On a busy street in Cairo, the passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the beautiful young woman with a small stick made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the bus conductor and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he’d told her was empty. Then she’s settled in, placed her bag on her lap and rested her stick against her leg. It had been a year since Layla became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. ’How could this have happened to me?’ she would plead, her heart knotted with anger. But no matter how much she cried or ranted or prayed, she knew the painful truth, her sight was never going to return. A cloud of depression hung over Layla’s once optimistic spirit. All she had to cling to was her husband Hesham.
Hesham was a Military Officer and he loved Layla with all his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength she needed to become independent again. Finally, Layla felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Hesham volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city.
At first, this comforted Layla and fulfilled Hesham’s need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task. Soon, however Hesham realized that this arrangement wasn’t working – it was hectic, and costly. Layla is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself. But just the thought of mentioning it to her made him cringe. She was still so fragile, so angry. How would she react? Continue reading