• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 04
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When I was about twelve Mr Grant told us a story about a girl who saw colours when she read words, or heard them spoken. The rest of the class was transfixed (purple) by the concept, but I was simply bemused (apricot pink).

I’d never heard the term synaesthesia (lime green) before. It had never occurred to me that it wasn’t like this for everyone. I assumed it was normal (sky blue).

Later I tried talking to my mother about it, but she just shook her auburn curls and said she’d call the school to complain about Mr Grant (terracotta) filling our silly heads with nonsense (ruby red).

After that I didn’t dare mention the animals. The bees that emerged from mother’s mouth when she was in a temper. The hummingbirds that hovered around my pillow each evening as I read my books before sleeping. The racoons that ran alongside the head teacher as she patrolled the corridors.

You’re the first person I’ve ever told. I hear your laugh (turquoise). ‘Me too,’ you say (honey gold). ‘It's like that for me too.’

And the air shimmers with butterflies.