Love Is Blind Ch. 1byAnonSky©
Brad had this area of the library pretty much to himself - there were only four or five other people in the reading room. It was the first week of the term, and he was trying to get back into his study routine. He was engrossed in his reading and did not notice the young woman until she placed her books on the table, and asked, "Would you mind some company?"
Brad turned and glanced up at her, he could see her visibly recoil when she saw his full face, but before he could respond, she stammered, "Oh, I...I'm...I'm sorry I thought you were someone else." She picked up her books and beat a hasty retreat.
He shut his book more forcibly than he had intended. Several people glanced over at him - he ignored them. "A helluva lot of good those operations and all that damn pain did," thought Brad. Sadden, dejected, a little angry, he had lost interest in studying. Glancing at his watch, it was 7:15, he decided to take a break, and get a cup coffee.
As he walked into the small break room off the library lobby, there was a slight pause in the conversations of the seven or eight students seated at the small tables. Brad walked over to the coffee machine, put two quarters in the slot and punched the button. "Dammit, I should be used to this by now....should expect it," he thought as he looked at his image in the mirrored front of the machine, the scarred face looking back at him like one of the old Greek tragedy masks - one side of the face pure and good, the other side twisted into a horrible grimace. "Nothing can ever be same again," he thought bitterly.
There had been better times. In the eleventh grade, Brad had made first string on the football team, a wide receiver. He caught 14 touchdown passes that year - a school record. He had been named to the "All State-All Star High School Team." He and Julie were a pretty permanent twosome and were already talking about what college they wanted to attend - the accident changed all that. It was July, school was out, and he was cutting the lawn. He left the mower running to get another plastic bag out of the garage. When he came out, he saw Tommy, his six-year brother, trying to pour gas into the mower's fuel tank - he was spilling some and the mower was still running. Brad could remember yelling, grabbing Tommy by the back of his collar, and flinging his little brother backward, away from the mower, the gas, and the explosion.
Brad's next memory was waking up in the hospital weeks later in terrible pain, his life altered forever. Tommy was okay; however, Brad had been severely burned on the left side of his head and body by the gasoline - he was badly scarred. He almost died from the severity of the burns, only the expertise of the Burn Center at the hospital saved him. Julie tried to hang in there with him, but it was too much - she left for college and never wrote. The irony was, that in a right profile view, Brad was still the handsome young man he was meant to be, the damage was all to his left side. Now, five years and seven operations later, he was starting his junior year at the University.
Brad sipped his coffee as he glanced around the room, all the tables were taken, there were some vacant chairs at a couple of the tables, but he didn't want to intrude. He knew his face made most people uncomfortable. He took his coffee and walked out onto the small patio, the place to which smokers were exiled these days. The few tables on the patio were also taken, then he noticed the one in the far corner, only one girl sat at the table. He hesitated and then muttered to himself, "Why not? All she can do is say no, or get up and run away." A couple of the lights were burnt out on the patio and he could not see her very well until he got closer. She was a very beautiful...what his mother called a 'dishwater blonde,' too light to be brown, and too dark to be a true blonde. What surprised him was that she had on sunglasses, not just glasses as he originally thought.
"Hi....do you mind if I share the table with you?" Brad asked.
She smiled and made a gesture with her hand, palm up, "Oh no, please sit down. I'd enjoy some company...I'm new here and don't know many people yet."
"Thanks. I'm Brad Covington, just starting my third year. So, you're a freshman?"
"Hi Brad. I'm Allison McKinley. No, I'm somewhere between being a sophomore and a junior." She chuckled, "I transferred here from Hartwell Junior College, but not all my credits transferred with me - I need six more credit hours to be a junior."
"That's too bad, but that's only two subjects. You won't have any trouble making those up. What are you taking...your major?"
"English....actually creative writing."
"No kidding," Brad exclaimed, "I'm taking journalism but with a heavy emphasis on creative writing...really a double major." He watched her smile and thought "God, she is beautiful. I wish she would take off those darn glasses." He couldn't tell much about her figure with her seated, but it looked equally as nice. He was amazed...she had not shown any reaction to his face, and over the last few years he had gotten very good in spotting the reaction, even in those trying to hide their feelings. Her voice had a soft sultry tone to it - he could feel his prick twitch and stiffen some as he listened to her. It had been a long time since had done this, sat and talked with a girl, especially one as beautiful as this one.
