THE DIARY OF HANA MAY RILEY

(posted on EyeScene by Kai, June 2001)

Saturday 14th September

Today is my 13th birthday! Finally!

This diary was a present from Kari. She’s such a cute little sister sometimes. She woke me up this morning. She came into my room with the present all wrapped up and tucked under her arm. She wanted me to open her present first!

I got a couple of other presents from Mum and Dad. They gave me a Harry Potter book. Dad gave me a whistle which he made himself out of birch wood. He taught me a couple of tunes, ones that his Dad taught him.

What else did I get for my birthday? Oh yea, a new pair of glasses. Great present... NOT. I don't know why I had to go and pick them up today. Mum seemed to think it would be a nice present for me to see better—well I don’t think so.

My new glasses seem so much thicker than my old ones. They make this weird dent in my face.

Sunday 15th September

I’ve been practicing my whistle again today. Dad taught me a couple more old Irish tunes. I reckon we’re going to have a band one day, with me on the whistle, Dad on the guitar and Kari on the fiddle. Kari’s getting pretty good at it now, shows good for a seven-year-old anyway.

Tomorrow is Monday and I will have to go to school. I hope no one notices how thick my glasses are now—especially not Asher. I will die if he comments on them.

Monday 16th September

Well guess what. No one noticed my new glasses...except for Asher. I was sitting at my desk and he came up to me and said, ‘new glasses?’ I nodded and my face must have been bright red. Then he said, 'They’re pretty strong aren't they?' I didn’t answer that one but my face must have been even redder than before. Then he asked if he could try them on. So I took them off and he put them on and stared out the window for a while. When he gave them back, his face was sort of white and he said something like, ‘Gee, they’re strong. I can’t see anything with them.’ Then he said in a really quiet voice, ‘they look really good on you though.’ I know it was a lie. He’s so cute though. I wish I didn’t have to wear stupid glasses. Now that Fiona has left the school, I’m the only kid in my class who wears glasses all the time. Lisa has glasses, of course, but she only needs them for reading. She wasn’t in school today. She’s got the flu. I hate when she's away.

I have been reading my new Harry Potter book today, it’s the fourth book. I love Harry. He’s so cool—and he has glasses.

Tuesday 17th September

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Why am I the ugliest of them all?

I had a terrible day today. It started when I was walking along the corridor at lunch time. All the other kids were outside, enjoying the spring sunshine. As I was walking to my locker, I noticed that there was someone else there. As I got closer I realised it was Asher. My heart skipped a beat. But when I was standing next to him, something really weird happened to me. I heard myself speak to him and I heard myself ask him if he wanted to go to see a movie on the weekend and I heard him answer. He said, ‘a movie? Er...I don’t know. I don’t think I can. I’ve got to...’ He couldn't think of an excuse. He’s a pretty bad liar. Then I just said that it was O.K., that I understood, got my wallet out of my locker, and walked off, staring at the floor, and hoping that no one would look at me. Guys are so stupid and so are bloody glasses.

Wednesday 18th September

Lisa was still home sick today. It would have been a good day if it hadn’t been for that, and for the fact that I was trying desperately to ignore Asher. He kept on looking at me, which made it hard. I did have good subjects though. I had music first, then French, double art and then English. For English homework, we have to choose a poem and recite it in front of the class. I have been going through Dad’s poetry book collection. Haven’t found the one yet though.

I went to Lisa’s after school. I gave her the science homework which Mrs Rillo had told me, very emphatically, to give her, as if Lisa was going to die from having a week away from science!

I told Lisa the whole story about Asher. She seemed to understand, I think. Then she told me a few jokes. The flu can’t get rid of her sense of humour! The jokes were even more funny because of her blocked up nose. I think she's on the mend now, luckily. She should be back at school soon.

