"I'm sorry, Bobbi, but I can't renew your driver's license. You failed the vision test and you'll have to get glasses to be able to drive."
"But, but, can I try again?" she said. Still, the result was the same. She could only read the top two lines, which were blurry, and the smaller ones below were just black smudges on a white background, so she left the state office to arrange for an eye examination.
She was a little surprised, but not really. Three years before when she renewed her license she passed the test with ease. Yet, recently, she knew she was having problems reading signs along the road but thought everyone saw the same way. Since her mom wore glasses she went to her home to ask which doctor she should call.
"I guess it runs in the family" her mom said, after calling her doctor and making an appointment. "I became nearsighted about the age you are and have been wearing glasses ever since. They help a lot." Bobbi was 23, had just graduated from college the year before, and was working in an office not far from her downtown apartment.
Bobbi asked "how do they help, I mean do they just bring things up closer?" Her mom replied "no, they just make everything very clear. You'll really like them. I didn't want them either, but after I got them, I didn't know how I ever got along without them." Bobbi really hated the idea of having to wear glasses; however, since she needed her driver's license, two days later she was sitting in a large chair at the doctor's office getting her eyes examined.
She could read the big E at the top of the chart, and the next two rows of letters which were large, but that was it. The doctor made the letters very, very small, put a large machine in front of her eyes, and began changing lenses. "Which is better, one or two? Three or four?" he intoned, as the soft click each time there was a change signalled a stronger and stronger lens. After quite a few changes, the letters jumped out at her clear, crisp, and black. To her amazement she could read the tiny letters at the very bottom row. "You are pretty nearsighted for a first prescription" he said as he swung the machine away and the eye chart again blurred into oblivion. Because the brief time she'd been looking through the right lenses was so wonderful, she changed her opinion. Now, she wanted glasses, and wanted them right now. After trying on several different frames, she selected some blue, semi-rimless ones that felt light and comfortable on her nose and ears. But she was dismayed to find out it would be a few days before they were in, and wished she'd gone to a 1 hour place.
At work the next day, she noticed that the posters on the wall were a total blur unless she got very close to them, and thought the next week would never come. Because she had to work the day they arrived, she arranged for her mother and younger sister to pick them up and bring them to her.
Her sister, who just turned fifteen, brought them to Bobbi, still in their case. Bobbi slowly removed them from the case, and sat looking at them, the light reflecting from the lenses. "Put them on, silly" said her sister. "They won't do you any good just looking at them".
Bobbi brought them up to her face, brushing the tips of the temples along her cheeks as the pads came to rest on her nose and the temples over her ears. She was shocked into silence. "It's a miracle!" she finally blurted out. "The whole world is clear, I can not only read the posters on the walls I can see bright colors!" It was interesting now, she thought, that one week ago she didn't like the idea of wearing glasses. Now, she didn't want to take them off as she surveyed the room and looked out the window. For the first time, she noticed that each individual tree leaf could be seen. Before, a tree was just a big green glob.
She wore them all day, only lowering them occasionally to compare how it looked with them and without them. But, by the time she got home, she was a little uncomfortable because they rubbed on her nose and ears, and decided to get them adjusted. The place she got them was at the mall, so she stopped by and picked her sister up to take her along for some shopping.
Bobbi's little sister, Amy, was a perky high school sophomore who looked a lot like Bobbi with her fair complexion, blue eyes, and long blonde hair. She was very popular with the boys, and was looking forward to next year when she could get a driver's license. As they approached the mall, Bobbi exclaimed how nice it was that she could actually read the changeable electronic sign at the front of the mall's parking lot. "Great!" she said. "This weekend is the annual craft show, and I really like to go to that".
"Huh?" was Amy's response. "Where do you see that?" By then, the car had pulled into the main entrance very near the sign. "Right up there" said Bobbi, pointing to the sign. "Oh, oh, now I see it... guess I was looking in the wrong place" said Amy.
They got out of the car and as they were walking to the entrance, Bobbi asked her sister to stop, and see if she could still read the sign, which was quite a bit away from them by then. Without thinking, Amy looked in the direction of the sign, and involuntarily squinted. "Ummm, sure, I can see it's about the craft fair" she said and started walking again. Catching up to her at the door, Bobbi said "you shouldn't have to squint you know. I did before I got my glasses. Do you think you may need them too?" It was obvious Amy didn't want to deal with that possibility, as she entered the mall without a word and kept on walking.
