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 Angel In Disguise - Valentines Challenge Entry

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karenc
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PostSubject: Angel In Disguise - Valentines Challenge Entry   Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:16 pm

So this was my entry for the Valentine's Challenge. Grin

Usual disclaimer applies blah blah Laugh



Angel In Disguise



The memories of what had happened were present in her mind everyday. Ever since it had happened she had been in a constant whirlwind of self pity, despair, frustration. Mostly frustration. When people commented that it must be difficult, they had no idea. She had designed computer software and been damn good at it. That day almost a year ago her job had disappeared before her eyes, literally. She’d been walking home from work minding her own business, full of the joys that came when a special night with James was on the cards. They had been married for a couple of years and were living life to the full. She must have been a street or two away from home when someone attacked her, she refused to give them her bag and tried to put up a fight. Even when they tackled her to the ground she still tried her hardest, nobody was having her stuff; not without a fight. She’d always been like that; brave and strong willed. The attacker had other ideas and when she didn’t relent he pulled something from his pocket, at first she thought it was a knife. Looking back she wished it had been, maybe she’d have fully recovered from a stab wound. It had to be better than being blind, didn’t it? He’d used some sort of chemical spray, she’d been instantly blinded. A passer by found her wandering in the street, screaming, panicing and almost being knocked over by a car as she stepped out onto the road. She’d been bubbly and lived life but now she was pretty much a recluse and anywhere she did go she made sure James was at her side to guide her.

James watched her retreat further and further into herself after the accident and vowed to himself that he would get her back to doing things on her own. Selfish; yes it was. He’d not been happy with Lucy for a few months now. He’d found someone else and had been planning on ending it. Now he felt he couldn’t, so he stayed with her in the hope that she’d be independent again before long and once she was, then he’d leave.

Months had passed and their had been improvement but she still hadn’t showed any signs of getting back out into the real world.

“Babe, why don’t you try and get back to work? You must be bored sitting here all day every day”

“Work? I can’t DO my job anymore, I need to be able to see to do it” she yelled in frustration.

“Don’t be mad but I contacted your firm and they said that they’d take you on again, you’d submit all your ideas as you did before and describe how you’d want things to look. They’d give you an assistant who’d put the stuff into the computer”

“What? How dare you go behind my back like that James!”

“I’m trying to help, look at yourself! You’re blind not dead!!”

He looked at her and could see her retreating into herself again.

“Why don’t you at least give it a try?”

“It’s very well you saying all this but how do you think it feels? I’d have to go back there and listen to everyone giving me sympathy or worse, I’d hear the whispers as I pass by”

“Hit them with your stick, they won’t whisper again” he chuckled.

“It’s not funny!! How about getting there, I’d need to get the train or bus and I can’t do that on my own. I just can’t”

“Other blind people manage it, it’ll just take some getting used to”

“No”

“No you don’t want to get used to it or no you won’t go back to work”

“Just no”

“Alright, how about this then, I’ll take you to work every day”

“But you work across the city”

“It doesn’t matter, I’ll drop you off a bit earlier and then go to work myself. I’m doing this to help you, you need to start getting out again”

So off she went with James on the first day. Nervous didn’t even cover it but as soon as she’d walked in she heard the familiar voice of one of her colleagues.

“Lucy! It’s great to have you back” Gemma leaned in to hug her “I don’t know if they told you but I’m your new assistant”

“Really? Excellent. I thought I would have to get used to some new person”

As soon as Gemma had told her, she’d felt a bit more at ease and for the first time since the accident she actually thought maybe she’d get through the day like a normal person.
She’d been back at work almost 6 months, the same routine day in and day out. James would take her to work, then pick her up after he’d finished work. The only time she was without him was at work and even then she sat in the office with Gemma. Afraid to go anywhere incase she bumped into something or fell over and she was still angry that she was having to live her life like this. James could see that after almost a year this routine wasn’t good for her, she needed to start doing more on her own.

“Lucy, I think maybe it’s time to take the next step and start getting to work on your own”

“What?!”

