To say that I was nervous for the test the next day would have been a gross understatement. Studying with Vic seemed to help when it came to understanding the material, but I was still unsure about a lot of it. There was no way I was just going to magically learn the chapter material overnight.
Anyway, so I biked to class as normal and went into the building. I was early for once and I told myself that that was a good sign. Seeing Vic before I had to take the test would probably calm me down a bit. However, the only problem was that Vic wasn't there when I came in.
He was always in class before I was, sitting down and waiting like a good, punctual student. But this time he was nowhere to be seen. Still feeling unsure, I sat down in my usual seat and looked around, hoping he'd pop in any minute. I wanted him to sit down next to me, squeeze my hand and tell me I was going to do just fine on the exam. He still didn't show up, though.
I wished I could just text him and ask him where he was, but I couldn't. And I couldn't call him, because before I knew it, the TA was handing out tests and it was time to begin. No turning back.
I did my best to put thoughts of Vic aside as I took the test. The questions were hard, and I was definitely sure I wasn't getting an A. That being said, I didn't think I failed it, because I was at least familiar with the
questions. I took the entire class time to finish my test, and then turned it in at the front of the room, being one of the last students to do so. As soon as I was back out of the building, I pulled out my cell phone and called Vic.
I really hoped nothing was wrong, and that maybe he was just sick or something.
"Hello?" His voice came over the phone. I let out a sigh of relief, as he didn't sound particularly distressed or sick. He sounded like everything was perfectly normal.
"Hey, where were you?" I asked, getting right to it. "I just got out of the test."
"I'm in the library if you want to come meet me," he said, glossing over my question. "I don't have that math class on Fridays, so I'm just in here. The second floor lounge."
"Um . . . okay, I guess I'll see you in a few minutes," I mumbled, confused. I hung up the phone and slipped it back into my pocket before unlocking my bike and pedaling off to the library. It was a short ride from the philosophy building.
The second floor of the main library on campus was like this lounge and study area where most people just sat around and got homework done. The only difference from the rest of the library is that you were allowed to talk and eat and stuff.
I scanned the floor before I found Vic sitting at a table in one of the corners. I smiled when I saw him and strolled over, taking the seat next to him. He shifted when I sat down, smiling in my direction.
"Hey," I said, happily. "So what's the deal?"
"With what?" he asked, turning towards me, like nothing was the matter. Huh. Maybe I was missing something?
"You weren't in class. Why'd you skip the exam?" I asked, as he sighed.
"I didn't skip the exam. I take tests with a proctor in the DSS office," he explained. I knew that DSS stood for Disability Support Services, but it took me a minute to understand why Vic would need that. "I mean,
I don't usually like getting any special treatment, but it really wouldn't be fair to put a piece of paper in front of me and tell me to take a written test, you know?"
"Oh," I said, everything suddenly clicking. I guess I felt a little dumb. Once I thought about it I realized that it would make no sense for him to be able to take the test in the regular classroom.
"Yeah the proctor just reads me the questions and I type up my answers," he explained. "How do you think you did?"
"I don't know. I guess I didn't do terribly," I shrugged. I asked him how he thought he did on the exam, and he shrugged and told me he thought he did well before I started droning on about one question in particular. I watched him as I spoke, another question forming in my mind. It was completely irrelevant, but it was hard to keep from rolling off my tongue. "Hey, can I ask you something? If you don't want to answer, you don't have to."
"Yeah, shoot," he shrugged, casually. I hesitated a moment before I spoke, trying to make sure I didn't word my question in a way that would offend or upset him. I definitely did not want that.
"Um, have you ever been able to see?" I asked.
I noticed right away how his demeanor changed. It was like his posture just sank for a moment and I worried that I had struck a nerve or something. Oh god. I immediately wished I could take back the question because I was immediately realizing it was a terribly insensitive thing to ask.
"Um . . . yeah, but it was a long time ago, and I don't really remember," he finally said, in a sort of solemn tone. I bit at the inside of my cheek as I studied him, wondering where the sadness was coming from, but being too afraid to ask. I was clearly already pushing my limits here. But luckily I didn't have to, though, because he just kept talking.
