“What are you afraid of?” Brianna turned to me and asked.
“What am I afraid of? The dark and cooties!” I said as I kissed her on the nose.
“No, really Drake, what are you afraid of, I know you aren’t afraid of the dark. How can you be when your whole world is light and shadows?”
Actually, my flippant answer to her, combined with her response actually caught me off guard, because, I realized that, actually I am afraid of the dark. I let out a little grumble as I stopped to figure out how I was going to tell her, that, actually this was a real fear. Not in the same way as a little kid needs a nightlight and a flashlight for checking under the bed for monsters, but in a real way. She knows about RP and that it is progressive. She knows I used to be able to see, once upon a time. She knows that I don’t have a lot of vision. What she doesn’t really know, is how secretly, I cling tight to it. It may not be much, but it helps me. I can at least see the lamp in the corner of a darkened room and know that my favorite chair is there. If I lost that, I’d cope, but, it would be devastating. I have lost most of my visual memories of color, but I have these, for lack of a better word, “fireworks” that occur in my field of vision and so I still know what red, green, and orange look like, because, I still see those colors. If I lost that, well, I’d miss them, even if they are somewhat distracting or annoying at times.
“Brianna, actually, I kind of am afraid of the dark.” I take a deep breath. “I know I don’t see much, but just the thought of losing what I do see, scares me deeply.”
“Oh, Drake honey, I…” she leaned in and hugged me closer. “I thought you were joking.”
“Yeah, so did I, but then I stopped to think.”
“Thinking is a dangerous thing, Drake.”
“Yeah, I know. I just started thinking about it and it made me worry for the future. Right now, as we walk together in the moonlight, I see the streetlights above us, and the cars with their headlights moving past us, and for me, it is breathtaking, like seeing stars in the sky, you know. If I lost that, there would be nothing. Just a vacuum, and I worry about that. Like what if I develop cataracts that start to take away from what I have? What if I’m not just blind, but all the way, zip, zilch, nada, blind. I would ask if you still would want to be with me, but I know in your sighted world it doesn’t sound like a big difference from how things are now, but to me, it is huge.”
“Drake, you know I love you no matter what. ‘For richer and poorer. In sickness and in health…” and all that jazz. I know there is nothing I could do if it ever came to that point for you, but I would be there for you, if you had to adjust to a new normal. Do you want to know what my fear is, besides spiders, you know how I hate spiders.”
“What, invisible spiders?” I joke as she slugs me in the arm.
“No, not invisible spiders. Just so you know Mr. Drake, I’m rolling my eyes so hard that if they pop out, you are navigating home!”
I laughed as she continued.
“I’m afraid of little things sometimes. I’m afraid if I forget and leave a chair out, that you are going to trip and we end up in the ER getting you stitches and that I’ll never forgive myself for my mistake.” Brianna sighed as she continued. “I’m afraid of heights. Like, I love rollercoasters, but don’t put me at the top of the building near the edge. I’m afraid that someday if you lose all your sight, you will be lost to me, maybe not forever, but for a while, and that scares me beyond words because I don’t want you to hurt. I am afraid of you being hurt in ways that I can’t help you.”
I hugged Brianna, “Brianna, my love, no matter how much I hurt, you will always be a beacon to me, I will go to you when you call, don’t ever be afraid that I will wander so far that you will lose me.”
Brianna kissed me deeply, I relaxed into her arms.
“Brianna, tell me, what makes you happy, besides me,” I said with a smirk.
Brianna playfully smacked me in the arm.
“Awfully full of yourself aren’t you, love? What makes me happy? So many things, but I’m going with a random thing, can I do that?”
“Sure, we have already hit the deep introspective end of the pool, so random and even shallow works for me.” I laughed at this.
“All right, my favorite thing, that makes me happy, right now is petrichor. Well, and the drizzle that has brought out the petrichor this evening. So, for now, my answer is drizzle and petrichor.”As she finished her sentence, she took a deep breath inhaling the scent of petrichor in the air , as if to prove her point. I suppose I must admit, I took a nice deep breath too, that smell of dirt after a long dry spell, post rain is an intoxicating happy smell.
“Alright, Mr.Drake, how about you, what makes you happy?”
“Me, well, you, my sweet-schmoopy-lovey-dovey-cupcake!”
“Drake, give me a break, really?”
“Yes, really.” I paused, “Okay, fine. I was overdoing it a bit there, eh? Something that makes me happy. Hmm… My Apple devices, I love my Apple devices, although, I guess I should say technology really, more inclusive. Technology makes me happy. Mostly you, though. Technology is, like a distant second to you and coffee would be in third place, but I’m not revealing how far you are from coffee, because, umm, reasons.”
“Drake, you dork!”
“I know, but you love me anyway.”
Brianna laughed and said, “Yeah, I love my dork who makes me happy.”