“You didn’t have to hit him,” Amelia’s scolded as she helped me lock up Fangtasia.
“Okay, picture this. You’re me. You’ve been in the shop puttering around, not trying to be quiet at all…for over an hour. Then I hear a phone go off. And no one answers it, but I can hear someone skulking around. What are you picturing? And without being able to see anything, I think it’s a fairly valid leap to swing first and ask question later.”
“Okay, I’ll give you the practice swing, but you absolutely didn’t have to punch him in the throat! If you fucked things up with Pam I’ll be pissed,” I could hear the pout in Amelia’s voice even if I couldn’t see it.
“Psh, she sounded like she was panting after your ass already. And she hugged me. I think you’re good,” I rolled my eyes, slowly making my way to Amelia’s car.
“Where did you park again?” I called over my shoulder, counting steps until I reached the edge of the sidewalk.
“Third space down, no other cars in the way. Just keep heading right!”
Sighing, I shuffled forward until my hand touched the warm metal.
I was so sick of having to rely on Amelia for absolutely everything, but according to the stupid fucking specialist I had an appointment with today, I had no idea when or even if that would ever happen.
I settled myself into the plush leather seats of her Acura and leaned my head back as I waited for her to get in and start the car. The car shifted and dipped as she sat and the engine purred almost soundlessly to life.
“So. Tell me what’s got your panties in a bunch.”
My nose wrinkled automatically as she spoke. “Seriously? That is NOT the way to get me talking. You know the ‘p’ word irks me.” She chuckled and stayed silent. I sighed again, knowing there was no way around this conversation. “He said that the emboli are still there, but one is too close to the optic nerve to do anything about it. The other is in a fairly easy to access spot, but he’s hesitant to do anything with the other one in my system. So basically he can break up the right one and wait on the left one, but there’s more of a chance of the left dislodging and traveling to my brain or lung. We can wait them both out and hope they break up easily. I can either have some vision, no vision, perfect vision, or I could die. At this point, he’s got no idea. The drugs aren’t working, so there’s not really anything they can do except monitor me,” I let out a sharp breath. “I know it’s a pain. I can move out if you want. There’s an assisted living center not far from here that sounds okay.”
“Seriously Sook? You really think I’d kick you out over this? What kind of bestie would I be if I did that?!” Amelia sounded affronted and I could tell it was genuine.
“I just-I hate being a burden,” it pained me to admit it, but I knew if anyone would understand Amelia would.
She’d been my lifeline through all this mess. When I’d been in the car accident. When Quinn left me because of the blindness, however temporary the doctors assured us that it’d be. When I had to relearn how to do even the simplest task. Amelia had been there for every single bit of it. She knew how much it hurt my pride to have to ask for help just getting a shower. She knew how many nights I laid awake in bed, crying over the asshole who I’d been with for two years and seriously thought I’d marry.
She’d been there for all of it. Most of my other friends had bailed for some reason or other. But it all boiled down to the fact that I was disabled now. And they didn’t know how to deal with that. So it was better to just pretend like I didn’t exist.
Well-better for them anyways.
“Sook, you’re not a burden. I love you-you’re like a sister to me. I know you’re life was turned upside down, but just…I dunno. Cheer up a bit. You’re still alive, which is a miracle in and of itself. Show everyone the sweetness inside and it’ll get better. No more punching unsuspecting customers-” she chuckled lightly. “However much they might deserve it. Is Jason coming over tonight?”
Amelia’s abrupt subject change broke me out of my depressing thoughts. “Nah, he’s visiting Michelle at the hospital over in Minden. He’s finally getting serious with her…he even said he was gonna go ring shopping in the next month or so,” I sighed happily, thinking of my man whore brother being tamed by his spit fire girlfriend. “I told him to just stop by sometime tomorrow and we can go to lunch. I’m gonna have to explain the latest news to him.”
I heard the chimes sound on Amelia’s phone and the scrabbling of her picking it up. Her long nails scraped on the surface, making me cringe. I never noticed how some noises were so god awful until my hearing was amplified.
