Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/676227-Blinded-into-Clarity
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Emotional · #676227
A young man comes face to face with his greatest fear.
Blinded into Clarity
By Jordan Messinger

When I climbed into bed, I had no way of anticipating the horror that was waiting for me when I woke. I had spent a pleasant evening at a local bar with some friends from school, just kicking back to escape the tedious routine that finals had forced us to endure. The alcohol we consumed helped revitalize our spirits as all of our troubles seemed to wither into oblivion. We had done it. No longer would school stand as an obstacle that we were challenged to surmount. We were free to start our lives.

I arrived home sometime after 2 a.m. that morning. Unfortunately I was alone, but was happy nevertheless. I slowly walked around my apartment looking at the pictures on my wall and the little model ships that lined my dresser. Out of habit, I checked my email and then flipped on the television while I changed into my pajamas.

Before lying down to sleep, I noticed the books on my desk and immediately placed them onto the bookshelf where they could remain untouched for years to come. They would serve as a nice reminder of the agony I had endured to earn my law degree. I shut the lights in my room and made sure the blinds were closed as to ensure that the sunlight would not interrupt my sleep early the next morning.

Upon shutting the television, I proceeded to my bed where I would lay motionless on top of my comforter staring up at the empty white ceiling that was but six feet above where I lay. A giant grin appeared on my face as I fell asleep with a feeling of calm overtaking my body for the first time in years.

I assumed that I was dreaming as I remained motionless for the first 10 minutes after I had wakened. I climbed out of bed and made my way to the bathroom relying exclusively on my memory. I tried to keep my cool. As I climbed into the shower, I placed my hands upon the wall underneath the shower head. The usually soothing flow of water began to massage the back of my head, but nothing changed. As I stood there, tears started streaming from my eyes. I could feel the path the tears left on my face as I sat down in the shower and curled up into a ball. I began to cry uncontrollably for what seemed like hours as the water beat down on my body.

I forced myself to climb out of the shower, dried my body as best as I could and stumbled back into my bedroom. I gathered up some clothes not knowing whether they matched or how I looked, but I felt the need to put them on. I again lay down on my bed with my eyes wide open and looked for the ceiling that had been there less than eight hours earlier. I needed to leave. I needed to get out of my apartment, but I could not drive in my condition. I found my cell phone intending to call a friend to come rescue me from my new hell. But, the phone numbers that I had programmed into my phone but had failed to memorized, were all gone.

I dialed the operator and got her to help me find the number of my closest friend. I quickly pressed each of the seven digits on my cell phone and waited patiently as the time between each ring seemed to last for hours. After the fifth ring, she answered the phone and spoke as if she had been awakened from a deep sleep. Her voice was scratchy and her tone was anything but pleasant. “Why are you calling me so early,” she muttered.

Choked up, I could barely bring myself to speak. “What time is it,” I garbled. “Its five in the morning, is everything okay,” as the tone in her voice quickly regained its texture and the anger turned into concern.

I did not want to say it. If I said it then it would be true. Trembling, I opened my mouth to answer her question, but words failed to form. “I, I, I …. I can’t.” But, I could not finish the sentence. I could not acknowledge what had happened to me.

“What’s wrong, do you need me to come over,” she asked now with a clear sound of fear in her voice. I again started to cry and hung up the phone without speaking another word. I could not face anyone. Not like this.

Within minutes, there was a knock at my door. Everything inside of me wanted to remain in my bed; to not face anyone; and especially to not let anyone see me. But the knocking continued. Finally broken, I went and unlocked the door. Before she could enter, I was back in my bed with the covers over my head and tears streaming down my face. I would not let her see me cry. No one could see me cry. But, I could not stop the tears.

She stood in the doorway. I assumed she was looking at me, trying to figure out what was wrong. She came to my bed and sat down beside me and took the cover off of my head. I immediately turned away and buried my face in my hands.

“Tyler, talk to me,” she said in a manner that would have required even the most stubborn man to respond. I lifted my hands from my face and turned to face her. I wanted nothing more than to see, so that her beauty would bring a smile to my face. But, what I had hoped to see was not there.

My eyes were wide open, but I still could not see the perfection that sat before me. I tried to speak, but again words failed me. I still could not say it. But, I didn’t have to. She knew.

She could tell from the vacant look on my face. And somehow, I sensed that she knew. I sensed her hand move to cover her mouth. I heard the tears starting to slowly drip down her cheek. She quickly gathered herself and held me in her arms.

In complete silence, she let me cry on her shoulder for a seemingly endless amount of time. She knew that I was not able to talk about it yet.

Eventually, after I had cried myself to sleep, she laid my head on my pillow and left the room. A few minutes later I could smell the scent of eggs coming from my kitchen. I wiped the tears that remained on my face and walked toward the scent. I made my way to the kitchen table and sat there silently until she put a fork in my hand and told me that I needed to eat something.

I ate the eggs and thanked her for the wonderful meal. I took a deep breath and rose to my feet intending to bring my plate to the sink. She grabbed the plate out of my hands and washed it before I had the chance to move. I forced a little smile.

I made my way to the couch and asked her if she would mind turning the radio on. She appeased me. We sat and listened to the music for about an hour still not speaking a word. It was as if she knew that I would talk when I was ready.

Finally I got up the courage to verbalize what I was going through. With my eyes closed, I said, “Hope, I got up this morning and everything was gone. Everything is black.” I hesitated, and swallowed hard. I took a deep breath and put my hand over my eyes and said slowly as I could no longer fight off the tears, “I’m blind.”

She remained silent as if she knew that I had more to say. I took another deep breath and exclaimed, “there were so many things that I want to see. So many places that I’ve been meaning to travel to. So many people that I have yet to lay eyes on.”

I started to fight back tears again but forced myself to continue. “And now, all that is gone. I wasted so much time. I’ve taken for granted all the wonderful things that are around me. I’ve lived through books and never experienced what was real. And now everything is gone. So, what do I do now?”

She took my hand and placed it on her cheek. We both knew that nothing else needed to be said at that point. For just a brief moment, everything was okay again.

For me, that was the scariest day of my entire life. But, I would not give back that day for anything in the world. The doctors were never able to tell me what caused me to lose my sight, and were even more perplexed when later that day my sight returned without warning.

I had thought that life was going to be perfect after I finished school. I thought that I had everything under control and had everything figured out. But, I was blind to the world and all the beauty it possesses.

Ironically, it was being blind for a day that ultimately showed me that I had been living my life blind to what was right in front of me.
© Copyright 2003 Jordan Messinger (jam23jm at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/676227-Blinded-into-Clarity