Author's Note: Greetings all, I know this story has been done time and time again. I hope you'll enjoy my take on it. Please let me know if it is "too close" to another writer's version of the same tale. I DO NOT want to step on anyone's toes and since I'm still relatively new to the site, I might not know if someone wrote something very similar that I have not read yet. Please review guys.
Auggie woke as a sharp pain exploded in his head. He brought his hands to his head and discovered a bandage where the pain was originating from. Pressing slightly, he found that his head was very tender. He explored the bandage and discovered it covered his whole head, much like a turban might.
The ringing in his ears would not stop. It was constant and would be for months. He would have to learn to live with it.
Opening his eyes, he was immediately terrified of the vast and complete darkness that he was met with. Turning his head, he somehow heard the rhythmic beeping of a nearby heart monitor over the roaring in his ears. He became aware of a needle in the crook of his right arm, and as he explored his injuries with his right hand, he felt the tightening of muscles he had not used in the few days he had been unconscious. He would discover later that his left arm was in a sling due to a hairline fracture in his left collar bone.
The one thing he could not understand was why there was no light in his hospital room. Most hospital rooms had windows, right? There was also no light coming from the machines beside him or light pouring in from under the doorway he could not see, but assumed was somewhere. He saw nothing. Things will look better tomorrow in the daylight, he thought to himself as an immediate exhaustion came over him and he welcomed the unconsciousness.
He woke with a start many hours later when he felt the constricting of a blood pressure cuff on his forearm.
"Hey, you're awake" a sweet young nurse cheerily spoke above him.
"Yes, now will you please turn on the lights so I can see?" Auggie's gruff voice came out more commanding than he intended for it to.
"Ummm, sir, the lights are on." The nurse replied meekly. No one had told her that her patient was blind. She was not sure what to do.
"No they're not!" Auggie said angrily, his rough hoarse voice and harsh tone frightening the nurse.
"Sir, let me get the doctor." She replied softly.
As Auggie heard her shoes squeak when she opened the door, he also became aware of the sounds of the hospital through the open doorway-a cart moving down the hallway away from his room, phones ringing and people answering them at a nearby nurses' station, someone crying in the distance. Then everything went quiet again as the door closed behind the nurse.
Auggie laid his head back down on the pillow and stared blankly, literally, at the ceiling. He questioned briefly about what could be happening, but thought it better to not jump to conclusions.
After what seemed like an eternity, Auggie heard the noises of the hallway again and assumed someone was coming into his room. He was pleased when his assumption was supported by approaching footsteps getting closer to where he was. He turned his head out of habit as if he were going to look at the person he presently could not see.
"Captain Anderson, I am Doctor Harrison. It is good to see you awake." A man's voice came from beside him.
"Well, doctor, it would be good to be seeing anything right now. Speaking of which, why can't I see?" Auggie asked.
"Captain Anderson, there's no easy way to say this." For a brief moment he paused as if he were trying to decide what to say. "I don't know any way to say this other than just putting it bluntly." After a second pause he said sympathetically. "You're blind, son."
Auggie took a split second to process what the doctor had said. The ringing in his ears seemed to grow louder as Auggie's anger mounted.
"What? NO! You're wrong. I can't be blind. Fix it. Fix it right now!" Auggie bellowed in the direction the doctor's voice had just come from. It felt strange to Auggie to be talking to faceless people.
"Captain Anderson, I'm sorry, but it is not something we can fix at the time. The explosion caused cranial swelling that is pressing against your optic nerve. By the time the swelling goes down, the damage to the nerve will already be permanent. Right now, that connection between what your eyes see and the visual cortex is not working."
As Auggie absorbed the words the doctor had told him the anger began to boil inside him. "No! You're wrong!" He yelled as he grabbed at the IV in his arm, yanking it out, he threw the sling over his head and onto the floor and swung his legs over the bed.
"What are you doing?" Auggie heard the doctor say.
"I'm leaving here!"
Auggie put his hands out in front of himself thinking this would help him orient around the room. Ignoring the pain that was screaming at him to stop moving, he took five small steps from the bed, but was immediately disoriented and confused as he tried to figure out how to get out of the room he had never seen. He took a couple more cautious steps forward, but was met with a wall. He turned right and took a three more steps, but was again met with a wall. He touched the wall and realized he was in a corner, he turned around, but didn't know which way was the way he had just come from. As frustration took over him he found the wall again and slammed his fist into it three times before falling to his knees and sobbing into his hands.
"No. No. I can't be blind." The doctor heard him say through sobs. "I can't be. I'm a soldier. I can't be blind. Please fix it." He cried into his hands.
A few minutes later, he felt a small prick in his right forearm and knew that he had been given a sedative. He didn't fight the drugs in his system or the person that put their arms around him to help him from the floor. Once he was back in the bed, he simply laid his head down on the pillow and closed his now useless, unseeing eyes. As he succumbed to the forced unconsciousness, unlike the night before, he had no thoughts that things would look better tomorrow in the daylight, because for Auggie Anderson, the daylight would never come.