confronted by a boy his age named Goldie. They talk for a little bit, and Matthew quickly notices that Goldie is a more enthusiastic, positive kid than him. In addition, Matthew learns that Goldie knows about Bryan and his troubled time at his new school. Goldie assures Matthew that he’s only trying to help him, and Matthew finds himself trusting and believing in Goldie. He can’t explain why he trusts Goldie, but there was just this calming, comfortable feeling that Matthew had with Goldie. Anyways, Goldie leads Matthew to this treehouse filled with masks and a large mirror. Matthew sees a white mask with evil eyes, sharp teeth and a sinister smile. He tries to touch it, but Goldie quickly stops him and tells him to not touch it. Matthew asks why and Goldie explains that it’s for someone else with sinister intentions. Instead, Goldie presents Matthew with a green mask with a face and a big smile on it. Then, Goldie says, “This is the green mask, Matthew. This mask will help you in unimaginable ways, bro. All you have to do is give me your red sunglasses, for this green mask.”

Now, it’s time to get into “The Green Mask: Part Three.”

Matthew touches his red sunglasses and asks Goldie why he wants his sunglasses. Goldie responds, “Because they look so cool and amazing. I could rock those sunglasses with some of my masks.”

Matthew shakes his head, but Goldie continues, “I also know that those sunglasses come with a lot baggage and hurt. Those sunglasses are a curse to you, bro. Am I right?”
The sunglasses were a curse to Matthew, but he didn’t want to admit that Goldie. He just shrugs his shoulder and makes Goldie chuckle. Goldie adds, “I’ll admit that this green mask is a little bit of a curse, but it’s mostly a gift.”

“How can something be a gift and a curse?” Matthew asks.

Goldie laughs and says, “Wow, I forget how young you are, bro. My bad. But this mask is a gift for you. This mask was designed especially for you to help you, but it all depends on you if this mask is a curse.”

Matthew is confused with the “young” part because they were practically the same age. He looks at Goldie and asks him who he is. Goldie replies, “I’m just someone that just wants to help you, bro. I guess I just like helping people in a way.”

Matthew asks what Goldie means, and he replies, “Well, it depends on people really. I give people the opportunity to save or doom themselves depending on their choices with me.”

“Why not just save them?” Matthew asks.

Goldie tilts his head to the right and says, “Because some people don’t want to be saved, they just want to survive. What do you want, Matthew?”

“I’m not sure what I want really. I guess I just want to be happy,” Matthew says.

Goldie tilts his head to the left and replies, “Of course, you want to be happy. I can honestly help you with that, if you just hear me out, bro.”

Matthew wants to leave the treehouse because he’s getting a weird feeling with Goldie, but he reluctantly agrees to hear Goldie out.

Goldie is happy to hear this and says, “Great, so let me tell you about this green mask.”
Goldie goes on to explain how the green mask will provide Matthew with peace and tranquility. It’s a mask that will help Matthew be comfortable being alone, but never lonely. He will smile and laugh with ease thanks to the green mask. It will help him forget his worries and welcome a new, fulfilling perspective of life. It will mask his true feelings and create the illusion of positive feelings. The green mask will ultimately help Matthew find his happiness. It all sounded good to Matthew, but he didn’t like the idea of wearing a mask. It felt wrong and deceitful to hide his emotions. Goldie quickly says, “It’s not deceitful or wrong in any way. Everyone wears a mask, I promise you. It’s just that some don’t have the right mask, bro.”

Matthew still wasn’t sure about having to wear a mask on his face. Goldie tilts his head to the right and says, “Oh, it’s not gonna be visible at all in the public eye. You’re simply putting it on your soul.”

Matthew wonders how that’s possible, and Goldie tilts his head to the left and turns it to the mirror. He walks up in front of the mirror and looks at it. Then, he says, “All you have to do is look into the mirror. Look into it and allow yourself to be lost in your reflection. Then, you will see your soul in the mirror, and that is when you will put the green mask on.”

Matthew looks at Goldie and asks him why does he wear the yellow, tiger mask. Goldie straightens up and walks over to Matthew. He looks Matthew in the eyes, and he touches his mask. Goldie thinks about taking his mask off but he doesn’t. Instead, he laughs and says, “Like I said, everyone wears a mask. I wear this mask for a reason that I cannot explain to you. It hides what it needs to hide.”

Matthew understands, but he longs to know who the kid in the yellow tiger mask really is. Is Goldie truly trying to save him?

Goldie moves away from Matthew and faces the mirror. He says, “So, will you give me your red sunglasses for this green mask that will help you achieve happiness?”
“Why do I have to give up my glasses for the green mask? I thought you were trying to save me,” Matthew says.

“I am trying to save you. You have to give up something in order to gain something, you know. In order to be better, you have to change. There’s no middle ground, bro. You can either keep the red sunglasses or give them up for something better. Something that will change your life. Something that will give you hope. The green mask will do that for you. It will give you back what you have lost and forgotten. Please, take the green mask and let go of the red aviator sunglasses,” Goldie begs.

This is the end of “The Green Mask: Part Three.”

I will be posting the fourth and final part of “The Green Mask” on Thursday.

The Green Mask: Part Two

Just to recap, it’s the summertime for Matthew, and he’s having a hard time adjusting to his new school. It was the sixth grade for Matthew, and he struggled to adjust to his new school and make new friends. In addition, Matthew finds himself tormented by his troubled past with his old school, more specifically with Bryan. Matthew recalls seeking vengeance against Bryan, but it would come with a cost. Matthew would lose his innocence, condemn Bryan to a terrible fate and bear the red aviator sunglasses. Now, Matthew walks alone in his neighborhood, gets an ice cream cone from Sal’s Ice Cream shop and finds himself alone at the park. As the sun starts to set, Matthew takes off his sunglasses and begins to cry. Matthew prays to God to help him stop crying, but he’s quickly soothed by a kid around his age. Matthew realizes the kid is wearing a tiger mask covered in yellow. He thanks the kid for calming him down, and the kid tells him it’s no problem. Then, the kid says, “By the way, my name’s Goldie, but a lot of people just call me the kid in the yellow mask.”

Now, it’s time to get into “The Green Mask: Part Two.”

Matthew quickly puts on his red sunglasses and tells Goldie that it’s nice to meet him. Goldie tilts his head to the right and this confuses Matthew. Matthew asks Goldie what’s wrong, and Goldie responds, “Oh nothing, it’s just that you’re so interesting to me, Matthew, and I honestly want the best for you.”

There was a concerned look on Matthew’s face because Goldie knew his name. Also, why did he want the best for him? Before Matthew could respond, Goldie excitedly asks, “So, how was the ice cream from Sal’s? Was it good? Was it the best ice cream you ever had? Did you have sprinkles on it? Please, please, please, I have to know.”

Goldie got close to Matthew waiting for an answer. Matthew told him that Sal’s ice cream was great, but he didn’t get any sprinkles on his ice cream. Goldie says, “Oh, that’s so awesome. Now, I definitely have to give them a whirl. I just love ice cream, especially ice cream with sprinkles. I have a feeling you will too, eventually.”

After Goldie says that, he proceeds to laugh and starts running around. He talks about how beautiful and amazing the park and summer is for him. Matthew couldn’t help but chuckle at Goldie’s excitement. Matthew could tell that Goldie was a very enthusiastic, positive kid. It seemed like the world was all sunshine and rainbows for Goldie, but it was a red, dark world for Matthew thanks to his red sunglasses.

Goldie stops running around and rushes back to Matthew. He sits back on the swing next to Matthew, tilts his head to the left and asks Matthew why he was crying. Matthew responds that it was for no reason. Goldie tilts his head to the right and says, “It doesn’t look like it was for no reason. Were you bothered by Bryan and your new school?”

Matthew is shocked and asks Goldie how he knows about Bryan and his struggles at his new school. Goldie shrugs his shoulders, tilts his head to the left and responds, “I just do. I’m very, very, smart kid, bro. So, were you thinking about Bryan, school or something else?”

Matthew quickly replies that it’s nothing, and he thinks about running away because Goldie was starting to freak him out. Matthew starts to get up from his swing, but Goldie stops him. He says, “Please, don’t be scared, Matthew. I just want to help. Please, just give me a chance.”

Goldie’s touch calms Matthew down. Matthew thinks to himself that he could trust

Goldie, and it’s a weird feeling. Matthew believes in Goldie. Matthew responds, “Alright, I’ll give you a chance. Tell me what have to do.”

Goldie tilts his head to right and says, “I know you can’t see it, but I’m actually smiling. I’m glad you’re letting me help you out, bro. Just follow me.”

They both get up from the swings, and they start walking with Goldie leading the way. As they’re walking, Matthew finds himself getting a little tired and wear, and he sees just a clear path in front of him. Goldie yells that they’re almost there, and Matthew ends up closing his eyes for few seconds. He opens them up and finds himself in front of tree. How did a tree suddenly appear out of nowhere? He looks around for Goldie, but he’s nowhere to be found. Where could Goldie have gone? Matthew continues to look around, but the area is unfamiliar to him. Matthew’s heart is racing as confusion and terror run rapid in his mind. Did Goldie abandon him somehow? Matthew doesn’t know what to do. He begins to pray, but there’s a yell from above. He looks up at the tree and notices a treehouse on top. Then, Goldie pokes his head out of the treehouse and says, “Hey bro, there’s no need for that. I got you, just come on up man.”

Goldie motions for Matthew to go around the tree and climb the ladder that was waiting for him. Matthew starts climbing and makes it to the treehouse. Goldie opens the door and helps Matthew get inside. When Matthew gets inside, he notices that the treehouse is covered with masks. Then, Matthew sees a big mirror in front of him, but there was nothing else in the treehouse. Just a bunch of masks and a mirror. Matthew looks around at all the masks in the treehouse, and he finds himself intrigued by a white mask. The mask had evil eyes, sharp teeth and a sinister smile. Matthew reaches to touch it, but Goldie quickly stops him. Goldie looks him in the eyes and says, “Don’t touch that mask. Ever.”