“Well there’s a bus stop right across the street and it stops almost right outside the office. You can do it hun, I know you can”

“Incase you haven’t noticed” she shouted “I’m blind!!!! As in I can’t see where the hell I’m going. How am I meant to get on a bus myself. If you don’t want to do this anymore then fine, I’ll give up my job”

“No you bloody won’t! Stop being so stubborn and start trying to do things for yourself! I know it’s hard but surely you don’t want to be reliant on someone for everything for the rest of your life?”

“No, no I don’t but since I’m like this I don’t have much choice” she sobbed.

“I don’t know what else to do, I really don’t! I’m trying my hardest Lucy but you won’t work with me”

“…” He sighed and looked over at her, almost curled into a ball on the seat. He could tell she was frustrated with how she was and scared, she was scared to take the chance and do anything on her own. Maybe she just needed a push to see that the outside world wasn’t altogether a bad place.

“Look, why don’t we start getting the bus? I don’t have to work for the next couple of weeks. When I do need to go back then I’ll go on the bus with you every morning and see how you get on?”

“I…I don’t know James”

“Just try please? For me?”

“Ok but only if you come with me and come collect me again”

“Fine it’s a deal”

As the first week passed James tried to get her to rely on the senses she still had to get her by. They also got talking to the driver, who’d chat while she was paying for her ticket each morning. As the second week came she was practically doing the journey herself. James was still by her side but she knew when the bus was coming, could get on and off without holding his arm and could find them both a seat. She didn’t realise it but he could see that she was doing it herself without really noticing. Them both taking the bus had now lasted almost another two months and he’d mentioned to her countless times about doing it on her own.

“Are you ready to venture out on your own now?”

“I don’t think I am”

“Well I think you are, you’re practically doing it on your own. I’m a glorified minder now”

“What if something happens and I’m on my own, what do I do then?”

“All human kind isn’t evil you know, someone would help you”

“The thought petrifies me though”

After trying to talk her into it for almost an hour he was at breaking point.

“Look from Monday I’m taking the car to work”

“So what about me?”

“What about you, you’re capable of getting the bus and you know it!”

“But…”

“But nothing Lucy! This has been going on for months now and I don’t think I can do this anymore” he sighed, sitting back down on the seat.

“Fine, what about if I try and get a job working from home?”

“That won’t help you Lucy, you have to start integrating in the real world and that’s not what I meant”

“Sorry I’m not following”

“I meant I can’t do this anymore, US, THIS. This whole thing, I can’t do it anymore. I know you’re capable of looking after yourself, you just don’t seem to want to. We haven’t been happy Lucy. Not even before the accident”

“What?” she almost whispered.

“I’m leaving, I’ve stayed to try and get you back on your feet and although you don’t think you can do it, you can. I still care about you Lucy but it’s not working anymore”

James left that night, packing a couple of bags and saying that he’d keep in touch but she wasn’t interested. He left and she cried and cried for a few days. Feeling totally lost and with nobody to help her. As the days passed and she realised that she could get around the house herself, it occurred to her that maybe James had been right and she could do more on her own than she had thought. A week later and she had called into work, telling them she’d be back the next day. She hardly slept a wink the night before and her stomach was in knots. Who was she trying to kid, she couldn’t do this. There was no way she could get to work on her own. Morning came and she got up and got dressed, tried to eat and then arranged her bag for work.

As she slammed the door closed and locked it behind her she started to navigate her way across the street and heard a noise, which sounded like the bus was coming down the street. She tried to hurry but on crossing the road she knew it had already pulled away.
She heard someone cough and turned to her left

“Excuse me was that the 25 that just pulled off?”

“Yeah, there’s another one in 20 minutes”

“Great!! Bloody great, I knew I couldn’t do this on my own” she sighed. She was frustrated that she’d let herself down on her first day of independence.

“Where’s your husband today?”

“Oh he’s not my husband…I mean he was. He’s not here” she sighed, for once not really caring what the person thought.

“Right, will you be ok getting to work yourself?” he asked kindly.

