She’s not living….. Well she’s alive, but she can never truly live.
She was born without four of her five senses, and this crippling restraint has taken its toll. The loss of sight, smell, taste, and touch.
My poor wife. Her life would never be normal. These limitations had such a strong hold on her emotions, and her body was powerless against the unrelenting difficulties. Fear overwhelmed her thoughts and dreams, every waking moment was spent thrashing. She would never get to wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, or taste its bitter yet satisfying flavor. She had never been able to see anything through her own eyes. Not the early sun rising from the tree tops, or the stars flying across the celestial skies by night. Her pupil was a blank canvas, which would never be painted on, like an ivory blanket draped over her lens. She could not see anything, not even the dark. It is as if no colors even existed in her limited and stifled knowledge. And for the rest of her life, she would never understand what it meant to feel something. I needed to find some way to help my dear wife.
I came to her one evening and presented an idea. I proposed that it might be possible to plug her optic nerve into a computer. Such a daring proposition seemed quite unorthodox, but I was willing to try anything. Her eyes would be replacing the monitor, and she would be able to see everything on my computer. I could show her the different variants of color, the parts of a human body, even pictures from around the world. The possibilities were endless, but I was unsure if her feeble mind could handle such vast knowledge. I would have to introduce things slowly to her. An overload of information could be very harmful.
After many months of testing, I finally did it. With no medical experience I was greatly surprised with my progress. My wife could now see the things on my computer. I was able to attach a wire from my computer to her optic nerve, but I have to admit it was a very unsettling sight. Her empty, white eye was outlined in some dry blood, and a wire hung down her face, from inside the bottom of her socket. Getting the wire attached to her nerve was the most difficult procedure. I carefully removed her eyeball and placed it down on a sanitized, metal tray. I then proceeded to stick tweezers into her socket. Reaching around very carefully I found the optic nerve and gentle pulled it towards the surface. A bit of blood came up as well. Once it was in sight, I attached a small insulated wire, and then returned her eye to its socket. I also plugged a monitor into the computer using a dual link monitor cable. I was then able to guide her through the internet showing and teaching her various material. When she first saw my desktop she almost passed out. My background was a vibrant screenshot of the Grand Canyon. She had never seen such color before, her mind could not process the hues and brightness. All of my work could’ve been thrown out the door over this minute and foolish mistake that I had made. I could’ve killed her right then and there, but instead she somehow adapted. After a brief moment of feeling faint she then overcame the weakness and I explained to her that this was the color orange. Her mind was so much stronger then I had expected, and she quickly understood everything I instilled. Later that night, after she had gone to bed, I went down to the kitchen and bruised my own eye.
The next morning we continued our studies, and she maintained her eager spirits. I couldn’t even keep up with the rate of information she was gaining. She soon went on to browse the internet alone without my guidance, venturing into the unknown. At dinner we would sit around our oval kitchen table and she would tell me about the wonderful knowledge she had attained. Our son, who usually kept to himself, interrupted my wife to ask me what had happened to my eye. I lied, and told him that I had tripped and hit my face on the table. He rarely ever spoke, and this occasion proved that he in fact, was not a mute, as I had suspected.
Thomas was always a very well behaved, young boy. He never caused any trouble, and usually kept to himself. He stood on a line between reserved and introverted. After my ex-wife abandoned me, I was left to raise Thomas alone. He was only five. The severity of the situation never changed Thomas, and he contained his composure. But not long after my divorce I began looking for a new wife, someone to take care of Thomas. And then one day I caught a glimpse of her at an old consignment shop. She was standing in the corner, a sun beam shinning on her through the shops front glass window. I knew right away that she was perfect. Now this rash impulse might have been an escape from the reality that my wife had just left me, but looking back today, I couldn’t be any happier with my decision. Thomas, on the other hand, never did warm up to her. On one occasion he even called her heartless.