Matthew asks why and Goldie explains that it’s for someone else with sinister intentions. “Trust me, that mask is not for you,” says Goldie.

Matthew gets away from the mask, and Goldie tells him to just stand in front of the mirror. Matthew listens to Goldie and just looks at all of the masks in the treehouse. Why did Goldie have so many masks? Before Matthew could think more about the masks, Goldie presents a mask to Matthew. It’s green, and it was just a face with a big smile on it. Matthew didn’t understand. Then, Goldie says, “This is the green mask, Matthew. This mask will help you in unimaginable ways, bro. All you have to do is give me your red sunglasses, for this green mask.”

This is the end of “The Green Mask: Part Two.”

This weekend, I will be sharing poetry. Also, I will be posting part three and four of “The Green Mask” next week.

The Green Mask: Part One

It’s the summertime for Matthew, but it is hard for him to enjoy the summer. He had moved from another state last year, and he had a rough year at his new school. It was the sixth grade for Matthew. He had a hard time making new friends and adapting to his new school. Although Matthew wasn’t bullied or rejected by others at his new school, he found himself tormented by his past at his old school.

At his old school, Matthew was bullied because he was different from others. The kids there would hurt him physically and verbally, and teachers could not or rather would not do anything about it. One kid in particular that pushed Matthew to the edge was Bryan. Bryan was like most of the kids at Matthew’s old school, but he had red aviator sunglasses that made him stood out from the rest. These red aviator sunglasses with a silver lining made Bryan royalty among his peers, and he was adored by them. Bryan would eventually cross paths with Matthew, and he would hurt him in ways that pushed Matthew towards vengeance. Matthew would eventually have his revenge, but it would come at a cost. Matthew would lose his innocence, condemn Bryan to a terrible fate and bear the red aviator sunglasses.

Now, Matthew is walking alone in his nice neighborhood. He sees nothing but a red world around him thanks to the red aviator sunglasses. For Matthew, it’s a blessing and a curse having these sunglasses. He constantly sees the true, dark colors of his world, and he can ever forget the truth. Even when he doesn’t wear the glasses, he still remembers the truth. It’s imprinted in his mind, and he longs for the red world to be out of his mind. Sadly, it’s impossible for Matthew. He can never escape the red world because of his experience at his old school. Matthew can only hope for a miracle to change his perspective of the world.

As Matthew is walking, he can’t help but think about Bryan, the reason he had these red sunglasses. Matthew recalls how Bryan was scared of getting suspended and being home. He cried that his father was going to kill him, and he was begging for forgiveness. Matthew didn’t care about his tears because he wanted his revenge. Now, Matthew worries about Bryan because he realized that Bryan had a genuine fear of his dad. Matthew didn’t know all the details, but he knew that Bryan’s father wasn’t a good man. He was a father that would hurt his son in unimaginable ways.

Matthew continues his walk, but he quickly notices that he’s about to pass Sal’s Ice Cream Shop. He loved the ice cream there, and he knew that he had to get a large, vanilla cone. He walked towards the ice cream shop and noticed there was a long line. Matthew went to the back of the line and excitedly waited for some of Sal’s ice cream. A few minutes later, it was finally his turn to order a vanilla ice cream cone. Matthew ordered a vanilla ice cream cone, paid for it and received it in seconds. Matthew took his ice cream cone and decided that he wanted to go to the park. He was considering to eat his ice cream at Sal’s, but he saw that he was making some people at the ice cream shop uncomfortable. So, he just decided that it would be best to eat his ice cream somewhere else.

Matthew walks to the park and notices right away that no one was there. He was thrilled. He was excited to have the park all to himself and to be alone with his thoughts. Then, Matthew goes towards the swings and decides to sit down on a swing. He starts swinging a little back and forth and continues to enjoy his ice cream. As he finishes it, Matthew hears the laughter of other kids having fun together. Matthew thinks to himself, “It must be nice to have friends.”

As the sun starts to set, Matthew takes off his red sunglasses and begins to cry. He tries to stop himself, but he can’t. His tears are uncontrollable. Matthew can’t understand why he’s crying all of a sudden, and he hates it. He despises the tears that are coming down his face, and he wants them to desperately stop. Matthew starts to have a hard time breathing. He can hear his heart pounding rapidly in his body, and he doesn’t know how to stop it. Matthew closes his eyes and prays to God. He prays for God to calm him down and help him pull himself together. Before he can finish, a hand touches Matthew’s shoulder and says, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. There’s no need for that, I promise you. I got you, bro. Just relax and take a deep breath.”

Matthew listens to the child-like voice behind him, and he starts to relax. Suddenly, a wave of relaxation and comfort flows through Matthew in ways he couldn’t imagine. Matthew decides to take a look behind him, and he sees a little kid. The little kid is around the same age as Matthew. The little kid is wearing some yellow tennis shoes, blue shorts and a yellow T-shirt. However, the little kid was wearing a tiger mask that was covered in yellow. It was weird and bizarre to Matthew, and he gathered in his head that this kid’s favorite color was yellow.

After Matthew takes in all the yellow the kid was wearing, he thanks to the kid for his advice and for helping him calm down. The kid responds, “Oh, it was no problem, bro. I’m happy to help. Do you mind if I sit next to you on the swing.”

Matthew tells him that it’s fine, and the kid proceeds to sit next to him. Then, he says, “By the way, my name’s Goldie, but a lot of people just call me the kid in the yellow mask.”

This is the end of “The Green Mask: Part One.”

Also, be sure to check out the short story “Red Aviator Sunglasses: Parts One and Two” on the Dark Colors series, if you haven’t already. That short story will provide great context for this short story, and each part can be found in the Table of Contents page on the Warfield Zone.
I will be posting part two of “The Green Mask” on Thursday.

The Black Pill: Part Four

Just to recap, Kenneth decides to choose the white pill over the black pill because it’s the easy choice for him. However, he questions the man in the white suit about the authenticity of the white pill. The man in the white suit assures Kenneth that the white pill will guarantee Kenneth his son, Jeremiah. In addition, the man in the white suit sweetens the deal by telling Kenneth that he will make Jeremiah any age that he wants. It all sounded good to Kenneth, and he was ready to take the white pill. Before Kenneth could take the white pill, the man in the white suit asks him if he was interested in the black pill. The black pill would guarantee sobriety, a job and a house, but Kenneth was not interested in the black pill. Kenneth swallows the white pill with ease, and he tells the man in the white suit that he wants his son to be five years old. The man in the white suit assures Kenneth that he’ll have his son when he’s five years old, instructs him to walk through the red door and wake up to a new life with his son. Kenneth asks the man in the white suit who he is, but the man in the white suit remains silent and tells Kenneth he likes to remain a mystery. After that, Kenneth walks through the red door and wakes up to a new life with his newly five-year-old son Jeremiah.

Now, it’s time to get into the fourth and final part of “The Black Pill.”

For their first year together, life was perfect for Kenneth and Jeremiah. Their life together was filled with laughter, joy and love. They were closer than ever, and Kenneth was so thankful for this. Kenneth was able to be a father to Jeremiah because he was so willing to accept his love, and he had Jeremiah with him instead of Jeremiah being three hours away from him. It was so much easier and simpler to be the father he wanted to be for Jeremiah.

However, some things never change. To Kenneth’s surprise, Monica was still a constant part of Jeremiah’s life. She would visit Jeremy almost every week, talk to him every day and be a mother to him despite being three hours away from him. Kenneth didn’t understand it. How could Monica have the time and energy to raise another child and still be a mother to Jeremiah? It was crazy to him, but he was glad that he didn’t have to worry about it. It just disappointed him that Jeremiah still had more love for Monica than him. How was that possible? Kenneth thought to himself. It kind of bothered him, but he chose to understand that Jeremiah will always have love for his mother. All Kenneth could do was enjoy his son’s company with him.

Kenneth and Jeremiah had a great year together. They shared all sort of holidays together, and Kenneth was an almost perfect father to Jeremiah. As they were close to ringing in the New Year together on Dec. 31, Kenneth was hopeful that next year would bring more of the same for him and his son. Sadly, he was mistaken.

On Dec. 31, Kenneth decided to drop Jeremiah off with his parents, so that he could go to the bar and drink with his friends. Kenneth drank his heart out that night. He drank and drank until the bartender refused to give him anything more to drink. He ended up getting in a fight with one of his friends because of a disagreement. After the fight, Kenneth had to drive himself home. He was driving all crazy on the road, and he ended up getting stopped by a police officer. The police officer ended up arresting Kenneth for DUI. He called his parents to get him, but they didn’t answer him. Instead, Kenneth ended up spending New Year’s Day and a couple of days in jail.

Things only got worse for Kenneth after that. He kept losing jobs year after year because he would show up late to work and get in constant fights with his coworkers. Jeremiah would find Kenneth passed out on the floor most mornings, and it would just disappoint Jeremiah. This went on for years, and it hurt Jeremiah to witness his father’s alcoholism take control over him. Why couldn’t Kenneth get it together for Jeremiah? It was getting harder and harder for Jeremiah to love his father.

When Jeremiah was nine years old, Kenneth got evicted from his apartment because of missing payments. It was scary because Kenneth was unemployed and homeless with his child. Kenneth didn’t want Monica finding out that he had him and Jeremiah living in his car, but she found out after three months. Monica was angry with Jeremiah, and she demanded Jeremiah live with her. Kenneth refused. He wanted Jeremiah with him. That’s all he needed in his life was his son. How could Monica take Jeremiah away from him? How could he be a father if Jeremiah was so far away from him? Kenneth thought these questions to himself.

Monica was able to successfully gain custody of Jeremiah, and Kenneth had once again lost Jeremiah.

For a whole year, Kenneth didn’t talk to Jeremiah. This hurt Jeremiah more than anything, but it had to be done for Kenneth. He needed to just live his life and have a little break from fatherhood. Sadly, he couldn’t be a father to Jeremiah because he was once again too far away.

Years passed and once again, Kenneth finds himself back in his present situation of having no relationship with his son, unemployment, living with his parents and alcoholism. How could he not have his son? What did he do wrong? He’s in a dark place now, and he needs a drink.