They talked and before he knew it twenty minutes had gone by. Allison took a sip of her coffee and grimaced. "Has your coffee gotten cold?" asked Brad.
"It's not that, I don't mind cold coffee. I wanted black with sugar, but I must have hit the wrong button and got black."
"Let me get you another cup." When she started to protest, Brad hushed her, "I want another cup anyway, and I'll get you one too, a welcome to MSU."
He was back quickly with the coffee. He placed her coffee in the center of the small table. "Here you go...black with sugar."
Allison chuckled, "Okay, thanks....I owe you a cup. Next time it's on me."
As they continued to chat, Brad noticed that she had not picked up her coffee. She was moving her hand slowly back and forth across the small table, a little further out each time. Suddenly it dawned on Brad, the dark glasses on a poorly lit patio, no reaction to his scarred face - she was blind. Brad reached across, gently took her hand and placed it on the cup.
"I gave myself away didn't I?" she said quietly. "I'm sorry. I wasn't really trying to fool you...I just like to see how long I can pretend there's nothing wrong with me. Some people find it awkward talking with a blind person."
"Allison, all of us have our problems, some worse-some better. I've enjoyed talking with you more than anything I've done in quite awhile." Brad shook his head, "But you're new here...how did you find your way here all by yourself?"
Allison laughed, "I rode over with my sister. She's a true freshman....that's why I went to Hartwell for two years, waiting for her to graduate. We've got an apartment over at the Wesley Arms complex." Allison paused, "So I have Bev, and Galahad, my protector and my eyes."
"Under my chair." Allison chuckled as she called softly, "Here, Galahad."
Brad heard a soft "woof" and watched as a German Shepherd materialized from beneath her chair. It was so dimly lit in the their corner of the patio, and he had been so focused on Allison, that he had not noticed the dog.
"Don't pet him - just hold out your hand and let him get to know you."
Brad laughed and held out his hand toward Galahad. Galahad sniffed him, moved a little closer, and pushed his nose into the palm of Brad's hand.
"He likes you," said Allison when she felt the tug on the harness, "that's quite a compliment, he doesn't take to many people."
"He's a beautiful dog," said Brad. "Say, it's getting late, would you like to walk home...it's only about a twenty minute walk and it's a beautiful night. I live in the same place, Welsey Arms, in the C wing."
"I'd love to...Galahad and I both need the exercise, but I need to tell Bev."
At that moment a younger version of Allison walked up to the table. "Here you are. I thought you might have gotten lost in there."
As Brad stood up he saw Allison's sister take in his damaged face and the way her smile quickly turned off. Allison spoke up, "Bev, this Brad Covington, he's a junior. We've been sitting here talking. Brad, this is my sister, Beverly. Bev, sit down and join us."
"Hi, glad to meet you," said Brad. Beverly did not extend her hand so he held his back, then sat back down.
Beverly gave him a curt nod, "Hi," and glanced at Allison, "Allie, we need to be going...it's almost nine."
"Brad's offered to walk me back to the complex. He lives there too."
"I don't think that's such a good idea, Allie. We're new here, you don't know the town, the people, or Brad - you just met him. You'd better come on with me."
As Brad started to say something, Allison groped out and put her hand on his arm, "Wait Brad." Allison turned toward Beverly, "Beverly, even if Brad were a serial killer or a rapist, you've seen him, he wouldn't be stupid enough to do anything now. You go ahead. I'll be home in about 45 minutes."
After Beverly had left, obviously disapproving of Allison decision, Allison gave Brad's arm a gentle squeeze. "I'm sorry Brad, Bev doesn't usually act that way...I don't know what got into her."
"She was just trying to protect you. After all, you really don't know much about me."
"I don't need that kind of protection - mothering." Allison laughed softly. "I bet I know more about you than you think. Don't say anything till I'm through and then tell me how many things I get wrong. OK?"
