Sixty-four

Jennifer Keigher


When it came to Crayola, I could recite every crayon in the box. I loved every aspect of coloring; picking out the perfect picture, choosing a new crayon for each part of the carefully selected picture, showing off the picture to my Mother, and finally hanging the finished product on my Grandmother’s fridge.

 

I had used the same box of sixty-four Crayola crayons for as long as I could remember. I could find each color’s spot without even looking. Laser Lemon and Olive Green were broken to the point of being unable to use. The edges of the box were no longer sharp, but instead folded down. The box; faded to a more subtle shade of yellow from the countless hours of coloring in the sun. The majority of the crayon names had been worn off; unable to read. The lid to the box was almost all the way torn off. My little brother had removed the entire label to Razzle Dazzle Rose. Tumbleweed however, was in perfect condition as it is my least favorite color and had never been used. The wear and tear on my very own box of sixty-four Crayola crayons did not bother me in the slightest. This Crayola box is what I had always known. I was content.

 

Nonetheless, Christmas came that year and brought a present that I had not asked for, and definitely had not wanted.

 

I eagerly unwrapped the snow man wrapping paper off of the Barbie coloring book that I put at the very top of my Christmas list that year. However, I was surprised to find a brand new box of sixty-four Crayola crayons at the bottom of the box.

 

“I didn’t ask for this,” I said as I looked up at my mother with a puzzling stare. My parents were quick to inform me that they realized I had not put this on my list but they had noticed that my old crayon box was approaching its end.

 

The next day I was excited to use my new Crayola crayons and color in my new coloring books. I sat down at the kitchen table, with my new box staring back at me. Periwinkle, I had thought; that would be the first color I would use. I carefully took it out of the box, prepared to start coloring, and then instantly stopped. It immediately came to me, that I did not want to break, destroy, or hurt this brand new box of sixty-four Crayola crayons. How easy it was to just stick to what you know; what you are used to. This new box scared me; and I had no intention of harming it in anyway. So, I put my new box on the shelf and took out my old box of sixty-four Crayola crayons.

 

My new box remained on my shelf, despite the times I would take it down to remove its dust. It looked so perfect; every crayon had its label, each point was fully sharpened as they had never been used, and the box was the exact shade of yellow as when I had opened it on Christmas morning. It stayed there for months; until one rainy day when my mother gave me the same puzzling look that I had given her when opening my new box of sixty-four Crayola crayons.

 

She snapped, “Why has your brand new box of crayons not been used yet?” I thought carefully before I spoke and finally said, “I don’t want to break those crayons, or wear them down like my old box.”

 

My Mother stormed out of the room; I was confused however I just assumed our conversation was over. Five minutes later my mom returned, except this time she brought with her several of the pictures that I had colored, a card I had made her for her birthday, and a framed picture from a coloring contest where I had gotten first place.

 

She stated, “If you would have been too scared to wear out your old crayon box; then you would have never been able to accomplish any of these beautiful creations.”

 

When it comes to falling in love, you must let your guard down and let it happen. If you worry about the hurt or brokenness that could occur; then you will never truly feel. If you do not put all of your heart and emotion into it; then you will never see a finished product. If you never use the heart as it is intended; you have missed the point.

 

If you are too scared to use your heart; then you may never fall in love.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790