A New Start

By Doreen F

Monica was just recovering from the fact that her fiancé had left her. He didn’t give her any reasons, but his new girlfriend was a model. That was one of the reasons why Monica’s self-esteem was very low. She had known the model and knew that this girl was very dumb, but maybe Lucas, her ex-fiancé, was suffering an early stage of midlife-crisis and was more superficial than she had thought. Her friends were very kind and sympathetic. Monica and Lucas had been together ever since they had met in college. It was their first serious relationship and Monica had never given much thought to other guys. Lucas was kind of a macho, but Monica was happy to have someone and Lucas wasn’t bad looking either. Both of them got used to each other and everyone lived his own life. Monica was a journalist and earned a lot of money, at least enough not to be dependent on Lucas who worked for an insurance company. When he had asked her to marry him on her 27th birthday, she agreed and thought that was the way life was supposed to be. Most of her friends were already married, that was the way life used to be in a small town like that.

A divorce would have been far worse and would’ve had more negative consequences on her income, which was higher than Lucas’. They didn’t have any children, Monica was more eager to be a successful journalist than to raise children, maybe that was a problem for Lucas. She didn’t really know, he hadn’t given her any reasonable explanation.

As time went by she enjoyed the advantages of being single. As Lucas was the one who had left her and it was her flat they had been living in, she stayed and redecorated everything with the help of her sister Annie who had moved in with her. Annie was out of the ordinary. She liked being different and that was one of the reasons why she brought so much fun into Monica’s life.

Having a lot of time now, Monica threw herself into work and wrote many successful articles. She also traveled a lot to do some research and also for fun, but she felt that something in her life was missing. One evening she realized that she would like someone to share her life with. Monica wasn’t as strong and independent as her sister. When she told Annie that she would like to find a new boyfriend, her sister surprised her by offering to help her find the right man. So she made a questionnaire and asked Monica what her boyfriend should be like. Being a psychologist Annie had very specific questions concerning the character, the appearance, hobbies and many other things Monica would never have thought of. After analyzing the answer Annie she would try to find men who she thought might be right for her sister and arrange dates.

Monica was a bit apprehensive, but she decided she had nothing to lose and wanted to try something new, so she agreed. Two days later Annie told her she had a date for her on Saturday. Monica was really nervous as she had never had a blind date before. Annie encouraged her telling her that if she wanted a boyfriend she had to go out and find one.

Saturday came and Monica was really curious who might be waiting for her in front of the restaurant Annie had chosen. When she arrived, nobody was there, so she waited for 10 minutes and then she called Annie.

“Hi, what’s up, didn’t you like him?” Annie asked.

“No, I didn’t even see him, he’s not there, shall I wait?”

“Sorry about that, I think you should wait for another 10 minutes or go inside and enjoy the evening on your own!”

“Great, my first blind date and he doesn’t show up, okay, I’ll go inside, maybe he’s just delayed. Does he have your phone number to call you?”

“Yeah, he does, but he hasn’t called yet. I’m sorry, terribly sorry, I hope he’ll show up!”

“It’s not your fault, bye.”

Monica was just about to go inside when she saw someone coming. She immediately recognised him, it was Alex. He had been the neighbour of her best friend in high school. They had been out in the group several times. She had always thought that he was an incredibly handsome guy, but she had never had the courage to tell her friend or anyone else about her feelings. Suddenly it struck her, could Alex be her date? Alex seemed surprised , but greeted her with a smile. “Monica, right?” Alex said. “I didn’t know it was you I was supposed to meet.” “Annie didn’t know me you were my date either, that’s quite a surprise”, I answered. “Sorry, I’m late, I was having trouble with my contacts lens and so I didn’t make it on time”, he apologised. Oh, yeah, now I remembered that he had been wearing glasses, he was really cute in them and he had never seemed to mind wearing them. “Since when do you wear contact lenses?” I couldn’t conceal my curiosity. “Well today was the first time I wanted to wear them for a date, usually I only use them for sports, but let’s go, shall we?” he asked with a shy smile. I agreed and couldn’t believe my luck-did Annie know or was it a coincidence. It was a nice Spanish restaurant and they opted for tapas. It was really hard to get into conversation; both of them were extremely nervous and seemed to try to make everything right. After the dinner they decided to take a walk. Both of them loosened up a little and discovered that there was much they had in common: They were into movies and liked reading a lot, furthermore they had similar points of view on many things and additionally felt really attracted to each other. Monica told Alex every detail of the break-up with her ex-fiancé and he was really sympathetic. He had been married and his wife had left him not too long ago. She didn’t offer him any reason either, simply told him that she had made a mistake marrying him and that he hadn’t met up to her expectations. To make it even worse she had taken much of his money as he was the one with the higher income and she had also succeeded in taking the flat. So Alex had had to move to his parents which he really didn’t like. He had felt that he was the one who did everything wrong, so Alex decided to see a psychologist, Annie. He was having a really bad time after the divorce and blamed himself for everything, tried to change as much as he could, but it didn’t make him feel better.

