All rights go to Rick Riordan :)
I remember white light streaking in my eyes, and blacking out.
"The results say…" I hear faint voices behind the buzzing of a sort of monitor in the background. It smells antiseptic in here, and the air feels thin. I'm lying on something, with blankets covering me.
I open my eyes. Wait, no. I didn't. Because I can't see anything. They must still be closed, if I can't see anything, right? I lift my hand and grimace with pain. Then, I touch my finger lightly on my eyelid. I blink. Why can't I see anything?
"Mom?" I croak out. "Where –where are you?"
I hear shuffling and movement coming towards me. "Hold still, honey," a voice says, and I feel a hand on my arm lifting the sleeve of my shirt. "I'm the nurse, okay? Just going to take a quick blood test to make sure –"
"I can't see anything!" I half yell half whimper, expecting someone to reassure me and tell me it was just a side-effect.
"I know. We're checking the x-rays right now. Do you remember anything?" the nurse asks, as a feel a cold piece of metal enter my skin and then exit.
"I –I –I just remember a lot of pain and glass coming towards me," I say, frowning. "And then –then…I don't know." I know that if I think hard enough, I'll remember, except right now I'm so tired my mind doesn't feel like making an effort.
I blink a couple times just to verify that my eyes are open. "Am I going to be alright?" I feel like a little girl again, scared and alone, veiled in the dark. I turn my head, but the light is tantalizing and everything is dark. Not black. Just dark. Everything seems ravenous, and I feel so unprotected. Undefended, like I'm not part of the world.
The nurse pats my hand. "I'm sure you'll be fine, sweetie. Would you like any water?"
I shake my head, though my mouth feels dry and prickly. I don't feel like I will trust anything or anyone without seeing what it is first.
"Annabeth! I'm Dr. Brunner," a voice erupts in my ear.
"I still can't see," I say, twiddling my fingers. "What's wrong with my eyes?"
He inhales. "Alright. Now, can you remember what happened?"
I nod. "I remember it better now. I was driving along the road, and –and –" Everything suddenly came crystal clear to me. It was Percy, Percy Jackson who had crashed his car into mine, and then everything had went black. I fight back a sob. "There was a car crash."
Percy is a guy who goes to my school, Goode High. I never really knew him. In fact, I really don't know him at all. All I know is that he crashed his car and caused the accident, and it was all his fault. I grip the sides of, well, I actually don't know what it is, but it feels hard. I am suddenly angry at Percy, that stupid guy who got me in this condition. Why did he have to -?! A strangled scream curdles in my throat. I shake my head. I am being introspective. It's alright, Annabeth, a voice in my head soothes me.
I hear sympathy in his voice. "I'm sorry. Well, we've got results from your x-rays, Annabeth. And, I –I'm sorry to say that your corneas has been damaged quite a bit." I could sense the uneasiness in the room.
"What does that mean?" I ask, all of a sudden dread filling inside me. "Does this mean –"
"You are blind."
Silence fills the room. I open and close my eyes repeatedly. No. I cannot be blind. I won't allow it. "Can I be fixed? Can you do something?" Panic starts covering up my voice and tears start seeping through.
He hands me a tissue and though I can't see him, I know he is trying to reassure me. "Don't worry, Annabeth. We're doing our best to help you. You just have one broken arm, and it's not severe, so you can go to school in two days."
I didn't care about a broken arm. I didn't care about school. I just wanted my eyesight back. "I will never see the world again? My graduation day? My creations? How am I going to be an architect? I'll never see my future husband, or my kids, or even me?" My throat clogs up, but I don't cry. In fact, I seem to be too sad to even cry. "I won't be able to see what I'll look like when I'm thirty? Or sixty? And forget about a hundred, because if I don't see the world in eighty three years, I, I –ugh!" I grit my teeth, and even though I'm fully aware that I'm overreacting, I can't calm down.
"Don't think that way," he says gently.
"If only I decided to walk to the library instead of driving. If only. Then I wouldn't be in this state, staring into nowhere." I cross my arms.
"The future is always undetermined. Don't worry about possibilities. It'll only bring you down."
"Possibilities? Well, I can see the possibilities if that jerk didn't crash his car into mine!"
He gives me a second to calm down. I take a few heavy breaths to steady myself.
Finally, my tone comes out hapless and weak, completely the opposite of before. "Will I be okay?" It sounds so fragile and afraid that when I hear it, it doesn't sound like me.
"I promise you one hundred percent you will be fine. We'll meet with you every other week, to check if there is progress happening. Don't give up hope. Now, I'm going to ask you a few questions, okay? Please answer them the best you can, alright?"
I give a slight nod, and he proceeds.
"Can you see anything if I'm doing this?" he asks. I don't know what he's doing, so I concentrate instead using my instincts to guide me.
There's something like a flicker of movement.
