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    WordSmithPraise | An African Literary Blog

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    Wednesday, 6 September 2017

    LUCIENNE - An intriguing tale.

    In a land far away, over the oceans lived a girl named Anne. Anne was the only child of her parents, a very beautiful and lovely girl who was the heartbeat of her parents. She was loved and adored by everyone, but Anne had a very rare medical condition known as achromatopsia. She was totally colour blind and could not see the world as we do, all the beautiful colors around us appeared as black, white or grey to poor Anne.
    What a very sad thing to befall such a beautiful child. Anne read about the colours of the rainbows in books, she read of how beautiful a red rose was, but she could not imagine the colours because she had never seen them and didn't know what they were like.
    Isn't that horrible? Imagine not knowing what your favorite colour looked like, and then you won't even have a favorite colour because you wouldn't know what it looked like.
    So this is what our beautiful Anne had to live with, but it never bothered her much because she was loved by all those around her.
    But soon enough, Anne's perfectly colourless world seeped into her heart when her parents adopted a little girl who was to be her sister, and this girl was named Lucienne.
    Anne was 11 going on 12, but Lucienne was still a cute little girl of 5 and there was something indeed special about Lucienne, the one reason Anne's parents adopted another child when they already had Anne. And this reason was, little Lucienne was diagnosed with stage 3 leukemia, and had less than 8months to live. Anne didn't know this of course, but her parents knew about it and had adopted Lucienne, so that she could spend the last months of her life with a real loving family and a home.
    Anne was very angry with her parents and she refused to show love to little Lucienne. But this never deterred Lucienne, for she was a completely delightful child. She would always run to Anne and offer to help her with anything she was doing, but Anne always chased and rebuked Lucienne.
    That is quite sad, but Lucienne was never offended. She loved Anne like a big sister and didn't take offenses against Anne for her Ill treatment towards her.
    Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into a month. Anne was so jealous of the attention her parents gave to Lucienne. She was used to being the only child, and used to receiving all the love. Her heart wasn't taught to share, and she didn't want to. She hated Lucienne with each passing day.
    On the other hand, Lucienne never stopped being cheerful and happy, she never stopped loving Anne and trying to help her.
    One fateful day, Lucienne walked into Anne's room, it was raining heavily, and she was scared of the thunder. She begged Anne to stay with her, but Anne screamed at little Lucienne to get out of her room. For the first time ever, Lucienne cried. Anne was touched by the tears and felt remorseful, so she let Lucienne stay with her.
    All through the thunderstorm, Lucienne cuddled Anne while Anne read a book. And then, Lucienne asked what the book was all about, Anne was irritated at the question, but when she looked at Lucienne's innocent eyes, she replied and told Lucienne it was a book about colours.
    Lucienne smiled and asked what Anne's best colour was, and Anne humbly replied that she had acute achromatopsia in which she could see no colours at all, but only white, black and grey. They laid together until the storm had passed on, Anne had fallen asleep, so Lucienne quietly crept out of the room and ran to hers.
    She grabbed her bag or crayons and water colours and drew a colorful picture of she and Anne together. She painted the picture with her watercolors, but she made a mess of it with her hands, so her hands were stained with colours. Then she ran with her freshly made picture to Anne's room.
    Anne was still fast asleep, so she climbed onto the bed and placed the picture on Anne's book that laid open on the covers. On her way down from the bed, her legs tangled in the sheets and she fell with a shriek. As she fell, she quickly pushed her hands out on the wall to regain her balance but she wasn't fast enough. So she fell to the ground and her hands left 10 little imprints on the wall for they were still wet from the colours.
    Anne awoke with a start at the sound and turned to look at Lucienne lying on the floor. She was flooded with concern and quickly rushed to help her, but her gaze was torn to the stains on the wall and anger clouded her concern. She was angry at Lucienne for staining her wall, although she only saw the colorful stains as grey. She pulled Lucienne up and pushed her out of the room in a fit of anger. Lucienne kept screaming out that she was sorry and didn't mean to but Anne paid her no heed.
    Lucienne left the room sadly, but she was determined to show Anne how much she loved her despite everything.
    Anne crept back into bed and saw the picture Lucienne had made, on it was a girl holding a younger girls hand, and both had a big smile in the picture.
