Red. The reason I work in a slaughter house. Red. The only color I can see. My eye is drawn to it. Just like my ears were drawn to the sound of your laughter. Ha...laughter...slaughter. There are so many links to you.
You stepped into my life and for the first time I felt like I was normal. Like I wasn't missing anything. Growing up almost completely colorblind is not easy on a kid. People are mean little shits. God forbid my socks don't match. What a fool I was.
Now that doesn't matter I wear the same thing every single day. I couldn't tell you what fucking color the material is. But no matter. By the end of the day it is soaked in sticky jam like clumps of deep, dark red.
Red like your lipstick. It drove me wild those pouty full lips of yours. I would imagine how your breath felt against them...how your breath would sound in my ear.
You were such a pretty little thing. Your short Catholic school girl skirt. Getting called into the office because it wasn't regulation length. Fixing it in front of the principal only to hike it back up in the hall. You'd pull that skirt up slowly and watch me watching you. Your soft pink flesh coming into view.
And when you'd walk by you'd brush up against me. Every. Single. Time.
For months we flirted silently. More so you than me. I was never the flirt. Still am not.
One day fate stepped in and we were paired up in chemistry the two of us. Finally, a name. Alicia. Ali for short.
Ali. Oh...the name is like music to my ears. Even now. Even after everything.
That day in chemistry you cut yourself on broken glass. It oozed from the palm of your hand...the life draining from your body. Slowly. So very slowly.
I offered to walk with you to the nurse. The cut was so bad your parents were called and you were taken to a doctor.
Somehow, I still don't know how, you found out where I lived. That tiny little house...falling apart while my mom slept around on my dad..while my dad drank himself to sleep almost every night.
You showed up at my door. Cookies in a tin. Smiling at me and thanking me for helping. Apologizing for getting blood on my clothes.
A smudge in the middle of mute, depressing gray. The most beautiful thing to happen to my boring old pants. Your blood...on me.
We walked around the block a few times. You made me try a cookie. They were the first you ever made. They were the most delicious cookies I've ever eaten.
We found a bench at the park. Sat down. You told me about how your friends always made fun of me for being different. So what, you said, if my clothes didn't match or if my paintings in art looked like murder scenes. You told me I was always kind to other people and that's all that mattered.
Suddenly you took my hand in yours. I could have sworn lightening went through my entire body and shot me right in the brain. A feeling of tingly warmth flooded over me.
You told me you liked me and rested your head on my shoulder, scooting closer.
My head was swimming. Swimming in lake of pure bliss. I was a million miles away and yet had never been so grounded in a moment in my life.
I looked down at our hands, palms pressed together. A slight hint of red on your bandage.
You know I have liked you for a long time, I finally whispered softly into your hair. I lifted your hand and kissed the bandage.
You smiled at me.
I walked you home. You said you would see me in the morning.
I went home and put the cookie tin in my closet. I actually still have those cookies and that rusty old tin. Sitting right there on my dresser. The red reminding me of you...the rust dull and beautiful. Like time has done to my memories of that day. The only light in my otherwise bleak ass world.
I never saw you again. The next morning you were hit by a car. A man had a heart attack at the wheel and lost control. You died. He lived. I died.
Life hasn't been the same since that day. The day you cut your hand. The day you confessed your feelings and held my hand. That day your blood soaked into my clothes and changed my world.
And I never felt happy again until I went into the slaughter house.
Every day I get relive our perfect time together. Slicing the skin so carefully. Watching the blood drip...
All I see is beauty and your face. Where animals die I see life. Where blood runs I see possibility.
Red. It is the only color I see. Ali is the only word I hear.
Those old pants will need to be framed soon. The red spot. All I have left of you.