A/N: Hey guys! Thanks for being so patient with me while I was away. Hope you enjoy chapter 2 :) Have a happy Sunday
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Warning: The subject matter of this story can be considered sensitive to some. Please be advised.
School started and you were instantly buried in homework. It made life easier having Mari around to help you through the school building and to your classes. Luckily your classes were on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and were in the same order everyday. The halls were more crowded, louder and it made it really difficult for you to get around on your own. Your lecture classes seemed a little pointless because you couldn’t easily take notes and listening to the teacher lecture for forever made you tired. If you didn’t have to take them in order to graduate you wouldn’t be.
For lunch you would usually eat with Mari somewhere away from everyone so you could breathe. Being around so many people was overwhelming and you weren’t prepared for it. “So how are you adjusting,” Mari asked while you ate. “Well enough. I think I’m getting everything down,” you answered back.
“Good because I won’t be helping you starting tomorrow. You will need to navigate by yourself.”
You started to choke on your food. “What!? Mari I’m not ready. Can you give me at least one more day or till the end of the week?”
“I’ll give you one more day.” You let out a sigh of relief. “I was going to do this sooner but I didn’t feel as if you were ready. But now I feel as if you aren’t making any progress to be independent like you want. It’s been a month since your classes have started. You haven’t even bothered to use the cane to try and help yourself.”
“Because I have you Mari.”
“You won’t always have me.”
“I know.” There was a silent pause for a moment while you took another bite of food. “I also don’t like people knowing I’m blind so I don’t like using the cane.”
“Well that is a fact of your life so you will have to get used to it.”
You hummed as you nodded in response to Mari. You spent the rest of your lunch in familiar silence until Mari was ready to take you to your next class. Your afternoon was filled with your different art classes. Some of them were lectures but you found them more fascinating than your required morning classes. Your last class was your favorite though, introduction to painting. This class allowed you to take the stress you felt from the day and put it on canvas. But for some reason today you weren’t able to paint. You held your brush to the canvas but never moved it. ‘Mari will be leaving me on my own. What will people say? Where will I eat lunch? I don’t even know where Mari takes me to eat.’ Your thoughts were going wild and it seemed nearly impossible to control them. “Miss [Y/L/N] are you feeling alright,” your professor asked.
“Your hand. It’s shaking. Are you feeling alright? You haven’t made a mark on your canvas. Usually you complete a full painting before leaving class.”
“Huh, oh.” You grabbed your own hand from the canvas and felt it shaking as you brought it down. “I’m fine. Guess I’m just a little tired.” You faked a small smile.
“Alright. Well would you like a stool to sit on? I could grab you one?”
“Ah, no it’s fine. Thank you.”
When the professor walked away you moved your gaze to your feet. You closed your eyes and took in a deep breath then let it out slowly. ‘Letting my thoughts get out of hand won’t help anything. Like Mari said, I won’t always have her around.’ You looked up then placed the brush back to the canvas ahead of you and began to paint. With ease the brush glided against the canvas and you could feel your worries start to disappear. Every once in a while you would dip the paintbrush back into different paints on your palette then went back to the canvas in a hurry. You watched as the different mixes of color created a beautiful work of art and it brought you happiness.
As promised Mari gave you one more day with her guidance throughout the school but even still she made sure to keep her distance and force you to figure things out on your own while she watched. Using your cane was easy enough and to your surprise no one seemed to be whispering about it. But today was the day you would be completely on your own.
You woke up early and with Mari’s help you got ready then headed out to school. The car pulled up to the main drive and parked. “If you need anything young miss please call. We will be nearby,” Mari said as you sat leaning your balled fists against your knees. “Young miss is something the matter,” Mari coldly asked. “Just nervous,” you answered back hoping she would be a little nicer. Mari let out a soft sigh and she reached over lightly touching your hand, “Young miss, you will do fine and we are a call away. Remember, this is what you wanted.” Her actions seemed kind but her voice was still cold and robotic. You looked over at Mari, giving her a small smile, and said, “Thanks Mari. Okay! I’m going now. Fighting!”
