by Doreen F.
A friend of mine, Mike, from university was throwing a big party at his house to celebrate his birthday. He had invited more than 30 people. Originally it should have been a barbecue, but, since the weather had been really bad over the past few days, a catering company provided the food. I knew some people, who were there, from university, but many were strangers to me. As usually people who knew each other were gathering in groups. We were having a great time and the dining room was big enough for all of us. Mike also had some pets, two dogs and two cats. They were really cute and walked around trying to get something to eat.
After some time Luke, another guy I knew from university, arrived. He had been working late and had come directly from work. Luke sat down at our table since he knew most of us. He told us about a really funny client he had dealt with just before he had left the office. We were laughing our heads off and really enjoyed the party. I was talking to a good friend of mine, when I noticed that Luke had left the table a while ago and I could not see him anywhere. I must admit that I had been fancying Luke for some time, so I paid more attention to him than the others. We had had several courses together and got along quite well. Luke returned a few minutes later and I noticed that he was sneezing and his eyes were quite red.
“What’s the matter, Luke?” Mike who was just passing by asked.
“I’m allergic to your cats, I guess. My eyes are stinging and my contact lenses are driving me crazy.”
“Sorry, man, I didn’t know that you were allergic to them. Are you okay, do you need anything?”
“I don’t have my eye drops here, but I really have to take out my contacts. The thing is that I didn’t bring my glasses so I won’t be able to go home by car. Can I leave it here? I’ll catch a taxi for the ride home.”
“Sure, no problem. You could spend the night here, of course, but that wouldn’t help your allergy now, would it?”
“Thanks for the offer, but that’d be impossible. I wouldn’t stop sneezing.”
Luke turned and went to the bathroom again. I asked Mike what was wrong and he told me. I felt really sorry for Luke. When he came back he narrowed his eyes for a moment and approached our table. The others had not really noticed any of this.
“Mike told me about your allergy” I explained.
“If I had known, I would have brought my glasses. Now I have to walk around like this – no contacts, no glasses – it’s not that much fun, as you can imagine. What’s more is that I have to leave my car here and get a taxi. I don’t even know if I have enough cash on me.”
“I could give you a lift. You know, we don’t live that far apart.”
“That would be fantastic, Michelle. Thanks a lot.”
“You’re so welcome.”
We stayed till after midnight and I could see that Luke was not really enjoying the party. His nose was running continuously, his eyes were red and he kept rubbing them – poor guy. When some other guests were about to leave I told Luke that this would be the perfect chance to leave as well. He agreed and seemed really grateful. It was raining and we had to run to my car so as not to get too wet. I got in and noticed that Luke was having trouble with the door handle on the passenger side. I opened the door from within.
“Sorry, it’s a Twingo, they have these cute door handles which have confused people who could see perfectly well” I said with a smile.
“And here’s me thinking I’m too blind to find the door handle.”
“How bad is you vision anyway?” I asked while reversing out of the parking space.
“Not so bad that I can’t see without glasses, but bad enough to be a risk behind the steering wheel. At night it’s worse, like now for example, I can see the lights, but they’re blurred and the cars’ licence plates are invisible. I could not tell the brands of most cars, except for some which are unique like the Mini.”
The rest of the drive passed in silence and we were listening to my new CD by Amy Mc Donald.
“Can you guide me to your place? I always get lost here because of the one-way streets” I asked when we were approaching the area where he lived.
“I can try.”
“There are no cars on the street, so I can drive really slowly, if that helps.”
“It does, but the rain is blurring things even more, but don’t worry I know my way around here.”
Luke was right and we were there in no time at all. Too soon for me as I was really enjoying his company. I felt so comfortable sitting next to him.
“Thanks for the ride Michelle, you saved me a lot of money and trouble.”
“Not a problem.”
“You don’t have time tomorrow by any chance?”
“Erh… I need to get back to Mike’s and get my car, well actually it’s my parent’s car and they won’t want their car standing there for too long. They’ll be mad at me anyway for not taking my glasses with me…so…uh”
“No problem, I could take you there, I have time tomorrow, but under one condition.”
“Which would be?”
“That we go somewhere for a drink tomorrow night and you pay, okay?”
“That’s the least I could do.”
“Great, when shall I pick you up tomorrow, erh…today?”
“At about 11.00?”
“Great, see you soon.”
We said goodbye with pecks on the cheeks and I floated home.
In the morning I still could not believe my luck. After a quick breakfast I got dressed and drove to Luke’s place. I rang the doorbell and he buzzed me in. At his door he was waiting wearing glasses. He looked so cute, his brown hair was tousled and he had not shaved.
“I didn’t wake you, did I?”
“Not quite, but you were close. I just need a coffee before we go. Do you want one too?”
“I’d love to.”
We sat down at the kitchen table, coffee mugs in our hands. Neither of us knew what to say, so instead we sat there smiling at each other. After we had finished our coffees we got up and left. I could not help noticing that Luke had not put in his contact lenses. I was curious. I had never seen him in glasses before and now he did not bother to change into contacts. Not that I was bothered by that. I liked the way he looked in glasses.
We reached my car and got in. This time Luke managed to open the door.
“Wow, you found the door handle!”
“Yeah, it’s a bit easier with my glasses on.”
“I can imagine that. Your glasses suit you.”
“Thanks. I couldn’t put my contacts in today, my eyes are still sore from the allergy.”
“I was wondering about that.”
“I don’t have any eye drops at home and today’s Sunday, all the pharmacies are closed. So in order to pick up the car and to see everything else properly, I’m four-eyes.” Luke gave a wink.
“Could be worse, couldn’t it? You could have green hair!”
“Actually, I once had that and it was quite funny, but I could have got deep red skin due to the allergy. Imagine what that would look like!”
“Terrible, I guess. So you should be really glad to only have to wear glasses for the day. And they look really nice.”
“Was that a complement?” he teased.
“Could be”, I blushed and focussed on the road.
“Well, I take it as one anyway.” Now Luke was grinning.
“And I am beginning to feel that you’re not that upset about your allergy anymore”, I teased him.
Doreen F. September 2008