The doctor's office was in a chain optical store, and Bobbi and Amy walked up to the dispensing counter and sat down. One of the opticians came up, complimented Bobbi on how nice she looked in her glasses, and then began to do the adjustments. Across the room was an eye chart, and while the optician was doing the adjustments, Bobbi squinted at the chart. She read "E,FP,TOZ,..." and that was it. "Boy, am I nearsighted. I can only read the top three lines. How about you, Amy?" This time, Amy knew better than to squint, and just said, "Oh, I read it all the way to the bottom, no problem" and then got up and left saying she'd meet her sister at the clothing store next door.
Amy was uncharacteristically quiet on the way home, even when they stopped at her favorite place for a dish of custard. Bobbi thought she knew what the problem was. Even though her newly adjusted glasses were very comfortable, and she could see everything so clearly through them, she took them off, placed them upside down on the table, and excused herself to go to the rest room. The rest rooms were around the corner, behind where Amy was sitting, and Bobbi stepped around the corner but turned and peeked back. Luckily, it wasn't far from where their table was or she wouldn't be able to see what she thought was going to happen, and what did happen.
After she was sure Bobbi was gone, Amy tentatively reached across the table, picked up her sister's new glasses, and looked them over very carefully. Actually, Amy thought, they did look cool, but...What's the use, she thought, I lied about the mall sign and also the chart at the doctor's office. Actually, the whole chart was fuzzy and she couldn't read the bottom half even though she was standing closer to it than Bobbi was. And, from where she was sitting, she couldn't read anything on the menu posted behind the store counter. I don't want glasses was all that was going through her mind, but nonetheless she held them in front of her eyes and peeked out the window through the shiny lenses. What happened as she viewed the world through the strong glasses shocked and delighted her!
The whole world jumped into focus. Everything, every single thing, was so clear it was almost beyond belief. There was a motel across the street, and with the lenses in place she could clearly read every detail on their sign. While looking at the sign, she pulled the glasses down on her nose and watched it become so fuzzy not only couldn't she read it but the colors actually faded. Looking around, she replaced the glasses and noted that she could now read all of the menu that before was just a big blur. Bobbi noted her apparent joy with amusement, went on to the rest room, and when she returned to the table saw her glasses were right where she had left them. She put them on, and decided not to bring it up to Amy unless Amy mentioned it first.
To her surprise, several days went by with no mention from Amy of having tried on the spectacles and Bobbi continued to wear them all of the time. They were the first thing she put on in the morning and the last she took off at night, and she not only enjoyed perfect vision but like how comfortable they felt on her nose and looped around her ears. She received many compliments from her friends on how nice she looked with them on, and thinking back to her attitude before she got her eyes tested, wondered why she hadn't done it a long, long time ago. Seeing the world so clearly did cause her to be concerned for her sister, and she decided she was going to have to bring it up to Amy. The question was how to do it, and she waited for the right opportunity. And the opportunity was to come sooner than Bobbi thought.
That day came the following week, when the two girls went shopping again, and decided to take in a movie. They settled into comfortable seats in the back row of the cool, dark theater. Just before the film began, Bobbi slipped off her glasses to clean them, but didn't have a tissue with her. Amy, noticing they were off, much to Bobbi's surprise reached over and took them from her hand. "If they're dirty, I'll clean them for you" said Amy and she did. But as she handed them back, Bobbi said "It's OK try them on, no one will see you".
"Oh, Bobbi" sighed Amy. "I have to confess. I did try them on at the ice cream shop." Bobbi responded "Yes, I know, I was watching. The question is, did they help you?" and of course Bobbi already knew the answer. "It was wonderful" came Amy's response. "But I don't need, I mean really need glasses do I? Just because they help, maybe they'd help anyone too, someone who had good eyesight, right?"
"Amy, that's just not right and you know it" said Bobbi, who was still holding the magic lenses in her hand. "Fess up, have you been having any other problems seeing far away?" Knowing her sister was correct, Amy sighed and took the glasses in her hands, but didn't put them on just yet.
