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  1. 1) Rushing to find the source of the photo, I come across the owner of the restaurant I was sitting down in. It turns out that Michelle is engaged to the owner of the restaurant. I nervously asked the owner if the female in the photo was named Michelle, and whether or not she mentioned having a family and losing contact with any family members, especially a sibling. The owner raised a brow, knocked his head back and asked how I knew that. Gleefully, I tell him the story of my childhood, and how I was most likely that sibling. I asked if there was a possibility of meeting with Michelle and the owner helped set me up a date.

    2) It’s been a while since I’ve felt such an exhilarating power trip. Just because I’m blind, these people think that they can take advantage of me. They feel as though I’m somehow weaker. They even have the audacity to take pity upon me. Long gone are the days of which I am powerless. Now, I use their own pity against them, as if I actually care about whether or not they think they are doing the right thing when they try to help me. Now all I can do is pity on them, their stupidity when it comes to trusting another human being.

  2. 1) The bridge in the photo was so familiar. I knew exactly where it was. It was here in Portland. Is it possible all these years apart we were actually so close? I knew I had to go there everyday and look for any sign of my sister. It was my only hope. Maybe if I didn’t find her in the area I could find one of the people that were in the photograph with. That would be enough to help me find her. I set out every day after work, I went on the weekends, and until one day I see this tan woman with beautiful big eyes jogging across the bridge. I can’t believe my eyes! Could this be Michelle? Is this real? I run to catch up to the girl and yell out “MICHELLE, MICHELLE” and she turns around, oh my God is it really her?

    2) I can’t believe I pulled this off! A blind woman commits a bank heist in broad daylight, how genius. Who would ever suspect a blind a person? I was able to pull this off without my dog. My adrenaline is high; I want to do it again and again. I find a new bank to case. I open up an account, and make weekly deposits until I feel comfortable I’ve memorized each and every step. Now the test… I disguise myself and make my way to the bank without my dog to confirm I can do this. Now I am officially ready. I plan on striking the next day. I head to the bank and once again “Put your hands up in the air”. I pass the note with the demand. I get the money. As I head out I bump into something, I quickly feel. Oh no! There’s a table, it wasn’t there before? What do I do? Do I go left or right? I can’t remember the steps I’ve counted! My heart is racing, I hear sirens, I can’t breathe…

  3. Arpita
    Every girl at the orphanage had a chance to use the computers each day. I would use my time to find Michelle, my sister. Knowing that if I could match the picture I have of her and her name together I would have a part of my family back kept me hopeful. “THIS HAS TO BE HER!” I screamed out loud. We had the same eye color, the same tan complexion but according to her Facebook, she was adopted and living off in Beverly Hills. My goal to one day to reunite with Michelle seems as if it is impossible now.

    Samantha
    I remember the days where I would beat myself up over being blind. I was insecure, depressed and had nobody. Before my mother passed, we got Scruffy. Scruffy wasn’t just a dog to my mother and I, but a best friend. We only got closer since she has died as we both needed each other more than ever. Witnessing my mom take her last breath, taught me to live everyday like it’s my last. Fortunate enough for me, thrill seeking actives such as a robbing a bank come easy when your just an average Joe who also happens to be blind.

  4. Arpita: It was a Saturday morning and I was awaken by a dream and it reminded me of my long lost sister. I dream often of her. I still have the teddy bear she gave me when we were told that we were going into separate orphanages and might not see each other anymore. We realized that losing our mother made us into stronger women and we always knew that one day fate will bring us back together one day. I checked my social media and a friend request popped up and the picture of the person looked very familiar. When I accepted the request, she immediately messaged me. I couldn’t believe that my sister was able to find me on social media, we decided to meet up at the coffee shop at 2pm.

