(As told by Devon)
Men! I just don't get them.. even though I am one. The day started off wonderfully. I was walking on air, as they say. Lara came in earlier than usual. Luckily, I was already dressed. I could sense an air of concern in her voice as I rattled on and on about the voice.. Ben. Ben Gay.. I giggled to myself when I thought of that one. I could sense Lara just shaking her head at me. Sometimes I wonder what it'd be like to have one of those dogs. At least they don't talk back! Of course, Lara was a very good woman. She raised herself from her humble beginnings and now had the auspicious title of slave to Devon. Ha. At least, that's what she called her profession!
God, I can't believe Mordrin said that last night... unbelievable! I repeated what he said to her, and she just paused for a moment. A little later she said, "Well, he probably didn't mean it." Didn't mean it!! God damn it, how can you say something like that and NOT mean it! But she was a strong woman. She could take a lot. So after our morning "chat," we started going to our classes. It's funny now that I think of it.. How did I get back to my room last night without Lara to guide me? Strange.
Anyway, we went to my first class. I was restless through the whole thing. After that class let out, Lara and I were walking through the halls. That's the one nice thing about being a freak: people avoid you like the plague. As if my touch would take their sight!! Fools.
I was being a real pest. I kept excitedly asking her things. "It's too bad you didn't act like this is class!" she said. I felt my face grow warm. I wonder what a blush really looks like. Suddenly, a thought came to my mind. I asked her excitedly, "Is he here? Is he here?"
"Damn boy," she exclaimed, "get off me! You're like a hyena after its prey!"
"Well," I impatiently asked, "is he there or not?"
Lara was being wicked and decided to torture me. She gave me a twenty second pause and then said, "Well, I think he's over there..."
"Oh Lara, Lara.. I need to speak to him!" She started to laugh at me.
Suddenly, her tone grew serious. I felt her put her warm hands on my face, squeezing my cheeks. "Now listen boy. You are like a son to me. And I care about you. And I don't want to see your whiny British ass getting hurt."
I smiled, and I think a tear started to trickle down my cheek. "Lara, look at me. I'm a freak. No one has any interest in me at all.. except for him. He's my only chance, Lara. My only chance of ever being loved. Please, Lara. Please. Bring him over here." Tears started to freely flow down my cheek. "I'm tired of being alone, Lara. I need someone else..."
"Damn it boy, you're only sixteen!"
"..And three quarters," I corrected. "But please, Lara. No one has ever chosen to speak to me. I have a feeling that he is.." I trailed off and continued, "Please Lara. Do it for me."
"I don't know why I'm such a sucker for you damn red heads. Well.. not any red head. Just you damn blind red heads that I try to care and you just JUMP into the damn street with a car coming.."
"Lara," I said impatiently, "just get him." Lara gave an exasperated sigh as I heard her high heels click on the marble floor. Lara walked over to where Ben was. This is how she related their conversation to me:
"Ben," she stated rather than asked. He looked up at her.
"Yeah?" he asked, looking back down.
"Devon would like to talk to you. I assume you know who he is, right?"
"Yeah," he replied. "I know him. But I can't come over. I have.. class." And with that, he ran off. Lara walked over to me and said, "Well don't worry. We have to get to class anyway." I just stood there a moment and said, "I see." Then we went to class.
Later that day, I asked Lara, "Could we... eat in the dorm today?" She acquiesced, and she guided me to my room.
As we ate, I was audibly upset. She told me to spill it. I could have easily come up with some witty repartee, but I wasn't in the mood. I started weeping loudly. "Lara, I'm so tired. Tired of being rejected. Tired of being a freak. I don't even belong in a seeing man's world. I'm like an animal, you know? People pity me and pat me on the head. Good job, boy. But Lara, I'm so tired. I'm so tired of being the dog sitting by the fireplace. I mean, Jesus! What possible use could I ever be to society? I'll always be the freak in the corner of the cafeteria! The one that people stay away from, afraid that I might infect their perfect eyes. And I'm tired of people tutting at me as I pass by.."
"What the HELL is tutting," interrupted Lara.
"Oh, Americans! It's when you go like this," I said, making a tsk tsk sound with my mouth.
"I see," she said, indicating that she wanted me to continue.
"Lara," I painfully said, "Lara, why does the world hurt so much? Why is it only fair to those of noble birth? I hate being a freak! I hate being an outcast. I wish the physicians hadn't saved me. I hate being blind and I hate each coming day!" As I said this, my voice reached a crescendo. I felt Lara's warm, comforting arms surrounding my pathetic frame.
"Shh, Devon," she said, comforting me. "Listen to me. Life is not easy, I know." I continued to sob. She continued to hold me. After a bit, she made me sit down upright. I heard the chair squeak as she sat next to me. "Life is not easy at all. You think it's easy being in a white man's world? Hell no it ain't! Can you imagine what it was like going to college when I did? I was lucky to find a date in my own damn grade! And me in the same state that the Loving case... damn, the 60s sure were interesting."
"Isn't that the case were the biracial couple were banned from Virginia for 25 years?"
"Yes.. It meant a lot to me then. But listen, boy. Life is tough. And if you stick it out, you'll find it was worthwhile. You have a lot of spark, boy. A lot of it. I know you better than anyone here. And I that you, yes you Devon, will make a difference. Blind or not. Your red hot Irish ass and your British stodginess will take you where you want and get you what you want. But you have a big heart too, honey. And I know that one day you're going to share it. But maybe that day isn't today... Or next week.. Or even next year. You got it give it time, honey. Men are pigs. And they break hearts as easily as they break out into fights. Maybe he isn't the one... He probably ain't good enough for you anyhow." She laughed, and I could feel her smile as she mussed my hair. "You listen here, boy. You got a lot of life ahead of you. Don't cut down a tree unless you're ready to drag it along behind you. Think about what you're doing. And before you can even love anyone, you have to do something very important."
"You gotta love yourself," she said, holding me tight. I could feel her tears drip onto my neck. "You are so amazing, boy. You have so much strength, and you've gone so far. Don't you dare stop now or I'll have to smack you around a couple times, hear?" I could feel her smile again. "Now look what your English ass did.. you went and messed up my makeup!" She walked into my washroom and started running the water.
"He's beautiful, isn't he?"
"Who," Lara asked. She knew full well who.
"Ben." She laughed. Her voice was echoing from the walls within the washroom. She stepped out.
"I don't care if he's some damn Adonis. He still ain't good enough for you. He tries anything, I slap him.. BITCH slap him!" She started getting really sassy, imagining the confrontation. "Don't you be messing with Devon! SMACK! Down goes the bitch!" She was laughing from her gut, and so was I. Suddenly, I heard her gasp. "Damn, boy! We're late for your class! Get your blind ass in gear and go!"
Thank you for reading my story. I hope you enjoyed it. As always, feel free to e-mail me with any questions, comments or concerns you may have. Thanks! =)