Black. That's the first thing I remember. Complete darkness, only faint light at the edges of my vision.
"Is anyone there..."
That's me. That's my voice.
"Is anyone there?"
Nothing. I feel around. The ground...it's gravely. The texture is like...sand.
I hear water, I feel it, at my feet. This is this beach? I think it's a beach.
I hear footsteps.
"Okay, you're still here. I'm guessing your not just a pervert then huh?"
I frown. "I...can't see. Please help me," I state.
I feel a touch on my arm, making me jump.
"You can't see?" She asks. "Did you try opening your eyes?"
They're closed? I try to pry my eyes open. But...still. Still I don't see anything. There seems to be more light, but I see nothing.
Wait...if my eyes are open and I can't see does that mean—
"It seems like you're blind."
"What's your name?" She asks.
What is my name?
"I'm not sure. I don't really know anything."
"Fine. I'll help you, come on."
I am being lifted, barely. I pick myself up, as she helps me, guiding me.
"Where are we?" I ask.
"This is a small village off the coast. We're close to Hawaii, but we're a small island."
I frown. "Do you know how I got here?"
"No, not really. But you've been here for about two days, naked on the beach."
"I'd think you can feel the wind down there, but I guess not. We're going over a threshold now, watch your step."
Her ha damn are gentle. I feel something, metal.
"Does your husband mind you bringing home a naked man?"
"He doesn't mind anything from the grave," she explained, "but if he does, then he knows I'd tell him to mind his own business."
I chuckle. "Well, then. Do you live alone?"
"I do. But don't think of putting any moves on me. I'll kill you and float you out to sea."
Something about that makes me chuckle. "I do hope you don't put me in cement shoes,"
I frown. "Eh...cement shoes, means soaking a mans feet in cement and then making him walk into the ocean."
"How did you come up with that?" She asks. Her voice is very...raspy.
And she seems to be strong and tall as well.
"You're very scarred," she tells me. Her voice is very expressive. I find it funny.
"Really?" I ask.
"Mh. I'm going to give you a bath, and then I'll give you some food. But you have do something, blind or not," she instructed.
I smile. This has been a horrible day. But she's very amusing. I find her interesting.
"Thank you. I'll do whatever I can."
"How did you survive I wonder," she asks. "The nearest island is miles away, and there's been no ships near this beach. Where did you come from? You have an accent."
"Come this way, sit here, I'll prepare your bath." She helps me sit in a chair, and starts moving.
I listen carefully to her feet moving, as she starts the water. Running water. The sound triggers something like a memory.
"Akira," I blurt.
"What?" She demands. I smile.
"I think my name is Akira."
"Akira? That's a nice name. My name is Dahlia."
"Dahlia...a beautiful flower," I whisper. I can picture one. Bright pink with many petals.
"The bath is ready for you, come," she takes my hand.
"I'll wash you off this one time, but next time, I'll prepare the bath, and you'll wash yourself."
I nod. "Yes...thank you."
She washes me gently. I feel...I think it's her hair, on my shoulder. It smells good. She smells good. She takes the cloth on my face, roughly scrubbing.
"Oh! Ow!" I close my eyes, shutting them tightly.
"You're covered in sand. Keep quiet."
"You're being so rough!" I complain. She sighs. I feel her breath on my face.
"Quiet you," she scolds me. "All this muscle, I'll be putting you to work,"
I smile. "Yes. I will do as you ask."
She washes me very throughly, without a care. As if I were just a child, she was bathing after a day in the sun and mud.
"You look like a man who's been to war," she says quietly.
I say nothing. Maybe I have.
Her skin in warm.
"Your hair is long," she remarks. "So many tattoos too. You some kinda thug?"
"I don't know what I am. Just that my name is Akira."
She sighs. "I'll give you some of his clothes to where. But he wasn't as tall as you, so it'll be a small fit."
"Dahlia," I say her name.
So that is her name. "Dahlia. Thank you. I can't begin to thank you. Whatever you want from me, I'll do my best, to show my gratitude."
She sighs. "So formal. Get up. I'll help you dress."
I have nothing. I am alone in this world with only a first name. And Dalia. But who's to say she will let me stay here much longer?
I need to regain mobility. I need to regain myself my freedom.
I can't rely on her.
"There, no you look quite handsome. I may use you for something else." She elbows me suggestively.
"If that's what you want." I say quietly.
"I'm kidding. I won't take advantage of you. Think of me like a sister. Or a friend. Okay?"
A friend. I guess I'm not completely alone in the world, huh.
"Thank you," I whisper.
"Come on, Akira. It's time to eat. What do you want?"
"I don't know. I will take anything, thank you."
