Read Love Is Blind Online

Authors: Claudia Lakestone

Love Is Blind

BOOK: Love Is Blind
6.42Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

LOVE IS BLIND

 

Copyright © 2013

Claudia Lakestone

All Rights Reserved

 

This novel is entirely fictitious.  All characters and events are works of the author’s imagination.  The content of this book is not specifically endorsed by the photographer nor any other individual associated with the book’s cover.  This publication contains explicit content that is intended for adults only. 

 

LOVE IS BLIND

Chapter 01

Chapter 02

Chapter 03

Chapter 04

Chapter 05

Chapter 06

Chapter
07

Chapter 08

Chapter 09

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

 

Chapter 01

“Is someone there?”

I jumped as the male voice startled me, nearly toppling the tray I was in the process of setting down.  The lights in the room were off so I’d assumed the patient must be sleeping.  Apparently that wasn’t the case. 

A young guy about my age sat up in his hospital bed
, the springs creaking underneath him as he shifted around, trying to get comfortable.  I felt for him.  I’d never actually had to spend any time in the hospital as a patient, but I didn’t need to test out the mattresses to imagine how hard and lumpy they must feel.  Just the sight of them made my back ache in protest.

Speaking of comfort, I wasn’t exactly comfortable myself. 
In fact, now that I knew the guy in the room was awake and aware of my presence, I felt downright awkward.  I fiddled with my long dark hair nervously and picked up my pace, eager to finish my work and make my escape at the earliest possible opportunity.

When I was working at the hospital,
I preferred to sneak in and out of patients’ rooms.  Maybe that was creepy, but so what?  I did what I had to do.  I’d learned how to be light on my feet and move quickly, so I had a better chance of getting in and out undetected.  I liked it best when they were asleep. 

Meeting ne
w people always made me cringe – and it was especially mortifying when they happened to be close to my own age.  Experience had taught me it was my peers who could be the cruelest. 

Those closest in age to me – no matter what age I happened to be at the time – seemed to single me out as a target.  I don’t mean to sound paranoid.  Honestly, it’s not like I own a tinfoil hat or anything.  It’s just that
I spent most of my youth being continually harassed at school.  It gets old fast, you know?

“It’s just me…I’ve got your
dinner,” I replied somewhat guardedly.  “Here, I’ll turn on the lights so you can see what you’re eating,” I added as I flipped the switch by the door.  Light flooded the room and I braced myself for the inevitable.

The guy in the hospital bed
laughed, but it wasn’t the laughter of someone who finds a situation comical.  “I wish I could see what I was eating,” he said.  It was only then that I noticed his eyes were completely bandaged.  I felt like an idiot and immediately wished I could take my insensitive comment back.

“Sorry,” I mumbled, unsure of how to proceed. 
Sometimes I feel so socially inept – I guess that’s what happens when you spend most of your youth lost in the pages of a romance novel or shut away in your bedroom listening to angst-filled rock music.

But even as my face flushed in response to what I’d said, I felt my body relax slightly.  I was glad he couldn’t see me.  It helped put me at ease.
  Suddenly I wasn’t in such a rush to escape the close confines of his hospital room.

“So what’s for
dinner?” he asked, ignoring my apology.  “It smells like…”   He inhaled deeply and then scrunched up his nose, making his distaste evident.  “I don’t know what it smells like,” he concluded matter-of-factly.  “Is it meatloaf?” he finally guessed, sounding less than sure of himself.

I stared down at the bland-looking food on his plate and found myself mimicking his confused expression.  “It uh…it could be,” I said cautiously, unsure of what the mystery meat staring back at me was…if it was even meat at all.  I surveyed the orange pureed mush next to it.  “You’ve also got some, um…mashed squash, I think.  And
jelly – grape!” I added triumphantly.  At least I recognized that one.

I didn’t understand why the hospital served such bland,
unappetizing food.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to feed the sick and injured meals that were actually edible so they could regain their strength faster?  Hospital logic:  I didn’t understand it.  But I guess I didn’t need to understand it.  My job for the next 300 or so hours was to simply follow orders.

The purple blob
in the chipped plastic bowl jiggled unappetizingly, looking slimy and disgusting.  Maybe it was a good thing the guy couldn’t see it for himself.