"I can't read the board at school, and at the ball game last weekend, the scoreboard was just a blur. And trying to read the players' numbers? Forget it." Just then, the previews started and Amy squinted and blinked at the screen. Then she looked around to make sure there was no one around she knew who would see her in glasses, looked back at the screen and slowly slid them in place over her ears and on her nose. She couldn't help but gasp at what she saw through her sister's powerful lenses.
The screen jumped out at her crisply and clearly, with vivid colors; she could actually read the opening credits and see the expression on the actors' faces. After a few minutes, she peeked over the top of the glasses, only to once again see a soft blurry swirl of color. She quickly replaced them and gazed at the wonderful sight of actually seeing a movie. But then she felt a tug on her sleeve, and it was Bobbi wanting her spectacles back.
"Hey, sis, now that you know how I see without them could I have them back?" Bobbi asked in a joking manner. Reluctantly, Amy took them off and Bobbi put them on. Amy squinted to see, but even that only helped a little and besides, it was uncomfortable. But Bobbi had a surprise for her little sister.
As Amy was struggling to watch the blurry images on the screen, Bobbi reached into her purse and produced a glasses case, inside of which was a pair of large, blue plastic rimmed glasses. The younger girl looked at them and asked "Is this a joke? Where did these come from?"
"They're mom's old ones; I found them in the writing desk, and remember when she wore them before she got her new ones. They're pretty close to mine, maybe not as strong, but maybe they'll help" she said, handing them to Amy.
Willing to try anything at this point, Amy slipped them on. They felt huge on her petite features, but "Hey, they help!" she exclaimed as the movie did seem a lot clearer. After wearing them for a few minutes she again borrowed Bobbi's for a few seconds to compare. Being stronger, things were much sharper and clearer with Bobbi's, but still and all, after she gave them back and resumed wearing the older ones she was able to enjoy the rest of the movie, really the first time she'd truly seen one in a long, long time. When the show was over she removed them as they left the theater and said "OK, I give up, how do I go about getting my eyes tested too?"
The movie was in the same mall as the optical store, and Bobbi walked her right there and an appointment was made for the earliest possible time, which was three days away. When they got in the car for the ride home and when no one they knew would see them, Bobbi was amused to see her sister immediately slip on the blue plastic frames and gaze at the world. As the car turned onto their street, Amy took one last look around with the glasses on, and as she removed them said "Now I can hardly wait for my eye test. I think I really want to wear glasses."
When Amy was getting ready for school the next morning, she remembered she still had her mom's glasses in her pocket and took them with her. She peeked at the world through them on the first few blocks on her walk to school, marvelling at the clarity of things. She could actually read the street signs before she was right next to them, but she had to take them off when she caught up to the friends she always walked the last few blocks with.
Now, the blurriness bothered her, and the bother turned to frustration in the classroom when she couldn't read the chalkboard but didn't want to be seen in the clunky oversized glasses. For the next couple of days, when no one could see her, she wore them all the time. And of course, she could wear them when she was with Bobbi since her sister knew her "secret". She was excited, but apprehensive, about the eye test.
After school on the big day Bobbi picked Amy up and drove her to the mall. She filled out the paperwork in the doctor's office, and an assistant took her into a darkened room and seated her in front of a machine. "What's that?" Amy asked, as her curiosity grew. "It's an auto-refractor" came the answer, "it will let us know if you need a correction and a rough idea of what the correction should be. Please put your chin on the holder, and just keep watching the little target".
Amy did as she was told, but didn't see any changes in how she saw like Bobbi had said she would. "Aren't there supposed to be some different lenses for me to see through?" she inquired when that part of the test was done. "No", said the technician, "that will come later. But the machine did indicate you need a near-sighted prescription" and she showed her a strip of paper that had the following printout on it: OD -2.00 spin, OS -2.25 spin. "What does it mean?" Amy asked. "It means you aren't seeing very well, and glasses will really, really make things better for you. Now, read the chart on the wall as far as you can" she said, holding a cover over Amy's right eye.
All Amy saw was a black blur on a white background, and told the technician that. "O. K., guess I have to make them larger" she said and changed something. Now, Amy could see a large 'E', and an 'F' and a 'P' on the next line, but they were far from clear. And, after that, only the smudged blurry white area appeared. She did the same with Amy's other eye covered, with the same result, jotted some things on a clipboard, and left the room saying the doctor would be with her in a minute.