It’s midnight, and Kenneth decides that he wants to go to the bar. He leaves his parents’ house and heads to his car. Then, he notices a strange figure leaning on his car. It’s the man in the white suit.

Kenneth just stops in his tracks and cannot believe who he is seeing. The man in the white suit smiles and says, “Wow, you like you’ve seen a ghost or something. Are you surprised to see me?”

Kenneth nods his head. The man in the white suit says, “Well, before you go to the bar to drink like crazy, why don’t you follow me real quick?”

“Are you gonna give me another choice?” Kenneth asks.

The man in the white suit stops smiles, gives Kenneth a straight face and replies, “Yeah, something like that. Just follow me.”

The man in the white suit turns his back on Kenneth and starts walking. Kenneth quickly follows. Kenneth’s still mad that he hasn’t seen the man in the white suit’s face. He wants to find out. Kenneth tries to look into his face, but he ends up passing out again. Then, he wakes up to the room where he acquired the white pill.

Kenneth looks around, and he notices that it’s a well-lit room now. He looks around and sees the old TV set, the white chair and coffee table across from him, and the bookcase with the white and gray book. He looks to his right and sees the red door. He looks to his left and sees the man in the white suit with his back turned. He’s looking out the window and holding the black book.

The man in the white suit continues to stare out the window. Kenneth states, “You know, we don’t have to go through you talking about The Matrix again. I’ll just take the white pill and be on my way. I just want my son.”

The man in the white suit takes a deep breathe and says, “You know, I wish that I could open this book, but I can’t because of you.

Kenneth is confused, and the man in the white suit continues, “Humans and dark colors. Why can’t humans see the beauty in dark colors? Why is it that the dark colors in life are considered evil and impure? I reckon I blame society. White is good, while black is evil.”

Kenneth starts to get a little scared, and he says, “Look, all I want—

The man in the white suit interrupts, “Yes! Yes! All you want. That’s what this is about. That’s what this has always been about, right? What do you want, Kenneth? Want! Want! Want! Never need with you!”

Kenneth nods his head. The man in the suit then says, “Come over here, Kenneth. There’s something that I want you to see.”

Kenneth slowly gets up and starts walking towards the window. Kenneth finds himself next to the man in the white suit. He looks out the window, and he discovers that it’s him and Jeremiah together. They’re sharing a talk and laugh together, and it brings tears to Kenneth’s eyes. Then, Kenneth sees Jeremiah mouth the words “I love you” to him, and they end up hugging each other. Kenneth turns to the man in the white suit, and he finally sees his face. The face surprises Kenneth, and his heart is beating fast. The man in the white suit looks Kenneth in the eyes, smiles and whispers, “You know, what we witnessed was your future if you had taken the black pill. You see, I left out certain things about the black pill. The black pill would not only give you sobriety, a job and a home, but it would also show you how to love yourself. That was your problem. You didn’t love yourself enough to change. How could your son love you, if you can’t even love yourself? How could you take care of your son, if you can’t take care of yourself?”

Kenneth starts crying, and the man in the white suit walks away from the window. He continues, “That’s all your son ever wanted for you was to take care of yourself. However, you were simply blinded by your own wants and desires. Jeremiah needed to see that his father was more than an alcoholic and hothead, but you failed him. You only disappointed him.”

Kenneth falls to the ground, and the man in the white suit walks towards the door. He yells, “You live in the past, Kenneth. You blame the past for your misfortunes and refuse to see the potential of the future. Instead of realizing what you need, you focus on your desires and use them as crutches. So, you swallow and swallow the white pill with ease every day with no regard of the necessity of the black pill in your life.”
Kenneth is on the ground and cries, “Please, please, I’m sorry! Please, give me another chance. I want the black pill now! Please!”

“Unfortunately, it’s too late. You’ve made your choice and walked through this red door. I can’t give you a second chance. Like I said, I’m not the Devil or an angel. I’m just…well, you know.

The man in the white suit opens the red door, looks back at Kenneth and replies, “Goodbye Kenneth, I hope you figure things out. Maybe there is a chance you can still have your son, but it’ll be a long, hard road to him, I reckon. I just wish you would’ve taken the black pill to make things easier for yourself.”

Before Kenneth could say or do anything, the man in the white suit walks out and closes the door. The man in the white suit takes with him the black book. He also takes with him far from Kenneth’s grasp, the black pill.

This is the end of “The Black Pill: Part Four”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

Next week, I will be sharing poetry on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Black Pill: Part Three

Just to recap, Kenneth is confronted by the man in the white suit after getting kicked out of a bar. Kenneth barely learns anything about the figure, and he ends up following the man in the white suit. As Kenneth is following the man in the white suit, he passes out and wakes up in a small room with an old TV set, and a bookcase with three books in it. There’s a red door to his right, and Kenneth finds himself seated in a red chair. Across from him is a coffee table and a white chair. There’s a single window with the man in the white suit staring out of it. The man in the white suit talks about The Matrix, life being open into interpretation and providing Kenneth with a choice that could ultimately change his life forever. The man in the white suit sits down on the white chair, reaches into his pocket and pulls out two pills. A white pill in his right hand and a black pill in his left hand. The white pill gives Kenneth his son, while the black pill gives Kenneth sobriety, a house and a job. He presents these two choices to Kenneth and tells him to make his choice.

Now, it’s time to get into “The Black Pill: Part Three.”

It was an easy choice to Kenneth. He didn’t even have to think about it. Kenneth knew that he had to go with the white pill. It would give him what he needed. What would the black pill do for Kenneth? It wouldn’t get him his son or give him the chance to be a father to Jeremiah. He needed him close and away from Monica and Shane. The white pill was the only right choice for Kenneth.

Kenneth tries to look in the face of the man in the white suit, but it’s covered with the shadows in the room. Why can’t Kenneth see his face? He didn’t like this mystery and started wondering if he could really trust the man in the white suit. He asks, “So, you’re telling me that this white pill in your hands will give me my son?”

The man in the white suit smiles and says, “Why of course. You’re guaranteed your son the minute you swallow this pill and walk through that red door over there. Then, you’ll wake up with your son living with you. It’s that simple.”

The man in the white suit starts caressing the black book in his hands, and Kenneth starts getting a little nervous. He thinks to himself that it’s not that simple. So, he asks, “What’s the catch? Does his mom die or something?”

The man in the white suit chuckles and responds, “There’s no catch at all. Also, that’s kind of dark, why would I do such a thing? I told you that I wasn’t the Devil.”

“But you also said that you weren’t an angel.”

The man in the white nods his head and replies, “That’s true. I’m no angel, and I don’t want to be. However, I am someone that can genuinely assure you that I won’t take advantage of you. You see, if you take the white pill, not only will you have your son but you’ll also have his love. Think of it as a restart with your son. In fact, I’ll even sweeten the deal by making him any age that you want. Turn back the clock. What do you say?”

It all sounded good to Kenneth, and he didn’t have anything to lose. He is ready to take the white pill, but the man in the white suit moves his hands before Kenneth could grab the white pill. “Now hold on partner, I do have another pill in my other hand. It’s the black pill. What are your thoughts on this pill? Do you want sobriety, a job and a house?” the man in the white suit asks.

“Not interested, I want the white pill,” Kenneth exclaims.

The man in the white suit smiles and says, “Well alright then, partner. If your heart is truly set on having the white pill, then who am I to get in the way of what you want.”

Kenneth appreciated the kind words of the man in the white suit and took the white pill out of his right hand. Kenneth asks him if he has some water and the man in the white suit replies, “Don’t worry, you won’t need it. It’s easy to swallow the white pill, it’s the black pill that requires some water. It’s truly a hard pill to swallow.”

The man in the white suit giggles at his comment and watches Kenneth take the white pill out of his right hand. Kenneth has the pill, puts it in his mouth and swallows it with ease. The white pill was a truly easy pill to swallow.

“So, how old do you want your son to be in this new life with him? If you don’t mind me asking,” the man in the white suit asks.

“Well, I was thinking four years old. No, five years old. I do like odd numbers.”

“Alright then, you’ll have your son when he’s five years old. All you gotta do is walk through that red door over there and you’ll wake up to a new life with your son.”

Kenneth stands up and starts walking to the red door. He approaches it, takes a deep breathe and slowly turns the knob on the door. Before he fully turns the knob and opens the door, he turns back to the man in the white suit. He says, “Thank you for this opportunity you’ve provided me. You’re truly a kind man. If you don’t mind me asking, who are you?”

The man in the white suit is silent. He doesn’t say anything for two minutes. He finally gets out of the white seat, grabs the black book, moves to the bookshelf and places the black book next to the gray book. Then, he says with a straight face, “You’re very welcome. And like I said, I like to remain a mystery. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you. I’ll see you around.”

Kenneth didn’t understand the man in the white suit’s demeanor, but he decides to pay it no mind. He turns fully turns the knob, opens the red door and walks through it. He has no idea what to expect. All of a sudden everything is black.

“Dad! Dad! Dad! Wake up!”

Kenneth opens his eyes and finds himself on the floor in a living room with a major headache. He’s feels a lot of pain in his right hand, and it feels like he has a hangover. He slowly gets up and realizes that he’s in his old apartment. He looks at a mirror and notices that he’s younger, possibly in his 20s. Then, he looks down and notices a five-year-old boy in front of him. He instantly recognizes the boy. It’s Jeremiah, his son. He kneels down to his level and starts tearing up. Jeremiah is confused and asks his dad if he’s okay. Kenneth responds, “Baby, I’m more than okay. You’re here with me and that’s all that matters.”

He embraces Jeremiah and holds onto him tight. Kenneth finally has his son. Kenneth can finally be the father that he wants to be for Jeremiah.

This is the end of “The Black Pill: Part Three.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

On Thursday, I will be sharing the fourth and final part of “The Black Pill” only on the Warfield Zone.

