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Colors

Updated: Dec 30, 2021


A conversation between two lovers that live on separate sides of the same world.


Her: How do you feel when we walk down the street and people stare? When they notice our intertwined hands and the distinct differences in the colors of our skin? Do you feel ashamed? Do you want to distance yourself from me? Do you think that you'd be more comfortable with someone that came from the same background as you? Whose parents looked the same as yours? Whose politic views weren't so heavily influenced by years and years of oppression?


Him: First, you know that I love you. You know that I wouldn't change anything about you even if I could. I adore you. I think that you are the most beautiful woman in the world. I am never ashamed of you. I'm not ashamed of you when we walk into crowded rooms and I notice people staring. I'm not ashamed of the glances that strangers exchange when they pass us on the street. Let them stare. It won't change anything.


Her: But do you understand what it feels like to be labelled as the "other"? To be undesirable because of the darkness in my skin tone, something that I couldn't change even if I wanted to? Do you understand what it's like to step out into a world that demands that I stay in my designated place? Never louder than the rest but not quiet enough to seem suspicious? Do you understand that there are rooms that I will walk into where I will instantly be rejected and ostracized because of who I am? Do you know what that feels like?


Him: No. I don't know what that feels like. I don't know what it feels like to be rejected because of the color of my skin. I understand that our experiences are different. I understand that, when people see me, they only see me. I understand that, when people see you, they might instantly lean into generations worth of unfairly biased and prejudiced beliefs. No, I don't know what that feels like. But, if you help me to, I can learn to understand.


Her: If I ever, for even a moment, sense that you are ashamed of me because of the things about myself that I cannot change, I will leave you. I love myself too much to make myself small just so that I can fit into anyone's world.


Him: I would never ask you to be anything other than what you are.