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Alex's favorite color is brown, like mocha and chocolate and espresso. It is the color of the earth, the natural color of her hair, the color of the eyes of the woman she'd loved. In a way, too, her lover's skin had been brown, an olive tan, so light, almost creamy, if such a color existed in the spectrum of brown. Her hair had been dark when they'd met almost black, a deep mahogany, with those reds and rich highlights. She'd lightened it over the years with strawberries and gingers and shades of blonde.
Her life had been lived in sepia hues. Courtrooms and desks, suits and eyes. Even blood, when it dried, turned a rusty color. She had to remember that the rusty color was only there because the person she represented was not.
There were five freckles along her collarbone that Olivia had liked to trace with her tongue, playing a torturous game of connect-the-dots on her skin that made her twist and moan.
Now, she stares in the mirror at Emily. She sees pinks and reds and whites and the blue of her eyes, but no brown. Not anymore. The pink is dominant: the color of her skin, left blushing from her shower. The scar on Emily's right shoulder is a dusky rose with jagged white edges ripping into the otherwise smooth plane. She covers her freckles with scarves, collared shirts, sweaters that go almost all the way up to her chin. Even her eyes are red, from crying for the years that she's lost here and the allergies she's come to acquire away from the city, now that the air isn't filled with exhaust.
She stares at the red lips in the mirror and tries to remember how Olivia looked, how she tasted.
She tasted rich and smooth and full.
Emily wraps a white towel around her body and, now, tries to forget.
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