I turned my attention back to
the patient.  Even though the top half of his face was obscured by bandages, I could tell he was really good looking.  He had broad shoulders, a square, chiseled jaw and thick dark brown hair.  Even his voice was attractive, deep and rich and warm.

He sighed dramatically.  It was an exaggerated, deep groan of melancholy that I knew was solely for my benefit.
“Does the stereotype about hospital food always have to be true?”  He stuck out his lower lip in a comedic stage pout just to make sure I got the point that he was playing around and not serious.

I shrugged before remembering that he couldn’t see me.  “I don’
t know,” I told him.  Then I silently cursed myself for having all the personality of a dead fish.  I just seemed to shut down around other people, as though I was afraid of admitting I had thoughts and opinions of my own. I guess it was just easier – and safer – to blend into the background.  Not that I could ever truly do that.

“Shouldn’t you know?  You’re a nurse, aren’t you?”

“I’m not a nurse,” I informed him.  “I’m just volunteering here as a candy striper.”

“I haven’t seen you around here before,” he
commented and then laughed obnoxiously at his own joke.  I couldn’t help but crack a smile.  It seemed his sense of humor might just be as warped as my own, and there was something rather endearing about the way he guffawed at his own tasteless joke as though he was well aware that if he didn’t laugh, no one would. 

“I’m new…today is only my second day on the job.”

“Ah,” he nodded knowingly.  “Most of them don’t make it past the first day,” he informed me, “so you’re already ahead of the game.”  He felt around on his tray until he located the bowl of purple jelly.  As he searched for the spoon I moved to help him and our hands brushed.  He waved me away, although not unkindly.

It was clear he preferred to do things on his own
despite his physical limitations.

He found the utensil he was searching for and slurped up a mouthful of the too-runny grape-flavored “treat.” 
Then he grimaced. 

I laughed despite myself.  “Is it as bad as it looks?” I asked and then cringed.  I’d done it again! 
What was wrong with me?  It was one thing for him to make vision-related jokes about himself but quite another for me to do the same.  I wanted to kick myself for repeatedly putting my foot in my mouth.  You’d think I, of all people, would know how to not be insensitive.  But nope, apparently that was expecting too much of myself.

If the dark haired young man noticed that I kept inadvertently making vision-related comments, he didn’t say anything.  Instead,
he asked me if I’d had dinner yet.

I hadn’t.

He lowered his voice, leaned forward toward me and then conspiratorially asked, “What would it take for you to run across the street to the mall and pick us up a couple of nice, juicy food court burgers?”

I blinked.  “Are you serious?”

“Dead serious,” he assured me.  “I’d go myself, but I’m hooked up to this damn thing,” he added, gesturing to the IV stand beside him.  “Plus I like, you know, can’t see,” he added with a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders as though it was no big deal.

I regarded him with some amusement.  His cavalier demeanor was interesting, to say the least.  I didn’t know what he’d been through
to wind up in the hospital and didn’t want to ask.  I felt bad for him, a young guy unable to see and all alone in a hospital room. 

One thing I’d learned over the span of my short life was that a stranger’s kindness is a pretty big deal.  Sometimes a gesture as simple as a smile or the holding of a door could even help make up for a particularly lousy day
…I should know.  If he wanted a burger, I decided, I’d get him a burger. 

I wouldn’t wish what I’d been through as a kid on my worst enemy, but it wasn’t all bad.  I
figured it at least made me compassionate and sensitive to others’ needs.  Overall, I considered myself to be a pretty nice person…even if I hadn’t exactly felt like one lately.

“Okay,” I agreed.  “I’ll be back with your burger in a few minutes.  Do you want fries too?”

“You bet.  Oh, and if I were you I’d get three orders of fries,” he advised me good naturedly.  “I’ll probably steal half of yours.”

I checked the pocket of my
white candy striper uniform to make sure the $20 bill I’d thrown in there before leaving the house was still there.  It was supposed to be my cab fare home after working the late shift, but that was okay.  I decided bussing it home wouldn’t kill me even though my neighborhood wasn’t the greatest place after dark.  After all, I had pepper spray in my purse and if I’d learned anything lately it was that I could throw a pretty mean punch if I felt trapped.

