“Forever Grateful” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Sarah Shams, B.A.F. Shaheen English Medium School, Bangladesh.
“This is magenta, over here is pink and…we call this baby or light pink!” Lucy finally finished demonstrating each and every colour to me breathlessly. It was difficult to learn so much so fast but it was embracing as well, considering the fact that no one learns about colours at the age of 25…
Ever since I gained my eye-sight it has been very challenging to keep track with this modern world. But my fiancée Kayden says I have done just fine in this last 14 months. However, naming colours has been really tricky for me so far. Now that I had a taste of this bitter-sweet reality I just want to retreat back to my past. Skip studies like a small kid. But it was finally my opportunity for learning new things, stepping into this world because you don’t get second chances everyday of your life…
Dismissing my thoughts I got inside the car and made myself comfortable in the soft leather seat as the driver drove towards Kayden’s office. As I watched a police help an old blind woman cross the street, my mind drifted back to the past. I remembered how Kayden and I met. He came into my life as a stranger, covered in a cloak as blessing when I had no family, no home, no hope. The dark alley of this huge city was my home after I was abandoned by my family for being good for nothing. Then one night, while I was sitting at the corner listening to one of those endless fights of the dogs, a loud noise of a siren crashed through the air. It was so loud that even the dogs stopped barking for a fleeting second. Soon the sound of fierce running was heard. I could hear the sound coming towards me. In a second I was up. I was desperately trying to process what was happening around me when a pair of rough hands grabbed me and shouted, “You come one step closer officer and she’ll be in heaven.” I tried frantically to set free. And then I heard a deep voice say, “Since you love heaven so much…” and with that the sound of a gun firing was heard and the man fell down with a loud thud.
“Excellent job Kayden! After months of tracking we’ll finally have him in the custody.”
“Thanks, Captain,” and then a hand touched me, “You okay?” Before I could say anything I fainted. When I woke up I could feel soft sheets beneath me and a warm blanket around my body. The sound of continuous beeping of monitors told me that I was nowhere but in a hospital.
The incident is still shaking me. Since that incident, the brave officer would come to visit me often. He showed his deep remorse about the terrible accident and also when he found out that I was blind. Then, out of blue, one day he asked, “Don’t you ever dream of seeing the world Beth?” I nodded unable to voice out anything more because it seemed highly dream-like at that time. And before you know it, I was in the operation theater a month later.
“Trust me. You’ll be fine.” Saying that Kayden squeezed my hand and let the doctors do their job. After an hour it was done and after a day I was able to see things. At first, everything was terrible. The colours were too vibrant for my sensitive eyes to process. But with Kayden by my side, everything adjusted prior time.
It all seems really magical when you think about it. And the last year really has been full of surprises. Now I have a place to stay and a stranger whom I lovingly call family. For me, Kayden made every passing second extraordinary even in the most ordinary times. Because what he did for me was exceptional and for which I’ll be forever grateful.
My thoughts were interrupted when the car finally came to a halt after arriving at the police headquarters. Kayden soon approached me with a beaming smile. “So where are we going today detective?” I asked jokingly. He showed me two air tickets and said, “To travel the world!”