My arms were folded neatly near my waist as I attempted to twiddle my thumbs and take my mind off my current state. I tried once again to open my eyes, and despite the blackness enveloping them, they stung as though I had stared directly at the sun itself. I should have been used to the darkness by now, I had to live in it almost my entire life, but now there was a pang of anxiety, a heavy fear that clung to my chest.
Was that the last thing I saw before I went blind?
The operation was supposedly foolproof. Something to fix my vision, stop my eyes from shaking just a little bit and allow me to see the world in a sharper focus. I hesitantly reached up and touched the "eye patch" they'd tied around my head shortly after the surgery. It wasn't a real eye patch, it was more of a blindfold than anything, supposed to let my eyes heal.
Outside in the waiting room I expected the usual crowd - my Aunt and Uncle, who had kindly taken me in after my Mother realized she couldn't care for me, Samantha, my cousin and the best younger sister I could ask for, and maybe for once, my actual parents.
A faint click seemed to echo all around the room and I heard the door open, the slight tapping of shoes on hospital tiles. They were probably going to remove my blindfold now, even despite the pain in my eyes. It was possibly that the pain was just a side-effect of hours with my eyes closed, asleep.
"Good evening, Stefanie." My doctor, a small asian woman who looked more suited for teaching at a pre-school than dealing with my general health, quietly padded over, resting a hand on the bed I'd been sleeping on the past few hours.
"Now, I suppose you already know, we're going to take off your blindfold and have a quick check on your eyes." I bit my cheek but nodded slightly, feeling her assistant's arms wrap around my head to untie the blindfold. My eyes were slammed shut as the blindfold fell away, and I could practically feel the light seeping into my eyes. It burned.
I took a deep breath and slowly opened them, the world coming to me in a burst of white and yellow and the soft shades of green on my blanket. The strange part was that only one thing came into focus. A young man, who at first appeared as splotches of color, slowly came into focus as my eyes reworked him. Short, somewhat wavy brown hair and blue eyes, with irises that seemed almost cartoony due to their size.
"Stefanie, wait, keep looking at Eddie, please. Your eyes are focusing perfectly." The doctor's voice broke the silence as she waved a flashlight in my peripheral vision. Eddie, who I presumed was her assistant, smiled and flashed a thumbs-up. I probably would have smiled if my face didn't still feel numb from all the surgery medication.
My doctor finished and patted my back, smiling.
"Eddie, this is the girl I mentioned in the breakroom. Isn't she just beautiful?" The boy shrugged and retrieved the clipboard, checking her notes and avoiding any more eye contact.
"Yes, Eddie is one of the best students in my cousin's medical college." She paused briefly. "In the pharmacy class, I mean. He's offered to come work in the pharmacy for a few weeks, but I figured I could bring him to where the action was. In fact, he's only a year younger than you. During your stay, maybe you can make a friend." I glanced over at Eddie, who shrugged with a complacent smile.
Maybe this could work.