Blindness (AtsuMina OS)

So, I was supposed to be doing my paperwork, but then I thought about this, I couldn’t stop myself from writing it.

First I wanna say that I don’t know much of how one person can get blind. So if this is not really accurate then I’m sorry. But remember, this is fiction. So I kinda can do whatever I want, right?

Second, obviously I’m not blind, so I don’t know how being blind is. The little part in which they talk about how being blind is, is the mere product of my imagination.

With those points clear, here it is.

I’m sorry if you find any kind of mistake and I hope you can enjoy this story.

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~~~~~~~~~~~

When I was learning how to interact with the world after my accident, I was very afraid. Especially of loud sounds and the complete darkness I was in. The incident happened long ago, a car accident. I don’t understand much of medical names and stuff, but after the accident, my eyes started to malfunction. I was losing my vision little by little. My doctor tried everything. Transplants, operations, psychology, even, natural remedies; but everything was in vain. And so, I had become blind.

I was afraid, as I said; I had to learn how to move around with a cane at first. I bumped with everything I had in front. I couldn’t even walk in a straight line. I felt very frustrated. Recognizing the shapes and forms simple by touching objects was a difficult task too. But I wouldn’t give up that easy. I was a fighter, my dad had said.

After a few years and many therapy and learning, I finally was able to stand and live by myself. I used to stay at my friends house. Kojima Haruna’s family was patient and understanding about my situation. We had been neighborhoods since we born, she is older than me though. And when the accident happened, her family offered me a home and a room. Of course I wanted to repay their kindness and, at that time, I was only planning to stay for 1 or 2 years. But, the sudden blindness messed up all my plans; and in the end I stayed with them for about 10 years.

After I could stand on my own and live independently, I thanked Kojima’s family for the help they offered me and I told them that it was time for me to leave their house. “I can’t keep on abusing your kindness, I am very thankful of everything you did to me, but it’s time for me to try and live on my own” were my words. Kojiharu understood quickly, although a bit of an airhead, she can read the mood and feelings of the people that surround her. Her mother however, was crying and telling me not to go, that I wasn’t a trouble or a charge. She loved me like a daughter and I was really grateful because of it.

But my decision was made.

 

The park is, I think, the only place I like to be. The sounds of the laugh and yelling of the children playing was what I liked the most. I used to like the silence of the library, when I was younger, the silence was the best. But after I lost my vision, the silence makes me feel alone, afraid and uncomfortable.

The park, rather than the malls or other places, was filled with innocence, and I could picture, in my mind, how the kids would be playing around. Sometimes, I would bring my recorder, I would record the sounds of the park and then would go back home and listen to it again. It helped me to relax.

Other times I would go to the park with my MP3 player and I would plug one earbud on and I will start playing music in a low volume, the music was like a soundtrack that accompanied the playground. It’s fun to do that. Some other times I would be hearing some audio-books. I liked to read way before the accident, my mother made me love books. I still love them.

After 5 years, the hospital that was offering me help, offered me a guide dog. They said it could be easier for me to walk around without fear and I will get some company at home. My psychiatrist recommended me to accept the offer since it really could help me. She listed the benefits of having a dog guide too, I forget what did she said though, and so, I accepted.

Kuma, was a black Labrador retriever. How do I know? People told me. He was very good trained. I was expecting him to pull me out all the way, but he walked right on my side. He would stop in the intersections and wait till we get green light to walk. I don’t know how he does it, I thought dogs couldn’t see colors, he always amazed me. If the walk road was quite crowded, he would try not bump into people and would change my direction too; if that didn’t work be would simple bark to gain people’s attention so they would move aside.

 

Today I decided to go to a different park, with fewer kids than the one near my place. Kuma was resting next to me, but always alert. I was listening to my last acquisition. A new audio-book of the author I loved the most. I had my sunglasses on and I was smiling as some funny situations happened to the protagonist.

-That is a cute dog- a sweet and cute voice said suddenly.

-I know right? – I smiled, to the little girl – He’s name is Kuma. He’s very friendly.

-Can I touch him? – She asked me with excitement and a bit of fear on her voice.

-Sure, but you must wait for him to approach you okay? – I leaned forward, near to the kid and I extended my hand out – Give me your hand.

She did what I said and I grabbed her hand, I reached for Kuma’s head and I motioned him to reach forward. He smelled the kid’s hand, still in my hand, and after a few seconds of exploring, he started to lick the kid’s hand.

-Now you can touch him

-Yeeeey!!!! – She was excited and I believe she even hugged my dog.

I had a big smile as I listened to the kid playing with the dog, he even barked excited. I guess he was happy for the change of company for a while.

-Jo! Jo-chan! – I heard a woman’s voice on my right.

-I’m here mom! – The kid replied.