“Uh, nothing. I just got some…unexpected news,” the tenor in her voice changed slightly and I narrowed my eyes.
“What news? Is your dad being a douche again? I’ll be happy to do some batting practice on him, if ya like,” she barked out a laugh and I followed suit.
Truly I was more of a pacifist than one to jump to violence. However, being blind made me much more aware of my surroundings. After that first month…
I shook those thoughts out of my head quickly and felt Amelia’s hand on my knee.
“It’ll be alright Sook. I promise. We’ll figure things out.”
She shifted the car into park and sat back in her seat.
I opened the door slowly and unfurled myself from the luxurious car seat.
“Do you need any help inside Sook? I’ve got an errand to run.”
“Nah, I’m good. I’ll just listed to some music or something,” I waved slightly and then turned, counting my careful steps as I made my way into the house.
One, two, three, four, five, six…step up, step up, step up…one, two, three…fumble around for the doorknob. I entered the code on the keypad and the lock disengaged with an audible click. Pushing the door open, I ran my hand over the wall, trailing it down to the foyer table where I deposited my phone in the small wicker basket.
I slipped my shoes off and kicked them randomly to the side, knowing I’d find them if I needed them. I skimmed my hand lightly over the wall as I walked towards the living room. I counted steps as my hand left the wall, slowing when I reached four, shuffling my toe out trying to find the coffee table. Rounding the table slowly, I sank onto Amelia’s overstuffed sofa, resting my head on one of the massive throw pillows she had stashed there.
The past year had been one hell of a rollercoaster and I knew it wasn’t over. But I was tired. I was tired of waking up to darkness every day. I was tired of having to temper my movements so that I didn’t hurt myself. I was tired of not being able to read or drive or watch a movie. I was tired of having to rely on others for even the simplest things. I was tired of being lonely, despite Amelia’s nearly constant presence. I never truly realized how much of a social creature I was until I had nobody around…and by then it was too late. Making friends was nearly impossible now that people shied away from me instinctively.
Disgruntled at my own train of thought, I rolled to my side, closing my eyes. My thoughts drifted to the bookshop as my mind began going fuzzy. Deciding to put an ad for help in the paper, I finally let myself drift into a peaceful sleep.
My first thought upon waking was the I had to pee. Badly. Fuck.I stumbled to my feet, knocking my shins on the coffee table. Cursing under my breath, I felt my way along the wall and limped to the bathroom. Backing up until my knees touched the cool porcelain, I yanked my pants down before lowering myself gingerly. I learned my lesson on that one fast. Bruised butt bones are no fun.
After finding the toilet paper, I stood up and stepped to the sink, turning on the water. My hands scrambled for the soap, only to knock it onto the floor. The tinkling sound of breaking porcelain seemed to mock me as I let my head fall back in frustration.
I squealed and jumped as Amelia’s voice sounded through the door. Then I squealed and jumped again as a broken piece of glass lodged into my foot.
“Sook, I’m coming in,” I spun around to reply, but my other foot came down on a particularly sharp piece of glass. my feet flew out from under me and I fell straight down onto my behind, thankfully avoiding anymore wayward pieces of broken soap bottle.
“Sookie!” the door swung open and nudged my knee lightly. I heard Amelia tsk as she grabbed my hand and yanked me up.
I grimaced as my feet came down on the tile, the shard still lodged into my sole going in even deeper.
“Ames, I can’t walk without getting blood everywhere. I can already feel it seeping out and there’s a piece of glass in my foot,” I tried to look apologetic, but I’m fairly certain I just looked pathetic.
“Alright, just uh-can you stand here for a sec?”
I nodded and she moved away. I heard voices in the kitchen and my brow creased as I picked out a baritone among them.
“Ames? Who’s here?”
I grew more and more frustrated as the voices didn’t seem to be moving any closer to me. Damn Amelia and her well constructed house! I wanted to eavesdrop!
Sighing, I just braced my hand on the wall, trying to alleviate the ache in my feet. My head shot up as I heard someone bustle into the room with me.
“Well, don’t you just look like a damsel in distress?”