“Mom! Leah is hungry!”, my elder brother, Roy called out. I rolled my eyes at him and he smiled back lovingly. That’s my life. People around me can know what I feel inside as soon as I feel it. Well, atleast most of it. ” What can I do? Your eyes are a deep blue and I can’t ignore that!”, he said defensively. I sighed.

Yes, my eyes change colour according to what I feel inside and No, I’m not a mutant like those in X-Men. When I was born, everyone looked at me in wonder. It was a lot simple back then because there were just 3-4 colours as all I wanted was to eat or drink and would be happy or sad. There is no scientific reason why this happens. Now, especially because I am a teenager, a whole variety of colours have popped up. I am literally an exhibit and I am sick of people staring at me. 

Most of them don’t know what each colour means. Hell, I myself don’t know. That’s the funny part, they see the colours but don’t know my feelings and I know what I’m feeling but can’t see what colour my eyes are. Only when they tell me the colour do I secretly correlate it to an emotion I felt. Some of it are known to most of my friends – Blue when I’m hungry & thirsty, Hazel when I’m happy, Black when I’m angry, Lavender when I’m sad and so on. And green when I’m jealous of Jenny’s leather handbag (this one they haven’t guessed yet, thank God!). 

Now there is one colour entirely dedicated to Ryan, the coolest guy on the planet! But the sad fact is, he doesn’t know I exist. But I love him so much! “Hey pink lady!”, Philip broke my gaze on Ryan as he walked along the school corridor. Philip’s my best friend. He has figured out most of the colours and so it’s hard to hide from him. “Shush, Pip! Not so loud. The last thing I want people to know is my eyes turn pink when i’m in love”. He grinned and said,”Nah, don’t worry. I made sure no one was around”. We walked to our classroom together as he elaborated on his scores during the football match I had missed.

I was standing outside the staffroom, doing some last minute checks before submitting an assignment. I felt a tap on my shoulder and I turned. “Hey Leah, I’m Ryan and I wondered if – whoa! your eyes just turned pink!”. Shit. Ryan Jones just talked to me and called me by my name! And I’m opening and closing my mouth like a bloated frog. Great. Pip, where are you???

I finally figured out how to use my vocal cords and said, “Yeah I know. It changes colours. What were you saying before?”. I hope I wasn’t blinking too fast. “Yeah, you are in my geography class right? I wondered if I could borrow your assignment. I wanted to cross check with mine to see I haven’t missed anything out.”, he said and gave a heart-stopping smile.

Oh Ryan! Please take it, along with my heart and soul. It’s yours. Thank God my  brain modified those words before I blurted it out. “Sure. You can have it. Can you keep it on sir’s desk along with yours?”, I said. Ryan nodded and thanked me before walking away. I was on cloud nine! I couldn’t wait to find Pip.

Even though there weren’t any more conversations with Ryan, I was happy with what I got. I had replayed the whole thing a thousand times in the past one week. My eyes were pink all through that week! Even my friends were confused and had a guessing game during lunch break everyday. Pip had to nudge me occasionally to bring me back to the real world. This time however, it was not Pip. It was our geography sir.

He was about to start the class. He looked at all of us and said,”I am extremely pleased with your submissions.” Of course, mine had a magical touch too! “Everyone except Leah has secured A+.” Wait, what? He answered my shocked face,”Well, what do you expect miss? I need a submission first, to grade it. If you think you can escape such assignments, please expect fail grades in future also.”

I was humiliated. Pip mirrored my confused expression. My eyes might be grey now. I looked at Ryan and he was grinning at his friends. I confronted him during break. He coolly said he didn’t have time to write one and when I offered so willingly, it was as easy as taking a candy from a baby. He laughed and ran his fingers through his hair as he walked off. The hair I stared at so much, I suddenly wanted to pull it all out. But I’m just words, I’m too weak to turn my violent thoughts into action. I felt cheated. I wondered what colour my eyes were now.

Pip told me later that it was Jenny who suggested the idea to Ryan. He heard her tell her friends and laugh about it. She had noticed how smitten I was with Ryan and had informed Ryan the same. I was the fool. I cried a lot when I went home. It was humiliation, anger and pain on realising that the guy I had ‘loved’ was an entirely evil person.The class’s laughter rang in my ears. I wanted to be alone. I didn’t even pick up Pip’s call.

The next day dawned and I somehow dragged myself to school. I was numb as I had cried it all out the previous night. I didn’t feel anything when I saw Jenny and her cronies giggle at me. I didn’t even give Ryan a second look as he passed me in the corridor. As I reached the classroom, I saw that Pip was waiting for me. 

“Now that’s the lightest shade of lavender in the planet. We should find a new name for this colour.”, he joked. I smiled weakly. “Here, go submit this.”, he said as he handed me a file. I looked at him confused. “It’s our geography assignment. I wrote it. Now go plead, beg, cry, crib, bribe, blackmail and do whatever necessary to make sir take this. Tell him that it was misplaced or something. You will get atleast a C, which is better than fail.”

I kept staring at him. He had written fifty pages of boring crap, all over again for me. I had even failed to remind him to submit his assignment initially as I was so immersed in my encounter with Ryan. My heart felt full somehow. He looked at me warily.

“Did I do something wrong? Why are your eyes red? It’s a little scary, I must admit.”, he said nervously. Wow. Red. That’s a new colour. I smiled at him in a way I have never smiled before. He smiled back warmly, despite me looking all scary. It had so much love. 

I was mistaken before. Red is the colour of love.

Picture courtesy : Pinterest