Blind Man's Bluff

A girl whose life is all colors, sight, and art, has her life turned upside down when she becomes blind.


3. Silence


    When I awaken I recall the eminent fact that I am blind.  I have not been moved, but a blanket is draped over me.  The memory of last nights tear-fest resurfuses.  I shall never see the break of dawn, I shall never see the dew on the grass after a spring shower, and I shall never see me.  My golden hair, my deep sea blue eyes, my carmel freckles, I’ll never see me, my family, or anyone I shall ever meet.  Everyone.  Oh my God.  I won’t be able to paint, draw, and I’ll never be able to… see the stars.  I will see nothing.


    I pull the blanket over my head.  I breath shallow breaths, I try to make them go deeper, but I fail.  Hyperventilating.  This a first, It feels weird.  My lungs are contracting so fast it hurts, it burns, it stings.  I’ve got to make it stop.  I need to stop this crying too, I am too strong for this.  Then all at once, I stop.  Just like that.


    I stumble as I try to get up.  I go to the bed and press my hands over it.  Feeling nothing in my way I flop down.  I haven't checked out the left side of my room yet, but usually hospital rooms have nightstands.  My left hand snakes its way left and sure enough, besides my bed there is a stand.  I check if there is anything on it.  In an instant I bump into something.  It is long and flat, I feel above it, almost tipping something over.  It is a glass.  I grasp the glass in my hands and take it to my lips.  This is how it’s going to be, always going into the unknown.  Bleck, it’s lemonade, really crummy lemonade.  Hospital food.


I put it back on to the food tray and look for something better.  It seems as though there is a sandwich and an apple.  I take the sandwich and bite down. Thankfully it’s not as bad as the lemonade.  I think it’s meat and some kind of chewy dairy product, wait and some kind of sauce.  Hurray.

I finish the meal slowly.  When I am done I go over to the desk and continue my excavation.  Probing to the left I find a different piece of furniture.  It is smaller and shorter, I rub over the the side in front of me, and feel handles.  Several handles.  I pull at one and find that it’s a drawer and that there are a few articles of clothing.  My mother probably made sure that I had some, she would know that I liked to be properly clothed, without my underwear and back side showing that is.


    I find a t-shirt and pants of some sort and put them on.  I wonder where my parents are?   A thought of how to find them goes through my mind.  I grin.  What a sight it would be to see a blind girl stumbling about calling out for her parents.  I’m so weird, I talk about my own despair and I laugh.  I shouldn't be in this kind of hospital.  I grin again.  I am so weird.  Oh well.  I fulfill my plan, and continue to the left were the door is, hopefully.


I make it to the door and open it.  I suddenly realize this was stupid, there are other people here.  Oh well, to late now!  I am not going to shout out like my original plan called for, so I just sit there.  There are noises that I hear, people talking in distant rooms and in hallways, the tapping of people walking about, and the even the strange small noises.  I hear as a woman talks about her nephews birthday party on the phone, a slammed door, and the squeaking of wheels on a cart.  Then I try to call to someone, anyone, but I just let my jaw sit open and give out a huff of exasperation.  All of a sudden footsteps start coming my way.  


“There you are and what a lovely outfit you have on!” says a cheery male adolescent voice.  I step back with confusion.


“Who are you?”  I say with a small voice.  


“Well walk with me and I’ll tell you.”


“Where and why?”


“I just told you why and to your family of course!”


“How do you know where they are?”


“Like I said before, walk and I’ll explain.”


“I can’t see you know.”


“Of course I know, now come on, take my hand and walk.”  I grope towards the voice, feel an arm, and grab hold.  We then slowly start walking forward.


“I’m Jason, and your parents went down to the cafeteria and so I volunteered to get you if you woke up.  My grandma was in for some surgery the other day and you got a room near us.  My family was visiting that night and we chatted with your family and found out we’re going to be in high school together-” he pulls me away from almost hitting something and keep going only to turn left, his voice changes to a more serious tone “This has to be hard for you.”  I take my time to reply.


“Yeah, it is.” I say in a tepid voice.


“Hey, buck up!  You've still got a chance for recovery, remember.”


“A small chance, ten percent in fact.”


“That’s still a chance.  Might want to watch your step, elevator.”  I fumble a little, but get in safely.  I hear a click and the ground moves.


“Jason, do you know how the doctors knew I was blind, because it’s strange how they knew before I had even woken up.”


“About that… I heard that you woke up and you were hysterical and said things like that you saw ‘black death’.”  I can’t believe I said that.  “Crying I heard, anyways they sedated you and did tests like MRIs and other things, and then they told your parents.”  The ground stopped moving and the doors glided open.  They walked forward and went right.  


"I almost forgot, what's wrong with my clothes?"


"A blue and orange striped shirt with pink sweatpants isn't the exactly istyle right now."


"That sounds atrocious!  Good thing I can't see it!"  I giggle.


"That's the spirit." His voice goes to a whisper.  "You may want to tone it down right now though, we're getting close and your mom might faint hearing you talk like that."


Voices were in conversation and stopped at the approach of us.  


"Honey you're awake!  Are you alright?" My mother says concerningly.


