Grayscale is a series of short stories that look into the lives of others, seeing the world as they do, peering through the windows of their lives. Is it black and white? If you missed Part One, read it here. If you missed Part Two, read it here.
Today was hard. He wouldn't tell her that, though, she would worry. Moms always worried about everything. But, today was hard. Maybe tomorrow will be better, maybe tomorrow, the sky won't be so gray. "The storms will come, and they will pass, too," that's what grandma always said. At least, usually right after she said something about God being great.
I can't recall the last time he was great to me.
He was tired. Not physically tired, but the kind of tired you felt in your heart. The kind that suffocates, the kind that lays on your chest, stifling your breathing, and threatening to take your life. The kind that fills your head with thoughts and your eyes with tears. Tired. It's probably time to get up. He put on the clothes he laid out the night before, grabbed the coffee that the machine was kind enough to make while he was in the shower, and headed out the door. Oops, almost forgot. He grabbed his smile from behind the mirror. Its worn-in edges and chipper grin greeted his coworkers as he walked through the front door. What a beautiful day. What a beautiful day, indeed.
Some time passed. It passed slowly, like a train through a town that's known for people on the tracks. His hands made familiar motions. His mind thought the same thoughts. What a beautiful day. Lost without a purpose. To be fair, it was no different than the day before. No different than the one before that, too. Lately, he couldn't remember one day that seemed to be different from the rest. Am I ever going to make a difference? 5 o'clock, ticks the clock. Punch out time is the best time, indeed. That is, if you have something to go home to. What's it gonna be today? Pizza that will eventually take the money I have for my bills, or the same leftovers I've been eating for five days?
He chose the leftovers, and they were, indeed, the same ones from the day before, and the one before that, and the one before that.
The leftovers were bland like the show on the TV, it really didn't have a flavor, no story to be told. The moon howled and the streets glowed, they blew light into the windows and cast shadows on the walls. One of those shadows moved, and thought. Thought about the moments that he missed, about the opportunities that he let pass by, and the people he had never met. As he walked to his bedroom, he put on the familiar blanket of tiredness that laid on his chest every night. He laid down, put his head on the pillow, and closed his eyes. A single tear fought its way past his clenched eyes, and fell with a thud on the pillow. His whole body shook, and many hours later, for the first time, the world went black.