Landscapes

Landscapes

As Jimmy walked down the corridor he felt uneasy and self conscious. There was a smell of polish and disinfectant reminding him of shoes being cleaned and dishes being washed.

He clutched a paper bag of shortbread, knocked on the door and reluctantly walked in.

She lay on the bed, was propped up by some pillows. He walked over.

‘Hello Gran. I brought you some shortbread.’

Jimmy forced a smile; he hadn’t seen his Gran since she had become blind and he found it creepy. Her eyes were fixed on him but not seeing. She smiled and for some reason he remembered the time she had come to his clarinet performance at School.

‘Hello Jimmy dear, it's lovely of you to come. Tell me, what’s it like outside?' she asked softly.

It was a dull day, the sort when you think you will never be able to see blue sky again. Below was a car park with rubbish blowing around and a bench with graffiti all over it. Having rained, everything was damp and miserable. It reminded Jimmy of an old black and white photograph.

Without realising it, Jimmy found himself describing not what lay outside his Gran’s window but let his imagination take over.

‘The…the sun is shining Gran,’ he stammered ‘and the clouds are painted on the sky like cotton wool being pulled apart. Children are playing with a dog, a spaniel I think and some mums are walking with their prams and a dad is playing ball with his daughter. Everybody is enjoying the sun and there are flowers blooming.....' Jimmy jolted to a stop realizing that he was lying to his loving, blind Gran and he felt a stab of guilt.

Jimmy glanced over to her. She was now sleeping with a smile on her face. He left the shortbread on the table with a note asking the nurse to tell his Gran that they were from him.

On the way home he was very quiet. His mum asked him if he was alright but he just absentmindedly said, ’yes.’ At home Jimmy went straight to his room and lay on his bed.

‘Jimmy?’ It was his mum at his door. ‘I know something is wrong, please tell me,’ she asked kindly.

Eyes brimming with tears Jimmy told her of how he had led his Gran to think that there was something beautiful outside her window. He felt horrid knowing it was wrong to lie. His mum said, ‘Come with me.’

Taking him to her bedroom she rummaged around in her scarves’ drawer and pulling out a thick black woolly scarf she told him to close his eyes and tied the scarf around his head.

‘Can you see?’ asked mum.

Jimmy shook his head

‘This is what it is like for your Gran. Although she cannot see, she has the landscapes of her imagination and you can paint wonderful pictures for her.

Reassured Jimmy felt that if the scene he had described awoke her imagination then that was probably a very good place to see and a very good place to be.

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