I peered out the foggy window with a hand under my chin, my fingers lightly stroking my face as I hunched over in my chair. The soft peach fuzz that scrappily lined my face began to rise and stiffen in place as I poked my fingertips against it. My heart pounded and I felt my breaths become sharp and stinging like the air outside. Any moment now… I was lightly mirrored in the window and I couldn't help but see shame in my gray eyes as they laid on top of a downcast face.
I knew her, but at the same time, I did not know her. I talked to her in my dreams, I held her in my fantasies, and I listened to her cries in my nightmares. I felt myself recoil and quiver at the recall of those dreams, those fantasies, those… Without thinking, I picked up the gray-covered bible from the desk in front of me and instantly flipped to Matthew 5:28.
"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
If Jesus was a woman, I'd fucking rape her. I slammed the bible shut and dropped it upon the desk as it landed with a thud. I crossed my arms and stared down at the gray cover.
There was nothing to gray, no depth; it was just gray and you could look at it forever and it would be gray. Time can't ever change gray. Old people are referred to as gray. My eyes are somewhat gray. Yet, there was color. I found color somewhere.
It was almost 3:00. I could hear the sound of a car growing louder by the second. A small smile began to curve at the corners of my mouth and I ran my fingers through my shaggy brown hair, ruffling it then straightening it, then flipping the strands of hair so that they rested just slightly above my eyes. Finally, I saw the front of the car appear at the end of the street. A blue 2005 Honda Accord that looked brand new despite its relative age; it steadily approached the driveway next to mine and slowly pulled in and came to a gradual stop.
The driver's door slowly floated open and one small white heel hit the ground, followed by another. The heels were hardly heels as much as they were small nubs wishing to be heels extending from the bottom of white flats. It was not that typical white, far from it; it was that expensive looking white, like an ivory but more lucid. It was that exotic white, the white that compliments everything. They set the tone for her perfectly white skin.
When it comes to complexity, there is the pale white, the creamy white, and the average white. She was all three of these combined with another sort of white that I can't adequately explain. The same white sparkled on her heels, a natural and rare phenomenon, that appeared to be limited to her. She was white, but I couldn't call her pale. I couldn't call her smooth or silky. But she was more than simply white, she was her own distinct shade of white.
As she stood up from her seat, her calve muscles rippled through her legs as if they were liquid. The rippling was a small, minute detail that her knees seemed to telegraph as she straightened up completely. Her legs were somewhat rounded and short but they had a supple shapeliness. A light pink skirt came down just barely above her somewhat knobby knees. A rosy, icy glaze lightly splotched her skin and the skirt heightened this effect.
Her hand gripped the top of the car door and the other went flowing through her hair, a gingery and cinnamon mix of soft reds and oranges. With a light push, the car door closed quietly behind her and she turned towards her front porch.
Her legs bobbed up and down, slowly and steadily; the autumn leaves underfoot carpeted the slick, frosty cement. I watched as her hind leg slipped forward and her front leg slipped inward and she slumped to the ground in a quick, audible smack.
A smack that hit me directly in the face and woke me up from my directionless gazing.
I bolted to my feet and the chair rocketed behind me into a bookshelf, knocking several books and pots off as I scurried down the steps. I stared at my dark, wooden door and with a deep breath, my hand twisted the door knob and the door flew away from me, slamming into the brick behind it with a crack.
I trudged through the multicolored leaves as she lifted her head, stirring a bit. Within a couple feet, I called to her but continued to stride forward.
"Hey! You alright?"
Within arms distance, I knelt on one knee and stared down at her. My heart was trying to punch through my chest and I heaved as my breaths were drawing shorter and shorter.
She rubbed her head and sat up to look at me. Her green eyes seemed flat and surveyed me as if I was made of cardboard. The wind picked up and the leaves scuttled across her skirt and legs that she deflected with brushes of her small hands.
"I'm fine," she said staring at the gash on the side of her knee. Blood dripped from it freely as she cupped her hands around both sides of it.
"You should probably get that covered up."
"I will." She grit her teeth as blood kept roaming from the wound.
I extended my hand and she grabbed it, wobbling up to her feet as blood ran down her leg. Her hand had the softest skin I had ever felt. She winced as she stood and grabbed at her wrist, her eyes looking intently at the ground.
"Hey, I have a first aid kit if you want to get that taken care of," I said with a hopeful gleam in my eyes; blue pearls now filled them instead of the grayness.
"Listen, don't worry about it, I'll be okay," the wind blew the hair in front of her face and she brushed it back behind her small ears. She turned her back to me and slowly limped towards her house.
My spirits fell like the temperature and I rubbed the forming bumps on the back of my arm.
"What's your name?" I said as my eyelids began to droop over most of my eye, suddenly feeling heavy. Suddenly, she was still. One foot was on the porch and the other behind her.
She flicked her eyes towards me like the flame of a lighter and I recoiled from the burst of heat. Her thin, lightly red brows narrowed together and her face scrunched up, lower lip slightly dropped.
"My name is stop fucking watching me."
She had smacked me again, albeit in a much different way now. Before it was a smack that caused me to look forward, now it was one that caused me to look down.
My eyes shifted to the side, the leaves becoming duller and more lifeless by the second. The wind was alive and the leaves were dead.
"You're beau-" Her door slammed shut.
I walked back to my home as if the Earth was a treadmill and I was pushing against the resistance. My hands buried in my pockets, my head hung, and my shoulders slumped.
I had left my door ajar and I grabbed onto the brassy knob then leaned through the doorway. I dragged my feet up the stairs and I looked at the broken pottery on the floor and the scattered books; some on the chair, some on the floor. I pulled the chair behind me to my desk and I sunk into it, my head hung so low my nose almost pressed against my chest.
In the distance, church bells droned. Looking out the window again, there was no more wind. The leaves were still. The morose, thick echoing of bells repeated over and over in my head until it was nothing but a persistent fuzzy static.
I averted my eyes to the bible, which lay innocently in the center of the desk; unmoved, untouched. It was still gray, just like before. It would always be gray. With my head buried in the center of the bible, tears soaking the pages, I realized.
Colors are gray.