AWAKENINGS

Valerie carefully slid her fingers across the bumps that protruded from the pages on her book, ocassionally stopping to pick up the micro cassette recorder to make some notes for tomorrow's world history class!!! Every so often she would also reach down and scruff Sparky's ears just to reassure herself that he was still there by her side, because having been blind from birth, Valerie's life line to the outside world had at first been her parents and siblings, but as she became older and more mature, those duties were turned over to her trusty guide dog who not only gave her mobility, but also became the best friend she ever had!!! There were several other blind students at the university, and while you would have thought they would have banded together to commiserate or for companionship, just the opposite was the case as they all tried to blend in with the normal campus life!!! Valerie was just about finished with her reading, and since the library was about to close anyway, she began packing up her study materials before heading back to her dorm when all at once she sensed someone else sitting down at her table!!!

"Who's there," she asked while zipping up her back pack!?! "I thought you blind guys were supposed to have these hightened senses that figured these things out," the young man teased!!! "Dale," she replied happily, "how have you been!?!" "Real good," he said, "and I might say that you're looking very pretty tonight, my dear!!!" "Why thank you, kind sir," she said in a mocking tone, "care to walk me back to my room!?!" "Sure thing," he replied, "but I don't wanna take the place of old Sparky there!!!" Valerie reached down and gave the pup another scruff on the head and replied softly, "Don't worry about that, it'll never happen!!!" The night air was cool as the two sophomores wended their way across the quad to Valerie's dorm on the other side of the giganitic campus, and even though they were just good friends, Dale slipped his arm around Valerie's back and held her close while they chatted away about this and that!!! "Here we are," Dale announced, "do you want me to see you all the way inside!?!" "That won't be necessary," Valerie replied quickly, "Sparky can take it from here!!!" Expecting as usual for Dale to give her a hearty good night, Valerie was a little puzzled when he was silent for a second or two before asking softly, "Val, could I please ask you a favor?!?" "Sure," she replied brightly!!! "I-I'd like to kiss you good night!!!"

...CONTINUES IN THE MEMBERS SECTION