I was told I had an evil eye and because of my evil eye I would be sent into the river, past the woods, past the edge of tall grass, past my home and the town I've known my whole life. I would be marked a devil worshipper, tomorrow at 3am and led to the river by three townspeople, who are being chosen as I write. All of the villagers, even those I thought were my friends, agreed upon my sentencing, so it seems, since the day I was born. They pretended to be cordial, even friendly, but it was a facade. They decided a twenty two years ago when the midwife left my mother's home and spread the news, very quickly, that something was not right with the child she just gave birth to - me. I don't think the mid-wife knew I was blind, but rather she had the same type of sight that I do. More on that later.
I don't understand how I can have an evil eye when the fact is, I'm blind. And for all appearances, I am very "normal" looking. My eyes aren't murky, glassy, out of focus or staring off at strange angles. By looking at me, so I've been told, you would never know I was blind.
But I did see, you see. It was my secret, although others, like me, could sense I had the "ability". I never told Mama or Papa or Jessie. Jonas, my Palomino Horse, sensed it because although he had sight, I believe he also had the same abilities as I do - vision within vision within a vision.
People do say sight is a gift, but who is to really say for sure.
I remember when Jessie realized she saw colors differently than Mama and Papa. She had picked a wildflower out back, beyond the edge of the tall grass, to give to Mama.
She said, "Isn't it a lovely shade of blue, Mama?" She was ten years old.
Mama looked at her quizzically and said, "Darling, thank you for such a lovely purple flower."
"No, it's blue, isn't it?"
"No, baby, purple."
At night when we were laying in bed, supposed to be fast asleep, Jessie was all restless like, tossing and turning a thousand times. Finally I couldn't take it no more and asked her what was the matter.
"I shouldn't complain to you, sister," she said.
"What do you mean by that???"
"Well, you're blind and don't see nothing. I just see things weird."
"Now you need to tell me what's on your mind!"
"I'm not normal, Mary."
"You're very normal...well, for a little sister you're as normal as you can be."
My attempt to make her laugh failed. Instead she broke into tears.
"I can't see colors."
"I can't see at all."
"That's more normal than seeing but not seeing."
I wanted to tell her I could not see, yet I did and maybe that was not normal, but I didn't.
"Don't be silly", was all I ended up saying, while hugging her.
She calmed down a bit and then said, "Well, maybe, Mary, those names we give things don't matter all that much. Maybe blue is purple and purple is really green. Maybe everyone sees things differently. Maybe all of them are wrong and I'm right. Maybe you see and we are blind. Maybe."
She finally fell asleep that night, having come to perhaps the first adult thought - life wasn't clear cut. Jessie was growning up.
The trouble really began when I told Mr. Jenkins about something I had seen. It had come to me while walking home from his store. I knew every step to town, around town and back home. Everyone knew me and I knew them, so I never felt I was in danger, back then. Anyway - what I saw jilted me so badly I literally jumped - Fire.