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Rated: ASR · Prose · Emotional · #1770338
A story about someone who finds strength in the smallest thing, and how she lets it go.
It was an insignificant thing. I’m sure it didn’t even take that many muscles or nerve endings. Maybe some day I’ll google exactly how many muscles it takes to turn your head to look over your shoulder. It might have been an insignificant thing, an insignificant view even, but it took my thoughts on a wild turn that became increasingly more significant as they developed.

What I’d caught sight of during my morning run was the sun rise. It was a sun rise like any other, the sky streaked with almost every color imaginable – from deep red to a pale blue – and the sun creeping along the horizon, just out of sight. What had spiked my interest was the fact that the one thing I’d loved about my home town on the coast of Oregon had been the sun rise. Just before the sun crept into sight and set the sky ablaze, there was a moment that the sky was neither black, nor blue, nor red, nor pink, nor anything.

The color could be described as gray, if one had to put a name to it. But in my mind it had always been nothing. It wasn’t night anymore, but it wasn’t day yet. I wasn’t asleep anymore, but I wasn’t awake yet. I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t sad yet. I just existed in that strange gray moment before the sun could be seen all the way on the west coast. For that one moment I didn’t need to be anything.

It’s a hard concept to explain, the feeling of just existing. I wasn’t anyone’s daughter, so no one was expecting me to walk with my back straight and always ‘mind my manners’. I wasn’t anyone’s sister, so no one was expecting me to fight with them at breakfast over the last biscuit. I wasn’t anyone’s friend, so no one was expecting me to call them the second Bobby Meuler asked me to the homecoming dance, or invite them to my ‘Super Sweet Sixteen’ party. I wasn’t anyone’s student, so no one was expecting me to fall asleep in class and receive a detention for my rudeness. And I definitely wasn’t anyone’s girlfriend, which thankfully meant I got to keep my pants on.

But then the sun would shift into view, ending the grayness with an explosion of color, and likewise my moment of piece would explode and reality would sink back in. Having that one brief moment every morning where I was one hundred percent my own person was the one thing that kept me sane throughout high school. And the first morning I spent in Atlanta, Georgia, I looked for that gray moment. I turned my face to look out the window just as the last black of the night was shifting out of view. But the black immediately faded into a spectrum of color, like a rainbow had sneezed all over the morning sky. There was no gray moment, not even a fraction.

I pretended it didn’t bother me at the time. ‘Oh, well’ I thought, and let it slip out of mind and slide into my subconscious, landing with a heavy ‘thud’ that would leave an eternal bruise. Whenever someone would ask why it took so long to get used to Georgia, I would always have an excuse ready. The heat, the humidity, and probably a thousand other things could be blamed. But if I was being honest with myself it was that gray moment that I was having trouble letting go of. Just like a little kid could never imagine life without his precious blankie, I had never thought about life without my precious gray moment. But every kid eventually does let go of that blankie, and I had to do the same.

When I flippantly glanced over my shoulder and saw the sun rise, completely devoid of grayness, I smiled. I had let go of my crutch and I had not fallen down. The hand that had guided me through my roughest times was no longer there to lead me, but I hadn’t gotten lost. The gray moment had left me forever, and I was okay with that. I sucked in a deep breath of the sticky Georgia air and continued on my run, head high.

Word Count: 713

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