It begins like this.
The dark-haired girl is drawing a cat.
She is satisfied with the shade of grey it is, her favourite one actually. Her T-shirt is the exact same shade. She tells people that it's her favourite colour but they look at her like she's crazy for loving a shade of the grey that is their world.
She sets the colour pencil aside and leans back, dark eyes admiring her handiwork. A bright grin lights up her face, tiny hands clapping together in delight. Their teacher looks at her drawing over her shoulder, laying a hand on her shoulder as he praises the five-year old.
The young girl beams proudly, angelic rays practically shining from her. The older man smiles softly, ruffling her hair playfully and chuckles as she bats his hands away. He leaves her, wishing that he could describe the colour to her like he used to. But his world had gone grey weeks ago.
Big dark eyes scan her surroundings, landing on a fair-haired girl sitting alone at the corner. She pushes her seat back, approaching her classmate without hesitation. Tapping the other girl on the shoulder, she beams brightly and waved.
The other girl glances at her shortly, turning back around without acknowledging the little girl with bright eyes and blinding smile. In the split-second that the brunette meets the other girl's eyes, she is smitten. She taps the other girl once again, her excited smile meeting annoyed gorgeous eyes. The fair-haired girl raises an eyebrow at the other girl.
"You have beautiful eyes," the dark-haired girl says, thin fingers tucking a strand of light-coloured hair behind the other's ear. The lighter-eyed girl flushes, pale cheeks holding a slightly darker tint.
She furrows her eyebrows and scowls, hoping the other girl hadn't noticed. She speaks her distaste, telling the brunette to leave her alone. She pauses, mind whirling as her hand shoots out to grab her classmate's attention.
"You can see my eye colour?" The girl asks incredulously, nobody meets their soulmate at such a young age.
The darker-haired girl shakes her head, eyes sparkling, "They're pretty even without colour."
The lighter-haired girl watches her, sizing the darker-eyed girl up.
The latter grins, thrusting her hand out, "I'm Riley Matthews."
The former raises an eyebrow, "Maya Hart."
"We're going to be the bestest friends ever!" The darker-haired one exclaims, her broad grin impossibly growing.
The other girl rolls her eyes, "Honey, I seriously doubt that."
"Too bad, Maya Hart," The darker-eyed one enthuses, slinging her arm around her new friend and pulling her into a hug, "You're going to have to get used to me."
She doesn't notice how blue eyes widen, pale hands gripping the back of her purple T-shirt slightly as colours filled the blonde-haired girl's world.
It went on like this.
"Hey Maya," The brunette beams, slinking an arm around the shoulders of the girl.
The other girl smiles at her friend, blue eyes softening from the hard glare she was directing to anybody who dares to look at her in the hallway. The cool metal of the locker feels relieving against her skin, the weather unusually warm.
The darker-haired girl stares in wonder as shades of grey swirl within her best friend's irises, her excitement momentarily forgotten. She pulls the shorter girl towards her, brushing fair strands away from her face. The shorter girl gently pushes her hands away, holding them.
"Excited, Sweetheart?" Her sarcasm does not go unnoticed yet is ignored as the taller one squeals, clapping her hands together. She watches fondly as her friend rambles on excitedly, pale fingers fidgeting with hers.
The shrill ringing of the bell sounds, pulling the girls from their conversation.
"C'mon, Honey," The lighter-eyed girl says, tugging on their interlocked hands, "Don't want to be late for your first middle school lesson, do you?"
She is answered with an affirmative, lips turning upwards as they bound off to find their new classroom. Their destination finds them in history with a Mr Matthews and they groan when they enter. Slightly confused and freaked out, they take their seats near the front of the room.
Chairs screeching against the floor, the shorter girl smiles at her best friend then turns to face the front of the classroom. Hazel eyes identical to those belonging to the girl next to her look out at the class and she can't stop herself from seeing those eyes everywhere.
She looks down at the brown tabletop of her desk, blue eyes scanning the imperfections. Sighing, she is able to make out a name carved into the wood. She notices that it is worn but still noticeable. She wonders what is being served in the cafeteria for lunch, hoping that the food is better in middle school compared to elementary school.
Her musings are interrupted when a hand covers the single word, blocking her line of sight. Turning her head up, she is met with the chestnut brown eyes she was trying not to think about.
"Maya?" Pale pink lips utter, worry evident in beautiful chestnut eyes, "Class ended. Are you okay?"
