True Colors

By: Ghea Regita Budiantri

Everything feels ash.

Just like Sarah.

Her friend says everyone must be changed. But not for Sarah.

It's all the same.

Her life, her body, her soul and also...

Her eyes.

All still the same. Still gray.

Sarah is looking at the sky in front of her. Seeing how the birds fly freely exploring the sky, looking for their true colors. Her lips formed a smile, feeling that she had lost from the birds.

Her hands stretched up, like trying to reach the clear sky. The sunshine makes her face and hands warm. Again, Sarah smiled. Her sister said that the sky is blueand decorated with soft white clouds. Though Sarah can’t see the colors, she is sure that the sky is really beautiful.

"Looking at the sky again?" Sarah turned her head back. There was Renata, her sister who was putting her sling bag on the desk.

"Yes," Sarah answered finally. There was a long pause before Renata stepped into the kitchen to take a drink. Sarah is looking at her sister carefully, "Why are you coming home late?" She asks her sister. Renata put the glass on the dining tableand then looking at Sarah flatly.

"The coffee shop was very busy. We just closed at two in the morning and I'm too tired to go home. "

Sarah nodded silently. She looked back at the sky, allowing Renata's footsteps to echo in their house. Renata prepares to take a shower. She takes the towel because she has to work at the Cafe in two hours.



"How does it feel?"

Renata's footsteps stopped when she heard her sister's questions. She turned back, staring at her sister who still looking at the sky full of affection, "What feel? Working all day long for our lives? "


"You wouldn’t know if you hadn’t, Sarah. Just as you ask me what color blindness feels like, of course, I don’t know what it feels like,"Renata responded with great emphasis, then turned to the bathroom before her sister's voice interrupted again.

"Don’t get sick, Renata."


Usually, Sarah willwatch TV when Renata has left for work. Renata is a hard-working woman. She works in the morning at a café near the house, and in the evening she will work in a coffee shop.

Sometimes Sarah feels guilty. Since their parents died, Renata becomes a different person. She feels her sister's life is very gray now. First off, her sister was a cheerful person, who always smiles at everyone. But now, this cruel world has changed her beloved sister.

Sarah looks at the canvas beside her.Thereare some watercolors, and there is a color palette that she hasn’t washed yet. Sarah looked it blankly, thinking in vain that she bought all the watercolors even if she didn’t know what the color looks like. Her eyes are bad. Many people say her paintings would be better if she gave the proper color because all of this time Sarah only paint monochrome. Too afraid to put colors that she can’t see.

Sarah sighed, she likes to paint and love it even though all she painted was a monochrome picture. Most people say her paintings are colorless in literally also colorless in taste. The painting isn’t alive and has no taste. Sarah knows it well. But she can’t do anything. Sarah didn’t know what the red color would look like if she mixed it with blue.She didn’t understand it.It’s kept Sarah quiet again. She heard the sound of the dream catcher. Inside her little house, Sarah thinks, Is her life very useless?

Sarah finally stands up and pick up all her painting tools. She will go to the park near her house because today is Saturday. There must be many children in the park who usually wants to paint together with Sarah. With a smile, Sarah walked to the park. Although her whole life is gray, at least there is still a small peck of color in it.


Renata is working at the Café near her home. She worked as a cashier but sometimes as a waitress too. Usually,Renata came home at three o'clock in the afternoon with a good salary to fulfill her needs.

While Renata is serving Café visitors, she sees a nine-year-old girl who is singing a children's song. Her voice was shrill but still funny to hear and the person in front of her always praised that the girl's voice was very good. The little girl smiled at her praise, and then she starts to sing again. Renata smiled silently, she remembered her childhood. She liked to sing even though her voice isn’t good.Renata has always followed the singing contest, although she was never winning and always got bullied because of her poor voice.

But that's okay.Renata is fine as long as she likes to do her hobby. Besides that, the people out there sayprocess is more important than results, right?

Honestly, sometimes Renata received many suggestions from her friends. They sayRenata should prefer her singing world instead of working hard like this, but she has no choice. In this world, there is one person that Renata must make sure to stay alive, stay happy, and still be able to smile. That is her sister, Sarah.

If the people out there struggle to pursue their dreams, looking for their true colors, Renata will only figure out how she should keep working hard so that she and her sister can still alive in this cruel world. Just forget about true color, yet her life also gray since her parents died.

Meanwhile, in the park. Sarah is playing with the children who live near her home. The children are mostly ten to eleven years old, and they were close to Sarah for a few years ago.

Sarah starts teaching drawing for the children. Usually, they will draw randomly as they want. Sarah smiled to see the children so enthusiast to draw.

"Sarah! Is my picture good?"Asked Sean, one of the kids.Sean showed his drawingbook to Sarah, and Sarah could only smile at Sean's drawing.

