ABSENCE OF COLOR – CH 6: BLACK (CH 1-6)
Jay had finally gotten brave enough to ask Daisy if he could walk her home from work near closing time on a Sunday and he was thrilled when she said yes, he was kind of surprised too because Jay hadn’t been around a girl in a long time, actually since high school. Instead of only going the short distance to her apartment their conversation carried them to a park and back. Jay asked Daisy out for a movie which led to another date for supper then to a Saskatoon Blades hockey game and before he knew it they were dating regularly for two months when Jay asked her to be his girlfriend. It was at this point that Jay took Daisy to meet the family, his aunts and uncles since his parents had passed away; by this time Daisy knew all about his past and he hers. He also introduced Daisy to Red and they regularly hung out in Jay’s apartment becoming the three amigos. Daisy was just what the two guys needed her cheerful demeanor was so contagious the minute that they saw her, their faces lit up. She loved hanging out with the boys cuddling on the couch with Jay watching sports, crime shows, and action movies, Red sitting in the lazyboy chair.
As a couple they had been together nearly six months and Jay had planned a romantic dinner so he could ask her to move in with him with the thoughts of asking her to marry him soon afterwards if all went well. He told Red of his plans who was thrilled for his two friends but a small part of Red envied what they had together and wished he would meet a girl as special as Daisy. Jay saw her first and told Red that he was going to ask her out as soon as he got enough courage and although Red had a crush on Daisy the minute he saw her he didn’t want to ruin their friendship over a girl so he did what any good friend would do he stepped back. Red chuckled to himself thinking about the childish notion of who saw the girl first, but it was kind of true. When Red went into the bank Daisy wore a bright outfit as she did every time he saw her, a pale yellow blouse, bright yellow vest, and although he couldn’t see her bottom half he was certain it was, oh I don’t know, yellow. Even her name Daisy reflected her sunny disposition making him smile at the irony of it. She took her time serving Red and tried to pry out of him Jay’s big secret for tonight but he was in a daze day-dreaming about her being his when two men in black ski masks burst through the front door screaming for everyone to hit the floor and waving pistols around. Customers screamed as they duck for cover but as he fell to the ground Red immediately worried about poor Daisy. He peeked up to see one of them shove a gun in Daisies’ face; she was so scared her hands trembled trying to give the robber the money in her tray but the other guy told him to forget it, that the big bucks were in the safe. They made all the tellers come from behind the counter and lay down on the floor with the terrified customers. Daisy lay so close to Red he could smell her flowery perfume; and he vaguely thought that she probably smelt smoke on him, a hazard of the trade. He caught her eye and flashed her the best smile he could under the circumstances, and amazingly as scared as she was Daisy smiled back. In his heart he knew he had to protect her, his friend, his dream girl. Just at that moment all heads turned when the noise of the front door opening caught everyone’s attention and in walked a women. The lead criminal yelled at his partner for forgetting to lock the front door, and as Angel screamed taking a few steps back the idiot panicked raised his gun and fired several times. Red only saw a blur of movement and the next thing he knew Daisy was gone and lying in a pool of her own blood only a foot away. Angel was crying, holding Daisy in her arms, calling her name. Police sirens wailed, in the chaos someone had pushed the alarm, and the two would be robbers bolted out the back exit empty handed. Donnelly heard shots being fired outside, the police had killed one robber and the other gave up, Leif Green but Red ignored it and had slid across the floor to the two women. Officer Jay Jennings had heard the code 10-132 bank robbery and the address, and he sped to the scene, his stomach churned hoping Daisy was alright. Immediately crushing sorrow fell across his face, he felt as if he had been punched in the stomach, winded. There lay Daisy who had never harmed a soul, who was trusting and cheerful to everyone, why her of all people? She was being cradled by Angel who was crying her heart out. Tears quietly trickled down Jay’s cheek as he fell to his knees beside Daisy and held her pale hand. Red was on the floor with the women the grief apparent on his face. Despite knowing by the look of the gunshot wounds she wouldn’t make it Jay wished she would. They were supposed to start of a whole life together it just couldn’t end like this! Through tearful eyes Angel White prayed in the minute or two her sister had left. Jay whispered in her ear that he loved her just as Daisy’s bright yellow, sunny world faded out to evil black, the absence of color.