She mutters an assurance, slinging her bag over her shoulder as she hadn't taken anything out. The other girl watches carefully, gently taking her hand and interlocking their fingers. She feels grateful that she had not pushed for information as the brunette chatters on about how god-awful it was that her father was their teacher.
She finds comfort in their interlocked hands, shoving away the urge to retort about how amazing it is that she even has a father who cares. She shuts her mouth, quelling the slight jealousy that arises.
Instead, she helps the other girl find her next class and walks her there, although hers is apparently on the the other side of the building. She places a gentle kiss on the inside of the brunette's wrist, hiding her joy when her friend beams with pink staining her cheeks. She bids her goodbye and spends the entire period sketching sparkling eyes, soft lips and gleaming teeth on the roof.
He smiles at her. Green eyes trace the lines of her drawing, he shifts his gaze and looks at her knowingly.
"You love her," He states, eyes flickering down to the drawing of her best friend.(He is her best friend too, after knowing one another for two years, but she will always be her number one)
She pauses, her heart sinking. She knows he had loved her. Blue eyes meet green.
She spends the night telling him everything. Many tears are shed and she ends up cradled in his arms. He looks at her sadly, "I understand, Maya."
She turns her head, about to refute his statement when she meets his sad eyes. Those sad eyes that flicker to a framed photo of her and their genius friend. And she knows.
"It hurts," She whimpers, feeling his tears stain her T-shirt.
"Yeah," He whispers weakly, "It does."
"Hey guys!" The familiar cheery voice chirps, the sound of a tray being set down on the table following soon after. The fair-haired girl's lips turn up slightly, greeting the newcomer. She raises an eyebrow at the girl's food, "Sweetheart, are you sure that's edible? "
She is treated to a lecture of being thankful and reminded of their middle school days. Rolling her light eyes, she spears a piece of meat with her fork and shoves it into her mouth. She chews slowly, waiting for the speed of the words to dwindle before interjecting, having swallowed her food. "Whatever you say, babe."
"Hey Maya," One of their friends begin, pushing her glasses up her nose, "Why do you never call Riley by her name?"
Agreements and interest is expressed by others seated at their table. The fair-haired Texan stays silent. The light-eyed girl stiffens slightly before smirking and slinging her arm over the dark-haired girl's shoulder, "We're special."
She watches hazel eyes sparkle and pink lips part, showcasing gleaming white teeth. The taller girl tugs on her white T-shirt, pulling her into a hug. She tries not to shudder when soft lips whisper 'I love you' into her ear.
He gives her a sad smile when she meets green eyes.
It nearly ends like this.
The fair-haired girl lounges on her friend's bed. Blue eyes watch cautiously as the brunette teenager paces the room. Sighing, she stands up and forces her friend to stop. She grabs her shoulders and stares deeply into dim chocolate eyes, enquiring why the other girl was so distressed.
"What's wrong with me?" The dark-haired girl questions, "Everyone has met their soulmate. I'm the only one who can't see it."
Colour. The word is silent but so heavy, weighing down on the blonde's shoulders. She feels gravity pulling down her guilt which is more prominent in moments like these. The blue-eyed girl mentally grimaces, disgusted with herself.
"You're you, babe," The blonde assures, a pale hand reaching out to grab the brunette's arm, "You don't need colours to find beauty in this world. "
The brunette scowls, dark eyebrows furrowing and gorgeous features filled with frustration. She sighs, turning around to face her shorter friend fully, making full eye contact.
"Maya," She begins, "Who am I?"
The blonde winces internally, feeling her response before it falls out of her mouth automatically. Her filter fails her for the first time in twelve years.
"You're Riley Matthews," She says. Because that is all anybody needs to know. It is an answer that speaks for itself.
She watches as chestnut eyes widen, is able to witness her other half's reaction at seeing the world in colours other than grey. She sees the wonderment and confusion in those sparkling amber orbs. She sees realisation and anger. The brunette stares at her angrily, then turns her head.
The blonde winces and nods gently, climbing out the taller girl's window. She trudges home, filled with regret.
Blonde tendrils of hair whip past her face ultimately flattening and attaching to pale skin due to the sudden onslaught of rain. Fingernails dig deeply into pale palms, blue eyes staring dumbly ahead.
Her soulmate's world finally in colour but she can't even bear to look at her.
But it doesn't.
The blonde stares blankly at the cool blue lockers opposite her. Her mind conjures the image of hurt hazel eyes and yet another wave of regret crashes through her. She leans her head back on her locker, feeling the cool metal against the back of her head.
