Normally, Alex couldn't give a shit about biology class. He got good grades without effort, so paying attention just wasn't necessary. It was different that day. The topic was soul mates, because ‘it's important for teens your age to understand soulmates’.
Alex and his adoptive brother had always been eager to learn about soulmates. They were used to being told that any day they would meet a person who lit their world up with color. The trouble was, they already saw in full color. Doctors even tested and the boys really could see everything. They were old souls, but it didn't have anything to do with it. Everyone is born seeing gray, even if they had already lived before.
The only explanation was that they must have met their respective soulmates early on in their lives. Their parents had a hunch that it must have been during daycare that they were given color.
Alex chocked it up to bad luck.
Still he was always willing to hear another opinion, or ask for potential advice. He raised his hand and began waiting to be able to ask his question.
The teacher called on someone who had their hand up already.
“ we are, statistically speaking, expected to find our soulmate during high school, yes?” asked the one French kid who people usually avoided. People said his parents were dead and he lived alone. Some said he faked his accent. It all seemed absurd to Alex. Rumours are stupid, so he and his brother kept to themselves.
“ well Marie, while some people do find their other half before the end if high school, there's nothing wrong if you don't. It's not quite like remembering a past life. Finding your soulmate is up to fate”
“ yes I know there is no rush. My concern is only because I have always seen color, for as long as I can remember. I don't know who my soulmates is. I have a hunch, and I do love who I think it is, but the idea of just loving one person for however long my soul lives is… I don't think I can do it”
Behind Alex, a few students made cruel remarks, calling Marie unfaithful, or a slut, or typical of the French. He shot them a glare but the words still concerned him because he felt similarly. He couldn't imagine eternity with one person.
The teacher thought for a moment, trying to find a way she could word a response without hearing complaints from conservative parents. “ well it isn't… entirely unheard of. There's a collection of writings that talks about historical accounts of people with more than one match”
Some girl spoke up, but she didn't look up from her phone “ but that sounds like… immoral. Dating a bunch of people never works”
“ I can't tell you how to feel about it, but these accounts exist. And even so, it's common for people to date even if they aren't soulmates.”
Finally, Alex spoke up “ not to mention the tons of people who killed their own soulmates over something stupid like homophobia. Soulmates aren't some sacred hetero love magic. It's more like, suggestions from the universe. Sometimes people live differently from you. It doesn't make them immoral. Like, Fuck, would you hate a person because they like a different fucking Dorito flavor than you? How about someone who likes a bunch of flavors and likes to mix them in a bowl and eat them that way? Doritos are just like sexuality, it doesn't matter.” Alex glared ahead but he noticed out of the corner of his eye, Marie. He was smiling at him, like he was grateful. Huh. They had lots in common.
The teacher blinked “ Alex, you'll have to watch your language in class… but the bell's about to ring. Have a nice weekend, make sure to finish your homework. Final stretch of sophomore year, it's important to keep those grades up”
Alex had a lot to discuss with his brother, so he hurried out to find him once the bell rang.
He found him sitting on the same bench he sat on everyday after school to wait for Alex.
“ Aaron! Get the laptop out, we have to look something up”
Aaron looked up and raised an eyebrow “ what's so important?”
“ just trust me, it's interesting” Alex urged, leaning obnoxiously on Aaron's shoulder.
“ alright fine” Aaron pulled their shared laptop from his bag and handed it to Alex.
Alex stated it up and googled ‘multiple soulmates’ while Aaron read over his shoulder.
“ the colors I see and how I came to see them? Well that's wordy”
Alex shrugged and clicked the first link “ fuck, can't read it here”
“ check the library”
After a bit of poking around on the local library's website, they found out that the book is in fact in stock.
The stopped there on their way home and checked it out with Aaron's card because Alex had missing books. It was bigger than they expected and the cover had six portraits. They recognized Thomas Jefferson, which they both found to be strange. Another portrait seemed familiar but they couldn't connect a name to the image of the old dead dude. Still, a founding father on the cover of a book about multiple soulmates? It was really unexpected.
“ a super famous guy was like us?”
“ I don't really give a shit about founding fathers but that's actually pretty cool”
Once they got home, they read the first section. It was by some French side with a stupid long name. Turns out he was on the cover, and probably one of the most decent looking. But there was something off about the portraits. Almost as if they weren't real depictions of people.
The section by the French dude was actually… pretty sad. He had a lot of soul mates. Most of them were guys and a bunch of them died before he wrote it all down. The boys had already heard that the death of a soulmate took color back out of the world, but they hadn't really heard anyone describe the feeling of gaining and losing color. Near the end, they were both crying. It felt stupid to be so emotionally affected by some random Victorian old dude. It must have just been one of those things that gets to you for some unknown reason.
After the love life summary, there were pages of letters written by the same guy to his soulmates. They were all incredibly tender. Alex and Aaron found themselves tearing up again once they started reading the letters written to the soulmates after they died. One particular one was written to the wife of one of the dead guys. He wrote to her about their memories with their lost mutual love and it sent Alex sobbing into the bed sheet.
Aaron patted his brother's shoulder and closed the book “ that's enough sad for one night, don't you think?”
They both got ready for bed. Neither of them had been able to sleep alone their whole lives. It was why they were inseparable as toddlers when they were adopted together. They don't remember being adopted but their parents tell them the story any time they have a disagreement.
They fell asleep and they both dreamed of blue and ivory coats.
In the morning, neither of them could think about anything other than that book. Aaron was the first to talk about it.
“ did you notice that one of those dudes the book talked about was a short guy named Alex?”
Alex snorted “ it's a common name”
“ I'm just saying there's a lot of similarities. Maybe every short guy named Alex is an emotional hoe”
“ you're an emotional hoe too” Alex stuck his tongue out “ besides I'm pretty sure the word is polyamorus”
“ fancy. But Hey, do you remember anything?”
“ you already asked two days ago, what's up
Aaron shrugged “ I had a super vague dream, but it felt familiar”
“ like a memory?”
“ yeah. It was just done old timey blue coats”
Alex hummed “ I feel like I've seen something like that. Should we look it up?”
“ they say you should let yourself remember naturally”
“ ugh, fine”