My early apologies for the brevity of this update. It wasn't supposed to be a huge bit, but just something to give Lucy a bit of breathing room, to evaluate her life somewhat.
Anyway, I've got some ideas for the next full-length arc, and hopefully I'll be able to make that happen sooner rather than later.
In the basement-level of the garage, beneath Doctor Levin's offices, Lucy lay across the backseats in her 5-door Subaru. Her arms folded across her belly, her somber expression telling that she had been here for a while. Her beet red cheeks were stained with the tears she had cried, though by now, she was out of tears. Out of sobs, and out of breath as her conversation with doctor Levin replayed over and over in her head.
"At the rate you're going, you will be irreparably blind in twelve months."
"…you will be irreparably blind in twelve months."
"…irreparably blind in twelve months."
Then, the flood gates opened once more.
"That's just a worst case scenario, right?" Lucy pleaded from across Doctor Levin's desk. "It's not too late, I can still…" Her eyes poured tears as she finished her wishful thought with cracked speech, "…I can still fix this, right?"
Levin's tone told of his sorrow at having to give this news. He'd seen Lucy through all of her eye related troubles throughout the years. He was the one who had developed the contacts she wore. He was the one, who allowed her to live a normal life, and yet here she was; twenty-six years old and with retinal damage so far-gone, it was only a matter of time before her vision was completely ruined. "Light damage like this is permanent, Lucy. Your retinas are physically scarred and damaged. Occasionally the tissue may heal slightly, and that's what we believe you experienced yesterday morning."
"So there's a chance--"
"It will heal slightly, Lucy," Levin interrupted. "The fact of the matter is that the ratio of damage to healing isn't even worth noting. The manner in which your eyes react to light and the abuse they suffer when any light hits them; it's almost a miracle you're not already blind."
Lucy's jaw dropped open slightly, her tears interrupted by her shock.
"You had to have known what you were doing was bad for you. I can't even imagine the pain you feel when light hits them," Levin continued.
He couldn't have been more correct. Every time she suffered a bright enough light, her eyes felt like they were on fire. Realizing that no matter what she said, or how she fought, thought or dwelled on this conversation, her life as she knew it now had a time table.
Lucy wiped the tears from her eyes once more as night descended. The daylight had come and gone, and she'd spent all of it in the back of the car, in that dank parking lot. Her cellphone vibrated in her pocket, and with a sniffle, she reached for it. The caller ID displayed ten missed calls, six from the IC office, three from Neil, and one from Tommy's cellphone. Her eyes averted to the time on the display: 5:38pm.
Suddenly, a light knock at the window her head was resting against startled her. Her body protested the rapid twist she forced of it, and there she was staring at Tommy. As her tear coated eyes locked with his, he immediately knew Lucy's news was less than good. Still lost as they shared this glance, she quietly whimpered to herself, "Tommy?"
Several minutes later, Tommy was seated beside his partner on their way to her home. Even though he was perhaps a little high, and probably more than a little buzzed, the sight of her so completely blank unsettled him tremendously. Finally, he could stand the silence no more. He contrived his best smile and loudly broke the din, "So that girl from the bar last night, that bitch tried to--"
Tommy was interrupted as Lucy suddenly, and loudly choked out all of the tears and cries she'd been holding since she let him in the car. Immediately Tommy's heart was pulled apart. He smacked the door panel as hard as he could, demanding of her, "For fuck's sake, Lucas! Enough of this strong-silent shit; just tell me what the fuck happened!"
She slammed on the brakes and clutch, bringing the car literally to a screeching halt. As the cloud of smoke and dust she stirred caught up with the car, she simply continued to cough out her tears. Tommy's heart rate was through the roof, though he could only calmly ask, "Luke?"
"I'm going blind, Tommy!" She wretched.
Her partner's eyes widened, and before he knew it, Lucy's body was descending towards his. He was completely lost in that moment, but was without control as he leaned to accept her convulsing form into his arms. His hand delicately wrapped the back of her head, holding her as delicately and with as much comfort as he could muster. All he could do was hold her. She could manage no words, and nothing he could say would ever quell her tears.
