Chapter Five

46 4 6

That evening was amazing. I learned that the tulips in the window sill were blue, orange and red. I didn't go home until the next afternoon, and a lot happened in that time.

We played games until 2 AM. I had the time of my life, it was amazing. I hadn't had that much fun in decades.

I hadn't realised it'd been almost thirty years since Alfie died until that night. 

Lars told me he'd had a younger brother too, and that he had died before he could even find his soulmate. He also told me that, during his travelling, he had learned that, when that happened, the remaining soulmate would age as normal, but would still remain unable to see colours. 

I didn't know what I'd have done if I suddenly just aged.

I told him about Alfred, who had found his soulmate when he was sixteen and lived to the age of eighty-seven, having died twenty-eight years ago, and that I had been alone for all that time. I told him that I used to have lots of friends from all over the world, and that they all found their soulmates, aged and died, and that I was all alone after the death of Feliciano, twenty-two years ago. He'd lived to be ninety, not counting the years he didn't age.

I told him that I had been alive for over a century, having lived through two world wars and the Great Depression, and he said he was born in the middle of World War One, and that World War Two was why his brother died.

I explained that Alfred met his soulmate had been in 1924, and they graduated together. World War Two majorly influenced their relationship. His soulmate, Kiku, had his family taken because they were Japanese, and Kiku had learned to be frightened of Americans while he was away. 

They worked it out, though, and Kiku realised Alfred would never hurt him, no matter the circumstances. 

I smiled sadly, regretting the fact neither lived to see gay marriage get legalised. None of my friends did.

And they all had same-sex soulmates, except for Maria and Roderich.

Well, same-sex, yes.

They didn't have the same gender would be a better way to say it.

And now I was facing the same problem, except the other way around.

Not same-sex, but we did have the same gender.

It was the same as Ludwig and Feliciano.

After we went to bed, I still talked to Lars for a long time. I told him how World War One was for me. Though I was only six when it started, I remembered it vividly. Papa had to fight. We lived in France during the war and moved to America after Papa got shot in the back and lost his ability to walk. 

We lived there in peace until Papa and Dad wanted to get married.

I explained to him how Alfred and I were born to a gay couple in the first two decades of the twentieth century - there was one woman willing to bear a child for them and was willing to do so when they wanted another, as well. It also explained why Alfred's eyes were vivid blue, unlike the rest of our family - or that's what I always heard. I'll never see for myself.

Lars explained he was born around a decade after world war one, about two years before the Wall Street Crash. He had been sent out to fight in the second world war and had almost died if he hadn't gone to the local hospital immediately after he was wounded. Nothing very special had happened apart from that.

He told me of a friend he made in the war, a young German called Gabriel, which made me look up. 

"Gabriel... What was his last name?" 

"Beilschmidt. Why?"

"I didn't know he fought..."

Gabriel Beilschmidt.

A name I recognised as a friend, a nephew.

A name I knew as a bad memory for Ludwig and Feliciano.

"Did he die in the war?"

Lars nodded. 

"He was the son of two of my friends."

The Colour of GrassRead this story for FREE!