The Rainbow by Tomas Bird

Red, bloodshot red were the colour of my eyes when I hung up the phone.

‘What’s happened, Issac?' she asked.

‘My grandfather died last night,’ I whispered between the uncontrollable sobs.

‘I’m so sorry, sweetheart.’

Leaving the warmth of our bed, Ginny, my wife, sat on my lap and held me close. The soft, regular thump of her heart was soothing.

Orange, the smoky orange dye of countless cigarettes stained my fingers.

‘How did he die?’ she asked.

‘They don’t know yet.’

I lit up again. The combination of tar, tobacco and a flame helped me retain some sense of composure.

‘They’re waiting on a post-mortem,’ I said.

‘Come back to bed,’ she gently coaxed, ‘I’ll treat you to breakfast.’

‘Thank you, pet.’

Yellow, the bitter yellow sun sat high in the gun-metal coloured sky. It looked as if some forgotten soldier had left a solitary ripened lemon on a stone beach strewn with artillery.

Green, a vibrant bottle green used to be the colour of my eyes until I drank deep the liquor that emptied them of their shine.

‘Are you ok?' she asked.

'I’m fine sweetheart…thank you for coming out with me, I really needed this normality.'

‘Anything for you,’ she smiled.

I knocked back another dark rum and listened to a collection of friends play a Rolling Stones cover. Sinking someone’s left over beer, I tapped my foot out of time and fought back the tears.

Blue, an azure coloured liquid pouring into my glass was the last drink I could hold that evening.

‘Do you want to go home, darling?’ she asked.

‘Would that be ok?’ I said.

‘Of course, sweetheart,’ she replied, ‘I’m so proud of how well you’ve held up today.’

‘That was one of the last things my grandfather said to me.’

‘He sounds like he was a very wise man…I wish I could have met him,’ she said.

‘I’m going to miss him so much, pet.’

‘I know you are, love…I know.’

Indigo, the shadowy night bathed my eyes as I gently closed them to welcome a dark and dreamless sleep.

Violet, a light shade of violet enveloped the room as I slowly awoke.

Ginny held on tight to me as she continued to slumber.

‘I love you,’ I whispered before kissing her cheek softly, ‘I love you so much.’

Then I closed my own eyes again.