Carnation Pink and Violet Red

by Amanda

I'd like to dedicate this to Lauren, Candy and Eric for rescuing me from my own personal hell and to Nicole and Tanya for being there waiting on the other side.

Disclaimer: I don't own them, obviously; if I did, Lana would always be this interesting.

She can't remember if she likes pink. Her closet is full of neatly hung sweaters and blouses and t-shirts in shades from palest pink to deepest mauve, but she doesn't even know if she likes pink.

She knows that she always wore pink dresses when she was little. Pink dresses with lacy collars and ribbon sashes, puffed sleeves and full skirts that she would twirl in like a ballerina. Pink dresses to match the youthful, healthy glow of the girl who always smiled, even when she had little to smile about.

Pink lipstick now adorns the soft lips that are still smiling after all these years. Smiling as she runs out onto the field with her pom-poms, smiling as the Homecoming Queen's crown is placed upon her head, smiling as she walks through the halls, safe in the arms of the boy she knows will always be true to her. Smiling as she dreams of walking out the doors of Smallville High and seeing her parents waiting at the curb, ready to whisk her off to Metropolis so her real life can begin.

She smiles, and no one questions why. She has the perfect life, after all. She may be an orphan, but she's a beautiful, popular, smart, beloved orphan. She smiles and no one sees her tormented soul.

Alone, she locks herself in her room and throws a blanket over the mirror. The girl who smiles is not allowed in here. Reality lives here, not illusion. Structures only, no facades.

The reality is that even she doesn't belong in here.

Reality is not pink. Reality is steely silver glinting in the late afternoon light. Reality is the fiery orange of the setting sun on the western horizon.

Her reality lies in glossy beads of deep crimson red and fading lines of maroon on smoothest alabaster.

This is the only way she knows she is still alive. By peeling back the layers of the faade she can finally discover the old structure that lies beneath. The pain scares the smiling girl away and lets Lana out.

Lana cries when she feels the sting of air on the exposed nerves under the shredded skin. She never expects it to hurt. She's so used to not feeling anything, just curling up and hiding away while the smiling girl lives her life by proxy, that the pain always comes as a surprise. It sneaks up on her, invisible one minute and in her face the next. It strikes her and she recoils, tears spilling down her scarlet cheeks.

But still she prefers red to pink. Pink is too much like black--empty and dark, the epitome of utter nothingness, the color of the void in which the smiling girl lives. Pink is the surface.

Red is the depths. Red is nuanced, multifaceted, complex. Red is emotion, passion. Red is feeling. And feeling pain is better than feeling nothing at all.

The pain is just the beginning. Everyone else's blood may carry antibodies and platelets and oxygen, but Lana's carries emotions. Fear, excitement, anger, sorrow, pride--she screams and laughs and cries and shivers and feels and all of a sudden everything is right and life is worth living and the whole world glows a vibrant and luminescent red.

A violet-red blossom on a pink tissue is the only souvenir of Lana's trip to reality. The burnt sienna scar will fade soon enough to a slim maroon line, and soon it will blend neatly into her peachy-cream skin.

It will be pink.

She knows it would be easier to learn to live in fuchsia, rather than constantly, recklessly swinging from pink to red and back. She also knows that right now, she doesn't have a choice.

Smallville isn't ready for primary colors.

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