So cold. I get closer to the warm bodies against me. I squirm next to her. I squeal because I want milk. My stomach lets out a groan.
Suddenly, as I’m trying to get to the milk… I see.
I stop squirming to take in everything. It’s not dark anymore… There are things I can’t describe. Everything is differently… shaded? I’m so confused!
I close my eyes again; it’s more comfortable that way. Still, curiosity gets the best of me, and I peek out again.
And again, the different things blind me. There are walls that are different levels of darkness, but there’s something else too. It’s like light, but it’s different… it’s not just dark and light. I look around the den. This is not how I imagined it at all… although I didn’t really imagine anything. I had no idea what to expect.
I look up. Wow. There are even more different kinds of light. I squeeze my eyes shut, my head hurting. How much have I been missing?
Once the hurting isn’t as bad, I look up again. Everything above me is so beautiful. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s beautiful. There’s also something bright. Ow! Sharp pains stab at my eyes as I look at the bright thing. It feels like there’s something hard poking my eyes. I can’t help but look at the light again. It’s too pretty. The pain comes back, but I ignore it until I can’t bear it anymore. This time, when I turn away, all sorts of weird shapes float in front of me. They move around in a dizzy manner, but I can’t swat them away. They disappear when the pain is gone though.
It must be the price for seeing. The little things that float around must be taking away something so that I can see. I’m satisfied with the reason I come up with.
I turn my head back up towards the things above me. There’s more out there that I can see, and this time it doesn’t hurt, because the little creatures already took what they needed.
Slowly, I pull myself out of Mommy’s grasp. She sighs, but doesn’t wake up. Good. I want to explore all by myself. Slowly I scrabble up towards the opening.
I’m too small though. Frustrated, I push myself on top of my brothers. Still too tiny. I push up one more time… and then my feet aren’t on the ground anymore. I flail wildly, trying to grip onto something, but in a moment, I’m back on the ground, panting heavily. Fear is in every corner of my body. I press myself close to the ground, making sure that it won’t ever leave me again.
“What’s going on?” I hear my mommy’s voice. Her face changes as her eyes open too. They’re very pretty. The circles in her eyes are yet another shade of light. They are bright too, but not as bright as the thing above us. “Rain?” She says my name, snapping me out of my thoughts. I know that’s my name because while my eyes were still closed, she’d say that to me over and over again while she licked me.
“What are the things I’m seeing?” I blurt out. “The thing above us, it’s so pretty! How can it be like that? What am I seeing?” I can’t stop once I start. “You have pretty eyes!” I stop to take a breath.
“Rain!” she lets out a hoarse sound.
“Are you okay?” I gasp, watching her chest heaving as she keeps letting out those hoarse sounds.
“I’m laughing, Rain,” she keeps… laughing. “It’s a good thing. You laugh when you’re happy.”
I know what happy is. Mommy explained it to me before I could see. It’s when you feel good inside. I definitely feel happy right now, so I try laughing, but it turns out different from Mommy’s.
“It’s not working,” I whimper.
“Don’t worry, you’ll get your own laugh soon,” she starts laughing again.
I try laughing again. Again, it doesn’t sound or feel right. Disappointed, I turn my attention back to sight.
“Mommy?” I ask again. “So what are the things I’m seeing? I mean the different levels of light?”
She gives me an odd look. She cocks her head. Then her eyes brighten again. “Oh, you mean colors,” she whispers, like she can’t say it too loud or it might go away. “They really do make the world beautiful, don’t they?”
I nod. “What’s the color of the thing up there?” I nod my head towards the opening of the hole.
“Blue,” she barks. “It’s one of my favorite colors. And the thing up there is called the sky.”
“What about the bright thing in the… the blue sky?” I ask, squinting at its brightness.
“The sun. I’d say it’s yellow or white, although it’s too bright to look at for a long time.” She sees me looking at it. “Stop it, or you’ll hurt your eyes.”
“Oh,” I look away, dots and swirls dancing around again and my eyes begin to throb. I’m a little disappointed that it happens all the time when I look at the sun.
“What color are your eyes?”
“Amber,” she grins. “It’s a mix of brown and red.”
I don’t know what those are but I pretend to know. “What color are my eyes?” I hope it’s a pretty color.
“Blue like the sky,” she whispers.
“Wow,” I yip happily. I wish I could see my own eyes.
I’m about to ask about more colors, but Mommy starts barking before I do, “Rain, I’m surprised how quickly you’re already seeing. It may just be me mixing up the days, but I thought you wouldn’t be seeing for several more days. You’re growing up so much quicker than your brothers.”
“What are days?” I ask, confused again. There are so many things to learn, and I want to learn them all! “And maybe I’m just super special!”
“Days are when the sun goes down, and then comes back up again.”
“The sun goes down?” I gasp.
“Yes, but it always comes back up no matter what. Sometimes it’ll take a very long time, but there’s one thing you can count on, the sun will never cease to rise.”
I nod, understanding this time. Good that the sun always comes back up.
“How many colors are there?” I ask.
“Well, let’s see. Black, brown, red, yellow, blue, purple, gray, and white are the base colors.”
“I thought you said your eyes were amber?”
“They are, and amber is between brown and red.”
“I get it now.” I really don’t get it though, since I don’t know what brown or red is like. I try to imagine them but I can only imagine amber. What could be amberish, but not?
Suddenly I feel tired. My eyelids begin to droop down. I try to keep them up, but while I am focusing on that, a huge yawn overcomes me. I blink a few more times, trying to stay awake.
“You’ve worked hard and learned a lot today. You deserve a nice long nap, Rain.” Mommy nuzzles me.
“There’s still so much more I want to know though!” Another yawn. “What does brown look like?”
“It’s sort of like red.”
“Well, what does red look like?”
She laughs again. I want to laugh, but I still don’t know how. “It’s hard to explain, just like you can’t explain what colors are.”
“Colors are brown, blue, red, yellow, and… uh.” I can’t remember the others. My eyelids close.
“Of course.” Her steady motions and soft voice make sleep even more pleasing.
“Can you show me more colors tomorrow?”
Her body shakes, and I hope she’s nodding… my eyelids are too heavy to lift. Tomorrow, I’ll learn more colors… for now, darkness seems pleasing.