By Kim McGreal
I saw him long before he saw me. But then, I’ve had a lot more practice at this.
He’s got that wide-eyed, open-mouthed look that I remember well. He’s confused by all the colours, which is understandable—the first time I saw them, I thought I was either dying or going insane. I’m still not sure about the latter.
The blues always attract my attention first when I’m in a crowd, and by the way he’s staring at that poor girl, I guess he’s seeing it, too. He won’t have learnt what the colours mean yet, but the more he stares at her, the darker her blue is getting. It will only be a few seconds until she gets nervous enough to walk in the opposite direction. Yep, there she goes, with her blue as dark as a midnight sky. There’s a touch of a deep blood red in there, too, which might have been interesting to watch, if she’d have let that anger take over instead of the fear.
He’s already forgotten about her. Ah, that’s why. The couple sitting on the bench. He’ll be watching the way their contrasting colours blend into each other. It’s not a good colour combination; his orange clashes with her yellow. He’s hiding something from her, but she is completely head-over-heels in love with him. That one isn’t going to end well, no matter the soft pink they share.
Sooner or later he’ll spot my silver. It’s the way we find each other; it’s a colour unique to people like us. It will take him a while to realise that it’s not a colour he can see on anyone else. If he had the sense to look in a mirror, he’d see the same colour around himself, but the way he’s still gawping tells me the ability only just kicked in for him.
He’s seen me.
His own silver is mixed with green in a combination that makes me think of Christmas. There’s no blue in his colours, just that soft green of curiosity, and I wonder what colours he can see in me. There will be a tinge of blue, just a sprinkling, but I suspect I’m mostly red. He’s walking towards me without hesitating—you’d think the colour itself would act as a warning, but it never seems to. I turn my back on him and walk away from the mass of people. I don’t want to have this conversation where others can overhear. There’s a small alleyway a few steps away, so I head down there. It’s the middle of the day, but there are no street lights here. He’ll be able to see my colours even clearer in the dull light.
“You can see them too.”
It’s not a question, but I nod anyway.
“What are they?”
They always ask the same question first. I still can’t answer it. I wish they’d think of something else.
He opens his mouth to ask another question, but stops. I wonder if he’s finally realised what the colours mean. My red must be torch-bright by now. He’s even more naive than the others if he hasn’t figured it out.
I watch the colours fade from him as the blood pours from his body. The knife in my hand is covered with his blood. It’s red, but nothing like my colour. The blood is the deep burgundy of pain, almost black. It’s the last colour of his I’ll ever see.
I like being the only one who can see the colours.