A philosophical short story revealing everything isn't black and white, but in shades of grey.


1. Grey

I rested my cold face in the palms of my hands, covering my eyes. Life used to be simple. I shook my head side to side. Everything was 'black' or 'white'. That's a lie.

I used to believe one was black or white. No, not skin colour - rather, a heart.

A black heart is evil. A white heart is good. But, there are many shades of grey.

"Anyone who loves is not black," she once told me, her blue eyes stagnant like a still pond. "Love is purity. If love exists in your life, you're not black, but not necessarily white."

I guess I should know by now. Every lie, every sin, darkens purity. No matter what you do, you can't cleanse a heart back to white.

No one is white. No one is sinless. Light grey exists, never white.

I asked my friend back then, the philosophical girl, "What about black hearts? How does a heart become dark?”

Her lips curled upwards into a gentle smile as she answered, "If you can't love. If you don't care about anything living. If you're willing to kill for selfish desires.”

"But,” I interrupted, before she continued, paying no attention to my attempted objection. "If you don't feel love, you're black. Not emotionless. Without a sense of morality, a person, who finds joy in murder, torture, that sort of evil, is dark hearted.”

No matter how deeply I think, I can't remember her name. I don't remember her face, or anything about her besides those words. My memory has been the same since I came here. I’ve lost a sense of time. Years may have passed since I last walked in fresh air, being able to see the sky. Now, shadows imprison me.

"And even this isn't black," I whisper in the darkness. “That's true. Somewhere, some goodness lurks within this cage. Maybe only a speck… but it exists.” I return to my thoughts. If I do escape, I could regain all that I've forgotten. All those memories I left behind, even my name.

The door taunts me because the dark handle is beyond my grasp. No matter how hard I try, the exit is impossible to reach --- a never-ending path.

Later, the cold steel slid ajar, revealing a white light masking the dark aura of a person.

A hand stretches out through the light, waiting.


I don't answer.

"Are you coming?"

"C-Coming?" I stammer. "Where?"

"You'll find out."

Dark grey. There’s not much choice but to trust this nearly black heart. Perhaps, possibly they'll turn out like her. The black heart with a ray of light. An innocent corrupted by shadow. I trusted her at first. Her faith gained when she lost hope. I remember that.

I grasp for the extended hand. The light met my skin. No, not light. A very light grey.

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