Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Aniela Dawson
Aniela tried Leo’s cell phone again. She disconnected the call without leaving a message. She had to assume he had forgotten it when his sister had been rushed to the hospital, not that she could blame him. She sighed and watched as Marcus’ gaze flickered to the rear view mirror, but he did not ask about it. Pouting, she slumped down in her seat. How was she supposed to know how Odette was doing if he did not answer his phone? Had she taken a turn for the worse? Had she woken up yet? Did he need her to grab something for them on the way? She knew better than to ask if Marcus could go any faster, but she practically lunged out of the car once it stopped. She scrambled into the hospital waiting room and nearly tripped over her own feet as she darted to the welcome desk.
“Odette Reyes, what room is she in?”
The girl behind the desk looked disinterested. “Are you a relative?”
“No, but she’s a friend and she collapsed, and I need to know what room she’s in and if she’s okay, so help me. I’ve been here before so I know that this falls during visitation hours which means I don’t have to be a relative to go see her, and I will climb over this desk and find the information myself or you can tell me right now.” Aniela finally paused to breathe. She rarely spoke, much less acted in the undignified manner she was describing, but dress or no dress, she had every intention of carrying out the threat.
The wide-eyed girl clicked away at the computer, “Room 407.”
“Thank you,” Aniela said, more out of habit than actual gratitude before she walked briskly in the direction of the elevator.
She rounded a corner and found what she thought looked like the back of Leo’s head poised against a background of vending machines.
“Leo?” she called in only a slightly raised voice, not wanting to draw attention to herself if it was not him.
The figure turned, and only a moment before Aniela confirmed it was Leo, she was squished in his tight embrace full of thankfulness and trust. She would have hugged back if she had not been so startled, but before she had time to react, he had let go as suddenly as he had wrapped his arms around her and started apologizing. She opened her mouth to tell him it was okay, that he did not need to apologize, but not one sound came out before he was in near hysterics, a diatribe about how the doctors would not tell him anything.
Quickly, Aniela realized that her own panicked mood would only be detrimental, that she needed to be the calm, reasonable rock to which he could cling. Once again, however, it seemed that he was moving too fast for her to keep up as he had now moved on to yelling at one of the doctors who had materialized out of nowhere. Aniela positioned herself between Leo and the doctor, her back to Leo. She knew from experience that people were less pleasant and helpful when you were yelling at them.
“Is there any way we can see her?” She did not expect him to be able to rattle something off, but as he opened the chart he was carrying, her hopes rose. “Excuse me sir, can you give us an update on Odette Reyes?”
“She is stable…” Aniela had not realized she was holding her breath until she felt the release of air drop with the suspense. What a relief. This had to be magic, Aniela was sure of it. There was no other sane explanation for a blind girl throwing about singularly colored fabric.
“Could we please see her now?” Aniela asked, wanting to see for herself that Odette was indeed safe and sound.
“Yes,” the doctor replied. “As soon as I have the test results, I’ll come and talk to you further,” he aimed at Leo.
The doctor waved over a nurse who led them through the maze of hallways. It did not take long until they were at the room and Leo blew past her. She stepped to the side; as much as she wanted to do the same, she felt as though she was intruding on a private moment between siblings. Even from here she could feel Leo’s love for his sister. The concern on Leo’s face was unlike anything she had ever seen before. Sure, Theodore and Tatiana had shown various levels of protective expressions and sometimes ones of mild concern, but nothing that could ever compare to the anxiety Leo had for Odette.
Aniela pulled her thoughts together; this was not the moment to be self-reflective. She approached the bed just as Odette rolled over and plopped back down on her pillows with a deep sigh. Aniela gazed down at her friend with concern. She knew something was wrong when the drawings started to show up, but she never would have fathomed that something like this would happen to an otherwise healthy girl.
She reached out and touched Odette’s hand and gave it a light squeeze. “Hi Odette, it’s Ana. How are you feeling?”
Odette muttered something and settled herself into a new position and began snoring quietly.
