49 Days of Blind Date

This is a love story about a blind girl selling magazine at a news stand and a young man. It was a usual working day and the blind girl, at tender age of 23 was selling magazines and drinks in the small cubical news stand. She was blind at an age of 10 due to a high fever that was discovered late. She came from a broken family. Her father was a gambler and he left her and her mum. Her mum worked as a cleaner every day. She received little education and she started working at 16 years old.

news stand

It was just like any other day. Her alarm clock rang at 7 pm as usual. She closed her news stand and walked towards the nearby hawker center for her 1 hour dinner before heading home to rest for the day. This was her usual path, in all 1214 steps from the news stand to the nearby hawker center. She was independent and she did not use any blind stick. She walked in small steps always in the same pathway. On her way home, she used the other pathway, which was less crowded during office peak hours. It cut through a basketball court with 120 steps more before she reached home. 

Just like any other weekdays, there were a group of boys playing basketball games around this time. On her way back home one night, she suddenly heard someone shouting with basketball bouncing at her direction.

“Watch out. Be careful” a young man shouted and he ran towards her, trying to divert the ball.

Unfortunately, she was hit at her forehead and she fell on the ground.

“Are you ok?” he asked and tried to get her up. She suffered bruised on her left arm and forehead. However, she insisted she was all right.

“I am ok. Ouch!”” she said as he tried to hold her injured arm. She pushed her away, sensing for her direction and walked away, feeling upset on her injury.

“I get you some plaster. Wait for me here.” He said and rushed back to the basketball court asking his friends for plaster. He came back with the plaster and applied on her. She insisted walking back alone and he returned to his game.

basketball

Two days later, the same young man stopped at her news stand, not knowing she was working there. He bought a can of cold drink from her. He gave her S$10 dollar. She touched the note, sensed the size of the currency, searched for her tin can and gave him the changes. Recognizing his voice, she asked, “Playing basketball today?”

He smiled, looked closely and realized she was the lady hit by the basketball. He asked if her arm was better. She showed him her injured arms.

“Call me John.” He introduced himself.

“Katherine.” She replied with a smile.

Feeling regretful for causing her the injury and knowing her background, whenever John walked past her news stand for a game, he brought her some bananas and tea.

“Why bananas?” she asked

“It is good for healing. It has rich Vitamin B6. I ate it every day.” He replied.

As days went by, mutual feeling developed and sometimes, he came to her stall early and helped her sell the magazine and drink before joining his friends for a game of basketball. This went on for the first 49 days.

On the 50th day, it rained the whole day and business was bad. There were not much customers and the road was slippery. It was also that day, he did not appear at her stall. This continued for 1 week. She felt uneasy and walked towards the basketball court during dinner time and asked the boys playing basketball.

None of the boys knew the reason. She tried to call his mobile but no one answered. Feeling restless and thinking he might have moved, she continued her business alone, much disappointed.

One night, she received a call from her family doctor that they found a donor for her eyes operation. She went for the appointment, spoke to the doctor and agreed on an operation. There were no infection and she recovered vision for both her eyes after 1 month. She wanted to thank the donor personally. However, the doctor refused to reveal the donor identity. This went on for a few months until one day, 2 of the young man’s friends stopped at her news stand for a drink.

operation

The two friends briefly chatted how much they missed him in the basketball competition. “If he could join us, we would have won the tournament. He is a good player.” One of them said.

“Are you talking about John, who played basketball here often?” She asked them. Both of his friends then revealed he died of leukemia cancer. Before his death, they visited him. He requested the doctor to donate his cornea specifically to a young lady selling magazine at the news stand.

She verified with the doctor. He was the donor. She wept for a few nights. Every drop of her tears contained his memory. Every time she walked past the basketball court for her dinner, she missed the bananas and tea he brought for her.

She cherished the 49 days where he was by her side in total darkness. This was the best moment in her life. Her life continued without him around.