The Color of Venus
They say it’s always dark at the end, but the same can almost always be said of beginnings. Starts and finishes are, after all, like mismatched twins that don’t quite get along and hate hearing how similar they are to one another. But hating something never makes it any less true, no matter how much we may wish otherwise.
Jericho wasn’t sure what to do with his life now that Eden was no longer a part of it. They’d been painting the grand masterpiece of their future together ever since they were children and making concrete plans for it ever since they’d become adults. They’d have a small hand-fasting ceremony on the lavender hill behind the little yellow house where Jericho grew up before moving into a starter home in Devon, a pretty little pastel-colored housing community just outside of town.
They’d build a new life together while remaining connected to the friends and family that were the heartbeat of their old one. From there, they’d live happily ever after, of course. But no one ever talks about what happens next. No one asks what people do when a potential future full of peach-colored sunsets ahead of you is no longer enough to keep wonder in a heart and apple blossoms in a pair of eyes.
As it turns out, some people need more out of life than sunsets to admire. They need nourishing, brown bread in their stomachs and good, solid oak chairs to sit on while they eat it. Or at least that’s what Eden had said with pity in her purple eyes before leaving for a cabin in the mountains filled with all the oak furniture she would ever need. When Eden turned out the lights on her last walk through the front door, that’s when Jericho’s world had become dark, both literally and figuratively.
And he stayed there for a while, inhaling and exhaling thick lungfuls of the stale air around him, imagining Eden filling her weathered oaken cabinets with a limitless parade of round, brown, crisscrossed loaves that smelled almost exactly like the summer earth. But eventually, he began to picture a future saturated in color again — a future of his own that didn’t involve Eden (or anyone else, for the immediate moment) — but it wouldn’t happen here. He’d pick a new place and devise his own means of…