Amy was so excited about the whole idea of getting glasses that she could barely sit still in the chair waiting for the rest of the exam, especially the part her sister had told her about where she actually got to look through some lenses. The chart was still lighted, and Amy's curiosity got the better of her. She got out of the chair and walked to the chart. Only when she got more than halfway up to it could she see the additional letters, and that there were actually 10 lines of letters, the bottom ones very small. She had to move even closer to read those, and then her excitement was suddenly replaced by a chill.
Summer was winding down, and the varsity cheerleading tryouts would soon be held. She had been one of the best and most popular cheerleaders on the JV squad and one of her biggest goals was to cheer for the varsity. She was certain she would make the squad, but for the first time since she'd had the exquisite experience of looking at the world through nearsighted lenses the realization dawned that no one had ever worn glasses as a cheerleader, at her school or any other... and she'd been watching them at games since she was a small child, dreaming of when she would get her chance. If she had to be this close just to read the eye chart, how could she ever get along without glasses at a ball game.
And, Bobbi admitted once she got hers, she just couldn't get along without them except to read things at very close range. Maybe her eyes weren't that bad, maybe Bobbi's and her mom's would've helped anyone even someone with normal vision, maybe she wouldn't have to wear them.
Then the door opened, and the doctor was standing behind her. "No fair cheating and memorizing the chart” he said with a smile, as she scrambled back into the chair, her excitement now replaced by apprehension. "Oh, no, I was just stretching my legs" she stammered, wishing she was just about anywhere else but there. "There's nothing to worry about. The doctor reassured her, "it's not going to hurt and the pre-screening indicates you will benefit a lot by wearing a correction. Let's get started" he said, and spent what seemed like an eternity peering into her eyes with a variety of lights, at one point having her place her chin in a small cup in front of a large unit while he looked through what looked like a microscope on a platform with a very bright light behind it.
Then he swung the dark gray phoropter in place over her petite attractive features, and adjusted it so it was just the right width and rested gently on her cheeks. The excitement returned after the doctor had shined a small light in her eyes and looked very closely in them with a small lighted instrument he held in his hand. "Hmmm," he muttered as he put the instrument away. "It looks like that auto-refractor might have erred on the weak side, but that happens often and only you can tell me how strong your correction needs to be. Let's try some lenses in the machine and you just tell me which are better".
At least this was going to be the fun part, she thought, remembering Bobbi's description of the exam. And it was. For the first several changes, she thought the doctor was fooling her as they made little or no difference and the white blur twenty feet away continued to be just that. But then, the white blur became a black smudge, and the smudge became the fuzzy outline of letters. He adjusted the size of the letters to very small, and then began really increasing the lens power in the phoropter. Just as Bobbi had said, he asked "which is better, one or two, three or four" and so on. And as those numbers grew higher, the letters became increasingly clearer and he stopped when she could read the smallest letters on the bottom line.
"How's that" he asked and her reply was "I can read them, but..." O.K, he chuckled, I thought you might want just a little more than the pre-test indicated. And with that performed some magic by clicking the side of the heavy machine and suddenly the letters were so clear, sharp, and black that they seemed to jump off the wall at her. "Wow!" she exclaimed. "Wow is all I can say! Can I keep these?" she kiddingly asked. "No" he said, "but I'll give you a prescription that will duplicate what you're seeing and when you get your glasses that's how you'll see things all the time." In spite of how clear she could see, her heart stopped beating for a minute as she remembered cheerleading—all the time? Did that mean every minute of every day?
"But I don't want to wear glasses" she stammered "that is, I do, but I don't. I mean I love seeing things clearly, but I just can't wear glasses right now. Can't I get contact lenses?" She blurted that out as all of a sudden that seemed to be the answer to her prayer; she would be able to see and not have to wear glasses for cheerleading. "I was going to discuss that with you" the doctor said, and began a detailed explanation of her prescription, glasses, and contacts.
Why hadn't she thought of contact lenses sooner? Of course that would be the answer, even though Bobbi had mentioned them but liked wearing glasses far too much to mess with contacts, she didn't have to wear them in front of hundreds of people at a ballgame. And everyone can wear them, she would be especially determined.
