Cinderella

by R.J.

 

My name is Alexander Dunn. I found the love of my life when I was 8 years old.

 

My family moved to a new neighborhood and we were settling down quite well. My mom took me too meet our neighbor, that’s when I first saw her. Cindy was trying to go out to play with her friends when her mom stopped her and asked her where are her glasses?

 

Mom, I don’t need those stupid glasses! My eyes are fine. Came back the reply!

 

You are not going out without them, Mrs. Ryan responded back. Cindy stamped her foot on the floor; tears rolled down her eyes, and ran back to her room upstairs. Her mom then turned back to us and said “you know kids these days” and started talking to my mom. She herself was wearing quite thick glasses!

 

Next day I saw Cindy sitting on her door step wearing her glasses. I walked up to her and offered her a candy. She politely refused. I introduced myself and told her that we are new in the neighborhood. After initial hesitation she opened up and started talking to me. She wouldn’t go and play with her other friends as they teased her because needed glasses. I said she looks very nice in her glasses and even I would love to wear such nice glasses. That made her smile. We became good friends from that day. We used to meet and play together every day in the evening. I would even wear her glasses sometimes and she enjoyed that. They were strong for me but after wearing them for a while I could see fairly well through her glasses. I don’t know why, but I enjoyed wearing her glasses and looking through strong lenses and experiencing that wobbly feeling. I used to wear her glasses every day while playing with her and she would let me do that.

 

We have been good buddies for about a year now. One evening when I went to meet her, she looked very sad. She told me that she went for the eye exam and her eyesight got worse and will be now getting her new even stronger glasses. She didn’t like the fact that she is getting blind and will have to be always dependent on her glasses. She admitted that it is getting difficult for her to move around without her glasses as things are quite blurry even up close. She cried on my shoulder.

 

The next day Cindy was wearing her new golden glasses. As always, she looked very nice to me in them and I complemented her. That brought a smile on her face. I asked her if I could have her old Pink Glasses while she now be wearing her new glasses. She liked the idea and handed over her old Pink Glasses to me and told me to keep it a secret and not to tell her mom. She will cook up a story that she had lost them. I then regularly wore her glasses every time while we play together. Luckily, our parents never caught us doing this. We were now best buddies and used to be together every evening.

 

One Sunday afternoon, when I went to see her, I saw a big truck outside their home and got to know that they were shifting to another town. I went to see Cindy in her room and found her there. She ran and hugged me and started crying. She didn’t want to go away from me. Her mom and dad came in and they consoled her and said that they will keep visiting me and my family. They left us there in the room for some time and asked us to come downstairs in a while. We both were really sad and just kept sitting there. Her mom then called for Cindy as they were ready to move. Cindy hugged me again and tears rolled down from our eyes. For the first time, she kissed me, and said goodbye. Her family departed from our neighborhood as me and my mother stood behind waving them goodbye.

 

I was very sad and went back to my room. I cried a lot that day. I now just had Cindy’s Pink Glasses her sweet memories with me. Whenever I was alone in the house or in my room, I would put her glasses on. The glasses were quite strong for my eyes but I wore them as it was the only thing I had of my Cindy. I continuously wore those glasses at home during my vacations. Luckily, I got a lot of time alone at home as my mom and dad were working and used to come back only in the evening. At night in my room, I would again read my comics wearing the glasses.

 

My vacations got over in a month and it was time to join the school back. I noticed that I could not see the board clearly. I could not figure out what the teacher is writing. All the text was blurry and I could not make out anything. I was sitting on the 2nd bench from the front and I remembered that I could see it fine about 2 months ago. I tried hard to make out what’s written but it was futile. To my luck, the teacher asked me to read from the board what she has written. It was a shame as I stood blank and embarrassed in front of the class and my teacher saying that I need glasses badly. I have ruined my eyes!

 

The teacher called up my mom and asked her to get my eyesight tested immediately. Next day, I was getting my eyes examined by the doctor. Doctor determined that I am quite nearsighted to start off with – 3. 50 and – 3.00 and should wear glasses full time. That day onwards, I have been a regular glasses wearer. I am 25 now and have gone through many increases in my prescription. Right now I am – 12.50 and – 11.50.

