I've actually enjoyed digging this up and re-reading it. I can tell people are reading due to the likes, but this thread isn't for me alone.
Part 3 of 5
He watched the woman paint for a while, sitting on the roof. She painted wonderful flowing colors that reminded him of the sunset. Before long, she removed her colored outfit and put on a coat and regulation uniform. As the lights went out he realized something; she was a night worker. He counted the floors, and windows. 4862131 was determined to find the apartment that the painting-woman occupied. The next morning he called in sick to work, then went to the building across the street and began knocking on doors. As he passed two people in the wrong apartment, he reached another identically grey door. Knocking, 4862131 was feeling a bit uneasy, worrying that someone would recognize him and somehow reveal that he was not actually sick from work. He pushed the paranoid thought away as a woman opened the door. She was a bit drowsy and wore a baggy sleeping outfit.
"Can I help you?" she asked flatly.
"Oh, I'm very sorry! I didn't mean to-" he started, remembering the whole reason she'd be home during the day.
"Just tell me what you want, alright?" she asked, putting a slight amount of tone in her voice.
"Well I was wondering if I could chat, but you're sleeping I should-"
"Well I'm up now...Fine, fine...It's still a while before I have to be at work anyway." she said, sounding more like a person and less like a ghost. 4862131 was welcomed inside as he looked around the walls. Nothing. He was getting a sinking feeling in his gut, but knew it was her, he recognized her bright red hair.
"Well? What is it you needed to talk about? Have I met you somewhere before?" she asked, her voice becoming less annoyed by the minute.
"I...um.." he started. She raised an eyebrow. He noticed a number printed on the sleeping clothing (tags were too uncomfortable to sleep with). Her name was 4924375. 4862131 was struggling for words when she furrowed her brow.
"Please tell me you're not a stalker..." she asked.
"Oh no..no of course not. It's just that I...I saw you yesterday."
"You work at night?" she asked.
"Um..no. It's not that...I-"
"Listen buddy, I don't know about you, but you're sounding an awful lot like a stalker.." she said, confused.
"No..I was out on my roof last night, watching the sunset. It was..."
"Amazing? Yeah. You need to be careful that no police see you if you do that. Was it the first time you'd gone to the roof?" she asked him.
"Well I was...going to...jump." he admitted. She put a hand to her mouth as she pulled back slightly.
"...but then I saw you." he said. She stood up quickly.
"I knew you were a psycho. Get out of my home!" she said angrily.
"No no..I wasn't stalking you I've never seen you before last night!"
"Just get out..." she said loudly.
"But your paintings..." he said. Her eyes widened.
"What did you say?! How did you?!"
"...your curtains were open..." he said glumly, moving to the door.
"Wait." He turned to see her angry face now softening.
"Do...you want to see them? My paintings?" she said softly.
"Yes! Absolutely, but where are they?" he asked happily. She led him over to a door in the corner, locked. She opened the door and led him inside the bedroom. 4924375's bedroom was completely painted. The walls, the ceiling, even the tiles had been colored in the corners of the floor. Murals wrapped across the walls and the door; a shining sun and landscape flooded over the door as she closed it behind them. In the corner near the window sat a stack of pages and paints. On them were wonderful drawings, paintings, abstracts, and more.
"Where'd you get the paint? I thought colors were not allowed to be sold?" he questioned.
"You're right, they aren't. I....have friends. We all paint and create. We can't move the paintings we make, but can paint freely within our own homes. The legality is really sketchy." she explained.
"The paint itself is not illegal to own, but only when you keep it within your own home. Any time it is outside of your home and in public, all colored paints, clothing, paintings and other things like that are strictly forbidden. It IS a complete violation of our rights. We'd have to break the laws when we obtained and took the supplies to our homes, so we do it very discreetly." He listened intently, his mind full of a mix of anger and enthusiasm.
"How many friends do you have that...know about this?"
"You'd be surprised," she said, smiling. "Why do you ask?"
"I want to change it." he said deeply.
"Everything. How we are restricted, the regulations, the grey conformity, the blank callous days that blend together..." She cut his rant short.
"You can't simply change the world like that. This freedom I express is all I have, they could take that away if we try to revolt." He was silent for a short moment.
"But, this is not freedom, this is cruel. I'd rather die expressing myself than lay down and be restricted." She sat for a moment looking at her walls, the colored paintings never to be seen by the world, the drawing destined to be lost unseen and unknown. 4862131 spoke softly again.
"This so-called 'freedom' you have now...It's hollow, not real." He looked to the floor as he said it. She sighed, then smiled with a gleam in her eye.
"Well... Then we'd better get the others involved too."
That day 4924375 called a paragraph worth of phone numbers, mentioning words that 4862131 could tell meant other things. She mentioned a place called "The Market" which was obviously not an ordinary market. She hung up for the last time.
"Let me change, then we'll go."
"Go where?" he asked, a little excited but puzzled.
"The place I get my supplies."