I was running to the ends of the rainbow.
My feet slapped in rain puddles, leaving my toes soaked; I had lost my rain boots. Remnants of rainbows long lost and shattered lay in splices along the way, hidden in the puddles. I could find puzzle pieces to place in the holes of the rainbow had I wanted to; but I had no wish to delay my arrival at my destination.
I was running a journey.
And I had no time to stop.
My arms slapped against watery leaves, elbows jabbing into my sides, but I couldn't stop for breath. Clutching cramps in all the wrong places, I panted and heaved the last steps.
Everyone does it, I remembered my grandmother telling me, showing me her white hands, burned so from the intense light of the rainbow. We remove our curse of blackness to become pure.
I had looked at my own hands, palms a lighter brown than my face. I rubbed my face. Would my face change color, too, if I put it in the light?
Grandmother said that I mustn't put my face in the light for it would be too pure to bear.
I was jogging to the top of the hill.
I could almost make out the curve's root at the grassy base of the valley far below. The grass whispered in the wind and my hair flew into my mouth. Here the ground was dry; the rain had long since returned to its source. My feet walked on a carpet, a towel, drying the soles from the puddles.
Everyone does it, I remembered my sister telling me, showing me her gold-toned earrings. We find our riches and happiness at the source of the rainbow.
I had gestured to our modest home, alive in love and laughter. Would all that change if I brought home more gold than she had?
My sister said that I never would bring home more gold than she had; she had found the luckiest pot of gold.
I tumbled down the side of the valley.
Legs flailing in conservative attempts to slow down betrayed my brain's excited commands.
I reached the bottom.
I stood in the depth of a valley, hands shaking as they reached toward the colorful lights. Fairies would have breathed melodies in my ears if I had let them, jingling coins and jewelry.
Nobody does it, I remembered my best friend telling me. Nobody returns with anything. They make it up when they come home.
I hadn't answered her.
I stood before the end of the rainbow.
My eyes saw reds fighting for their space, and yellows shining old wisdoms. I saw greens of envy and greens of fertility. I saw the spiritual blues meet the blackness of the lower earth. And the white was so overwhelming that I understood what my grandmother had meant by it being too pure.
And I also saw my pot of gold that the leprechauns had left me. But at that moment, I realized that I knew what lay inside: false prosperities, empty greed, and jingling coin jewelry. And I needed none of that.
I understood then that my grandmother had returned with the purity she so needed, and my sister returned with the gold she so coveted, and my friend returned with the cynicism so ingrained in her. And I, I turned around, and started walking up the hill to return home with my own riches.