She set out fifteen gumdrops before her. They went in order: green, yellow, pink, yellow, green. The last ten were red. I asked her why she set them up this way. It didn’t make sense to me, it didn’t have a consistent pattern, where was her reasoning?
She smiled and laughed, “Green for nature and all beautiful creation, yellow for the sun giving warmth and light, pink for tender hearts beating hopefulness, yellow because that’s my favorite color, and green because that’s his favorite color.”
“So what do all the red ones stand for?”
“Red. Red is everything you wouldn’t understand yet. It’s the scars in my veins that made me turn everything away. It’s the red in my wounds that can’t heal anymore. It’s the red for the time he sent me roses in the hospital. The last time I went to rehab. Red for disease, death, destruction. It’s just a stain in my history, I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.”
There were ten bruises marching up her arm. She took each red gumdrop and placed it on top, covering them with a sugary coating. The rest of the gumdrops she ate, smiling as she chewed each one slowly and carefully.
“See in the end, you’re always gonna have those red gumdrops. You might as well set yourself up for it.”
She handed me a box of gumdrops to make my own pattern, but the box was already open. The red ones were gone.
“Take care of yourself kid, sometimes it’s better to learn from someone else’s mistakes.”
I went back to the hospital to visit her the next day, but the nurses wouldn’t let me in to see her. Addicts have a tough life I guess, I wouldn’t know. I just wish I could have seen her again.
I would have told her about the pattern I made. The one from the box of gumdrops. The order went: green, yellow, pink, yellow, green. I would have shown her how much I learned. I’m taking her steps backward, following her advice. Only this time, I’ve got no red gumdrops to worry about.
I am running a day behind my A to Z challenge and I still cannot locate my pictures from Germany! When I find them I will make a new G post, but for now this story will do.