ABSENCE OF COLOR – Chapter 1: YELLOW

ABSENCE OF COLOR – CH 1: YELLOW (CH 1-6)

The Grady’s lived in Calgary, Alberta in a 3-bedroom townhouse on the south side the safer, cleaner side of the city for years now. Their mother was an art teacher where they attended school while their father was an accountant so it was no surprise that at home their mother was the catalyst for their dreams while their father was grounded in reality. When she grew up Daisy a blonde-haired blue-eyed young girl with freckles had always been the more optimistic of the two sisters. She was extremely trustworthy, so naively she believed if given the chance others would be good too. In essence she thought that people treated others the way they expected to be treated, with kindness, respect, and honesty. The siblings were very close to each other, not only because they were only a year apart but because they didn’t cave into peer pressure in regards to the vices instead they both became part of the cheerleading team and made a group of like-minded friends not blinded by a need to conform. The cheerleaders were a perfect fit for them both especially Daisy who’s glass was always half-full, she could be really annoying to those outside of her social circle but she didn’t care, it was her friends and family that counted. When her companions teased Daisy that they had to wear sun glasses when they entered her bedroom because it was completely decorated in yellow accessories or critiqued her bright wardrobe she knew it was in all good fun.

Her sister got a degree and became a social worker and Daisy a degree in Arts and Cultural Management. After she graduated Daisy moved to the north side of town against her father’s and sister’s advice to a one bedroom apartment within walking distance of work. Yes the area looked a little rough around the edges compared to her former stomping grounds but that didn’t mean it was all that bad did it? She only managed to get work at the city art gallery two nights a week and a bank for three but good old Daisy was still as optimistic as ever.

The first morning of her new job the bright yellow orb in the sky poured its warm light into her bedroom despite the thick curtains and Daisy groaned; but she smiled to herself and figured it was the best way to start the day, instead of unwelcome black clouds threatening rain. How could one be grumpy on such a beautiful morning? It made her even more cheerful than her already joyful self and when her canaries Sunny and Buttercup sang noisily from the kitchen chiming in with the blare of her alarm she chuckled. Slipping out of her yellow cotton nightshirt she jumped into a lukewarm shower, smirking at the yellow rubber duck on the tub ledge that her friends had given her as a joke; the duck wore a crown and Daisy named it Queenie, it made her grin. She turned the water off and reached for a large lemon-colored bath towel to dry off then after blow drying her short blonde hair she put on yellow eye-shadow and checked that the yellow nail polish she had applied last night was chip free. Trouncing towards her closet to pick out an outfit for work laughing at her predominantly yellow wardrobe, Daisy chose a white top with small yellow flowers on it, a solid mustard yellow skirt, and matching yellow heels. In the kitchen she sprinkled some food into little Goldies’ fish bowl, and before breakfast went out onto the balcony of her tiny one-bedroom apartment. There was a large potted sunflower in one corner and the window boxes held buttercups and daffodils, Daisy listened and watched for a minute as an industrious fat bumble bee performed his magic on the flowers. She went back inside to cut a grapefruit in half and make some toast and honey when finished she grabbed her lunch, a sandwich with meat and her favorite condiment mustard of course, a banana, and a bottle of lemonade, her mouth watered as she remembered that she was having corn on the cob tonight rolled in lots of butter. Daisy hurried out the door through the parking lot passing her yellow four-cylinder compact car that her father had co-signed and helped pick out. She wouldn’t need it for work because she was within walking distance but she’d need it to visit her father on the east-side of town and her sister in the south end. It was a bright, warm sunny day and she found herself taking in large relaxing breaths as she ambled along. But when she entered the domain of her new workplace a bank that was when Daisy’s bright world ended, inside the building had grey walls with no art hung up only bank advertisements, the typical black stanchions in a weave pattern controlled the flow of customers, a large wooden counter provided a barrier between the tellers and clients, the unarmed uniformed bank guard, and the big metal safe topped off the harsh institutional military appearance. It was only in the few loan offices that the regiment was loosened ever so slightly with a large potted plant in the corner, educational credentials on the wall and one family photo on the desk. Actuality the bank manager’s domain had the only half-hearted effort of decor that came into play; but like many men in charge of finances, he wasn’t concerned with providing customers or employees for that matter with a sense of comfort. The staff was a little formal but that was probably because they were busy and so was she through the two weeks training during which she realized that there was a rainbow of color right under her nose, and in large quantities, the money. Yes the world especially the United States may laugh at Canada’s colorful paper cash and even call it Monopoly money but at least you could easily differentiate a five dollar bill from a twenty so the last laugh is on them, Canadians would rarely be short-changed. It was a bit tedious being a bank teller and the only reprise was some of the friendly customers who were few and far between; though a bank regular Officer Jay Cobalt was a welcomed diversion from the drab environment. His blue police uniform brought out his piercing blue eyes even more. Daisy had served him so often that they knew each other by name now and he tried to time it in line even letting others ahead of him so she could assist him, she always cheered him up and her bright outfits made him grin. Daisy beamed as she counted out his cash chatting about the beautiful weather, which was just what Jay loved about their exchanges of light conversation, and then Officer Cobalt went on his way.

Illustrated by: Jason Hendrickson

DAISY 1