White walls on all sides. I exist in a world of white. I always have… I think.
I am White. That is what they call me, the men in grey. An interesting color, grey. Grey is not White, yet it is not black. Grey is considered colorless, yet if it is half black, then it contains shades of all colors… but is not fully convinced. Does that say something about these men? Are they too, unconvinced? Are they tainted by darkness?
Father says that black is evil. Black is darkness. Black is color; the rainbow twisted, wrung out, crushed into oblivion until all is absorbed into a void filled with everything. I understand this, though I’m not sure how. It is a single truth that is clearer to me than my own existence.
Thus, I must remain white. Colorless, untwisted, filled with light. Therein resides salvation. And salvation is important. Father has explained it all to me. When the men in grey leave and we are alone, Father warns me.
“Isabelline,” that is what Father calls me. It is my secret name, just used between the two of us. “Listen to me!”
He sounds urgent when we talk together. Father is a man filled with fear. He tells me why. “You are special for reasons I cannot begin to tell you. There is so much I wish I could explain, but you wouldn’t understand. I’m not sure that I do myself. But one thing you must understand.”
Father turns to look over his shoulder at a small box in the corner of the ceiling of my small room. He is sitting on the edge of my bed pretending to give me an exam while talking to me. I do not fully understand why he acts this way, but I know that Father cares about me… more than the others in grey.
“I love you, Isabelline. And everything I have done for you… everything I am doing for you is to protect you. You must believe me in the days ahead, even when things begin to happen that seem frightening. Do you understand?”
I shake my head, though I do not understand at all.
“Isabelline, I fear losing you to the power of Obsidian. Beware of Black, my dear, and all of its shades! The others do not even fully understand the danger you face…” At this, he pauses, lost in private thoughts and I think I hear him mutter to himself, “…or they wouldn’t be doing this.”
“Abba?” I question, addressing him by the term of affection he taught me, now concerned for him. “What has changed that you are so frightened? Are we not safe here? You told me that this place was constructed for my protection. I trust you, Abba.”
Again, he glances at the corner before quickly bending to embrace me. I smell his cologne. I am reassured.
“Oh, Isabelline…” His voice cracks as he releases me. Wiping his fingers across his eyes, he turns back to his clipboard and instruments. “Black is coming, I fear, for you! I told them…”
Father suddenly stands to his feet and sighs. I sense not only fear, but grief. Father is sad. No. It is more than sadness even as black is more than grey. It is anguish. I am confused.
“You must stay strong, Isabelline! Resist black in all of its shades. Cling to what I have taught you and know that I am never far away… NEVER!” The last word is whispered, yet it thunders in my ears, crackling with emotion. I do not understand.
Father turns to go and I hear him mutter again. “So little time…” Then turning to me he bids me farewell saying, “I must run these tests. I will see you at your afternoon exercises.”
And he is gone. The white door closes behind him and I lay my head back upon my white pillow staring up at the white ceiling. I rest, safe in my world of white… but for the first time that I can remember, my thoughts are tainted with grey.