“Well, I will just have to live with that, I guess.” So thought Roger, a thirty-year-old singer who had recently released his first album. He had been trying for a long time now to have a record around and he had finally achieved his dream. But a routine visit to the doctor had changed his life forever. It had been the look on the doctor’s face that said it all and nothing, at the same time. He asked Roger some questions beforehand, like “What are your parents like?” and “Do you know of any illnesses in your family?”. He had answered as best as he could but the truth was that those answers and those questions didn’t matter at all. The doctor seemed authentically shocked and sad when he told Roger he was going to loose his eyesight in a matter of months.
The reasons were very technical. He cited some scientific names and a number of reasons for this to happen but Roger didn’t care about that at all. He just wanted to now if there was a cure or if he had heard correctly. The answer to the second question was obvious but to the first, there was no real answer. The doctor sent Roger to other doctors, specialists, who would now, more about his condition and maybe they would be able to help them. He assured Roger that his condition was very unique and that’s why he had noticed it right away. Maybe if it was in the earliest stages, the disease could be stopped somehow but he didn’t even try to guess how that would be done. He seemed pretty appalled but Roger didn’t notice, right then he didn’t care about anyone but him.
Roger walked home in order to think a bit about what had just happened. Moments earlier, he had been pretty happy, telling the doctor the name of his album and telling him it was going to be a huge hit. People liked him before, when he started rapping as an amateur and even more when he actually started to train in order to be a proper singer. He had participated in contests all over the place and had dedicated his life to his music for the last few years. All of that was pure joy until that moment. He didn’t cry but he wanted to. He felt desperate and hopeless at the same time and, although he knew it wasn’t it for him, he would never be the same.
When he entered home, he avoided talking to his roommate, who happened to be his manager. Malik had always been there for him, being his cousin and all, and he knew he could trust him but he didn’t want to talk. He just wanted to go to bed and try to get some sleep, even if the summer sun was high in the sky outside. He didn’t care about at as he secretly wanted to disappear right then. When he woke up, his cousin had ordered some pizza and had left him some on a plate in the kitchen. He wasn’t there anymore, probably because of business. Roger ate and thanked Malik for leaving him alone to think. It was then when Roger finally cried in silence, his tears falling to the ground in complete silence.
The next day, they had an appointment in Jamz Records. The album had been released a month ago and they needed to have a meeting to discuss how everything was doing and if further efforts to do a campaign for the album had to be done. There were already plans for a national tour but now Jamz wanted to add a couple of foreign dates as the digital download was receiving rave reviews in other countries. Roger tried no to force his face too much to make a smile and he felt that the he was able to do that but it hurt. He was just not into hearing people talking and talking right now. In secret, he had thought of just dying in his room, one way or the other. He was desperate and wanted everything to have a fast conclusion.
He also went to a couple of specialists who wanted to try some new medicine with him. It was mainly about using natural things to make his illness go away or at least act slower. He was told that it would take months to be rendered blind by the disease but the specialists agreed that they could make it slow down to give them more time to discover something that could stop its advance altogether. This cheered him up a bit, as it was some hope he didn’t think he would have. He took all the medicine, all the eye drops they gave him to take. He just wanted for this entire nightmare to be over soon and just be able to enjoy music like he had before. After all, he was promoting an album.
Actually, Roger was unable to go to his next appointments with the specialists. Malik toured him around the city, going from radio station to radio station, giving out singles of his most recent release. The idea was authorized by Jamz, as they thought giving the album a personal seal as the artist handing out singles may create a certain myth about the artist that they could use in the future. Roger had a nice time going from door to door as he was asked to sing several times and also talk a bit about whatever it was that they were talking about. He felt important and loved and he needed that more than ever before. So he enjoyed the experience from start to finish, as he felt like a proper rapper.
The album went on to have amazing sales and then the tour became a reality, with even more dates added to it all over the place. Roger was going to be on the road for at least three months, a very long time which scared him do to his disease. He visited the specialists before leaving and they gladly confirmed the disease had slowed down and it wasn’t advancing as fast as before. They gave him new medicine and begged for him to try to shorten the tour, if it was possible. Besides, they asked Roger to wear sunglasses at all times in order not to force his eyes too much. Hope was very much alive and he decided to be a good boy and just follow everyone’s advice.
The first date of the tour was simply the best day of his life. People were cheering his name and they all sang the lyrics at the same time he was rapping and singing. He was pumped all through the performance, even in such a small venue (about a thousand people could fit in). When it was over, he signed autographs on copies of his album and posed for pictures with many people, men and women and even some kids that somehow appeared after the show. He celebrated that night at the hotel with a small party, thanking everyone involved in putting him in the place where he was now. He felt like the luckiest man on Earth and he just wanted to share that feeling with every single person.
The following dates, he used his sunglasses and received praise for that particular style. Many more pictures were taken and autographs signed. He even got to do some press, mainly radio but also interviews for magazine that were specialized in music. He was glad to receive anyone interested in knowing his story, his struggle from when he was just a boy dreaming to be a singer and then having to do something else for a living because he had nowhere else to go but even then still singing and rapping and being who he really was. People liked his story because it felt real and honest and he loved to talk about it because he was very proud of his roots and of his pathway to recognition.
The following day from that interview, he had his first foreign date. It was on a small venue, so it was going to be familiar and not intimidating. He jumped on stage and started with the most popular song there but then, as he was moving, he tripped and had to stop singing for a couple of minutes. He apologized and kept on going but the seed had been planted. He was nervous because he thought of the reason behind tripping. He kept singing and rapping, but people were not as pumped as in other places. Roger tried to finish but the stress was too much and he just fainted. He felt his body move and he heard some voice but he just surrendered to the pain and to tiredness of his body.
In the hospital, the first thing he did was screaming. He had woken up but he hadn’t realized it for a while as he woke up blind. When he understood what was going on, he just screamed and almost tried to pierce his eyes to make them work. Some family members and Malik stopped him but he had to be sedated in order to be controlled. When he woke up, very late that evening, he heard his specialists talking with his doctor there. She was surprised about his condition but they were explaining how the disease just jumped ahead due to stress. It had been uncontrollable all along. In his bed, Roger cried in silence and tried to figure out what his life was going to be from then on.