"Of course, Sean. Your picture is very good,"Sarah said. Sean smiled happily then went back to drawing.

"Sarah, which color that is suitable for my picture?" A girl named Yara asks Sarah with a crayon in her hand. Sarah smiled, suddenly she felt sad. Sarah should have been able to give the right answer to Yara, but she couldn’t.

"Just use the color you like. It will be good."Sarah smiled as she dabbed at Yara's hair. The girl nodded cutely and then sat back to finish her drawing.

"Wow.Your drawing is cool, Sarah.As always, black and white."

A voice surprised Sarah. She looked back and found Adam standing behind her. Adam is her neighbor and childhood friend, he works as a coffee shop manager where Renata works. Adam also knew about Sarah who had bad eyes.

"How many times do I have to tell you to add colors to your drawings or paintings, Sarah? It will be a masterpiece!" Said Adam. Sarah sighed, Adam is always like that.

"Yeah, you said it a hundred times," Sarah replied.

"And hundreds of times too, you haven’t heard me."

Adam sat next to Sarah after greeting the children who were drawing seriously.

"I hear there is a painting competition in ArtRush, do you want to come?" Adam asked Sarah. Sarah shook her head quickly, making Adam confused, "Why?"

"I can’t," Sarah said softly.

"If you win, you can be a mentor at ArtRush.That art school is very famous, you know? And if you win, you'll get a big prize, Sarah. Are you not interested?" Adam asked again. This time Sarah paused for a moment.Of course, she wanted to follow the competition and get a big prize. But she can’t.

"I don’t know, Adam. You know I'm totally color blind, I don’t know the color. Meanwhile, the paintings and drawing are more beautiful with colors." Sarah looked at her drawingbook with a smile, “Moreover, I'm comfortable in this situation. It's okay. At least I still can draw and paint."

Adam shook his head, he doesn’t agree with Sarah's words,"Sarah, listen to me. If you want to get better or you want to go up to a higher level you should to try, right? Stop saying you're comfortable. Didn’t you say thatyou wanted to find the color in your gray life? It’s best to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. People won’t know you if you don’t bring up yourself, Sarah. You once told me if you want your painting to be seen by many people, this is a good time to start. "

"I know, Dam. I know. But I'm afraid. I'm afraid I will make you, Renata or myself down. I'm worried about that. I will get bullied because my paintings are bad. People must think I'm weird because I'm totally color blind, but keep pushing myself. I'm afraid I'll embarrass myself later,"Sarah said softly because she doesn’t want to bother the kids who are still drawing seriously.

"Sarah. You have to fight all that fear to get ahead, to be able to find the color of your life. You need to know it hurts to be more careful. You need to dig deeper to get a diamond. All needs sacrifice, Sarah. Don’t care about others and believe in yourself that you can do it well,"Adam returned Sarah's words in a reassuring tone. Sarah paused, thinking of all the words from Adam that filled her heart. Sarah looked at the man beside her, she nodded.

"Yes, you're right. I'll think about it again.” Said Sarah.


Renatacomes home with plastic in her hands. Renata’s boss had given her some tip money that she immediately bought some snacks for Sarah. It’s 3 pm and she is really tired. When Renata comes into her house, she doesn’t find her sister. Renata started to panic because Sarah didn’t send any message to her.

"Sarah! Sarah! Where are you?"

Renatakeeps shouting while checking all corners of the house, but Renata can’t find Sarah anywhere.

"Renata? Are you home?"

A voice that Renata knew surprised her. She hurried to the front door. Renata sees Sarah putting her painting tools beside the sofa.

"Where have you been? Why not message me first? Didn’t I tell you to go home before I arrived?! "Renata stared at her sister. Sarah bowed her head in fear, "Answer, Sarah! Where have you been?"

"I'm from the park. Then take a walk with Adam,"Sarah replied, "Sorry I didn’t text youfirst. It was sudden,” She continued.

Renata sighed, she looked at Sarah worriedly, “Don’t be like this next time." Then, Renata left Sarah, who was still looking down in fear.

"I'm sorry Renata."


Sarah followsRenata into the kitchen. Renata was putting the snack that was bought earlier in the refrigerator.

"I want to join a painting competition."

Renata looked at her sister in disbelief. Why must Sarah join the painting competition when she was totally color blind?

"What for? I bought you painting tools just so you wouldn’t get bored at home while I amworking. You're color-blind, Sarah. The painting is filled with different colors. Do you want to embarrass yourself? "Renata said to her sister.

Sarah is surprised when she heard her sister say it. She didn’t think Renata would speak like that.