The woman was walking fast towards us and I figured she was worried.

-What are you doing, Jo-chan?! You shouldn’t be touching other people’s dogs! What if they bite you or something? Plus it’s not okay to bother other people! – Her voice was worried.

-But mom…

-It’s okay – I interrupted the kid’s whine – I don’t mind and the dog is well trained, he won’t bite her, even if she pulls his tail. – I smiled to the girl and then added- But you shouldn’t do that, okay?

-Un!

And awkward silence followed after my words, the kid kept on playing with Kuma, but I could feel a piercing stare on me.

-Let’s go now, Jo-chan. – the woman said with a rather angry tone.

-But mom! – The girl whined.

– I said let’s go!

-But-but…

-It’s time for Kuma to go home too. -I said before the woman would scold the child – But I promise you, he will come back to play here tomorrow. – I smiled and Kuma barked as if understanding – Okay? So, now be a good kid and go with your mother.

-Really? You will bring him back, really?! – I nodded – Yeeeeey!!!! I’ll see you tomorrow then Kuma!!! Bye bye! – Kuma barked again.

And they left.

-So, now, you have a girlfriend huh?

Kuma just growled at me, while I laughed.

 

As promised, I was in the same park at the same hour, still listening to my book.

-Kuma!!!!!!

I felt him moving his position and sitting up near me and I smiled.

-Heeeh~ your girlfriend arrived~ – I teased him. He only barked.

-I’m sorry for bothering you -spoke the same woman from yesterday. I felt her sitting on the left side of the bench.

-It’s okay – I smiled at her – I don’t mind and Kuma seems to be more energetic now. I guess I’m not a really cheerful company to him – I joked.

I don’t know if the woman smiled or not though.

I pressed the stop button on my player and I tried to put my player on one of my pockets but failed, the device ended up on the ground. I leaned down and tried to grab it. But I didn’t know where the player was, until I felt a hand giving me the device. When our hands touched I could feel electricity traveling from my hand.

-Tha-thanks

She reminded silence. The silence between us reminded for a couple of minutes more until she spoke again.

-I’m Maeda Atsuko, nice to meet you.

-I’m Takahashi Minami, nice to meet you too.

-I’ve never seen a guide dog for blind people. I thought they couldn’t interact with other people except the owner…

-Ah, well; I thought the same, if I’m honest. But I called the center and they told me it was okay. Kuma used to be the guide dog of a kid back in the day; but since the kid had to move out of the city, they gave Kuma back to the center. It was sad for Kuma, I’m the second person he guides actually – I smiled – The personnel said that he didn’t allow anyone else to be his owner, until I came. And that the interaction with the kids will benefit him too. He is not so attentive to kids, but I guess he likes your daughter – I chuckled.

-I see… -she didn’t add anything more, until they left.

 

Day after day, Jo-chan and her mother would come to the park. Maeda-san and I started to talk more and more and soon we became friends. She was still a bit reluctant. And I understand; I was a stranger and she had to take care of her daughter.

Our talks became warmer and soon we felt comfortable in each other company. We talked about many things. Like the accident, in which I lost both my parents and my vision. She told me about how she got pregnant and then her boyfriend left her. I told her about my first years in the darkness and how I was able to get out of the depression I felt. She also said many anecdotes about Jo-chan, who was now 5 years old. I liked the kid and I also liked the mom, her personality made me fall in love with her.  But I wasn’t sure if I should confess. It already passed a year since we met. Sometimes, the 4 of us would go to eat somewhere else. She even invited me to the beach that summer. We had fun. I felt happy and loved.

I asked her to describe herself one day. I was curious of the woman next to me and, without lying, my heart wanted to know if I could have any chance to date her.

-I have long and brown hair, dark brown -she said and taking my hand, she placed it on her hair. I smiled – I have brown eyes. And I have an ugly face.

-What? – I frowned – I don’t believe that last part! – I said still playing with her hair. My free hand reached to her face, I wanted to know if it was true. But I halted before touching her face, maybe she would feel uncomfortable, or even angry and…

She grabbed my hand and placed it on her cheek. I could feel the warmness in her skin and I knew she was blushing. Slowly I started to trace every part of her face; her cheek, her forehead, her eyebrows and eyes, her nose and finally her mouth. I stayed there longer than expected.

-You’re beautiful- I said

I moved my hand back to her cheek and I unconsciously leaned forward. I could feel her tensing up and stopped. “What the hell am I doing?!” I thought. I wanted to look at her eyes and see if she wanted me to finish the little space that was left between us or if she wanted me to go away… I wanted to…

A bark and a laugh made us jump. I removed my hands from her hair and face and I sat as far of her as possible. I was feeling embarrassed. What I did was reckless and stupid and now she would think I’m a jerk or something. Great!