“I’m blind, not stupid!” she yelled. Instantly regretting it, there was no need to take her bad mood out on others. “I’m sorry I’m not having a good day”

There was no answer and she heard a car door open and close and then it pull away, she guessed the man had gotten in. For the next few weeks she managed to get to the bus stop a bit earlier and every morning she would get a hello from the man at the bus stop, she knew nothing about him but he seemed friendly enough. The bus driver was always the same one, Chris and he always said morning and asked how she was getting on. She began to see that people were generally friendly and started to enjoy going to work. The next morning she got up and thought about James, it was Valentines day and she hoped he was happy wherever he was. She could see it was unfair to tie him down to a blind person when he wanted to live his life. She had thought about taking the day off work but it would only leave her too much time to think so off she went to the bus stop as normal.

“Morning” the now familiar male voice said

“Morning. How are you today?”

“I’m fine thanks. I hope I’m not being too forward but Happy Valentines Day” he said quietly, placing the bunch of flowers he had bought into her hand. The scent wafted to her nostrils and she could feel her cheeks go red.

“Thank you” she smiled, a real smile. “What kind of flowers are they and what colour?”

He took her hand and moved it to each flower as he described the petals and the colour. He had soft, warm hands and she felt a tingle run down her spine.

“Well they smell lovely and I’m sure they look lovely too. You know, I just realised I don’t even know your name” she said just as the bus pulled up.

“It’s Howard” she stepped forward to get on the bus.

“Well thank you Howard. I’m Lucy. See you tomorrow morning”

Before he had a chance to say anything else she was on the bus and making her way to her seat. She sat down and waved out the window, he’d see her even if she couldn’t see him. Later that night after work she was putting the flowers into a vase, smelling them as she went. Her thoughts turned to Howard. What did he look like? What did he do? She knew his friend Gary picked him up at the bus stop every morning, he’d told her that. He lived further up the street but if he was picked up at home he was never ready on time whereas if he knew he had to be at the bus stop it seemed to make him move a bit quicker!! Other than that, every conversation that they’d had was general chit chat, small talk. He had certainly brightened up her day and she was grateful that someone had thought of her. Later on that day she stepped off the bus relieved that she was almost home. Standing on the pavement she listened to see if it was clear to cross and got to the door, rummaging in her bag for the key when a voice came from behind her.

“Thought I had missed you” he puffed.

“Well here I am. Thanks again for the flowers” she smiled

“You’re welcome. Listen I wanted to ask you earlier but would you like to come for a coffee at mine sometime?”

She stood there and thought about it, going somewhere that wasn’t home or work was a big step.

“I’m not sure that I can…I mean…”

“How about we make it coffee at yours, would that be easier?”

“Yes it would” she breathed a sigh if relief and wondered how he had known that was what her worries were.

“Great! How about later in the week?”

“Thursday would be good” she smiled at him as she spoke and he wished that she could see how he was smiling back at her.

“Thursday it is, see ya Lucy”

She unlocked the door and had almost stepped inside and before she knew it she had called out to him and asked if he wanted to just stay for a coffee or something now.

“Tell you what, let me go and get showered and changed cos I’m all sweaty from rehearsals and then I’ll be back ok? Maybe in half an hour or so?”

“Right, see you in a bit then”

She stepped inside and her heart was pounding in her chest, what if she couldn’t do this anymore? She hadn’t had anyone round socially since the accident, what if she’d forgotten how to be sociable? She quickly picked up her phone and rang Gemma in a panic. Of course she had assured her that everything would be fine and just to go with the flow. All she had tome to do was have a shower and at 7.30pm there was a knock at the door. She opened it and knew it was him. She recognised the aftershave that she had smelt every day for the past few months.

“Hi Howard, come in” she stepped aside and let him pass. Taking his jacket and hanging it on the peg.

“I brought us a cake, can’t have coffee without a cake plus if I have it at home I‘ll eat it all meself”

“Ooh chocolate, smells heavenly!! Come on through” she showed him through to the kitchen and told him to take a seat while she made the coffees. He tried his hardest not to watch her but he was surprised at how easy everything seemed to come to her. Chat started off really easily and they talked about their day and the weather and things that were going on in the world. Conversation flowed for a good hour or so before she then thought to ask if he’d like another drink.

