I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.
It sees the past.
With my black eye, I have found more people than I can count, but this time, I’m the one who needs to be found.
A sudden landslide has buried our car. No one is seriously hurt, but none of us can get out either.
Once everything settled, the first thing everyone reached for was our phones. Coverage is almost non-existent in the mountain ranges, but Jenny’s phone has reception, and I use that to call Officer Farah.
Many years ago, Uncle James insisted on putting a tracker on me. It comes in handy now. A rescue team mobilises to our area in record time. The problem is pinpointing our actual location.
The dense forest canopy and mountainous landscape interferes with the tracker, making an accurate reading difficult. That’s fine. Now that the team has our general location, they have a much smaller area to comb through to get to us.
But that’ll take time, especially because they need to be extra careful so that they don’t accidentally hit us instead of rock, or crush us in the process.
I can speed things up.
I look at the faces of my fellow trapped passengers. These are the faces I have practically grown up with. Uncle James wants to keep my eye a secret, but surely this can be an exception?
My hand reaches for my bottle and I take a drink to wet my dry throat. Once done, I grip the bottle with fingers tense from nerves and anticipation.
I look at the rocky debris.
At the edge of the landslide, an excavator waited while rescuers carefully cleared the debris.
“Can you keep a secret?” I ask.
Four faces turn to me and eagerly pounce on the topic.
“What secret?” Bruce asks.
I pry my fingers off my bottle and gesture for Jenny’s phone. “Gimme.”
Jenny hands her phone over. I lift the phone closer to my mouth, happy to see that my hand is almost steady.
“Officer Farah, I’ll direct you to our location. Please get the excavator ready.”
With my attention on the outside, it’s easy to imagine myself at my desk back at the missing persons unit, relaying directions to the rescue team through the officers. First I use the excavator to point out our exact location buried under the debris, then it’s their turn to ask me questions as they asses the area and fine tune their approach.
After I’ve exhausted all the information I can provide, I keep my black eye on the situation outside, and reluctantly turn my attention back to the inside of the car.
To the four curious faces around me.
Once again, Bruce is the first to speak.
A bark of laughter escapes my lips. That’s a story for another time.
“No, I’m not.”
I take a breath, feeling a little like a superhero unmasking for the first time. I’ve wondered about moments like this before. Now I get to see if expectations match reality.
“It’s my eye.”
I lift a hand to point at my black eye. There’s no turning back now.
“You already know that I’m blind in one eye. But that’s not the whole story. This eye is blind, but it can see the past. I used this sight to see the outside.”
My friends do not disappoint.
“So you are psychic.” “Is that why you always find everything?” “How far can you see?”
My black eye sees the past, not the future. I don’t know what kind of repercussions I’ll face in the future by revealing my secret, or even if my black eye will remain a secret after we get out, but right now, it is a welcome distraction while we wait to be set free.
Part of the Mismatched Eyes universe.