"I'm tired, Renata. I also want to develop my talent, get out of my safe zone that only paint for my hobby. I want to find color in my dark life. Didn’t you say we wouldn’t know if we haven’t tried it yet? Where do you know that I'm going to embarrass myself while I haven’t even tried it?!" Sarah says frustratingly.Her tears fall down. Renata sees her sister with a difficult look to interpret.Of course, she wants Sarah to go further and more pursue her hobby, but Renata is scared. The outside world is too cruel to anyone as good as Sarah.

"I still don’t allow it. You don’t even know what those colors look like, Sarah. The painting should have lots of colors to be beautiful."Renata said. Sarah just kept crying, then ran into her room and closesthe door.

Honestly, Renata really wanted to hug Sarah, prohibit her sister carefully to participate in the painting competition. But somehow she even said harshly. Sarah must be very hurt now.

"I'm sorry, Sarah."


In the morning Sarah wakes up with a quiet house. Though it's Sunday.Renata should be home, but Sarah remembered their quarrel last night. She finally sits on the sofa, looking back at the canvas and watercolor beside her. Sarah wants to try painting in many colors even though she didn’t know what those colors look like.

Sarah started painting. She will paint a child that trying to reach the moon on a hill.

When she finished it. Sarah immediately smiled, though in her eyes all the colors look white, black and partly gray. She takes a picture of her painting and sends it to Adam for an opinion. Sarah doesn’t know this colored painting is good or not because mostly she only uses white, black and blue for the sky.

"Well, it’s good for the first try. But the night sky is darker Sarah. Then for the hill, you can use dark green, the moon in the painting is usually yellowish white. "

Sarah smiled. Of course, there are so many mistakes in her paintings. Renata is true. Sarah looks like a fool now. How could she want to go to the painting competition if she just doesn’t know the color? Moreover, the art is closely related to all colors. How can she distinguish what kind of red and maroon when she can’t even see the color?

"Don’t be sad. You still have to try again. Tomorrow I will accompany you to the competition. There's no reason to back off, okay? I've registered you. "

Sarah smiled bitterly at the message from Adam. Her fingers typed back for Adam's message.

"Should I ... just give up?"

When Renata comes home, she sees Sarah painting in the living room. This times her sister using a lot of colors even though sometimes the colorsdon’t match to each other.

"You still want to join the painting competition?" Renata asked her sister who was still seriously painting.


"Why don’t you obey my words?"

Sarah stopped her painting, and then looked at Renata. "I want to find my true color in my life at least before I die."

Renata paused to hear her sister's words. "What are you talking about? Okay, it’s up to you. Do what you want to do."After saying that, Renata went straight to her room. She looks no longer cares when in fact she really cares about Sarah.

This morning, when Renata was going to her old friend's house, she saw a girl who seriously drew lonely in the park. Suddenly Renataremembers of Sarah. She shouldn’t say rude to her sister, she should support her Sister. But Renata was too scared of her sister willget hurt.

Finally, Renata quietly leaves the house in the evening, buying some new painting tools and canvas for Sarah. She also bought a book and started entering a Café. Renata wrote something in the book, some crayons she also used. If indeed she can’t show directly to her sister if she still cares, maybe this is the best way. Renata can only hope that Sarah can win the competition.

In the morning, Sarah wakes up with a quiet house. Renata must have gone to work. Sarah felt a little sad, she hoped that her sister would give her a support but it didn’t.

Sarah walks into the kitchen for a drink. She sees a plastic bag and a book at the table. She opened the book, where she could read Renata's handwriting writing about colors as if Renata wanted Sarah to know about the colors.

"Red. Example: Apple, fire, blood, love, anger, etc.Hot colors.Can be combined with black, white, yellow, etc. Red color if mixed in yellow will be anorange color. If mixed in blue will be a purple color. Use this color for emotionally nuanced. "

Sarah smiled reading Renata's handwriting, she really didn’t think her sister would so care like this.Renata was willing to spend her time on writing color descriptions. Somehow Sarah felt appreciated.

"Green color. Examples: Trees, leaves, forests, nature, etc.Cold colors. Can be combined with white. The green color if mixed in red will be a brown color. Use this color for calm and beautiful shades. "

Sarah opened the plastic bag that was on the dining table, she saw there was some new painting equipment there. Her tears dropped, Sarah really can’t believe that. Despite the fact Sarah knew, Renata had very cold words and gazes but she also had as much attention as the sun. Sarah knew that her sister has a love beyond anything.

"Thank you, Renata."

Now, Adam and Sarah are already at ArtRush, a famous art school in their town. Some people looked busy there. Sarah didn’t expect ArtRush to be as good as this, and she didn’t expect to see so many people join the painting competition. Surely they are all better than her.

"The place changed since a year ago I came here. You want me to mention the colors in this room?"Said Adam to Sarah.Sarah nodded to answer her friend's question, "The walls of this room are painted murals. On the right is painted in light blue and green. The frames in there are brown, while in some parts of the walls are painted in red. "

Sarah looked at Adam with a questioning look. "Red?"

