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Grass crunches under her feet as she throws her arms out, the wind catching her sleeves and twisting her hair around her bare throat, the dark brown locks contrasting starkly against her pale skin. As she spins, the taller weeds intermingled with the grass tickle her ankles; a giggle falls from her lips, joyful, yet short-lived.

She tilts her head back, staring up at the sky. The sunlight warms her face, chasing away winter’s chill and bringing forth colour. She continues to spin in tight circles, the hem of her skirt flaring out round her. As she moves, she disturbs the air and bullies the grass, but she does so gently, without any malice.

As the clouds blur and the sun burns orange then yellow then red, her eyes start to water from the brilliance. The colours bleed into one another as she continues on her pointless whirlwind, and she can hardly distinguish one from the next, but it doesn’t matter because she knows they exist, even if she can’t identify them.

She feels flustered and her head is trapped in vertigo, but still, she does not stop, despite his warning.

“If you don’t stop, your head’s going to explode,” says the boy lounging in the grass some distance away. His arm is bent and tucked under his head, and he is staring up at the same sky, but seeing something entirely different. He does not see the colours nor does he see shapes. To him, it is the sky and it is blue, but not true blue.

No, true blue is the colour of her eyes when she looks at him curiously, a ghost of smile upturning the corners of her mouth as she whirls about wildly, nearly tripping over her bare feet.

“What do you know about head explosions?” she asks, the wind capturing her voice and carrying it far, far away.

The boy laughs, raising himself to his elbows. “Not much,” he admits, “but I don’t fancy learning anything new.” He plucks a blade of grass from the ground and winds it around his finger, wishing it was her hair, but it’s too rough, too green for the wish to manifest.

“You won’t,” she assures him, though he notices that she slows down her rotation, lowers her arms a fraction of an inch and averts her gaze away from the sun.

Her response is satisfactory enough; he lays back down, but he does not return his eyes to the sky. No, he stares at her and the blur she creates as she spins, too fast for him to reach out and capture, but not fast enough to lose sight of her entirely.

As she laughs, he sighs, turning his face away.

He can’t pinpoint the exact moment he decided he was in love with Katie Bell, but he knows why he loves her like he does, silent but surely. Quiet, but no less profound. Her laugh is as light as the air he soars through, though her touch is nothing like the roughness of a broomstick. No, her touch is electrifying, yet calming, and so rare he sometimes wonders if he only imagines what it feels like. Sometimes, he feels like he imagines her, in all her perfect imperfections: the spattering of odd freckles along her neck, the scar bisecting her left eyebrow, the knobbiness of her knees.

But when she collapses on the ground beside him, having tripped over her feet in her exuberant spinning, and her body lies parallel with his, her heat tangible and consuming even from a distance, he knows she is real. She is real, and he loves her, but she cannot - will not - ever know. For her eyes are blind to anything but colour, and he is the lack of it.

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