The fading of the light

She wasn’t ready when the darkness came, but the darkness didn’t care. It rode rough-shod right through her dreams, obliterating all that lay in its path. From that day forth there would be no violin concertos, no marathons, no travelling alone. For how could these things possibly be done in the absence of sight?

Nobody could believe how suddenly her vision ceased to be. At family gatherings the more superstitious members of her clan would posit in hushed tones over the buffet table that the gods had accidentally gifted her with vision before realising their mistake and taking it back.

Whatever the reason for her misfortune she had little choice but to bear it, though to her life without vision seemed devoid of hope and joy. She wouldn’t take her life, though in the early days she had certainly considered it. Her parents wouldn’t bear the strain, nor did they deserve it. Instead she merely existed from day to day, counting the seconds of the clock as they ticked by, wishing things were different.

Then one day a stranger came upon the house. He claimed to be in need of water and a bite to eat. Her parents tried to turn him away but she said no, what harm would it do to take him in, feed and water him and send him on his way?

But the stranger didn’t leave, not that night or the night that followed. He sat and read to her long after her parents were asleep, and told her stories of his travels and the world. When, a whole month after he arrived he asked her to go with him when he left, she didn’t hesitate. What else did she have?

And so they left, with her parents’ guarded blessing leaving a hundred gossiping mouths in their wake. And he kept his promise of showing her the world through his vivid descriptions. On her birthday he bought her a violin and encouraged her to play. A year later they ran a marathon together, him acting as her eyes.

Through him she realised sight was not everything, but rather love. For the first time in her life she realised she was not alone. And she felt blessed.

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