Mica had a rainbow. He kept it in his pocket and never took it out but he knew that it was there.
He never peeked.
He would just pat his pocket and remember.
And the magic was that it could move.
Without him doing anything.
Whatever shirt he was wearing, it was there. In his pocket.
And if the shirt didn’t have a pocket, it was hidden in the folds … the double layer of material around the edges that was sewed down to stop the rainbow sliding out.
Mica knew this because his Grandpa has told him.
His Grandpa had made sure the rainbow would be with him always – because that’s the kind of thing that grandpas can do. They have their own magic. They can find peppermints behind people’s ears, they can peel an apple into a long green snake and some can take their teeth right out and put them in a glass of water.
Mica’s Grandpa had done all those things. And he’d given him a rainbow. A rainbow that would stay with him when Kanan called him names. A rainbow that would stay with him when he couldn’t work out the answer as quickly as the others in class. A rainbow that would stay with him when he didn’t get picked at lunchtime.
“Just pat your pocket,” Mica’s Grandpa had said. “Just pat your pocket or touch the hem of your sleeve and you’ll know that it’s there. And it’s all yours to stay with you forever.”
“Not everyone has a rainbow,” his Grandpa had told him. “Only a few special people. And you’re one of them now. So don’t gloat about it. Just know that it’s there.” And he had smiled his Grandpa smile with its crinkles of softness and its warm twinkle and Mica had felt the rainbow and felt special at the same time.
And when his Grandpa had gone, the rainbow was there.
And when Kanan had broken Mica’s best car, the rainbow was there.
And when Mica had forgotten his swimming things, the rainbow was there.
And through the years – though not as often as time went on – Mica remembered his rainbow.
And one day, years after his Grandpa had given it to him, Mica smiled his own Grandpa smile at little Claris as she cried over her broken caterpillar and he told her.
That she had a rainbow in her pocket.