 

The Black Pill: Part Two

Just to recap, we discover that Monica has seen the beauty of the black rose and get away from the toxic relationship she had with Kenneth. She created a better for her and Jeremiah, Monica and Kenneth’s son. She married a man named Shane, had three kids with Shane and created a fruitful life for Jeremiah. Years have passed, and Kenneth’s life is a mess. Kenneth is currently unemployed, an alcoholic and living with his parents. Kenneth only wants one thing in life, and that one thing is his son Jeremiah. He doesn’t have the best relationship with his son, and for him it’s because of Monica. She’s made it hard for Kenneth to be a father to Jeremiah, and he constantly pleads to Jeremiah to believe his truth. Eventually, Jeremiah was tired of hearing Kenneth’s truth and stopped talking to him. This hurt Kenneth more than anything. All Kenneth wanted was his son and have the opportunity to be a father to him. Well, the opportunity presented itself.
Kenneth is at the bar at midnight, has ten drinks, gets in a fight with a bartender and gets thrown out. As he walks to his car, he notices a male figure leaning on his car. Kenneth is afraid of approaching the figure and thinks about calling the cops. Then, the figure in a Southern accent says, “I mean you no harm, Kenneth. I’m actually here to help you. I am the man in the white suit.”

Now, it’s time to get into “The Black Pill: Part Two.”

Kenneth didn’t know what to say to the man in the white suit. Questions poured his mind like who is the man in the white suit and how did he know his name. Yet for some reason, Kenneth wasn’t afraid of him. He was just afraid of approaching him. He couldn’t see his face in the shadows, so he didn’t know if he was black, white or Hispanic. Kenneth also believed the man in the white suit when he said he meant him no harm. However, Kenneth still felt like he needed to be cautious with the man in the white suit.

Kenneth asks, “What do you want with me?”

The man in the white suit chuckles and says, “You know, a lot of people have seen me in a variety of different colors. I’ve mostly been seen in a red and black suit. A few times in a green, blue and yellow suit, but you’re an interesting specimen, I reckon. You’re the first person to see me in a white suit. Now, I don’t know how I feel about that, but I am a fan of new experiences. I reckon we’re gonna have a fun, interesting time together.”

The man in the white suit smiles, and Kenneth can see his shiny, white teeth in the shadows. He still cannot see his face. Then, Kenneth wonders if he’s talking to the Devil himself. He says, “Are you—

The man in the white suit interrupts, “No, I am not the Devil. I do get that a lot with people who see me in a red and black suit, but I quickly assure them that I’m not the Devil. And I’m not an angel either despite the white suit. Truthfully, I am something else.”

“What are you?” Kenneth asks.

The man in the white suit laughs and replies, “A mystery. I know who I am, but it won’t matter to you. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, son.”

“Try me,” Kenneth says.

The man in white suit’s smile widens, and he says, “Believe me, you don’t want to know. However, you are a rare specimen, and I reckon I just might have to tell you who I am depending on the choice you make tonight.”

“What choice?” Kenneth asks.

“Follow me and find out, ” the man in the white suit says.

The man in the white suit starts walking with his red cane, and Kenneth is compelled to follow the man in the white suit. As they’re walking, Kenneth tries to see the color of his skin. However, it’s too dark, and he’s too drunk to tell. Kenneth is struggling to walk and follow the man in the white suit, and he starts stumbling. The man in the white suit turns to look at Kenneth, smiles and says, “Don’t worry, Kenneth. You can lean on me for support.”

Kenneth leans on the man in the white suit, but he quickly finds himself tired. He finds himself not walking but floating. He looks up at the man in the white suit and sees a smile across his face. Why is the man in the white suit smiling? Then, he closes his eyes and drifts into sleep.

Ten seconds later, he wakes up in a room. It’s a small room with an old TV set, and a bookcase with three books in it. A white, gray and black book. There’s a red door to his right, and he finds himself seated in a red chair. Across from him is a coffee table and a white chair. He looks to his left and finds the man in the white suit staring out of the window. The only source of light came from the window. Kenneth asks where they are, and the man in the white suit responds, “It doesn’t matter.”

“Well, what time is it?” Kenneth wonders.

“It doesn’t matter,” the man in the white suit replies.

“Well, what does matter?” Kenneth wonders.

The man in the white suit turns around, smiles and says, “Now, that’s an interesting question.”

The man in the white suit starts pacing and looks at the books in the bookcase. He stops at the bookcase and picks up the white book. He opens it and flips through the pages. He smiles at them and says, “You know, I find myself thinking about an interesting movie at the very moment. Can you guess the movie, Kenneth?”

Kenneth couldn’t guess the movie. The man in the white suit chuckles and continues, “I’m thinking about the movie The Matrix. It’s honestly one of my favorite movies ever. One of my favorite moments in this movie was Morpheus presenting these two pills to Neo, a red and blue pill. The blue pill would keep Neo in the Matrix, while the red pill would take Neo out of the Matrix. Morpheus needed Neo take the red pill because he was the One. Neo would be the one to save Zion from the machines. However, Morpheus still had to give Neo a choice simply because of free will. He couldn’t alter Neo’s choice, but then he would be ruining Neo’s fate and/or destiny. Morpheus had to have faith that Neo would make the right choice.”

The man in the white suit puts the white book down and picks up the gray book. He opens it and flips through the pages. Then, he says, “That’s what life is honestly. It’s many things, and it’s open to interpretation, I reckon. Faith, destiny, fate and free will. Everyone’s different when they go through me because again it’s open to interpretation. For you, life is about free will, a series of choices. You can choose to quit drinking whenever you want to. You can choose to get a job whenever you want to. You can choose to leave your parents’ house whenever you want to. However, you don’t have the choice to choose whether or not your son lives with you or not. You have no control over that. At least, not until now.”

The man in the white suit closes the gray book and places it back where it was. He grabs the black book, walks over to Kenneth’s direction and sits in the white chair across from Kenneth. Then, he places the black book on the coffee table. The man in the white suit reaches into his pocket and pulls out two pills. A white pill in his right hand and a black pill in his left hand. He presents them to Kenneth, and Kenneth finds himself staring at the pills.

The man in the white suit looks at Kenneth and whispers, “These are your two choices. You take the white pill, you are guaranteed your son. Your son will live with you, be yours and give you the opportunity to be the father you want to be. You take the black pill, you are guaranteed sobriety, a house and a job. You will never want alcohol again in your life, you’ll have a home you can call your own and a job that will provide you a steady income. The choice is yours. Which pill do you want? The white pill or the black pill?”

This is the end of “The Black Pill: Part Two.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

Next week, I will be sharing part three on Tuesday and part four on Thursday.

 

The Black Pill: Part One

More than 20 years ago, Monica was in an abusive relationship with a man named Kenneth. He was an alcoholic that would get drunk and angry with Monica, and it was hard and exhausting being with Kenneth. For Monica, it was complicated to leave Kenneth because they had Jeremiah, their son. She didn’t want Jeremiah to grow up without a father, so she accepted the alcoholism, the anger and the deceit that came with Kenneth. Then, everything changed with Monica on a fateful day when she was on a bus presented with a black rose by a little girl in a yellow dress.

The little girl in the yellow dress gave couples and the bus driver red roses, but she chose to give Monica a black rose. Monica was the only black person on a bus filled with white people, and she didn’t understand why she was the only one presented with a black rose. She found it to be offensive and refused to accept it. When Monica got home, Kenneth was sober and spending time with Jeremiah. This made her happy. Later on that day, Kenneth decided to go to the bar with some friends. Monica objected, but Kenneth went anyways. Then, Monica received a call from her childhood friend and cousin Matthew, who wanted to come over and share some news with her. Matthew came over and told Monica that he was proposing to Bella. Monica was happy for her cousin and congratulated him. They talked for a while until Matthew decided it was time for him to leave. Monica would open the door for Matthew and hug him in the doorway. In the shadows, Kenneth was there. He was drunk and thought Monica was cheating on him. When Matthew was out of sight, Kenneth would attack and assault Monica for cheating on him. Luckily, Matthew wasn’t far away, and he was able to put a stop to Kenneth nearly killing Monica.

Monica woke up in the hospital, and she was confused. She couldn’t believe that Kenneth physically hurt her, and all she could do was cry. Monica didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know what was best for her and Jeremiah. She looked to her right and found the black rose next to her. Instead of refusing it like she did on the bus, she accepted it. Monica embraced the black rose and realized its true significance in her life.

Monica had seen the beauty of the black rose, and she created a better life for her and Jeremiah. She ended up meeting a great man named Shane, and she ended up marrying him. They’ve been married for years and ended up having three children together. Shane was a great father figure for Jeremiah and helped shape him into the man that he is today. Life is good for Jeremiah and Monica. However, one must ask about Kenneth? What has become of him in all these years. Did Kenneth’s life get better or worse? Sadly, it only got worse for Kenneth.

Kenneth is currently living with his parents, and he has been unemployed for months. His father pushes him to get a job and start paying rent. Kenneth always claims that he has a few jobs lined up, and he’s just trying to figure out what’s a good fit for him.
Kenneth is still an alcoholic, but he claims that he can quit whenever he wants to. He just believes that it’s not necessary to quit drinking.

However, the one thing that is a problem for him is the relationship he has with his son Jeremiah. He doesn’t have the relationship he wants with his son Jeremiah, and he blames Monica for that. Monica and Shane chose to move three hours away from him making it impossible for him to see his son. Every chance Kenneth gets, he tells Jeremiah that Monica and Shane were just spreading lies about him. He claims that him and Monica would’ve worked things out if Shane didn’t come along. For Kenneth, Jeremiah is better off with him than Monica and Shane. After all, Jeremiah is his son, and he needs Jeremiah close by him to be a father. Every time they talked, Kenneth was always trying to convince Jeremiah to live with him and his parents. He never learned anything about Jeremiah’s life. It was all about selling the idea of living with him. It’s what Kenneth wanted. He wanted the opportunity to be a better father for Jeremiah, but it started with Jeremiah living with him. However, Jeremiah didn’t see it that way. His life was great with his mom and stepdad, and he didn’t see the benefits of living with his biological father. Eventually, Jeremiah was tired of hearing Kenneth’s truth and stopped talking to him. This hurt Kenneth more than anything.