    Samantha Paes: I’ve become helpless ever since the day I was robbed for my phone, money and credit cards. Its haunted me day to day thinking of a master plan, ah I know what I’ll do,ill disguise myself as a women and rob the nearest bank so I can be able to leave this town. As soon as the deed is done I will go up to my apartment and pack everything up. I suddenly hear heavy footsteps banging on my door “police”, oh no they got me and now I’m going to jail. I open the door and I stuttered “Hello officer how may I help you? “ the officer asks if I’ve seen an suspicion around the area. No sir, I’m sorry I cant help you I’ve been home all day , the police officer replies Ok, if you hear or see anything please gives us a call. Yes sir, Have a good day now. As soon as I closed the door I stare at the bag full of money and my suitcases “phew that was a close one”

  5. Arpita:
    The pictures of the girl whom I assumed was Michelle was within a magazine. The picture was an advertisement for a real estate company where a happy family sat upon a couch. The emotions shown upon the family’s faces were overly exaggerated, as to draw in customers to the real estate company. Below the picture read the slogan, “Wilson Real Estate: Where Happy and Healthy Homes are made!” The fake happiness and emotion upon Michelle’s face faded away into a sea of abyss as I stared into her eyes upon the advert. I must find her! I instantly began to walk down the street towards the location of Wilson Real Estate, 27-12 Oak Street. Each step I took felt as if I was on the path to rejuvenated happiness at the reconnection of my biological sister. As I stood in front of the real estate company, I saw Michelle sitting at the front desk, in a gloomily lit room. My eyes were instantly drawn to a familiar picture hung above her desk, which consisted of the same picture which I had, yet I was not present in the picture. Had my sister forgotten about me?

    Samantha:
    This is where my life began to take a turn the worst. I had the bright idea to rob the same bank within a span of 2 weeks from the first time I robbed it. The plan was so smooth the first time, I didn’t think to change anything about it. As I walked into the bank, the air began to feel different. The smells which I once knew were replaced by a musky cologne. In my right ear I heard someone utter, “Good afternoon. Sir.” Who was this new voice? I decided to continue with the plan that had already been set in motion. I walked to the teller, put the same post-it note up, and held the bag out. Unbeknownst to me, the person who said “Good Afternoon” to me was the banks new armed security which was hired a week after the first robbery. “FREEZE OR I WILL SHOOT!” The armed security screamed as about 1K was thrown into my bag by the teller. So began the beginning of the end of my freedom.

  6. Arpita

    Returning to Portland was something I had put off for a long time. I understood that going back might shatter those good memories.
    But here I was standing in front of the Chinese gates that were erracted on NW 4th Ave and Burnside. I new building stands where the aprtments my family lived in when I was young. We lived on the 4th floor and I recall looking out the window and seeing the gates being built. I always asked my mother when they would be finished and she always answers when you finally eat your carrots. The new building was taller and a newly opened hotel. The outside was dark blue brick with black iron doors with brass handles. The small lobby for the apartment building was now large with a coffee shop to the left and a restaurant on the right. It was modern yet recalled the industrial past of the city. I second geussed my stay here. Wondering if I could stand to see this place so different from my memories. But I checked in. “Welcome to the Hoxton, your room is 402,” the receptionist said. Fait can be cruel, the fourth floor just as when I was a child. Oh, she is cruel. Here I stood standing in this modern room looking down at the same view I had as a child watching the gate being built.

    Samantha

    Becoming a prolific thief was never something that came to mind after I lost my sight. Like so many things in the universe, life likes to insert ideas at the most innocent moments. It happened years ago in the pet store. I wanted a new leash for lily my guide dog. I knew that I could not tell the color. But picking out the new leash on my own was important. I like to feel through them. Feel the cold interlinking rings of the metal ones. The smooth texture of the woven nylon. I tried them on lily seeing how she would respond to them. After I found one both lily and I agreed on. Lilly pulled me away. Something must have piqued her interest could I could not stop her. She pulled and tried to stop her but she would not yield. Uncounted steps and unknown turns. She finally stopped. I heard the opening of the automatic door and the smell of the fresh air. I needed to reorient myself. I step out of the store for a few moments to get some air. Lilly pulled in the direction of home and I followed. It was not until I was home putting away the leash that I noticed the tags. I had never paid for the leash. After that, you say the rest is history.