"Sorry, Amy" came the doctor's reply, shattering her thoughts and her idea. "You have very dry eyes and while the keratometer readings didn't show any astigmatism, the shape of your corneas don't lend themselves to contacts. Besides, with this strong of a correction you probably will want to take your glasses off to read initially, at least until you get used to them. Of course, we could consider a bifocal."
Arrgghh! was the only word Amy could think of, but "no" was what came out of her mouth, and rather loudly at that, cutting the doctor off in mid-sentence. "I may wear glasses, but I won't wear old lady's glasses" she fairly shrieked. He could only chuckle and reassured her that bifocals wouldn't be necessary, but that she would have a brief period adjusting to reading with her new glasses. "It won't be very long until you won't want to take your glasses off at all" he said, trying to reassure her. Trying to compose herself she remained quiet, but all she could think of were certain words, like "your glasses" "won't want to take them off at all", but finally said "well, ok, are we done yet?"
"Yes, we are" he said, and swung the phoropter away. The brilliant clarity that was the projected eye chart again blurred into oblivion and Amy now fully understood the meaning of the term mixed emotions. She dearly loved how things looked through lenses and actually liked the idea of having a stylish pair of glasses on her face, but just couldn't come to grips with having her varsity cheerleading dreams shattered because of her myopia. "With this strong of a first prescription, I considered not giving you the full correction right away" explained the doctor as he wrote some figures on a small pad of paper "but you'll adjust to them quickly, and in a few months you may possibly need stronger lenses anyway" and with a flourish handed her the paper with her prescription which she stuffed in her purse without looking to see what was written.
Now faced with not only new glasses, but the prospect of even stronger ones on the horizon, she wondered why she'd let Bobbi con her into the exam and pulled out the prescription form as she walked through the reception area. Bobbi was waiting. "Well, sis, what's the verdict as if I didn't know" chirped Bobbi, only to be greeted by an angry scowl from her sister. "Let's just go get some frames for my, my, my COKE BOTTLES!" snarled Amy as she strode past her sister to the retail part of the office.
"Oh, calm down" was Bobbi's reaction. "They won't be thick and you know it; if you can see out of mine" but before she could finish the sentence Amy said "that's the problem! I could see clearer, a lot clearer the stronger the doctor made them during the exam, and I just know they're going to be thicker and stronger than yours, and they won't let girls with glasses be cheerleaders!" she wailed. Bobbi suppressed a chuckle, approached the frame stylist who had helped select hers, and the three of them began the tedious process of trying on frames from the hundreds available.
After what seemed to Bobbi to be hours (it was really only about 45 minutes) Amy settled on a pair of small rectangular metal frames, with a very neutral copper bronze color that did not stand out against her fair complexion and blonde hair. But then, to Bobbi's chagrin as she wanted to go home, the frame stylist said "you know, we have a special offer going on right now, you can get a second pair very inexpensively, and since you will be needing corrective lenses when you start driver's ed, you might want to consider prescription sunglasses". Oh, great, Amy thought I'll be needing corrective lenses what's next, a white cane? But then, bingo! Sunglasses! No one would know they were prescription! And she said "Yes! Where are they? I want to try some on!" Bobbi could only groan as she looked forward to another long wait.
But, Amy quickly picked out some slightly oversized plastic frames that looked like they could have come from a discount department store, hoping of course for that very look. And, being plastic, the frames would hopefully hide any thickness from the prescription. Then, she sat down across from an optician to be measured for her first glasses, and glanced at her prescription form as she handed it across the table. "What do these numbers mean" she asked, thinking that if she was to be sentenced to the embarrassment of spectacles she just as well should understand what it was all about. "They mean you're still nearsighted" the optician began and then said "do you know if they're stronger than your last pair?"
Amy gulped. Her worst fears were coming true. She was soooo nearsighted a professional optician thought she'd worn them for years. "Uh, I don't have a last pair I've never worn glasses before or at least any of my own." The optician raised an eyebrow at that comment, but then said "Oh. Well, then you will be pleasantly surprised in a few days when you can pick them up, it will be a whole new world for you. Your right eye is a -2.75 and your left is a -2.50, which means you are on the higher end of low nearsightedness. Your correction will make such a difference you'll hate to take them off' she said and with that began the measuring process.
