~Juna~ I know the sun is up. I know it is, I can feel its heat radiating on my body. I can feel everything actually. The cotton threads under my body, the vibrations of the house as Lai’s feet pounded up the stairs. And just as expected, 10 seconds later she burst through the door. “Hey Juna!” and she flopped onto my bed, sending earthquake-like tremors through my body. “How many times did I tell you to stop doing that Lai?!” and I reached for a pillow to hit her with. She moved them all out of my reach. “Uh-huh, uh-huh I care… so did you sleep last night??” I sighed, “How many times do I have to describe to you the concept of blindness? Night is night. Day is night. They intermix. All I see is dark. I don’t sleep just ‘cause it’s ‘night’.” I felt her sudden bubbly movements in the bed stop. She was thinking. “Well… why don’t you sleep 24 hours and your internal clock like, resets?” I smiled and flopped back on the bed, “If only it was that simple.” I loved Lai. She was the best friend/sister I’ve ever had. Well, actually the only friend I’ve had. Nobody really enjoys the company of the blind girl. And the blind girl doesn’t really like pity everyone tries to give her. “But alright,” she patted my head, “let’s go down to get some breakfast,” she said as she started to tug me down the bed. And I stayed still as a brick. “Urgh… Juna! There’s now only two possibilities why we always have to go through this. Numerato—“ “Numero,” I corrected her. “Oh okay… NUMERATO uno: You’re uncomfortable with my— I mean our parents, which shouldn’t be a problem because if they found you as a lil’ baby on the streets to adopt you, they must love the crap out of you. Numerato dos: you’re afraid of falling to your death down the stairs and I don’t know how you could be worried about that if you use that skill that you showed me one time back—“ “Shh! Okay, okay. Breakfast we go! But we still gotta get me ready for school this morning.” “How can you even mention school on finals week?!” she groaned. I laughed at her, “If a blind girl can do it, you can do it. Let’s go.” “Juna! Honey! Lai, how could you let Juna walk down those stairs by herself? You need to carry her!” My adoptive mother’s voice was a horrified shrill as I emerged around the stairs. A few seconds later, I felt strong, calloused hands grab under me. I sighed as my Dad’s hands picked me up to put me in a chair to eat breakfast. Pity. My parents ooze with it. If there was any discomfort in my life, they wouldn’t let me experience it. It’s the reason I have the fancy upstairs master bedroom that used to belong to them. The reason I have never heard them say the word blind to me. They made my life…perfect. And I hated it. I downed the peanut-butter flavoured cereal so Lai could take me up. “And make sure you stay with Juna in the shower Lai,” Mom said as Lai started guiding me up the stairs. She didn’t do that. “Now was that so bad!?” Lai shouted outside the bathroom door as took a shower. “Yes! Yes it was! I could almost see those somber faces as they talked to me! I was dying on the inside!” I turned off the shower faucet— the signal for Lai to throw me whatever she had in store for me to wear today. Yes, the blind girl has been dressing herself. For 10 years and counting. Although I can’t see what I’m wearing I can surely feel it and Lai’s girly-chic style that makes me cringe. “I’m ready!” I called as I finished putting on the form-fitting dress and combat boots. Lai’s footsteps approached me and she turned me around, pulling my hair up, fixing my dress up, and making me ‘Juna-licious’ as she called it. It made me sound like delicious meat but Lai had quite an imagination. “Here’s your bag,” and she wrapped the sack around my arms, “There! You look Juna-licious!” I laughed at her, “Alright is Mom Dad gone for work yet?” “Yup, they already yelled at me while you were in the shower with their numerous goodbye’s and I love you’s, yada, yada…” “You talk about our parents like you’re the adopted one.” “Well they treat you like you’re the one they give birth to. But let’s really go this time.” Lai said as she took me downstairs to go to school. I don’t wear sunglasses. Lai told me that my eyes are glassy and ghost-like but I don’t care. I embrace them. I love them. Even if I couldn’t see them. “Bus is here!” Lai shouted. “I know Lai— I keep telling you, when we’re outside I can here that lunk of junk from like a mile away.” “Well I don’t care! It’s fun to say…” she whimpered. As I got on the