Monica was really surprised to hear that he was her sister’s client, but she also felt really sorry for him. She had become curious and asked him why he had agreed to a blind date with her. Alex said that Annie had told him that he needed a new girlfriend and offered him to arrange a date with someone she knew and thought he might like. Annie had given him the same questionnaire and apparently their answer seemed to match.

Since Alex was still living at his parent’s house Monica asked him, if he wanted to come to her flat for a drink. When he hesitated she told him that Annie wasn’t there, she was out with some of her friends and would be late-at least she hoped so. They had a really good time and the awkwardness that had been there at the beginning of the evening was completely gone. Both of them really enjoyed being together and talking about various things. Neither of them noticed how late it was when they finally heard Annie coming.

“Hello sweet sister, wow, so your date showed up then, I’m happy to see that you and Alex seem to enjoy them evening or shall I say the night, it’s two o’clock, do you know that?” Annie shouted her greeting. She was a bit drunk and seemed interested in the date. Annie wanted to know everything and kept asking questions until she was satisfied with their answers. After a while most of her questions were answered, when she suddenly said, “Hey boy, where are your glasses?”Obviously she had never seen Alex without them.

“I thought I’d try contacts for my first date, but they were the cause of my delay, so I nearly spoiled the date because of them”, he answered and seemed kind of uncomfortable at Annie’s way of asking questions. Alex had also started rubbing his eyes as if he had only remembered that he was wearing contacts now..

“Not bad, not bad, you look really nice tonight”, Annie lulled.

“By the way, I have to go home to take out my contact lenses, I don’t have the paraphernalia with me, sorry”, Alex said looking at Monica apologetically.

“That’s too bad, now that we are having so much fun. You should’ve taken all the stuff with you, you never know what happens”, Annie lectured him.

“Yeah, well, I didn’t expect that the date would be that great”, was his reply.

Monica felt really sorry for him because she saw how Alex was bothered by the way Annie wanted to know everything. Annie had always been like that when she was drunk, she was very rude in asking questions not even thinking about other people’s feelings.

“Shall I drive you home”, Monica offered Alex and he accepted.

In the car Monica apologised for Annie’s behaviour and explained that she was always like that when she was drunk; he shouldn’ t worry about that, usually Annie couldn’t remember a thing, when she woke up the following day.

“What a pity you couldn’t stay the night, I’d really have loved it, but maybe it’s better to take it slowly”, Monica said when they were close to Alex’ home.

“I really didn’t know you were my date because if I had, I’d taken my stuff with me. I have always fancied you, you know”, Alex explained.

“Or you could’ve worn your glasses, I wouldn’t have minded. I’ve really had a crush on you, but I was always too shy to tell you. If I had known that you had similar feelings towards me, I’d have done anything to be with you, but I thought you didn’t like me or I was just one out of many”, Monica told him.

“I didn’t know whether you liked me or not, neither did I know how to come into conversation with you, I was scared you didn’t like me because of the glasses-most of my girlfriends complained about them. I didn’t mind wearing them, I always enjoyed the clear vision they gave me. My ex-wife encouraged me to start wearing contacts, but I never really liked them. When I was with her I wore them most of the time. Our date wasn’t the first I had after the divorce, but the girls I’ve met before used to take off my glasses and ask me about wearing contacts. I didn’t really like that, but I thought that I would only get a girlfriend wearing contacts on a date. I got really self-conscious about the glasses, I’ve never been before, but if everyone tells you that you look much better without, you start to believe them. Even your sister, she had never seen me without glasses and said that I looked better without”, he smiled.

“I really liked you in glasses, to me they’re one of your many good features, honestly. My knees would have been even weaker today, if you had worn your glasses”, Monica answered and kissed him as they had stopped in front of his house.

“I’d really ask you to come in, but my parents, especially my mother, wake up easily when they hear someone talking. But do you want to meet me tomorrow or shall I say today, it’s nearly dawning! I’ll pick you up at two, okay?” Alex suggested.

“That’ll be great”, Monica told him and after a long kiss they said goodbye anticipating the moment they would meet again.

When Monica came home, Annie was already asleep, but in the late morning they were having breakfast together and Annie wanted to know everything from her sister’s point of view. Monica told her everything, but also complained that Annie had been very rude the night before.

“I know, I’m sorry, I had too many drinks. What did I say? I hope I didn’t out him off”, Annie seemed worried. Monica explained that everything was fine, Alex had agreed to pick her up at two. He had seen that Annie was a bit drunk and wasn’t angry with her. There was just one question Monica wanted to have answered. “He’s your client, I know everything is confidential, but can you tell me, what’s his problem?”

