Ted heard a knock on his door.
“Good morning, Ted. How are you feeling today?” the nurse asked.
“I’m better but I’d really appreciate it if I could have my sight back, you know.”
“I know and it will come back. You have a visitor, Ted.”
“What? Who did you call?”
“Me? You gave me no number, remember? She found you all by herself.”
“She, who’s she?”
“It is me, Ted,” Anita announced, entering the room.
“I’ll leave you two. Let me know if you need anything.”
“Yeah, I need you to send whoever this is away from here,” Ted said. She looked at Anita, puzzled.
“Ted please, let’s talk.” The two ladies exchanged a glance and the nurse left. Anita pulled a chair and sat next to the bed. She took his hand into hers. He took his hand away.
“How did you find me?”
“After you left my place, I tried calling you several times but it was going through so I got worried. Then I saw the accident scene on TV and recognized your car. That’s how I found out you were being admitted here.”
“I see; what do you want, Anita?”
“I’m so sorry, Ted. It was stupid, I know…”
“You know it was stupid because of you chose to be unfaithful or because you were caught?”
“Both! It was some stupid bet and I lost. I shouldn’t have ever agreed to it.”
“You slept with Jake because you lost a bet? What the hell was it…oh no, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.”
“I still love you Ted…I believe we were meant for each other…please forgive me and forget this ever happened.”
“Are you being serious or are you toying with me because I’m on a hospital bed?”
“Oh no I’m not, Teddy,” Anita said as she reached for his hand again.
“Get your hands off me!”
“Look at me, Ted…look into my eyes and tell me you’re not in love with me anymore.” Ted chuckled.
“For once I’m glad I don’t have my sight so I don’t have to look at that pathetic face of yours,” he muttered.
“What, what…what do you mean you don’t have your sight?”
Ted silently swore. He shouldn’t have blurted that out. Anita stood.
“Ted…Ted, look at me.” Ted turned his head towards her sound of her voice. Anita waved her hand right in front of his face.
“I can imagine you waving your hands before my eyes to be sure,” Ted said.
Anita gasped. “You didn’t blink! Oh my gosh, you’ve lost it!”
“And don’t annoy me by panicking because it is so uncalled for.”
“Oh no!” Anita cried out and then stopped herself by covering her mouth with her palm. Tears dropped down her face.
“Oh no, this is all my fault. I brought this upon you.”
“No, it is my fault for not seeing the slut that you’re really are.” Anita flinched.
“Now listen to me Mister, this is not the time for you to be running your mouth like a spoiled brat. You need me now more than ever. How are you going to cope if you push me away?” Anita asked. Ted laughed.
“You think after betraying my trust and breaking my heart into hopeless pieces, I’d be that stupid to entrust myself to you in such a vulnerable condition? I’d be damned!”
“Fine,” she said as she took her bag. “Go on brooding; whenever you get tired of it and you want to talk, you know where to find me. I don’t think I even have the time and energy to take on a blind invalid right now. Bye, Teddy.”
“Good riddance; I don’t want to ever see you again!”
“I doubt you ever would,” she blew back and walked out of the room. The nurse entered.
“Ready for breakfast?”
“Yes please; give me the richest one you have. I need to celebrate this moment.”
“Let me guess, she’s the one you got that ring for, right?”
“No, she’s not; thank God. Please get me the food; I’m famished.”
“I’ll be right back,” she said and excused herself.
She got settled and began to feed Ted.
“Hmm….tastes good,” he remarked.
“Yeah? At least hospital food is not as bad as many people think.” He chuckled.
“You’ve been really nice to me, nurse. I really appreciate it.”
“Oh don’t mention it; it’s my job. And my name is Lucia.”
“Lucia…that’s a lovely name. How long have you been working here?”
“Not too long; it will be exactly 3 months this Friday.”
“I see. I can sense you have a very calm personality. It is admirable.”
“Thanks, Ted. Now eat something.” She fed him a few times. Someone knocked on the door. Dr. Grant entered.
“Good morning to both of you. How are you doing this morning, Ted?”
“I’m feeling much better, thanks doctor.”
