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All I Have

“Why do you always keep your eyes closed?”

“I dunno... I see no point in keeping them open...” We were laying under the sycamore tree in Ali's back yard, letting the gentle spring breeze play across our faces as we were submerged in the perfume of opening flowers. It was the first warm day of spring, and we were celebrating the only way we knew how- ice cold lemonade and the shade of the tree.

“Open them. Just for a moment. I want to see them,” Ali said. I sighed, not seeing what good it would do.

“Fine.” Grudgingly, wondering if I still knew how, I slowly lifted my lids. Ali gasped.

“Oh my god. Your eyes are beautiful! They're like... Blue. But at the same time, they have little spokes of green and gold shooting through... Wow. I mean, they're kind of milky, but they have this... This magic to them. I've never seen anything like it.”

“Really?” I blinked a few times, as though it would help. It didn't, of course. I felt out of practice. Ali sighed, breathing in the fresh air. I could hear the clinking of ice on glass and the rustling of fabric as she lifted it to take a sip.

“I don't know how you stand it. I probably would have gone insane by now...”

“Well, it's actually kind of nice sometimes. People say things, describe them, and I make up what they look like in my head. Like, when you just told me what my eyes looked like. I have this image in my head of what they look like. It's probably totally wrong, but still. It's nice. And you hear those birds chirping?” I paused for a second, listening. Ali said nothing. “Well, that sound paints this picture for me. It's like they tell me a story. It's the first thing I notice, and right now, that combined with the smell of those orchids, it's the nicest thing in the world.” We lay there for a few minutes in silence, only the birds and wind whispering to me. Finally, Ali broke the silence.

“I guess...” More silence. I knew she didn't understand. It'd been like this ever since the accident. Mostly silence, explaining, people feeling sorry for me, more silence, more explaining, more silence. And listening. Always listening. Listening to the creak of a floor board two floors down, announcing that my dad was making his way into the kitchen. The snap of a hairband on my sister's wrist as she tied her hair up for gymnastics. My cat's claws clicking softly on the kitchen tile as he goes to eat. The yowling of the baby next door. It goes on and on, a never ending list of things to hear. Most people don't think it's important. But to me, it's the most important thing in the world. Sound is all I have.





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