Swinging the car door opening the light wind of fall kissed your skin and brought you a fresh dose of confidence. ‘I can do this,’ you thought as you stepped out letting your cane guide your way as you walked toward the school. You moved your cane slowly side to side as you walked letting it drag against the ground. With a the sound of a “clack” your cane hit against something and you stopped moving. ‘Am I already at the door,’ you thought as you moved your free hand to try and feel out in front of you, but you found nothing. You moved your cane again with your arm still held out as you tried to search in front of you. After a few more steps you brought your hand down and realized you had no idea where you were going. ‘This is the worst.’ Taking in a deep breath and releasing it you let out some of your frustration. ‘Okay, so from the car it takes about 40 steps to reach the door. How many steps have I taken?’ After running the numbers through your head you decided you hadn't walked enough. You took about another ten steps forward and heard, “Here let me get the door for you,” from a girl. You thanked her as you walked through the door. “Is there somewhere I can help you get to,” the girl asked again. “Ah no, I’m fine. Thank you,” you answered back.
The hallways sounded crowded and it made you nervous but walking inside would be easier than walking outside. As one hand moved the cane back and forth in front of you the other hand slightly slid across the wall. You could remember the turns to get to your class, two lefts then a right, and soon you were at your first lecture. You placed the voice recorder on the desk and hit record. Usually you would try to pay attention to what the professor was talking about but you felt overwhelmed and needed a break. “This... is going to be harder than I thought,” you said quietly to yourself as you slumped forward in your chair. “I can do this.”
Getting to each of your classes got less and less difficult each time. Each time you reached a class you felt more confident in your ability to do this on your own. You finally arrived at your final and favorite class. You were ready to start painting but was quickly disappointed when your professor explained that the class wouldn’t be painting but would be doing a critique. “Okay when I call your name please bring up your canvas and place it on the easel. Please give an honest and constructive feedback. Do not tear your classmates down. We are here to help each other grow as artists and be successful,” the professor said then called a name. The class instantly started to give feedback about how they could have done more shadowing in a different area or the shapes were slightly off. Everyone was painting the same subject matter except for you. You painted what ever you wanted because you couldn’t see the subject matter. Judging by what the class was discussing it was a bowl of arranged fruit. Something simple and traditional.
“[Y/N], please bring up your canvas for critique,” the professor called surprising you. You sat there a moment confused then slowly rose from your stool. You grabbed your canvas, which rested on an easel next to you, and the professor helped you up the the front. After placing your canvas on the easel at the front of the room you stood next to it waiting for a response. You could feel yourself getting excited as you awaited their critique of your work. You had never been critiqued before and you couldn’t wait to hear their feedback.
Silence. Silence filled the room as you waited. “What should we say? It’s not like she can see what she did or didn’t do,” you heard someone whisper. “She couldn’t even see the fruit bowl. How are we supposed to critique her work,” another whispered. Sadness and embarrassment seemed to fill you as you stood next to your canvas feeling like a fool. “Um... well it seems like you used a lot of yellow in your painting [Y/N],” the professor awkwardly said trying to break the silence in the room, “Is there a reason why you did?”
“I wanted to paint something bright and that was the color that gave the brightness I wanted.”
No response. Silence took over again. ‘I sound like an idiot,’ You thought as you waited again for an answer back. Still nothing. “Oh... look at the time. We will pick up again on critique again next time. Class is dismissed,” The professor called. You stood where you were waiting for the room to clear out so you could easily find your belongings. “Here I brought you your bag [Y/N],” the professor said. “Oh thank you,” you answered back as you started to place the straps around your shoulders. Using your cane to help you find your way out of the room you started to leave. “Hey [Y/N],” the professor called after you, “I’m sorry. But maybe we won’t be critiquing your work in the future. Just feel free to paint out you like.” Even though their words weren’t meant to hurt, they did. You forced a smile and small nod then left the room.
You stood in the quiet hallway leaning against the wall trying to ignore what you believed to be irrational feelings about your professor’s words. “I’ll just listen to some music and paint when I get home to make me feel better,” you said to yourself as you pulled out your cell phone. Just as you were about to ask your phone to call Mari you remembered something. Music. ‘Come by and see me again.’ His words ran through your head as you shoved your phone back into your pocket. You started walking in a random direction not knowing where you were going. “Excuse me,” you called out to no one in particular in the hallway. Nobody seemed to answer you so you said it again, “Excuse me, I’m needing help finding the stairs.” “Oh you are going in the right direction. Just take a left and then they are across the hall. Do you need help getting there,” a boy asked.