“Good to know. I can see you’ve a good appetite this morning.”
“Yeah, my lovely nurse here makes it all easy for me.”
“Good to know.”
“Any news about my sight, doctor? Any chance that I might regain it soon?”
“That is why I’m here actually. We need to run more tests today so when you’re done eating, your lovely nurse will get you ready.”
“Okay, thank you.”
“Don’t mention. Get him ready in twenty minutes, nurse.”
“I can’t wait to regain my sight so I can see you, Lucia.”
“And why is that?”
“Because I can’t wait to put a face to the name and voice, that’s why.” Lucia smiled.
Ted woke to hear some whispers around him.
“What’s going on here?”
“Sorry to have woken you up, Ted. I’m here with Dr. Abbey. We were discussing the results of your test.”
“Ok, let’s hear it. What did you find?”
“I don’t know how to make it sound any better but the truth is, it’s gone, Ted.”
“What do you mean it’s gone?” Ted asked, his heartbeat starting to race.
“The impact of the crash managed to mess up the area of your…”
“But my eyes were working when I came in….what happened?”
“It is a complicated issue…”
“Complicated? I came here with my sight all right and now it’s gone. What’s so complicated about that?”
“Calm down, please. It will do us no good if you get all excited.”
“And why’s that? Will I lose my voice too?” Ted asked sarcastically.
“We understand you are upset. Anyone in your shoes would. But there could be a way out,” Dr. Abbey said.
“There is a chance that it could come back if we could wait for a few months…”
“Did I just hear you say ‘we’, doctor? As far as I’m concerned, I’m the only one in this room who can’t tell whether the lights in this room are on or off. So when you say we wait, who exactly do you have in mind?” Ted asked.
The two doctors exchanged a nervous glance.
“I’m sorry; that was insensitive of me.”
“Is there a plan B if your idea of waiting doesn’t pan out?”
“Yeah, there is the surgical option.”
“So why didn’t you just say that first?”
“Except the fact that the procedure is expensive…”
“Money should not be a problem here,” Ted interjected.
“It is very delicate and risky.”
“What guarantee percentage are you anticipating?”
“Then let’s do it.”
“Let’s not rush this. Many things could go wrong, Ted.”
“So make sure you don’t sign up any quack or amateur surgeon to do this for me. You two are not by any chance recommending the waiting option to me, are you?” No one responded.
“Perhaps you two don’t understand how it feels to always be in the dark. I have to go back to work, I have a life and I can’t live without my eyes! And I do have the money to pay for this operation so why all this reluctance?”
“The thing is, there are only a handful of specialists to do this kind of procedure so getting hold of one will take some time.”
“So you better get right to it. I’ve no option than to wait.”
“Okay…I’ll do that. Get some rest, Ted.”
“Please call me Lucia.”
“Sure.” They stepped out.
“You called for me, Ted?” Lucia asked as she entered.
“Yes I did. I need to talk to you. Please sit down.” She did. He offered his hand and she held it. He covered her hand with his.
“The doctors say my sight is gone forever, Lucia.”
“What? When did they tell you?”
“Just now. It’s terrible.”
“I know; I’m sorry, Ted.”
“But they also said I could try surgery. They sounded hesitant about that though. Is it that risky?”
“Well, every surgical procedure has its potential risks. I’m sure they felt the complications could cost you more.”
“But what do you think?”
“I think you should do what you want. It is your sight, after all. I can’t imagine having to live the rest of your life blind especially after you’ve experienced all these years with your eyes on. If you want to, go ahead.”
“Will you stay with me through all this?”
“Sure of course; I’ll always be here.”
“And promise me one thing.”
“Please the first person I see when I regain my sight.” Lucia smiled.
“You flatter me, Ted. It would be an honor. I’ll make sure of that.”
“Thank you.” He kissed her hand. Lucia flinched. Ted felt her hand tense up.
“I’m sorry, Lucia. I guess I let my excitement get the better part of me.”
“It is okay,” Lucia said and withdrew her hand.
“I need to attend to something so get some rest, okay?” She said as she got up.
“Okay.” She exited the room.