Two weeks, she has done the same thing for two weeks in vain hope that the brunette would appear and they would walk to homeroom together. All that happened was the blonde girl turning up for class for the first few days, spending the entire period trying to catch a glimpse of chestnut orbs that refuse to meet blue.
After several failed attempts, the blonde stopped going to class at all.
The ringing of the bell jerks her out of her thoughts. A miserable sigh exits between parted lips, blue eyes hidden behind closed eyelids as the teenager fights to suppress her tears. The noise made by her fellow classmates ceases slowly, footsteps of latecomers fading. Gnawing on her bottom lip, she comes to a decision.
Black high heeled boots click against the floor as the blonde walks slowly to class. She comes to a stop at the wooden brown door, eyes scanning the classroom through the window.
Her eyes land on a pretty brunette who is smiling and laughing with the rest of the class, probably at another one of the dark-haired Texan's jokes. Said boy seems pretty smug. She opens the door.
"Ms Hart," Her soulmate's father starts, concern evident in his tone,"Great that you could join us. Please take your seat."
She can feel several pairs of eyes boring into her tiny figure. Biting her lip, the blonde sits down on her seat, ignoring the hazelnut eyes burning into her. Leaning backwards, the blonde holds her hands behind her head while putting her feet on her table. Conjuring a smirk, because pretending like she wasn't miserable was second nature to her, the girl nods her head at her concerned teacher, "Well, go on. Bore us to your heart's content."
The class snickers, many averting their eyes once the teacher begins speaking once more. According to them, Maya Hart is back to normal.
"Ms Hart?" She hears her name being called as she gathers her items as quickly as she can, "A word, please."
Mentally cursing, the blonde smoothens her features. She raises an eyebrow at her teacher, ignoring the two pairs of eyes boring into her back, and saunters over to the front.
Resting her hands on the edge of the teacher's table, she hoists her backpack further up on the one shoulder it was on and fixes her piercing gaze on the man. He stares at her, worry evident in those god-awful brown eyes.
She looks away, her face burning in shame. She doesn't deserve having those brown eyes care for her. Doesn't deserve his worry. Despite it not being the exact eyes that stared at her with pain and betrayal, she is not worthy of being cared for.
"Maya," He begins, tilting his head to meet her eyes, "Is everything alright?"
'No!' She wants to scream, 'I was selfish and I fucked up. You should hate me.'
'I hurt her,' She tries to admit, 'I promised you I'd take care of her but I was the one who she should've been protected from.'
'She doesn't need me,' She feels like whimpering, mind flashing to the image of those chestnut eyes sparkling and that wide smile directed to someone who wasn't her.
"Yeah," She says instead, running a hand through her blonde hair, "I'm fine."
Throwing her teacher a small sarcastic wave, she backpedals out of the room. Her eyes accidentally meet warm chocolate ones that are staring intently at her. She quickly turns, walking in the opposite direction despite her next class being in that direction. She feels someone fall into step beside her.
"Hey," He greets, his usual smile appearing.
"Howdy," She jests, missing their usual interactions.
They walk on in silence, him following her up to the roof. They sit, legs stretched out in front of them and arms supporting their frame.
"I told her," She says finally.
He nods, eyes fixed on the view, "I know."
It continues on.
She is shaken from her half-asleep state when her grandmother calls her name. Her hands brush against her soft bedspread as she stretches slightly before getting up.
Her feet pad against the carpeted floor, her body protesting at the interruption of her almost-nap.
"Coming," She calls out when her grandmother repeats her words.
She turns her doorknob and sluggishly drags herself to the living room, stopping short when her eyes meet chestnut brown.
Her grandmother smiles and mumbles something about needing to go the the grocery's, grabbing a coat and slinking out the door.
Blue eyes meet warm chocolate ones.
The taller girl takes a few steps towards her, face filled with determination. She pulls her close and kisses her gently, yet firmly.
Her lips are soft and warm. She feels like she's burning and absentmindedly wonders in the back of her mind if she has a fever. Her hands raise and rests on those on her shoulders, somehow managing to tug the taller girl closer and tilt her head.
"Riley-" She begins as they part for air, the other girl pulling her impossibly closer. She's been able to see colour for twelve years but she swears that they seem brighter somehow.
"I was right," She breathes, hazelnut eyes twinkling, "Your eyes are beautiful."