Janis had known for years that she was different because unlike the most typical residents of Grimm she had no desire to wallow in the grey and that more than  anything else made people nervous.  Janis could not recall purposefully deciding to go against the grain rather one day she realized that one of her true desires was to watch a sunrise, not just any sunrise mind you but the kind that seems to wash the world in color, which was in stark contrast to her then friend Beatrice.  A dull little girl who dreamed of discovering an unknown shade of grey which she intended to name after herself.  It went without saying that two girls so different had almost no chance of remaining friends, and they hadn’t.  Having lost one friend to her peculiar notions Janis learned to hide her love of color from the people of Grimm.
     This ment that she often sat quietly alone staring out windows.  To outsiders it appeared that she was lost in day dreams, overly thoughtful, or slow.  Though anyone at her school could vouch for her scholastic abilities, no one asked, and Janis was content that people view her in such a way as it lent her a kind of protection from questions.  This was necessary as the truth of what she was doing in those quiet moments would have raised public alarm for sure.  You see Janis alternated between trying to imagine the colors she had never seen and watching the moments tick by on the clock she pictured, counting down the moments till her 18th birthday.
     Windows may had gotten Janis through middle school, but high school posed a greater threat for questions so she entombed herself in the library gobbling up book after book in her search for color.  The history section had been nothing but an appetizer to her hunger; for as full of description as the books were time it seemed had dimmed their colors to a wash of misty grey.  Next Janis tackled the science texts.  Unfortunately for her mathematical paradigms were only expressed in black and white, and biological sketches were most commonly worked in pencil prior to being committed to the inked pages.  It was not untill her third year at GHS that she stumbled into a small dusty corner of the library basement, which was unlabeled.
     The books in this section appeared  to be nothing other than dilapidated copies of any number of the volumes upstairs, outwardly that is.  However, as Janis thumbed through a few of the nearest books she realized with a gasp that she had found the school’s fiction section.  Nervous about being caught she would sneak away only in the quiet moments before school started to read the abandoned literature.  Janis never fully let herself be carried away by the stories as she first intended rather she made in-depth studies of each story mining for the descriptions color, for even these books had no multi-hued illustrations, but after six months of excitement Janis felt flat.  While she now had two composition books filled with her tightly interwoven script of copied descriptions she was no closer to understanding yellow, blue, or red.  Perhaps this is because most authors never imagine their works in the hands of someone whose world has been leached of color, and as such liken the blue of a boy’s eyes to stormy skies, or the red of a girl’s lips to the sun-kissed spot on a peach.  However, Janis could not understand color in this way having no frame of reference.  More accessable though still confessing were her notes which consisted of clichés; your nothing but a yellow-bellied coward, don’t feel blue, the sudden anger left him seeing red, she was positively green with envy, or tickled pink.  These definitions confused her for Janis clearly remembered the last time she had felt truly angry and that no sudden color had erupted alongside her emotion.
It was this thought path that she was on during home room when her teacher the short and balding Mr. Grouse asked her the fateful question, “Janis, are you alright…how do you feel?”
     “Checkered, I suppose.”
     The words were out of her mouth before Janis comprehended that she had spoken aloud.
     So, now here she was facing down a diagnosis of “the sickness”.  Usually “the sickness” came upon new mothers trying to name their little girls Violet and was forgivable, after a time, as long as the foolish name was abandoned.  However, with her history Janis doubted very much that her quip would go unpunished.  So, she sat in the guidance councilor’s office staring at a blank wall thinking about the response that had landed her there.  Janis had ment to say confused all the little phrases about colors had left her wondering what color people were when they were not one hundred percent angry, sad, jealous, or scared, and that was when Janis decided that people must be patterned when they were unable to be a solid color.  Patterns she at least could understand as they did exist in Grimm although Janis was sure they lost some of their meaning in grey monochrome.  The door slowly opened inward and Janis braced herself for what would come next, the asylum perhaps or some torturous quarantine she thought.
     She felt like polka dots, checks, and stripes all at once, the Welcome to Grimm sign was at her back and the east was before her.  It did not matter that she had no destination and almost no money because all she had to do was reach the top of the hill she was currently climbing.  Janis sat in the grass and waited.  It started slowly, her sunrise, in familiar greys but in what felt simultaneously like an instant and an eternity there was color.  The sky she had read was blue, but this small word did it no justice; seeing it felt like drowning and sounded like music.  The sun had been described as yellow in the science texts, but again the word was too flat.  The sun was pure warmth that she could see even from behind closed eyes and it tasted like fresh-baked bread.  Green was the grass she rested in though one word seemed not enough for the multitude of shade she could pick out, but it was cool and sharp.
     Any one walking by would have seen nothing more than a child at rest, however Janis was much more than that she was in exile and to her the freedom tasted… yellow.
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