"Color vision is the faculty of the organism to distinguish lights of different spectral qualities."
-Vision in Vertebrates (1984)
The doctors said he was going to be okay. That they found him a donor, the surgery was a success and he would be able to be "normal" again. There was absolutely nothing wrong with his new vision
A sigh escaped the young man's lips
Romano pocketed the worn glasses as he slung his bag over his shoulder. Running down the wooden stairs, he paused on the last step and closed his eyes. This was it
. Another day
Maybe he won't see them today
Maybe he'll finally go blind or get stabbed or maybe...
He shook his head of morbid thoughts and put on his customary frown. Finally making his way to the dining room, he noticed his brother already sitting at the table.
Romano mumbled a good morning in response and his eyes slowly moved past his brother to stare at the thing behind him. He suppressed a shudder as he kept telling himself that he should be used to this by now. Lovino's liquid green eyes blinked as he tried to avoid the soulless gaze of the boy standing behind his dear brother. Clad in black, the boy had suddenly appeared and had started to follow Feliciano everywhere, even when the boy faded into the background as though he flickered in-between worlds.
But Lovino saw him clearly; he could distinguish the boy's black clothes and the blonde hair peeking out from his large hat. But the terrifying thing was he could make out the flicker of light within the boy's cold blue eyes. The light, he noticed, grew stronger as Feliciano's smiles grew brighter. And Lovino couldn't help but turn his eyes away
. The boy wasn't supposed to exist, much less be seen by Lovino.
Shaken out of his thoughts, Lovino, swallowing back a scream, saw the ghost boy, as he decided to call it, reach out to touch his brother. He hastily pulled his brother up and tugged the oblivious young Italian out the door. As they safely made it to their car, Lovino huffed and breathed a sigh of relief. That thing wasn't going to touch his brother, not if he could help it
Now if only he get his brother to stop his whining.
As they traded seats, Feliciano whining as he took the wheel, Lovino snapped. The annoyance already ruining his day," Shut the hell up, Feliciano. You never do any of your homework so you don't need your damn bag!" And Feliciano cringed at the yelling as he started the engine," Vee~. What's wrong, fratello?" Lovino stiffened at the question and growled under his breath," What the hell are you talking about, idiota?" Feliciano gave his brother a long stare, the younger italian's brown eyes softly pleading for a proper answer. Then, before Lovino could yell at his brother again, Feliciano leaned over and brought his brother into a hug,"
there's something wrong with you, fratello
" Closing his eyes at the comforting touch, Lovino quickly snapped out of his revere and shoved his brother off of him. He averted his gaze as he stammered a response," T-there's nothing wrong. Now'a just drive. We're going to be late." His brother shook his head, refusing to give up. Instead he took ahold of the steering wheel and softly spoke," You don't drive anymore fratello
. You used to love driving."
Lovino couldn't drive anymore, not if his attention was constantly being diverted by the shadowy figures he saw on the road. There were so many of them, some with missing limbs and all with empty eyes. Lovino was petrified with fear as he saw them turn their heads and stare at him, as if blaming him for their existence.
He at first tried ignoring them while driving. But one day a female shadowy figure had wandered onto the road in front of the car. The tires squealed as Lovino abruptly footed the brakes and he was nearly killed as his car slipped into the opposite lane with the momentum. Spinning the car out the dangerous lane, Lovino sped home, the female shadow watching him speed away
Since then, Feliciano did the driving.
Lovino turned to glare at Feliciano but froze as he saw the ghost boy reappear at the car window. The boy was frowning and his blue eyes bore soundless into Lovino's green. Lovino could practically hear the thing's voice in his head. "Stop it; you're going to make him cry." Lovino scowled as he turned away from both the ghost boy and his brother. His eyes closed, he yelled at his brother to "just drive already!" Feliciano complied and chose to hold his tongue from asking anymore questions. The drive to school was a silent one.
After Feliciano had skipped off with a worried smile etched on his face, Lovino took a moment to regain his breath in the car. It seemed lately he's been getting more and more anxious. He blamed the stupid shadows. They unsettled him greatly. There was something about them that screamed to him that they shouldn't be seen.
After he calmed himself, Romano reached into a pocket and withdrew the worn glasses. These glasses were of no importance to anyone else; for they were just old glasses, the frame was a chipped brown and the lenses had numerous scratches. But to Lovino, these opticals were a lifesaver; they somehow kept him from seeing the shadow bastards.
Closing his eyes, Lovino slid the specs smoothly onto his nose. He breathed a sigh of relief as the shadow figures slowly faded from his view. Regaining his confidence, Lovino's eyes gleamed as he made his way to school doors. He was unaware of the pair of bottle green eyes watching his every move.
Finishing his last period of the day, Lovino made his way through the crowded hallways when a hand took a hold of his arm and pulled him to a discrete corner. Eyes widening in fear, Lovino struggled until he discovered the hand was an actual person rather than a shadow. He still squirmed to free himself of the grip, but was promptly pinned against a wall as he came face to face with the bright smile of an Antonio F. Carriedo. Lovino's eyes narrowed in suspicion as he glared at the older senior. "What do you want, bastard?" Antonio, seemly hurt by this phrase, leaned closer and tightened his grip on the Italian.
