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Gasoline Rainbow

She was ironically beautiful, like a gasoline rainbow.

I have found this to be the truest truth: beauty comes in all forms, but the kind of beauty that changes you somewhere inside always comes in the shape of a gasoline rainbow. The kind of rainbow you see in a gas station at two o’clock in the morning with your heart weighed heavy with secrets and loss and your soul burdened with regret. The kind of rainbow that smells like danger and burns like love. The kind of rainbow that you dream of at night, even when she’s the only face you see, when she’s the only voice you hear, when she’s the only thing you smell.

I, who professed to never love, love the fragrant beauties that adorn me like moths to a light. Each one marks me like a tattoo. It stains me like blood – it may not always appear in the external, but the feeling on your skin will always stay with you. The scent of copper and salt in your nose will never be forgotten, no matter how long you live. When you cry, you will cry blood that tastes like gasoline rainbows.

When I found her, it was just after I had filled up the petrol of my car at two o’clock in the morning. She was lying on the floor like an angel; arms spread white, skin white against the china tiles, cotton shirt, blue jeans, red lips, dark hair. Palms facing the sky. Hell, she could have been sleeping, if it wasn’t for the blood that pooled around her form and dripped into my soul and soaked my heart. It was warm as I grabbed her into my arms and it was cold when it dried on my shirt, stiff and crunchy, and it burned when I watched them cry over her lifeless form.

I remember walking outside when the ambulance had left, remember looking up to the sky and the stars but when they offered me no answers, I looked back down the tar of my street. A street that had been so calm, so safe, so reassuring, but now I knew would hold nothing but nightmares and daydreams that would slit my wrists every time I looked at it. A street that, in the face of everything, still projected gasoline rainbows.

I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror after that night. My features seemed too perfect, too alive. The skin was too dark, the eyes too bright, the smile too real. That girl in the mirror wasn’t me. She was a shadow, an imposter, a mannequin that held all the hopes and dreams that I once held, and even now I struggle to see the person I am in the person I was. I looked unchanged. I looked like a constant in a storm where everything changed. I was the rock and she was the river and my parents the moss that grew on my surface. I would hold them up for as long as they needed it, and she would try to tear them away until eventually she could no longer beat against me and I would erode gradually over time. Until she dried up or I vanished, whatever happened first.

But whenever I look into one, I can feel myself change. The petrol that coalesces into a myriad of kaleidoscopic colors distorts the features that had made me a stand-in for her in the eyes of my parents. The scent hurts me inside and describes me the way I need to be seen. I burn like fire under her gaze that penetrates out of it, because whenever I see a gasoline rainbow on the pavement, I know that I will see her face.

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