Light Blue


(Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)


(Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

An unearthly silence filled the car. It was a Tuesday, the third Tuesday of the month. It was particularly hot that day, the kind of hot that left your eyes dry and head spinning. She liked the long walk to the train station. She liked the silence that came with her walking, much different from the current silence. Instead, that silence was tranquil and powerful. She especially liked the fact that for a moment, she was alone with her thoughts.  She was 60 years old and still held her head up high with dignity. Her immaculate dark and shiny skin was soothing to look at, and she had somehow avoided the ugliness and extremities of aging. She was beautiful in the simplest of ways, and she loved ending her day with that walk to the train station. A quick look to her left revealed a blonde woman, the one that took the responsibility of driving her.

The blonde liked when she didn’t have to drive her. The silence was too much to bear since she was a person who was constantly in conversation. People took time out of their days to talk to her because she was beautiful. Her life was beautiful, too; she had a charming home and a divine family. Her white porcelain skin was flawless and her blonde hair luscious. She had a kind heart and didn’t truly understand the silence. But it was far too hot to let the babysitter walk to the train station. The two of them sat in the car, side by side, without a single exchange as the air conditioner gently hit their faces. The silence grew with each passing minute, making it hard to move even an inch.

And yet the little boy in the back exchanged glances with both of them. He was the common actuality that brought them both together. They both knew that his favorite color was light blue, not to be confused with turquoise or dark blue—it was light blue. They both understood his fear of swings and they both loved the way he said “please.” The babysitter picked up his first lost tooth while later that night his mother safely replaced the same tooth with tooth fairy money.

They had a million stories to share, a million things to say to one another about him. His gleaming smile or the way he smacked his lips when eating peanut butter—they both could probably talk about that for hours.  Or that when he got too excited while telling a story, he wouldn’t stop to take a breath. They both took the same steps to calm him down, making sure his story would be heard.

Still, the little boy observed as both of his best friends sat in silence. This was the most perplexing thing he’d ever experienced, for while the silence rang deep in the car, inside he was bursting with things to say, things to share with both of them. He feared the silence more than anything else, so he hesitated to say a word. Instead, he just sat and watched as his babysitter left the car murmuring a thank you with one of her delightful smiles. He smashed his face up to the window to mouth a goodbye.

Later in life, of course, he’d mostly forget about his babysitter and only have his lovely mother. But those moments of everlasting silence in the car?

That he’d never forget.