- Conciseness slowly comes to Mrs. Lilly Satou Nakai. She's unaware of her surroundings at first, as anyone who had just awoken from anesthetics would be. A calming, male voice is the first real thing to contact her.
- "Mrs. Nakai? Are we awake?"
- "Mostly. I'm still fairly woozy, however."
- "That's to be expected, Miss Nakai. You were, after all, the first patient to receive any surgery of this kind, so we had to keep you under for quite a while."
- "Ah, yes. Surgery... my eyes... did it all go as planned?"
- "Yes, Mrs. Nakai, your surgery went by very smoothly. It only took seventeen hours to perform, as opposed to the twenty-six hours originally predicted. Our robotic surgeons work much more quickly and accurately than what was originally predicted when this research went in for initial testing three years ago."
- Three years ago... that timeframe irked Lilly greatly, but she decided not to show it. This is a good time, she decided, and instead of feeling down about the past, she should be excited to realize a world which had been completely cut off to her since her birth almost thirty years before.
- "Well then," continues the doctor, "it'll be safe for us to take off those bandages around your new eyes. Are you ready for this moment?"
- "Yes, I am."
- She wasn't.
- The doctor peels away the strands of cloth from around Lilly's head, and the world which she has lived in all her life is suddenly, entirely, new. The intensity of the white walls in the hospital assault Lilly's eyes before she can react. She reflexively shuts her eyes and arches downwards.
- "Heh, a bit staggering, is it?"
- Lilly says nothing. She's in absolute awe. That one moment of pain was unbelievable to her. She struggles to open her eyes again, and eventually manages to adjust to the white light of the hospital. She finds herself facing the second-in-charge of the project which has led her to sight.
- "So, was it successful?"
- Lilly is captivated by every movement he makes. Every time his lips move, his eyes blink, or he shuffles the papers on his clipboards, Lilly notices. Tears begin working down her face.
- "Yes. I-I can see now. You, this bed, this room, everything. It's... it's unbelievable."
- Words can't describe the overwhelming flood of emotions flowing over Lilly at the moment. She can barely push out words as she cries.
- The doctor gives Lilly a moment to take it all in. This is, after all, the first time anything like this has ever happened. Cochlear implants have been successful since the mid-nineteen-seventies, but there is an immense gap between the acquirement of sound versus that of sight. After a couple minutes of sobbing, he chimes in.
- "So, Mrs. Nakai, this is all new to you, so we'll begin teaching you very soon about basic things in the visual world which you have never experienced. Color, for example. The color you're seeing the most right now is probably white. Like this piece of paper. This is white. But those "get well soon" balloons behind me are red."
- Lilly is glued to his every word. Colors were something she never truly understood, and something which had caused many people to trip upon their words when they were around her. She knew all the names to the seven basic colors, but she had nothing to attach them to besides several objects. And these objects were still things which she would have difficulty recognizing without holding them. So much to learn...
- "I'd like to start now. Learning about sight, that is. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself."
- The doctor smiles enthusiastically.
- "Alright. I'll go grab our teacher for you. I'll check up on you later, Lilly."
- He leaves Lilly alone in her room to look around at everything around her.
- "Hey! Lilly! Over here!" Akira's booming voice draws the eyes of Lilly from across the waiting room. It takes her a moment to connect the voice to the face, and then Lilly rushes through the crowds and into her sister's arms.
- "Akira! This is so wonderful! I can see! It worked! When I woke up, they pulled the bandages away, and it hurt for a second, but now I can see! Then- then they took me aside and taught me about all kinds of things, like colors and some basic objects like cars and boats, and... It's all so wonderful, Aki-"
- She looks over Akira's shoulders towards another woman. She's about as tall as Akira, but her hair is much darker and longer. Lilly also notices something different about the right side of the woman's body... they must be burn scars, so this woman must be...
- "Hanako! It's so nice to finally see you."
- "L-Lilly..." Hanako retracts somewhat. She seems afraid of what Lilly with think of her now that she has sight.
- "You're beautiful, Hanako. I'm glad that you're one of the first people I have the pleasure of seeing." Hanako blushes and buries her face in Lilly's shoulder as they hug, feeling relieved.
- Since leaving high school, Hanako has been working diligently as a news reporter for one of the larger companies in Japan. She doesn't write for any "paper," for print has been long-since abandoned in the presence of larger information mediums such as the internet. Her stories often did make the front page of the company's website, albeit under a pseudonym.
- "Ah, shit."
- Both heads turn to Akira as she reaches melancholic-ly into her back pocket. Out comes her wallet, and from her wallet comes a picture. She stares the picture down hard before handing it over to Lilly without saying a word.
- "I'd almost forgot."
- It's a picture of a man. He's tall and thin. His eyes and hair are... brown. That's the color, she remembers, brown. His eyes and hair are brown, and his suit jacket is white and goes down to his calves. His hair looks unkempt, and there are dark circles under his eyes from a lack of sleep.
- Lilly is unsure of what to make of this picture. She's only been a part of the world of the seeing for a few hours now, and is still having troubles connecting it to the world of the blind. She attempts bridging the two by holding out her hands and "feeling" what she sees. As she sees his cheeks, she runs her hands across the imaginary cheeks in front of her. Realization begins slowly washing over her as she continues around his chin, then his ears, to his eyes and to his forehead. Tears spill over as she runs her hand through his hair one last time.
- "It... This is Hisao, isn't it?"
- Akira and Hanako solemnly nod.
- "He gave it to me when he was almost done with his research. Said that he had felt like he was reaching the end of his life. Wanted you to have something in case he... well..."
- This is a picture of the late Dr. Hisao Nakai.
- Project Manager and Head Researcher of the "Sight to the Blind" project.
- Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
- Husband to Lilly Satou Nakai.
- Deceased, due to a sudden heart attack three years ago.
- Pictures were all she had left of him.
- "Pictures of Lilly" is a song by The Who (the original title was "Lily" though, with one less "l")
- Basic premise taken from an anonymous poster on 4chan.
- If you're reading this, thank you.
Pictures of Lilly [Good End]
anonandonymos May 13th, 2012 1,527 Never
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