I couldn’t bear to hear the doctor’s reply, since I was sure I’ve hit the mark. But for the sake of confirmation, the doctor said, “Yes, though it may not be permanent. Your optic nerves, the nerves which are responsible for your sight, are swollen and damaged. We couldn’t tell whether this is something temporary or permanent, but I sincerely hope it would be the former.”
I was dumbstruck. Wasn’t being confined, taking a knock to the head, breaking a few bones, and getting seriously wounded to the point of near-death enough? Why did blindness have to be an option? Why did I have to lose the one thing that I needed so dearly? Beside me, I could hear my mother's stifled gasp, she shares empathy with me.
“So how would we know that his sight would come back doctor?” my mother said.
“It’s hard to say. Usually, recovering one’s sight would start by seeing the slightest bit of light.” He paused, and then addressed the next question to me, “So far, do you see any form of light?”
Light? All I see is darkness! I was staring at oblivion; myriads of darkness without the slightest trace of light. I shook my head slowly, feeling bitter and disheartened. “Well,” the doctor said, “it’s not a surprise. You just got conscious. Give it a few weeks or months. Then we’ll know.”
I could hear my mother silently sobbing beside me. “Thank you, doctor. I know you did the best of your ability. On the bright side, at least he’s alive.” My mother said.
It was almost too harsh to use the expression “on the bright side” due to the difficult situation I was facing. I had to control myself from crying in despair. Crying won’t do me any good now. No point of further abusing my eyes; tears won’t bring my sight back again. Instead, I kept a straight face. I was experiencing too much emotion already. I just got back from the dead, for crying out loud! Depressed as I was, I couldn’t stop frustration from welling up inside me.
I could imagine my mother wiping back her tears as she forced out a happy tone from her unmistakable sad disposition. “It’s alright son.” she said. “You’re alive and not in a coma. That’s something good already. We’d better tell the others you’re already up.”
* * *
The nerve of that Im Yoona. I thought while rotating the combination of my locker; my unfulfilled fury was still coursing through my veins, looking for an exit. She had the nerve to deny the fact that she trifled with Donghae. I sighed. Everything was perfect that day. That is, until she made an appearance. I punched the locker door in frustration. And that was when it all started. Even after the game, I could feel Donghae’s eyes on her. I had to smile at that time to hide my doubt and jealousy. Things were never the same after that. I could sense Hae was drawing away from me, like he was repelled. And every time I look for him he always ends up with that Yoona-girl. I slammed my locker shut – a bit too hard. People were looking at me like they were waiting for a volcano to erupt. Was my anger that clear? Am I that impulsive? No, my thoughts argued.You’re fighting for your rights. Unless you want Donghae to go to the hands of the enemy, you’d better make your move. Nevertheless, I was still thinking about that last night I saw him awake. The night of the party I made for him, the night I first kissed him, the kiss he didn’t respond to, the night when Yoona had gone lost, the night wherein he accompanied Kyuhyun in her pursuit, the night he didn’t come back to me. And by the time I knew, it was already too late. He was gone. I punched my locker again in frustration. An array of negative emotions were surrounding me, it was hard to stay optimistic about the situation. I felt a light tap on my shoulder. Struggling to compose myself, I wiped away the angry tears and faced whoever it was behind me. It was Tiffany along with Hyoyeon, Taeyeon and a bunch of other girls. Their eyes seemed to be cautious and filled with concern.
“Jess, I know how pissed you are right now.” Tiffany started. “And we believe you deserve better. Cheer up Jess. Nobody wants to see you like this, all hot-headed, curt and full of angst. Lighten up. Donghae will get better. It’ll be fine.”
“Yeah, I know that.” I said, sniffing. “It’s her I’m worried about.”
“Who?” Tiffany asked.
“Im Yoona.” I said with a touch of distaste. “She’s been around with Donghae a lot – flirting, obviously. I accused her of such, and she tends to deny it.” I rolled my eyes to hide my anger.
“Um, Jess,” the one called Hyoyeon replied. “We were just with Yoona on the way to the party yesterday. She seemed like a nice person, she was even quiet in the front seat while Taeyeon and I were chatting like there was no tomorrow. So probably, she was telling the truth. She didn’t seem like the bad sort.”
“Don’t let the chameleon fool you. She may change her color but not her scent. She’s up to something, she plans on stealing Donghae from me – which is probably why he ended up in that accident in the first place.”
“But still, Jess, don’t you think you’re being a little overreactive?” Taeyeon reasoned.
“She’s lying I tell you! Underneath that entire Miss Goody-Two-Shoes charade she’s playing, she is actually a snake! Don’t let her fool you! Who’s side are you on anyway?!” I retorted, unable to contain myself.
Tiffany, sensing the change in the atmosphere cut in. “Calm down Jess. Listen, the main reason we wanted to see you was so we could give you these cards.” She said, holding up a medium-sized paper bag which held a lot of envelopes and folded paper. “These are for Donghae, from us and a few other students. Don’t get us wrong; we know you and Donghae have something going on and we’re not planning on hooking up on him; so, no malice. We just wanted to let him feel that we’re concerned about him, you know? Perhaps this might boost his morale and speed up his healing.”
I took the paper bag and looked at its contents. “So, I’m supposed to give this to him?”
She nodded. “We knew you were going to the hospital today, anyway. You may write your own letter too before giving the entire bunch to him.”
Somehow, this lightened up my mood. “That’s a good idea.” I smiled. “Thanks guys.”
Tiffany smiled back. “We knew you’d like it. Send Donghae our regards and wishes too.”
Before I had a chance to reply, my cellular phone vibrated. “Excuse me,” I said, “Someone’s texting.”
1 new message – Mrs. Lee Seo Young
I raised my eyebrow. What was Donghae’s mother texting me for? Curious, I opened the said message. It read:
“Donghae’s conscious now. Thank God.”
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