Thursday 19th September

I can’t believe what just happened. I was sitting in the lounge room, when the phone began to ring. I got the biggest shock when I answered it, and heard Asher’s voice on the other end. My first reaction was to ask defensively, ‘What do you want?’ But then he told me he was really sorry about the other day. He said he thought he’d made a mistake. He wondered if he could change his mind. ‘About what?’ I asked him. ‘Can I come to the movie with you?’ he asked me. For some reason, I did not agree straight away, but after a while, he convinced me that he was genuine. So now we are going to a movie on Saturday night. I don’t think it was a trick. I hope it wasn’t.

Friday 20th September

7:00pm At the moment, Kari’s in her room practicing her violin. Mum’s listening to the news on the radio and Dad’s watching something on TV. All these sounds are drifting into my room, along with a techno drum beat coming from the next door neighbours’ place. I am trying to do my homework with all this noise invading my head and with Asher’s name coming constantly into my head.

ASHER ASHER ASHER ASHER ASHER ASHER ASHER

ASHERASHERASHERASHERASHERASHERASHERASHERASHER

Saturday 21st September

5:00 p.m. He’d better turn up. It better not be a trick—or a dare. I would die of embarrassment if that happened. What should I wear? I wish Mum had let me get contacts.

6:30 p.m. Here I go. Wish me luck!

12:00 a.m. Tonight was such a beautiful night!

Sunday 22nd September

Asher did turn up. It wasn’t a trick and it wasn’t a dare. He turned up and we went to the cinema. We sat in the very back row of the theatre and that was where I had my first ever kiss. It was such a beautiful feeling. I don’t have words to describe it. It was exciting—thrilling.

* * *

I found out Asher’s secret last night. I’ll have to start from the beginning again to describe how it happened. When we were walking into the theatre, which was only about half full, Asher walked ahead of me, making a beeline for the front of the theatre. He would have taken his seat in the very front row if I hadn’t pulled him back and pointed out that there was room down the back. He turned around and hesitated—even seemed a bit disappointed—but he followed me to the back. I should have known right then, but it took me until the movie had started to work out what his problem was. I glanced over at his face, and I saw him squinting like mad. He tried to cover it up, but I definitely saw his eyes struggling to work out what was happening on the screen. I pulled my glasses away from my eyes, handed them to him and said he could try them on. But he didn’t seem to want to. So I put them back on my nose. ‘Shouldn’t pressure him,’ I thought. A few minutes later, Asher whispered in my ear, ‘My eyes are stinging like bloody mad.’ I passed him my glasses again and he took them this time. He seemed to enjoy them because he had them on for a couple of minutes. Then he passed them back and I held them in my hand while, in the darkness, we leaned over towards each other. Our faces came closer and closer to each other until, finally, we were drawn into a kiss.

 

 

ASHER'S DIARY

(added by Julian at a later date)

This is my private diary where I’ll write down the things I don’t want to tell anybody.

Friday 30 August:

It’s been worrying me for a while, I don’t know what to do. I need glasses, I’m sure I do—there now, I’ve written it! Now I have to make sure nobody finds this diary, I don’t want ANYBODY to know my secret.

How do I know I need glasses? All last semester in school, I had trouble reading what was on the board. I decided they’d bought a bad batch of chalk and thought no more about it. But then in the vacation one or two other things that happened got me thinking. The first was when we went in a cafeteria one lunchtime. When we were standing in the line Mom asked me what I wanted to eat. I looked up at the menu board and I couldn’t read it. I thought that was kind of funny, and I said, “Oh, I'm thinking about it.” By the time we were right by the counter I could read it OK and I asked for a hamburger, egg and french fries. Another time I had to collect something from a shop in a street I didn’t know; when I was looking for the place I found I couldn’t read the street name from the other side—and I knew I could do that a few months ago. And that same day on the way home I couldn’t tell which bus was coming till it was real close, and that’s something else I knew I could do like last year. Like I say I thought about it for a while and it suddenly came to me, I’d heard folks talk about somebody being nearsighted—was this what they meant?

It was no big deal while I was out of school, but now we’ve started back and reading the board is a big problem. Either the chalk is worse than ever or my eyes are worse now than before the vacation. What am I going to do?

