egyptian blue;

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"How are you feeling, Azura?"
My mother asked as she handed
her the cup of warm tea. Mother
had taken Azura in for good. She
had her own room, with enough
clothing and furniture.

"I'm hanging in there, Mrs. Ezra, and
thank you. For everything. I really don't
know how to thank you, and I really
don't deserve it."

"Oh hush, sweetie. All you need
to do is keep fighting for that angel."
Mother smiled at her warmly. "I've
always wanted a daughter-in-law,"
she winked, "And please call
me Grace."

I walked inside the room with a little

"I'll leave you two alone." Mom got
up to leave as she gave me a small

"Oh Charlie, look what he did to you,"
Azura got up and gently touched the
bruise on the side of my face. I flinched
at her touch but smiled anyway.

I pulled her down next to me on the
couch filled with way too many pillows.
I gently pressed the box onto her palm
and leaned against the side of the couch.

She raised her eyebrow at me and slowly
tore open the wrappings. A gasp came
out of her lips as the tears knocked behind
her eyes.

Locked behind bars, her tears were
fed up by being under surveillance. They wanted
to be free. Meek and monotonous as the sea,
her tears whimpered as their blaring waves
washed over her skin. Staining her skin, they
tainted her pale valley with ice. The jail's doors
shut out, but too slow, and the tears escaped
from their dungeon.

"Oh my god, Charlie..."

[ written on a ripped pad paper ]
I painted these for you,
each with a different shade of blue
because everyone has different
shades of blue,
your shades are just a little darker.

And there in the box lay, paintings
from every single day we both
visited that cafe shop. From the
first day I laid eyes on her, to
the last painting of her in the

And on the back of each painting,
written in small handwriting, was
three words of truth.

"I love you too, Charlie," she
gave me a kiss.

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