Dreams shattered

It was a cold snowy morning in Montreal with mercury levels dipping down to  -15 degree Celsius. I was about to receive my medal of honour for saving the school kids from a massive fire outbreak and suddenly I heard someone in the crowd shouting, “Get up, you good for nothing sloth!” which was not new for me but was definitely not aligned with the situation I was presently in and then in the next moment I find myself lying in my bed wearing my crazy Johnny Bravo boxers and staring at the ceiling with my hands pointing towards the fan as if I was still receiving that medal. I could hear the sound of footsteps approaching near the room and then bang opens the door accompanied with the same shout, “Get up, you good for nothing sloth!” and there at the door stands a man in his 40’s furiously looking at me.

“Dad, you made me miss the medal ceremony!”

“Can you still get it?”

“At least once in my lifetime, let me have something even if it’s in my dreams”, I replied.

“Get out of your bed Trace and freshen up! Now!”

Yeah, that’s my father for you. He’s always that strict when it comes to routine. At least that’s something which is instilled in you when you have served in the military your whole life. But he’s a sweet guy and a lot caring than he seems to be.


School and her arrival

Dad was honking near the garage in his old pickup truck as I was getting late for school. I ran through the kitchen grabbing my breakfast and hopped into the car.

School was actually fun for me as opposed to others who find it mundane or boring. The normal subjects are boring for sure but the labs…..my, oh, my. I don’t know why but I just love them unconditionally especially the mechanical lab where we get to learn about cars and how to manufacture them. I have always wanted to manufacture my own car and sell it under my name and become famous like Henry Ford or something of sorts. Oh, okay….now I should climb down the clouds….looks like I went just too far away for now.

And it wasn’t just because of this lab that kept me attached but the instructor we had. He is a former NASCAR race driver who just like me is super-passionate about cars. He is an encyclopaedia when it comes to automobiles and that’s what keeps me engaged in this class.

My mind to me- “Really? Are these the reasons for your interest in this class? Come on! Don’t fool us.

Ok! There was this only girl in this class named Stacy who recently came to Montreal from California and yeah, it was this first site shit for me that I can’t take my eyes off and stuff from the moment I saw her. She used to wear this strange but tempting cologne which smelled something like sweet aqua. But isn’t it rare to see a female who is into cars and is so enthusiastic about it. Well this wasn’t the main fact that made me circle around her. She had blurred vision and couldn’t see properly but still being passionate about something which requires your eyes to be on-point is something that made me fall for her even more. Whatever!

I often used to go to where she used to sit in the classroom and would ask her if she needed any help with anything just to get to talk to her. Damn! I sound so desperate. Never mind!

We got along pretty well eventually.

I took her to my favourite spots around the town. From welding the metal parts in the laboratory together to being her helping hand all the time was what my day would look like.

She had this way of identifying and remembering things through their smell which I found funny at times when she tries to sniff things like a dog and then say, “Ahaan, this is it!”. She never minded me laughing at her for this. She didn’t have any other way to identify things so eventually I got used to this.


The accident

This one day when I was using the welding gun to create a joint between the exhaust pipes, I accidentally lost control of it as my hands felt weak for a moment and it’s spark went directly into my eyes. For a few minutes that I remember, I was lying on the ground unable to see anything and then I passed out. I regained my consciousness after a while and I was still lying on some bed with bandages covering my eyes, unable to see anything.

But I could hear my Dad and some other guy talking and they were saying something about my eyes. I was already afraid and frightened by now. This lady comes nearby and says to me, “Hi, I am your nurse for today and I am slowly going to remove these bandages for you”. As soon as the last wrap of that bandage was taken away and I opened my eyes, I was crushed. It was still pitch dark for me. This is what my dad was talking about with the doctor. By now, you all might’ve guessed that I have completely lost my vision.

My dad hugged me tight and picked me up in his arms and took me to the car and we went home. On our way home, my dad told me that Stacy left Montreal for Calgary for living with her aunt. As if my eyes weren’t enough and this news came like a meteor crashing by. Out of nowhere, this state of dejection was taking over me and I started to feel hopeless. My dad patted and rubbed my back to comfort me a bit and said that everything will be alright. I couldn’t do anything but listen to it and move on.


8 months from the welding accident.

The college application season was around and applying to colleges was like a daily chore for high-school students like me. It’s been about 8 months since Stacy has left but I still couldn’t get over her. I specifically applied to colleges and universities in and around Calgary in the hope that I’ll find her someday.


The day has arrived. The early admission decision for University of Calgary could be out anytime soon. The mail rings and it’s from them. My dad came rushing towards my room to help me with reading what the decision had for me; whether I got in or not?

And he starts reading, “Congratulations for getting in!” and instantly my joy knew no bounds. Not because I got in a pretty good University but because it’s in Calgary is what makes me happier about it. This gives rise to the slightest probability that maybe I’ll bump into her by chance while I am out strolling on the streets.


To the airport and off to Calgary…..

Since that eye accident happened, my dad spent hours on the internet looking for instruments/devices that would help his kid in moving a bit easily without bumping into anything and getting himself hurt.

Sadly he couldn’t find anything that was useful enough so he ended up creating a device himself which raises a beep sound whenever an obstacle is nearby and guides the user to walk in a straight line and has inbuilt navigation specifically for the blind.

He attached that device onto my shirt and threw the entire luggage into the car’s boot and in about 10 minutes, we were at the airport.

It’s finally time to bid goodbye to dad, tears in his eyes and mine, we hug each other for one more time and I start off on my journey walking towards the terminal.


Settling in the campus.

The campus arrival was pretty smooth. I met with a lot of people on the campus and the people here are nice and helpful. We were required to register for the club that was designed for the blind students through which we were meant to be given a brief tour of the campus and it’s how about.

After this, we had the senior-freshman interaction in the auditorium where the freshman were being guided on how to sail through their journey in the university.

Uggh, the day was tiring but was full of information.


The destined Cafeteria

After I got done with the introductory classes, I headed over to the cafeteria for grabbing my cup of coffee. I was about to give my order to the guy sitting at the counter and out of nowhere, there’s this familiar voice which said, “Yeah, Calgary smells clean but I’d still prefer Montreal over it” but I still ignored it. Maybe it’s just my mind that’s playing games with me. It can’t be her.

I sat at the table with my coffee. Someone was there already and it was definitely a she if I got that right with the sound that she made while sipping over her coffee. But it hit me all of a sudden, the smell, the damn smell, the sweet aqua cologne! Is it her? Is it really her? Even I wore the same cologne that I always used to wear and it was not that typical of a cologne so I thought if that’s really her, she’ll find out if I stand around her. I moved my chair a bit closer. The place was so silent that I could hear her breathing and after a few seconds she said, “Trace? Is that you?”. I felt as if the world came to a standstill at that moment as I moved my hand forward at the table trying to touch her hand and replying with a shivering voice at the same time, “Yesss! Stacy! It’s you!”

She started to sob. Hearing which, my tears couldn’t stay within and started to seep out of my eyes. Tracing the edge of the table we came in contact and hugged each other tightly. Her touch felt euphoric and I felt ecstatic.

There was so much more to it but I couldn’t write anymore because…

We lost our hopes, it didn’t feel right,

But still the fragrances of ours, so bright,

We both gained vision that let us see through each other’s soul and helped us find each other. Maybe it was meant to be. Maybe the blinds were meant to see.

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