Red is the most disgusting color, because it’s everywhere; I can never escape it. I tasted it when I bit my lip, because Titans were trying to climb the trees around us. I smelled it when we packed corpses onto the backs of carts and some of it smeared onto my boots. But I felt it when I looked at him and my lips touched his, trailed down his neck and bare chest. I felt it when he smiled across the mess hall and the world spun and nearly kicked me off my feet. It was in his eyes after he helped untangled my belts, because I was “so silly” for putting them on half-asleep. He whispered it under his breath and in my ear and in my hair, when our hands roamed and tangled together in an obsidian night. It dusted my cheeks and brushed against his, beneath a constellation of freckles that I could never keep track of. But I saw it on his face when he brought a Titan’s attention from me to him. I saw it dried up and sticking to his remains like a leech, clinging for its own sake and disregarding everything I felt for him. And I saw it when I tossed his mangled corpse into starving flames and it erupted into ash, and his bones melded with the rest of the fallen, and I couldn’t tell if I was crying from the smoke in my eyes or my aching heart.