A/N: Heavily implied… something. I'll leave it to the readers to guess what. Oh, Yellow, how I've sullied you with my gloomy fantasies.
Also, it wouldn't hurt if you'd listen to Florence and The Machine's "Bird Song". It was the main inspiration for this fic. :D
T H E
B I R D
S O N G
Well I didn't tell anyone but a bird flew by
Her uncle's house has a room just for her, decorated in shades of pastel pinks and browns. There's a small bed, with two pillows just for the heck of it, a window that turns to the sea. The whole house smells of beach, but her room smells of vanilla. She doesn't know why, but the smell sickens her, so when she sleeps she wakes up nauseated. She learns to open the window before laying down on the bed, soon enough.
There's a white shelf, empty save for a frame of her four-year-old self, and a few novels.
She doesn't read any of them. Never has, never will. There are blue, and white, and at least one is red, and they have titles like love songs should, and the pages are soft, like the fine sand that gets trapped in her hair when she dozes off in the beach. She lays them on the wooden floor, sprawls her legs, feeling the cool feel of her summer dress beneath her, and runs her fingers across the paper, just until the tips of her fingers manage to discern between the printed letters and the unscathed whiteness.
She never, ever reads them, though.
Yellow hates tragic stories.
Saw what I'd done and set up a nest outside
And he sang about what I'd become
She spends her summers doing nothing. It's refreshing, it's relaxing. It makes her cry.
She doesn't tell anyone, though.
Her uncle leaves when the sun goes up, but he never forgets to leave a basket with fresh bread in the kitchen table. The scent eases her into a smile, and Yellow likes to press a hand in the rugged, warm surface, just to watch it crumble beneath her thumb. She never eats the one she destroys. She throws it out the window of her room, as hard as she can, and sees it disappear under foam and transparent blues; only when she can't witness her little crime anymore, only then does she return to take her breakfast.
The tiled floor is tinted yellow and the kitchen is very white. There are three whitewood cupboards, decorated with colorful handprints that she knows are her own. If Yellow nears enough, she can still smell the old acrylics, and she's reminded of sunny afternoons chasing after the fish that neared the shore.
She remembers prickling the soft skin of her thumb in the hook of her uncle's fishing rod. A drop fell onto the water and tinged the water red. The waves washed it away but she couldn't breathe, she couldn't move, and Yellow doesn't know why but she still dreams about it sometimes.
She teaches herself to hate the color of her blood because it reminds her of someone else's eyes.
He sang so loud sang so clear
I was afraid all the neighbors would hear
The problem with summer is that it doesn't last forever. Yellow is, however, perfectly aware of this, even as she lays on her bed, eyes lit by the sunshine outside, the sunset spilling orange and pink inside her room. It looks like it's on fire, and she rolls her back towards the window again, reminded of burning skies and hot earth, so hot it burned the skin of her feet, until she couldn't walk anymore, so hot it was, so blistering and rude and violent.
Blue comes to visit, and her nightmares go away. It's mad of her, to feel relief when watching Blue's eyes dim and then go black with the despair of someone who's too old for her age, but it's not as if it's her fault. It's a human condition, to feel comforted that there are others who suffer just as much. This is the worst, Yellow knows, but still smiles and invites her inside.
Yellow pours tea and they sip it gently while playing hopscotch with delicate subjects. It's graceful of the older girl, but it's rude at the same time because she immediately assumes that Yellow doesn't care for them. And they're many, too, from the renovation of Viridian's gym, to the marriage of Red and Misty, and in this part her heart clenches at the same time of her jaw. Blue sips her tea, carefully, because it's hot, and Yellow sets the cup down while staring absently at the teaspoon just before her.
She has nothing to say to this statement. And, Blue can be so cruel sometimes.
There's an uncomfortable silence in the kitchen, and Blue's eyes take in the red of the sunset as she swallows the hot blend. Yellow asks her what she thinks of the tea, because she's fairly sure that it would taste better with sugar, and she tries to keep her voice leveled and pleasant. She can't quite do it, though.
Blue doesn't reply, so she supposes she never noticed it. When the older girl blinks, in a daze, Yellow gets up, nears the counter, and forces her tears away. Behind her, a cup falls and breaks; the tea spills the hem of her dress, but Yellow doesn't mind.
So I invited him in just to reason with him
I promised I wouldn't do it again
For the first time in three weeks, her uncle forgets to leave her bread. She feels sad, but above all offended, and doesn't think about the way her thumb presses, hard, against her left wrist as her stomach complains. She roams around the house and finds cereals, but the milk has passed its expiration date for a while now. They crunch loudly in her mouth, murdering the silence in the white kitchen. The floor is clean, and it sparkles when the sunlight stretches around the room. Yellow's mopped it after Blue's visit, so it's obvious.