"Sort of," I decide, and I try to describe what I see. "There's kind of a little faint white glow in the middle of the darkness, and it's…it's…I don't know how to say."
His voice seems pleased. "Very good. I'm moving my hand back and forth. Do you know why this happens?"
I shake my head.
"Since the visual cortex is expecting to see an image, or a picture, it creates its own instead. The brain is able to conjure up what you think you see. Our human bodies have a very protective system. This proves that though you are blind, your body is still wanting to rely on your eyes to depend on your senses. Your mind is still connected to your eyes."
"Oh." That's all I can think of to say.
I hear a padding of footsteps and a click of a button. "Do you see anything?"
A bright illumination blossoms before my eyes. "Yeah –it's really white. Did you just turn on…a light?"
"Yes. I just turned on this extremely bright fluorescent light. It's good that you can know that it's there, because that means your mind is trying to know what to distinguish. Like if you step out on a sunny day, you can know if the sun is there. That's good –it does not mean you are completely blind. You can sense a few things that stand out." I hear some ruffling through drawers.
"Stay still, alright Annabeth? You can trust me. I'm just going to quickly…" I feel a wet piece of cloth near my neck area, and a piece of plastic.
I maintain my persistence. "Will I be forever this way?"
Dr. Brunner pauses whatever he was doing to decide his answer. "Hard to say," he admits. "We'll schedule more check-ups to see how your corneas are doing. Then we'll see."
His unsureness leaves a knot of worry in my stomach. I try to leave it aside as I feel a sharp needle sink into my flesh.
He leaves the nurse with me for a little.
"What's your name?" I ask, finally.
"Judy," she responds almost immediately.
"Oh. Okay," I say, and I lean back on what I now know is a bed.
Her voice is full of interest. "Why do you ask?"
I shrug, running my hand through my tangled hair that feels as dry as dried up leaves. "I'm just trying to picture you, because…because I feel like if I know someone's name, I can figure them out. It's kind of confusing."
"I see. Well, sometimes the name isn't the thing you can completely trust," she says, and I know that she's right.
"Yeah," I agree as I adjust my position of my legs, which are as stiff as cardboard.
"I'm sorry you're blind," she says. "I can't imagine how that would be for you –at such a young age."
I nod respectively towards her sound. "It's hard to take in, but it's okay. Just the fact that I can never see colors or shapes anymore...I'm 17. I –I can persevere through this. The world isn't over because some guy caused me to –" my voice breaks. "To be blind."
She starts to say something, but Dr. Brunner comes back. "Thanks, Judy. Annabeth, would you like to see your parents? They're here," he says.
"Sure," I respond, closing my eyes. Maybe I can have better senses with my eyes closed, since I can't see anything anyway with them open.
"Annabeth!" my mom flings her arms around me, though she's still cautious of all the tubes in my arms. "Are you okay?" I open my eyes as I try really hard to picture her, but the best I can do is see a few blemishes here and there.
"I met with them and talked about your conditions, if that's okay with you," Dr. Brunner scribbles something down.
"It's fine, Dr. Brunner. Mom, dad, it's okay. I'm still the same," I say. My dad kisses the top of my head, and I know it's him since I can smell his tangerine shaving cream.
"Oh, my daughter," he says. "Don't be afraid, alright? We're always by your side no matter what."
I manage a smile. "Thanks."
My mom is smoothing out my hair. "When we heard about the car crash, we got out of work as soon as we could. There was so much traffic, and I swear I could practically hear the ambulance…" she hugged me. "Was there anyone else in the car with you?"
I think. "No," I decide. "It was only me –I was driving to the library. My library book was due...oh no, it's going to be fined! Every day is one dollar -"
"Who crashed you?"
"I don't know…?" I say, though the sentence curls into a question at the end. "I –I forget," I lie. Then I try to change the subject. "What happened to the car?"
It's a while before my mom talks. "It's…getting cleared up now. You were very, very, lucky that you weren't killed. The car is gone, now, or at least it is unfixable."
Dr. Brunner reassures my parents that everything will be okay, and that I can still go to school, though I'll need a walking stick.
"I don't want a walking stick!" I complain, as he closes my fingers around something. "Everyone will think that I'm a moron!"
"Now, Annabeth," my dad's voice turns guarded. "Let's not make a silly little problem turn into a big one."
I sigh as I try my walking stick out, feeling like I aged seventy years early.
We run through a few more tests, and I know things will never be the same.
Hello, everyone! I'm so happy to be starting this new story, "Seeing Through the Truth"! Now, thank you for giving this story a chance and clicking it, and if you'd review or favorite/follow, that'd be wonderful! Some quick information: this is a PERCABETH story, rated T, and it's going to be maybe 15-20 chapters long! If you have time, it'd be great if you guys could check my other story "Being Normal" and maybe leave a review? Thanks so much, and I'm really excited to continue this story! –Sophia