Swell, thought Amy, I'll probably even have to sleep with them on to be able to see my dreams. And her number one dream, that of being a varsity cheerleader, was quickly slipping away. After being measured for both pairs and being informed she could pick them up the following Monday, the sisters left the mall and got in Bobbi's car. This time, Amy rode in silence, and didn't even reach for the old pair of her mom's glasses which were now buried deeply in her purse, the first time she hadn't worn them when she and Bobbi were alone since that fateful day at the movies.
Confused could best describe how Amy felt, until the optician called and said her glasses could be picked up. She'd decided not to wear her mom's old pair, or even try Bobbi's until she got her own, just to try to get along seeing things without correction.
And it wasn't easy, TV was a blur and street signs seemed non-existent. She was torn between wanting to see and the fear of actually having to wear her own glasses, and wouldn't discuss it with anyone. Until she'd tried Bobbi's, everything was fine, but now it seemed like the world was a fuzz.
All too soon, she was seated across a low table from the white-coated optician, looking down at the frames she had selected which now had sparkling clear lenses in them; lenses that were slightly thicker than the wire than held them in place. They weren't coke bottles, she thought, but you could definitely tell they were prescription. But the sunglasses were a different story, lying in the shallow tray with the very dark lens color she'd insisted on and the temples folded they looked like they could just as well have come off the rack at K-Mart.
"OK, Amy, are you ready for the greatest experience of your life?" the all-too cheerful optician chirped, picking up the wire frames and slowly moving them towards her with the temples open, ready to put them on the teenager's face. Amy bit her tongue and muttered "I guess" while seated next to her. Bobbi could hardly contain her glee. "Oh come on and enjoy it" she said, "I didn't get to do this part of it, you delivered mine to me in their case, remember?" The optician stopped moving the glasses, holding them a couple of feet away, and said "take a look at something far away, like the store across the mall, before you try these on". Amy squinted at the letters on the shoe store across from the optical shop, and they were as usual, a blur. While she was concentrating on that, the optician slipped the glasses over her ears and rested them on her nose, perfectly balanced in front of her blue eyes. Amy was literally speechless.
"Oh, oh, oh my God!" she stuttered. "I can read those letters and those trees in the middle of the mall have individual leaves!" she exclaimed. The optician grasped the temples to remove the glasses for adjustment, but Amy instinctively clasped her hands on the sides of her head to prevent it. She stood up, and slowly turned all the way around, looking at everything clearly and sharply. So this, she thought, is how things are supposed to look.
She sat back down, and reluctantly allowed the optician to finish fitting the clear ones after which she did the same with the sunglasses. Amy very much enjoyed the experience of being able to see clearly while the temple tips were adjusted to fit perfectly and comfortably behind her ears while the bridge rested ever so gently on her nose. The sunwear then went in the case and Amy slipped on her new treasures all the while marvelling at the clarity of the whole new world she was seeing, but as they were leaving the optical place she took them off and slipped them into their case.
Bobbi was flabbergasted. "What in the world are you doing?" she asked. "You just about went wild when you put them on, wouldn't let the lady take them off even to adjust them, and now they're in your purse!" she said. "Don't worry, sis," came the reply because as quickly as the clear ones had entered their case the shades were out of theirs being worn. "Until it gets totally dark, I'm wearing these, and no one will have to know I'm wearing glasses. And by then we'll be home. And boy, things look absolutely great with either pair on".
As they walked through the mall and the parking lot, and in the car on the way home, Bobbi chuckled to herself as Amy would focus on a distant object, then pull the frames down and peer over them to compare how things used to look. Each time, she quickly put the lenses back before her eyes, obviously preferring how things looked with them to how they looked without them.
Not a word was spoken between them until a few blocks from home, when Amy said "she was right". "Who was right?" queried Bobbi. "The optician; it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. And now, next week, I'll just trot over to the football field for the cheering tryouts wearing my cool shades and no one, absolutely no one, will know I'm nearsighted!"
Amy was very happy, having the best of both worlds, but inside herself Bobbi was asking if it could last. And, having been a varsity cheerleader herself while at the same high school, memories of the tryouts and being accepted as member of the squad were still vivid. Bobbi suddenly thought of a plan.
From that point on, Amy was never without her correction, except when she went to bed at night, and even then her glasses, both pairs, were on her bedstand. They were the first thing on in the morning and the last thing off at night as she revelled in her whole new world.
