Sat. May 11th, 2024

✅✅✅✅✅✅. By: Jordan Lynden




My mind was having trouble processing his words. He’d known from then? That was more than two months ago! “I…”


He held up his hands defensively. “You have the right to be angry, Rosie. In fact, you can slap me if you want. That was private. I shouldn’t have looked. I’m sorry.”


“I… I think I’m going to pass out.”


“What? What’s wrong?” he demanded, his worried eyes searching mine. “Should I call a doctor?”


“I don’t understand.”


“Don’t understand what?”




He furrowed his eyebrows. “What?”


Chewing my bottom lip, I dropped my gaze. “Why are you still going out with me?”


“What do you mean?”



“Doesn’t it scare you? Isn’t it a burden? I’m going to go blind, Chace. I’m not going to be able to do anything we normally do.”


Without warning, Chace slammed his hands down on my bed.


“Is that what you think of me, Rosie?”


With wide eyes, I struggled to find my words. “Uh…”


“What you’re saying… I’m not with you by choice, Rosie.”


“Oh? Then you’re with me because you feel bad?” I snapped without thinking.


He snorted. “Yeah, definitely.”


“In that case—”


“No, Rosie. That’s not even close. I’m not with you because I pity you. I’m with


you because I can’t leave you.”


I frowned. “What?”


“Rosie, I love you.”


My heart skipped a beat. “You… what?”


Chuckling, he dropped his head. “Man, you really do make me act like a girl. Crying all the time. Confessing my feels. Geez, Rosie. You’re dangerous.”


“You love me? B-but…”


“But what?”




“Do you believe in love at first sight?”


Did I? I wasn’t sure. Was it love at first sight for him? The whole idea seemed a bit


ridiculous… “I don’t know.”


“Well, I don’t.”


Now confused, I raised an eyebrow. “Then why did you ask that?”



“Well, I figured if you said yes then I could just use that as an easy excuse,” he admitted with a grin. “I don’t really feel like having to explain my emotions. I just love you, Rosie. The moment I read that you’re going blind… it hurt me. Not because I thought you would be a burden, but because I realized how much it must hurt you.”


“It doesn’t…” I started, but his look cut me off.


“Don’t lie. This is scary, Rosie. It’s scary even for me.”


The lump in my throat returned. “But…”


“Listen, Rosie. The only way I’d ever leave you if you left me. Even then, I’d fight


like hell to get you back. You’ve changed me in so many ways. Good ways. I can’t


thank you enough for that.”




“But hey,” he continued, a smile spreading across his face, “there is one good thing about you going blind.”


Blinking back tears, I smiled back. “What’s that?”


“It gives me the excuse to hold your hand for the rest of our lives.”


“It does, doesn’t it?” I responded with a watery chuckle.


He leaned down and pressed his forehead against mine. “You know, Rosie, the first thing I noticed about you was your hair. Isn’t red the color of fate? Maybe we were fated to be together.”


“You think that?” I asked, grinning. “You sound more like an old man than an eighteen year old.

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“If you haven’t noticed, my mind is a few years older than my body,” he retorted, pulling back to smirk at me. “I mean, if anyone heard our conversation just now, what would they think? Two teenagers going through this? They wouldn’t understand.”


I nodded. “You’re right. They wouldn’t. But we do. And that’s all that matters.”


“That’s right,” he agreed.



“Hey, Chace.”




“Kiss me,” I ordered.


Pretending to think about it for a moment, he twisted his face into a look of concentration. “Well… Okay. Since you asked so nicely.” Inclining his head, he pressed his lips against mine softly.


“I missed that,” I confessed when he pulled away.


“Me too,” he said with a grin before kissing me again.


At exactly that moment the door opened, and my parents appeared, entering at the worst moment possible. Chace and I broke away immediately, embarrassed expressions crossing our faces.


My mom grinned while my dad narrowed his eyes at Chace.


“What do you think you’re doing?”


“Uh… mouth-to-mouth?”


“Good one,” he snorted, switching his intimidating gaze to me. “I guess I have to keep my eyes on you two now.”


Chace and I exchanged amused glances. “Good luck,” I wished my dad.


“What’s that supposed to mean?”


“Nothing. Nothing at all…”


➖ ♥ ➖


“Merry Christmas!”



I paused at the threshold of my door, in my rubber ducky pajamas, my hair a mess and a sleepy expression on my face. It took me a moment to register the four people standing on my steps, their cheeks a rosy red, their breath coming out in little puffs of moisture in the chilly December air. My vision, as it’d been the past few weeks, was incredibly blurry, making it difficult to distinguish who the people in front of me were. That and my mind was running slow. Concentrating solely on their faces, I managed to clear my vision a little so I could make them out completely. As names came to faces, I scrunched my forehead together. “What are you all doing here…?”