After he said okay, she began, "Listening to your voice when you're standing, you're about 5'10 or 5'11, not over six feet tall at most. You aren't fat, you're pretty trim, about 165 or 170 - your footsteps don't sound heavy. You've played football or some other sport; you walk like an athlete. You don't smoke or I'd smell it. You have a grade point average between 3.0 and 4.0, your use of the language, your choice of words, gives that away. You have a nice voice, it has a hint of sadness in it at times - like you've been disappointed or hurt. You're basically a gentle, thoughtful person - you reacted that way when you discovered I was blind." She smiled, then continued, "You use English Leather aftershave, and you had the liver and onion special at the cafeteria for dinner. Last of all, Galahad likes you." Allison laughed, "How did I do?"
Brad shook his head, laughing too, "You didn't miss a one, but you didn't get what soap I use."
Brad laughed and held up his hands in mock surrender, "Okay..okay, I give up, but that wasn't what I meant about your sister." He continued in a more serious tone, "I think I know why your sister is concerned about me. She probably thinks I'm taking advantage of you because you can't see what I look like. I guess I was doing a little pretending too."
Brad paused, took a deep breath, and told Allison about the accident, his recovery, the operations, Julie, and how people tended to react to his scarred face. Allison was quiet for a moment when he finished. Then she asked softly, "Brad, can I see your face....would you let me really see it."
"I don't know what you mean...sure, but how?"
"I mean with my fingers...kneel down by my chair and let me see your face with my fingers."
"Sure....I guess that's okay," he said as he got up and knelt down.
Allison ran her fingers lightly over his face, then going back repeated it very slowly, as though she were drawing a map or a picture in her mind. As she traced the scars and felt the slick restored skin on the left side of his face, a tear ran from under her glasses and down her cheek. Then she left the scarred side and concentrated on the other side - she never said a word. After a few moments she whispered, "Oh Brad, thank you....thank you."
As Allison took off her glasses and wiped her eyes, Brad sat back down in the chair. Other than members of his family and the doctors and nurses, no one had touched his face in five years. He took a deep breath trying to steady his emotions - he glanced at his watch. "I need to get you home - your sister will have the cops out looking for us for sure, " he said jokingly in a soft voice.
Brad lay in bed reviewing the evening. They had gotten to her apartment about ten till ten - he had hated to see the walk end. She asked him to come in, but Beverly was obviously cool to the idea so he had declined. They did agree to meet at the library tomorrow afternoon about four p.m., and he realized he was looking forward to it with an eagerness that was unusual for him.
On the walk, Allison had told him about her accident, a car wreck when she was thirteen. A semi-truck had hit the car on the passenger side and she had ended up with a broken arm, leg, some cracked ribs, a punctured lung, and a piece of the chrome window trim piercing her skull. Her father just had minor injuries. Two weeks later, she had her fourteen birthday in the hospital - she also found out she would be blind for the rest of her life. At fifteen, she went to the Ripley Institute for the Blind in New York State, where she lived for three years. She got her high school diploma from Ripley, but she also learned how to live as a blind person in a sighted world. She got Galahad during her second year at Ripley, and after graduation, they had come home and entered the Jr. College, waiting for Beverly to graduate from high school.
"She is really amazing," thought Brad. She had told him she was lucky, she had been able to see for thirteen years, she had a point of reference when she read something or some one described something to her - she knew what red was, what a sunset looked like. Imagine those blind from birth, she had said, they had no reference, no memory of those things - they had never seen them. Brad drifted off to sleep thinking of tomorrow.
It was a beautiful Saturday in mid-November, unseasonably warm, with the temperature about 76 degrees. Bevelry had gone home for the weekend - Brad and Allison were at the large reservoir in the State Park that adjoined the campus. They like to come here in nice weather to sit and talk, or sometimes Brad would read to her, or just describe the sights, the boats, the lake, the other people there - Allison called it painting pictures with words. Today they were lying on their backs, side by side, on a blanket, and he was reading to her - reading Ken Follett's, "Night Over Water". He had just reached the section where Margaret crawls into Harry's sleeping compartment and Harry has a premature ejaculation - he'd forgotten how graphic the scene was. He was blushing, stumbling over the words, when Allison laughed and rolled over against him, partly on top him.
"I'll bet you're blushing," she teased. "You're embarrassed."
"I'd forgotten how graphic Follett can get..."