A half-hour later, they had finally made it to Lucy's home. Any other day, Tommy would have absolutely turned on the charm to see if Lucy were up for a quick romp, but today, with the news she'd shared with him, Tommy was on his best behavior. He sat beside her while she laid in her bed, still fully dressed as she was, shoes and all. Her contacts were out, and the room was as black as night, save for a few red lights on various electronics throughout the room.
They had remained silent for so long, the cigarette in Tommy's fingers reduced to a lengthy stretch of ash. He couldn't begin to find the words for her, to offer her something comforting; it just wasn't in his nature. He dropped the un-smoked, yet burnt cigarette into an ashtray at her bedside and once again broke the silence, "What are you thinking?"
Lucy sniffled slightly and replied, "I'm thinking…" She corrected herself, "…I know, we can't tell Neil."
"Don't you think--"
"Neil blames himself for what happened to me on that first job--"
"And he fucking should! He should have tol--"
"That's not the point, Tommy," Lucy interrupted. "He worries about me more than my father; he can't know. I can't do that to him."
"I get that, baby bird, but come a year from now, he's going to find out anyway," Tommy replied. "Besides, it's not like you can keep this shit up now."
Oddly, Lucy laughed at his comment; softly at first, than harder and harder. "What's so fucking funny?" Tommy asked.
"Whether I continue making deliveries or not is irrelevant," Lucy replied.
"The damage is progressive, Tommy. So long as light hits my eyes, even through those lenses, it's only going to get worse. That year Levin gave me, that's if I leave my contacts in and am as careful as I can be," Lucy explained.
Again Tommy was stuck silent. He might have imagined that she would have more time if she was careful. That the timeline she was given was based on her being careful, it only made him that much more distraught. Finally, he managed a question, "So what are you going to do?"
Lucy shook her head slightly as she replied, "I don't know; maybe if I rework the car so that just the fog lights come on. That should be enough for me to drive with at night."
"You're gonna trust your fogs to give you enough light during a chase?"
"Well I've got you for pacing and corner information, maybe we just get back into a routine of practicing, you and me," Lucy suggested. His silence provoked a question, "What, what do you think?"
She could see Tommy's face as he lit himself another cigarette, which he would also probably fail to smoke. As the flame from his lighter went out, he replied, "I think you should call it a day, Lucas. You had a good run, but…" He felt his feelings boiling in him like a kettle, "…if I were your paps, I am your friend, I would want you to live this year, baby bird. I wouldn't want you running around, just speedin' this shit along."
If he could see in this pitch black room, he would have wept at the sight of Lucy's smile. His words warmed her, though she couldn't have disagreed anymore, "If I stop now, I might as well be blind now. I live for this, Tommy. Ever since I was tall enough to get behind the wheel, I've loved to drive. It's all I've ever been truly good at; I can't just give that up because--"
"Because you're going fucking blind?!" Tommy barked. She could hear him stand from his seat as he loudly admonished her, his cool and calm gone in a matter of seconds, "You can't stop because it's all your good at?! Don't gimme that line'a shit Lucas! You're young, and you're beautiful; you can find something else, just--"
"Just what, Tommy?!" Lucy barked back. "Have I ever told you that what you do on a nightly basis is stupid?! Have I ever told you how fucking all these girls could kill you one day?! I've never pulled the parent card on you, and I don't want you doing it to me!"
The silence that hung in the room was beyond uncomfortable, until the sound of footsteps broke it. Tommy cracked the door to her bedroom open and called back to her before leaving her alone, more calm than he'd ever heard of him, his voice almost sounded handsome, "That ain't the parent card, Lucy; it's the friend card. I don't want to see my friend blind at twenty-seven."
Tommy lightly closed the door behind him, and just a few moments, later, she could hear the front door close as well. Again her tears ran down her cheeks and she was left with her disarrayed thoughts, "I'm going to be blind at twenty-seven anyway, Tommy. Right now, all I can do is live my life. There's no point in waking up if you're not going to live, and I'm not ready to die just yet. I'm going to live everyday like tomorrow doesn't matter, because sooner than later, tomorrow will be the day I wake up and see black."