First of many


A short story by Fernando de Lucas Olesti


This is the story of a young man whose name I remember but I would rather not reveal. Our protagonist had brown hair, dark eyes and he was not tall, neither short. In other words, he was an ordinary person, and he would not stand out from any random person we could see on the streets if it were not for a unique trait he had: his skin was white. This did not mean that he was of white race, it meant that it truly was of the colour white. The normal reaction after hearing this would be to think, and to be honest I thought exactly the same thing, that he would suffer a rare disease, and that he would look like a sad and spiritless person, like a canvas waiting to be painted by the artist.

Nevertheless, nothing further from the truth, because the colour of his skin was not like you had expected, as it was a white that emanated energy and purity, a radiant white. Our protagonist was cheerful, but not excessively. He was an excellent person, a good friend to his friends, who loved his family and was always willing to help. He was that kind of person that is very difficult to dislike, a rara avis nowadays. That positive energy was transmitted wherever he went: people smiled when he passed by, colours looked brighter, and birds rewarded his humble efforts with their singing.

Despite Having such a unique trait, our protagonist had a quiet and simple life, and he never was disturbed by the mass or the media. His neighbours and friends got used to his characteristic quickly and focused more on his other virtues. The whiteness of his skin became something normal, like the neighbour who has a big scar or the other one who limps on one leg. All of them thought that he was born like that because his simple minds could not imagine the authentic origin of such a special gift.

Most of the people we know sunbathe. Sunbathing makes our skin look darker, and we associate this colour with well-being, both corporal and economic. Nevertheless, this idea was  born quite recently. Not so long ago, getting tanned was avoided because it was associated with being a person from the working class. Our protagonist did not follow these hollow trends because he did not sunbathe, he moonbathed.

When I was told this story they extensively explained me how he would do it, but I will make a short version for this occasion. Fist of all, he would only moonbathe when there was a full moon because it was faster that way. The process was quite simple: he would lie down in the garden and stare at her with a serene face until he got that distinctive colour.

What our protagonist would never have expected is what happened on that day. It was a full moon, so he performed his usual moonbathing ritual, staring at her, maybe in a more intense way, maybe like he always did, but after that day nothing would ever be the same.

'It seems like a beautiful night.'

Our protagonist, used to moonbathe in the most absolute silence, was startled.

'Who is that?' he asked, slightly annoyed, looking both sides of the garden.

'Why you humans are so obsessed with looking towards the ground? Look upwards, it is me, the Moon. We have known each other for a while, but we have never had the opportunity to talk.'

Our protagonist was experiencing a mixture of fear and curiosity, and he did not know how that strange situation was going to end up.

'I often come and visit you, why you have never talked to me before?' he asked, insolently.

The moon did not answer. She just stared at him with a sweetness only comparable to the one of a mother looking to her new-born for the first time.

'Why aren't you answering back?' he insisted, disturbed with the situation.

'You are like I always imagined' said the moon, without hiding her smile.

He could not hide his astonishment.

'I need your help', continued the Moon, 'but before I tell you everything, I need you to promise that you will help me, no matter what.'

'You have my word' he promised. He was overwhelmed with such an unimaginable situation, but he had a good heart, and he felt like she really needed his help.

'Good' the Moon stopped smiling. 'The world needs more people like you, my young friend. People who make the rest smile when they pass by, people who make the colours look brighter, people willing to help.'

'You mean people of this colour' he affirmed while looking at his hands, white, radiant after moonbathing.

'Not necessarily. You were already an excellent person before moonbathing, I only helped you develop your virtues. I need you to find more people like you and bring them to me, so they can moonbathe. However, you must know that I will never talk to them like I am talking to you now, they will have to trust your word'.

'And how should I know who to choose? Sadly the world is filled with people who pretend to be what they are not, of people who don't deserve to moonbathe.'

'You will have to take risks, but don't worry. They will be people who you will bring to me, and they won't be able to moonbathe. They will defame you, furious because their falseness has been uncovered, but also jealous because they will never be like you. When this happens, you should never lose your hope. There will also be people that you will bring to me and will get the colour, some of them even brighter than yours. Just be yourself like you have always been, spread around the world your virtues and search for people excellent like you, but most of all, you should never be afraid. Don't forget that, of all the people in the world, I chose you, don't forget that you are the first of many'.