I sighed and listened to him talk. Ricky Owens. He was my best friend and the only person I'm in love with. He's been there for me since we were ten and he sat next to me during lunch. I would always sit under a giant tree that was in front of his old school. I never went to public school. I was home schooled for most of my life.
"So, Glori? Where do you want to go?" he asked me. That's his nickname for me. My name's Gloriana Richardson. My mom calls me Gloriana, Ricky calls me Glori and everyone else calls me Gloria.
I ran a hand through my long hair. Ricky told me it's blonde. I've always wondered what blonde is like.
"Can we go to the park?" I asked the darkness.
I heard him chuckle. "Sure, but where do you want to go to eat?"
"Um, what time is it?"
"Almost noon." he replied.
"Alright." I nodded.
I got up off the fluffy sofa we sat on and followed the path to the kitchen that I had memorized. I heard his footsteps behind me as I pushed the door open. I walked to the refrigerator and felt for the handle. Ricky didn't say anything as I made us turkey sandwiches perfectly.
"Picnic." I could hear a smile in his voice.
I smiled and nodded handing him the picnic basket. It left my hand and is then replaced by a large, warm, hand. It squeezed mine and tugged me forward. I heard the door slam behind us and listened closely to my surroundings. He helped me down the step off my front porch and onto the walkway that led to the street. I could hear the Andrews' children playing in their front yard. Six year old Max was chasing his four year old sister Sally around. You could hear his faint, playful growls and her high-pitched screaming and giggles.
I didn't hear many cars on the street and I listened closely when we stopped walking. A few seconds later the car's wheels stopped and we walk forward. I counted my steps as we crossed the street and stepped up onto the sidewalk when I reached twenty-four.
I could soon smell the freshly cut grass and the sweet aroma of the white roses. That's when I knew we were in the park The park is beautiful. Well, I think it is. Ricky said it was and I would trust him with my life. I do. The park is my most favorite place in the whole world. I've always loved nature. Just because I can't see it doesn't mean I can't enjoy it.
"Alright, here we go." Ricky announced to me. He let my hand go and then there's some rustling. He then takes my hand again and I let him direct me to the blanket.
I knew that we sat in our spot. Our spot - our place. It's a large Weeping Willow. The leaves hung from the branches on vines and they surrounded us, completely secluded. Ricky told me the tree is brown and green. The trunk is rough and the leaves are smooth.
Ricky handed me a sandwich and I took a bite. I heard Ricky moan in approval and I giggled. After I finished half of my sandwich I asked Ricky for some juice. He hands me a bottle and I take a sip, letting the tangy flavor dance across my taste buds. It's orange. My favorite flavor of juice.
Once I was finished I laid back on the blanket, facing the sky. Ricky said it was blue at times, other times it'd be grey, red, orange, yellow, pink. I don't know what those colors look like, but they all sound gorgeous. I feel Ricky get off of the blanket and I lift my head, looking into the darkness I've come to be so familiar with.
"I'll be right back." he assured me.
I nodded and laid back again, waiting for him to return. A few seconds later, I felt the blanket shift a bit as he sat down once again and I smiled, basking in his presence. I suddenly felt him next to me, lying down as well. He was on his side, looking at my face, more like staring actually. I feel his soft fingers brush my cheek gently and pushing some hair behind my ear. I felt something else, it was soft and delicate, it slid in to my hair and I reached up, petting it lightly.
"It's a white rose." I smiled.
"Hmm-hmm." he hummed.
"Like our first date." I grinned, memory of Ricky telling me all about the roses that were growing around us. They're my favorite flower.
"Yes." he whispers, taking my hand off my stomach, entwining my fingers with his.
I turned my head to where his voice was coming from. I stared into darkness. I didn't know what Ricky looks like and I might never know. He told me he had spiky, brown hair and dark brown eyes. Like tree trunks and branches. I lift my arms and find Ricky's perfect, hair. I ran my fingers through it a couple times before sliding my fingers to the nape of his neck, playing with the short strands at his hair line. I can't see him but I know he's sweet, kind, gorgeous, incredible and he loves me. He sighed as I feel his hair. He knew how much I love to feel things. I would reach my hand out and feel anything before me.
"Come on, let's take a walk." he tugged on my hand, helping me stand.
I smiled as his strong arm slipped around my waist, stepping slowly beside me. I could hear the chirping of the birds around us, children laughing in the background, and people chatting. We walked for a while, maybe longer than I thought, until I heard quiet running water. The water was moving quickly, and practically noiselessly. Ricky told me to watch my step and I lift my right foot, setting it down on a slightly slanted surface.
