The Fancy Dress Party

by Doreen F.

Lenny had been really looking forward to the fancy dress party at his friendís place. That was until he lost his contact lens on the day before the party. There had been a big storm and he had been on the way to his car when suddenly there was sand in his eye and when he blinked his contact lens was gone. He had hard contact lenses, which his optician had to order and it usually took up to five days till he got them. This was bad, really bad. Not that Lenny did not have glasses, but for a fancy dress party glasses were not really great, unless you had a dress that required glasses anyway. But Lenny had decided to dress as a pirate as one of his friends worked at a theatre and offered to lend him that dress. What would a captain in glasses look like? Completely ridiculous was the only answer that came to his mind.

There was not much that he could do about it. He could not stay away from the party, it was his best friendís. So Lenny decided to wear his one contact lens and an eye patch over the other eye. He had to wear his glasses for driving, though, and only wanted to put in the contact lens at the party.

Lenny arrived early because he had promised his friend to help him with the final preparation and decoration. He explained to Xavier, his friend, that he had lost one contact lens and how his costume was supposed to help him through this problem. Xavier teased Lenny a bit, but that was it. After they had finished the preparations for the party, Lenny went to Xavierís bathroom in order to put in his contact lens; then he put his eye patch over the other eye. It did not feel that bad, although it was kind of weird. Lenny put his glasses into the hard case, which he put into one of his costumeís pockets.

When he got out of the bathroom the first guests were already arriving. Xavier asked, "Howís it going ĎOne Eyeí?" "So far so good", Lenny told him. He did not know how many people had been invited, but it seemed like an awful lot. He did not know half of them, but he was having fun. The food was delicious and everything went well, until Xavier announced that they were now going to play funny party games. It was the kind of games you usually played at childrenís birthday parties, but Xavier had always enjoyed that kind of games. And Lenny was the first victim of these games. Xavier chose him to be the first to walk around blindfolded; he then should try to catch the others. The blindfold was uncomfortably pressing onto his eyes and he felt his contact lens shift. But there was no time for that now unless he wanted to make a complete fool of himself, which he did not. Additionally there was a girl he particularly liked and he did not want to get into an embarrassing situation with her watching. They had not talked much, but somehow Lenny was crazy about her. Eventually he caught one of the others and got rid of the blindfold. He knew immediately that his contact lens was off-centre so he hurried to the bathroom. Once he got there he took out the contact lens and cleaned it. But when he wanted to put it in again, it hurt and his eye did not quit watering until he took it out. Great, now he was a one-eyed pirate who did not see that much with his one eye.

He went back down carefully as he was not used to walking around uncorrected. Lenny had lifted his eye patch, but that did not improve his vision much at all. He could make out people in costumes, but unless he got quite close he could not recognise anyone apart from those which had really distinguishing costumes. The game had ended, but Xavier was already explaining the next. It was quite simple. One had an orange tucked under his chin and the other person had to take it without using the hands or dropping the orange. There was one line with boys and one with girls. Lenny could not really make out which girl was standing on the other side. One girl came to him and he had to take the orange from her. It nearly fell, but somehow they managed to exchange the orange. Now Lenny had to walk to the other girl and give her the orange. As he got closer he realised that she was the one he fancied. He nearly stumbled over a balloon before he reached her. He was really nervous, but he managed a smile when he reached her. She tried to get the orange, which was a really tricky task, but they managed eventually. Lenny moved back to his place in the line and nearly tripped again. Oh this was so embarrassing. The game ended after a while and nobody seemed to keen on playing any more games. Lenny went over to the bar and poured himself a coke.

"I thought Iíd have to catch you instead of taking the orange", someone said from behind. Lenny turned and saw the girl he fancied standing right behind him.

"Yeah, I thought so too, but I wasnít sure if you would be able to catch me."

"Iím glad we didnít have to find out. Iím Emily."

"Iím Lenny."

"Nice costume, it looks kind of real."

"Thanks, I got it from a friend who works at the theatre, so I have to be careful. But you costumeís nice too."

"I made it myself."

"Wow, thatís amazing."

They kept talking for a while and both seemed to enjoy their conversation. Time passed quickly and soon the first guests left the party.

"So did you come here by yourself?" Lenny wanted to know.

"No, actually, I came with some friends, but I wanted to ask you if you could give me a lift. I mean, this may sound weird, but I really enjoy talking to you and I know my friends donít want to stay that longÖ"

"Sure, no problem."

"Thanks."

They were among the last guests and it was very late when Lenny and Emily left Xavierís house. Since Emily had been sitting quite close to him, Lenny had completely forgotten that he was not wearing his glasses. But he immediately realised when they left the house. Lenny knew that he would not be able to drive without glasses, but he was afraid of Emilyís reaction. He lifted his eye patch and searched his pockets for his glasses.

Emily was watching him curiously. "Whatís wrong, canít you find your car keys?"

"Donít worry, Iíve got them, Iíll just need my glasses now, if you want to get home safely."

He found them and put them on. This was a relief for the strain under which his eyes had been during the evening. Lenny looked at Emily and she seemed even more beautiful. "Here we go."

"Does this mean you couldnít see the whole evening?"

"No, well, most of it, yeah." Lenny explained how he had lost his contact lens and the problems he had with the other lens during the party. Emily did not say anything, she was just listening. In the meantime they had reached the car and had gotten into their seats.

"Öthatís the way it was, but I mean a pirate in glasses would have looked stupid, right?"

"Well, honestly I think you would have been a rather cute pirate in glasses."

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