I
turned to walk out of the room and he called after me.  “Hey…where are you going?”

“I’m going to get
food,” I replied in bewilderment, wondering momentarily if he had amnesia.

“Well you need money first,” he informed me.  “
Unless you’re like…unusually talented at talking people into giving you free food, I mean.  You didn’t think I meant for
you
to buy our dinner, did you?  Ha, you must have thought I was the rudest guy ever.”

I blushed.  That was exactly what I thought he’d meant and I’d been willing to shell out six or eight bucks to make his day.  “No,” I lied
, feeling a bit foolish.  “I didn’t think that…and even if I had, I’ve met ruder guys.”  That was the understatement of the year.

“My wallet’s in the top drawer over there,” he said, gesturing toward
his bedside table.  “It should have some cash in it…that is unless one of the nurses here has robbed me blind,” he added with a smirk that let me know his choice of words was intentional. 

I wondered if he actually
was
blind beneath those bandages.

I rifled through his brown leather wallet until I found the compartment that housed his money.  I couldn’t help but notice there was a fair bit in there.  I wasn’t sure if that was typical for long hospital stays or what
…I hadn’t been in the hospital since I was a kid. 

“I’m taking out two tens,” I in
formed him as I pulled the two bills out.  “Is that okay?”


Absolutely – hurry back!”

When I returned a short while later with a bag of take out in my hand, the guy in the hospital
room was seated in the chair beside the window.  I glanced out and saw the room had a suburb view of a brick wall.  Not that it mattered, I thought to myself with a quick glance at the patient’s bandaged eyes.

He heard the crinkle of the bag and inhaled
the scent of our food appreciatively. 

“Mmm, that smells so good,” he said as I opened the bag.  “Thanks
for picking it up.”

“It’s no problem
…thanks for buying dinner,” I said shyly.  Obviously he’d just done it out of gratitude, repaying me for being his errand girl.  But regardless of that, it was probably the closest I’d ever get to a guy buying me dinner.


Hey, what’s your name, anyway?  I forgot to ask earlier.  I’m Chris, by the way.”

“Michelle.”

He patted the edge of the bed beside his chair.  “Have a seat, Michelle,” he said.  “That is, if you have time.  I don’t want to keep you from the other patients or anything.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I kind of do want to keep you from the other patients…is that selfish?  I’m bored to death in here so some company would be nice if you can spare a few minutes.”

“It’s pretty dead out there, actually,” I assured him as I sat down
on top of his threadbare hospital blanket.  “There’s not much for me to do.”  He’d already dug into a big juicy burger, devouring it ravenously. 

“I hope you don’t mean that literally,” he said through a mouthful of hamburger. 

“Sorry?”

“Well it’s not exactly good for business if a hospital is ‘pretty dead’ right? 
And speaking as a patient, it’s not the most reassuring thing to hear, you know.  If you were volunteering at a funeral home, on the other hand, then you’d be in business!  Literally!  Ha-ha!”

“That’s terrible!” I scolded, caught off guard and barely managing to stifle my laughter.
  I’ve always been the type to laugh at inappropriate or off color jokes.  The more I know I shouldn’t find something funny, the more comical I think it is.

Chris
grinned, looking rather pleased with himself.  “It might be a terrible thing to say but I bet you’re smiling right now, aren’t you?”  His tone was playful and teasing, causing my face to immediately redden. 

Instead of confessing that I had, in fact, found his tasteless joke
amusing, I turned my attention to the food.  My stomach growled as I reached into the bag and pulled out a container of fries.  I hadn’t realized how hungry I was until now.

“Did you get three orders of fries?” he asked me hopefully.  “Because I was
completely serious about stealing yours…” 

BOOK: Love Is Blind
6.42Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Prison Throne by T. Styles
Alice in Verse: The Lost Rhymes of Wonderland by J. T. Holden, Andrew Johnson
Unexploded by Alison MacLeod
Slow Hand by Edwards, Bonnie
Expiration Date by Tim Powers
Secret Safari by Susannah McFarlane
The Real Night of the Living Dead by Mark Kramer, Felix Cruz