I could feel her looking at me and it made me feel more nervous. A few minutes after that, Atsuko-san left with Jo-chan. I sighed. I wanted to scream but I didn’t do it.

 

After gaining some courage, a few months after the incident, I called her and asked her for them to eat in my house. It would be the first time I invited them and I was very, very nervous. Atsuko agreed and so I prepared a decent meal, with some Kojiharu and her mom’s help. I could cook for me, but the measurement was different when it comes to more people. I never invited anyone to eat at my home; just Kojiharu’s family would come every now and then, to visit and to ask me if everything was okay. I really appreciate them. They are the only family I have left.

The cooking went smooth, just little problems here and there, mainly because Haruna would mess the ingredients. Her mother would scold her a bit and then would try to fix the food, while I was laughing on the side. Once Atsuko and Jo-chan arrived, I was alone already, with the meals on the plates and served on the table.

Jo-chan as always would run to Kuma and will greet him first, before Atsuko would tell her to greet me too. She gained the habit to kiss me every time we see. I didn’t mind! I really felt loved by the kid.

That day the meal went good. Atsuko and I talked about our own jobs and how difficult it was for her to take care of Jo-chan. Sometimes, Atsuko’s job demanded her many hours in the office and she didn’t know where to leave the little girl with. She was a writer in a magazine.

-It’s not my dream job; but, at least I can bring food to my table- she said.

-What would be your dream job then?

-Umm, I would like to manage a restaurant or even a bar… – she smiled – Believe it or not, I’m a great chef! And since I was very little I wanted to do that.

-Well, being chef demands also time and long hours away from home.

-I know, I know. Well, you asked me about my dream job, right? That’s my dream job then.

I smiled and scratched my chin thinking.

-I have a friend who manages a chain of restaurants – I said slowly – I could ask her for a favor, if you want of course.

-Are you serious?! – I smiled, imagining her surprised expression.

-Yeah, I mean you would work for her but you’ll see how managing a restaurant is and the payment is good too. You don’t have to worry about that.

-I… I don’t know what to say…

-Why don’t you talk with her first and then you decide what to do?

She agreed on a meeting and so I called Ohori Megumi. She agreed without me even trying. We were really good friends and casually, she really needed some help.

 

 

-Why don’t you come to my house and we eat together? – I offered a few weeks later on the phone.

-I don’t really want to disturb you and your work – Atsuko replied on the other line- Jo-chan just misses Kuma but, if you’re busy, she have to understand.

-No, no. You don’t disturb me at all! Moreover – I looked at the dog that was laying down near the TV- He is quite depressed too – I whispered – I guess he also misses his girlfriend- Kuma barked and I smiled.

-Are you sure?

-Yeah, plus… – I gulped – He’s not the only one who misses someone – I blushed even though I wasn’t speaking with her personally – And I miss Jo-chan too! -I laughed nervously.

-I-I see -she stuttered- Then I guess we can go.

We didn’t say anything for a minute or so and I was wondering if I should just say something else or wait for her to speak first.

-Then…-I said

-…Tomorrow? -she added.

-At…? – I asked

-3:00pm is okay with you?

-Nothing better!

-It’s a deal then. But! I will be the one cooking. -she said laughing.

-Ah! I’m not sure… -I decided to tease her- What if you poison me?! I’m afraid! -I was having a hard time trying not to laugh.

-Mou! Minami! I won’t cook then! -I knew she was maybe pouting and that made finally laugh.

-I’m kidding, I’m kidding~ I will be waiting for you tomorrow then – I said smiling.

And after a good bye, she hung up.

 

I passed all day expecting for her visit. Especially, because she would be the one cooking the food; I heard from Meetan how good of a chef Atsuko was and my expectation just grew. I was also nervous. I wanted to confess my feelings to her, properly.

I ended up not concentrating on my job in the little sound studio I had. I am a sound engineer; I made my first steps in the press department of a reintegration committee, when I was younger. I approached the radio stations and learned to interview, to record, to mix and to make programs, and then I decided to have my own studio.

I gave up after the fifth bad mix. I then decided to take a bath and start to get ready for the visit.

 

-Wow! This is delicious!! – I said after taking the first bite of my meal – I really thought you would poison me! -She slapped my shoulder lightly- But it really is great! I could get used to eat this everyday!

She laughed nervously but didn’t say anything.

We spent all afternoon and part of the evening talking, when finally it was time for them to go back home.

-They are sleeping – Atsuko whispered next to me – I guess she’s exhausted.

-She was having so much fun. Even Kuma is sleeping- I whispered back.

-They’re so cute -Atsuko giggled- They both are in the couch. Kuma is Jo’s pillow.

I smiled at the image of it. The cuteness of my imagination made me melt.