  7. 1)”My little sister !”, I screamed with emotion. It was an impulse and saying it gave me tranquility. I couldn’t stop tearing up all the way towards the phone, I grabbed it and put on my chest, i took a deep breath, and looked up and smiled at the sky for a second. I didn’t know where to start , my hands were shaky and sweaty , my eyes were red and my throat was hurting. I started imagining all the good times we could have had together playing and bonding , Talking about what we like and who liked laughing and creating memories together. To find her has become my goal , and to create those memories with her is my only wish. So i called to the orphanage were she lived back then. But I started to feel my soul leave my body as they told me that the orphanage was in a fire, and all papers with the information of past adopted kids were lost, They burned and became dust.

    2)I honestly thing been blind made me stronger. I’m capable to commit several crimes without been judge by anyone. Now that i look back in time, i used to feel helpless and invisible, I can’t really think of myself like that anymore. My senses are ten times stronger than any other human being, that doesn’t make helpless, is almost like i am a superhuman. My life completely changes when i take my glasses off and put some contacts on, no one will ever suspect of a blind person of committing such acts. Is a perfect disguise and i hope it would last forever.

  8. I stared at the photo that sat on my vanity as I combed my hair. The picture was a family photo of three people my mother, my sister and me. The photo was wrinkled on the side torn a bit also afterall it was old. This was the only photo I had left after my mother passed away, me and my sister being sent to an orphanage. I wonder if she would look the small as she did so long ago, after we had been seperared. ‘Mami”Mami’ came running a little girl. ‘Are we going to meet your sister today?’ I replied yes as i picked her up. Maybe i could get a new family photo in the future.

    As i see if black and white, my owner has left again. He has bought me a new bed its comfy. I hear the jiggling of a set of keys. My hears perk up at the noise , the human is home. I dont understand why he leaves me here if im suppose to help him. Humans are so strange. He comes through the door with a black bag. He was smiling , i like it when he smiles. Maybe he’ll get me a new toy

  9. Everyone around me though that I was blind and weak. Who would suspect a blind guy to do such a thing? I’ve gotten away with so many bank robbery so far. The glasses were simply just a disguise. Scruffy and I were always on the move planning to rob the next bank. My routine was very simple but however, I felt that the teller can sense I wasn’t actually blind. She crumbled and threw the note at me. In a matter of seconds, the cops arrived.

  10. Arpita
    I studied the photo a little bit more. The girl looked like my sister. My heart started beating a little bit faster. I try to look for certain clues in the photo to get a location. The background of the picture has a few skyscrapers and a bridge. It looks like she could still be in Portland. This area was 10 minutes away from my house. For several weeks, I went to this area asking residents that worked in the local shops if they knew this girl. I went into supermarkets, bakeries, restaurants, malls, you name it. I kept getting “no” from everyone. I was becoming frustrated because there was no hope. Until one day I was walking on the street and I saw a pet shop. I remembered Michelle loved animals. She always said she wanted a bunch of dogs when we get older. I crossed my fingers hoping that she may be in this store. I went inside and I look at the employees, comparing them to the girl in the photo. It was no luck. As I was turning around to leave the store, a voice that I remembered asked me “Hello Ma’am how can I help you today?” I turned around and smiled. She looked in shock like she saw a ghost. After several years of being separated, nothing could take away that moment of us finally being together.

    Samantha
    Sometimes I wish things didn’t have to be this way. Ever since my mom passed away 6 years ago, I’ve been trying to make it through. I don’t even have children to take care of me.
    I know this stash of money will only last for a little bit. Although I haven’t gotten caught yet, my heart sill races sometimes when I go out in public because I don’t want to get caught. Maybe the people in the community know it’s me, but they feel bad for my situation.

