Marie fidgeted in her seat. The room smelled like death and fumes, but for some reason someone had to throw a bad flower scent in the mix. She patted around her bag and pulled out a box of raisins. As she absently popped one in her mouth, she heard a figure approaching.
“Hello, what’s your name?” She popped another raisin in her mouth and waited.
“Alex,” a raspy older man’s voice spat. “And yours, little lady?”
“Marie. What do you look like?” She popped another raisin in her mouth and swung her legs.
“You’re not missing much, I imagine.” Alex chuckled and coughed. “But I couldn’t tell you any more than you could tell me.”
Marie stopped swinging her legs. “Are you blind too?”
“Right on,” Alex sat down something that sounded rather large. “Haven’t always been, though.” He sighed heavily.
“You could see before?” Marie almost jumped out of her seat. “What happened?”
“I was born partially blind, but as I got older, I began to gain my vision. My eyes just hadn’t developed all the way, I guess.”
“What was it like?” Marie popped another raisin before closing the box quietly. “To see everything for the first time?”
“It was like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. Suddenly there were colors and light to all of the sounds I had heard. Bright warmth combined with chilly scenes, the feeling of grass under my feet was finally combined with seeing what the little sprigs looked like.” He sighed again.
“But what happened?” Marie scrunched her face together with her hands.
“I wasn’t careful. There was an accident at work, something got loose and I wasn’t wearing safety glasses. They had warned me, but I wanted to see everything.”
Marie bit her lip. “But now you see nothing again, like me.”
“You got it, darling.” She heard Alex stand up. “I can’t imagine why you’re in here, but if you ever do see, guard your vision. The truth is, you’ll never see everything. You might as well see something.”
Marie silently waited for the man to leave. When the door slipped shut, she pulled out her raisins again. As she popped another in her mouth, the lady called her name.
“Marie, honey, you won’t have to worry about him any more.” The lady’s voice was tired.
Marie gripped her hand, “If I ever see again, I want to see the ocean.” She felt a tear slip down her cheek, “and I don’t think I ever want to see my father again. You don’t have to see everything.” She felt along the scars on her cheek with her free hand. “Do I look ugly now?”
“No, honey. You’re beautiful.” The lady’s voice caught in her throat.