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The Girl With No Eyes
I heard of a girl, once, a girl with no eyes.
It wasn’t that she was blind, or anything like that. No, it was that she simply had nothing where her eyes should be.
My sister had told me about her, one evening, after playing faeries in our backyard. We were standing on our porch, in the last golden rays of the sun when she leaned over to me, and I could tell she was going to be serious for a moment. I always felt special when she did this – told me secrets and all – since I was nearly four years younger, and it made me feel so much more mature talking to her.
“There’s a girl, she’s new at school,” she confided in me, her voice hushed, “her name is Ashley, and she simply has no eyes.”
“She was born without them”, she interjected, somehow knowing exactly what I was about to ask. I had a bad habit of not waiting for her to finish a story, and she’d told me so herself. I was curious, that’s all.
“But is she in her your class?”, I’d asked, wondering if maybe she would come over and play one day. I’d like that, honestly, because maybe it was hard making friends when you had no eyes. I certainly knew how hard it was when you did have eyes. Besides, it might give me the chance to ask these questions myself.
“No, she’s not. I hardly know her”, she’d responded, and that was that.
I think it disturbed me, honestly, to imagine someone with no eyes. Did she walk around with her eyelids open, for everyone to see all around the socket? What does an eye socket look like, and would it have her human barcode on it, like a unique little code? Or were her eyes sewn shut, since I suppose she couldn’t actually see?
The next day at school, I was still thinking about the complexities that would come with having no eyes. It was a relief that she was born without them, because at least that means she didn’t have some terrible accident or something. That would have been gruesome.
I wanted to ask my sister more about this girl, Ashley, but I didn’t want to seem like a nuisance. She always very busy, being a twelve-year-old and all, and I didn’t want her to regret telling me something so fascinating.
It was at that moment that I caught sight of my teacher. Perhaps she knew of other people like Ashley, and so I told her all about this girl my sister knew, and how she was born with no eyes, and everything else I could remember. But, to my disappointment, she didn’t know anyone and couldn’t give me any information. Still, she agreed it was still quite sad.
At dinner with my family that same night, I decided to mention to my sister how my teacher has felt quite bad about Ashley, considering how young she was to have no eyes. Maybe she would realize how difficult it was to imagine this rare situation and might introduce me to Ashley.
But, instead of offering to have Ashley over, she just stopped, frozen mid-bite. Her smiling crescent-moon eyes widened into huge spheres and her eyes flitted around the dinner table.
“You… you told your teacher about Ashley?” she stammered, glancing once again at my mother. I could see she’d been caught off guard, but I wasn’t entirely sure why. “I… she’s… well, I was just kidding. She’s not real.”
As I watched her struggle with embarrassment, amusement, and absolute mortification it started to dawn on me. My sister had tricked me, and I had been so deceived, so duped, that I had actually told other people about it. I wondered, right then, if my teacher recognized the lie. She had seemed so saddened by my story, I couldn’t really tell.
The only truth that I knew was that there wasn’t an Ashley. She was just a story, my sister’s own fabrication. The girl with no eyes didn’t exist.
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