Monday 9 September:

Today in History class we had a quiz where we had to mark places on a map. We had to go out in front and mark the place, then when we got it right we could choose who was to go next. When I looked at the class from the front I couldn’t recognize any faces past the second row, the rest was a blur. I could tell Hana May because the light was catching her glasses, so I picked her (she’s the only person in our class who wears them). It’s lucky I sit right up in front myself. Hey, I wonder if I can find some way to try Hana May’s glasses and see if they help.

Tuesday 10 September:

Read some stuff on the web about eyesight and lenses. It was all kind of confusing, but I found if you’re nearsighted you have to wear glasses with minus lenses, plus lenses are for far sight but I haven't got that. There was some stuff about what different kinds of lenses look like.

Monday 16 September:

I know now. I’m definitely nearsighted, I definitely need glasses. The way I know is that when Hana May came into school this morning she was wearing new glasses and I thought that would be a great excuse to ask to try them; the frames are a bit different from her old ones, but when you get close enough you can tell they’re strong: I could see white rings in the lenses and her face looked smaller thru them too. I knew from the stuff I read last week that they’re minus lenses, so she’s nearsighted. Like me. At break time as the classroom was emptying I went over to her desk and said “New glasses?” She blushed scarlet but she nodded. I asked if they were kind of strong and she just blushed still more—gee, it looks like she’s embarrassed about needing glasses, and she looks so cute in them! Then I asked to try them; she took them off and handed them to me and I put them on and looked out of the window for a while. When I gave them back I said they were pretty strong and I couldn’t see with them, but they looked real good on her. The last part was God’s own truth, but when I said I couldn’t see with them I was lying. I was counting the leaves on the trees and the blades of grass that had just been a green blur before. It’s true Hana May’s spex are strong, but I was seeing better than I’ve seen for a long time—I reckon this has been coming on for a while but I’ve only just noticed. I wonder where I go from here.

Tuesday 17 September:

This lunch time I was in the locker room and I heard somebody coming. I looked and before she came into focus I could tell from her flashing glasses that it was Hana May. When she came in we said hi and then she asked me if I’d like to go to a movie on Saturday. I nearly gave myself away. I started to say, “I don't think I can see to watch a movie” but I stopped and then almost said “I’ve got to get glasses before I can see the screen properly.” Altogether I made a mess of the thing and she went away looking disappointed and embarrassed. Can she be keen on me?

Wednesday 18 September:

One thing about dating a girl who wears glasses: she’ll have nothing to complain about when I get them too. But when’s that going to happen? And how?

Thursday 19 September:

I called Hana May tonight and said I was sorry about Tuesday and could I go to the movie with her after all. She sounded kind of suspicious at first, but at last we fixed it up.

Saturday 21 September:

Our date tonight.

Sunday 22 September:

Hana May is a sweet girl—and she’s sussed out my secret! The way it happened was, I called for her and we walked to the cinema. When we went in I headed for the front same as I always do (I must have known subconsciously for a long time that I see better from there) but Hana May insisted on sitting at the back. Fine—except that as far as I was concerned the screen was a total blur. After a while Hana May looked my way and saw I was squinting and straining to see what was going on. She took her glasses off and offered them to me, but I didn’t want to take them from her; she has to be more nearsighted than me. A bit later I whispered that my eyes were paining; she offered them to me again and this time I took them and put them on. I could see the screen clear as clear, but pretty soon we decided we were more interested in each other than in the movie, specially when only one of us could see it at a time. We had a long, long kiss. She tastes nice and smells nice. After the movie we went for a coffee and then I walked her home.

Monday 23 September:

Hana May and I walked along to the bus stop together. We chatted about our day in school, but we didn’t say anything about me needing glasses.

Tuesday 24 September:

Walked along again. Still said nothing.

