The blind girl – (Short Story) By Rachid Khouya

Laayoune, Morocco, July 30, 2013

To the people, Leila is a blind girl. The light she used to see has turned into darkness. Her room, as everything else in her new world, has one color: black.The colors disappeared from the dictionary of her sight. All colors are one color: black with no white.
But Leila does not see herself as a blind girl. She knows her way in life, and she walks alone without help from anyone. "There are eyes inside our hearts, but only few people use them," is what she would always tell people when they ask her, "how does she see her way?"
"A lot of people think that we see with the holes that are on our faces. Those are only windows through which our hearts see the world and the people. But because people are ignorant of themselves, they think that it is the window that sees, not the person behind the window," she adds.
The only person who understands her is her mother. Her mother knows that her daughter has more than eyes. She sees the world with her heart and this makes her see with her mind too, because she sees what we do not see.
Leila always says, "We live in a world where people understand only those who wear masks and who see with others' eyes, talk with others' mouths, walk with others' feet and hear with other's ears. They want us to be led by their senses, not ours."
Leila loves the person she is because she loves the things she sees and touches and she enjoys watching with her heart, while others think she is blind.
For Leila, people without visual impairments are the ones who are blind, as they do not see with their inner eyes, but because they are numerous and the majority, they think that the number makes the truth and that's the reason why they can never understand Leila.
The other night Leila was trying to cross the street and a young lady, with colorful makeup, short hair and a half naked bosy, went up to her. Leila refused to give her her hand and pretended not to see her or feel her presence.
The lady, thinking that Leila did not see her, opened her mouth to try and make it known to Leila that she was there to help her and said, "Can I help you cross the street, dear?"
Leila went on ignoring the lady. "The girl cannot hear me as well", the lady said inside her. Thus, she touched her shoulders screaming, "can I help you cross the street?"
Leila laughed for a while and without looking at the lady, she replied, 'we should use our eyes to help ourselves first dear. If your eyes do not guide you to the best way, then you should understand that you are blind. You should look for your true eyes to guide your feet and your deeds".
The lady could not believe what she was hearing. She didn't understand what Leila was talking about and whom she was talking about. The girl's words were like puzzles.
In an attempt to understand, the lady asked Leila, "What do you mean dear? I cannot follow you, can you please clarify what you mean?"
Leila looked at the lady and told her, "our eyes are within our minds and hearts. They should be our guide and our driver. People see the ways of others, but they do not see their own way. They see others but they do not see themselves. The light of the porch comes from the batteries not from the porch itself and the light of our eyes comes from our hearts not from the eyes themselves. The eyes are but two holes on our faces.The sight comes from the heart, the soul and the mind. Who told you that I do not see, dear?"
The lady was so surprised to hear the little girl talking like a poet or a philosopher. She tried to say something, but she was feeling unable to find what to say. "Well, well, I just thought that you need help, dear", said the stranger.
Leila laughed again. "We all need help. There are those who give what they need. You are wrong dear, I see my way and I can tell you that you do not see yourself well. Look at your clothes and at the way you changed your features so as to give others the impression that you are beautiful."
"What do you mean? Aren't you blind?", the lady asked surprisingly.
"I don't think so", answered Leila. "We are all blind. When we cannot see our truth, what we are, what we do and where we are heading to, then we should acknowledge that we are blind. We have different ways and different objectives in life. Everyone has their own path to follow. Why are you painting your face with that unnatural make up, and why are you showing your body in public dear? It is either you are blind or you think that others are blind?"
The lady got mad as she started to feel that the little girl was attacking her directly. "Well, you must respect yourself. I wanted just to help you cross the street to save you from death, but here you are hurting me. People like you make us stop helping blind people. As my grandmother used to say, "only the bad people become blind" and I think this is right. You must be a bad girl".
Leila went on laughing. The more she laughs, the angrier the lady got. Some people stopped to follow the conversation because it was so interesting. They were laughing too, as they enjoyed listening to what was going on between the lady and the blind girl.
"You see what I meant, you must open your real eyes to watch yourself and open your ears to hear what you are saying. Before saving others from death, try to save yourself first. Before you advise others, advise yourself first and before you help others cross the way, try to find yours first. A lot of people cross others' ways instead of crossing theirs and they put their feet in others' shoes instead of putting them in their own shoes." Leila addressed the crowd who were shaking their heads in a sign of agreement with her speech.
The lady was so irritated, and she looked at the girl and the people and replied, "you try to help them find their way and they make you doubt yours, maybe we are all blind." Then she kissed the girl. "Thank you dear, instead of helping you, you helped me open my eyes on my way. I will think about that at home", and she left.