    Beneath the picture was written... 'I love you Annie, you might not see the colours, but you have a colorful heart, and I love you because you are my big sister!" The words were scribbled in the writing of a little child. Anne felt so bad and cried for the rough way she had handled Lucienne.
    Anne made up her mind to apologize to Lucienne and start being nice to her, as she stood to go find Lucienne. Lucienne bounded into her room with a flower.
    Anne was confused, and Lucienne smiled at her and told her it was a red rose. She put the rose to Anne's nose and told her to sniff. Anne played along and sniffed at the rose... It had a lovely smell.
    Lucienne told her to take note of the smell of that rose... And she said gladly, "That is how red smells Annie, if you can't see the colours, I'll teach you to smell them and take note of them. "
    This made no sense to Anne, but she was touched by the efforts Lucienne was making to help her.
    Day by day, Lucienne brought new things for her to smell, damp earth, strawberries, sunflowers, daisies, vegetables, and a lot more. And soon Anne knew the colours of all these things without seeing them, but associating the colours by their scent.
    A bond grew between them, and soon they were inseparable.  Their parents were so happy that they were getting on superbly. But soon Lucienne began to get really ill. Remember she had a serious disease called leukemia?
    Well, 6months had passed and she was beginning to get weak. Her lovely and shiny curls were thinning out and she could barely walk for long let alone play and run.
    Anne was really worried about Lucienne and finally her parents told her of Lucienne's illness, and Anne cried so much because she knew Lucienne had a short time left with them, and she had come to adore the little girl.
    It was early autumn and the leaves had begun to turn yellow and fall off the branches. Lucienne was very weak now, but she still had a smile on for everyone.
    On a fateful day, Lucienne was surprised by Anne and her parents with a big cake. You see, it was Lucienne's birthday and they wanted to make it special for her. Her mother gently asked if she liked the colour of her birthday cake, and suddenly Lucienne's eyes filled with tears.
    When asked what was wrong, she replied... "I don't know the color of my birthday cake because I'm not familiar with the scent." They were all shocked, because they didn't understand what she meant by that.
    Little did they know that Lucienne had been in the accident that killed her parents, but she had survived it with an injury to her head. After she had been treated and taken to the orphanage, she discovered that she was slowly losing the ability to see colours clearly. So she dug deep into her memories and learnt to associate colours with smells, that way she knew the colours of most things around her, and she was able to teach Anne also.
    They were all stunned from her revelation and tried not to cry for her sake. They all celebrated happily, with Lucienne the happiest as usual.
    A fortnight later, Lucienne slumped to the ground while reaching for a bottle of milk. She was rushed to the hospital, and it was given that her leukemia had reached it's final stages.
    Day after day, Anne visited Lucienne and read her her favourite story books. Lucienne was in serious pains, but she would never complain, she would cry quietly and lue down.
    Anne tried not to cry, but she couldn't. Lucienne smiled brightly and said.  ..."There's no need to cry for me Anne, you should be happy. We are both different from the world, and we see the colours with our hearts. "
    Then she fell asleep from the anesthesia she was on.
    Days later, Lucienne died. Anne was deeply sad, but she remembered Lucienne's words and vowed to live her life like Lucienne, by sharing the colours of her heart to make others happy.
    And she wrote this poem about Lucienne.
    She wasn't born colour blind,
    But over time, the world was a blanket of black and white to her,
    She read about rainbows and roses,
    About unicorns with coulourful horns,
    She knew that the trees were green and roses were red,
    But she couldn't see them anymore, for it was all grey to her.
    In spring, she could smell the beautiful flowers, but she couldn't see their colorful blossoms, for they were all grey.
    In summer, she could only see the black stripes on the bumble bee,
    The world was a complete haze of grey, from the sky to the sea, to the earth.
    In autumn, the beautiful golden brown leaves that fell to the earth from the trees all around were a dull grey to her beautiful eyes.
    And yet, happiness blossomed in her heart.
    She couldn't see colours, but she radiated them.
    She painted people's lives around her with the beauty of her heart.
    And she loved the winter, for it was the only time the world was truly grey.
    Her world was void of colours, but she danced on the rainbows in her mind.
    The world through her eyes was a painting in monochrome, but the world she gave to others was a beautiful and colorful paradise.
    Her name was Lucienne.
    Written by:
    Zoya Danielle
    (Stygian poet)
    Edited by : Praise Osawaru (wordsmithpraise)

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