“No I’ll be fine. Thank you very much.”
With a quick pace you walked the directions the boy gave you. Once you reached the stairs you held onto the railing tightly and slowly walked up. After reaching the top you walked forward searching for a wall to help guide you. ‘Will he even remember me,’ you thought as your hand found the hard surface of a wall. Feeling its cool texture sent chills up your arm. Your heart was racing and you could feel yourself shaking. ‘He did say I could come by again right? I wasn’t hear things... right?’ Each step you took forward you wanted to take ten back but you wanted to see him again. You wanted to hear his beautiful music again. The way his notes painted something more beautiful than your brush ever could. The thought of it all only made you more nervous but also more determined.
You walked around for what seemed like an eternity before leaning your side up against a wall and letting out a small groan. “Where am I,” you complained, “How am I supposed to get to room 302 if I can’t read the room numbers?” You rolled until your face and stomach pressed against the wall and let out a few small whimpers. “Um... Miss [Y/N]” he asked. You quickly took a step back from the wall as you kept your hand against it. “What are you doing,” he asked again. “Um... umm...” you were unable to come up with a response as you stood frozen in place. His laughter rang in your ears as you felt your cheeks grow warm in response. “Don’t tell me you already forgot who I am,” he said through his small laughs. “Of-of course I haven’t,” You said eagerly as you turned toward his voice. You could feel your breath hitch as you stared at his form surrounded in his beautiful crimson red. “I could never forget you Henry Lau,” this time your voice was more quiet.
You turned your face from him and to the floor only to have your attention to be brought back up. As embarrassed as you were to look at him you couldn’t look away. “Well that makes me really happy to hear,” Henry said with a calm voice and you could feel your cheeks grow warm. You quickly looked away and placed a hand over your heart. ‘Please stop racing! Please stop racing!’ “Would you like to come to my practice room,” Henry asked. “Yes!” You answer back loudly surprising yourself.
“Alright then! Let’s go!”
Henry’s hand moving against your sent chills through you. He gently caressed your hand in his. ‘His grip is so gentle... yet his hand is so strong,’ you thought as his fingers wrapped around the back of your hand. He started pulling you behind him as he lead the way to his practice room.
“You were pretty close you know.”
“Huh,” you asked knowing you weren’t listening to him. You were focusing on the feeling of his hand in yours. “My practice room,” he said again, “You were closer than you think.” Henry stopped walking and you listened to a door creak open. “See just a few more steps,” he said. You could hear the smile on his voice and it only made you smile as well. Henry guided you into the room and helped you to sit down on a cool wooden bench. He closed the door then came in and sat down next to you. You listened to a loud banging sound as Henry moved something. “Here,” he said as he took your hand again and placed your hands on the cold surface of piano keys. You smiled widely at the familiar touch. “You have a piano in here,” you asked excitedly bringing your other hand to the keys.
“You know what a piano is?”
“I used to play when I was very young. These keys are white and the smaller ones are black.” You guided your hands across the smooth ivory keys remembering days past. “Our piano was large and a classic black. It stayed in the library and I used to play it all the time as a child. I was never given formal lessons though.”
“Wait you know what it looked like? Could you see once before?”
You nodded as you pulled your hand back into your lap. “Mmm. I haven’t always been blind. I... got really sick as a very young child and lost my vision.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay. I remember a few things from when I was little. Like the way the cherry blossoms blew across the sky in spring time. Or the way the way the snow fell in winter. But my favorite sight was seeing my father play the piano in the library.” You brought a hand and lightly touched the keys again. “I was supposed to stay in bed all the time but I always wanted to listen to my father play and I wanted to play just like my father. I would sneak out of my room often to watch him.” Your small giggles made you feel slightly embarrassed. “Sorry I’m just talking.”
“No it’s okay. Do you know how to play anything?” The way his smile sounded made you look over to him.
“I know one song.”
“Can I hear it?”
Without hesitation you started to play a simple version of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. After finishing the only verse you knew how to play Henry gave you a small round of applause. “Not bad not bad,” he said after he finished clapping. “Thank you. I am a pro you know,” you said back making Henry laugh.
“I can tell. You have much more talent than I do.”
“Very true. Would you like me to teach you how to play it?”
“It would be an honor to have you as a teacher.”