Thursday 26 September:

Thought it was time to talk. I waited till a bus was coming, then I squinted at it and said “Is that your bus?” “No,” she said; “it's an 83. Look, sweetie, that reminds me: have you done anything about getting glasses?” “Not so far; what can I do? I can hardly tell my folks I needed your glasses to see the movie.” “Umm, I see what you mean. I’ll think of something.” “Hey, thanks. Listen, do you want to do another movie this week?” “Sounds good—and this time I’ll put my old glasses in my purse so you can use them and we'll both be able to see.”

Sunday 29 September:

It was better watching a movie we could both see; Hana May’s old glasses aren’t as strong and I was more comfortable with them. We enjoyed being together in the back row too. Over coffee Hana May told me a few ideas she had for telling my folks about my eyes. One was to say “Hey Dad (or Mom), what does that sign say? I can’t see that far.” I didn’t think much of that, but it was about the best...I have to find a way somehow.

Monday 30 September:

Looks like the problem’s solved: vision checks in school on Wednesday. I’m bound to fail, so I guess things will take their course. Went on the web again to get some idea what happens when you have an eye test.

Wednesday 2 October:

Everything went according to plan. When I stood in front of the eye chart I could read the first two lines; the third was a bit of a problem, and I couldn’t tell how many others there were. There was one line we were supposed to be able to read: I couldn’t see it, never mind read it. The nurse nodded her head and gave me a note to take home. That makes it all easier. I’ve just got home and there’s no one in. I’ll watch TV for a while.

(Later) Weird how things happen on top of each other. I was in the family room watching TV when Mom came in. “Asher, honey,” she said, "Your dad and I have been noticing you always sit real close to that TV screen and we wondered if you’re getting nearsighted?” “Funny you should ask about that,” I said. “I have this note for you from school.” “Oh yes?” She read the note and said, “Well I’m not surprised—are you?” “No Mom, not really.” “OK then, let’s make you an appointment.” She got on the phone, looked round and said, “After school tomorrow OK?” So that's fixed.

Thursday 3 October:

Mom collected me from school this afternoon (said goodbye to Hana May at the classroom door) and drove me to the eye doctor’s office. When we went in the receptionist took my name and address and stuff like that, and then got me to look in the autorefractor. I saw the printout: Right -1.75, Left –1.50, so I guess that’s the lenses I need. When I went in to the eye doc he asked how long I’d known my eyes were bad. I said only a few weeks but when I thought back I knew it had been coming on all year. He said “Uhuh”; then he shone a light in my eyes and said “Uhuh; you’re certainly nearsighted, but your eyes are good and healthy apart from that.” Then there was all the business with the trial lenses and which was better, and when that was finished he said, “Right Asher; you’ll have really good vision with these glasses. You’ll definitely need them to see the board in school and for TV and movies, and it would make good sense to wear them full time, but I know you’ll please yourself about that.” I said, “I was kind of planning on wearing them full time.” “OK, so much the better. Two other things I need to tell you. Once you start wearing your glasses you’ll find when you take them off that you can’t see as well as you’re seeing now, and you might get the idea your sight has got worse. What it really means is that your eyes will relax and stop straining the way they’re doing now. The other thing to tell you is I think your myopia has developed kind of fast; so I’m going to call you in for a check in six months just to see how things are going. One last thing: take your time over choosing your frames. If you’re going to wear them full time you want to be sure you like the way they look and the way they feel.” He gave me the prescription (I noticed it said ‘Right –1.75; Left –1.75’) and I went out. The optical store next door has a one hour service, and there's a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer, so we went in there and started looking at frames. I took my time, same as the eye doc said, but I had a few ideas to start with. I liked the idea of round gold frames, so I tried some of those and thought they were OK. Then I thought if I was getting two pairs I didn’t want them looking the same, so I tried some plastic frames. In the end I found an oblong black frame that was marked carbon fiber; it looked really cool with my black hair, and I chose that and the round gold. I shan’t tell Hana May about the black pair till we have a date, then I’ll surprise her. Disappointment: it was too late in the afternoon for the one-hour service, so I have to pick my spex up after school tomorrow.

