The waiter that handed me my coffee had hands stained with blue, bright blue standing out against their dark skin. Guess they got lucky, found someone to wash away the rest. Or perhaps they never had any to wash away, their hairline is stained too. Signs of gentle touches.
Yeah I know most people use words like ‘painted’ or ‘caressed’ to describe the colours. I use ‘stained’, because thats what they are. Stupid marks that wouldn’t go away no matter how hard you tried. Marks that show everyone your personal life. Stains that show if you love too much or not at all.
You see I hate the orange stains that lace my body, the constant reminder that my only love left me. Ran away with someone who could mark them with deep purple, wash away my pitiful gold.
Most people think gold is an amazing colour to leave behind, not him. He hated it, said it reminded him of all the medals he should have won.
Oh well, at least I’m not stained with white
That’s the worst, white means you’ve fallen in love. But they don’t love you back, so every time that person touches you your skin is bleached. A constant reminder that they don’t love you back
Most of the time those people find another soulmate, someone to wash away the bleach. To give them colour again
There’s one person in this city that I know of with skin bleached.
A CSI, I don’t know his name. But it’s obvious, I always see him interviewing patients at the hospital I work at.
See their sympathetic looks as their eyes trail along his bleached body.
I've never spoken to him though; hell I've never even looked him in the eyes. I'm too scared I'll see myself in them, see the same hopeless look all people left by their colour match do.
Yeah I get that there's still hope. That by some miracle you might find a real match. Someone to wash away the other colours. Or paint over the bleach.
It had happened before.
But then I look at the bleached CSI, and I lose all hope.
As I walk to the hospital I see him again, running in. He’s always late, that much is obvious by the annoyed scowl of the police captain as he arrives. The annoyed scowl stained with yellow.
I went to my next patient, trying to ignore the bleached soul behind me as much as I tried to pretend my hands aren’t stained with orange.
“Y/N?” one of the nurses called.
“The CSI has to question your patient.”
“Alright, send him in,” I replied as I carried on taking my patient’s vitals. There was nothing I wouldn’t have done to not be in that room. To not see my own fate reflected in his eyes.
I could ignore him, I thought. I could carry on my duties and pretend I didn’t see the other person in the room, I could just make sure the patient was stable and handle the rest once he leaves.
Until he enters.
He’s much taller than I expected, about half a head taller than me (yeah I’m tall urgh). He walked in and tried to introduce himself. Tried to shake my hand. I ignored him, I couldn’t possibly address him. That would mean addressing all of him.
I try not to notice the sad looks my patient is giving him.
I did my full exam without even looking at him, and then practically ran from the room.
Thankfully the rest of the day went fine, a couple patients commented on how happy I must be of course.
Because that was the only option when a colour stains your body as much as it stains mine, no one presumes that person could have left. Because somehow everything revolves around this stupid colours.
As I was walking home that day I heard running behind me, as I turned around I saw the CSI running towards me.
No. No. No.
This cannot be happening, I thought. There was no way he could about to reach me, none at all. I avoid him as much as possible. This isn’t happening.
“Hey! Wait,” he called, running up to me.
When I turned to look at him I saw just how bad off he was, his hairline, his cheeks, the outline of his lips. All bleached, like every bit of colour was drained from him. His pain painted on his face by some cruel artist.
He held something in colourless hands, “This fell of your neck while you were examining that guy, thought you might want it back.”
In his hands he held my gold necklace that my brother gave me, I hadn’t even noticed it had gone.
“Oh my god, thank you so much! I don’t know what I would have done if I had lost this!”
He smiled, he was different when he smiled. Almost like a trace of his former self somewhere in there, fighting to resurface.
“No problem,” he said as he handed it back to me.
As he gave it to me our hands touched, I almost screamed.
Where he touched me, the orange had changed to a deep maroon.
I looked at his hand and saw gold, the bleached had been painted over.
“Hi,” he whispered, a broken smile on his face.
“Hey,” I laughed back, tracing his face with my hand, watching as the bleach there changed to gold.
It’s been five months since that day and I’ve got to own up to something, maybe soulmates weren’t so bad after all.
I’ve learned his name is Barry, I’ve he’s the Flash (his colour is maroon for god’s sake). He’s in and out of the hospital all the time now. Only I don’t avoid him now, I watch with pride.
As the patient’s smiles change from sympathetic to hopeful as their eyes trail down the gold paint strokes that lace his body.