The Check-up

by Dorren F.

Lindsay had not been to her optometrist for nearly a year, although she usually went there every six months, but somehow she did not have time. Now she had holidays and made an appointment for Monday. She knew that she needed new contact lenses. Her vision was still okay, but she had experienced some trouble in the big lecture halls at university when she had been sitting in the back. Lindsay knew she should have gone earlier, but there had been plenty of things going on. She had had her final exams for this year. So now she did have the time to go to her optometrist. Since she had RGPs she did not have to go there that often, but wanted to take good care of her eyes and had been advised to go to check-ups every six months or every year.

The optician’s shop was very small and usually there was only one employee and the optometrist who worked in another shop as well and was the contact lens expert. When she had called to make an appointment she had not talked to the clerk who usually worked there, but she had not really thought about it.

Eventually she went to the optical shop and as usual her optometrist was not there, but instead there was a young man standing behind the counter smiling at her as she came in. Lindsay told him she had an appointment and he immediately remembered her and explained that she would have to wait for a few minutes until the optometrist came. They did not talk, but Lindsay watched him while waiting. It did not take long till Mr. Patterson, the optometrist, came. They shook hands and then he examined Lindsay’s eyes and contact lenses and she had to do the usual tests. As she had expected her left eye had got worse, but apart from that everything seemed fine. The optometrist said he would order new contact lenses and call her when she could pick them up. This was kind of standard procedure, but then he asked, “Lindsay, would you mind if Etienne looked at your eyes, so I can explain something about RGPs to him? We don’t have many customers with hard lenses.”

“Go ahead.”

So Etienne sat down and looked at her eyes through the various instruments and the optometrist told him about the proteins and the perfect fit of the hard lens. He was really careful and hesitated when touching her eyelids, as they would close when she had to look down. Mr. Patterson thanked her

Lindsay asked then Mr. Patterson if he would advise her to get new glasses which he did since her glasses were rather old and the lenses had been changed twice already. They would do the measurements when she came to check how the new contacts fit.

After that they said goodbye.

A few days later Etienne called and told her that her contacts were there and she could pick them up any time. Lindsay did have time and went there the same day. When she got there Etienne prepared her new contacts and she removed her old ones and put in the new ones in no time at all.

“Wow that was quick! So how does it feel?”

“Much better, actually, could you give me an appointment when to come to check these?”

“Certainly, how about next Wednesday?”

“Yeah, that’s great, see you then, Etienne!”

“Bye.”

I have never seen such a nice man working in an optical store. I wonder how long he had been working here, Lindsay thought

On Wednesday she came in glasses since Mr. Patterson had to measure her eyes for her new glasses. The boss was not there yet, but Etienne told her he would be there any minute.

“How long have you been working here?” Lindsay asked casually.

“About a month. I study optometry and I needed a job to get experience. I came here and they were looking for help. I applied and got the job.”

“Do you like it here?”

“Yeah, it’s quite interesting and Mr Patterson is a great teacher. I’ve learned so much.”

“He’s a nice guy and he knows a lot about vision.”

“That’s right.”

“Oh, there he comes.”

Mr Patterson came in and greeted Lindsay. Then he took measurements for her glasses and advised her to get new ones and choose nice frames. Then Lindsay put in the contacts and he took a look at her eyes and had Etienne take a look as well. The new lenses did fit. So Lindsay paid for the contacts and then went to choose a frame. There were so many and really trendy ones. Mr Patterson told her that he had to go, but assured her that Etienne would be as good in giving advice as him.

Etienne seemed pleased at the compliment and brought loads of frames which Lindsay tried on. He commented on some and she thought he actually made invaluable comments. Eventually she settled on dark blue plastic frames which both of them thought were an excellent choice. Lindsay was told they would be ready by the end of the week and Etienne promised to call her.

Another customer came in and Lindsay said goodbye.

She really had great time with Etienne and they had actually been flirting a little. Maybe there was more to come. Lindsay hoped there was. She was looking forward to picking up her glasses.

On Thursday Etienne called and told her she could pick up her glasses. Unfortunately Lindsay did not have time that very day, but said she would come on Friday. They talked a little more which was really nice.

On Friday Lindsay went to the optical store and found Mr. Patterson behind the counter. She was slightly disappointed, but tried not to show it.

Lindsay got her new glasses, paid and was about to leave, but not before asking, “Where’s Etienne today?”

“He hurt his knee while playing football yesterday.”

“I hope it’s not too serious.”

“I don’t know it yet, but he won’t be able to work for at least one week because his leg needs some rest.

“Say hi to him from me and tell him I really appreciated his help when choosing frames.”

“Sure, I will. He’s a really nice guy, isn’t he?”

“He is. I really hope his injury isn’t too bad.”

“So do I.”

“Bye.”

“Bye.”

Somehow Lindsay was disappointed she had not seen Etienne. She had been looking forward to that all Thursday night. And he was not there! However, he certainly didn’t get injured on purpose.

