Millie reached high, spreading the pale blue hue toward the ceiling. The roller made a satisfying “thk, thk, thk” sound and the smell of fresh paint filled the room. She cracked a window slightly, although Millie didn’t really mind the smell. To her, it was the promise of a fresh start and these walls were her slate to wipe clean. The sun streamed in through the east-facing window, flooding the room and setting the mood for the day. She smiled and flipped on the radio, careful to keep it low enough so as not to bother the neighbors. It was a song she didn’t know, but she liked the rhythm and she hummed along, pleased to have the company of the music while she worked. Millie bent down and pushed the roller into the thick pool of paint. Dragging it slowly up the tray, the color spread out and tiny bubbles formed, then burst on the roller. She lifted it carefully from the floor, heavy now, and pushed it onto the wall. It rolled smoothly, covering the plain white expanse with the color of the summer sky. Blissful Blue was the name printed in tiny letters at the bottom of the sample strip in the hardware store. Blissful Blue. The name had sold her as much as the color. Standing there with so many to choose from, Millie thought she’d quite like to start this new chapter of her life with a name like that. It seemed fitting and described perfectly the way she felt carrying those two heavy cans home to her new apartment. It had been so hard to leave the last place, but for the first time Millie felt that she was running toward something instead of running away.
“Thk, thk, thk.” With each swipe the color spread, transforming the room around her. The moving boxes still sat, unopened, but this was more important. It was always the first thing Millie did when she moved — paint the walls…except for the cottage in Portland. Its owner had been an artist, like Millie, and rich jewel tones filled the tiny house and brought it to life. It felt like a magical place, and for the few, short summer months she lived there, it was. But when the rain came, it proved too hard to stay inspired, even amid the beautiful colors, and she moved on.
Millie stood back, roller in hand, and admired her work. She had paint in her hair and tiny specks of blue dotted her clothes. Not bad for a morning’s work, she thought. But there was still the kitchen, and bathroom, and the bedroom to go. She poured herself another cup of coffee from the pot in the kitchen and sat down at the table by the window. Already this place was beginning to feel like her own. Green, in a pale but saturated tone, would be perfect in the kitchen, she thought. And perhaps a deeper blue in the bathroom. She finished her coffee, watching the city come to life outside her window and then, placing her cup in the sink, she slipped on her shoes, grabbed her purse and headed back out toward the hardware store.
She would fill her apartment, and her life, with magnificent colors. Not everyone would like her choices, of color or otherwise, but they would be her own and she finally felt confident in making them. As she breathed in the fresh air and took in the energy of the city around her, Millie was refreshed and renewed and her spirit was lifted even higher. This was a good day, and a good life, and she was excited for all that was to come.
© Kelly Rainey and 500wordsandcounting.wordpress.com, 2015.
Want to explore what else this blog has to offer, receive emails when I post new stories, or send me a private message? Just click on the menu icon near the top right corner of the page.
But before you go…scroll down if you’d like to share your feedback about this story or see what others are saying.
*Reading this story from within an email? You’ll need to click here first to be able to see the menu icon, to scroll down for comments, etc.
Become a Patron and get audio versions of all new stories! Click here to learn more.
Not ready to become a Patron? Please consider making a small, one-time donation in support of all the time and effort that goes into creating the stories you enjoy. Thanks!