All Kenneth wanted was his son. He wanted Jeremiah to live with him and realize the constant lies Shane and Monica spread about him were false. He was a good man, and he just needed Jeremiah to live with him. That’s all he wanted. He just wanted his son. He could easily be a great provider for Jeremiah, but he just needed the opportunity. Well, the opportunity would present itself to Kenneth.

It’s midnight, and he’s at the bar making a call to his son. He has had at least six drinks in his system. He knows that Jeremiah will not answer him. So, he leaves a voicemail talking about how much he loves him and hopes he’ll give him a call back. Then, he has four more drinks, and he tries to get another drink. However, the bartender refuses to give him more to drink. Kenneth asks why, but he looks at the bartender up and down and realizes that he’s white. Kenneth comes to the conclusion that the bartender is being racist with him. He starts to get angry. The bartender tries to calm Kenneth down and explain that he’s getting too drunk, but Kenneth ends up punching him across the face. The bartender falls down, and security immediately approaches Kenneth and throws him out the bar.

Kenneth hits the ground face first, and he’s in a lot of pain. He struggles to get up and starts to limp towards his car. As he approaches his car, he notices a male figure leaning on his car. This figure is wearing some nice white shoes, and it looks like a nice white suit. He has a red cane with a white handle, and he’s wearing white gloves. He also has a white hat on, but his face is hidden in the shadows. Kenneth squints his eyes to potentially see this figures face, but it’s to no avail. He can’t see his face.

Kenneth is afraid to approach the figure and thinks about calling the cops. He reaches into his pocket to pull out his phone, when the figure in a Southern accent says, “I mean you no harm, Kenneth. I’m actually here to help you. I am the man in the white suit.”

This is the end of “The Black Pill: Part One.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

Also, check out the short story “The Black Rose” on the Dark Colors series, if you haven’t already.

I will be sharing part two of “The Black Pill” on Thursday.

Red Aviator Sunglasses, Part 2

When Matthew was in bed, he had a hard time falling asleep. All he could think about were the laughter, punching and kicking of his vindictive classmates. He wanted to cry some more, but he could not because he had no more tears left to cry. Then, his sadness turned to rage. Matthew was angry at Bryan, but then he became angry towards himself. He asked himself how he could allow a kid like Bryan to hurt him? Matthew was bigger than him, and Matthew knows how to fight. There was no reason for Bryan to beat and hurt him the way he did. Plus, he was only able to dominate Matthew because he had the help of others. Matthew concluded that he needed to attack Bryan and hit him where it hurt the most. Matthew, a smart kid, thought of a plan for the next day that would ultimately change who he was. After he had calculated everything in his head, Matthew fell asleep.

Matthew’s mom had woken him up for school, and he was ready to execute his plan. Matthew went into his closet to find something to wear. He saw his kakis and polos, and he looked at them with disgust and decided to where some jump pants and a Spider-Man t-shirt. Before he closed his closet door, he took one last look at the kakis and made the decision to never wear kakis or polos ever again in his life. As he looked at a mirror, he stared into it and promised himself that he would never make anyone, especially someone like Bryan, make him cry ever again.

Matthew arrived at school, and he could hear the snickering and laughter looming in the air towards him. He wasn’t phased by it, he was just focused on his mission. He made it to his classroom and saw Bryan sitting in his seat. Matthew saw Mrs. Smith and said hello to her. Mrs. Smith happily greeted Matthew back and watched as he went to his seating area. Matthew took the seat next to Bryan, and Bryan snickered and whispered,

“I hope you don’t mind that I took your seat, bro.”

Matthew quickly glanced and made eye contact with Mrs. Smith, then looked away and replied, “No, I don’t mind.”

Matthew looked sad, and Mrs. Smith could tell that something was wrong with Matthew. In class, Mrs. Smith noticed that Bryan was laughing and whispering things to Matthew throughout class, and it seemed to bother Bryan. How could someone be so mean to an angel, Mrs. Smith thought to herself.

All the kids were outside for recess, except for Matthew. He wanted to be inside long enough to prepare for the first part of his plan. He wasn’t nervous. There was this odd, calm fire within him that told him that he was doing the right thing, and no one could tell him any different.

He stepped outside, and he was immediately noticed by kids. Matthew searched for his target and found him within seconds. He saw Bryan surrounded by kids with his sunglasses on. Matthew started walking toward and kept his eyes on him. There were kids that were yelling and saying things to Matthew, but he just tuned them out. All he wanted was Bryan.

Bryan saw Matthew coming towards him, and he couldn’t help but chuckle at him. What was Matthew going to do/say to him? Bryan thought that Matthew wasn’t going to do anything because he beat him up good yesterday.

The kids opened the circle that they had created for Bryan to let Matthew inside the circle. Before Bryan could utter a word to him, Matthew in a flash punched him in the face. Everyone was shocked to see this, and Bryan was stunned. He tried to talk to Matthew, but he was interrupted with a right hook across the face and the red aviator sunglasses came flying off Bryan’s face. He went tumbling down to the ground, and Matthew immediately got on top of him and started swinging. Bryan sought support for his friends, but they didn’t do anything. They just watched and made noises as he was getting beat up by Matthew. He wondered if they were honestly his friends.

Thankfully, a teacher broke up the fight before it got out of hand. He saw a glimpse of it from far away and rushed within seconds to stop the fight. When he had broken up the fight, Matthew was furious because he had only gotten a few swings on Bryan and yearned for more time. He yearned for the time that Bryan and the kids had on him. Why couldn’t the teacher give Matthew more time? Thank God for the teachers, Bryan thought to himself.

The teacher put them against the wall and told them not to move an inch till recess was over. There was silence between Matthew and Bryan. Bryan was searching for his sunglasses, but he couldn’t find them. He was saddened that he couldn’t find them. He glanced at Matthew and realized that he had made a mistake in hurting him the way he did yesterday. It wasn’t fair to Matthew after he had been so kind to him ever since he came to the new school. Before yesterday and the incident, Matthew was his only friend. Bryan wanted to make things right between them. He needed to for his sake.

“Hey bro, sorry about yesterday. I shouldn’t have hurt you like that. It was mean of me and wrong. Are we cool?” Bryan asked.

Matthew looked at him, grinned and said, “Yeah, we’re cool.”

“Friends?” Bryan asked.

“Friends,” Matthew responded.

Suddenly, the bell rang, and recess was officially over. The teacher that stopped the fight came over to them and asked if everything was okay between them now. They responded that things were good, and he told them to get to class. Bryan and Matthew smiled at each other and walked back into the school together. Bryan was happy that things were good between them and thankful that he had made a friend. However, there was this weird feeling for Bryan in the back of his mind. He felt like he was forgetting something, but he wasn’t sure. On the other hand, Matthew was still fueled with anger. He wanted more. He wasn’t satisfied with Bryan’s apology, even though it was sincere. He wanted retribution. He wanted tears to fall from Bryan’s face, and he was going to get them because his plan was not over yet. He thought to himself as he went into his pockets and felt the silver linings of the red aviator sunglasses.

They were back in Mrs. Smith’s classroom, and Bryan offered to give Matthew back his seat. However, Matthew allowed him to have it. Mrs. Smith didn’t see Bryan offering Matthew’s seat back, but she only saw Bryan taking Matthew’s seat once again. As Mrs. Smith was teaching her lesson and facing her board, she heard a popping sound, turned around and witnessed Bryan on top of Matthew. She immediately rushed to Matthew’s aid and got Bryan off Matthew. She asked him if he was okay, and Matthew sniffled and replied that he was fine. Mrs. Smith demanded an explanation from Bryan, and he replied that it was Matthew who started the whole thing. Matthew cried that it wasn’t true. He said that Bryan slapped him across the face and tackled him to the ground. Mrs. Smith believed Matthew because he was the sweetest student that she had, while she saw Bryan as the worst. If it was up to her, she would’ve expelled Bryan. However, Mrs. Smith had play by the rules, and so she took them to the principal’s office.

When they had arrived at the principal’s office, Mrs. Smith explained everything to the principal. She explained to the principal the incident and how Bryan has been nothing but mean to Matthew. Bryan discussed how he and Matthew fixed everything today, which made no sense to the Mrs. Smith or the principal. Finally, it was Matthew’s turn. Matthew said that things were terrible with them. Matthew explained yesterday in detail, and Mrs. Smith and the principal were horrified. They asked Bryan if the events yesterday were true, and Bryan tried to deny it but for some reason he couldn’t. He didn’t understand why it was hard for him to lie. He had no choice but to confirm the truth to Mrs. Smith and the principal.

They were horrified by Bryan and could not believe it. However, the principal needed to know more. The principal looked at Matthew and asked him if Bryan was lying about him starting the fight in Mrs. Smith’s classroom. Matthew knew the truth. He knew that Bryan was telling the truth

In Mrs. Smith’s classroom, Bryan and Matthew were joking about the fights they shared in class. Matthew said that he had power of Bryan, but Bryan explained that he had speed on him. Then, Bryan said to Matthew that he could knock him out. Matthew saw his opportunity, made a popping noise and tackled Bryan to the ground. Then, he rolled Bryan on top of him just in time for Mrs. Smith to be deceived.

It wouldn’t be a struggle for him to lie to the principal, no matter how much the principal looked into Matthew’s eyes. Matthew had his right hand in his pocket with the sunglasses and felt the shades, as he was lying about Bryan attacking him in Mrs. Smith’s classroom. There was a long pause after Matthew had finished fabricating his story to the principal. The principal stared into Matthew’s eye, and Matthew did not shy away from the battle that he was having with the principal. Eventually, the principal reluctantly gave in to Matthew.

The principal ended up severely punishing Bryan by suspending him for ten days. This destroyed Bryan. Bryan was scared to be home with his father. He knew that his father would be angry with him getting suspended in his first few days of school.

He pleaded, “Please don’t suspend me. I can’t be home. I can’t be home. My dad is going to kill me. Please don’t suspend me.”

