When I went to the center the next day, I found Hunter in
the garden again. From afar, I thought he looked anxious.
He was pacing back and forth in front of the bench and I
couldn’t help smiling, thinking that I was doing that to him…
I was making him nervous.
He was wearing a pair of jeans and a dark blue knitted
sweater. His hair was disheveled as always. And I couldn’t
help thinking… if he wasn’t blind, would he ask me out at
all? Girls in my school would kill for a guy like this.
I walked as slowly and as quietly as I could. He stopped
pacing when I was a few meters away from him. He turned
towards my direction and said, “I was afraid you weren’t
“I… took my time getting ready,” I said. I meant that. I
was wearing a pair of skinny tight jeans, a yellow off-
shoulder blouse, brown boots and a white beret on my head
and I spent hours curling the ends of my long hair.
I know! Hunter was blind. But that did not mean I
shouldn’t make an effort to look good for him, the same way
I knew I would if he could see me.
He smiled at me sheepishly and I had to take a silent
deep breath so he wouldn’t notice how much he could take
my breath away. “Thank you,” he whispered. “That meant a
lot to me.”
“So… what are we going to do today?” I asked.
He reached out for my hands and then he intertwined
“I don’t believe you have seen the rest of this place
yet,” he said. “Let me show you around. You would be quite
He led me out the garden, never letting go of my hand.
“You smell good, by the way. As always,” he said.
I smiled. “You not only smell good. You look good too.”
He led me inside the center. We took the elevators to
the right. Hunter moved and walked like a normal person…
well, almost. He knew the place very well. He even pressed
the number ‘2’ button on the elevator quite precisely.
The elevator opened to what looked like a library. We
entered it and were greeted by a woman with gray hair and
“Madam… we are going to use the game room please,”
Hunter said to her.
“You know your way,” the lady told him.
We entered a room towards the right side and I was
surprised that it looked like an arcade.
Seriously? Inside a library?
There were billiard tables, air hockey tables, and several
video game consoles.
Hunter pulled me towards the third door. He swiped his
access card. The door opened to a small room with a huge
screen in the center wall.
“Voice command activated. Welcome, Hunter Vaughn,”
the computer said.
“One of the perks of being blind. They automatically
activate voice command option for you,” Hunter whispered
against my ear and I couldn’t help laughing. “Let’s sit.”
I pulled Hunter to sit in one of the cozy couches in front
of the screen.
“Game,” he said loudly, commanding the computer.
“What game do you want to play today, Hunter?” the
“Chess. Two players. Hunter Vaughn, black side. Player
two, white side.”
Immediately the screen in front of us changed into a
“Display guides,” Hunter said and I saw the numbers
appear on the left side and the letters under the board.
Hunter turned to me and grinned. “I am assuming you can
“Of course,” I said. I even thought I was pretty good at
the game. But I was worried about Hunter. He couldn’t see.
“Will give you a hard time winning this. Watch me,” he
said cutting me off mid-sentence. “Your move.”
I turned to the screen. “Knight G1 to F3,” I called and
then I watched my chess piece move on the screen in front
Hunter grinned and then he said, “Pawn C5 to C7”.
The next moves we made actually amazed me. I
wouldn’t even guess Hunter was blind. He knew where all
my pieces were… like he was playing them by memory,
which I think was…
Genius! This guy could be a genius!
In the end, I lost. To a blind person! When I thought I
was probably one of the best at this game. He was staring
at me, probably waiting for me to say something. He has an
impish grin on his face that sort of irritated and challenged
“Rematch,” I said a little louder. The computer actually
caught that and reset our game. “Knight B1 to B3,” I called
“Pawn D7 to D5,” Hunter commanded the screen.
“Pawn C2 to C4,” I said.
He smirked. “Pawn D5 take Pawn C4.”
I took it seriously this time. I was calculating my moves.
And I knew he was too. Only, he was doing it inside his
head! That was already a huge handicap and that is why I
didn’t want to lose again.
After five minutes, I watched in dismay as Hunter
announced, “Queen D3 to C2.” He turned to me and with a
proud smile he added, “Checkmate.”
I groaned. “How did you do that?”
He stood up from his seat. “Hunter Vaughn, Chess
Master since the age fifteen!” And he bowed left, right and
center. He looked so proud of himself, it made my loss even
“How is that even possible?” I asked him. “Are you sure
He laughed. “I would give everything to see the glare on
your face right now,” he assured me. “And to answer your
question… it’s all about having a very good memory and a
lot of imagination. I was playing blindfold chess even
when… even before I lost my eyesight.”
I buried my face in my hands. “Oh my God, I feel so
Hunter laughed. He went to me and raised his hand,
reaching out for mine. I took his hand and he pulled me up
on my feet. I felt him snake his arms around my waist as he
pulled me to him.
I stared up at him and gulped. I was sure that my heart
was pounding loudly inside my ribcage. I hope he couldn’t