Colors of Adolescence: White

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Sometimes, even the most common experience holds a special place in your heart:

A young girl thrusts open the gym door and leaves the frenzy of jump ropes and screaming children. The purple frustration of a girl struggling to secure her next grip on the vivid wall of painted rocks; the grey blotches of a tired kid panting as he seats himself from an intense round of duck-duck-goose; the passionate yellow of a boy simply too happy to run around—the colors of their adolescence shut behind her as she steps into the absence of colors. She darts down the empty corridor, through formidable silence interrupted only by her light steps, and slips into the restroom.

The water tumbles into the labyrinth behind her and she rises to leave. She presses her bony fingers against the cold tingling of the metal latch. But the lock refuses to budge. Chuckling at her unexpected struggle, she tugs on the stubborn latch, now warm. Sweat begins to trickle down her forehead and her laughter loses its gaiety, her breaths much shorter.

She cannot open this bathroom door—again.

She slides onto the toilet seat, surrounded by the whites of the tiles; the dull grey of the barricade; and the tarnished blacks of the stall.

She gazes around the stall for an alternative, her eyes stopping at the unusually low stall walls. Smiling to herself, she begins to climb onto the toilet top and prepares to throw herself over—only to notice her flailing arms cannot reach the top. But she quickly brushes off the defeat and seeks a new mission plan. As she looks around for clues, the light glowing through the door and the sullied tiles catches her eyes. She squeezes her small body against the cold surface, squirming her way to the bright whiteness.

Twelve years at one school, even longer in one city; such mundanity has enclosed me within uniformity and expectedness. Perhaps my experiences are so commonplace that my adolescence has been no more than a simple black and white. But within this palette, I’ve discovered the daily dose of small surprises and unexpected perspectives that have each added its new hue.

Who said the grey scale was an absence of colors—welcome to my colors of adolescence.

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