Shades of Red

She sees them both as red.

She didn’t know there were so many shades.

The primary colour she first learned about as kindergarteners can create purple or orange if mixed with another. It can be made lighter or darker.

She’s no artist. She can barely draw a stick figure. But for each shade of red a memory forms.

It starts off as rose. 

Romantic. Not too powerful. A slight dash of pink to soften. That’s how it started. His scent was welcoming just like the flower.

But the colour brought to mind the simple days. Where falling in love was gentle. It didn’t take long. She thought that it was almost embarrassing how immediate she fell. 

It was like tripping over your own to feet. Walking is simple but a simple misstep can send us tumbling down.

She felt safe.

It’s not until she sees scarlet does she remember falling deeper.

A tinge of orange added to the picture. It’s still light. Diving deeper into the colour to see feelings are beginning to develop. 

She has a habit of biting her lip. It developed from nerves only he could make her feel. When she closed her eyes for long enough she can see his gentle smile. She still admires the beauty.

Not even the world’s best meteorologist could have predicted the storm.



Like the fury between them. 

There’s some hope with that dash of rose still slightly there. But it’s fading. 

Their fights became louder. No matter how hard they tried they couldn’t communicate. It’s as if their ability to understand was lost. She’d flush with anger like a blush that spread. Crimson would cover his neck too. 

They dismissed the toxic air creeping into their little world. The hours grew longer between fight and apology each time. Clutching at the spark starting to dim they refused to let it go out.

Crimson is the family colour for the Lannisters. That show they’d would binge watch after every fight it seemed. We’d watch snuggled up or on separate sides of the couch. Little did we know that our wars were more sinister than anything A Game of Thrones could create. 

Without notice it’s as if maroon fogged what they had built.

Still fight there. Not much. 

Memories created without much sustenance. As if we were just floating people pretending to be there. Maroon is French. She wonders if he remembers France?

She almost wishes she could forget.

A city dedicated to romance saw them facing opposite sides of the room late one night. Her on the bed, him in the small hotel chair.

The view of the Eiffel Tower stood sadly out the window, almost teasing at what could have been.

The deep BURGUNDY reminds her of the harsh end.

The colour is brutally dark. Just like the goodbye.

She can remember staring into the glass of red numb. She swirls it around the glass as the wait staff whisper quietly about her. 

They’d created one heck of a scene. Yelling, crying and eventually silence. They had managed to stiffen the room. He threw money on the table before leaving.  

That moment might have been dark. At least now the picture isn’t so bleak. Now there’s the first sign of a future. Now she could finally find the happiness she was so deprived from. 

Her relationship with him had well and truly fulfilled its purpose.

Now she is Mahogany.

It’s still dark. Just with more light. 

That’s her now.

The red without him there to disrupt the colour. 

She was a little sad still but her step has some pep.

She left her sitting there broken. Perhaps he walked away broken too.

It’s as if someone added a little white to it all and brightness is beginning to return.

Maybe eventually someone will add another colour completely?

Maybe someone new will come along and see her in a more vibrant colour? 

One that isn’t so firey?

She didn’t blame him for wanting out. She just wished they’d realised sooner.

Holding onto blame is useless in any world. Hostility was heightened by the thoughts in their own minds. They never shared them, dulling the overall picture.

She blamed him. He blamed her. They blamed the world for sending them adversity. It all led nowhere. 

Holding onto blame defeats each and every purpose. She can’t blame him for making her feel low, hurt or unwanted. She did that. Her thoughts did that. As did his to him.

She’d yell after he had finished a tiring day at work. She’d blame him for making me feel useless. He’d lash out at the time she spent with friends. He’d blame her for making him feel irritated.

Feelings are constructed by thoughts. Thoughts are built by a response to a situation.

When she painted the picture using red and all of the variations there wasn’t much worth framing. The relationship wasn’t a masterpiece.

No art gallery would hang it and no billionaire would buy it. But she believed it’s their story. And now it’s hers as she moves on.

Life is a canvas waiting for her to take hold of the brush. 


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