Daughter of Life
A city was not granted colors by God, so it slept and woke on black and white and what is in between. An immigrant ship came from a sea she knew to a sea that she did not. A pitiless sea, its light did not wave at night to inspire , a sea that could only be noticed in daylight, while at night it totally disappeared like a desert. A ship came to a sea she didn’t know. The girl stepped out, gathering the hem of her dress, and wrote : This is My City in the sands ,then walked ashore.
On the first day, she hung a picture of a kid laughing on the mirror, a bride holding a bouquet on the closet door, and a mother and a child with a golden cake and one candle on the wall next to the bed. On the first, second and third days, she did not feel the absence of the colors because she was busy looking at the three pictures, but when she opened her window on the fourth day, she felt rust fill her eyes. The gray sun was lighting the sky, its faded radiance reflecting on the black, leafless trees, the street’s asphalt,the passing cars —white cars, black cars, and some that were light or dark gray. A tear dropped from the girl’s eye. She caught it quickly in her palm before it could fall to the ground. She shut the window and rushed to her closet, staring at her clothes that hung in sad silence. Her clothes were dripping their colors onto the closet floor drop after drop. The girl tried to collect the drops and gather them in her palm but they quickly changing to white before she touched them. She shut her eyes tightly but remembered something urgent and ran to the three pictures that she had hung on her first day. She was surprised to find they had kept their colors. She thanked God and thought of keeping them in a sealed envelope in her purse. But if the pictures had kept their colors until now ,there was no worry. She sighed and felt a little safety surround her.
On the following day, she had to go to the market to earn a living. At the entrance of the market, there was a dressing room. She walked in with her faded clothing. The shopkeeper would hand her a black cloak and she walked out. After that, she stood in the big square that stretched in front of her and learn to be wary. She read all the rules of work carefully . A white square followed by a black square. She should stay in her square and should not pass it. All the people that stand in front of and around you are targets. You have to get rid of them to go forward. In the meantime, you must avoid them knock you off in one second. A single mistake will cause you to get fired immediately. Day by day, she would learn how to maneuver the fear in her heart and would teach her tongue a neutral accent that would reveal nothing. She would do a perfect job and boldly hold her square.
Work started at sunrise and continued all day. At the end of the day, she returned home to eat and sleep. Days went by, and the girl worked hard and made good money. When she returned home, she always brought fresh fruit, but she had to shut her eyes when she ate it so she wouln’t see that the black apple, white grapes and gray mango. The girl did not know surrender. On her day off, she went to the nearby park and cut a tall tree when the guard was not looking and rushed out. When she got home she got a small knife and started working. The day will come, she said. On her weekends, she worked from early morning until nighttime, carving out the trunk of the tree. Day by day, the tree was becoming a big round cylinder. When she was almost finished, the winter season was getting close. Her enthusiasm grew. She was working every day after work, even though she was exhausted. Finally, the wooden cylinder was ready when winter came.
On rainy days, the girl took her cylinder and went to the roof, unconcerned about the rain drenching her black hair, white face and gray shoes. She searched in the sky among the thunder and lightning until she found it. She didn’t care about her shaking body. She only wanted to see the rainbow, wherever it was. The red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple. God, it was so beautiful.
She aimed her tall cylinder toward the sky and sucked in the air. The first time was unsuccessful. The tenth time was unsuccessful. But the thirty-first time, a blue drop fell from the sky onto the roof. Her heart was singing. She carried the drop carefully in her palm, ran to the sea, knelt before the water and prayed hard. She placed the drop gently into the water. A couple of hands’ width or so of the water turned to light blue. She went back home , and smiled for the first time since she arrived. Day by day, people were surprised by the little colorful drops scattered here and there. One of them swore he had eaten a strange apple that morning that he bought from a foreign fruit man who said the apple was red and sold it at ten times the usual cost, even though he had found it by luck in his shop.
Word got around in the city about the new, colorful things, and people became suspicious, surprised, sad, or happy. The government had to deny the story three times in the national paper and the rest of the media. But then it was forced to admit it when a yellow button appeared on the shirt of one of the news anchors. It announced that it was working to find a quick and bold solution to the problem before it spread. With spies everywhere, and the colorful dots spreading around the girls house, it was easy to find the source of the problem and to discover the supply of colors on the rooftop. It was big and easy victory. The girl was sent to trial on the following day after washing all the colors from the rooftop and erasing all the colorful drops found in the city . The trial was quick and within few hours security guards took her ID card and escorted her as she carried her little luggage. On her way back to the port , the girl did not forget to erase the words that she wrote when she arrived :This is My City . The girl stood on the shore next to a blue drop that had escaped the guards` eyes and watched the calm sea . A guard at the port stared at her furiously . She turned her back and kept staring at the silent sea , waiting for a ship