  11. A — If I seek her out and if I find her, will she be as happy to see me as I am to see her? Or will she be disappointed? Sometimes I want to let that part of my life go, drift away, and never think of it again. Fill my mind with the thoughts of other people and places until I can’t taste the stale food in my mouth. I wonder if she feels the same. I wonder if some things are better left alone.

    S – He has no idea what’s going on. I can hear people ohh-ing and ahh-ing at him while we walk down the busy Manhattan streets. We stop at the light and children sneak pets from him even though his vest clearly states “DO NOT PET”. No one follows the rules. Especially Scruffy and I. We walk into the bank with an unspoken-in-English agreement that if this goes South he will make sure I get away safe no matter what. We are loyal only to each other.

  12. Arpita

    Growing up in an orphanage, I was lonely all the time. The only one I had to call my own was my sister Michelle. She was my soul sister who I could share everything with. Then along came one day where we had to go our own separate ways. A family adopted her and I lost all my connections with her. I was happy for Michelle that she got another chance at life. At the same time I was devastated that I may never see her again. I hope and pray that I may be able to find my sister in the future through the help of social media. That day will be the most happiest day of my life.

    Samantha

    To be blind is the worst punishment anyone can have. You aren’t able to see or do anything properly. You always have to be dependent on someone else. One day my life turned upside down when I was attacked by a robber. He saw I was blind which led him to his advantage. Time has passed and I am able to defend myself from these situations. I am confident in myself that I will not give up and stand up for what is right. What happened to me that day will not be repeated nor to anyone else that suffers from the weakness of being blind.

  13. Lost Sisters
    Though a rush of excitement ran under my skin, it was still tough to swallow the thought. Every second that passed I felt myself staring at the picture deeper and harder. My eyes squinting smaller and tighter. I took a break from my thumping head and strained eyes while I laid down and held the picture close to my chest. I wondered to myself if Michelle ate the same stale food, tasteless in every bite. Or if she slept on the same lumpy mattress, squeaking with every sleepless toss and turn. Or if she thinks about mom the way I do. I wonder if she wonders about me. The flooding thoughts about my sister nearly made me drown. I want to see her again and show her Portland and live here together and catch up with each other and drink wine together and gossip and cry and laugh and share everything and call her my sister once again.

    Scammed Blind
    Sometimes I think the rest of the world is blind I am the only one who can see reality and truth. Sight can mean ignorance, and with that you can become a slave to colors, shapes, and moving images. Always expecting a new thing to see. Living life in spontaneity without routine and structure. They must make more mistaken than I ever plan to. I know that all too well that they pity me-with my shades. I don’t have to see sympathy to feel I’m getting it. I think I’m the one that’s winning. I mean look at me, 10k richer with Scruffy by my side.

  14. Response to Arpita: The girl in the picture resembled me in many ways. She had the same big eyes like me & had the same birthmark, right above her eyebrow. She looked very happy, her smile has changed dramatically, it seemed very natural and unforced, you could see the sparkle in her big eyes. “If she’s happy, I shouldn’t have to come into her life to ruin it and bring back chaos,” I thought to myself.

    Response to Samantha:
    “Scruffy is it safe to cross now?” I felt no response in his body language from him. “Scruffy” as I shook onto his leash, I felt the collar come back to me loose. I grabbed onto the collar and realized that Scruffy was missing. I began panicking “SCRUFFY! SCRUFFY!” I tried retracing my steps up the train station but I suddenly forgot them. I fell over the second step of stairs and felt someone help me get up. I kept running and heard someone say “does he belong to your ma’am? He must’ve been attracted to the scent of my burger.”

