Flash fiction: Grey

I dreamed of you last night. Not sure what brought it on. It could have been my day, which was normal. I met you on a normal day. Do you remember it? I was in the cafe on Elm street and arguing with the staff there. You probably remember why. They’d put up my paintings too close to the window. The sun bleached the canvases. My cityscapes turned pale, the buildings painstakingly captured faded into echos of what they’d meant to me. The portraits were ghosts.

I thought no one would buy them. You were there, watching as the person behind the counter shrugged at my loss. I left after that, furious at them and at you for watching me.

A day later I went back to get my paintings, even ruined they were still mine. But they were gone. Someone, you I later learned, had bought them. Every single sun-ruined painting had been paid for and taken by some stranger.

I demanded a phone number.

We met and I asked you why you’d purchased ruined art. You said you found them wane, beautiful, and drained. I didn’t understand then. You asked me for a drink and I accepted. It was the first of many.

The dream of you came and went, leaving the feeling of your touch. When I woke I laid in bed, staring up at the ceiling. How many days did I spend in bed, incapable of leaving your side?

Our time together is hard to recall. I remember my work and the lack of it. Nothing I made possessed color. The people I drew looked from the page with hollow eyes and my cities were perpetually caught in fog. You loved the pale numb things and I couldn’t deny you. They filled my studio like mirrors of you and I.

I’ve kept the grey canvases, they help me remember you. They warn me away.

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