Jason wearily opened his eyes. Tinges of neon, magenta and apple green greeted him and for a moment his heart beat increased, until he rubbed his eyes and a wave of black greeted him. Jason mentally scolded himself, saying he should have known better than to get his hopes up.
A car accident about a month ago had robbed Jason of his vision. He had woken up in the hospital to be greeted by his now familiar background of black. He had panicked and had kept rubbing his eyes, hoping for a speck of colour but to no avail. He had cried when he heard the doctor tell him that he had lost his vision.
The first few days were extremely tough; he longed to see. He simply couldn’t believe that somehow what he had always taken for granted could be taken away from him in an instant. He wanted to see his mom’s face light up when she smiled, wanted to see rain drops fall on a stormy afternoon, big white fluffy clouds drift across the sky, the sun slowly going down during sunset.
After a week of moping around, Jason finally accepted that he was not going to see again. It was a bitter pill to swallow. He was still down in the dumps though. He wondered if he was ever going to be all right again.
Jason gently made his way down to the kitchen, careful not to bump into anything. From the chatter of voices he could tell that his best friend Samantha was there.
“Here, I made something for you, I think it’ll really help you,” she said and passed along a CD.
“Really? A mixtape in this day and age?”
“Shut up. I have to go now anyways, just wanted to drop this off.”
Jason gently ran his fingers across the CD. He listened to maybe a song or two at times, but other than that he wasn’t really into music. He pondered over Samantha’s idea, wondering if it could really help him. Later that night Jason’s mom put on the Samantha’s mixtape for him.
And in my hour of darkness, there is still a light that shines on me.
Shine until tomorrow, let it be.
As one song played after the next, Jason for the first time in his life understood the sheer beauty of music. He now realized why so many people obsessed over it, why Samantha constantly had her headphones in her ears. He could actually relate to what the artists were singing about in their songs. To realize that he wasn’t the only one going through it all came as a huge relief to Jason. He replayed the mixtape about three times over before falling asleep. Maybe sometimes, that’s all it took, something as simple as a song to escape the darkness.
The next time Jason ran into Samantha, he immediately hugged her and said thank you. Samantha, finally seeing her friend coming out of the blues, smiled.
Together they embarked on their music journey. Samantha introduced Jason to rock n roll and he loved it. The songs hit his ears like rain in a parched desert. He went through The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, Elton John and so much more.
Two months into this, Jason was improving significantly. The therapist he had been going to after his accident said that he was doing great and seemed to be genuinely happy now. He said that the music had been working like therapy for him. Samantha helped keep his spirits up by making him listen to upbeat songs. He had progressed from rock music on to jazz, reggae and classic music. He was learning Braille and seemed to finally be putting the disability of his blindness behind him.
Unfortunately, just when things were looking so good, tragedy struck; Jason’s parents got a call one day from the hospital telling them that Jason had a pretty bad accident. They immediately rushed down to the hospital where the worst awaited them.
Jason slowly opened his eyes. He felt fuzzy and light headed. He wasn’t aware of what was going on. What he was aware of though, was an eerie silence. At first it was calming, but soon the lack of noise began to scare him.
Jason noticed that ever since he had opened his eyes, someone had been trying to hand him a slip of paper. He gently took it into his hands. As he traced his fingers across it, he realized that it had writing in Braille. He slowly began to read.
Jason was informed of the worst news possible. The note said that he was expected to make a full recovery from the accident but with one drawback. He would no longer be able to hear. Jason had become deaf.
Pools of tears swelled up in his eyes and trickled down his cheeks. Soon he was sobbing uncontrollably. So that explained the lack of sound, the eerie silence. He reached up and started pulling at his hair. He took gasping deep breathes as he shaked violently. First his vision, now his hearing. Why would God punish him like this? He wondered what he had deserved to have all this inflicted upon him.
Now that his ears could no longer serve him any more purpose, he realized that he would no longer be able to hear music. This pained him beyond words. He could no longer hear Bowie’s elegant voice, have his brain work over Dylan’s lyrics or have his heart touched by Elton John’s piano. He remembered all the songs he still had to listen to, all the new genres he had yet to discover or come across. Now he would never have the chance. His coping mechanism was gone.
He wondered how he would deal with or enjoy life now. He felt as if he was in some sort of limbo- living but not really living. Back when he had heard Samantha’s mixtape he had agreed with Paul when he said that everything was going to be all right, you had just gotta let it be. But what now? Now he wasn’t too sure.
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes again