It was his eyes that were deceiving. Looking at his posture and face you would never be able to tell how damaged he was. He would not let you. More often than not his face twisted into a scowl, his eyebrows furrowed in anger or frustration, his almond-shaped eyes squinted skeptically, his lips became a tight line. I’d never seen him unclench his fists; sometimes I thought they were stuck like that permanently. His shoulders were always hunched and his arms crossed over his chest defensively. He’d make you think that he was cruel, that he was the villain. He’d let you think that he was trying to make the world hate him, with the growls he would utter when you passed by, and the glares he’d give you if you tried to approach him. Nobody would guess that it was all to protect himself from the world.
I never meant to find the real him, buried deep under the sharp characteristics and brash attitude. I always knew that the eyes were the windows to the soul. But I guess I never truly understood how right I was until then. Despite his homely face and wry smirk, he had the most incredible eyes. Silver they seemed, in certain light, but never the same shade twice. Sometimes they were bluer than the deepest oceans. Other times they radiated the bright forest green that you’d only find that one time in your life, when you looked at that one special tree with that one and only special green. I was never sure about his eyes. They went from emerald to steel to azure, like they couldn’t quite decide what colour they truly were.
Then there was that one time, just one, when his eyes were so violently dark; so dark that the light reflected from them made his eyes shine brighter than any star in the sky. That was the one time I saw him properly. That was the day I had learnt that he wasn’t the beast they all took him for. I looked past the brutal, broken blackness of his irises, and I saw how hurt he was, how betrayed he felt. Every single one of us needs warmth and love in our lives to keep us going; you can see that fondness in everyone – when they’re laughing with their friends, reminiscing with their family or even reading a book they love. But I had realised that I had never seen it in him, because time after time he’d been denied the love he craved. The pathetic desperation that slipped past his guard showed me that he believed that he’d deserved what he received. That was the worst thing I saw in him that day.