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at least she can see in colour now

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Heather Chandler sees colour for the first time when she meets Veronica Sawyer in the bathroom. It comes as a flash. She takes a forged note from Veronica, their hands brush, and boom. All she can see is colour. She glances in the mirror and her jacket is glorious red. Heather McNamara is sunshine yellow, and Heather Duke is snake green. Heather Chandler feels powerful. But then she turns back to Veronica, who doesn’t look stunned, or amazed, or like she’s seeing colour at all. She just looks like she wants to leave the bathroom forever.

‘This is an excellent forgery,’ Heather Chandler says. ‘Who are you?’

Veronica Sawyer holds out her hand. ‘Veronica. Sawyer. I, uh, I crave a boon.’ Heather Chandler owes Veronica Sawyer for the colours that are bright and demanding.

And she knows what the legends say about seeing colour for the first time.

So she grants the boon.


 

It’s a few days later and Heather is sitting in the cafeteria, when she notices how Veronica stares at a new kid, handsome in a sort of scruffy way, wearing a black trench coat.

Something flares up in Heather’s stomach, hot and vile, jealousy, plain and simple. She’d been reading up on seeing colours - you only see them when you touch your soulmate for the first time. And maybe Heather was an optimist, but she’d always thought that soulmates were supposed to be requited.

Veronica still saw the world in black and white.


 

It’s when their on their way to the Remington party, when Heather stops at the 7/Eleven so that Veronica can get corn nuts, that Veronica finally sees colour. Heather’s been waiting in the car for a least ten minutes.

She’s beginning to grow impatient. So she gets out of the car. Walks up to the door.

And sees the trench coat kid, the one who had beat up Ram and Kurt singlehandedly, hand Veronica a slushie. Sees Veronica stop suddenly, eyes widening, mouth gaping.

Sees the trench coat kid do the same thing, stare at Veronica in wonder.

Heather goes back to wait in the car in the cold.


 

Veronica is happy. Her lips are bruised from kisses. Her hand is permanently intertwined with J.D’s. Heather watches them disconnectedly.

She walks past them sometimes, Veronica pressed up against the wall in some unused classroom, J.D’s hands in her hair and on her waist. They kiss frantically, breathy moans, and strangled gasps.


 

Heather wonders if it is possible to lose something that you never had in the first place.


 

At least she can see in colour now.