"Yes, Red.Eumm.The red is like- "

"Apple?Blood?Love?Emotions? "

Adam smiled at what she said. A little surprised too. "How do you know that?"

Sarah smiled, she took out the book that Renata gave and showed it to Adam. Adam frowned in confusion, but he took the book anyway.

"Renata gave me new painting equipment, and she also gave me the book. Renata wrote the book by herself. "

"Wow, I didn’t expect Renata to be that kind," Adam smiled as he looked at Renata's handwriting.Renatawrote a description along with examples of the colors that Sarahwould use. "Then you have to win, okay?"

"Of Course!"


"And the first winner of the ArtRush painting competition is ... .."

Honestly, Sarah wouldn’t expect much.Sarah still happy even if she isn’t winning. For someone who is totally color-blind, it seems this is a pride. During the competition, Sarah painted a pair of girls hand in hand with the background of the hills. Sarah uses color according to her instinct and also matches the color description thatRenata wrote for her. She put a lot of taste and emotion in her paintings, when Sarah asked Adam about her paintings, Adam said Sarah's painting is perfect.

"Congratulation to…. Sarah Rexane! "

Everyone in the room clapped their hands and looked at Sarah with a proud look. While Sarah was still silent, she was too shocked. Sarah doesn’t believe if she won this Competition.

"To Sarah, please go up thestage to receive the prize."

Sarah went up onstagein Adam's guidance because Sarah's vision was blurred if she was in a too bright place. Sarah receives the trophy and presents happily, she is trying not to cry. In her life, this is the first time thatshe was happy to see the black and white scene in front of her. It’s just like a dream.

"I'm sorry, Sarah.I really, really sorry. I have to go to the coffee shop now, there is a problem there. Are you okay going home alone?"Adam said to Sarah with regret. Sarah just nodded. Moreovershe can’t force Adam to take her home, right?

"It’sokay. I bring my sunglasses and hat, so it's okay. You don’t need to apologize. I should be the one to thank you for everything." Sarah replied with a smile. Adam smiled.He immediately excused himself away because the affair of his coffee shop is really abruptly.

When Sarah was on her way home, she stopped at an electronics store. Sarah decided to buy Renata a present. Sarah quietly smiled, wishing her sister liked it. After buying Renata a present, Sarah immediately crossed to the bus stop to wait for the bus to take her home.But when Sarah crossed, a car crashed into her. Sarah couldn’t remember anything except her aching body and her darkening glance.


Renata was sitting alone on her sofa. A plate of chocolate pudding is still on the dining table. Her eyes stared forwards. Over.Renata didn’t understand why all this happened so fast. She looks at the painting beside her, the painting of two girls holding hands, Renata's tears fell again.

It’s a week after the death of her sister. Everything changed. Renata was very surprised when she heard the news that Sarah died because a car hit her. Renata even slapped Adam a bunch of times because she was considered that Adam didn’t take careof her sister.

Really.In this world,Renata worked hard just for her sister. If her sister isn’t there like this, why should she live? Sarah walks down her little house, the sound ofdream catcher sounding low. When she entered Sarah's room, she smelled Sarah's typical fragrance. All the things in Sarah's room are still the same, nothing has changed. Even Sarah's handwriting on the wall didn’t fade either.

Renata picks up an MP3 player, a gift from Sarah for her. Renata remembers when someone gives her a gift wrapper and saying that it is her. Renata still remembers when she opened the gift and found an MP3 player with a letter in it.

"I've found my color. And if I have found my color, then you must also find your color too. Fighting Renata! I love you."

Her heart warmed. Imagine that Sarah had given her the gift. If her sister is still alive, Renata would hug her tightly.

Renata sees a poster beside her, a singing audition. Renata had found the poster for a week ago. She plans to tell Sarah, but her sister is gone now. But sometimesRenatafeels good too. Finally, Sarah’s suffering has finished. Sarah might be able to see the colors later in the heaven.

By the way, the last day of his audition is today. But somehow Renata doesn’t care. Normally she would be excited if there was a singing audition. But now, Renatalives alone and she feels her life is no longer useful. She'd better catch up with Sarah, wouldn’t she?

Finally, Renatagoes out of the house by wearing her jacket. Breakthrough the pretty heavy rain.


2 years later

The Children are drawing in the park. Some of them talked to each other. They remain in their routine to draw together every Saturday even though Sarah hasgone.

But from a distance, the boys and girls named Yara and Sean ran to their friends who were drawing while carryinga newspaper and a magazine. When it was up, Yara and Sean immediately pointed out the newspaper and magazines to other children. In the newspaper and magazine, it says,

"Best singer of the year! RENATA REXANE. Released her latest album entitled: Discover Your Extraordinary! "