Black and White (Serenity)

Life used to be so damn simple. I went to school, I came home, I ate and played computer, go to church on Sundays and confession every two weeks. Not that I had much to confess, I enjoyed life though. I knew right from wrong as clearly as black from white. Everything was so damn simple. That was until I met her…
It was a completely ordinary day at school and I was sitting in my seat waiting for class to start, sharpening my pencils. I always enjoyed perfection when it came to stationary, I guess it was a bit weird but I didn’t hugely care. Mum said most of the kids were sinners anyway so I took solace in the fact that I would go to heaven while they spent eternity in hell. It was a strong but simple comfort. Anyway I was sitting in class sharpening my pencils when a girl came down and sat next to me. She had jet black hair with purple tips and a two piercing on her bottom lip. I figured she was new as I had never seen her before so I took on the role of school representative and greeted her with a smile. “Hello and welcome to Tristerity College.” I gave a smile and lent out my hand. She grinned as if she was about to laugh and shook my hand. “Why you’re a gentleman aren’t you? What’s your name?” I was shocked at such a civilised response and my mouth dropped for a second. I quickly regained composure as I saw her smile and laugh at me. “It’s ok,” She said, “I’m not really what you expect.’ I looked at her in astonishment at how forward her responses were. Doesn’t she care what people think? I finally responded “My name is Joseph, forgive my reaction, what is your name?” She smiled and responded sweetly, “My name is Serenity,”
From that day on I spent most of my time with Serene (what I had nick-named her), though she had the outer shell of a sinner she was a really sweet girl, we never discussed anything too important; we just talked lots about superficial things, weather, games and music. I didn’t have much to talk about in the music section but I listened intently on how she discussed her awe of musical artists. She was the only person in the whole class who sat near me, who talked to me and who liked me. One day after school she invited me to stay with her after school for a bit because she was getting picked up late. My house was just around the corner so I agreed knowing that I had an hour before my mum came home. So we lied on the grassy oval and asked her “So who’s picking you up?” She mumbled back, “Just a friend,” I was then curious as the response I had expected was “mum” or “dad”. So I pursued the matter, “How old is this friend of yours?” She looked away from me and said “About 19…” I asked her who on earth she knew who was that old. She then looked at me and said “He’s name is Jason and he is my boyfriend.” I let out a gasp. “But he’s 19!!! He’s four years older than you!” Surely she was just playing with me. “Listen Joseph, you’re a good friend, so please understand that Jason and I love each other!” She grabbed my hand and looked into my eyes. “Please don’t tell anyone and please say you’re just happy for me to have someone.” I was shocked and stunned, this went against everything I thought, and this made her a sinner in my eyes. The transformation was quick and painful but I knew it, I couldn’t be friends with a sinner. I pushed her hand off mine and stood up. Serene looked at me with sad eyes. “I’m sorry Serene but I can’t be friends with a sinner,” Her mood changed quickly and I could see tears in her eyes. “THEN PISS OFF YOU LITTLE F**K*N C**T!” I was shocked at her language but I had to keep walking, she called me all number of names as I walked away wiping the tears from my eyes…
I didn’t talk to Serenity for a week, I had told my mother about what had transpired and apparently word had spread and now Serenity was known as a Harlot. I wasn’t happy. But nor was I sad, I knew I had done the right thing, I couldn’t be friends with a sinner and she deserved nothing as a sinner. My initial emotion, mum said, was just an effect of her trying to corrupt me as well. I smiled to myself at this thought though. I had been saved by my knowledge about sinners and their ways. If I hadn’t of walked away then who knows what could have happened?
So I was sitting in class, sharpening my pencils again when Serenity came into class and kinda collapsed in the seat next to me with her head on the table. I could see her face through her crossed arms and she looked like she hadn’t slept in days. She looked at me with a smile but I could see sadness in her eyes. I was so disturbed by her gaze that I avoided it throughout the whole day. Until lunch in which she walked past my bench and put a note in my lunch box next to my apple. I looked at it curiously and opened it up and read it.
“Please, Joseph I need to talk to someone. Meet me after school on the oval.”
I knew I shouldn’t go see her but something about the way she had looked at me had awakened a feeling inside me. I felt horrible and cold, I felt guilty…
I walked out of class and grabbed my schoolbag and headed to the oval. Everyone had already left and Serenity was standing alone in the centre of the oval. I could see her mascara had run down her cheeks, she had obviously been crying. She saw me, dropped her bag and ran into my arms. I was shocked yet again by her actions. She cried and pressed her head against my chest. I embraced her without thinking. She fell to her knees and I fell with her. She looked into my eyes and told me, “Jason left me!” I don’t know what it was but I instantly felt responsible. I held her close and told her how sorry I was. I now knew that she wasn’t a sinner just a poor girl who had been too juvenile to know that it was wrong to be with that man. She started mumbling. I told her to speak up and it’s ok. “It’s not ok, Jason broke up with me because…” She broke into another wave of tears. “He broke up with me because I’m pregnant!” She slumped in my arms and began to shake as she cried and cried. I felt hate in that instant. But not for Serene, I felt hate for Jason, the man who had abused and then dumped my friend like she was disposable. I held her close and told her it was alright. My mind was in turmoil. One part of me told me she had sinned by losing her virginity before marriage, another part told me that she was not guilty and that she did not sin as she was in love. Even though Jason hadn’t loved her she loved him. I decided then and there that maybe God’s laws weren’t black and white…
We were really close after that day. Then we started going out Serenity and I were in love and I couldn’t have been happier. I stopped going to a formal church and started to live by my own moral code. I was thrown out of my house for a week but my Mum came round and figured that it didn’t matter what religion I practised as long as I was her son. Serenity opted to have an abortion as she said the child didn’t deserve to be put through the turmoil of having teenage parents nor foster homes. I loved Serenity and she loved me, we were probably the two most unpopular people but we didn’t care. We had each other and that was enough.

Black and White (Serenity)

bennypuer

Joined June 2008

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Artist's Description

An extremely short story of difference and acceptance and religious constraints.

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