4 Jan Prompt:
Today is World Braille Day, commemorating the birthday of Louis Braille - the inventor of the Braille language, which allows blind people to read and write.
Stuff like this doesn't happen to people like me.
I have a life.
I have a kid, a husband, a dog!
If I had spent as much time taking care of myself as I did taking care of work, I may not be sitting here.
Let's be honest. The only reason I came to the eye specialist was because my sight was interfering with my work. For months, maybe even years, I have felt like my eyes were "not right". I put it down to the constant time on a screen and "old" age, and carried on.
I suppose the day that my husband and I had (what turned out to be quite a heated argument) about the colour of a blouse I wanted to buy, and I was proved to be wrong according to various family members, was the day I thought that possibly I should go and get my eyes tested.
Which leads me to today.
"Pardon?" I stammered, in the hopes that perhaps I had heard incorrectly.
"I am sorry Mrs Taylor, but you are showing signs of loss of vision," the specialist answered gently. "I know this must be a shock for you. Can I get you some water or a cup of tea perhaps?
"No, thank you, I ... I don't understand. How? Why?" I stuttered.
"We will need to do more specific testing to get more specific answers. Do you have a family history of blindness?" she inquired. I hesitated. The truth is that I didn't know.
"I'm adopted." The specialist nodded.
"I understand. The tests will be more conclusive and then I will be able to answer your questions. Make an appointment for an hour next week and we can start working on those answers for you."
I stood up and walked out of the consultation room where my husband was waiting for me, flicking through some random magazine. He looked up at me and when our eyes met, he jumped to his feet.
"What? What's wrong?" he asked. I could see the concern on his face, but didn't want to fall apart in front of these onlookers.
"We're all good" I said, with a fake smile, struggling to hold back the tears that were threatening to break free. "I just need a follow-up appointment for next week then we can head off home."
"She thinks I am going blind!" I blurted, once safely in the car. "What! What?! How? What from? Wh..." his voice was shriller than he expected it to be. He pulled me towards him. "Let's wait until we have all the information before we jump to conclusions, ok?" I nodded my head, thinking I had already jumped.
We drove home in silence. Neither of us wanting to say something painfully trivial in the light of this heavy news.
My life was over.
"Hi mom! How was your day?" I heard my teen shout from the TV Room.
"Fine. I need to go and make supper." I replied, throwing my bag on the entrance hall desk.
"Do you need some help?" she asked.
"No thanks, but you can come and chat to me while I am busy if you like." She wandered through, and picked up the peeler and began to peel potatoes.
"So how was school?" I asked.
"It was good. The usual. We are doing a play at the end of the year for English. Shakespeare, I think."
She had always loved the theatre! "That's fantastic - right up your alley. You are going to audition, aren't you?" I shot her a knowing look.
"Of course!" She replied enthusiastically.
"Good! I will be in the front row, watching you and cheering you on!"
"Mom, don't you dare embarrass me in front of everyone, I may not even get a part!" she teased.
"Of course you will, you always do, it's your thing!"
"Oh mom, speaking of watching me, you know our English teacher, Mrs Holt? She is finally on maternity leave and her replacement is taking over from next week till the end of the year. We met her today, she is so cool! Miss Charles, she is going to direct the play too. You would never guess it, but you know what, she is blind! We didn't even realise!" She said excitedly.
"What's wrong mom, you look as white as a ghost?"
"Nothing... nothing's wrong. That's amazing..." I managed to stammer. "Thanks for doing the potatoes for me, I am just going to find dad quickly and see if he would like a cup of tea."
I walked out of the room and realised that my life was far from over.