Serena Wang

A Chapter of “Colors”

The word is in black and white and gray for me…


“It is May the 22th of 2021. Today, we will…” Someone from the HTV is doing morning
announcements, just like usual. Serena decided that nothing important is going on, so she
opened her homework document from last night and began finishing it.

It was 8:20 at night in Shanghai, but it was 8:20 in the morning for people living in the US.
It was just another normal school day for her, except that she’s actually not in school, but
halfway around the globe, in Shanghai. She massaged her arm to relieve a striking pain. Random pains striked random parts of her body every second. Those pains are like shadows: shapeless, and quiet.
Those pains never existed until piles of assignments and projects began building on her
shoulders. Although she’s only in 6th grade, she already has four projects due soon, with one technically already overdue; and that’s just the projects, not including other homework.
Every single day, she would work until the sunrise, sometimes from 2:50 in the night until
7:00 in the morning. She has huge bags under her eyes, from being up so late.
Serena felt dizzy again. She tried to shrug the feeling off, but she is sure that it is because
she slept only 4 hours last night.

On many dark nights, she couldn’t sleep, even if she went to bed relatively early.
Her pillow often has two wetted spots.
Her mom asked why she’s using so many tissues.
Her dad asked her why she doesn’t want to eat.
She wanted to say that she’s not responsible, that she won’t, and can’t provide an answer.
Even worse, the world is seemingly starting to lose color. The only color she can see now
is the black curtain of the night and the fainting white of the day.

Serena signed, her eyelids are so heavy she can’t open them. She gave up and slumped
onto her table. Just a short nap, for the long night coming.

It is 7 in the morning. After another long, hard night, she finally said good night to her dad, and went to bed.
She can’t sleep again. She tossed herself back and forth on her messy bed.
She heard a bird chirp.
She knew that if there’s a bird chirp, that must mean that it is sunrise. Slowly, she crept out of her room and went into the living room.
She was greeted by a dazzling ray of sunshine. Serena stood there, almost frozen, standing barefooted on the cold living room floor, bathing in the first, warm rays of sunshine in the morning.

Serena took a deep breath of the cool early morning air. She walked towards the big
window of the living room.

The sun is right on the horizon, gleaming with warm sunshine; the sunshine makes
everything in the city seem to glow with gold.
She watched as the first sounds of the city began to pick up, she watched as the city slowly
woke up from a night of sleep.

All shrouded in sunlight, she smiled, and she turned back to her bedroom.

Serena is an 8th grader currently living in the New York State. She is an American-born Chinese-American who, unlike many others, learned Chinese first and learned English afterwards. Due to her weak grasp on English, she hated writing in English; until her parents got her a Creative Writing tutor last year (whose name is too great to be mentioned here). She loved writing since she begin taking the Creative Writing classes. Although she haven’t gone through much yet, for some mysterious reason, she likes to write both moody and humorous pieces. This is her first publication.

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