Some might say it’s a trite word.  But there is no better way for her to describe the core essence of herself.  She is the first to admit it.  She is nice.  As in, the one who always holds the door.  Lets others go ahead in line.  Gives up the last piece. The last seat.  Accepts every single gift with enthusiasm.  (That blue crocheted unicorn?  Yes, even that.) Stops to let pedestrians cross the street.

And that’s the trouble with nice.  When it comes to describing someone-it sounds so pedestrian.


Right now she is at a large party, and along with most of the other guests, she’s spilled into the back yard.  Abandoned in favor of greener pastures by the people she came with, she sits alone, the corners of her face stiff from so much smiling.  So much forced small talk where she has not, in the course of the evening held a winning hand.  She sits alone in a plastic green Adirondack chair, carefully sipping her drink so as not to lose a single drop. What does that say about that pedestrian quality of niceness?

Don’t be fooled.

She appreciates the tranquilizing qualities of rum.   And similar to finding herself in the middle of a Ralph Lauren commercial, she knows that this party is not really “her scene.”  (Yes, she was being nice when she agreed to come, but she is also wearing her skull and cross bone panties underneath her sundress-because she indeed knows who she is.)  And she realizes that she does not need any of these people in her life, nor do they need her.

But someday, in some way, shape or form, one of them might.

And she is the first to admit it.

She will be nice.


“Tell them I came, and no one answered,

That I kept my word,” he said.

– Walter de la Mare, The Listeners




24 thoughts on “Colors

  1. You are really good:~) You always find a unique take on a prompt. I loved this story. Your short-short stories are always a fun ride and this one didn’t disappoint:~) I loved the ending…she seemed so blasé about being considered “nice,” but she goes on to prove nice is really nice:~).

    BTW I loved the words, “she is also wearing her skull and cross bone panties underneath her sundress-because she indeed knows who she is.” LOL

    p.s. I hope this comment is not repeated multiple times. I ran into problems getting it go through:~)

    • Sara dear, thank you 🙂 Almost all of this one is rooted in the truth. I am nice to a fault, but I always figure there might be that one person out there who is having a rough time of it and just needs a bit of nice to cross their path. And thanks for all of your comments. I’m awfully glad you crossed my path. 🙂

  2. Valerie, another story that pulls the reader in by the lapels and the heartstrings. I adore this line: “So much forced small talk where she has not, in the course of the evening held a winning hand.” It tells us everything about the woman and the scene. You have a way of finding those singular details that speak volumes. I love this piece.

    • Dear Jo, thank you. I am honored. Truly. And you know, it had been a while since I wrote anything of length (well for me, lol) and I felt a bit stiff, and so thanks even more for your kind words. 🙂

  3. This woman reminds me of myself, known as “cute” and “nice” as long as I can remember and how it never translates to beautiful or strong or even noteworthy.

    Like Jo-Anne I loved the line about a winning hand and I giggled at her confession of her panties and how it tells us so much about her.

    as always, your writing just blows me away.

    (also, I’d love for you to come and join us Studio30Plus, I know you’d do so many amazing thing with the prompts. )

    • Hugs sweet Kir. You know what my dear? I think of you as beautiful, strong and very note worthy. You are one of those blessings that God has chosen to grace my life with. I don’t even have to pretend to be enthused…unlike the blue crocheted unicorn. Yeah, that was a pretty bad gift I got once 😉

    • Thanks AC. I always truly value your comments, and I’m also glad you could identify with this as well. We’ve all been there, I’d guess 🙂

  4. “Nice” is such a pale word, but nice people are so essential for making the worlds bearable. You brought a real lyrical touch to this and I too found the line about the winning hand so perfect

    • Thomas, yes! And I love how you put it too-nice is a pale word, but nice people are essential for making the world bearable. And thanks a million for your comment 🙂

  5. This is the nicest piece of fiction about ‘nice’ that I have ever encountered. It’s creepy and suggestive of many things. Wonderful.

    Your trusted Parrot

    Ally 🙂

    • Hey Flower, I was always thought of as a nice girl. but then I went through a time when I am not so proud of who I was. Now, I find there is no better way to be than nice. It’s a label I wear proudly. Thank you so much for your comment!! 🙂

      • Hi Valerie,
        I think being nice is most definitely a label to wear proudly! 🙂 As I look back on my life, I may have some regrets (as does everyone), but I have never regretted being kind, nice or loving. I really do love your descriptions…it’s almost like poetry in long form. I don’t know if you have written a book, but you should. I have a feeling it would sell very well. Best to you!

    • Thank you, beautiful Flower. I’m with you…I may regret things I have or have not done, but being a nice person will never be one of them. Your comment is so kind-the embodiment of nice-the kind of thing that makes a difference, and again, thank you 🙂

  6. Hi…do you know what happened to Write on Edge? You can reach me at my Google mail account or leave me a message via my contact box at my site. I’d really appreciate it. Thank you.

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