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Blindness

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The gray of the fields seems to match that of the sky. She walks slowly, wondering where the colours that she saw the world in had disappeared to. Was it possible that, as she’d grown older, she had developed a kind of blindness? One that stemmed from nothing physical, but something that had subtly worked its way into her mind, convincing her she needed to forget those things?

The Blindness was something that had made her forget about the doll she packed away when she moved, that now sat in a box in the basement. It made her forget about the doll that she’d been so terrified to pack away the first time they left home , the stuffed toy the next time, a rubber ball the next. The Blindness made her forget about that terror. As she’d grown older, the terror was a normal factor.

Ten years ago she’d been sobbing, pleading with her mother and father to stay where they were. She’d packed all of her things into boxes and moved to their new apartment. She’d hated the city passionately. It was such a difference from the small town she’d grown up in. The noise and the lights had kept her awake for a long time.

Nine years ago she cried when her father left. She’d begged him to stay, and then begged not to go when she was supposed to go to his house. She’d packed up some of her things, and reluctantly climbed into the back seat of his tiny car. She had pouted for most of the weekend, but was eager to return next time.

The Blindness made her forget about the doll that she had clutched to her chest in those moments of childhood terror. The Blindness kept it in the box.

Six years ago she had run away from home, just down the block to the park near her mother’s house. Her mother was moving, and she didn’t want to live away from her friends. She’d explained to her mother that it wasn’t fair. That was the first time she’d heard the words that wove themselves regularly into her life. Life Isn’t Fair. Her mother found her hidden under the silver slide, sleeping.

The Blindness made her forget about the stuffed cat she had rested her head on as she had fallen asleep under the slide. The Blindness kept it in the box.

Five years ago, she had stayed in her room for days, crying to herself in privacy. Too many times, she thought to herself, too many times we’ve done this. Her father had bought a large house in the countryside. It was large, too large for just her and her father. She welcomed the new dog with open arms. She thought that it might be nice to have a constant friend.

Three years ago she held a small rubber ball to her heart, and tightly squeezed her father’s hand as she watched the needle. She would never forget the way the life had gently left his eyes, or the way his chest had stopped moving as he breathed. Her father had already taken away the red bowl. Her father had already swept away the blanket and leash and collar. Her father had swept away all that her dog had left behind but that single rubber ball.

The Blindness had made her forget the ball. The Blindness kept it in the box.

Two years ago, she’d climbed out her window the night her father announced they were leaving. She’d walked three miles into town to stay at a friend’s house. She hated her father’s new girlfriend, and she hated her children. Not for the people they were, but for invading her life. She did not want to leave another home for their sake. She did not want to give up that part of her life for them.

Two years ago, she’d tried unpacking her things. She tried opening up the box, and unpacking the doll, the stuffed cat, and the ball. Two years ago, The Blindness hadn’t affected her. She was told that she should keep her childish things packed. The new house is smaller, they told her. So she kept the box packed.

With every speck of dust that fell onto the box, The Blindness found a way to seep into her mind. With every turn of season since that day two years ago, The Blindness has taken over more and more. Every sunset, every dawn, every morning, every night had added to the power The Blindness had over her. She was beginning to realize in full how much she’d lost herself to The Blindness.

The Blindness had made her forget the moments of her childhood that had influenced how she handled herself today. The Blindness had made her forget the things that were dear to her and in turn she began to forget herself. She had stopped dreaming of being a ballerina at the loss of the doll in the pink dress. Her dreams of being a vet evaporated with the forfeiture of the stuffed cat. Her dreams of being a dog trainer had vanished when she tucked away that small rubber ball. Since then what dreams for the future had she had?

She pulled the brown box open, slowly. Lifting the sheet she had placed on top so many years ago she smiled to herself. She remembered thinking the doll and the cat would be cold. She set the sheet aside and began her examination of the box’s content. The ball she pulled out first, her hands remembering the texture and weight of it. Next, the stuffed cat was pulled out. The synthetic fur had been matted and worn from the nights she’d kept it tucked under her arm. The plastic doll followed, her dress the same pale pink it had been when she’d unwrapped it on her birthday ten years ago.

She studied the toys carefully. These things to anyone else might seem inconsequential, but to her they were part of who she was today. She carefully replaced them in the box, and prepared to move it up to her room, before glancing back at the stacked boxes lined up against the wall.

The Blindness had eliminated her childhood curiosity, but now she chose to find her vision again. She took the boxes down and opened them one by one, rediscovering lost memories. The objects in the boxes contained so much of her history. Among them were the painted glass jar she’d given to her father for father’s day, as a vase; her ballet certificate from her first year of ballet class; her old jump rope; her grade eight graduation certificate, worn and wrinkled from being packed; her first pair of high heels and a stuffed animal a young man had won her on her first date.

She also found a large amount of things that she had no recollection of. Whether they were her father’s or her step-mother’s or her children’s items, she tried to imagine the stories behind them. Were her family members victims of The Blindness too? It wouldn’t surprise her.

She doubted The Blindness could ever truly be cured. Society tended to function around The Blindness, restricting people from viewing the world as a magical place. People are expected to sit in cubicles, and crunch numbers. The opportunities for people to express themselves were limited. It was at that point she resolved to make a difference. She decided to do something that would affect the world and that would remind them of how they used to see things. She didn’t know what it was, but that it would be powerful and beautiful. She would change the world.

She knew she would find some way to do this in her future. Until then, she would see what other objects wound their way into her life, and into boxes. She would not forget these items, or lose track of them. She would never let herself forget how important little things were. She would not let herself forget how little moments could change her life.

She eventually finished packing and replacing the boxes. However; the last box remained on the floor; it was her own. She lifted it into her arms and walked to the stairs, juggling the box as she reached to turn off the light. Nobody saw as the sixteen year old girl walked to her room, carrying a box messily marked ‘Anna’s Stuff’. Anna was no longer under the influence of The Blindness. Anna was free.



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laloka said...
Jan. 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm
i LIIKE
 
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