“You know, I shouldn’t tell you, but I want both us you to be happy. He had this terrible divorce and blames himself for everything that went wrong. I don’t know why they were married anyway, but he thinks he put her off because of the fact that he didn’t want to wear contact lenses all the time. He likes his glasses, which I don’t understand, but is kind of self-conscious about them. He must have had bad experiences. I don’t think he can tolerate contacts for a very long time. I was really surprised when I saw him without glasses yesterday. His wife must have been a real bitch, she had a picture of him which he didn’t fit in. They didn’t have much in common and married because their parents wanted it and she was pregnant at the time. When she found out that myopia could be inherited, she did everything to hurt the child and miscarried. She blamed him for everything. They stayed together for two more years and then she found another man without “disabilities” and left him”, Annie told her.

“Poor guy, I feel so sorry for him”, Monica sounded sympathetic.

“At least I can tell you that he is good mental health and I wish you the best of luck. Both of you deserve it”, Annie said and hugged her sister. “By the way I’m moving out, I found a flat, it’s right above yours and I don’t want to interrupt you and Alex again.”

Monica had just finished styling her hair and decided what to wear, when the doorbell rang. Annie answers the door and let Alex in. He was wearing glasses this time and Monica’s knees felt very weak, when she saw him. There was the man of her dreams, standing in her flat looking unbelievably sexy. She came forth and kissed him. He asked to tale her bathing suit with her and then they went to his car. Alex didn’t tell her where they were going and Monica didn’t care and simply enjoyed watching him drive. They came to a lake and Alex told her that he wanted to rent a pedal-boat. Monica had never been on a pedal-boat before, but she thought it would be fun. It was a nice summer day and so they got onto the boat. Alex explained her how to move and steer the boat and then they put on their swimming suits. In the middle of the lake there was a small island and the water was deep blue. After some time of talking in the sun Monica decided to jump into the water. It was really refreshing and she stayed in the water for a while splashing at Alex. “Hey honey, come in, it’s incredible”, Monica encouraged him to join her. “Just a second he said and out his glasses into their case, then he jumped in. Alex’ head came out of the water and he stared around looking for her. Monica had dived down that very moment and he seemed a bit scared, but then she came up behind him and kissed him on the back. “Hey, don’t scare me like that, I don’t see much without glasses, I didn’t know where you were, maybe I wouldn’t find our boat”, he complained, but not sounding too seriously concerned. “I’m sorry, I forgot, I didn’t know how much you can see without glasses”, she replied and kissed him again. “I can see you right now”, Alex said splashing at her. They had so much fun playing in the water that they didn’t notice that their boat had been drifting apart. “Where’s the boat”, Monica asked after a while. “You are my eyes now, I don’t see it. It can’t be far away, can it?”, Alex wanted to know. Alex lifted Monica up a bit so that she could see more, still the boat wasn’t there. “Shit, what shall we do. We have to swim around and look for it, maybe it is on the other side of the island”, Monica said hopefully. “I can hardly see the island, but I’ll swim behind you, okay?” Alex told her. Monica didn’t dare to swim to fast so as not to lose Alex somewhere on the lake. Eventually they reached the island and the shallow water around it and Monica told Alex to wait for her while she’d swim around the island to look for the boat. Alex seemed really embarrassed that he couldn’t see, but agreed to wait. At the back of the island Monica found the boat in a small bay, but she couldn’t move it, it was too heavy. She took Alex’ glasses out of the case and decided to take them back to him. While she was holding them she took a close look at them, they seemed rather strong, but she didn’t really know much about glasses. When she reached Alex, Monica noticed how she slowly came into focus and finally he recognised her. She told him that she had found the boat, but couldn’t move it and needed his help. “I’ve got a surprise for you”, she said, “close your eyes.” As he did so, she gently placed his glasses onto his face. Alex opened his eyes and smiled, then he kissed her. “Thank you so much, my dear. Wow, it’s so good to see again, I mean, I could see you very well, when you were close, but everything else was kind of blurry. Let’s go get the boat”, he said and she led the way to the bay. Despite their effort the boat seemed stuck between some stones. Then Alex found a piece of wood and with that they managed to get the boat loose. Both were a bit bruised, but glad to have succeeded. They inspected the boat for any damage and found a little hole on the floor. So they decided to swim and tow the boat back to the rental place. It was really hard work and they had to rest several times because it was a far way, but finally they reached it. Completely exhausted, but happy, they went back to Monica’s flat. There both of them took a shower and tended their minor bruises and cuts. With the wet hair and the glasses Alex was so drop dead gorgeous that Monica still couldn’t believe everything was real. They sat down on the couch leaning next to each other and fell asleep. Annie woke them up, when she came home about one hour later.

“Oh my god, what have you been doing?” she greeted them.

“Just a little fighting, you know!” her sister replied, but then they told her about their boat trip.

“Wow, that sounds really exciting. I'm just here to refresh myself, I'm going out again. Have a nice evening.” Annie rushed into her room, collected whatever she needed and left.

“Have I told you that she's moving to a flat above me quite soon. Then there won't be anyone to disturb us. You can move in, if you like. I reckon it's not very nice living at your parents' home at your age.”

“I'll definitely think about it, but I have to really sure that this relationship is serious, okay?”

“Of course, I don't want to push you. Take all the time you need.”