Friday 4 October:

Another day of squinting. I discovered Desmond Molloy failed the eye test too. He didn’t come in wearing spex, but he put them on to see the board. Some of us tried them on at break time, they’re not as strong as mine will be. I said something about that, and somebody said, “Oh sure Asher, we all know you’re as blind as a bat!” And I thought it was my secret!

Back to the optical store after school to get my spex. They feel good and they look good, at least I think so—and everything looks GREAT through them. Called Hana May (she didn’t know I was getting them today) and said “How do you feel about dating a guy who wears glasses?” I want to go for a walk in the afternoon and look at all the things I can see properly, and then maybe another movie; I’ll be able to see that too.

Sunday 6 October:

I think my glasses are cool; Hana May reckons I’m HOT in them, and she hasn’t seen the black ones yet. We watched the film right thru, and took our spex off and kissed during the commercials.

Monday 7 October:

First day in school in spex; somebody said, “Oh, Asher got glasses at last!” and when they tried them they said, “Jeez, these are strong!” They are stronger than Desmond’s, that’s for sure. Another new spexy kid in class: Mario Conti. He didn’t come into school wearing them, but he kept them on all day and took them off when he left for home. Not as strong as mine, we tried one another’s. Seems like it’s myopia time for our class.

* * *

Monday 25 November:

The twins will be home from their colleges for Thanksgiving. I'm kind of, uh, apprehensive: they're such a pair of jokers, they’re sure to tease me about my glasses. I know there’s no malice in it, it’s just that there’s no knowing what form it’s going to take.

Wednesday 27 November:

Things never turn out like you expect. The twins arrived while I was in school. When I got home I went in the kitchen and was fixing myself a drink when one of them came in—but which? They’re so much alike even Mom has trouble telling them apart. He said “Hi kid” and gave me a hug and then called upstairs “Hey Ben,” (so it was Joe) “Asher’s got spex!” There was the sound of feet on the stairs, the other twin appeared and said “This I must see.” He had a good look, squinted slightly and said “This I must see properly,” then he took out a pair of glasses and put them on! “Hey Asher,” said Joe, “Ben’s got spex!” Ben studied me thoughtfully thru them and nodded; I could see that the lenses were plus. Joe broke the silence: “How long have you-all had those?” “I failed an eye check in school beginning of October,” I said. “I’m nearsighted, I can’t see far without them but once I put them on everything’s clear as clear, so I wear them all the time.” “I got these about three weeks ago,” said Ben. “Like I was getting headaches when I was reading or on the computer, and things were blurring up, so I got a test. They told me I’m farsighted and these spex would help. I thought they’re supposed to be for reading, the headaches have gone, but it’s getting so I can't see clear when I take them off and I’m wearing them a lot.” “Headaches?” said Joe. “I get a lot of those. Can I try them?” “No problem Ben” said Ben. (Hell’s bells, which of them was which?) Joe (if it was Joe) put on Ben’s glasses (if it was Ben) and looked round the kitchen. “God, these are strong,” he said. “I can’t see a damn thing.” Then he picked up the morning paper and squinted at it. “Hey, but this is cool,” he said. “They sure are good for reading.” “Sounds like you have the same problem,” said (?) Ben. “Better get your eyes checked Ben. Tell you what, there was a two-for-one offer when I got mine. You can try those while we’re home and I’ll wear the other pair.” “Hey thanks Ben. Looks like we could be three spexy brothers pretty soon.”

Thursday 28 November:

I’m still not sure which twin is which. They call each other Ben all the time; it’s this week’s joke. One of them (Ben?) wore glasses all day; Joe (?) put them on to see anything close up and couldn’t decide whether the TV was better with them or without. When we went to the family party they both took them off and kept them handy in their pockets, but they managed to stay bareyed all night. I wore my black frames to the party and kept them on the whole time same as usual except when my cousins wanted to try them. They all said things like, “Hey, these are strong,” except Reuben who’s around my age. He put them on, looked round and took them off without saying anything, but he went red and then white. Put me in mind of the first time I tried Hana May’s. I got him on his own later on and said “Hey Rube, looks like your next in the line to get glasses.” “Oh piss off Asher,” he said. “There’s nothing fucking wrong with my eyes.” “OK, have it your own way. Tell me that again when they check your vision in school.” He blushed again and muttered, “Oh fuck it, supposing I can’t see too good, I don’t fucking want to wear spex like you.” “I just like seeing clear,” I said. “If spex help me do that then spex are cool.” “Bully for you," he muttered, and walked off.

