“We bid farewell to Yellow 6, a goodhearted man, as he departs from the earth. All dyes die, but that does not lessen the sadness we all feel at this time of mourning. Hold Yellow 6 in your hearts and your minds. We know that he is going to a better place.”
When the reverend concluded his speech, the funeral guests began to depart. Some left in pairs, murmuring to each other; others left with their heads downturned, walking in solitude. After a few minutes, all were gone except for one: Yellow 7.
That night, Yellow 7 lay in his bed, staring at the ceiling. His father’s joyous smile haunted his mind. It should have been comforting, but it was not. Instead, the image carried with it the reminder that there was a new pressure on Yellow 7: to take on his father’s role and lead the family business. He knew he would take the step up into this new job, but he did not think he was ready. Nevertheless, Yellow 7 had no choice.
He turned on his side and reached into his bedside table, pulling out the letter Yellow 6 had left him:
Dearest Yellow 7,
As you know, the time will come when it is I will have to move on. You are my only son; you have a very important role in the family. When I pass, you must take over my role as the preeminent yellow dye. There can be no gap in the dye lineage; we play an essential role, and the world needs our staining services. I know that you will be mourning, but you cannot let that hold you back. Look straight ahead and think clearly: you have a job to perform.
With Never Dyeing Love,
Yellow 7 closed the letter and wiped his eyes. Then, with abrupt decisiveness, he sat up and slid off the bed. He walked up to the mirror in the bathroom and gazed at his reflection.
He was yellow. But that was not all; he was The Yellow.