Aniela smiled gently. Odette let go of her hand and it naturally moved toward Leo’s. She pulled her hand away before he noticed. She had yet to make up her mind about staying when a soft, “hello,” reached her from Leo.
“Hello?” She was confused by the greeting, but he was looking up at her and though she glanced behind her, no one else had come in the room.
Her concern for his sanity was not long lived as he immediately explained. “Sorry I just…didn’t feel like I greeted you properly earlier on.”
“Oh,” she said with a soft giggle.
His vulnerable eyes left hers to look at his sister once again. “It hasn’t exactly been at its best lately…”
Now at least she had something she could do. Talking, or ideally comforting him gave her something to do and made her feel productive. She moved closer, squatting down and placing her hands on Odette’s bed for balance, putting herself closer to his level and making it so that she could lower her voice and not bother Odette.
“It will get better; every family has its spats. It is obvious you love her; I am sure she knows that.”
She could see it in the way she talked about him, very much the way she talked about Theodore and even Tatiana when they were not around. It was a younger sibling thing; she could relate to the loving dysfunctional relationship that came with being the youngest.
He agreed, but not very convincingly, before offering her a seat. Standing before she could answer, Leo got up and moved another chair over to the bed so she could sit in the one he had previously occupied. That answered her previous uncertainty about staying.
Aniela looked over at Leo’s solemn expression. “Thank you,” he said quietly, “I don’t know what I would’ve done…”
“You’re welcome.” She wished she could hold his hand or kiss him, anything to make him smile again.
Now that they were on the subject, she had some things she wanted to ask, but she never got the chance. Her beeper went off and the number for Phoenix came across the small screen. On top of that, one of the doctors was making his way into the room with yet another clipboard probably filled with piles of test results. She decided it was time to leave the siblings alone.
“I need to return this call. Odette, I’ll be back to see you later,” she promised, even if that meant dropping by for only a moment to check in. She had faith in the system, especially if her suspicions about the involvement of magic proved correct.
“Bye Leo.” She pulled out her cell phone the moment she was out of the room and pressed the speed dial for Phoenix.
“Hello? Marie, I am returning a page.”
“Miss Dawson, yes,” Marie said frantically. “We need you right away. A member of the hospital staff just dropped off a newborn.”
“I am on my way now,” she said, quite startled by the news. Since opening Phoenix, she had not had any new arrivals, but did not want to ask more over the phone.
Once the car pulled up to the large stone building, she tried her best to look put together and not shaken from everything earlier that day. Marie ran over to greet her.
“Did you get the medical paperwork on the baby?” Aniela asked.
“Yes, clean bill of health. I sent someone out shopping for formula since we don’t have any other children that young.” Aniela nodded to show she was listening. She did not want to have to call her mother, but she was very close, pride be darned. Why had she not taken the initiative to babysit the neighbor’s children more so she would know what to do with a baby now?
“Did the hospital say anything about how they came across the child?
“Someone dropped the baby off. In order to keep people from leaving unwanted babies in dumpsters, they have a no questions asked policy so we have no background on the mother.”
That made Aniela pause a step before regaining her composure. Unwanted babies! What kind of a mother or father didn’t want their children?
The nursery was expansive. Cribs lined the walls and toys scattered about on shelves, but only one thing made any movement in the room. Aniela had not expected to have this room occupied so soon, but at least they were prepared. She walked over to the baby and picked it up, supporting its head and making cooing sounds that even the most rough-tough male would make when they held a baby so sweet. It was wrapped up in a navy blanket, which Marie explained was all the baby had been dropped off in. It looked expensive and felt incredibly soft.
“Just a blanket?” Aniela asked incredulously. “How old did the hospital say the child was?”
“No more than a few days.”
Aniela patted the baby’s back. “You’re so helpless, how could anyone not want to take care of you?” Aniela asked as she gently swayed back and forth, not even minding the damp spot on her shoulder as the baby blew spit bubbles.
