"This is a spot I've always liked," Matt said as they entered through the door that led onto the roof of St. Agnes.
"Are we allowed to be up here?" Mary questioned, "I'm not sure that that the nuns would tolerate this."
"Oh, they sure wouldn't, but they don't know we're up here, do they?" Matt replied with a grin.
Observing her surroundings, Mary saw that there was little more to the roof than a couple of ventilation ducts and drainage pipes. She had no idea why Matt had brought her up here.
"Sometimes I like to be up here, listening to the cars roll by down below, or maybe just listening to the rain," Matt mused, "It's not exactly quiet, but it is relaxing."
"Don't you ever get lonely up here?" Mary inquired.
"Eh, not really," Matt answered, "I kinda like the isolation. Helps me to think. You know, being blind, you tend to catch yourself reacting to every little thing you hear, but up here, I only listen to what I choose to."
Matt exhaled, and sat atop of one of the ducts, his cane resting against the side.
"Still," he continued, "it wouldn't kill to have company every now and again."
Mary hopped up onto the duct and sat next to Matt.
"Well, you got me," she said, smiling.
"Sure do," Matt grinned, "So, um, if it's not too much to ask, how many foster homes have you been to?"
Mary sighed, and then Matt quickly apologized, saying, "Sorry, that's too much of a personal question."
"No, it's fine," she began, "It's just that I lost count."
Looking down, she then said, "For the life of me, I don't know why I've been sent back so many times. I do the best I can do to behave."
Matt listened and heard her heartbeat, and it was moving a little too fast for her to be honest.
"Is that entirely true?" he asked.
"Well, granted, the last family I was with shouldn't have left an open bottle of scotch on the kitchen counter, so... there's that."
Matt laughed, and Mary said, "I regretted it afterwards, mostly because-"
"It burns?" Matt finished.
"How did you know?" Mary asked, surprised.
Matt cleared his throat, and then said "Back before I lost my sight, my dad would come home every odd night with cuts and bruises on his face. He was a fighter. Old-school, boxer."
"Your dad was a boxer?" Mary asked, surprised.
"Yeah," Matt answered, "Famous one. Battlin' Jack Murdock, they used to call him."
He slightly choked up on his words at the end, but then continued, saying, "One time he came home from a fight, I had to stitch his face, and he didn't want my hands shaking, so he gave me a sip of his scotch. My God, the taste was horrible."
Mary laughed, "Really? That is so funny!" Matt joined her in laughing.
"Look at us, both drinking scotch way before we're legally allowed to!" Mary said.
"I'm sure the nuns wouldn't be happy if they knew about that," Matt joked.
"Yeah," Mary continued, "I bet we'd have to go to confession until we became adults."
The two friends laughed together for a few moments, and once it stopped, Mary looked upwards to see the sky above her. There were a few birds flying by, their reflections being present on the nearest skyscraper with the sun beaming against it. The sky itself was a brilliant shade of blue, giving the atmosphere a calming and relaxing presence.
As she was marveling at the simplistic beauty of the sky, it dawned upon her that Matt couldn't see what she was seeing. He had already told her about how he became blind, and that he didn't want pity from anybody, but she couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Sorry that he would never be able to experience the wonders of sight for the rest of his life.
Matt sensed her change of mood, and decided to break the ice by saying, "You know, I am over it now. Being blind."
Mary turned to face her friend, whereupon he continued.
"I know it's not coming back, it never will. But I'm not making any apologies for it. I don't blame the company that made the chemicals, the engineer that put in the breaks, the driver that couldn't make them work, or the old man who crossed the street when he did. What happened, happened. I can't change it, but what I can do is try to live the rest of my life the best I can."
Mary put her arms around his torso, hugging him so hard he could've sworn he was going to bust a rib.
"It's fine, I don't really need your sympathy," Matt said, being careful not to sound harsh.
"I know," Mary began, releasing him from her grip, "It's just, well, that- I can't imagine not being able to see the world around you."
"I get what you mean," Matt said.
"What do you miss the most about being able to see?" Mary asked.
Matt pondered for a moment, and then he said, "Colors. I can make out the shape and texture of things I touch, but color isn't something you can feel or smell or taste. It's mostly just guesswork."
Matt sighed again.
"But it would be just fine if I couldn't see any colors," he began, "only if I could see the sky one more time."
Matt momentarily dwelled on the harsh reality of his life, but Mary saw this and attempted to lighten the mood by saying, "And I thought I had it bad with my crappy name."
They both laughed, but an idea suddenly burst inside of Matt's mind, something that would be absolutely perfect.
He hadn't known Mary long, but there was something about her that just made Matt feel all these little emotions that made him feel so good, something he didn't think was possible. What he also recognized was that he would never be able to (truly) see her, and while that brought him much grief, it gave him the most brilliant idea. Something else he desperately wants to see but can't.
"Skye," he said.
"Huh?" Mary asked.
"Skye," Matt repeated, "That can be your name. You know, with an 'e' at the end."
Mary grinned, repeating the name over and over again in her head. It sounded so right to her.
"Skye," she said, "I like the sound of that. Infinitely better than Mary Sue Poots."
A/N: Hey guys! I am so, so, so, so, so, so, so, SO sorry about this! I thought I would have more time to do this, but a combination of a busy schedule and severe writer's block got in the way. Anyway, just a quick reminder that this story is still alive! DO NOT WORRY! Thanks so much for all the continued support; you guys are terrific troopers! Until next time, be sure to read, review, and stay classy!