Theresa had always associated places with colors. West Virginia would forever be blue in her mind. It was the blue of the sky that occasionally peaked through the clouds. It was the blue tinge of fingertips during the last month before winter, when the heating system wouldn’t be turned on for weeks but the winter chill had already descended on the dorm rooms. It was the melancholy blue of a child who still had a father but felt like an orphan. *** When Cameron first asked her what he missed most about D.C., she had to think about it. It was difficult to specify just one thing. D.C had just become home, it was her city, but here, she was as out of place as a Scottish castle in the middle of Arkansas. Eventually, she told Cameron that she missed the size of D.C. She missed the anonymity that a large city could provide. But Morgantown, in comparison, she was too easily seen. Cameron had smiled wistfully and said that it would be nice not to have everybody watching you all the time, but he’d miss his mom and dad. *** D.C. was grey. It was the grey of concrete and chrome, of a hundred skyscrapers reflected in a million windows. It was the dull grey of rain clouds that always threatened to pour, but rarely did. It was the colorless grey of office workers rushing through the city, almost identical in pale shirts and dark suits. It was monochrome and monotonous, occasionally brightened by movie posters, glaring red of sirens, maybe even a gunshot. But even those colorful times were reduced to shades of grey, reproduced for the masses in newspaper photographs. *** When Cameron asked her for help with his schoolwork, she was happy to oblige. It was only after she had driven him to the woods, that he discovered that her role was only to play chauffer and keep Cam company. She watched as he took pictures for his media assignment and asked about the sudden fondness for trees. Cam told him that the assignment was to produce a picture of Morgantown, and almost everyone had chosen the town center or their homes. Cameron had wanted something that represented what Morgantown meant to him. Clark had grown up playing in these woods with Garrett and Tanner, and camping here with his dad. Theresa pointed out that it was barely a fifteen-minute drive from his house. Cameron laughed and said that to a six-year-old, fifteen minutes is a very long time. Camping was sleeping in a tent, on land that wasn’t the backyard. Besides, that way Cameron’s mom could bring them fresh brownies and hot chocolate before they went to sleep. Cameron said that maybe Theresa should try it sometime. She looked up and saw Cam watching her, lips parted in an amused smile. *** Morgantown was the green of nature, of woods and crop fields. It was the overwhelming green that stared at him from her freshly-mowed yard, each leaf and blade of grass a slightly different shade. It was the murky brown-green of the river and the emerald green of Cameron’s eyes. It was also the green of envy; envy of Cameron’s parents, envy for Cameron’s seemingly easy life and even the occasional petty burst of envy for Lilli, when Theresa had still thought that girl was everything that Cameron wanted. Watching Cameron bite into the light green apple, she realized that this was another shade of green she would associate with Morgantown. *** When Cameron asked her what she was thinking about, she lied. She didn’t tell him that she was wondering if he would go to homecoming with her and not Lilli. Instead, she talked about the power of symbolism and the most basic symbol of all, color. She told Cameron how Caesar had used it to his advantage in battle. How Caesar’s red cloak was a sign that had driven his soldiers to victory over the Gauls. Caesar still used the symbolism of colors when he secured power, dressing extravagantly in gold and purple. Gold had always symbolized wealth, while purple was associated with royalty, wisdom and the ability to rule. Then they talked about how a symbol could be more powerful than the thing itself. As he drove Theresa home, he was proud to tell her that he’d done well on his media assignment. Theresa grinned when he said that it was only a few marks lower than Abi. Cameron told Theresa that Abi said that he had just got lucky in the woods. The slight blush that accompanied that phrase revealed more than Cameron’s words. *** Theresa herself would always be red. The ever-present red of flannel shirts, the warm red of lips that begged to be kissed and the inviting red of a shy blush. Theresa was both the red of desire and craving, and the scarlet danger of losing her heart, or losing her head. Theresa was the red of the blood that ran through Cameron’s veins. And there were times when Theresa felt just as vital, just as necessary, to him. As if without him, her heart would simply stop. *** Later, when Cameron asked what color Theresa would associate with him, she’d quickly replied purple. He asked why and expected an answer that involved his fortune, the color of the upper class and wearing the family livery. People always judged by association. Theresa trailed warm hands across Cameron’s chest, toying with the violet cotton of the shirt, and said that it was just the obvious reason. Then there were arms wrapping around his neck and he couldn’t resist asking again, pushing for a definite answer. Theresa mumbled into his skin that the color looked good on him.