The sun moved slowly toward the horizon but had yet to touch its expanse. Flowers, a card, and some Braille playing cards in hand, Aniela stood in the elevator and listened to the beeps as she climbed up to the fourth floor. This time she did not rush, but walked calmly to Odette’s room where she found Leo in the same chair as when she left. She placed the flowers on the table close to Odette’s bed, the card Leo would have to read to her later, but was for now stuffed in the flowers. She tiptoed over to him, not wanting to interrupt his sleep. His back was to her, but his head was lolled to the side; he looked drained and in desperate need of a break.
“Hello again,” Aniela whispered once she realized he was awake. Sitting on the end of Odette’s bed, past the point Odette’s feet stretched, Aniela gave her friend’s hand a gentle squeeze before talking to Leo once more.
“I can keep Odette company if you would like to go home and get some rest. That chair cannot be very comfortable.”
Leo agreed and Aniela pulled a table over from the side of the bed, usually used for serving patient’s meals.
“I brought cards with Braille on them, I do not know many card games, but I thought you could teach me some if you are up to it,” she offered once Leo had left.
“Do you know how to play BS?” Odette asked, looking perkier than she had even moments before.
“Bus Stop?” Aniela asked, forgetting that most people knew it by a different name.
Odette looked confused, “No it stands for…”
“I know, I know,” Aniela cut Odette off with a flustered expression and a frantic wave. “I do not like cursing,” she explained.
Odette looked at her incredulously. “Alright, Bus Stop then.” She spoke as though she thought Aniela was being terribly childish, but went along with it. Oh how roles were sometimes reversed as Odette took the role of patient older sibling.
Aniela pulled the plastic wrap off the cards and shuffled, dealing five cards each. As they played, Aniela quickly learned that Odette did not need to see to know when she was lying. Nate stopped by with more flowers, which Odette took greedily and sniffed with a broad smile blooming across her face. He had to work and did not stay long, but it gave Aniela a break from losing. After losing six in a row, Aniela slumped back in her chair and a victorious Odette settled back into the lush pillows for another round of sleep just as the sound of booming fireworks followed lights sprinkling across the night sky. It was just as well that Odette was asleep for this, but it was too bad Leo was missing it.
She continued to watch the yellows and blues that no normal firework could ever match. They burst into complicated patterns and doodled stories across the night sky as people used their gifts in celebration. As if in answer to her thoughts, the door behind her opened and she squirmed in her chair to find Leo was not going to miss the light display after all.
“Your sister is a card shark,” she informed him in rather pathetic tones. He sat down in the chair beside her so that they both had a view of the window.
Something in his expression looked ominous; there was a certain darkness in his eyes and a tightness in his mouth, and she realized that Theodore must have come by and told him about magic. It would explain the dazed expression.
“How?” He mumbled, eyes fixed on the flash of colors exploding beyond the window. He glanced at her and nodded.
“Some of us can manipulate our powers to create such wonders in the skies without bringing attention to our country or hurting the atmosphere,” she explained.
“Yes, people are allowed to use their gifts in public within reason. It is a time of celebration until the end of winter when tourism starts back up again.”
“Mmm…” he seemed lost in thought, and she wanted to give him time to absorb what she had just told him so she kept her gaze fixed out the window for a minute or two. It hurt her to see him in this state of confusion. She wanted to cup his face and give him a pleasant distraction from the worries in his life. She pushed the sudden urge away, embarrassed.
“It is a time for celebration, Leo. She’s alive and well.” He smiled back, and she felt the warm touch of his hand on top of hers. She felt a gentle squeeze that said what words could not.
Next Chapter – Coming Next Week
Blind Sight is an urban fantasy series about a blind girl who develops the ability to draw. You are reading Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson. This volume is told from the point of view of Odette’s friend who thinks she’s a medium channeling spirits. The companion novel, Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes tells the same story, but through a different point of view. Odette’s brother Leo is convinced Odette is having premonitions and cannot be convinced otherwise. Who is right? Whose eyes will you read through?
You can also learn more about our novels on our page, Ermilia Books.