 

After completing my studies I got a job of an accountant in my hometown. All these years, I have never forgotten Cindy. I still had her Pink Glasses and her memories in my mind. I dated few girls all this while but could never settle down with one. I just could not forget Cindy. I would always think how she would have been now, how does she look, how thick her glasses would be now, would she still be wearing them? Then I finally decided to try and find her.

 

I remember Harry was Cindy’s cousin brother and now works as a manager in a nearby automobile workshop. He was few years older to me and we were in the same school. I decided to take my car for servicing and while it was getting serviced I spotted Harry and started talking to him. After discussing about my car, I initiated conversation of our school and then about Cindy’s family. Through him, I got to know that Cindy and her family have settled down in the neighboring town and she has been working at a renowned financial firm there. That was the breakthrough I required!

 

I quickly decided to move to that town and find an opportunity to meet Cindy. Luckily, there was an opening for accountant in her company. I applied and got the job as I had relevant experience and met the requirements. I quickly accepted their offer and joined them in no time.

 

My first day at the office was quite uneventful. All my colleagues were nice and helpful. My cubicle mate was not present that day. Her name was “Cinderella Ryan” as written on the name plate, but I got to know that she has been out of office since few days. I wondered how she looked now. After 17 years I would be seeing her. It was an anxious feeling. I could hardly wait to have her join back and meet her. After 2 days, she was there. She had blossomed into a very good looking girl. A little curvy but she looked great. We got introduced to each other. As I thought, she could not recall who I really am.

 

I knew that she has been using contact lenses as she told me that she had a very bad eye infection and could not tolerate her contact lenses and was told to avoid computer screen, so she was on a few days leave. I wondered why she bothers to wear contacts, when she would look fantastic in glasses, at least to me!

 

I didn’t reveal who I am and why I am here as I waited for right opportunity. She and I became good buddies at work. I thought I should now ask her out, so one day I asked her for a movie but got disappointed to know that she already had plans to go out with her boyfriend for that movie. My dreams got shattered and I decided not to reveal my identity and why I am really here. I was now left contemplating what to do next. She already has a boyfriend, would it make sense to express my love, would she accept it!

 

There was lot of accounting work to do and I was working till midnight. Everyone else had gone. After finishing my work, I moved out and started walking towards my apartment. I lived few blocks away from the office. It was dark and there was no one on the streets. When I took the turn to the next block, I saw a lady sitting on the payment. I thought it could be one of those druggies, but when I came closer, she looked familiar. Her head was down on her knees and she was crying, I could not see her face, but it appeared as if she is Cindy. Cindy was wearing the similar black dress and red sandals. I walked past her as I was not sure and didn’t want to invite any trouble, but what if she is Cindy! As soon as that thought came, I immediately turned and went back to her.

 

When I spoke to her, she lifted her head. I was right, it was Cindy! She was all in tears and had a black eye, as if someone has punched her. Cindy recognized my voice but it appeared that she could not focus her eyes on me. She was inconsolable and said that she can’t see anything beyond tip of her nose without her glasses and her glasses are broken. I knew it that she is nearsighted but I never thought that her myopia would have grown so extreme.

 

I tried consoling her and told her that I live in the next block and we can go there and talk. She agreed. I lifted her, held her arm and walked to my apartment. I rested her on the sofa and immediately came back with my first-aid kit and applied the medicine on her bruises. Gave her something to eat and drink. She started talking about what has happened to her and why I found her in such a condition. She told me that she had a fight with her boyfriend, Mike, who broke up with her after beating her up and left her helpless on the street. She told me how insensitive Mike has been towards her feelings and their relationship. All he ever cared about was having sex with her, and whenever she would protest, rather than understanding her, he would get upset and would just walk away from her. But today, he got really mad when she resisted making love with him and thrashed her and broke her glasses and threw her out of his car on the street. I asked her why was she wearing glasses as she always wears contacts! She said that she had to switch back to glasses in the evening as contacts were bothering her too much. Also, she told me that Mike never liked her in glasses and always wants her to be in contacts.