"When I was, like, three I was in a really bad car accident," he elaborated, recalling the story. "I don't remember it, but I was apparently comatose for like, three weeks and when I woke up I couldn't see anything. Which was particularly traumatic, because, um, my mom died in the accident. Can't even begin to imagine what that was like for my dad. I can't even remember how I felt, but I can't imagine I felt too good."
"Oh my god, that's terrible. I'm sorry," I said, really just not knowing what else to say. I mean, what do you say to something like that? I couldn't even begin to imagine being that young and suddenly waking up not only in a world of darkness, but in a world without my mom. It must have been terrifying.
"Don't be sorry. I was actually really lucky, you know? They thought for sure I was going to die," he said, adding a light-hearted chuckle to sort of ease the sudden somber mood. "I mean, obviously some days are better than others but . . . there's nothing I can do to change what happened, so . . . yeah. It was a bad experience, obviously, but I'm not like, upset about it anymore. "
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Well . . . you know, I've mostly accepted myself and all that fun stuff, but there are still days every now and then where I think about how much easier my life would be if I could see . . . You know, Kellin, I really wish I could see you," he said, his voice changing to a slightly different tone. This one I couldn't pick up on very well, but there was definitely a slight sense of longing. The thought crossed my mind that I was incredibly lucky to be able to see Vic and how beautiful he was.
"I mean, hey, maybe it's a good thing, I'm really not that attractive," I laughed, hoping he'd just laugh along with me. Such a funny joke.
"Nonsense, I'm sure you're drop-dead gorgeous," he smiled, making me blush noticeably. I tried to force a smile, because I knew he was just saying that to make me feel better. "Can you do something for me?"
"Yeah," I breathed, watching as he leaned against the table.
"Can you describe yourself?" he asked softly. It made me a little nervous because I didn't think that there was anything really special to point out. I mean, this whole time I was sort of thankful that Vic couldn't see me because I knew I was a total mess. An absolute disaster.
"I . . . well, I have dark brown hair," I said, starting with possibly the most boring thing ever. "It's like, down almost to my shoulders. I should probably brush it more, but I don't. I'm kind of a messy person. . . um, my eyes are brown, but like, a gross brown and my forehead is too big and-"
"Okay, stop," he said, cutting me off, suddenly. "New rules. You can describe yourself, but you're only allowed to use positive adjectives."
"Okay," I said, taking a deep breath, even though I wasn't quite sure how to go about doing this. To be completely honest, I wasn't the biggest fan of myself. I was pretty much all over the place, and I couldn't imagine how anyone would find that attractive. In some twisted way I was glad that Vic was blind, because it meant he couldn't see what a horrible mess I was. Most people I knew were annoyed by me, and for some reason that awkwardness was just inescapable for me.
I sat there quietly for a while, unable to think of anything to say that wouldn't sound fake. I was so bad at faking emotions, and I knew Vic would pick up on it. Heck, he seemed to pick up on it anyways.
In the next moment, Vic reached over and placed his hand over mine. I noticed his hand slipped a little as he was trying to find mine, but I didn't comment on it. His hands were warm, and I watched as his long fingers wrapped around my hand.
"Hey, it's okay," he whispered, softly. "You don't have to come up with anything now, just . . . think about it okay? But know that it doesn't matter what you look like because I like you anyway. I want you to be my boyfriend just exactly how you are."
"Yeah, okay . . . "I said, rolling my eyes as his words suddenly started to sink in. I knitted my eyebrows and sat up straight. "Wait, you want to be my boyfriend?"
What? Was this actually real?
"Of course I do," he chuckled, giving me a bright grin. I felt my mood go from zero to 100, just like that. "Is that alright with you?"
"Yes! Yes, of course it is," I said, cheerfully. I leaned forward in my seat, holding his hand even tighter because I just couldn't believe it. My boyfriend!
"Well, alright then. It's official," he chuckled, looking just as happy about it as I felt. His smile suddenly made my previous reservations seem silly. "Boyfriend."
"Yep, boyfriend," I repeated, unable to come up with anything else because I was just so awestruck by the perfect boy in front of me. He was so amazing.
It had been a whole three seconds, and I already loved calling him my boyfriend.