"Oh Brad, I've heard all those words before," she said as she put a finger against his lips, silencing him. "You know, we've been getting together almost every day for nearly three months, and you've never kissed me, never even tried. I thought you liked me."
Thrown off by the sudden change of subject, Brad stammered, "I...we....but I did. We've kissed goodnight."
"A peck...a peck on the lips really doesn't count." She stroked his face gently, "I dream about you some nights. I like it - I can see you in my dreams."
"You sure that isn't a nightmare."
"No, it's no nightmare," she said, as she poked him in his ribs, "it's a good dream. It couldn't get a PG rating, but I like it." She stroked his smooth right cheek with her fingertips, "This is the Brad I see - the Brad I dream is kissing me, making love to me."
Brad pulled her closer, kissing her, letting his tongue probe her lips. She opened her lips and sucked his tongue deep into her mouth, teasing it with her tongue. She moved over, completely atop him, he could feel his growing erection trapped between their bodies - she had to be able to feel it too. When they finally broke from the passionate kiss, they were both breathing heavily.
"Allison....Allison, I've wanted to do that for so long," he whispered in her ear, hugging her tightly, feeling his full-blown erection pressing against her. "I just....I didn't want to do anything that might turn you off. I can't imagine not being able to see you, be with you. I didn't want to ruin that."
"You wouldn't," she said softly. She unbuttoned her blouse and guided his hand into it, placing his hand upon her breast, letting him cup her breast in his hand, his fingers stroking the swell of her breast above the bra. "Oh Brad, I've wanted you....I want you right now. I'm a 21 year old virgin; I don't want to be a 22 year old virgin." She sought his lips and kissed him, thrusting her tongue into his mouth with a wild abandon, pushing and rubbing herself against his rigid erection trapped between them.
Cupping his face between her hands, she drew back from his lips, "Oh Brad, I want you...I want you now. You want me...I know you do, I can feel you."
"God, I do. I want you so bad it hurts....but this...this is too public. There are some people just over to the left." At that moment Galahad whined rather loudly, Brad laughed softly, "Besides, Galahad's watching."
Allison laughed, gave him a quick kiss, and sat up, "Okay, let's go back to the apartment."
Brad's fingers trembled as he unbuttoned Allison's blouse. All the way home, she had sat next to him, her head on his shoulder and her hand between his thighs gripping his rigid prick, occasionally stroking it. When he told her he needed to stop at the drugstore for some condoms, she had just gripped him even tighter and told him that they didn't need them. She had gone by the clinic and gotten a prescription for the pill in early October - she said she knew then, that sooner or later, they were going to be lovers. Since she was a virgin, the doctor gave her a quick exam to see if there were any problems. Dr. Cohen had told her that she had a very strong hymen that might cause problems and some pain the first time she had intercourse. The doctor recommended that Allison let her rupture it. Allison said, "I let her cut it....I want it to be perfect for us, especially the first time."
They stretched out on the bed, their naked bodies melding into each other. Brad's hand massaged her breast, rolling the stiff nipple between two fingers as he kissed her. Allison opened her legs and let his stiff prick slip between her thighs, pressing against her wet vulva. She could feel the shaft of his rigid, warm prick pressing up between her labia, the moist outer lips of her vulva.
"Oh God, Allison, I don't know if I can keep from cumming....I want you so much," he moaned. "I'm going to be as quick as Harry was in that book."
Allison chuckled, "That's okay....we've got all afternoon and tomorrow. Anyway, it's my fault for playing with you all the way home." She laughed, "I hope no one saw us coming in, your pants must have been sticking way out in front of you." She sat up and slid down his body until her head was even with his hips. Taking his prick in her hand she felt up and down its length, seeing it with her fingertips. "I've never seen an erect penis," she whispered. "Penis doesn't sound right - prick, an erect prick. That sounds better when you're making love." She kissed the head of his prick and tasted the pre-cum oozing from his slit. "Oh....you're leaking," she said, licking the pre-cum off her lips.
Brad chuckled, "It's just pre-cum....I guess it helps lubricate the girl, makes it easier to go in."
"The way I feel down there, I don't need any lubrication. Anyway, I like the taste." She lowered her head and slipped her lips over the head of his prick, letting it slip deep into her mouth.