Red

The colour swarms her vision.

Violent, vivid hues consume all the eye can see as the words stream into her ears, words that seem to do nothing but provoke her and make her skin prickle. Anger streams into her veins, making its way around her body slowly, filling each small, hidden crevice of flesh and blood it can find. It weighs her down, rooting her to the spot and slowly stitches her feet to the floor: with every passing second, it boils inside her, the rage starting to burst from its containment. It leaks out of her – through the tips of her, the end of her nails, through the gaps in her eyes and her ears.

She is chaos.

Her brain whirs impossibly fast; venomous responses explode inside her skull, each sentence filled with more and more vitriol than the last. Her eyes flash with rage, but they are gone as quickly as they came. Her body contains arrangements of words that would make others bleed, but she stops them from ever escaping. They rise up, ready to pour out in a stream of irrevocable damage. She keeps them inside her – the weapons remain lodged in throat, the anger choking her ruthlessly, demanding to be set free.

The other person drones on: they remain blissfully unaware of their listener’s state of mind. Their words tumble out freely, unrestrained and unkempt. Under the privilege of their position, their mouth keeps moving and they do not refrain themselves from saying exactly what they want, for there is no one there to stop them.

They speak as though they are entitled to being heard. They speak as though they are the only ones with words that matter. They speak as though there is only room for them in this world – and any diversion from what they need, and what they have to say or what they must have – is an abomination unheard of in this world. They remain blissfully unaware of the fury that seethes out of her, that wraps around her tighter and tighter by the minute.

At last – at long, long last – they stop. A brief silence settles between them, and for the first time the speaker acknowledges the scarlet hues of anger that seem to tint the edges of the person they were addressing. After another silent moment of consideration, they ask,

“Do you have anything to say?”

She exhales, her breath sharp and swift and filled with indignation. The words that were lodged in her throat start to make their journey to her mouth, preparing themselves to pass through her lips and finally make a devastating blow. She stops herself. She pauses, and lets the irritation be pushed to the back of her mind, to be sealed and boxed away and prevented from rising again.

“No,” she says, “I don’t.”

 

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