Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Blind Girl (Chapter III)

Click here for the Chapter II: 
I was breathing hard and I slowed down. I realized I was on a quiet street and on the far corner
​ to the left​
is a small bridge leading to the park's man-made lake. I crossed over and found myself looking at the very bench where I fi
st laid my eyes on Stephanie
​ two years ago. Memories crept in without warning like a smoke from a raging fire. 

​I remember how harsh she rejected me when I first approached her. I remember how stubborn I was to talk to her despite the pain of immediate rejection. I remember the first time I held her hands while we were walking on the way to their home, one quite night, from our many private moments sitting on the beach. I recalled that she hesitated for only a second and squeezed my hands. That night, I thought we had a thing going on unspoken between us. 

I remember the first time she told me about her dog Jake and the unnamed man she met, who was the only person who was able to tame her dog. I still don't have the answer to that mystery and I have been dying to hear about it. I feel that until I clear up that part, I could never look forward with her. I sat on a bench beside a tree and just looked at the silent lake, reflecting the summer sunshine, seemingly absorbing the scorching heat. I felt someone sat beside me. A knot tightened in my heart. Right there and then, I wanted to cry but I only managed to breathe a heavy sigh.

"Why?" I uttered. I wanted to ask her a lot of things. Why did she leave without telling. Why can't she share her secrets with me? Why can't she open her heart to me? Why won't she let me in her life? Did she really reject me? Did she hate me? Why did she come back?

"Why?" I asked again. For all the things I wanted to ask her, somehow  I  was afraid to hear answers that I don't want. I'm such a coward.

"I thought I don't deserve to be with you" she quietly said.
"What the hell?!" I blurted. What she just said is completely inconsistent with what I have been making myself believe. I thought she hated me.

"Please calm down Chris. Could you please let me explain?" she pleaded. Part of my mind tells me not to listen. My mind is telling me to be angry, to reject whatever she tells me, to just tell her to leave me alone. But I could not, for the life of me, tell her to stop.

"Joe. That was his name. He was the first man that I ever loved. He was the first to make me feel adequate despite my incompleteness. He was the first person who ever made me want to see again. I was really happy. I thought that If I have him, I could dream". A single tear fell from her right eye. Is she still hurting? I wondered and the thought did not please me.

"I was left broken hearted. I thought he loved me. I thought he loved Jake. But.." she stopped and sighed."..he cheated on me with some girl from his work and got her pregnant. I was so hurt that I thought I could die. How could he? Was I not enough? Was it because I was blind? I was gonna have a surgery! Why?". She was crying now. I felt my heart shattered to see her crying. 

"He asked me to break up with him. He said he's going to marry the girl. I begged and begged. I told him that if he loved me, he won't leave me. I told him I would forgive him. That maybe it was just a momentary lapse of judgement on his part. I begged him not to leave me and not to marry the girl. But what he told me completely shocked me." She stopped, as if bracing for impact.

"He said that he did love me but he could not see himself be with me. He said he was not ready to carry the burden of having to take care of a blind person. Can you believe that? I was a burden to him!? I said that I was gonna have a surgery already. But then he finally said that he realized he did not love me that much." What I heard made my blood boil and I thought that I could kill this Joe without second thoughts.

"The pregnant girl came to see me one day at the park and told me to lay off Joe. She told me nasty things. She threw insults at me. Said painful things I do not want to repeat. She told me how pathetic I was for playing the victim and confusing Joe. She said Joe was hesitating to marry her because he felt pity towards me." She continued. "All the while, Jake was barking at her. And before she left, she ran over Jake with her car. She struck Jake suddenly and forcefully that Jake flew several yards from where I was. It was so painful Chris." She was having difficulty speaking now and I unconsicuously rubbed her back to calm her down. "What did the dog ever do to her?" she asked. 

"Then  when I met you," she continued when she calmed down, "..I got scared." After what she had been through, I thought it was not surprising for her to be scared. "What if something like that happened to me again? I could not take it". She said.

"Chris, I was falling in love with you but I got scared." She looked at me as if willing me to believe and understand her. "But beyond my fear, because of you I gained the courage I thought I lost, to try eye surgery. I was scared but I wanted to give myself a chance. I would fight for this feeling. I don't want to lose you. That's what I told myself. But I did not know how to tell you. So I ran away, thinking that you would understand if I can just explain it to you. But the surgery took too long. I had to undergo several procedures".

"Chris, I came back so you would see that I will never be a burden to you. To tell you that I could love you now. I love you. I love you so much. Please forgive me. Please accept me again." She looked so desperate, almost begging.

And then I could not take it anymore. 

"How dare you!" I yelled.
=====================to be continued - FINAL CHAPTER===================