I woke up and I knew it was morning. It felt like sunrise. And I could hear the birds tweeting. Cars were rushing by across the street below my bedroom window. Their frequency made me aware that it was morning rush hour – people still had the energy to yell at each other. So I knew. It was definitely morning.
I opened my eyes but it made no difference. The darkness was still there.
I felt my way across the room and into the bathroom. I heard the tap running and felt the coldness of the water as it ran through my fingers and splashed onto my face. I did not know what it looked like. What colour it had if any. I only knew it was cold if you turned one tap and hot if you turned the other. It was like magic really, something that could be regulated by your very fingertips.
Mother helped me get dressed. I could hear her voice breaking and could tell she was holding back the tears. Another year and nothing had changed. I had lost all hope that anything would. She told me I was wearing new clothes – designer ones – and that I looked all handsome and grown up. She was proud of me she said. She had a wonderful boy that all the girls at school would develop a crush on. I didn’t care much about that. I didn’t even know what the girls at school looked like. I barely knew what I looked like.
It was my birthday today. But for me it was just as any other day.
I was twelve years old and I was blind.
I wasn’t always blind. I could see until I was three. Then a genetic mutation took over my optic nerves and I steadily progressed into a life of darkness.
I don’t remember much of what it is like to see. I hardly remember the faces of my parents. But one thing I do remember is the sparkle in their eyes whenever they saw me. I hope it is still there even though I can no longer see it.
My friends came over for a party. I don’t really know who they are or what they look like. I just know they are as tall as me and have pretty much the same characteristics.
I had a birthday cake today. Mother said it was decorated with Spiderman, but I don’t know what he actually looks like so I imagine him to be the coolest superhero there is. The good thing about not being able to see is that you can pretend that everything has a much better appearance than it does in reality. Mother and I play this game where she describes one thing and I describe how I imagine it to be. My version is always better. At least that makes her smile. I can sense she is devastated. She secretly hopes that one doctor was right and I might get part of my eyesight back eventually. But I know that’s not going to happen. I could hear it in the tone of his voice that he simply wanted to give her some good news to console her.
The worst thing about being blind is that on your birthday you cannot even see your own candles to blow them out.
Also part of Daily Prompt: Shake it Up