ii. LOOSE CHANGE

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IT HAD BEEN A WEEK AND A HALF'S TIME since Charlotte had her encounter with the brunette greaser on the bus. She thought of him frequently, mostly while in her Art class, or while she worked on some form of art. She went as far as painting an accurate portrait of him... one where he was all the colors she imagined him to be deep within. The colors of the soul that predicted everyone's personality. Charlotte herself wasn't sure what color her soul would be, despite being able to imagine what other's auras would be colored.

Charlotte took a step back from her painting and looked at what she saw. The boy's face was a lighter shade of red, his hair a brown, but everything else was black or blue... almost as though he had a bruised soul. Don't we all.

Charlotte suddenly remembered her mother's words before heading out for a night shift, that chicken was on the counter that could be heated up for her to eat. She wasn't that hungry for a chicken, her sweet tooth cravings begged for something greater and more pleasing to her taste buds than some dry chicken that might still be cold after being heated in a microwave.

After cleansing her hands of the paints, she used to color the brown eyed Greaser, who remained fresh as a daisy in her memory, Charlotte grabbed a few dollars from her wallet and walked out to the nearest gas station. She would have driven, but there was only one car between her mother and herself, given Charlotte's mother had a late-night shift, she had to resort to walking to the station.

Charlotte's mother named Alice with less bones poking through her head and faded red hair that could have made Alice look very beautiful in the past, would have had a blue mix to her soul with a faded orange for the loss of energy Alice, had. Charlotte remembered hearing stories told by her father about her mother and how lively she was when they were young despite the war and Great Depression. It was almost beautifully depressing to think about. With the loss of her husband, Charlotte's mother passed her days by working, almost as though she could forget the pain of her husband being gone. But Charlotte's mother almost never forgot her, which was perhaps the light in the darkness.

Charlotte saw the two-bit gas station come into her view and any spark of inspiration could have been quenched simply by looking at the hobble it was. It made good money because of the two good looking boys that worked there. Charlotte vaguely knew them, but she knew that the one boy, Sodapop had lost his parents in a car crash roughly two months prior.

She walked into the DX station and grabbed three candy bars of the same Hershey brand she so craved. Charlotte went up to the counter which had a grease covered teenage boy with the name patch saying Steve. He had some of the worst teeth Charlotte had ever come across and one of the meanest attitudes, but his attitude didn't compare to some other greasers there were in Tulsa. The station and garage had to have been built by cinder blocks slapped together in a matter of a week given the shoddy condition the small building itself was in. It looked like a haven in a zombie apocalypse.

"A buck." The cashier with a ripped-up name patch with the cursive name stitched in as 'Steve' said boredly, popping open the register as Charlotte reached into her pockets and felt ice slide down her throat. The only things in her pockets were lint and a receipt. Otherwise... empty.

"I'm really sorry, I think I dropped my money on the way over, I'll go get it and I'll pay you back." Charlotte desperately promised the boy

"No money, no sale, ma'am." Steve said, rubbing his face, clearly agitated by Charlotte's absentmindedness by losing something as simple as a buck.

"I'll just go run and get it, I'll be really fast." She promised fruitlessly, hoping he'd give in. No matter how Charlotte begged or pleaded, Steve shut her down. In hindsight, it was his job and he too was a Greaser with a minor police record, so he knew the gimmicks out there well. Steve was a good employee because of this kind of smarts he stored away for his job. He could repair anything on wheels and everyone knew it. Steve was certainly smarter than he looked, and he was a little insulted Charlotte mistook him for a fool by promising to bring money. Granted, he didn't know she was the color blue... honest.

THE COLOR RED | DALLAS WINSTONWhere stories live. Discover now