The next Dahlia woke up to darkness. She sat there blinking her eyes, but no shadow came into play. She tried crawling out of bed to get her robe on and tripped over her slippers. This caused a loud noise, which brought the teacher directly from her bed to Dahlia’s bedroom.
The teacher knelt over and helped pick her up and sat her down on the bed and checked her out for any cuts or blood. After seeing nothing, the teacher asked what had happened, had she fallen, and Dahlia burst into tears, saying she could not see.
The teacher laid her down in her bed, and told her she would be back, that she was going to go call the doctor, and told her to please lie still and try not to get out of bed. The teacher could be heard going through the house, sounding like fast running horses.
In mid morning, the doctor came over with his special tools and checked Dahlia’s eyes out, and found that a few of her blood vessels had broken in both eyes, and there was no way to fix this. She was blind. Dahlia broke out in wails and the teacher came to her side and put her arm around her and tried to comfort her, but it did not work. She told Dahlia that she was going to walk the doctor to the door, and that she would be back in a few minutes.
On the way to the door to let him out, she asked him if there was something that could be done and he shook his head no. There was no fixing the already damaged vessels. She thanked him for coming and he told her if they needed him, just to let him know.
Teacher walked back to the bedroom where Dahlia was still sobbing and sat down in the rocker across from the bed in silence. All that could be heard in the room was gasping and cries. The teacher felt helpless and didn’t know what to say or do, but she knew that they had to move forth in their lives.
She stood up and told Dahlia that she was going to go prepare them some breakfast, and they would talk when she got back to the room. Dahlia told her she didn’t want any breakfast and that she wanted to be left alone.
The teacher walked out of the room, ignoring the request, and went to the kitchen and started breakfast. Two hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, toast with jelly and hot tea. She brought the tray back to Dahlia’s room and rested it on her dresser. Dahlia did not move towards her, in fact, she rolled over the other direction and pulled the covers up over her head.
The teacher said that they must eat, that they neither would be able to think clearly about what to do with this new information if they didn’t have nourishment. She took the blankets back and helped her sit up in her bed, and then brought a small table over and placed her breakfast on the table. She took Dahlia’s hands and helped her feel where each food and silver ware was, showed her where the cup was placed. There was no sound, so teacher went back to the rocker and balancing her breakfast on her lap, she began to eat and think about what their next move was.
She had her first bite swallowed and all of a sudden a loud crash was heard, and food was splattered everywhere. On the bed, the floor, and her bed-clothes. Dahlia laid back down and covered herself back up, and said to the teacher, go away, leave me alone.
The teacher continued to eat, ignoring the outburst from Dahlia, and when she finished she took her tray down along with the broken dish pieces, and then brought back a mop and bucket and cleaned up the floor.
She left Dahlia alone, to tend to her grieving and did not offer to help clean her clothing or bed up. In the teacher’s mind this was bad, but she knew of people who had life much worse, and they would work around this. To Dahlia, life was over. Her dreams had vanished along with her sight. Dahlia went deep into herself, never wanting to live again.
The teacher checked in on her periodically to see if she was alright, but for the fact of only getting up to use the restroom, she never left her bed. Meanwhile, the teacher made a trip to the school and explained the absence of the past day of why Dahlia was not in school.
The school personal called her into a small quiet room and had her wait here. Within a few moments two other personal came in to the room and they all sat at the table. They stated what a fine girl Dahlia was, and that she worked hard and had outstanding grades, but, there was no special equipment here at the school for someone who was blind. They hated to excuse her from this school, they hated seeing her go, but they had no choice. They dropped Dahlia from the classes.
The teacher sat there with tears flowing down her cheeks. Her own visions of this beautiful girl not being able to dance and teach had been broken also. She held out her hand to shake and tell her good-byes. They went to where Dahlia’s books were kept and gathered them up and they all walked to the front door, letting the teacher out and the door closing softly behind them. This was it, it was over. So hard to get into school, and so easy to be let go. How could this happen, and what could be done about it. These were all thoughts that were racing around in her head, on her walk home to a student that refused to get out of bed, thinking that her life was totally over.
English: Line art drawing of a dahlia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)