We sat around a cramped kitchen table; my feet barely reached the floor back then. Cold February sunlight filtered through the windows, but we didn’t really notice. It was MathCounts season, and we were in eighth grade—it was supposed to be the year that we qualified for state.
I was the only girl at the table. Three other guys made up the rest of the team, and there were days when I didn’t fit.
Our coach gave us M&M’s during a study break. I lined mine up in pairs of complementary colors, like the glossy-paged jewelry book I’d read a few days ago had suggested. Orange and blue, red and green, yellow and purple; they were on opposite sides of the color wheel, and they were supposed to clash with each other. It didn’t make sense to mix colors that didn’t match, but I put them together anyway. The book had told me to. They didn’t fit together, and I kind of liked that.
The other weekend, I watched the aftermath of the sunset. The sun was long gone, but the sky still glowed blue and orange. Out of habit I scanned the skyline, trying to find the point at which the colors clashed. I couldn’t.
The blue and the orange melted into each other, meeting in the middle in an ambiguous shade of neither. Blorange, or something. Even the name sounds gross, but I promise that the sky wasn’t. It was weird that two colors I’d firmly believed were polar opposites could coexist without clashing, but they did. They weren’t supposed to match, but the sky glowed and the sunset had just finished, and everything was blorange.
At one point I was a firm believer in things not fitting. One girl didn’t fit with three guys, and blue didn’t fit with orange. Really, though, they did.