grey

by Ria Chaudhary, age 15
grey Ria is a freshman. Writing has been a major part of her life since she was very young, and is both her creative and emotional outlet. She writes for her school's literary magazine, Vertigo, and frequently receives recognition at competitions such as the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She is very excited to share her work with you.

“the type of tiredness that settles behind your eyes and doesn’t leave. / the type of quiet that twists your gut and unsettles your mind. / the type of moments that make you wish for an alternate reality.”

      

I.

the type of tiredness that settles behind your eyes and doesn’t leave.

the type of quiet that twists your gut and unsettles your mind.

the type of moments that make you wish for an alternate reality.

 

it’s not dark out, yet.

the sun hasn’t fallen asleep.

the sunset is colorless.

 

your world is monochrome,

your life colored by shades of grey,

blurring, blurring, indistinguishable.

 

your emotions faded and wrung out to dry,

worn through by the people who came before,

hand me downs that don’t quite fit right,

and the person in the mirror is not yourself.

 

perpetual dusk, perpetual dawn,

unreached potential and unused opportunities,

the feeling when the curtain is lifted

and the magic wasn’t real all along.

 

the sidewalk is endless.

the buildings are identical.

your eyes never near the horizon.

the pedestrians are like ghosts,

whispering in languages long since forgotten.

 

you are tired.

you’re just so, so tired,

and the darkness wins.

 

sometimes the colors come back.

sometimes the grey fades to black.

 

II.

the darkness whispers.

quiet, steady tones,

to the rhythm of your heartbeat.

 

your mind is blank and racing.

 

the nothingness gets stronger, more overpowering,

drowning out your thoughts

and ideas

and hopes

and dreams

into

nothing

nothing nothing

nothing nothing nothing

 

the void so loud you might as well be screaming

but your face is blank and your eyes are blank,

easily masked and easily masqueraded,

false emotions replicated through sounds and words,

everything exactly as empty as you.

 

you’re gone.

 

not a blank canvas, not a new start,

not the pure, pale white of literary symbolism,

swallowed by the type of endless grey that numbs your soul and your feet and your words.

 

so fill it-

fill it with books and music and art and work and friends

and anything you can get your hands on

because everything fades.

 

blank, empty, fading.

 

III.

the crowd is muffled and the colours are muted.

you can’t quite recall how many people are outside, or how you found your way home.

you can’t quite recall whether this is your home, your bed, your life.

maybe that’s the point.

 

maybe every now and then you have to hit mute on life and listen to the white noise,

the background static otherwise drowned out by your everyday living,

 

it’s almost peaceful, this lack of emotion.

you could stay there forever.

forever- forever’s a long time, you tell yourself,

but it doesn’t seem worth it to get up,

much less to go outside.

 

so you compromise and sit.

and you wait.

 

time ticks by

as you wish for the colors to come back.

 

IV.

i watch the colors swirl down the drain.

the neons and the pastels and the brights,

the shades that made the streets lively and the city interesting,

gone.

 

all that is left is shades of grey

and the constant beat of rain.

taptaptaptaptap

in time with my racing heart.

 

there is a simplicity to be found

in a world devoid of colour,

where all that’s left if shapes and silhouettes and essence.

a shadow of another world, maybe,

but there is beauty to be found in this reflection.

 

i see myself staring plainly back at me.

i see the potential in each colorless house,

i see what could be and what once was.

 

i am one with the rain,

i blend in with the shades of grey.

 

beautiful. simple. honest.

 

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