"Come, sit." She helps me, walking me to what I assume is the kitchen.
40 steps. From the bathroom to the kitchen. The different floors make different sounds. I can navigate from this room to the bathroom in my own I bet. Just from the sounds of the floors.
She's cooking something. Dahlia. What can I do, to help here I wonder?
"Here, eat up." She sets something in front of me, and puts a spoon in my hand. "It's soup."
"It's good, thank you," I tell her.
"Here, I'll braid your hair back. Sit still...Akira."
"Yes, Dahlia. Thank you."
"Do you need help?" She asks.
I shake my head. "I will do this myself, thank you."
I hear her move. Away from me. Her steps grow lighter as she leaves the room. She didn't tell me where she was going or if I should expect her back. But I hear her feet pattering faintly throughly the house, so I suppose she's still here.
I try to stand and find I'm a little light on my feet. Very light on my feet. And my hearing is exceptional. I can hear...birds. And Dahlia. I can smell her...her scent. It's like the ocean, but not quite.
I can follow it. My feet make an echo. Echo...I make a click with my mouth. And again. I keep walking using sounds. The louder the echo, the closer I am. Then there should be a wall, right...
I raise my hand, brushing a wall. I smile.
"I did it..." I whisper.
Dahlia seems to have left the house. I decide to explore, making a map in mind. Time passes, but I don't exactly have a way of keeping track. I started counting seconds when I woke up, just to keep my mind awake.
That's...8 hours and 12 seconds since I woke. It was bright, since I'm blind but could still see the light of the sun on my eyes. So it's fair to say the sun would've been at its highest peak.
About noon. Then it should be...about 8 pm. Where could she be? I go over the house several times. It seems to be only one story, with one bedroom, a bathroom, the kitchen and a small living room.
It doesn't appear as if there's much decoration or furniture.
The door opens. Should I let her know I've adjusted? Maybe not. Maybe she would try to kill me. I hurry back to the table where she left me, and drop the spoon on the ground.
Just in case.
"Akira? I'm sorry for leaving so long. Are you okay?"
I nod. "Yes. Are you alright?"
Blood. The scent of iron fills my nose. It's blood, and I suspect it's hers.
"I'm fine," she sighs heavily. "Perfectly fine, is there something you need to do? Bathroom? Sleep? What would you like?"
"Are you sure you're okay?"
"I got a little cut but I'm fine."
No little cut should make such a heavy scent of blood. I wrinkle my nose. I can't smell anything else.
"Please, if you're injured, you should take care of your wounds."
She puts her hands on my face. I contain my surprise.
"Akira. What do you want to do, Akira."
I want her to bandage that cut.
"If you would tell me what time it is?"
"It is now 9:35 PM."
So I was right. Off by a few minutes, but I did count 60 minutes pass by as I explored.
"So," she says tiredly. "What will you do now, Akira?"
She sounds very tired. Is the blood loss? She's been bleeding for several minutes now. Will she die? Or should I go to the first aid kit I discovered in the bathroom and reveal my secret?
How about half way?
"My sense of smell have gotten better, since I can't see," I remark. "I can smell that you've lost a lot of blood, Dahlia. All I want is for you to bandage your wound please."
She sighs. "Fine Akira. Maybe instead of Akira I should call you wolf."
I smile, as she goes to get the bandages and disinfects it.
"Did someone...hurt you, Dahlia?"
"Just some thugs. It's fine. I can handle myself. It's not as if you'd be much help against them, strong as you look."
I frown. "Yes. I know."
"Don't feel bad, Akira. I've been dealing with this my whole life. Just relax. I'll read a story if you'd like. Or I can turn on the tv."
"Where would you like me to sleep?"
"I only have one bed, and the couch. You'll sleep with me."
So reckless...honestly, even if I am blind, I'm not impotent. Isn't that a little much. Even her charity is dangerous. I could just be pretending to be blind—
"Come on," she slips her hand in mine, "I'll help you."
She can be course, but she's very kind. To the point that I worry.
"These thugs," she leads me to the bedroom. "What do they want from you?" I ask.
"To pay my husbands debts with my body. Unfortunately for them, I am not as easy to deal with as they think."
I frown. "And...and where do they stay? These thugs?"
"Hm. Just outside the village. Don't worry. I keep a gun. If they come here, I'll kill them, before they can harm you."
Harm me? Of the two of us. Am I the one who needs protecting? I think I can do something about this.
"Oh. Thank you, again. I apologize for my insistent questioning."
"It's natural you're worried, Akira. But now, lay down. I'll read you a story."
I lay down, and she lays down beside me.
She reads to a story. But I don't hear it. Because...I think I can do something for the woman who saved me, and has taken care of me.