"You have been avoiding me again, Lovinito."
"So what if I have?" Lovino carelessly spat out. That was not the response the Spaniard wanted. Frowning, Antonio carefully observed his temperamental Italian, and became upset at finding bags under Lovino's eyes. The bottle green eyes then moved up to meet the gaze of the Italian's lighter green. Antonio worded his response as he searched the other's gaze, hoping an answer would appear in their depth," Lovino, I'm worried about you
.ever since the surgery you've been acting strange. " Flushing in anger, Lovino tore his eyes away from the inquisitive Spanish gaze," S-Shut up! I don't care!"
"But I do!"
The sudden confession caught Lovino off guard. His mouth gaping open and close like a fish, Lovino relented as he flushed. He allowed Antonio to gently pat his head as he gave an honest answer," Don't worry. I'm just'a tired." This explanation seemed to satisfy the senior, as he pushed away from Lovino and leaned against the wall next to him.
They stood for a moment, Antonio taking in Lovino's presence and Lovino trying to ignore Antonio's cheery aura, when Antonio suddenly noticed the pair of bifocals resting on Lovino's face. He stared quite stupidly at the glasses and was curious as to why Lovino was wearing them, "Lovino? Why are you wearing glasses? You don't need them." His hands moved to take them off, but Lovino head-butted him away as Lovino furiously glared.
"Don't touch them."
"But Lovino I-"
"Don't touch them!"
Frustrated at the sudden anger, Antonio, in an impulse, quickly grabbed the glasses by the frame and ripped them off.
Lovino cried out as he felt his shield leave his eyes. And he saw the shadows return, penetrating his vulnerable vision. Clutching his head, Lovino willed the shadows to leave him. He didn't want this. All he wanted was his vision
. Was that too much to ask? Lovino suppressed his sobs and his auburn hair fell to cover his eyes from sight. Collapsing onto his knees, he closed his eyes and reveled in the comforting darkness
If everything was dark, he wouldn't see anything
. He wouldn't see them. He wouldn't see the way they haunted everyone and he wouldn't see how the shadows leered at their humans or how they followed their humans with an indescribable sadness radiating with their every step.
Lovino just wanted it to stop. He opened his eyes to see Antonio look down at him in confusion and he whimpered in response,"
Make the shadows go away. I don't want to see them anymore."
Antonio's eyes suddenly cleared in understanding. Reaching down to pull the Italian into an embrace, Antonio softly smiled, "It's okay, Lovinito. They won't hurt you." Lovino glanced up, his anxiety and fear thick in his wavering voice, "You can see them too?" Antonio nodded, his head bobbing up and down as he tightened his hug on the Italian." Si," he then pointed to his dark green eyes, "My eyes turned green when I was 12. I've been seeing them ever since." His hand moved to stroke the Lovino's trembling arms. "It's okay Lovino. They're not bad
.Do you want me to explain what they are?" Lovino nodded shyly, his apple-green eyes no longer held the tinge of fear.
"What we're seeing is actually outside the normal spectrum and green irises like ours," he emphasized this point by pointing to both his and Lovino's eyes," are able to see these things. I call them dolor which translates to pain, suffering, sorrow. You get the idea. They are what lies within our hearts. It's the pain and secrets that we keep from the world,"
Antonio pointed to a girl passing by confidently; her shadow looked about hesitantly," See that chica and her shadow?" Lovino nodded. Antonio continued," That represents her fears. She is scared of interacting with people and wishes she was left alone."
Then Antonio snuggled closer to his darling Italian and whispered reassuring words," So it's okay Lovino. You don't have to be scared of them; they're a part of being human." Feeling Lovino still tense in his arms, Antonio sighed and raised his hands to cover Lovino's eyes. And he bent over to place a kiss on top of Lovino's head. "But that doesn't mean you have to look
. Don't look. You're too soft-hearted to see these things
Esta bien. I can see for both of us."
Neither of them noticed the two shadows watching them from behind, the dark figures mingling together and slowly fading away.
Slamming the door shut, Lovino shouted a quick greeting to whoever was home before trudging up the stairs. As his feet rested on the second to last step, he saw the boy standing on the last step.
" You again?"
The boy didn't speak.
" Feliciano isn't home yet."
The boy frowned as if frustrated.
" Well what the h*ll do you want?"
The boy pointed to mouth and then to Lovino.
" You want to talk?... to me?"
The boy nodded.
"What could you possibly want to talk about?"
The boy pointed to Lovino's prominent curl and then smiled widely, pointing to it as well.
"You want to talk about Feliciano?"
The boy nodded his head vigorously. He then pointed to Lovino, to himself and then pointed to his smile again.
"You want me to tell Feliciano that you're
The boy smiled knowing his message was understood.
And Lovino couldn't help but twitch his mouth upward at the genuine smile on the younger being's face. He bent down and reached a hand out to the ghost boy in a gesture of peace," You'a know
you're not that bad."