face in the mirror …nouvelle en Anglais par سامح الجملي من تونس.

I had a normal childhood. Growing up with loving parents and fun loving siblings I couldn’t ask for more but everything shattered on my eighteenth birthday. My friends had planned a road trip and I remember having the best day of my life . In the morning I came to know that I was in a hospital with my parents sobbing by my side . I couldn’t see anything except darkness and a huge bandage was wrapped over my eyes. Took me sometime to accept the reality that I had lost my vision in both eyes. My parents tried to cheer me up by saying that it’s only temporary and everything will be back to normal once they find a suitable eye donor. The wait was surprisingly short and within a few days I was wheeled into the surgery room .
“Micheal , open your eyes gently . You might experience a slight discomfort initially since it may take sometime for your eyes to get used to the brightness. “
I was too excited and wanted the doctor to remove the bandage as soon as possible.
After what seemed like hours , the bandages were removed and I opened my eyes as gently as possible. I saw my parents smiling , my sister holding my hand and my brother wearing my favourite jersey. The doctor left the room to give us some privacy and the next few moments were filled with happy exchanges.
They took me home and I went to my room. Nothing had been moved. I entered the bathroom and braced myself to look in the mirror. I expected a bruised face with few cuts and stitches but never in my wildest dream did I expect to see a completely different one. I had a deeper jawline , dimples on the both the cheeks and blue eyes. This was not how I looked.
Next few moments were a blur. My parents frantically showed me my pictures and my friends tried to convince me by my side .
I couldn’t understand what was going on. The face in the mirror was not the same face as in my pictures . My brother even took a picture of me on his mobile and showed me the image. I looked exactly how I was before the accident. It was my face but why is it that every time I look in the mirror I see a completely different one. I did not incur any damage to the brain and the doctors didn’t find any abnormalities in the various scans and x rays taken. They said it was because of the trauma and I was asked to see a psychiatrist.
It took me many days and nightmares to get used to my new face. It was as if I was entirely replaced by somebody.
I always wanted to know who my eye donor was and had an inkling maybe the answer to this confusion will be cleared then .
My parents and friends rarely spoke about what happened on my eighteenth birthday so I was determined to find the truth. They said a truck crashed into my car and the driver fled away from the scene. They couldn’t find him no matter how hard the police searched . The truck was unlicensed and the case was a dead end .
I went to the hospital and asked for the details of my donor. They were initially reluctant since my donor wished for anonymity but after listening to my agonising troubles they took pity on me and revealed it. Mr. Richard was my donor. He committed suicide few days after my accident . I looked for his home address and headed to the place he lived .
After hours of searching , I was finally able to locate his house . It was the only house in that dilapidated area and it was abandoned. I parked my car and rang the doorbell . No one answered the door and I was surprised to find that the door was unlocked . Gathering my wits , I went inside the house. Things were scattered with dust all over the place. I dragged my foot and wandered aimlessly. I had no idea what I wanted to find and kept walking till I found an old photo frame hanging in a hidden corner. A young man with blue eyes , deep jawline with dimples on both his cheeks was standing beside a truck which eerily looked familiar. I recognised the person in that photo immediately. That was the face I saw in the mirror. With my trembling hands , I grabbed the photo frame and turned it over.
I read the words written by Mr. Richard in what seemed to be his own blood . I dropped the picture and fled out of the house . Surprisingly that was the last day I saw Mr. Richard in the mirror . Everything was back to normal but no matter how much I tried, I could never forget what I read on that photo frame .
‘ Sorry ‘

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