Blind?
 
          I cannot see anything. When I wake up in my bed, I am sweating. This power outage, as Mom and Dad call it, is terrible. I’m scared. I’m thirsty. I can feel the heat on my back radiating, my pajama shirt sticking to me. It’s gross, but I can’t decide if I should move or not. I don’t want the monsters to come out of my closet when I reach it to change. I’m still thirsty. Dad always says, “be brave, Stevey.” I think now is the time. I slide my legs over the small bed and slowly reach for the blue carpet with my toes. My boxers slide up, making me a bit uncomfortable for a little, but I quickly fix myself before the monsters see and laugh at me.
            I rub my eyes furiously, praying that if I rub hard enough, my eyes will adjust to the darkness around me. They don’t. I sigh and walk with my hands fully reached out, as if I am waiting for someone to grab my hand. I take the slowest steps I can to my closet. It shouldn’t be long now. Just one more…boom. My hand hits the sliding door that leads to a dry shirt. I smile. One obstacle down. My pajamas are on the bottom left shelf, so I reach for whatever is on top. It feels soft and I grin. I can picture the Lion King cast on my light black shirt. Simba will protect me as I walk down the stairs. I know he will.
            I continue to push my hands out far in front of me, pretending I am playing Marco Polo, reaching for a friend in a warm pool on a summer day. When I get to the door frame I grab a hold of the wall to follow it down to the kitchen. One straight line. That’s all. I am rubbing my hands against the wall, feeling the textured paint that would be off white if it weren’t currently black. Black black. All I can see. Why won’t my eyes adjust? All I can think about is the taste of water. Ice cold water dripping down my throat, cooling down my entire body at once.
            BANG!
            The picture frame drops from the wall. I by accidently hit it while drifting off to my ice cold thoughts. Whoops. Mom and Dad won’t be mad. I know it.
            Once I enter the kitchen I am full of relief. The floor tile feels cool under my feet and I feel like a big accomplished boy. Beaming, I make my way to the sink, avoiding the center counter top and the fridge handle. Too excited to even grab a cup, I stick my head under the faucet. My left hand reaches for the knob and I tilt my head under the silver pipe and gulp down water. I am hydrated. I am happy. I am…
            BLIND! No…wait. The lights just came on. All I can do is laugh because of the situation I just put myself through. At least I am not thirsty anymore.

Jamie Rothberg | Writer | Chicago

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