Chapter 1 (Leo)
He had always been orange. It was like a cheerful glow of light that emanated from his body. As a little boy I had always found him joyful and fun to be around and used to call him Uncle Sunshine.
The hospital had rung and told us that he didn’t have much time left. So we had all rushed here. My mum was in tears as my dad steered her shaking body along the corridor towards the room.
I had known he was ill for some time. I had seen his amber glow transfer into a dusty brown colour. I was too young to understand what cancer was but the aura told me he was dying. My parents had prepared me for the visit. We were here to say goodbye.
My parents approached a nursing station and exchanged some words with the staff. I could see brown auras surrounded the beds in every room. Muggy green auras tended to them, a sign I recognised of someone over worked. The nurse pointed to a room a little further on and my parents gave appreciative nods and thanks before following the directions.
We entered Uncle Sunshine’s ward. I almost didn’t recognise him. I looked around at the patients in their beds, looking for a hint of orange glow. I saw him in the bed by the window but his aura had almost completely faded. Even his more recent shade of brown was depleted. I knew it meant there was not much time left for him. My mum sat by his side with a grim look upon her face as she told him how much she loved him. We all hugged and cried together as a family. Finally, my dad decided it was time we went. My mum nodded and slowly we followed him out of the room.
As we entered the car park the twilight sky seemed most suitable. I wasn‘t ready to leave my uncle. It felt strange to think I would never see him again. I got in the back of the car and clicked my seat belt into place. My dad started the engine and we were leaving. I rested my head against my seat belt rest, ready for the long journey ahead. I closed my eyes and felt my breathe deepened as I allowed myself to fall into a coma like state. My limp body fell into an unconscious state. I wasn’t unconscious though. My consciousness spirit ejected itself out of the car and headed back into the hospital.
I retraced my steps, back to Uncle Sunshine. In the ward I sat on the visitors chair next to his bed. I knew my uncle could sense me. I felt closer to him like this than in body. I shared his pain and tried to calm him with soothing caring thoughts. I stayed by his side, holding his hand, watching the his pale aura slowly fade and disperse from his being, until he glowed no more. Finally he was clear with no aura and I could no longer sense his presence.
Mum was in a mad panic. My aunty was coming to ours for her house warming party. She had moved in with us after my uncle had died because she found her own home brought back too many memories and she missed my uncle too much. The party is tomorrow is to celebrate that is finally moving out. You're probably wondering why she is coming to ours for her party instead of holding it at her new flat, down by the sea front. Mum said the place was too small and she wanted May to know she was always welcome at ours. May and mum had never been this close when my uncle sunshine, her brother, had been alive.
Aunty May loved red and funnily enough it was also the colour of her aura. I never knew what red meant until I got older and it started to infect students at high school. Red was full of lust and sexual desire. It was catchy too! Once someone had a red aura they shared it with someone else, spreading the colour through the school. Like a common cold, it was contagious.
Like my mum, I had always been surprised when my uncle decided to take up with Aunty May. He had been a fisherman and didn't take much care in his appearance. He was the complete opposite of May. After our first encounter with her I remember my mother saying to my dad, “She doesn't strike me as the settling down type, I don’t know what my brother is thinking?”
My dad decided to stick up for my Uncle, “Well as long as your brothers happy. Isn’t that what counts?”
My dad was always thoughtful. He often would listen to other people talking and then after some deliberation he would say just the right thing. I felt I was a lot like my dad in that way, except I often kept things to myself. I didn’t really have anyone to share my thoughts with. You could call me an observer.
My mum did want her brother to be happy but not at the expense of her own happiness. You see, what she really wanted was for her brother to have got married several years ago and to have had children when she did. She had always wanted me to have cousins but it just hadn’t worked out like that. Despite her love of children she had not been able to have any more children than just me. After a number of miscarriages my dad had got the snip to prevent any more heartache.
Unfortunately for me, Aunty May had got herself a job as a Receptionist at my high school. She had taken it upon herself to personally monitor me and report my every move to my mum. Since starting high school, my mum and May had become really good friends despite their obvious differences. My mum I had a very 1920s conservative look to her appearance where as Aunty May liked to tart it up a little.
The door bell chimed and my mother excitedly ran towards the door to answer it. She removed May’s fake fur coat and took her leopard print bag and hung them up under the stairs. “Quick Leo,” She chimed, “Come help May with her bags.”
"Ready to start back at school tomorrow?" Aunty May asked.
On some level I had enjoyed mums chaos of baking and cleaning the house ready for the house warming part - although I thought it would be more appropriate to call it a 'Leaving Party'. Aunty May was celebrating her new flat alone by having a small party with us at our house because her flat is too small.
The preparations had helped me forget about returning to school, Christmas had gone by so quick. I hadn't done much but not seeing my ex-girlfriend, Kali had been bliss. I would never be ready to go back to school if it involved facing her.