* * *

Friday 13 December:

The twins are due back again tomorrow. Wonder if Joe’s got glasses (if it was Ben who had them last time).

Saturday 14 December:

Even though Joe and Ben go to colleges in different towns they arrive back home on the same train. Mom and I took the pickup down to the station to meet them. Their train had arrived early and they were sitting on their bags trying to look forlorn. One of them (Ben?) was wearing glasses but not the other. When they saw us they tried to put on a reproachful act cause they’d had to wait, but within a minute we were all laughing. We piled their baggage into the pickup and drove home, sharing the news all the way. When we got home Mom chased us upstairs while she got lunch ready. We carried the bags into the boys’ room where there was some mail waiting for them. Joe (Joe?) picked his up, squinted at it, fished a shiny new pair of glasses out of his pocket and put them on. “Hey Asher,” said Ben (?), “Ben’s got spex now.” “I can see he has,” I said, “but I wish you wouldn’t confuse me about who’s Joe and who’s Ben!” “Nothing confusing!” said—well, the one who’d just put his glasses on—“I’m Joe.” “And he’s Ben,” said the other. My language—well, it reminded me of Reuben. We started wrestling; there were two of them and they’re bigger than me, so I hadn’t a chance. In the end one of them got my glasses off me, rubbed soap on the lenses so I couldn’t see through them, and put them back on me. While I was cleaning them up, Joe was telling Ben about his glasses: “I went to an optometrist just off campus. He put these drops in my eyes that left me half blind the rest of the day, and told me I had this latent hyperopia. He says I need to get used to wearing spex full time to stop the eyestrain, then in a while I’ll need a stronger pair ’cause this isn’t my full correction. These are great for close up, I can’t read without them, but I can’t handle them full time yet. I can’t see across a lecture room, never mind across the street. I guess I have to wear them all this vacation and see if I can get used to them.” “Let me see them,” said Ben (?). He took his own glasses off and tried Joe’s (?). “Hell’s bells, these are strong!” I burst out laughing; it reminded me of the cousins trying my spex; but he went on, “Have you got your prescription?” Joe found his glasses case; it was in there but he couldn't read it. “Plus 3.75!” said Ben when he passed it to him. “Mine are only plus 2. They didn’t use any drops on me.” “Well I told him I'm an identical twin and you just got spex and wear them most of the time and he reckons we’ll both need the same Rx full time before long—and it’ll be a strong one.” “That’s a bummer,” said Ben. “Still, as long as we can see and don’t get those headaches.”

Monday 16 December:

The twins are both wearing glasses full time around the house. I’ve given up trying to work out which of them is really which; as far as I’m concerned the one who had his own spex before Thanksgiving is Ben...but then I suspect them of swapping spex from time to time just to keep the rest of us guessing.

Sunday 5 January:

They left for college after Mass this morning. Both wearing glasses, but Joe (or at least the one who didn’t have spex at Thanksgiving but has stronger ones now) was squinting into the distance like I did before I got mine.

* * *

Monday 17 February:

The phone rang tonight and Mom answered it, then she called up, “Asher, it’s for you.” I picked up the phone upstairs and it was Reuben. “Hey Asher,” he said, “you were right, it all happened like you said.” I couldn’t think what he was talking about at first, but he went on. “We had these vision checks in school today and I fucking failed. They sent a letter home and now I have to go see an eye doctor and get spex.” “Right,” I said, “same as I told you, it isn’t the end of the world, and seeing good is really cool.” “Yeah, but if I have to start wearing spex… I’ll get called foureyes and Magoo and things like that, I won’t get picked for teams…” “Do you get picked for teams now?” “Well, no,” “So what’s the difference?” “Well, what do they do when they check your eyes?” I started to tell him about the autorefractor and then the dark room and he said, “Fucking hell!” I think he’s scared of the dark—at his age! “Come on,” I said, “it doesn’t hurt. I went last year and they’re sending for me again soon.” “Hey, would you come with me?” he wanted to know. “Only I’d kind of feel better with somebody there that knows what’s happening.” “Oh come on,” I said, “it’s a hell of a long trip just for that.” “Fuck you then,” he said and hung up.

