Blind, Chapter 15
The following is a fable, posted in small chapters. This is the final chapter. If you are new to this story, start with Chapter 1. One morning the sun peeked through the blinds covering our window. I observed how often we tend to block out the light…
The next morning, and every morning after that for many weeks, the bright spot had indeed grown larger. Although the man could see nothing else, he found it easier to manage from one day to the next. He felt physically lighter, even though he had no idea if he had lost any weight. All together, it did not make sense to him, but he had no desire to complain.
He found the biggest difference in just the simplest of things. The bed sheets felt softer. His morning coffee tasted better, even that brown swill at work wasn’t so bad. That was a miracle in itself. His kid’s hugs felt warmer and his wife’s voice even more enchanting. It was intangible, more than his other senses simply picking up the slack. Everything just seemed… brighter.
Each day since that night on the floor, the speck of light pushed against the black canopy that clouded his sight. It was almost an imperceptible movement, but unmistakable. There was no struggle in its advance, nor was there any regression. The light was making its way, slowly and graciously outward. There was no hurry.
By this point he could recognize splashes of colour and detect movement from what looked like basic shapes. He still could barely recognize people when they came near. Everything was blurred and fuzzy, but he was content. His life was incredibly different now even though his sight was still impaired.
His parents swung by later that morning to take the grandkids to the local fairgrounds. Bumper cars and candy floss were on the agenda for the day. Despite the insistence of his kids, he could not imagine his own father riding the mini coaster trading screams with his boy. That apparently happened the time before. He would have given anything to see that. Grandchildren sure have a way of dismantling tough exteriors.
The man and his wife were quick to take advantage of their rare free morning and decided to walk down to a local coffee shop for lattes and scones. It was something they did before the kids came and responsibilities took over. It had been so long they almost headed off in the wrong direction. It was a beautiful day for a walk, under a deep blue sky and the odd fluffy cloud. They started out down the sidewalk arm in arm. And they took their time.
The man was pleasantly accosted by bright colours and moving shapes. Many of these were paired with familiar sounds: passing vehicles, barking dogs, and happy bicycle chimes. They strolled along the old Main St. until they arrived at their destination, a little coffee shop on the edge of downtown.
His wife was delighted to secure their old favourite table overlooking the historic intersection. She described to her husband what was happening, and made up stories about whoever was walking by.
Soon, the server came by with their coffees and scones. The smell of espresso and cranberries filled the table. An overwhelming sense of contentment washed over the man. It nearly took him by surprise and yet managed to compose himself when the server came back again to check on them. The sun had just begun to peek over the old bank building across the street.
“It is pretty bright on this side of the room”, the server said. “Would you like me to close the blinds a bit?”
“NO!”, both the man and his wife said at the same time. They shared a laugh as the server walked to the next table, rolling her eyes.
As the man lifted his mug to take a sip, he remembered another morning many months back, sitting in a different chair with cup in hand the day his world had spun into darkness. It seemed like another life altogether. Am I really the same man? It seemed impossible, and yet his memories were so vivid.
These days his heart was full, even more than when he last had his sight. The difference was near impossible to articulate. He just knew he could never trade what he now had to get it back. In many ways he could see much clearer now. That’s kind of funny.
While he was pondering, the sun poured over the building across the street and straight into the window where they were seated. There was not a cloud in the sky to get in the way. It beamed…
The man could no longer see the colours or the vague shape of his wife. Everything went brilliantly white. The heat that fell on his face was matched by it’s counterpart from inside him. There was no pain or fear this time. When the two fronts collided, there was room for only wonder. And then it dissipated as quickly as it rose. Soon the colours swam back in and his wife’s blurry image returned…
His wife had been looking at him as the sun came through the window. Her back was mostly to it, but she felt its warmth. It was the look on her husband’s face though that captured her attention. He did not squint or look away from the light. Instead, he seemed to soak it all in. I suppose it can’t hurt anything. Then, his expression changed…
The picture before his eyes did not stop where it had been before. Like an expensive camera lens, his sight slowly came into focus. Fixed on his wife before him, each strand of her long hair took form. Then, her lovely face came into perfect view as he followed the line of her jaw down to her chin, and then up to her mouth. He gazed upon her for the first time in what felt like years. He had forgotten how beautiful she is. In reality, he had done so long before he went blind. How could that be? She was an angel. I see that now. Then, his eyes met hers…
The distant look that was over her husband’s eyes had melted away. They were focused; alive. She watched as they followed the contour of her hair, then lingered on her face, to finally rest on her own eyes. She could not contain the smile that spread across her lips. Her heart skipped a beat when he smiled right back at her.
Somewhere, miles above the table where they sat, above the fluffy white clouds and past the unseen stars, the sun was smiling too.
Photo 1 Credit: harvest breeding via Compfight cc Photo 2 Credit: sean.bagley via Compfight cc