Between buildings

Brighton sea-front, UK 2006

Brighton sea-front, UK 2006


“We’re nearly there,” said Mark taking Annie’s hand.

She trusted her husband to guide her to where the sea met the promenade.

Annie closed her eyes and breathed in.

“I can smell the water, the salt,” she said lifting her chin high into the air.

“Does salt have a smell?”

“Everything has a smell.” Annie smiled as she walked beside Mark towards the beach.

“How does it feel?”

Mark was anxious. Annie could tell by the waver in his voice. After the accident he’d never left her side. When she left the living room one afternoon, when he’d fallen asleep on the sofa, he ran around the house shouting for her. She was in the garden running her hands along the flowers she’d planted the year before. The year when she could still see.

Annie had adapted better than him. She’d been in shock, of course, and angry for a long time but as the months wore on she found a peace somehow. She was learning to listen with greater care. She could hear all the nuances in the voices that surrounded her. Her sense of smell was becoming more acute and her fingertips were learning to understand everything they touched; the dog’s fur, the rough fabric on the old chair in their bedroom, Mark’s three day stubble, warm towels from the tumble dryer.

She wasn’t blind. Her world was simply different now.

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