“Hi, Mom,” I said cheerfully as I slid into my seat at the dining room table. “What’s for dinner?”
“Spaghetti and meatballs,” she replied. I could smell the sauce and the pasta in the air, but I knew she liked it when I asked, like a normal kid, instead of saying something like, “Oh, I love spaghetti and meatballs!” Sometimes it makes her uncomfortable when I show how much I can figure out without my eyesight.
“I’m home!” my dad called, slamming the door into the garage. I heard him clomp into the kitchen. “Hi, honey,” he said to my mom. I heard them kiss and could barely keep from gagging. He came over to the kitchen table. “Hi, Chloe. How was your day?” He leaned over and hugged me.
“Good,” I told him. “I got a lot done.”
“Good,” he replied. I could hear a smile in his voice. Unlike my mom, he didn’t treat me like I was fragile all the time. He treated me like a normal person.
“I went for a walk in the park down the street, and I met a blind girl,” I told him. It wasn’t exactly a lie, but it wasn’t the whole truth either. “She was really nice. I was wondering if you could convince Mom to let her and her parents come over sometime. I’d really like to get to know her better.” I knew my dad would at least mention it to my mom, and, if he agreed, he’d convince her, too. She always listened to him.
“Sure, Chloe,” he agreed. “It sounds great. I’m glad you’re getting to know other blind people. It’ll be good for you and probably pretty helpful.”
You have no idea, I thought. “Yeah, you’re probably right, Dad,” I said aloud.
He grinned. “You know I am.”
Later that night, when I was up in my room, my mom came and sat on the end of my bed. “Be sure to tell your friend that she and her parents can come over tomorrow night for dinner,” she reminded me.
“Yes, ma’am,” I replied, hiding my grin. I was so happy that everything was working out. My mom kissed my forehead, then, after a short pause, left the room and went downstairs. I reached for the phone and punched in John’s number.
“Hello?” a high female voice asked when I picked up the phone. I frowned. This was definitely not John, and it didn’t sound like Jen. I gulped.
“Hi, can I talk to John?” I asked nervously.
“Who is this?” the lady asked suspiciously.
“Tell him that it’s Chloe,” I replied, trying to sound pleasant. Really, I was nervous, but I tried not to let it show.
There was a long pause as I heard the person on the other end set down the phone. “Okay, he’s coming,” she told me.
A few seconds later John came on the phone. “Hi, Chloe, sorry about that,” he told me.
“Who was that?” I asked curiously.
“Oh, that was my aunt, Jen’s mom,” he replied. “Okay, we just moved into my room, and I now have you on speaker phone so Jen can hear too.”
“Great,” I said.
“So how’d it go?” Jen asked impatiently.
I laughed. “You and your parents are officially invited to dinner at our house tomorrow night,” I told her.
“Awesome!” she exclaimed. “Did they give any specific reasons?”
“My dad said that he thinks it’s great for me to get to know other blind kids, and it’s apparently helpful for them to get to talk to other parents with blind kids.”
She laughed. “Yeah, that’s what my parents say. I guess we’ll see you tomorrow then.”