Still, she liked her new glasses a lot and really wanted to thank Etienne for helping her make such a good choice.

Back home she was still thinking about Etienne. She took a look at the receipt she had got for her contact lenses and to her surprise there was Etienne’s full name on it.

So she looked him up in the phone book. Etienne was a rather uncommon name itself and his surname was not so common either. Not surprisingly there was only one listed. He lived quite close so she decided that instead of calling she would pay him a visit which was more personal than a phone call anyway. He’d probably appreciated some company. On her way Lindsay bought a box of chocolates. In no time at all she was standing at his front door and suddenly thoughts of possible girlfriends and many other reasons for not ringing the bell, came to her mind. She felt quite nervous like on a date, but she thought she was being watched by an old lady next door so she rang the bell and then there was no way back.

The door was unlocked after some time. Probably he wasn’t able to walk that fast with his injury or he’d been asleep, resting or, worse, making out with his girlfriend or whatnot. Maybe she shouldn’t have come. Finally the door opened. Lindsay’s heart was beating even faster now. Etienne looked surprised to see her, but smiled. Furthermore he was wearing glasses and looked cuter than ever. He was favoring his right leg while standing.

“Lindsay, hi, what are you doing here?”

“Hi Etienne! I picked up my new glasses today and since Mr Patterson said you hurt your knee so I thought I’d pay you a visit.”

“Come on in! How do you know where I live?”

“I actually looked you up in the phone book. How are you anyway? How’s your knee?”

“Better now that the painkillers are working. The doc said I was lucky no ligaments were torn, but it still hurts a lot.”

Etienne hobbled towards the kitchen.

“Do you want some coffee?”

“Please. Is there anything I can help you with?”

“You can carry the mugs to the couch. Otherwise I’ll spill it all before we sit down.”

They sat down on the couch and ate Lindsay’s chocolate while drinking coffee.

“I hope you don’t mind me coming over like that. It was a stupid idea, but when Mr. Patterson told me about your injury today I felt really sorry for you. And I really like my new glasses and wanted to thank you for your help in choosing them. You’re probably waiting for your girlfriend who’s just gone out to buy you something so maybe I should go.”

“Whoa, wait a minute.”

“Have I been talking too much? Sorry.”

“First of all, I don’t have a girlfriend and I’m bored out of my mind sitting at home. So, please, stay.”

“Okay.”

“Secondly, it’s really nice of you to come here.”

“Is there a third thing you want to say?”

“Well, would I ask for too much if I asked you to put on your new glasses so I can see them on your face? Thus, I’m not the only geek in this room anymore.”

“Geek? Are you kidding me. You’re adorable with your glasses. How come you’ve never worn them at work?”

“Put on your specs and I’ll explain.”

“Sure, you don’t have a spare case to store the contacts by any chance.”

“There should be one in the bathroom. I’d show you, but somehow I know getting up would be painful.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll find it.”

That said and done Lindsay returned to the room wearing her brandnew glasses.

“Wow, excellent choice of frames.”

“Says the one whose advice was crucial in making the decision.”

“They look great on you.”

“Thanks. So now tell me, why I’ve never seen you in glasses. It’s strange considering you’re working at an optician and study optometry.”

“Good point. Okay, the thing is that as you can see my glasses are fairly strong, at least stronger than yours.”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I’ve worn glasses almost exclusively until I started working for Mr.Patterson. I only had contacts for sports and I’ve never been able to tolerate them for long. As you know Mr. Patterson is an expert when it comes to contact lenses so he thought there might be a brand that would be suitable for me. I tried them all over the last months. I usually put them in in the morning when I came to the store and took them out by lunchtime or vice versa. Mr. Patterson always had a look at my eyes and most days I was in contacts at least for some time. This coincided with the times you came.”

“I see, but there’s more, right?”

“Just a little. Now I’ve tried all kinds of contacts that Mr. Patterson has access to and apparently none seemed to work for more than a few hours if that long. Yesterday when playing football I was in contacts, of course, but they were bothering me a bit. That’s why I got injured because I was so distracted by my blurred vision that I twisted my knee.”

“I’m so sorry about that.”

“Now I decided that my time in contacts is over for good. I’ll get some sports glasses and I’ll use the discount I get at the store to purchase another pair of frames to have some choice.”

“Great idea. If you need some advice when choosing, I’ll be more than happy to help you.”

“Thanks Lindsay. You’re so sweet. Are you for real?”

“As far as I know I am. So I was thinking I could go to the supermarket and buy some things to cook a delicious dinner for the two of us. You can come with me or rest your leg in the mean time.”

“The painkillers are still working. I’ll give it a try and if my knee feels really bad, I can always stay in the car.”

“Sounds like a plan. Before we go, I have to tell you something.”

“Do I have to be worried?”

“No way. I just wanted to say that you look gorgeous in glasses.”

Instead of replying Etienne leaned over and gave Lindsay a passionate kiss.

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