Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)
- TITLE: The Center of Vision
By Debora Dyess
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What had he done wrong? Too fast, he thought….too aggressive.
She gazed up at him, her perfect blue eyes wide, and then back to the ground.
“What?” he urged.
“Love isn’t just something from the heart,” she said softly and he nodded. “Love is…a decision that you’ll live with a particular person for the rest of your life—no matter what, forever.” He nodded again, although she still hadn’t looked up.
“So you need to know about me.”
He frowned and gently lifted her chin with his hand, forcing her to meet his stare. “What about you? I think I know you pretty well.”
She tightened her lips and shook her head.
“I went to a doctor a few months ago—an ophthalmologist. I’d been having trouble. He did a lot of tests and…” a tear rolled down her cheek, “he says I’m losing my sight.”
The young man frowned.
“He says I’ll be blind by the time I’m 30. It’s genetic. They can’t stop it or slow it down. It’s permanent. Thirty is only 6 years away. You need to know…to make a decision. You have the right to decide if that’s the kind of life you want to lead.”
He felt stunned. He thought about how scared she must feel, about all the things she’d already given up. He thought of the paintings and photos displayed so proudly in her parent’s home. “That’s why you stopped painting.”
She tried to laugh. “I decided it was time to pick a new career. I sold everything—all my supplies, my camera equipment… Not much call for an artist who can’t—“
She stopped, the words caught in her throat. He pulled her into his arms and she cried, soaking the cotton of his shirt. He held her, rubbing her back, thinking about a life with her. Her disability would become his disability, he knew. Things that affected her would affect him.
He hugged her, brushed her hair back and looked down into her face. “Do you think God knew you had a screwy gene?”
“Do you think He gave you a love of art? Gave you all that ability?”
She began to cry softly and nodded again.
“Then I think we need to go get you another camera, and some paints and brushes and canvas. Do what you do for as long as you can do it.”
She blinked and drew in a long, shaky breathe, made a hiccup noise and parted her lips. “Really?”
“Absolutely. Why waste time?”
“No…I mean…that we should do that. Together.”
He smiled. “Yeah, I mean we should do that. Together. I don’t know what’s going to happen in six years. I don’t know what I’ll be then or where I’ll be living. But I do know one thing. It will be with you.”
“But my vision…”
He smiled. “You’ve just gotten confused. Your vision isn’t here.” He tapped lightly on her eyelid as she obediently shut them for the gesture. “Your vision is here.” He touched just above her left breast. “And, honey, I can’t live without your vision.”
She blinked several times, relief flooding her face. “I want you to know that I’ll understand if you change your mind. You need to think this through.—“
“Are you trying to get rid of me?”
She shook her head. “No. No way.”
“Know what I want for a wedding gift?” he asked, smiling down at her.
“I want a work of art—one of yours.”
And that’s exactly what he got.
Note: This is a fictionalized story about my wonderful husband, from his point of view. I will forever be grateful to him for bringing me back from a dark place over 20 years ago. I still haven’t lost all of my sight.
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