For the first time she noticed that trees had individual leaves, grass was a series of green blades and not a solid carpet, and buildings were made up of individual bricks. It was wonderful. She wore her clear ones at home and her sunglasses whenever she left the house, just as she had planned. With summer winding down nearly all of her friends were with their families out of town on vacations, and the few people she did see never even mentioned the sunglasses as they were wearing shades too, probably with no power, she thought, or were they?
It didn't matter, Amy was happy and seeing clearly. True, when school started she would have to wear the clear ones, but she'd cross that bridge when she came to it. She was still enthralled by the vast improvement glasses brought, and was constantly looking over the tops of them to compare her former world of blur to her new, wonderful way of viewing things.
The big day came. On a bright, sunny August day she and a dozen other hopefuls met at the football field, where they showed their proficiency by going through set routines with the returning cheerleaders and the coach, a young phys ed instructor, Ms. Palmer. As might be expected, because of the intense sun, nearly everyone was wearing sunglasses, including Ms. Palmer.
Following the tryouts, each of the hopefuls waited their turn to be interviewed inside the high school individually, with the interview playing a large part of the selection process. Fortunately for Amy, the tryouts didn't include any tumbling or other gymnastics, so no one removed their sunglasses, and as luck would have it, when the numbers were drawn for the order of meeting the squad and the coach, she was first.
The captain of the squad, a lovely dark haired and personable young lady named Kim, whom Amy had always admired for her friendly personality, led the group toward the school, which meant they had to walk through the long tunnel under the grandstand. Just before they entered the dark cave-like passageway, Amy, who was just behind and to one side of Kim thought she noticed something in one of Kim's lenses as they all removed their glasses to accommodate for the darkness... something familiar, but she dismissed it.
Of all people, the captain herself couldn't be wearing, wouldn't need prescription eyewear, she thought, and then concentrated on following everyone into the conference room, grateful that she had someone to follow, because between the dim light and being without her now precious correction for the first time since she woke up that morning, she really couldn't see where she was going. At the door to the room, Ms. Palmer said "Amy, we have some business to take care of first, please sit on the bench and we'll call you when we're ready".
When they were all in the room, Amy sat with her sunglasses on for what seemed like an eternity, but which was really only a few minutes and when she heard the door open quickly whipped them off before anyone could see her and wonder why she was wearing them indoors. "O.K." announced Kim, we're ready, come on in". Kim took her place at the head of a long table, and as it was a large room without her specs on Amy couldn't really see their faces until she got to her seat and what she saw then left her shocked and speechless.
Every single one of them, including Kim and Ms. Palmer, were wearing glasses; not sunglasses, but a variety of glasses with clear lenses. Wire rims, plastic rims, rimless, round oval and square, but nonetheless obviously prescription glasses. Ms. Palmer broke the silence by saying "it's all right Amy, we know your 'secret' and thought this was the best way to let you know that needing a correction will not keep you from achieving this goal, or any other one you really want to reach.
As you can see, we're all in the same boat, and before this you've just seen most of us with our contact lenses in." Wendy, who was a senior, said "not all of us. Mine are fairly weak, as you can tell, and I can get along without them for just about everything. They just make things I can already see at a distance, like the over head projector in class or the stadium scoreboard a little bit clearer and sharper so I usually don't wear them". And of course, the sunwear they all wore at the tryouts was prescription. Amy was relieved, and nearly broke up when Kim said "it's too bad we didn't have a way of getting your clear glasses in here so you can see us as well as we can see you" but then there was a knock on the door.
The door opened, and there stood Bobbi holding a familiar glasses case in her hand. And at that moment, Amy knew that the whole situation was set up by her sister, who'd been through the tryouts a few years earlier. She hugged her big sis, gratefully slipped on her real glasses, and made a mental note never to be so vain and stupid again.
The interview went well, and at the first football game Amy stood in front of the crowd, seeing them clearly, and cheering proudly as a new member of the varsity cheerleaders. She thought back on everything that had happened in the last few months, and thanked her lucky stars that glasses existed to give her the wonderful view of her new world she was enjoying so much.
But there was one thing she had to do. On the bus ride on the way to the stadium, she sat next to the other new squad member, Jacquie, and noticed she was squinting to see things far away. She made a mental note to get Jacquie alone someday and talk to her about glasses. Maybe, she'd even let Jacquie try hers on...