chapter 1

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The term they use for it is 'colourblind'. Once you're old enough to learn the laws of finding your soulmate, they tell you about being colourblind.

"Disgusting," people say, "-it's a sickness, a disease."

It's the condition I am in. Where I am somebody's soulmate, however they are not mine. It's scarce, people are rarely open about it. I guess it's because of this, that I decided to keep quiet about it.

Our eyes are designed to see only two shades; black and white. Once united with your soulmate - the person you'll spend the rest of your life with - that's when the world of colour opens up to you.

I've never met anyone else that is colourblind. There's support groups for it and certain pills you can take but I guess I have always been so terribly ashamed of it. That's why I lied, to my family, my friends and to Liam.

We had met when I was sixteen, just two years ago. I was in the park, with my family and it was a really hot day. He had come running up to me, crying tears of happiness and flinging his arms around me.

When he pulled away he was clearly ecstatic. "You're her!" He had shouted, "I'm Liam."

I was so confused because I was frantically searching for colour. I found none and in that split second, I knew. I was colourblind.

So what did I do? I stayed quiet and smiled along with Liam, he was pretty attractive and so sweet that I did start to like him but he was not my soulmate. I have gotten used to seeing him almost everyday and I'm now used to him wanting to shower me with affection and gifts.

But I'll never adore him quite like he adores me, he's not my soulmate. We were not destined to be together and that's the cruel reality of it all. I don't wish I could rewind to that day, I know if I came out and told him I was colourblind, my life would be over.

When you touch your soulmate, there's supposed to be electricity but when Liam and I are kissing, I feel nothing. I've kissed other people before, it's nothing special but I know how he's feeling so I pretend.

My parents love Liam too, anyone would he's smart, polite and he has this witty look about him. They treat him like a son and they were thrilled that I would be spending the rest of my life with him.

I'm the only one who doesn't love him.

We're sitting in around the dining table of my house, eating breakfast. I slowly cut up my food in small pieces and put them in my mouth, Liam is sitting next to me cracking jokes and making conversation. I laugh quietly along when necessary.

He thinks I'm just a little distant and quiet but I can't even look him in the eyes without feeling so terribly guilty.

"Have a look at this." Liam spoke up, placing a newspaper on the table. I tilted my head to see what it said.

Breaking News: Eva McCarthy, another colourblind teenage we have lost to suicide.

I looked away, suddenly feeling nauseous.

"These colourblind folk are really ungrateful, she should have tried therapy. It works wonders." My mother said in her high-pitched voice.

I clenched my fists under the table.

"I agree, it's not fair on their partners." Liam nodded.

"Well," I burst out, "therapy doesn't make sense, the colours cannot be forced into you. It's not a question of science, it's a question of emotion."

Everyone was staring at me and I regretted my words as soon as they left my mouth. Liam was visibly shocked, frowning like he was trying to figure something out.

Oh god, I had to get out of there. I pushed my chair back, causing a loud scraping noise and ran up to my bedroom. I changed quickly, black top, black jeans and black shoes. Liam always said green would look good on me but I ignored him, I didn't even know what green looked like so I just wore black.

I paused in my room to look over at my canvas with its half finished piece on it. It was the blossom tree in my garden, of course it was in black and white because I didn't know what colours it held. I yearned to be able to see that splash of paint in a different shade but my day would never come.

On my way downstairs, Liam was waiting at the bottom of the stairs looking annoyed. I always knew when he was stressed because he would start biting his lip.

He looked up and saw me.

"Blair, what the hell was that?" He said, his voice quiet but his tone steely.

"I'm going for a walk." I stated.

He grabbed my arm. "No you're not, where did all of that come from? You're parents are mortified. Don't be talking like a liberal, colourblind queers need to be abolished."

I snatched my arm back, tears of anger in my eyes. "I'm going for a fucking walk, Liam and don't you dare follow me."

His expression softened. "I'm sorry sweetie, I love you."

I almost didn't say it back, that hesitation where I considered telling him everything. The moment passed and I decided against it.

"I love you too." I replied. He almost looked relieved, like he could sense my hesitation.

Then I walked out the door, slamming it behind me because I was so angry that my parents were full of such prejudice. I was angry because I would never be accepted in society. I was angry because Liam loved me and I could never love him.

I threw open the door to the coffee shop, and marched over to the till.

"I need a coffee, make it black." I snapped at the boy working at the counter.

"Of course, is there anything else-" he looked up and froze.

I felt like I'd been punched in the gut, the whole world slowed down as I made eye contact with this stranger. Everything had erupted into colour and I felt a little dizzy at all the new shades bursting into my vision. I stared at the boy, we were both smiling so wide my face was hurting but I didn't care.

I was seeing colour.

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