Finally, it was the moment! It was time for my last and hopefully, final surgery. I couldn't believe I'd be able to see after this. All my nerves were a wreck but I had to calm down so as to avoid complications.
"Are you ready miss Cassie?" asked Doctor Violet Johann. This was a question I seemed to be asked often and I was more than ready to get this operation over with.
"I am." I replied.
As I was placed on anesthesia, I recalled my previous conversation with my family prior to the operation. Everyone couldn't curtail their excitement and also voiced their fears but with an unusual burst of confidence, I reassured them that I would get through it.
Moreover, I still had to persuade Jason to go which he was reluctant to do. This morning, he even went as far as trying to call the officials in charge of the interview about rescheduling but I stopped him right on time.
Dad, mum, Ana and Tess found out some minutes later and also encouraged him to go, noting that I would be better before he returned. He whined and fussed over it, saying he didn't feel good about leaving me even just for a few hours. I was deeply touched by it although I wasn't keen on the idea of him panicking all through the operation. I wanted his mind to be off everything. I wanted him to build up his career.
But with so much persistence coming from all of us, he finally agreed. I remembered his huff before he left us to go. To prove his further love and care for me, he called dad and requested to speak with me on his way to the interview. That was twenty minutes prior to the operation. We talked for about ten minutes and even prayed together. I missed him already but he assured me that immediately after he was done, he would be with me in a flash. I grinned like an enthusiastic kid on Christmas and awaited his arrival.
I also remembered his last words before he hung up.
"I have a bad feeling about this Cassiopeia but I love you no matter what happens."
Slowly, the anesthetic kicked in and induced a foreign numbness which left me unconscious and drifted from the real-world.
I felt cold and utterly alone.
It felt like I had zoned out from the world and into a place I had never been before. All of a sudden, I felt my legs moving briskly like I was being controlled. I couldn't stop myself from walking. Even with the sever cold around me, my legs seemed to have a notion of its own. I shuddered and shivered as I walked, with no aim, with no direction.
Suddenly, figures like people began to bump into me, ferociously and aggressively, I almost staggered. They never apologized but kept moving like I never existed.
"S-Stop hitting me please." My voice came out hoarse and dry but I believed they heard me because they stopped bumping into me immediately but I still felt them move.
"Oh, no! What are you doing here Cassieopia?" Said a woman as she hugged me to her. I barely recognized her voice and was to the fullest extent, confused.
"Who are you and where am I?" I asked a little bit panicky. Her hands were cold as well and sparked shivers down my spine.
My legs had stopped moving.
"I'm sorry, it's been so long. I'm Rachael Bolton and you're far away. Much far away from everyone." She introduced herself.
Rachel Bolton sounded so familiar and I tried to put two and two together and realized who she was. I gasped.
She was Ana's mother and my Aunt.
But Ana's mother died many years ago. I guess when I was still a baby but I never knew the source of her death.
Did this mean I was also dead? To my surprise, I felt beads of sweat on my forehead which was weird in contrast to the immense cold.
"Aunt Rachel, where am I?" I feared the worst but asked, "Am I dead?" I gulped in fear as I awaited her response.
"You aren't dead yet!" She replied.
What did she mean by that? Could her response be more vague and inexplicably?
"I don't understand. How are we able to have this conversation because I know you're dead?" I asked.
"I'm at a loss for words. I guess this is the point where you have to make a choice." She explained but that made me more perplexed.
"What choice?" I asked, growing impatient by the second. Can someone explain to me why we're having this conversation in the first place?
"But before I continue Cassie, I would like to ask for your forgiveness. I'm the reason you lost something so vital." She surprised me further by being remorseful.
"What's that Aunt?" Is it me or have I asked more than a hundred questions?
Patience Cassie, patience. My subconscious emphasized and I obeyed.
"I'm the reason you lost your sight dear. Ever since that day, I've always felt bad about myself, seeing I crushed the ability of a young and beautiful girl like you the opportunity to see the world has made me regret all these years and I'm so sorry." She began to sob and pulled me to an embrace.
"I still don't understand aunt. Please can you be more expressive? How did I lose my sight?" I asked. She released me and sighed, fearing I would detest her thereafter.
"I still remember that day, it was bright and sunny, August 11th,1998. You were just a baby..." She went on to narrate everything to me. I smiled when she talked about mum's birthday and the love between my parents. When she narrated the accident which resulted to her death and how I lost my sight, I took a short, sudden intake of breath and couldn't believe what I heard.
"I'm so sorry Cassie. Please forgive me. Ever since then, I've been here the whole time. It's been so cold out here and I have recalled countless times why I failed to quit alcohol. It completely ruined me. I watch Anabelle from here and I cry all the time, wishing I had the opportunity to be the ideal model of a mother to her. I lost my chance in life and now I'm here. Please forgive me! That's the only way I can get a second chance." She sobbed uncontrollably and I felt myself doing the same.