 

She was feeling very miserable and would burst out in tears at every moment. I was feeling really bad for her but couldn’t do much except for telling her everything would be fine. I told her to lie down as I would go and prepare some dinner, but she didn’t want me to leave her as she couldn’t see anything and was feeling very insecure. I offered her my glasses, I knew it would be too weak for her but I wanted to get a sense of her prescription. As I knew it, they didn’t help when she put them on her nose because they were too weak for her. She then told me how poor her eyesight is and she requires correction of – 28 and – 27 diopters. I was thrilled to hear that. Of course, she could not see those expressions on my face.

 

I had a handsome collection of glasses and had a pair of – 30, which I thought could help her. But how shall I give it to her as she would ask me how come I have these glasses. But if I give them to her, I knew how big of a help it would be for her. I was in that dilemma. Finally, I decided to give her as I do not want her to suffer more and could not wait any longer to see her in the myodisc glasses I posses.

 

I immediately stood up and walked inside telling her I will be back in a minute. She didn’t even get the chance to stop me, just kept following my voice blankly to realize that I have walked away. Quickly I came back with – 30 myodisc from my collection. I placed the glasses on her nose and her eyes twinkled in happiness as she immediately jumped and stood up adjusting the glasses on her face with a relieving smile and a surprising look.

 

Before she could ask me, I told her that I have this hobby of collecting glasses. Obviously, she was quite surprised to hear that and I am sure must be thinking how weird this hobby is. But due to this leisure pursuit of mine, she could now see again. I enquired about her vision with the loaner glasses, and she said that she could see well through them. The glasses were biconcave lenses and were quite thick, but she looked absolutely stunning in them. I was almost wet when she first adjusted them on her face and blinked her eyes. Her big beautiful eyes looked tiny behind the thick lenses. I told her that this prescription is slightly more than her actual. She said that she could see quite fine through them and maybe she requires an increase as she was not seeing all that well through her glasses but never bothered to change them.

 

I then told her how I got interested in glasses when I got my first glasses through one of my childhood friends (still I didn’t reveal anything to her). I cooked up a slightly different story from actual past. Soon the day broke and I dropped her back to her home. I told her to keep the glasses till she gets new one for herself.

 

On my way back, different thoughts were coming to my mind. I was sad with what has happened to Cindy and I knew that she is heartbroken, but somewhere I was happy with the fact that I now will have a chance to have Cindy. I was thinking how to propose her, how to reveal who I am and why I am here! It was the weekend and I spent 2 days quite anxiously and waited for Monday so I could tell everything to Cindy.

 

I was in the office quite early on Monday as I intended to finish off my work so I could get enough time to speak with Cindy. At the usual office time, Cindy walked in wearing her shades and I could see that were indeed dark-shaded myodisc lenses. Her right eye was still little bruised, so she could not wear her contacts. She asked me to accompany her to the cafeteria for a coffee. As we sipped our coffee, she thanked me for everything I did for her. She returned my glasses back as she had one spare at home. She told me that she went for an eye examination and found that she now requires – 30 and – 28 and has ordered her new glasses. Her current glasses are weak but she could manage in them for the time being.

 

I thought it is the right time to tell her about myself and express my feelings for her, but before I could get going, she told me that Mike came over the next day to apologize. He begged for forgiveness and promised never to do it ever again and that he loved her so much and wants to marry her. I asked her then what action she took. She said that she accepted his apology and did forgive him. She then got a call from her boss and we had to go back to our work.

 

It was all over for me. I had some hope after that incident and thought that I could have Cindy now, but now there was no hope. There was no point staying there then. I decided to quit from that job and move back to my hometown. But before leaving, I had to tell Cindy about myself and why I came here. Next day before leaving forever, I left a packet at her desk with a letter telling my entire story that even though we departed years ago, I was never able to forget her and I joined that company just because of her. Also in it were the Pink Glasses she gave me 17 years back, which started my myopic progression and always kept her memories fresh in my mind.

 

Here I am back at my hometown. It’s been a week now. I need to come over it and get my life on track, search for a new job, and start it all over again. I still could not believe how close I was to her and then suddenly everything slipped out like sand. While I was going through all the different emotions, my door bell rang.

 

I couldn’t believe my eyes….it was Cindy wearing her new myodisc glasses!

 

My Cinderella has found me!

 

We are getting married next month. Cindy has thrown away her contacts and is happy wearing her strong myodisc glasses. Just the way I would love her to be!

 

Her old Pink glasses are still kept safe and we often talked how my love blossomed because of them.

 

 

 

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