Chace bounded forward, giving me a quick kiss on the cheek. “We’re coming to celebrate Christmas!”


“So this is what teenagers that drop out of school look like,” Paul commented thoughtfully, taking in my bedhead and pajamas. “Classy.”


It was difficult in my sleepy state, but I managed to pull together a scowl. “Shut up, I didn’t drop out.”


“Yeah,” Katie defended, stomping her boyfriend on his foot. “Be more considerate. Not many people know she’s going blind, and you’re lucky to be one of the few.”


“Right, sorry,” Paul mumbled, but a slight smile was at his lips. “The good news is that when you go blind, you’ll have your new—”


“Paul!” Kate interjected with a hiss, now elbowing him in the side. “Shut up!”


“You are so abusive!”


Ignoring the bickering pair, my eyes turned to the only silent member of the group, Noah. To me, he seemed a little oddly placed. “Noah?”


Grinning, he waved. “Hey! Merry Christmas! I brought you a gift!”


“Oh, thanks, I have one for you too actually,” I responded, silently thanking the heavens I’d randomly decided to pick something up for him.




He seemed surprised. “Really? Awesome!”



“So are you gonna make us stand out in the cold all day? Or will you let us in?”


Chace demanded, dramatically beginning to shiver. “It’s f-f-freezing out here!”


“Yeah, come on in.” Opening the door wider, I gesticulated for the small posse to enter my home. “Take your shoes off though. My dad just cleaned.”


Gazing around, Katie frowned. “Where is your dad?”


“He went up to my Grandpa’s with my mom,” I responded, watching as Noah kicked his shoes off violently, sending one flying into the back of Chace’s leg.


Chace turned around and smacked his friend, muttering something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like a male reproductive organ.


“How come you didn’t go?” Paul asked. “It’s Christmas. You shouldn’t be alone.”


“Ah, late night last night…”


Chace caught my gaze and smirked. I blushed, immediately directing my eyes away from him and to Kate. She gave me a suspicious look. “Why? What were you doing?” she inquired innocently.


“You know, date night,” I explained vaguely. “Never mind that. Should I make some hot chocolate?”


“Here, open my present first!” Noah said excitedly, tossing me a small, wrapped box. “I thought long and hard about it.”


Noah and Paul were chace high school friends


Suddenly warily, I held the gift in my hands for a moment, debating on whether to open it or not. For all I knew, it could be a bomb that would go off when I opened it. But after catching his expectant look, I opted to open it. I ripped the wrapping paper off quickly, revealing the package beneath it. Noah promptly began guffawing, not even bothering to attempt to quiet it. I smiled dryly, wondering where Noah got the audacity to by condoms for a girl he barely knew. But then a



real smile broke out across my face as I realized that was exactly the kind of person Noah was.


“Oh, those are my favorite,” Paul commented, snatching the small box out of my hands. “Pleasure for both her and him.”


Katie’s face blossomed red and she reached for the condoms, taking them away from her boyfriend and tossing them back to me. “Paul, shut up.”


“I thought you guys might need these in the future,” Noah spoke up, nudging Chace in the side with his elbow. “You know, you’ve been dating for like, four months.”


“You think four months is a lot?” I questioned, raising my eyebrow.


He blinked. “I think it’s more than a lot.”


A short laugh escaped my lips. “Oh. I see.”


“Chace, how do you feel about the present?” Paul asked, turning to my boyfriend with a sly smirk.


Completely unruffled, Chace just shrugged. “Eh, they seem okay. Personally, my favorite brand is Trojan Ecstasy. Right, Rosie?” Now it was my turn to blush. “Chace!”




“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Noah started, his eyes widening. “When did you two—”


“Never mind,” I snapped, shooting daggers at him. “Stop talking. Do you want hot


chocolate or not?”




I narrowed my eyes. “Yes or no…”


His shoulders sagged. “Yes,” he mumbled meekly.


Twisting on my heel, I headed for the kitchen, ordering for the others to follow me. No sooner than I’d taken four steps, my vision disappeared. This time, however, I didn’t lose my balance. For the last three weeks, my eyesight had been wavering, disappearing for even hours at a time. At first it was a little scary, and I ended up



stumbling and falling quite a few times, but I’d gotten used to it fairly fast. And now that I was adjusted to the fact I was going blind— and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it— it wasn’t as bad.




His hand was around my waist immediately, a habit he’d picked up to help me along when my eyes decided to mess around with me. “I’ve got you, Rosie.”


Practically forcing me to lean into him, he led me to the kitchen, placing me at the island table. “The hot chocolate is in the—”


“Top right cupboard, I know,” he interjected, and I could imagine him grinning.


My heart clenched— something I was far too used to by now. Just like the hollow feeling of knowing within days my eyesight would be gone. From that point on, my imagination would be all I had. And even that would disappear eventually.








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