As Thomas grew distant from me and my wife, we grew closer. And spending every day studying her behavior and learning styles, only strengthened our relationship. I did love my dear son, but my wife was equally as important. I would sometimes unplug her eye and bring her outside for car rides around our town; she loved getting out of the house. On one rainy evening she wanted to go out for dinner, so I made sure to cover her exposed skin, and we both got into the car. Her skin was very sensitive. The diner up the road was my favorite place to go, and the food was always great. I ordered a hamburger with fries and a diet coke. She didn’t order anything. A tall, thin man entered the building, glancing in my direction, and then walking over to our table.
“Can I have a word with you” he asked in a light voice?
I stood up and followed him as he led the way to the diner’s bathroom. He reached for the doorknob and gave it a yank. The door was locked. Before he could say anything else I blurted out a word
He looked at me confused. I don’t even know why I said that. I was afraid. I didn’t know who this man was, or what he wanted from me. And now I was making myself appear as a fool.
“What do you want from me” I mumbled? Completing my unfinished ramble.
“It’s about your wife” he replied.
“My wife” I stuttered? “What does she have to this with this? She’s innocent I swear, she hasn’t done anything wrong.”
“Calm down Mr. Byrd” he said solemnly. “People in the town have seen you bring her out for car rides. She’s very odd. Now, I don’t mean to insult you, but that kind of behavior is just not…”
I interrupted him before he could continue. “How do you know my name?”
“Everyone knows your name” he chuckled a bit. “You’re all the gossip in town. The people think you’ve gone mad.”
“Are you trying to take her away from me” I shouted! “I’ve worked far too long and far too hard to watch my whole world get taken away!”
“Now just calm down” he replied. “We’ve got everything under control.”
I stormed past him, and ran towards the dining room. He reached for my arm to hold me back but it was too late. She was gone! The diner was still bustling with waitresses and customers, but the only thing I could notice was the empty booth where we had just been sitting only a few moments ago.
“Where is she” I screamed, falling down to my knees!
“She’s gone” he replied quietly. “It’s only business.”
“Only business” I asked turning my head to view him? “Maybe if it was your wife, you’d understand exactly which trigger you’ve pulled!”
In one swift movement, I grabbed a knife from the nearest table, and pounced on the man. He fell to the ground as I stabbed the knife into his arm.
“Where have you taken her” I yelled!
He cried out in pain as I repeated “Where have you taken her”!
The customers began to jump from their seats and run to the exit. The employees ran to the back of the kitchen.
“You’re son…” he muttered. “He’s been taken away too”.
I took a firmer grip on the knife’s handle, and began to twist it, opening up his wound. He screeched out in pain, and tried to pull me off of him. I was too heavy, and his thin arms were very weak.
“Why are you doing this” I cried? “Where have you taken them”?
The man continued to stare at me, and I realized I wasn’t going to get any information. A large man wearing a cook’s apron then charged through the kitchen doors and ran over to me. He was holding a shotgun, and he pointed it directly at my temple.
“Get off that man” he said firmly.
“Don’t shoot,” I stuttered. “I haven’t done anything wrong, this.. this man, he’s taken away my wife and son.”
The man examined me for a moment. It seemed like he was contemplating what to do next.
“Please sir, I swear”.
“Get off of him” he replied in a harsh voice.
I stood up and slowly backed away, keeping my hand above my head. He followed me with his shotgun until I was about ten feet away from him. He then bent over near the wounded man and began to speak to him. After a few brief moments he approached me. Without a word he pulled out a small notepad and wrote something down.
“Here take this” he whispered tearing the page from his notepad. “I talked to that man you were attacking and he gave me two addresses. He said something about them being at two separate locations. Now get out of my shop before the police arrive.”
What an odd thing to do? Why would that man give me the addresses after I had attacked him? Was he giving up? Was it a trap? I should have killed him. I didn’t have time to over think this. My body was running on pure adrenaline. I ran out of the diner and glared down the road. The parking lot was empty and I could hear the sirens from the distant police. I quickly read the addresses: 546 Village Drive, and 563 Stadium Avenue. I needed to find them, and I knew exactly who I was going to find first. My dear…..
To Be Continued…