I looked into those eyes and thought they were mine. Although sunlight beamed in through the bay window, they seemed to be drenched by unseen showers.
There was a quiche and iced tea on my food tray. Uneaten morsels lay on her plate. A fork pierced into what looked like a bite of pizza and moved towards her mouth. She opened it as if by instinct; her eyes did not veer away from me.
She played with her hair often, curling a thick strand round her finger, kept curling it and then letting it go. It would unfurl and she'd smile. She was smiling all the time, a smile of blissful unawareness. A smile that touched her eyes with dew.
Why did I think those eyes were mine? There are many eyes that are of the same colour and size with similar lids and lashes. There are many eyes that weep and smile together.
Was it because those eyes were responding to my look, were sharing some secret of innocence that only a child has? Was I seeking to see myself through them? Would calling them mine make them real or abstract?
My food was cold now and untouched. I had a few sips of the iced tea, the lemon twist floating listlessly in it. These slices never drown even under the pressure of ice. I prodded it with the straw, pushing it, but it would resurface. I heard her gurgle.
I wondered whether she was curious about me. For some reason, I wanted her to be, to think well of me. I wished she would walk over and shake my hand. I could already sense their clamminess. I wanted her to give me a peck on my cheek and smell the fragrance of sandalwod talc on her skin and feel her curls on my neck; they'd mesh with the stray strands of my own.
Most of all I wanted to look deep into those eyes and look at what I had lost. And what I had just found again.
There was some moving of chairs at her table. A lady got up and helped her. The girl stood up and shuffled her feet ahead, each step carefully, on a flat surface. She walked past me without looking my way. Her blindness could see nothing.
In those few moments, however, she had lent me her eyes.