-But it’s late and we should go- she said

-Why… -I stopped myself to rethink my words and to grab some courage- why don’t you stay tonight? Tomorrow is Saturday right? I really don’t mind and I kind of feel bad for waking the kid up…

She didn’t answer me immediately and I knew she was just thinking about it.

-I really don’t want to bother you…

-It’s not a bother. I told you right? I’m really happy that you and Jo-chan came, not only today… -I grabbed her hand – But into my life, since that day we met, at the park -I smiled and I hoped that she could understand my feelings.

-Minami… -she said and I could bet that she was at the edge of crying.

She hugged me tight and I could felt my heart beating fast. She was indeed crying I could feel something wet on my shoulder. I just hoped it were tears of happiness. I kissed her head and we stayed like that for a while until she calmed down. Her body near to mine was making me feel so happy that I could just stay like that forever.

I helped her or more like she helped me, to reach to the guests’ room. I was carrying Jo-chan’s body and Atsuko was next to me. She opened the door and I walked slowly towards the bed and I laid the kid’s body on one side of the bed. I knew my own house like the palm of my hand, but it was kind of difficult since I barely used the gests room.

-Thanks- Atsuko said when we were back in the door.

-No problem. -I walked towards my own room and grabbing some big clothes I had I walked back to her – Here, it might be a bit small, since you’re taller but… These are the biggest clothes I have.

-It’s okay, thank you! -she said taking the clothes.

-Well, you know where the bathroom is and there is a spare towel and toothbrush, for you and Jo-chan, if you want to take a bath to ahead.

-Thanks again

I smiled and went to my room to change my own clothes. I guess the confessing time would have to wait. I sighed.

 

Kuma was always sleeping near my bed, on the floor. I wasn’t a real heavy sleeper, so when the dog growled I opened my eyes and sat on my bed.

-I’m sorry for waking you up but… Do you mind if I sleep here with you? -Atsuko whispered near me and I jumped a bit, I kind of forgot she was here. She giggled.

-What happened? – I asked worried and rubbing my eyes.

-Jo-chan monopolized the bed and kicked me out

I laughed lightly. I patted the space next to me and I waited. I felt the bed move and finally Atsuko was lying next to me.

To say that I couldn’t sleep right back is a stupid statement now.

-How is it? – She said suddenly.

-What?

-Being blind.

-Ah, we… -I thought about it- Since I didn’t born blind, I guess I still can imagine how life is. I still can imagine colors and shapes, the streets and buildings. I don’t know how it is for the ones who born blind though…

-Is it like walking in the middle of the night then? Like you know that there is a white door near you, but you don’t see it?

-I guess so… -I smiled- Just that it’s not night. It’s pure darkness. Not even the color black can describe how dark it is.

-I see…

She didn’t say anything. After a few minutes, however I could feel her hugging me.

-I’m sorry. -she said near my ear, making me blush.

-Wh-Why are you a-apologizing for?

-I’m sorry that you can’t see… How beautiful is the life around you…

I moved my head towards her, if I could look her I would be looking directly into her eyes.

-But you can describe it to me… -I placed one of my hands on her cheek- You can just describe how beautiful and wonderful life is… How cute Jo-chan is… And how… -I gulped – And how do I look when I try to… Express my… Love for you…

I reached to her face. This time I didn’t stop my movement. This time I wanted her to know that I loved her and that it didn’t exist anything better.

I didn’t place my lips on hers. But I was close. She giggled as she moved her head and placed her hands on my cheeks.

-I’m gonna teach you how to kiss… – Was the last thing she whispered before kissing me slowly and sweetly.

 

The next morning, when I woke up, I could feel her piercing stare again.

-It’s bad to stare at people, you know?

She giggled.

-How do you know? – She asked amused

-I just can feel it.

She reached for my hand and grabbed it entwining her fingers with mines.

-You have such beautiful eyes- She said – When the sunlight is on your face; they have a very light color, like honey.

-Really?

She hummed and I felt her nodding on my shoulder. I smiled and the next thing I know is that she is kissing me again. When the kiss ended I sighed.

-I seriously could get used to this… – I said smiling, knowing that she was smiling back.

 

At first I was scared. I didn’t know what to do with my own life. I was afraid to go out and to even wake up. I was wondering what I would do in this infinite darkness of mine. But now, now I have a light that guides me, I’m not alone anymore. Now I have a reason to keep on living and doing my best every day.

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4 Responses to “Blindness (AtsuMina OS)”

  1. I finally get to read this. I’ve seen this a few times already but schoolwork and training has made me busy.

    Takamina is blind, sadly. But Acchan is there.

    I like the “I’ll teach you how to kiss” part. Hahahaha.

    Thank you for this. :)

    • secnecrom Says:

      It’s all messy but I’m glad you liked it! :3

      And yeah, it’s cute xD

      Thank you for reading! :D

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