C. J. Brightley
Copyright 2013 C. J. Brightley
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I always loved color. The blue of the sky before sunrise, so deep it felt like falling in. The fresh green of new young grass. Goldenrod. Leaves in fall, scarlet, orange, yellow. The red and pink roses at the gate of the Sendoa estate that I passed on the way to market.
It was only one street out of my way, and sometimes I’d pick a rose petal from the ground and take it with me, rub the softness between my dirty fingers. Even without looking, it felt blush-pink, and it left my fingers smelling sweet. Once I thought the guard wouldn’t see me and I started to pick a rose, but he called out, “What are you doing?” and I fled, my fingers damp with green juice.
Eight years old. Ma got sick and Da took to ale. My older brother Eliaso was apprenticed to a saddlemaker and Da said I needed to find something useful to do, to bring home something other than lice. Ma said he was being cruel, and he yelled at us both.