“Yeah if that’s ok. I don’t want to keep you”

“I was supposed to be watching some TV tonight but it’s not the same with just the sound” she giggled. Howard wasn’t sure how to react so thought it best not to say anything.

“You know when I laugh it means you’re allowed to laugh too”

“Sorry, I didn’t want to say the wrong thing”

“From here on in you say what you want to say ok? I won’t be offended! I’ve learned these past few months that it’s best to let things wash over you”

“I suppose it is” he said thoughtfully “Can I ask you something?”

“Yeah of course”

“How did it happen?”

She took a deep breath and for the next hour or so she told him everything. At first she thought it would be a painful experience but on finishing the story she actually felt like a weight had been lifted.

“God, you’ve had a rough time of it! I can’t believe he just upped and left you like that”

“You know looking back, it was probably the best thing he could have done and I’m grateful for it. I’d have gone on being totally reliant on him even though I can do things myself”

“I guess that’s a good way to look at it”

“It wasn’t fair on him either, to be tied to me all the time. It’s not exactly much of a life if we couldn’t do things together that we’d wanted to”

“There’s nothing you can’t do, apart from drive a car cos let’s face it that wouldn’t be safe!” he chuckled. She laughed herself. After a list of things not to do when blind she was almost doubled up with laughter on the sofa and it took her a minute to compose herself.

“Thanks Howard. I haven’t laughed like that in ages”

She could sense that they were sat close together and knew he was moving closer, as the scent of his aftershave got stronger. His lips met with hers and slowly he kissed her, gently and making sure that he wasn’t over stepping the mark. After a few seconds she pulled back, not quite sure what to say or do.

“I…”

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. I’m such an idiot”

“No, you’re not. You’re an incredibly funny, sweet and I’m sure handsome man. It’s ok really” He took that as a green light and leaned in again, softly kissing her, taking her in his arms and leaning her back against the sofa. When his hand moved up her waist and was going towards her breast she pulled back and pushed herself into the corner of the sofa.

“I’m sorry”

“Don’t keep apologising Howard, it’s me, not you”

“No it’s me being insensitive. You don’t know me that well and I’ve come in and well…I’ve watched you out at that bus stop every day for the past few months. Thinking how beautiful you were and imagined what this would be like”

“That’s so sweet but you know you can do much better than me” she sighed. She’d resigned herself to the fact she was going to be a spinster since the accident, in the back of her mind she’d always known that James would leave eventually.

“I think you’re perfect and I’d like the chance to know you better. Could I take you out sometime?”

“Out as in OUT?” she asked nervously.

“Or how about you come to mine for dinner? I promise I won’t poison you” he laughed trying to ease the situation.

“You know what? Yes I’d love to, I need to start getting out more. This is no way for me to live my life”

“Yeah you need to live a little” he whispered in her ear as he slid further over to her, their bodies touching as he leaned in to capture her lips once again. This time she went with it and felt herself relax into him.

“Thanks Howard, you may not know it but I think this day could be a big turning point for me and it’s all thanks to you” She took his face in her hands and slowly moved her fingers over his features, trying to imagine what he would look like.

“I hope it’s a big turning point for me too” he said in between kisses. It had been a year to the day since she’d lost her sight but today she’d got sight of what was important to her, what she should be doing with her life and it was all thanks to the handsome stranger who’d been watching out for her all these months like an angel waiting to come into her life.

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crazyamazona
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PostSubject: Re: Angel In Disguise - Valentines Challenge Entry   Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:22 pm

I loved this sweet story Karen! Well done Kiss

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PostSubject: Re: Angel In Disguise - Valentines Challenge Entry   Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:29 pm

i love it Clap Clap Clap

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PostSubject: Re: Angel In Disguise - Valentines Challenge Entry   Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:32 pm

Thanks Laydees!! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I don't enter the challenges very often either because I don't have an idea or I feel that my one shots never match up to others that are posted!! Blush Roll Eyes

But I gave it a go this time and as long as some of you liked it then that's all that matters hug

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PostSubject: Re: Angel In Disguise - Valentines Challenge Entry   Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:32 pm

Loved it Karen - v. clever and really good to read Kiss

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