  15. Arpita
    This specific picture of this specific girl caught my attention in an inexplicable way. I could not take my eyes off of this girl in this picture. I reach to touch her face through the screen of the computer and as soon as my finger made contact with the screen i felt a shock. A shock that quickly travelled from my fingertips through my arms and torso reaching my head and flashing these images in my head that i have never seen before. It was the girl from the picture in these flashes, is this one of those signs like I’ve seen in the movies?

    Samantha
    Sometimes i sit at home and wonder how far i can go with playing the blind card, well in my case not playing but using it to my advantage. I am planning to do another job but this will require some work that i cannot do on my own. I need to assemble a team, but where will i find someone who is willing to commit a crime with a blind person?

  16. Michelle was placed in another orphanage, ultimately to be adopted by a family who already owns another adopted child. The family is an upper middle class household. Michelle is given all the resources to succeed, given opportunities her sister never had the chance of receiving. Her sister aged out of the foster home, given that she didn’t go to college, she worked at a retail job full time to afford her one bedroom apartment shared with her roommate. Being separate, lead the two to live completely separate and different lives.

  17. Arpita
    After a while you begin to lose hope. we go throughout our days seeing so many different people, all with their own unique style and look to them. however there are always a few that resemble that person you cant shake from your mind. Maybe its the way their hair sits on their shoulders or the way they walk towards you, but no matter how similar they can be they are not who you are looking for. This picture gives me hope, but how many times i have been let down I don’t know anymore.

    Samantha:
    Some might say its wrong of me to do this, using my disability for wrong doings. but the world is all kinds of messed up and I have been cheated so many times that maybe I should look at this as a gift. they call this a disability but I am actually quiet able, I see more now then I have ever did before and I realize now that it was my eyes that made me blind to the reality of this world. We take our bodies for granted, we are capable of you much more yet we limit ourselves without even realizing it. I didn’t lose my sight, I just began to see.

  18. 1. As I gaze upon the picture I start to witness visions of my past. The time where me and Michelle got lost in the big city. There was people all around, so much people that I started to become claustrophobic. But Michelle was there to calm me down. Knowing that she was next to me gave me a sense of security. She was the only person that took care of me when no one else would. I suddenly snap back to reality, saddened by the thought of my sister not being here anymore. As I look around my room, I see the teddy bear and it warmed my heart. It was like she was with me all along.

    2. Living a life of crime while being blind ain’t easy at all. Since I never know when the cops are nearby other than hearing the sirens of their cars, I started to go off by the smell of donuts and coffee. I also have to make sure I don’t show my face at the police station, luckily I know the exact location of the police station. The police station is 17 blocks away from my house. But now that I have the money, nothing is going to stop me. As I get up from my chair, I hear knocking at my door. “Hello sir this is Detective Withers from the police department. Well shit…..

  19. Arpita
    Sitting on the bridge, under the beautiful orange tree. Taking a break from her sister search. Staring at the nice view and at the picture. “Sis where are you” she said. a chilled wind nipped her neck, as she dozed off. When She lift her head to see her sister standing in from of her. “Michelle! I have finally found you. You don’t know how lonely I have been”. She said. “Excuse me miss, the wind is taking your photo away. Are you okay”, said a lady. She open her eyes to see the photo sweeping away. She run after it and continue her search. “I’m very close into finding my sister. When I find her we going to live together and make up for all the time we missed”. She said.

    Samantha
    “ Was it a good idea? What if I get caught? uhh man let me return the money. Because the rest of the world haven’t been treating me well, doesn’t mean I should do the same. “No dummy, you better not return the money if you do you will definitely get caught” the voice said in my head. They been doing me dirty. Stealing my bags so many times. I’m even scared to go out on my own. I don’t care I’ll keep this money. A sound of a siren approach me while I was on the move. “Excuse me ma’m is everything okay do you need help” one of the cops said. No no, I’m okay I like to do little activities on my own sometimes. Why would he think I need help. Is it because I’m blind and he feel sorry for me. Umm well I feel sorry for that bank.

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