"Yeah, I'm fine."  A silence starts to fill the air.  I think fast.  "Say, did your food taste as crappy as mine did?"  Laughter fills the air for a moment.  


"Yes hospital food takes getting used to, doesn’t it." says an unfamiliar voice.  


My confusion must have shown because my mother explains.  "Oh um, Anna, this is Jason's father Samuel, and his mother, Catherine."  We exchanged some greetings, Jason showed me to a seat, and we all began to chat for awhile.


“No, no it looks fine Anna.  Really.  Pink, orange, and blue go together very well!”  Catherine says while trying not to laugh.


“Hey, at least I’m clothed!”  I say in reply.  The laughter begins to subside and I remember to thank my mom,  “Oh, and thank you mom, for the clothes.”


“Your welcome.”


“Anyways, Jason, what extra classes did you sign up for?” I ask.


“All of the main ones of course.  I signed up for spanish, choir, and I am taking geometry instead of algebra.  What did you sign up for?”


“I am also taking spanish and I signed up for art class, but I suspect that I’ll have to switch to choir instead.” I reply with a my normal voice, but inside I feel a pang of sadness slapping at my heart.  “Wait, shouldn’t I be going to some blind school instead?”  The slapping comes with harder faster blows.


Actually I showed Mr. York, the art teacher, some of your works before, and he was ecstatic to have you in his class.  I called yesterday and told him and some other faculty members about what had happened.  They all said they could make it work and Mr. York said you could try for a semester to see if it could work.  It sounded like they all had different ideas on how to help make it work, which is good.  I myself think it will work quite well!”  My dad says in an enthusiastic voice.


“I guess I can see how that will work.”  I even have some ideas of my own.  I have actually seen a lot of movies and things about blind people, I have picked up some tricks to, I guess this might not be as hard as I thought.


“There are going to be some things that you can’t do though.  I’m afraid all of the sports you wanted to do are out of the question.  You are signed up for Volleyball, usually people with ‘injuries’ sit on the bench to support the team, but I don’t see the point.  Maybe I’ll call them about that.”


“Well, remember she might regain her sight, we just have to wait awhile.” I had forgotten about that.  I guess there is still hope for me, but I better not get my hopes up.  That’s a dangerous thing to do.  I think it’s better to dream low and lose but expect it, than to just lose, lose, lose.  I rise from thought.


“When will I be able to go home?”  


“I think I recall the doctor saying you might have to stay another night.  He said he wanted to do some tests and to make sure you're strong enough to go.”  My father answers.


    The rest of the hours went by quickly with lovely chatter.  I begin to feel drowsy.  I try shaking out of it but it doesn’t work.  


“... When I found out he only wanted to buy some of the pita pockets I understood what he was trying to say.  That was an interesting day at work.”  Jason’s mother I assume was telling a tale of the bakery she owns.  I need sleep, I yawn, I really do.  My head starts to nod, nod, nod and now it’s resting on the back of the sofa.  I hear a whisper in my ear.  I can’t understand it though.  Then it comes back in Jason’s voice, louder and clearer.


“Hey, I think we've got a sleeping beauty over here!”


“Well, I would guess she needs rest, after everything and all.”  I can’t tell whose father this voice belongs to.


“We should get going I guess.  Oh, yes we are in fact late for my friends party!  Katy we should go now it’s three already.”  That was my father, and I’m less sleepy than I was a bit ago.


“We should head back to the house to, Lisa has to go soon and the girls can’t be left alone for long.” Catherine says.


“I can take her back if you like Mr. Sherman, I’ve go to get my book from my grandmother’s room anyway.”


“Why thank you!  Goodbye everyone, we’ll come back tomorrow Annabelle, goodbye.”  My parents leave and Jason’s parents go to their car to wait for Jason.  He puts my hands back on his arm and pulls me up.  I yawn.  We start walking.


“How was your first day?”


“Not as bad as you might think.”


“That’s good.”


“So, is that little sisters I was hearing about?”


“Yeah, two of em’ Gwen she’s eleven, and Abigail she’s ten.”


“Little devils, or sweet angels?”  


“A bit of both!  Gwen is the klutzy one and Abby is the dreamy type.  elevator, again.”


“They sound fun!  I hope I get to meet them!”


“Probably will some time soon.  Our parents have become pretty good friends.”


“Yeah.   Am I your friend?” I say in a fake sad voice.


“Well….”  With that I slug him in the arm.  “Hey, hey, hey!  I’m only joking!” He stops.  “Hey... if you ever want to talk about your… situation, you just call.”


“That’s a swell idea … If I had your number!”  


“That would be helpful!” I say teasingly.

“We’re here. I’ll get you my number and I’ll put it on this table next to your bed.”  I hear a crumpling noise and then it stops.  “My parents have your parents numbers so I could always ask for yours.  Anyways, I’ve got to go.”

“Thanks.  Bye.”  His footsteps start to fade then new ones come in and out of my hearing range.  I walk over to my bed and fall on to it.  My eyes have no use to me now, but still they are tired.  The exhaustion that I lost before has come over me faster and heavier than before.  I pull the covers over my body and drift slowly into sleep.  I am almost there when a thought jolts me back to life.   “What will Jade think!?!”  Then nothing but silence fills the room and go into a land of dreams, forgetting my worries.

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