She bites again, and her teeth clack noisily. She feels slightly embarrassed, and leaves the bowl of dried cereal next to the sink, making a mental note to wash it later. The house is silent and it's fairly eerie. Yellow wonders if, in case she called, whether Green would keep her company. He's blunt most of the time, but Blue never shows up after last time, and her uncle only communicates with her through post-it notes and random little trinkets.
Seashell bracelets and necklaces of little colorful stones. They clack and slap against each other when she slides down from the marble counter she'd been sitting on. The floor feels sticky and cold under her bare feet as she moves towards the telephone, and Yellow decides that she'll mop it again, just for the heck of it. Only, this time she'll use bleach to get rid of the stains.
She fingers the curly cord and waits for someone to pick up.
But he sang louder and louder inside the house
And now I couldn't get him out
She invites Green for a swim.
He stares at her oddly, like he's trying to see something that isn't there, and Yellow can't help but to blush under his gaze. It's enough for him to look away and sigh, but he agrees eventually. She sets off a smile so bright he can't help but to smile back at her. She grabs him by the hand and leads him into the beach just behind her uncle's house. The sand is white and thin and slips between her toes as she walks into the water. It's fresh and transparent, with dots of white and specks of foam.
He looks as if he is undecided about swimming.
Yellow glances at him, and thinks that this man is beautiful. It's things like this that have her inhaling the breeze with gusto, and she doesn't manage to hide the smile that creeps into her pink lips. He leans over, dips one feet experimentally, his long pale legs half-submersed, the reflection of the sun on the blue waters creating clear, bright freckles along his skin. Yellow gasps for air when she realizes that he's staring at her with concern, and she is quick to tell him that, well, she knows these waters like no one.
Like a mother knows a child. And she isn't stupid; she sees the disturbed glance he sends her way when she says this. She blushes a little, embarrassed, and apologizes. He smiles a bit.
Green is the smartest, but even the smart people like to have fun, right? With that said, she dives and pulls him down with her. Yellow doesn't last long, and surfaces to breathe and laugh at the expression on his face. The water is quick and cold on her tanned skin, and she inhales before diving again, with a smile so wide it'd make a clown jealous.
She reaches her towel, gasping from the exertion, and stares at the sky until she stops hearing his voice on the background, until all she hears is the sound of crashing waves.
So I trapped him under a cardboard box
And stood on it to make him stop
The smell of fresh bread is what wakes her up. She realizes that she's forgotten to open her window, and her stomach somersaults as she struggles with the nausea. Her fingers run quick towards the window, and she inhales the smell of the summer breeze. Yellow lets her head fall on her hands, and watches the turbulent waves. The sea, she figures, has been getting more violent. A quick glance at the calendar on the door of the kitchen tells her that autumn is nearing.
She sighs sadly and grabs a slice of cut bread. There is much she hasn't done, yet; she takes a bite and scrunches up her nose. Yellow searches for the little bags of tea and discovers she's run out. A pen and paper, and she leaves her uncle a note, asking him to buy some more tea.
She feels alone.
There's a pang in her heart when she recalls Blue's words about Red's marriage, so she goes to her bed, closes the blinds so that the sunlight doesn't heat the room too much. She's careful not to close them all the way, and she doesn't close the windows, either. Millions of orange blotches ink the walls and the floor of her room.
Yellow sits on her bed and stays very still; then she curls into a ball and covers herself with her pallid blue sheets.
I picked up the bird and above the dim I said
"That's the last song you'll ever sing"
She has tea again. This means she can invite Red over, because she misses him horribly.
He sounds sad on the phone. His voice has a timbre of hopelessness as he speaks, and Yellow tells him to come over, when he can, but just if he wants to. She doesn't want to impose. Red, of course, does this little noise and tells her that nobody's talking to him anymore. Ever since he and Misty – and he cuts himself off.
Yellow rubs her bare feet on the rug and sighs softly onto the yellow plastic piece. He must catch it, because he apologizes and tells her that he'll get to her in a few. She hangs up without a word, because between her, and Red, few words are ever needed.
The closet in her uncle's room is smaller than the one in hers. Her closet is white, made of unpolished wood, and she can fit inside if she curls into a ball. Yellow knows this because she does it, sometimes. She likes to feel alone, and in the dark, and just breathe in the smell of polish and wood, and of clothes she hasn't worn in years. Her fingers wrap themselves around the knob and she peers inside, glancing over dresses and soft skirts, and she notices with a slight surprise that she only has a pair of pants.
They're worn out, scuffled at the end, and there are bleach smudges in them. She decides that she'll go with the white dress. It's her favorite. It's starting to get pink, in the hem, a red, pallid tone that she can't even wash away anymore. And she's tried.
She thinks it suits it well, and slips inside it. The kettle hisses furiously when Red knocks.
Held him down broke his neck
Taught him a lesson he wouldn't forget