Matthew delighted in seeing Bryan crying and begging for forgiveness. It was satisfying and pleasing to his soul. Matthew had gotten what he wanted, but there would be a suffering far worse than Matthew’s waiting for Bryan.

The next day, Matthew was alone at recess enjoying his victory over Bryan. He marveled at his new image in recess as kids were afraid to go near him. His lies and deceit spread into him like a virus, and he was content with this because it made him stronger than he ever was. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the sunglasses. He put them on and saw a whole, new, red world. He looked around and saw kids differently in the playground. Matthew looked at the trees and noticed that the leaves were extremely dark with the red sunglasses. Matthew now understood why Bryan had a distorted view of him. Nevertheless, Matthew enjoyed his new vision of the world, thanks to his red aviator sunglasses.

Red Aviator Sunglasses, Part 1

It was the fourth grade for Matthew, and he was having a hard time making friends in elementary school. He tried his best to fit in with most of the kids in elementary, but it was impossible for him to do so. He was too “different,” and most kids despised him. Matthew was able to make a few friends here and there, but for the most part he was an outcast. Kids looked at him with disgust, and he didn’t know why.

One day, a new kid named Bryan came to Matthew’s elementary school. Most students could tell that Bryan came from a poor household. He had ripped jeans, and his shirt was stained and had holes in them. All the students immediately liked him. However, they noticed that there was something unique and interesting about Bryan that made him stand out. He was wearing red aviator sunglasses. The red aviator sunglasses with a silver lining had a clean look to Bryan and added a certain regal look to him. He was instantly royalty at his new school, and the kids could not help but adore him.

Bryan happened to be in Matthew’s class. The teacher, Mrs. Smith, introduced Bryan to the class and told Bryan that he had to take off his glasses. Before he did, Bryan looked around at all his classmates, and he immediately had a distaste for Matthew. Matthew was wearing a nice polo shirt and some kakis. When Bryan took off his glasses, Mrs. Smith told him to sit next to Matthew, and he reluctantly did so. Matthew quickly introduced himself to Bryan.

“Hi, I’m Matthew, it’s nice to meet you,” Matthew said.

Bryan took another look at Matthew and noticed that there was something different about him. Matthew seemed normal to him. Even though nothing had changed with Matthew, Bryan had a hard time looking at him with disgust. Why was this?

Bryan didn’t say anything back to Matthew because something told him to keep his distance. There was just something odd and unsettling about Matthew.

Mrs. Smith passed out math sheets that had multiplication problems on them. She told them to work on the problems and turn them in when they were done. This worried Bryan. He wasn’t really good at math, let alone multiplication. He looked around him and saw that virtually all the kids around him were going through the math problems with ease. Bryan started feeling uncomfortable looking at the problems and wanted to run out of the classroom immediately. Meanwhile, Matthew finished all of his math problems and saw that Bryan was struggling with his. Matthew decided to help him.
Matthew asked, “Hey, do you need help with the math problems?”

Bryan gladly accepted help from Matthew, and he was thankful that Matthew was also teaching him how to solve multiplication problems. He noticed that kids were giving Matthew a hateful look, but he didn’t understand it. It confused him as all he saw was Matthew being helpful. Mrs. Smith saw Matthew helping Bryan with his math problems, and she couldn’t help but smile at the kindness of Matthew. He was always such a sweet, helpful boy to anyone, Mrs. Smith thought to herself.

After they were done answering questions, Matthew and Bryan started talking to each other, sharing laughs and getting to know each other. All the while, Matthew was thrilled because he had thought that he was getting a new friend.

During recess, Bryan put back on his red aviator sunglasses, and he was a shining star once again. A crowd of kids surrounded Bryan, and he welcomed it. He welcomed their praise, love and admiration as he was a kid with red aviator sunglasses. Bryan was deemed popular on the spot by the kids, and it meant so much to him.

However, he noticed something odd beyond the crowds of kids surrounding him. He noticed that Matthew was standing in a corner content with himself. Why was he content with being alone? Did he think that he was better than everyone else? Did he not think that Bryan’s sunglasses were cool? He looked at Matthew once more and realized why he felt the things that he felt. He saw Matthew through his red aviator sunglasses, and he knew that he had to do something to appease the hatred that he felt for Matthew. The kids saw him staring at Matthew, and they were in disgust with Matthew as well.

One kid said, “Yeah, we can’t stand him, either. Someone needs to teach him a lesson.”

The other kids agreed with the statement, and Bryan said, “Yeah, definitely.”

So, Bryan told the kids to follow him as he was marching towards Matthew. As he was getting closer, Bryan saw immediate terror on Matthew’s face. He couldn’t help but smile at this. The kids formed a circle around Matthew, and Bryan was face-to-face with Matthew. Matthew tried to ask what was going on, but before he could even utter such words, he was pushed by Bryan. Matthew stumbled at first but then he quickly regained his balance. He was pushed again by Bryan, but someone ended up tripping Matthew, and he ended up on the ground. Bryan and other kids started punching and kicking him on the ground, and Matthew was barely himself. Then, one of the other kids ended up getting on top of Matthew and pulling off his nice polo shirt. The shirt got to Bryan, and he decided to spit on it, step on it, ball it up and throw it in a trash can nearby.

Bryan looked at Matthew’s kakis, spat on them and yelled, “You think that these pants make you better than me. You ain’t nothing.”

Kids were laughing, and teachers ignored what was right in front of them.

One kid said, “Hey Bryan, you know that there’s some more trash on the ground, right?”

Bryan chuckled and responded, “You’re right, bro. I gotta throw trash away, I can’t just leave it on the ground.”

So, two of the kids ended up picking up Matthew, taking him to the trash can and throwing him in it. There were tears that were coming out of his eyes, and he tried his hardest to stop the tears from falling down his face, but it was impossible. He had to cry. There were kids surrounding the trash can, looking down at Matthew and laughing at him. However, he could only see one kid laughing and taunting him, and it was Bryan, the kid with the red aviator sunglasses.

Matthew walked home beaten up, bleeding and defeated. He wondered why teachers didn’t help him, but he quickly took one look at himself and understood the reason.

When Matthew got home, his parents saw the state that he was in and immediately asked him what happened. He told them everything that had happened to him, and they couldn’t believe it. How could someone hurt their sweet, innocent child? They were outraged that no teachers stopped the fighting, but they understood the reason. Matthew’s parents told him that he needed to defend himself, and if it happened again then they would go to the school. However, Matthew saw things differently. He wanted to do more than just defend himself.

Purple Sprinkles on a Vanilla Ice Cream Cone

It was around 9:00 p.m. on a Friday, when Matt and Jake were at the park playing basketball. They had played a few one-on-one games together, and each time Matt won all of them. Jake joked that Matt won for obvious reasons, and Matt couldn’t help but laugh at this. After they were done playing basketball, they sat down, talked and laughed with each other.

As they were walking away from the park, they noticed two figures in the dark were walking towards them. At first, Matt and Jake were hesitant to walk, until they realized that the figures were two girls. One was a blonde, and the other one was a brunette. When they walked past the girls, Matt made eye contact with the brunette. She smiled at him and continued walking the opposite direction. Even though it was dark outside, Matt could see there was a light inside her. There was something special and authentic about her. She was a true beauty. He could feel it, and he knew that he couldn’t let her get away. So, he stopped walking, turned around and yelled, “Hey, what’s your name?”
The brunette turned around, smiled and yelled that her name was Claire. Then, her friend introduced herself as well and yelled that her name was Sam. Jake pulled Matt to the side asked what he was doing. Matt whispered that he wanted to get to know Claire, and Jake understood. Matt wanted him to distract Sam, while he had a little alone time with Claire. Jake agreed to help Matt and be his wingman.

Matt and Jake walked towards the girls and talked a little bit with them. They found out that they went to the same school together. Eventually, Matt and Claire were able to walk together alone, while Jake was with Sam. There was an instant spark between Matt and Claire. They connected with each other in ways that couldn’t be explained. Matt saw the light clearly that was inside of Claire, but he wondered what she saw. As Matt and Claire were walking, they found themselves in front of Sal’s Ice Cream Shop. Matt explained that he loved the ice cream there and couldn’t get enough of it. Claire informed Matt that she works at the ice cream shop. Matt was excited to hear this and joked that she could give him some free ice cream then. She laughed and said, “That’s not how it works, Matt. You have to earn free ice cream.”

Matt smiled at her and said, “Ok, I’ll earn it. When’s the next time you work there?”

She giggled and responded, “I work tomorrow from 3-9.”

“Ok, I’ll swing by tomorrow at around 8:30, then afterwards maybe we can hangout here in the park again. Just me and you,” Matt said.

She got a little close to Matt, smiled and said that she would like that. Matt was happy to hear this.

When they made it back to their friends, Jake and Sam were ready to leave. Sam and Claire went away, and Claire waved goodbye to Matt.

The next day, Matt was constantly thinking about Claire and couldn’t wait to see Claire at Sal’s Ice Cream Shop, but he was nervous. Matt was always nervous and anxious about things. He texted Jake to see if he could come with him to the ice cream shop, and Jake was happy to be his wingman. Matt was relieved and thankful to have Jake as a friend. It was nice to have a friend, Matt thought.

Matt and Jake were in the park playing basketball, when Jake noticed that it was 8:25 p.m. Jake told Matt that it was time to go to Sal’s Ice Cream Shop, but Matt was having second thoughts. Matt was scared of being around so many people, especially at night, but Jake assured him that everything would be fine. Jake had Matt’s back. Matt reluctantly believes Jake, and they start walking to Sal’s Ice Cream Shop.

When they arrive at Sal’s Ice Cream Shop, it’s extremely crowded. There are a lot of people around the shop, and they give Matt a weird look. A few older people murmur about Matt, but he tries to not think about them and is only focused on seeing Claire. Jake and Matt stand in line, and Matt is both nervous and excited to see Claire. As they got closer to the windows, Matt catches a glimpse of Claire. His heart skips a beat. Lights were shining on Claire, and he couldn’t help but notice how beautiful she truly was. When Matt and Jake made it to the windows, Jake went to a window with one girl, while Matt went to Claire’s window. Claire was excited when she saw Matt. She gave the most perfect smile to Matt. Claire and Matt shared a few giggles, until someone yelled at Matt to order something. They quickly stopped giggling, and Matt asks for a small, vanilla cone.

