By Terveen Gill
He was near her, barely an arm’s length away. If she could have, she would have slapped him. But recently blinded, her remaining senses weren’t yet sharp enough, and she would have surely missed her mark. His breathing annoyed her, heavy and then light, the smell of peppermint invaded her private space.
It was all dark now. And it was all his fault.
He had been driving too fast. That’s how she remembered it. Though everyone including the police had told her it had just been an accident. She thought differently. Maybe blindness inhibited the mind’s ability to process logic, it corrupted memory and rationality.
Whatever. She was the one who had lost her sight.
Her favorite sunglasses were the supposed culprit. The impact had made them shatter, sending shards of glass into both her eyes. But she knew better. It was his careless behavior, his daredevil attitude that landed her in a world of darkness. And here she would remain, alone, bitter, lost.
He deserved to suffer. Her silence would be his punishment.
They were to be married on the fifteenth. It was now the nineteenth of the next month. She refused to reconsider her decision. There was no love or bright future in the days to come. The view from where she stood was completely black, a color she had detested, but now it was her constant companion.
She hated him. He would have to live with that.
The chair creaked as he shifted, the toe of his shoe tapped the wooden floor, an irregular, half-hearted beat. Not only his voice, but his entire being was out of rhythm. Why did he come to see her every morning and evening? It was doing neither any good. There was nothing to salvage. Was he more blind than she was?
The tears were coming. Sightless eyes felt the need to cry too.
Her bandages soaked most of the moistness, but some still wet her cheeks. She felt him reaching towards her. And that’s when she slapped him. It was satisfying, so liberating. She was getting better at finding her way. A smile brimmed inside her but never reached her face. It was only grimness from now onwards.
He mumbled that he was leaving. Would return in the evening.
As he walked away, his familiar scent lingered in the air. She breathed deeply, taking him in, but the hostility in her pushed him back out. Sobs caught her throat. Her heart was drowning in a pool of perpetual gloom, and there was nothing she could do.
Her eyes were only a sad excuse. She had forever lost the light inside her.