Boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom
Someone's heartbeat sounded clearly in my ears. Was it mine? I was hungry and decided to do what all babies do to get attention for food.
"Thank God she's awake. Matt please call the doctor." Mum spoke and I could hear the relief in her words. Dad stood up to call the doctor.
I was placed in a box, what do adults call it again, in-cu-ba-tor? I wasn't quite sure. A thick woolly material was tied around my eyes. Dad arrived a few minutes later and judging by the footsteps, someone else followed closely behind him. It was the doctor. He came to me and inspected me. My body still ached and I cried at his touch
"Mr and Mrs Raymond, your daughter is fine and healthy. She is hungry so I suggest you feed her." He replied after much inspection. He brought me out of the box thingy and mum grabbed me like I had been stolen from her for years. She breastfed me and I suckled hungrily.
"But what about the wool around her eyes?" Dad asked.
"Eh, that's the tough part. I'm sorry to say this but your daughter is blind."
"WHAT!" mom and dad shouted at the same time.
"Well, according to the tests we ran and X-ray we carried out, your daughter is blind because there was a damage to her optic nerves. The retina had been detached and can't receive or pass visual information from the brain." He explained.
"Shit, why the hell did this happen to my only child?" Mom couldn't help but curse, something she seldom did. She cried uncontrollably and dad had to move over to hug and comfort her.
"But doctor, will she ever see again?" asked Dad.
"It's hard to tell right now. With the force of the trailer, she hit the ground and it detached the retina from its spot. She might see again but that would be when she's quite older."
"Oh Matt, how do you expect me to live like this? My sister died and my daughter got blind all in one day. This is so depressing!" my mum wailed.
"What do you suggest we do about Cassie's case, doctor?" Dad seemed to be the only one of the duo who was still about to think about the future.
"Since she will be blind for a remarkable number of years or even forever, I suggest you help train her in a blind school. Get a professional who is willing to tutor her and above all, do not treat her like she's blind. Love is one thing children in her condition need." The doctor suggested and my dad listened with rapt attention.
"We will try our best possible doctor. But we have no idea of a qualified doctor for her. Can you point out one or two skilled doctors?" Dad asked again.
"Of course, I do. I know some qualified ophthalmologists." He pulled out his phone from his pocket and some seconds later, gave dad some numbers.
"Thank you doctor, I totally appreciate."
"You're welcome Sir. We'll just keep her here for a day or two more so we can watch her for a bit. She will be discharged soon."
That was five years ago.
I grew up to be totally stubborn. Mum and dad encouraged me to speak with different doctors and therapists but none worked. I was quite adamant and never wanted to learn.
I was supposed to be in school at my age but as a result of my level of stubbornness I was rejected by three different schools.
We left our house in Malibu and moved to Manhattan two weeks after I was discharged. Mom said she wanted a fresh start. Uncle Simon and Anabelle moved with us but still lived a few distances away from our house.
Anabelle spent most weekdays with us because her dad was a workaholic. Being one of the most famous lawyers in the USA, he was always busy. He often came to pick her up in the weekend. Anabelle was the only one I felt free to talk to and we were inseparable.
But being blind was terrible!
I couldn't see anything. I made use of my nose and ears and other sense organs to see. I couldn't watch any cartoons and when Anabelle turned on Barney or Dora the Explorer for both of us to watch, I never understood it. I always asked her a lot of questions but she was kind enough to answer each and every one of them.
"Hey Cassie, Gemma's son is coming to play with us today." Anabelle said one afternoon after lunch. We were watching the new barbie cartoon mom bought for us.
"Oh, okay." I replied, uninterested.
The doorbell rang and mom came out of the kitchen to answer it. When she opened the door, I heard footsteps coming over and mom and Gemma greeted each other.
"Thanks for coming Gemma. Matt and I need to attend an auction and I can't go with the kids. I can see you brought Jason along with. Hello little fellow, how are you?" Mum gestured to him, I guess.
"I'm good thanks. My mum says I'm not a little boy anymore. When I grow up, I'm gonna take care of her, Dad and my princess." A little boy spoke of himself. I could tell he was older than me because he sounded quite mature.
"Don't mind him dear, he is always looking for someone to care for. He's got such a big heart." Gemma said.
"Aunt Gemma, Aunt Gemma." Anabelle and I sprinted off to say hi to her. Although I could move freely around the house, I ran carefully so as not to bump into anything.
"Hi pretty girls. I'm gonna be staying with you for the rest of the day. Is that cool with you?" Gemma asked.
"Yes!" We chorused.
"Alright then, go take your seats. Jason join them. I need to go freshen up." Mom instructed.
We all went back to our seats to see the movie. Barbie's sweet voice lured me and I basked in the sweetness of it.
"Hello." The little boy said to me.
"Umph." Apart from my cousin, I wasn't interested in making friends with anyone else.
"I'm Jason." He spoke again
"I know." Perhaps replying nonchalantly will make him get the message.
"What's yours?" Really? Couldn't he see that I wasn't interested in a conversation right now?