Claire then said, “Wait, don’t get that. You should get a small, vanilla cone with purple sprinkles on it. People around here think that it’s gross because of the way it looks, but it’s actually the most amazing thing ever. You have to try it, please?”

Claire adorably begged Matt to try a small, vanilla cone with purple sprinkles on it, and Matt loved it. He couldn’t help but smile at her. However, he didn’t think that it sounded appealing. It didn’t make sense to him.

So, he replied, “I’ll just stick with a plain, vanilla cone, but I might try it some other time.”
Claire does a cute frown, and Matt can’t help but laugh at her. She smiled back at Matt and asked, “You promise you’ll try it?”

Matt responded that he promised to eventually try the vanilla cone with purple sprinkles. Claire was happy to hear this and made him a vanilla ice cream cone. She handed it to him and said that she’ll see him after work.

Matt replied, “Sounds good, I’ll be waiting in the park for you.”

Matt and Jake went to the park and hung out with each other. Matt told Jake everything that happened at Sal’s, and Jake was proud of him.

When Matt saw Claire coming to the park, Matt immediately told Jake that he had to go. Jake said, “Oh, so I’m just a piece of meat that you can just toss around whenever you want?”

“Yeah, pretty much,” replied Matt.

They laughed with each other, and Jake told Matt that he’ll see him Monday at school.

Then, Jake left the park.

A minute later, Claire reached Matt in the park, and they were alone together on a starry night.

On Monday, as Matt was at high school and sitting alone at lunch, he couldn’t help but think about his time with Claire on Saturday. It was an authentic, wholesome time for him. That same day, Matt found out that Claire took the same bus as him. They sat together on the bus and talked and laughed with each other like they did on Saturday. He couldn’t believe that he never noticed her on the bus. Truthfully, he never really noticed people on the bus because he had always kept his head down.

For a few weeks, Matt and Claire continued to build a strong connection with one another. Claire was someone that Matt could really talk to about anything, and he was always appreciative of that. However, he could never tell the truth about himself to her. Matt kept himself hidden from her like he did with others.

Matt often visited Sal’s Ice Cream Shop to see Claire. Each time, she would plead for Matt to a vanilla ice cream cone with purple sprinkles. Each time, he would say he would try it some other time. He just wanted to make a safe choice when it came to his ice cream.
As things were progressing for Matt and Claire, Matt was nervous and bothered by it. He knew that if they were to be in a relationship, then she would find out the truth about him. Also, Matt didn’t want her to be a part of his world. Matt’s world was filled with hatred, loneliness, despair and self-pity. He didn’t want his world to corrupt Claire, a sweet and innocent girl. Most importantly, he was worried about others. He worried that people would make their lives hell because of who he is, and Matt wanted to do what was best for Claire.

Matt didn’t know what to do or how to go about pushing Claire out of his life. Matt didn’t want to tell her the truth because it would expose him. Maybe she would’ve been accepting and understanding of who he was, but Matt didn’t want to take that chance.

There was only one option.

Matt ignored her. He stopped texting and calling her, avoided her at high school and didn’t sit next to her on the bus. People at high school noticed that Matt was giving Claire the cold shoulder. One day, Claire decided that she wasn’t going to take it. Matt was sitting at his usual spot on the bus, the back of it, and Claire sat next to him. Matt was silent. He just looked out the window and paid no attention to Claire. He could tell that Claire was hurt by this. Then, an unfortunate thing happened next. A girl on the bus turned to Claire and shouted, “Can’t you see that he doesn’t like you. You’re embarrassing yourself.”

Claire was close to crying, and Matt felt bad about it. He wanted to respond and tell people on the bus that he actually truly cared about Claire. However, he looked around the bus and saw who he was surrounded by. Also, he realized that his silence would be the end of them potentially being together. Matt thought to himself that Claire deserved to be with someone better than him. He wasn’t worthy to defend Claire or be with her. It would be better to be safe than sorry.

So, Matt was silent and the people on the bus laughed at Claire. She was embarrassed and hurt that Matt wasn’t there for her. When the bus stopped at her place, she ran off the bus, and Matt could see that she was crying. It devastated Matt that he broke an angel’s heart.

A few years passed, and Matt is still devastated by the decisions that he made regarding Claire. He avoided Sal’s Ice Cream Shop and the park as much as he could, so that he wouldn’t see Claire. He often wishes that he could tell her the truth and explain himself, but he’s too afraid to. Instead, he chooses to live with regret and shame in his heart, yet he longs for redemption.

Now, Matt goes to Sal’s Ice Cream Shop and a little part of him hopes to see Claire behind the window. However, he knows that he’ll never see her because she doesn’t work there anymore. For Matt, it doesn’t hurt to hope. Then, he always orders a vanilla ice cream cone with purple sprinkles. It’s actually really amazing to him. Although he enjoys it, he is often sad because he waited so long to realize that purple sprinkles on a vanilla ice cream cone was an amazing thing in this world.

 

Blue Skittles

It was the summer time, and there was a 16-year-old boy named David that was walking alone in a town that he was unfamiliar with. It was his birthday, but he wanted to be alone. He had just moved to this new town with his family, and he was feeling depressed. He had suffered a great loss in his hometown and moving away really didn’t help him. In fact, it made things worse for him.

As he was walking, he noticed a candy shop to his right. He had a few dollars in his pocket, and he was kind of in the mood to eat some candy. He really didn’t think that candy was going to help with his depression, but it was worth a try.

He walked into the candy shop, and he was immediately greeted by Clarence, the candy man. Clarence was an old man with a youthful spirit inside of him. Everyone in town loved Clarence. In town, he was called “the sweetest man in town” not because he sold candy but because he was the kindest man with the purest heart.

“Are you new in town?” asked Clarence.

David told Clarence that he was new in town, and he told Clarence his name. Clarence smiled at David and gave him a handshake. It was weird for David. There was a familiarity, warmth and comfort with Clarence that made him uncomfortable, and he wanted to get out of there. He quickly asked if he could have some candy, and Clarence showed him all the candy he had. Clarence noticed that there was a sadness in David, and he wanted David to explore for himself. Clarence was studying David from afar as he was walking around the candy shop. He noticed David wasn’t interested in chocolate, caramel, lollipops, gummy worms and bears, sour candy, gum or taffy. Instead, Clarence found David stopping and staring at the skittles. This was interesting to Clarence. Clarence came to David’s side and studied the skittles with David.

Then, he asked, “Oh, do you like skittles?”

David reluctantly said yes, and Clarence said, “That’s good, you know skittles are my favorite too. There’s just something special and magical about them.”

He smiled at David, and David couldn’t help but smile back.

“Do you have a favorite skittle, David?”, Clarence asked.

David shook his head and said that they all taste the same. Immediately, Clarence responded, “Why that’s preposterous? As a candy man, I am insulted that you think all skittles are the same. I can’t believe my ears heard such ignorance.”

David couldn’t help but laugh at Clarence’s outrage, and Clarence couldn’t help but smile at David’s laughter. Clarence had a proposition David. He quickly went into the backroom and came out with a jar of blue skittles. Then, he got a bag and filled it with blue skittles. Once he was done, he presented it to David and said, “Just eat some blue skittles for one day today, and then tomorrow come back here and maybe have some different skittles tomorrow. Then, you might be able to see the difference of each skittle.”

“Why can’t I just have a blue skittle, then have a red skittle right now? Wouldn’t it be easier to just have a quick taste test right now?”, David asked.

“True, but I want you to just taste blue skittles and actually notice the flavor that’s deep inside the blue skittle because it is truly a special flavor,” Clarence added.

David chuckled at Clarence’s statement and agreed to just have blue skittles. David reached into his pocket to get his money, but Clarence quickly told him that there was no charge. David thanked Clarence and told him that he would see him tomorrow.

David came out of the candy shop with his bag of blue skittles. He couldn’t help but laugh about Clarence. Then, he quickly started to frown again. He couldn’t forget just like that.
As he was walking home, he took out a blue skittle and put it in his mouth. He tasted, and it was amazing to him. The flavor was so distinct and pure to him. It was weird because there was something familiar, yet exotic about the blue skittle. Something magical. David couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that he was talking like Clarence the candy man. He put a few more in his mouth, and he was happy. He was reminded of some special memories in his past that he had almost forgotten. He cried as he was grateful for the blue skittles. By the time he made it home, all his blue skittles were gone. His parents noticed that he was happier than usual, and it didn’t look like he was thinking about his loss.

The next day, David went to the candy shop and requested some more blue skittles. Clarence wondered if he wanted to try some different skittles, and David replied, “No, I don’t need any other skittles, but the blue skittles. They’re just different and special to me. You were right, I guess there is something special about each individual skittle, especially the blue skittles.”

“Of course, I was right, I’m the candy man,” Clarence joked.

They laughed with each other and talked for a little bit. Clarence then put some blue skittles in a bag for David, and David was almost about to leave. Suddenly, Clarence stopped him. David didn’t understand. Clarence reminded him that he had to pay for the blue skittles. David apologized for forgetting to pay. As he was going for his wallet, he quickly realized that he had left his wallet at home. David apologized and was going to give Clarence back the blue skittles he bagged, however Clarence stopped him.

Clarence stated, “Nothing in this world is free, David, especially good things. Everything in this world must be earned. With that being said, how do you feel about working for me?”

David was looking for a job in the summertime, so this was convenient for him. Also, he liked Clarence. Clarence reminded him of his good times in his hometown. David gladly accepted Clarence’s offer. Clarence was happy to hear this and told David that he would start tomorrow. He even allowed Matthew to take the bag of blue skittles home with him.

