Red is a beautiful colour. The colour of leaves in the autumn. The colour of the sky when the sun sets. The colour of the lights at a concert. But, seeing red will make me frown and grit my teeth, trying to choke down the sobs building in my chest. Because red reminds me too much of him, of us. Red is the colour of the blood that seeped out of my skin as I pulled a razor gently across it. Red is the colour of the envelope he left on his drawer addressed to me and red will always be what I felt when I fell in love with him.
There was this boy who sat two seats away from me on the school bus. His eyes would shine like the brightest star in the sky and his smile could end wars and cure cancer. And I think that he was beautiful . It was a typical Friday to school. I had Iron Maiden's album blasting through my iPod, trying to block out the roar of the crowd as they laughed aloud and teased me. Sometimes, I took a look around and thought. Maybe it was the way I looked. Maybe I had to look like Beyonce before they would stop. But by then, it would be too late.
Hey, but by that time I was sixteen and people hated me, a lot. You didn't have to be a genius to figure out I had been bullied. It started with a little back talk and shit, but then they found out about my severe depression and it all went downhill from there. I would be called ugly, fat, depressed. I could be called anything they wanted. While I would stare off the walls and pretend I hadn't hear them.
Let me get this straight. I was the type of girl who minded her own business, who pretended to herself and everyone around her that she was okay but when she got to bed that night and turned off the lights, with the darkness around her protecting her like a blanket, she would cry herself to sleep. I tried to block them out but in the end of the day, I found myself as the day before. A razor at hand. The scars on my wrists were accumulating, all too deep and too symmetrical to be called accidents.
It came to the point where I would lie down on the ground and beg the ground to open up and swallow me whole. It might have seemed like ending my life would have been much easier than staying alive. It was like I was torn in two. Constantly torn between killing myself and killing everyone around me. But it was my dream that made me sane. I had a dream to get the hell out of here. To prove to myself that there was better shit in life than this. In other words, I was determined to find a Great Perhaps. And neither hell or high water could stop me from that.
There was this boy who sat two seats away from me on the school bus. He would laugh at his friends whenever jokes are being made and his ever-so-green eyes would flit away and meet mine every once in a while. I would always remember the day I was being shoved into a seat and had my earplugs pulled out. I remember tasting blood because I was biting my lips too harsh to keep me from breaking down. But he had stopped laughing and he looked right at me.
Profanities floated from mouth to mouth and the boy in front of me yanked up my sleeve only to reveal my scars. The whole bus burst out laughing. Harry stood up, furious with his mates. He shoved the people out of his way and glared at them before pulling me away from them. He brought me to his seat and then I realised the eerie silence of the bus and that there were tears on my cheeks.
I knew that he knew he was going to pay for standing up for me. But I didn't think it could have been any worse than how I got treated. It was the period after gym when I took a turn to hit the showers when I heard a grunt and a groan coming from the boys' locker room. I remember the fact that I couldn't breathe when I found out it was Harry getting hit by his so-called friends. From that day on, all I wanted to do was to get on my knees and ask him for forgiveness. It was because of me he had bruises on his cheeks, on his eye. Because of me he started eating by himself during lunch.
There was this boy who sat two seats away from me on the school bus. By then, he was as empty as the lake during the winter and I missed seeing his smile. It had gotten to the point where he would start skipping school. His bruises had gotten worse and the light in his eyes had faded away. It was a week after his disappearance, I heard a click on my bedroom window. It was a quarter to three in the morning and I was staying up, trying to do calculus. My head was screaming PARANORMAL ACTIVITY at me and honestly, I was getting freaked out. As the clicks intensified, I found the courage to take a peek.
Knight in shining armour, or a blazer for that matter, there stood Harry Styles, his lips were blue from the cold, throwing pebbles at my window.
"Hey," he said, lightly teasing despite the cold autumn air.
"Hi," I replied, breathless at the sight of him.
"I have to see you. I can't sleep," he admitted sheepishly.
By the end of our talk, he was sitting against his hood and he was shivering. The bruises on his cheeks were bright patches of blue and green across his pale complexion. He was a bizarre patchwork of quilt. He told me that he loved me before he closed the door to the Jeep. With the windows down, I told him to get off my road before my parents woke up. Softly, I also told him I love him, too and his cheeks reddened to my words. I would remember the smile he flashed at me that night. A smile of hope and I saw a flicker of recognition of the Harry I knew. He blew me a flying kiss before turning the engine on and driving away. For the first night in my life after I had started, I didn't even touch the blade.
There was this boy who sat two seats away from me on the school bus. The memory of his smile burned at the back of my mind and his last words to me had been replayed for a lot of times now. He had killed himself the night of our talk. His mother had found him bloody under his own bed sheet and had screamed for help but it was already too late. Everything was already too late. On his bedside drawer, he had written three letters. A letter to his friends saying that he would miss them. A letter to his parents saying that he was sorry and a letter to the girl who sat two seats away from him on the school bus saying that he loved her a lot.
Red also meant pain. A flicker of red would take me back to feel the pain I wanted quite badly to run away from. What happened before the pain. And what happened after the pain. And what happened when I felt it. And I would tell myself day after day that I would never pick up a blade just to make me feel more alive. Pain, it might have seemed, was a synonym to how I felt about Harry.
And I do. I do painfully miss him. A lot. And it breaks my heart that I could do nothing about it.