You couldn’t help the laughter and smile from over taking your cheeks. You started to play the song again and you listened as Henry jokingly played along with your “music lesson”. He played along with the first verse and then quickly took over. You listened in amazement as his fingers took over the keys at what sounded like lightning speed. “Something like this right,” Henry said over his playing as his fingers continued to dance. You smiled in response unable to respond as you listened to his beautiful playing.
(This is the song referred to above. If you have never heard all the versions of twinkle twinkle little start then you should at least listen to the first minute of this video :) )
As his fingers danced you began to see different shades of red paint the room in such beauty. The warmth his colors gave you brought a smile to your face. You wished you could see Henry’s expression as he played the piano. Your body moved on its own as it lightly touched Henry’s arm and he stopped playing the piano. His muscles stiffened at the touch of your finger tips. You lightly brushed your fingers down his forearm and to his wrist feeling every inch of it. His wrists were bigger than you were expecting and strong. “So beautiful,” you said quietly. “What’s beautiful,” Henry asked. “Oh, I...” you stuttered trying to think of something to say. You closed your eyes and could still feel the warmth of his dancing colors. “You, you are,” You said knowing you would be unable to come up with another answer. Henry let out a small laugh as he said, “But you haven’t even see me. How do you know I’m beautiful?”
“Your colors.” Henry sat silently as if he was waiting for you to explain what you meant. You turned your gaze to your lap and let go of his arm. “I know I may not be able to see a lot but i can see some things. Like color, but I can’t see all colors. In fact most things I don’t see anymore. I can see the sunsets and the colors I paint with but they looked like smeared water color paintings. I can’t make heads or tails of them.” Henry continued to sit quietly as you listened to the rasp of his breath. “But you Henry. When I see you...” You paused as you squeezed your hands into fists. “This may not make any sense, but when I see you, you are surrounded by such beautiful color. It’s most beautiful when you are playing music.”
“What color do you see?”
“Crimson and other shades of reds. But as you sit still now, and even when you came to help me in the hallway when we first met. You were surrounded in crimson. It was really beautiful.”
Henry moved your fallen hair behind your ear and moved your face toward his. “It had been so long since I had seen you I was starting to think you were never going to come see me again,” Henry said as sadness coated his words. “No that wasn’t it at all! With school I… I got to busy and it’s so overwhelming to get around and...” you stumbled on your words when you heard his smile spread across his lips as you watched his colors dance. ‘They seem brighter than before,’ you thought as you couldn’t help but stare. “[Y/N],” Henry said as you tried to find his eyes. You could feel something move toward you. ‘What’s he doing,’ you thought as your eyes continued to search what would be Henry’s face for his eyes. You noticed your heart racing again. What ever Henry was doing it was making you nervous.
A loud buzzing sound erupted from your pocket startling both you and Henry. You pulled it out of your pocket and tried to answer the phone call. “Here, let me,” Henry said as he took the phone from your hand. “Hello this is miss [Y/N]’s phone. Henry speaking.” You turned and faced the piano as you tried to count your heartbeats. ‘It’s beating so fast. Why does he make my heart beat so quickly,’ you asked yourself as your hand gripped the piano bench. You closed your eyes and took in a deep breath, ‘It’s just my imagination.’ “Okay, I’ll bring her down,” Henry said before hanging up the phone and handing it back to you, “That was Mari. She said she was waiting for you at the front of the school.” “Oh okay, thank you. I should be going then. Sorry to take up so much of your time Henry,” You said as you awkwardly stood up from the piano bench.
“Let me take you down there. I’ll take you to the elevator this time.”
“It’s okay. I can find my way around.” You put your backpack on and grabbed your cane that leaned against the piano then started to walk to what you believed was the door. Henry grabbed your hand before you could get far away from the piano. “Please, I want to walk you,” Henry pleaded. “O-okay,” you answered back feeling your cheeks blush. Henry pushed the piano bench back with a loud noise. His fingertips kissed the inside of your forearm as they slid down your wrist and against your palm. Your breath hitched at the feeling of his light touch. His long slender finger laced between yours and he squeezed your hand tightly. “Is this okay,” Henry asked nervously. Unable to respond you nodded while your face was toward the ground. Again, the sound of his smile filled the room and it only made your blush brighter. “Let’s go,” he said before pulling you out of the room and leading the way to Mari.
B.O.B. Mates ヽ(〃･ω･)ﾉ
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