Ok, remember we were supposed to have a party for Easter? We ended up doing something, but a gathering over at Vee's place, on the day after Easter. With Nicki leaving that evening, it was the least I could do.
Kristy brought someone with her. I was expecting she'd bring Alison but it wasn't her. It was someone else. She wore glasses and a red jumper. I have to admit she was cool-looking. "Her name is Veronica Vasconcelos," Kristy said, "she's my roommate at the center."
I like the sound of the name, Veronica Vasconcelos. She's as exotic as her name is. She's is half-Brazilian and half-Mexican, and she speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish. But I wasn't prepared for what Kristy said next.
"She's legally blind."
"She can't see?" asked Harriet.
"Not too well," Kristy said.
I'd read about blindness in a book once, and I explained to them that there are different definitions of sight, and once a person's vision falls below a certain threshold, they're declared legally blind. For example, my vision is officially 20/50, which means I'm mildly nearsighted. Veronica's vision has to be worse than 20/200.
Veronica told us she's learning Braille, the written language for visually impaired people. I saw a documentary on it once, it's raised dots on a page, and it allows for them to 'read' even though they can't see well.
Just then Nicki showed up, with Sprocket in tow. I had to turn away to keep from sneezing as Sprocket barked and barked and barked at Veronica.
I was shocked at what happened next. Nicki, who'd as far as I knew had only seen Veronica this one time, reached over to her and handed Sprocket to her. "He's a trained service dog," she explained, "he'll be your eyes and ears." Veronica was quite touched by the gift, she gave Nicki a huge hug and started crying.
Later on, on our way to the airport, where Nicki only had 1 dog with her, I asked her why she did it, and she said that Veronica needed Sprocket more than she did.