Orange

Orange is mine.

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1. Orange

Just like every morning, it takes me a moment to remember where I am this morning, for me to remember who I am, and then it takes me even longer to remember how I got here, but I, as always, like every single time, remember who the girl beside me is. I know who she is even more than I know myself. 

Every morning I study her face. This morning more than others, I notice how much it reminds me of my mother's. Her soft, round features, the light freckles across the cheeks and her forehead, the blossoming pink lips.

And, just like every day, I look at the top of her head and think of how much of a shame it is that she shaved her hair. She hated her hair. I loved it. Of course, I couldn't tell her. I couldn't tell her that I loved how orange her hair was, that I called her Orange because of it, that I still called her Orange and prayed that she'd grow it back out so that I could see the lovely curls of that orange hair.

And, the same as every morning, thinking of her hair reminds me of carrots, which reminds me of breakfast, which reminds me that I need to get out of here. I can never be here for her to see when she wakes up, but I always have to leave something to let her know that I was there.

So I get out of bed, stand up, as always, take off my orange-and-red-checkered necktie, and leave the room silently. Her apartment is only five rooms, so it's not hard to remember the route that I take every morning to escape.

I notice that my unlocking contraption is still in there, and I smile as I pull it out of the keyhole. Its bobby pin greets me as it shines out of the battery it's taped to. I smile at my simple machine and bend the bobby pin again to hide beneath the tape as I shut the apartment door behind me.

I touch my face to make sure that my metallic mask is still on, and, when my hand touches the mask, I make a beeline for the stairs. It's time to make my easy escape.

I run all the way up to the eleventh floor, where I know that the large, unlockable window sits in the lobby. When I reach the window, I quickly unlatch it and jump out of the window.

The freefall, besides waking up besides Orange, is probably my favorite part of every day. I draw in my knees calmly, hold my breath, and watch the world fly by me before I slam into the water of the ocean below.  I probably shouldn't be able to survive a fall from the eleventh floor of an apartment complex that perches on a twenty-five-foot cliff, but somehow I do, every morning. 

I serenely resurface, take a deep breath, and calmly swim to the sand bar, where I have my orange pickup truck parked. My mother questioned my choice of color, but I can't help it. It's such a beautiful color.

I left the keys in the ignition, as I always do, and so I simply turn on the car and take off my mask, hurriedly taking off my wet clothes and putting on my suit. It's just a plain, cotton suit with a white collared shirt beneath and a black tie. I slip on my new shoes, adjust my mirrors, and drive off of the beach. 

I reach the office thirty minutes early, as usual, and park my truck in the parking spot that I always park it in-- third row, fourth from the front, right beside where Orange always parks her cute, blue Kia Soul.

I pick the briefcase up off of my passenger side seat and carry it into the towering silver building. I clock in and ride the fast elevator up to my office, but I can't help but be dissatisfied with how disgusting this elevator is kept. I tell them that I expect it spotless, and they give me a glass elevator covered in smudges.

I step off when the elevator doors open and emit a ding. I greet my staff on my way to my office. I smile at the sign on the door that I worked so hard to get-- Chief Executive Officer Derrick Taylor.

I push my door open and sit my briefcase on its little table, then go over to my neat, perfectly organized desk. I stare at the door until it shuts, then I sit in my swively chair, sliding slowly up to my desk so that I didn't disturb my papers.

And I sit. And I sit. And I wait. And I wait. And I wait.

Until my secretary finally walks in, her blonde wig slightly askew, hardly recognizable beneath all that makeup. The wedding ring shines on her hand, one that she doesn't wear except at work, which makes it even harder to recognize who she is.

But I still know her. I know every single bit of her by heart.

Orange. My love. My untouchable love.

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