For almost two years, David was working for Clarence, the candy man. Those years were good to David. He was happier, and he got to eat all the candy he wanted. At first, he was just eating blue skittles, but then he realized he wanted more. He started eating red, yellow, green, purple and pink skittles. He tried orange skittles, but he didn’t like them that much. Then, he explored and started eating pretty much all the candy in the store. He ate and welcomed the chocolate, caramel, lollipops, gummy worms and bears, sour candy, gum and taffy in the store. Clarence assured David that he deserved and had a right to eat any and all the candy in the store. In those two years, Clarence and David were almost inseparable and became the best of friends.

On David’s 18th birthday, he decided that he wanted to have a birthday party with his friends and family. He didn’t want to be alone. Clarence was there, and he couldn’t help but smile at David being happy. However, Clarence had to give David some bad news. He told David that he had to close up the candy shop. David didn’t understand. Clarence explained that he’s been wanting to close it for years, so that he could relax and retire in Florida. It hurt David that Clarence was closing up the candy shop. The candy shop was everything to him, but he understood that Clarence wanted to rest and be happy. David congratulated Clarence and wished him nothing but the best. Then, David joked, “Looks like I’ll be done with blue skittles for a while.”

Clarence chuckled and responded, “Oh don’t worry, I’m keeping all the candy I have, including the blue skittles. I’ll send you as much as I can from Florida. But where you’re going to college, I’m sure that there are plenty of candy shops or stores to choose from that have everything, including blue skittles. You’ll just have to look around and find out.”

They hugged each other and went their separate ways.

Five years passed, and David learned that Clarence had died from leukemia. It was Deja vu for David. He was depressed and sad to learn that his old friend had died. David was ready to close himself off to the world and be alone. Clarence wouldn’t let that happen. He sent David a package a few days before he passed away, and it was something that David needed to see. When David received the package, he opened it and discovered that it was a big bag of blue skittles. He smiled at this. There was also a note in the package.

He grabbed it and it read,

“These are all the blue skittles I have left to give you. Enjoy them and never forget the magic and the special taste that the blue skittles have. Enjoy them and all the candy this world has to offer you.

-Your friend, Clarence the candy man”

He smiled at Clarence’s note and cried. He couldn’t believe that even while Clarence was suffering from leukemia, Clarence still had time to think about him and send him something that he truly needed. That was something to David, maybe love.

Once David stopped crying, he opened the bag of blue skittles and started eating some. Then, he looked up at the ceiling, smiled and whispered, “Thank you, Clarence, for the blue skittles.”

The Black Rose

It was a rainy day on a bus, and a little girl in a yellow dress had six roses in her possession. It was her and nine other people that were passengers on the bus.
There was an old, white, married couple on the bus. The couple was celebrating fifty years of marriage. Although they had a car, they wanted to ride the bus on their anniversary because they had met and fallen in love with each other on a bus. They had their ups and downs in their marriage for years but that was all behind them now. Their longevity was something to admire to the little girl in the yellow dress. So, she walked up to them, smiled and presented them a red rose. The couple gladly accepted the rose and thanked the little girl in the yellow dress.

Meanwhile, another couple on the bus was kissing and cuddling. They were a young, white couple enjoying themselves. It was hard for them to keep their hands off each other, they couldn’t help themselves. They were engaged to one another and couldn’t wait to share a future together. The love and passion that they shared was special, and the little girl in the yellow smiled at this and presented them a red rose. The couple gladly accepted the rose and thanked the little girl in the yellow dress.

Some other couple was staring at the affectionate couple, and there was a deep sadness within them. They had sadly lost that passion and desire for each other. They were a white couple that was married for almost nine years. However, they were going through some hardship. The husband had cheated on his wife. The husband’s affair lasted for months, and it wasn’t until the couple’s anniversary that the husband confessed to his wife about his infidelity. He was ashamed of himself. He cried and begged for forgiveness, but his wife couldn’t give it to him right away. She asked him to leave and give her space. He respectfully did so. Their children were confused about the whole situation. They begged their parents for answers, but they couldn’t give the right answer to ease their minds. The husband loved her with all his heart and wanted another chance to make things right with her. The wife loved him dearly as well and didn’t want to lose him. So, they went to therapy, and the wife ended up forgiving him. As they looked at the loving couple across from them, they were saddened that their passion was gone. However, they were hopeful. They knew that with time, patience, persistence and hard work, their relationship would grow into something more strong and beautiful. They held each others hand and smiled at one another. The little girl in the yellow dress smiled at this and presented them a red rose. The couple gladly accepted the rose and thanked the little girl in the yellow dress.

Also on the bus, just minding their business, was another white couple. They were high school sweethearts and had just graduated high school. However, neither would go to college because the girl had gotten pregnant. They had dreams and aspirations they wanted to achieve before having children, but it wasn’t meant to be. Due to the pregnancy, they had both planned to work full-time jobs and support their future child together. They were loyal to one another, and it would pay off for them in the future. In the future, they will be married, have two more kids, attend and finish college, and have prospering careers. Their future would be bright together all because of their loyalty to another. The little girl in the yellow dress smiled at them and presented them a red rose. The couple gladly accepted the rose and thanked the little girl in the yellow dress.
Finally, a black woman named Monica was sitting alone on the bus thinking about her two-year-old son Jeremiah and his father Kenneth. Kenneth and Monica were together, but it was complicated. Kenneth was an alcoholic, and Monica hated that. He would get so drunk and angry towards her on a daily basis that it was hard to see the man that she once loved. She desperately wanted to get away from him, but she thought she couldn’t because of Jeremiah. Monica wanted to do what was best for her son, and she thought that a father was better than no father. She had to accept Kenneth. She had to accept the alcoholism, the anger and the deceit that came with Kenneth. The little girl in the yellow dress saw Monica’s distress, walked up to her with a serious look on her face and presented her a black rose. Monica was deeply offended by this. Why does she get a black rose? Was it because she was black? Throughout the whole bus ride, Monica saw the little girl in the yellow dress give couples red roses and because she was black and alone, she deserved the black rose? It was insulting to Monica, she refused to accept it.
The bus stopped, and the little girl in the yellow dress smiled at Monica and placed the black rose next to Monica.

The little girl walked away from Monica and was exiting the bus. The bus driver, who was a happy and fulfilled man, smiled and told the little girl in the yellow dress to have a great day. The little girl smiled at this and presented the bus driver a red rose. The bus driver gladly accepted the red rose and thanked the little girl in the yellow dress.
Monica couldn’t believe what she saw. Why did the bus driver get a red rose, and not the black rose? It was mean, Monica thought. She looked at the black rose next rose and refused to see its beauty. It was ugly to her, and she refused to accept it. When Monica’s stop came, she left the black rose where it was and got off the bus.
Monica got home and saw Kenneth spending time with Jeremiah. They were smiling and laughing with each other, and Kenneth wasn’t drunk at all. In fact, he was sweet. It warmed her heart to see Kenneth at his best.

Later on that day, at around 10:00 p.m., Kenneth had decided to go to the bar with some friends. Monica objected this, but he went anyways. Monica was disappointed by this. At 11:00 p.m., she received a call from her childhood friend and cousin Matthew. Matthew asked her if she was home and if he could come over, and Monica told him that he was welcomed to come over. Then, Monica tried to call Kenneth to let him know that her friend Matthew was coming over, but he didn’t answer. Instead, she left him a voicemail letting Kenneth know that her cousin was coming over the house.

Matthew came over to Monica’s house at around 11:15 p.m. and was welcomed in the house. Jeremiah was excited to see Matthew and gave him the biggest hug. Matthew asked where Kenneth was, and Monica told him that Kenneth went out drinking with his friends. Matthew just shook his head in disappointment.

Anyways, Matthew told Monica that he had big news for her, and he had to tell her in person. Monica was excited to hear the big news. Matthew told Monica that he was going to propose to Bella. Monica got excited and congratulated Matthew. Monica loved Bella and knew that Matthew and Bella were meant for each other.

Matthew and Monica ended up talking to each other till about 2:00 a.m. Monica opened the door for Matthew and gave him a hug in the doorway. In the shadows, Kenneth was there. He was drunk and thought that Monica was cheating on him. He heard Monica tell the guy that she loved him, and this made him angrier. As Matthew was walking away from Monica, Kenneth charged at Monica and pushed her to the ground with all his force. Then, he got on top of Monica and started choking her.

As he was choking her, he yelled, “How could you do this to me?”

Luckily, Matthew wasn’t far away, and he was able to quickly put a stop to Kenneth nearly killing Monica. Kenneth ran away, and Monica had passed out.

Monica woke up in the hospital and was in a lot of pain. She was surrounded by Matthew, friends and family. She couldn’t believe that Kenneth physically hurt her, and all she could do was cry. Monica didn’t know what to do and didn’t know what was best for her and Jeremiah. She looked to her right and was surprised to see next to her the black rose. Instead of pushing it away, she embraced it. Monica now realized what she had to do.

Monica realized that she couldn’t accept Kenneth’s alcoholism and abuse, so she ended things with him. Monica refused to accept Kenneth’s toxic love towards her and Jeremiah, and she knew that there had to be something better for her and Jeremiah. Monica became a single mom, and she was worried about raising Jeremiah. However, her hard work and dedication to provide for herself and Jeremiah built confidence deep within herself. She loved herself again.

A few years passed, and she met a guy named Shane. Shane brought laughter, joy and pure love to not only Monica, but Jeremiah as well. Shane had just graduated college, and he didn’t have a job lined up for himself. However, Monica didn’t mind. Shane and Monica promised to be loyal to each other. Eventually, Shane would get his dream job, and so would Monica. It would just take time and patience.

Months passed, and Shane ended up proposing to Monica. She accepted his proposal. Around this time, there love had grown to be passionate and true. Their love was a true and pure fire.

They got married, and their marriage came with ups and downs. Problems and mistakes were made, but they were able to forgive and work together on their marriage. Their marriage has done nothing but grow stronger.

Today, they have been married for more than 17 years and that’s something to be proud of. They ended up having three children together. Their longevity together as one is beautiful and wholesome.

In truth, Monica’s happiness and marriage would not have been possible if she had not seen the beauty of the black rose.

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