Amazing Kids! Magazine

From Dark to Dawn

By Ryan Traynor, Contributing Writer


Sherry sat in the quiet room, tears streaming down her face. It seemed as if her whole world was crumbling down. The news the doctor just told her seemed like a distant memory, but it hung in her heart, causing her to shudder.

How could this happen to me? she thought. How can I live without being able to see?

A wistful look spread across her face as she remembered the wonderful time she had just a few months earlier in the rose gardens of Portland. Each flower petal seemed to call her name. With her camera strap around her neck, she pointed the lens at each subject and zoomed in to where she felt she was one with the subject. Bees in flight seemed to stop mid-air just to be captured by her camera. A water droplet on a petal reflected the bright orange pollen of the fragrant flower. The camera let things speak to her and, in turn, she was able to communicate to others.

A slow tear meandered down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away, not even knowing if anyone was watching. Only yesterday she had been skiing with the cool wind whipping across her cheeks. She had been on her third run of the day when she found herself catching her ski edge on a ridge of ice and flying through the air. The landing hadn’t been much of a pain, she remembered. Why, then, did I take off my helmet? Pressing her eyes tightly shut, she tried to remember.  Oh yes, the snow had gone under my goggles and had fogged up the lenses. Rather than taking off the goggles that were snapped in, she thought just taking off her helmet would be faster, allowing her to get back on her merry way down the hill.

Like a flash, a few seconds after she starting wiping her goggles clean, she felt a body of another skier slam into her. The snow streaked white in front of her as she was thrown through the air, into a nearby tree. Everything turned dark and the only thing she could think of was her mother telling her to be careful and insisting that she wear the helmet. The helmet was far from her now, a bright red orb in the winter snow.

When she had awoken in the hospital, she panicked. She knew she was awake and yet all she could see was a deep, black darkness. Her parent’s hands covered hers and they tried to reassure her that she was okay – that she had been involved in an accident. The darkness was from her accident – her eyesight was affected by the blow to her head. She didn’t have any other major injuries, but she would never be able to see again.

Now, sitting in the quiet room, she went over the loss in her head. She would never again be able to take or enjoy photographs. Something that had so clearly defined who she was, was taken away and she didn’t know how to deal with it – how to go on.

Sherry heard some footsteps approaching.

“Sherry?” a small voice whispered. “It’s me, Isabella.”

Isabella was Sherry’s best friend.  But instead of greeting her with the usual smile, Sherry growled at her, “Go away Isabella! I’m not in the mood!”

“Not in the mood for what, Sherry?” Isabella asked as the screech of a chair told Sherry that Isabella planned to stay for a while.

Sherry decided to give Isabella the silent treatment. With lips pursed closed and arms crossed in front of her, Sherry looked as if she was ready to enter a boxing ring.

Isabella patiently waited, swinging her legs in the chair, letting the time pass.

After about 10 minutes, Isabella asked, “Sherry, I was just thinking about your Portland trip again. Can you tell me about it? I didn’t get a chance to see your pictures.”

Sherry visibly relaxed with her hands going to her lap and her face looked reflective as she was drawn back to the smell of the roses.

As Sherry began to describe the photo session, she became more and more animated with hands molding the air to describe the scenes and her voice rising and falling depending on the location of the description. “…the monastery was a dark slate gray with the smell of mildew in the air reminding me of over a thousand years of footsteps on the cobblestones. The sounds echoed throughout the halls, causing me to become disoriented and wondering which room I had already visited. We stopped at the fruit stand to drink some ice cold lemonade that made our lips pucker, but the cold liquid flowing down our throats made us want to keep going.”

She kept describing all the sights, sounds and smells from her memories and began to miss the pictures captured on her digital camera. “Of course, you can see all this in the pictures I took while I was there,” she continued in a strained voice. “Enjoy them, because they are the LASR pieces of art I’ll ever make.”

Once again Sherry’s lips were pursed in a sneer and she crossed her arms to close off the world.

“Oh, I don’t think so,” Isabella said.

“How can you say that, Isabella? Just LOOK at me. I’ll never be able to show anyone the way I feel again!”

Isabella began slowly, “Sherry…you just did.”

“What are you TALKING about?” Sherry barked.

“You just painted a picture for me with your words. I felt as if I was right there with you in Portland. Even more than your pictures, I was able to taste, smell and touch the things you described, as well as see them. You not only have a talent for taking photographs, you have a talent for recognizing the art in everything. You can still share this with others – through WORDS!” Isabella said excitedly.

Sherry let Isabella’s words sink in. Maybe she was right, she thought. I’ll use this setback as a way to help others see what I am missing.

Sherry jumped out of her chair and rushed over to give Isabella a hug. In a time of darkness, her friend had helped her to open her eyes. Sherry would become a writer.