"Are we on a bridge?" I guessed, as we stop. I heard the water rushing below us, and I knew it'd be a yes, but I wanted to know for sure.
"Yeah." he replied.
I held my hands out in front of me and felt a rough, square, railing, a light rust covering parts of it. I heard footsteps on the other side of the bridge and smile when I hear to girls giggling. I heard one whisper about me and Ricky, and then heard Ricky chuckle. The footsteps faded as they crossed the bridge. I turn to the place Ricky had been standing,
"What did they look like?"
"Well, the first one, the one squealing about you and I being 'such a cute couple'," I blushed. "had blonde hair and her friend had light brown hair, they were about twelve years old."
I nodded and continued smiling, enjoying Ricky's even breaths and the sounds of nature. My thoughts drift to the memories we'd shared these past eight years we've known each other. Ricky was my first friend, he never took pity on me, he just came up to me and said hi. He's still my only friend, the only one I tell anything to.
I could remember when I was little and I had just turned ten and I could hear the children playing at the school across from a giant oak's roots; where I sat. I couldn't see what they were doing. My eyes wondered over the streets and sidewalks, the buildings and the trees and bushes, yet I had no idea they were there. I was looking into complete darkness. It was pitch black. That's the only color I've ever known. I was born this way. But, Ricky never cared. I can remember the day we'd met perfectly, he'd just walked up to me and said hi. I talked to him freely and he never once questioned my sight. Finally when his mother had called him to go home I had asked him if he'd noticed, and he said, "It doesn't matter, I just want you as my friend.". That had brightened up my day. I couldn't see anything but darkness, but that didn't stop me from being in the happiest mood I'd ever been in. He became my friend because he wanted to, not because I was blind and he pitied me, and he never pushed me away, he was my friend out of his own choice.
"Let's go back to the Willow." Ricky's voice snapped me out of my blackened trance. His hand slid into mine and helped me walk back to the blanket. Ricky didn't worry about me all the time, but he was very protective. He tries to hide his nervousness if I ask him to help me somewhere, but I usually know how to get around by myself.
"Do you want a mint?" my companion asked as I sat back down on the blanket.
"Yeah, thank you." I hold my hand out and a small tablet is set on my palm.
I pop the mint into my mouth, the zing of flavor entering my senses immediately. I suck on it as I stare into the darkness.
The darkness is something I've become so immune to, I've gotten so used to it. I was born in the dark. I will never know what trees and birds and white roses look like. I'll never know what I look like, what Ricky looks like. I'll never know anything but the dark, and that's how it will always be.
"Glori? Glori, what's wrong? You're crying." I feel Ricky run his knuckles down the side of my face. I hear him sigh. "Glori, I told you, you don't need to see to be happy."
"I-I just want to know what white roses look like, what children look like, what the sky looks like at sunset," I say, tears still stinging my eyes. "I'll never know what you look like."
"You know, if you weren't blind, we would've never met." he told me, hovering over my body.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, the reason I had noticed you was because you weren't with the other kids, and you were looking around blankly." he explained. "I noticed you because you were quiet, calm, and…beautiful."
"You also see the real me." he continued, playing with a strand of my long hair.
"I can't see at all." I frowned. "How can I?"
"No," he chuckled. "You see who I am on the inside, you're the only person I'm comfortable enough with to show who I really am. Everyone at school thinks I'm this cool football jock, but I'm more than that, and you know that. You may not see, but you don't need to see to know what's under the exterior."
I felt my cheeks get warm, or maybe it was Ricky's minty breath on my face, I didn't know, all I did know was that Ricky was getting closer. I could feel his soft lips on mine a second later. He pulled back, placed a warm kiss on my forehead, and laid back down next to me.
"I guess I'm pretty glad I'm blind, then." I said softly. "But, I still want to see."
"I know you do." he replied, still grasping my hand tightly in his.
I may not be able to see the sky, or the trees, or the park, or the white rose that's in my hair, but I have Ricky to tell me how beautiful they are. He can tell me what those things are like, I know they're gorgeous because of him. I know he's beautiful, and not because he told me, but because of my vision of him. His body isn't the beautiful part, his eyes aren't, or his face or hair. His voice and personality is the most beautiful part of him. It's what made me fall in love with him. We'll always fit together perfectly. He told me were like night and day or yin and yang; we're different, yet we compliment each other.
Ricky's in the light.
I'm in the dark.
Glori in the dark.