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Love at Last Sight

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“Rose, I’m sorry. Your eyesight will be gone by the end of this year.”

            Dr. Vasquez continued talking, but the echo of his last words filled my ears, cancelling his voice out. Your eyesight will be gone by the end of this year… That couldn’t be possible. He was joking with me. My eyesight was nearly perfect. How could he say that when I could see him so clearly? His lanky, black hair that curled just a little at the ends. The little cowlick at the top. His sharp, light brown eyes. The laugh lines etched into his face. I could see every detail clearly. My vision was fine. I hadn’t even owned a pair of glasses before. Sure, it wavered every now again, but wasn’t that usual?

            “Good one, Doc,” I finally responded, cutting him off in the middle of a sentence. “Now’s not really the time to be joking though.”

            He swallowed nervously, his pale Adam’s apple bobbing. There was a smoldering look in his eyes, almost like pity. “Rose, you have cone-rod dystrophy. Weren’t you listening to what I was saying?”

            “Cone-Rod what?”

            “Let me explain a little bit,” he said with a sigh. Sitting back in his wheely chair, he put his hands on his lap, interlacing his slim fingers. “The retina is the portion of the eye that is light-sensitive. It helps your eyes process vision. Light signals to the optic nerve, which tells the brain what you’re seeing. The retina consists of a bunch rods and cones that absorb the light. If those rods and cones don’t work, your vision won’t work properly.”

            I stared at him blankly, doing my best to process his foreign words. “And?”

            “Cone-rod dystrophy is a progressive disease that destroys those cones and rods. It will slowly deteriorate your peripheral vision and acuity before eventually making you completely blind.”

            “There’s a cure, right?” I asked, my mouth rapidly becoming dry.

            His silence didn’t make me feel too optimistic. “As of right now—”

            “I can’t go blind!” I cried, standing up from my seat on the cool, wooden bench. “I’m only seventeen! I haven’t even lived a quarter of my life! There has to be a cure!”

            “I’m sorry,” he apologized. “There is a way to slow down the process, which is to avoid light, however, even doing that, you’re eyesight will be gone in about four months.”

             I slowly shook my head. “No… No. It’s not possible.”

            “I’m sorry—”

            “No you’re not!” I snapped at him, my eyes starting to burn. “You’re not going to be blind in the next few months!”

            “Calm down,” he ordered, motioning for me to sit back down. “Let’s talk about this.”

            I ignored him, turning my head away. It was time to leave. Grabbing my jacket from the table, I headed for the door. “Goodbye, Doc.”

            “Rose—”

            The door to the examination room slammed shut behind me. A few nurses and doctors in the hall gazed at me curiously as I hastened by them, trying to hold back my tears. I was going to go blind? There was no chance of it not happening? This had to be some cruel joke! Or a nightmare! Maybe I was going to wake up and everything was going to be fine. How could I live without sight?

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Chapter One

Cast

Karen Gillanas Rose LeBlanc
Matt Smithas Chace Carson
Arthur Darvillas Noah Cooper

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