bus, the murmuring towards my face was now only a minimum. Years of seeing me must have almost become normal to see. Almost. I could feel eyes boring down into me as I walked down the seemingly small aisle with Lai guiding behind me. I sighed as I sat down in the seat, putting my walking stick atop both of our laps. “Glad that fiasco is over,” I chuckled at Lai. Silence. “Lai Leonie, are you here?” Nothing. “Hello there!” I shoved my weight over to the right, luckily colliding into Lai’s shoulder. “Huh? What?” Lai? Distracted? Well actually, that’s not an abnormal occurrence… but not towards me. “Lai what’s up? You’ve never been so off focus… from me at least.” She laughed hesitantly, “Oh nothing! I just y’know… zoned out.” “And you’re lying to me?! Is the bus on fire and you don’t want me to see?” “No silly girl,” she laughed a more Lai- like laugh, “It’s just this guy I’ve been thinking about…” “Ooooo, a guy? Finally all these years of best friendship will become productive.” She dug her knuckles into my arm, “Shut up… Alright, alright. His name of Keita Kazuka and he’s been my crush since like forever.” “Never heard of him.” “What? He’s only like most— you know what, it doesn’t matter. So… I was thinking I was actually going to introduce myself to him today. Maybe sparks will fly…” I laughed, “Sounds Juna-licious to me! I wish you all the luck, Mrs. Kazuka.” She dug her knuckles again into skin, a lot more frantically this time, “Shut up Juna! You’re making me blush…” The rest of the bus ride was really Lai being an emotional mess. Maybe this part of best friendship wasn’t as productive as I thought it to be. The lunk of junk bus finally rested, and I heard the shuffling of people’s feet move of the bus. “Okay Lai, no more soap opera stories. Time to go to school, and take your finals.” She instantly stopped her babbling, “Oh yeah. Finals.” I tried to hide my spreading smile from her as she lifted me to me feet, putting me in front of her to guide me again. When we stepped down the bus, Lai instantly tensed up behind me, “Juna, Biggie alert.” I tried match her fear of the fat monstrous creature we called Biggie, while mentally scolding her. No one bullies anyone in high school, especially— “Yo look, blind girl still walking with that baton huh?” Her supposed to be feminine voice was masked with a 50-year-old man’s. And I could smell the old pizza on her breath from this point. Biggie scared the heck out me. “Lai, prot—“ That was all I could get out before I crashed back into Lai’s arms, knowing immediately my thin walking stick was gone from my grasp. “Hey, give it back!” Lai shouted out. I got myself up and faced the smell of old pizza, trying to look as threating as possible.“If blind girl wants the baton, she’s just gonna have to get it herself.” “You’re speaking to her as if she’s my lawyer! Or do you know what that is?” I heard a couple of chuckles around me. Good. “What you say, blind punk? You wanna fight?” “Uhm… no. I’m blind. I can’t fight. But I’ll cut you a deal. If I can guess what hand you’re holding my ‘baton’ in, you’ll give it back?” She waited for her entourage to grunt out yes before she agreed too. “Juna! How are you gonna do this?” Lai whispered behind me. “Time to use that skill I have…” I replied. Luckily, school was loud enough so they couldn’t hear what I was doing. I solidified my tongue and sucked it across the top ridge of my mouth, making a small repetitive clicking sound. Sound waves bounced off across the concrete, the benches, Biggie and her entourage in front me. The sound bounced off of… everything. I could see. “You ready?” I called out to Biggie. I knew her back was to me. She turned around laughed. “Yeah, sure. Which hand?” Of course it was followed by the laughs of her friends. “You don’t have it. The person to the right of you does.” They fell silent around me. I saw the figure to the right shuffle the stick back to Biggie. “Hah! You’re wrong kid.” “No fair!” Lai shouted, “You just switched it up right now!” “It’s okay Lai, it’s in her left hand now.” “What do you me—“ Biggie started again. Click. Click. Click. “Now it’s in your right. Biggie, I won. Can you just give me the stick now?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about blind bitch, but you’re not getting this until someone takes it from me.” “Well maybe I can help with that.” Authors note: here's the second chapter of you like this story then please check out the card that I clip all these to. There's much more!