Tuesday 18 February:

Another call. Mom spoke for a while and then called up, “Your Aunt Rachel wants to ask you a favour, and I think it would be kind of nice if you said yes.” (Aunt Rachel is Reuben’s mom; she and my mom are twins.) So I took the phone and Aunt Rachel said, “Asher honey, I wondered if you’d like to come and sleep over with us this weekend. Sunday’s Reuben’s birthday, plus he has a bit of a problem he thinks you could help him with. Tell you what, I’ll put him on.” So Reuben came on. “Hi Asher,” he said, “wassup? Tell you what it is, we had a vision test in school and they say I need to get glasses. I’m kind of nervous about the test, and I know you got glasses so you been there before and I wondered if you’d come and like give me moral support, and then stay over for my birthday on Sunday.” (I could tell his mom was still there, I never heard Reuben put two sentences together before without saying fuck at least once.) Well, what could I do? I said I’d go. I’m to catch a train straight after school on Friday and come home Sunday night. Can’t go out with Hana May Saturday night.

Wednesday 19 February:

I thought Hana May would be upset about me going away, but she thought it was nice I was going to kind of hold Reuben’s hand if he thought an eye test was such an ordeal. “Course, I’ll miss you, honey,” she said, “but your cousin needs you.” I’ll miss her too.

Friday 21 February:

Well, I got here OK. Reuben was at the station to meet me, he was squinting like mad but he didn’t recognize me till I got real close. Then he said, “Hey, you got new glasses.” I’d forgotten he hadn’t seen my school glasses, the round gold ones. I explained I had two pairs (and I found out later I hadn’t put the other pair in my bag). He’s real blind though, I had to tell him the numbers on the buses till the right one came.

Saturday 22 February:

I’m sleeping in Reuben’s room, and I got kind of a shock. I’d got ready for bed and I took my glasses off. He stripped off and went over to the washbasin. I thought he was having a piss, but he said, “Hey Asher, come and help me.” When I got close enough I could see he was playing with his dick. He took my hand and put it on his dick and put his hand on mine, So we jerked each other off, I never felt anything like it before, me and Hana May never did that kind of thing.

Early in the morning he got in my bed and started playing with me again. I got hard pretty fast…Reuben had a spare towel ready to catch the stuff.

Later…

Reuben’s appointment with the eye doctor was at 10.30. Aunt Rachel took us in the car. When it came to the test she stayed outside, but I went in with Reuben. The eye doctor was quite young. He shone his light in Reuben’s eyes, and said, “Well Reuben, I can see you’re a bit nearsighted, and the autorefractor says the same thing. Let’s just see how well you can see these charts.” He put the light out, and Reuben kind of shuddered. It seemed to me to take a while before it got so he could read the smallest lines on the chart, and eventually the doctor said, “I think that’s it. It’s quite strong for a first prescription, -2.5, and it would make sense to wear your glasses full time, because you’ll see a lot better with them, but I guess you’ll please yourself about that. You’ll have to pick out some frames and then we can have your glasses ready in an hour or so.” So we went out to the shop where Aunt Rachel was sitting, and told her the good, or bad, news. Then we set about finding frames. Reuben was real fussy about what kind of frame he was going to have; maybe he means to wear them a lot of the time. In the end he got a smart one in dark blue plastic. They said his glasses would be ready in about an hour, so Aunt Rachel paid the bill and left us to catch the bus. He looks good in glasses, but he wouldn’t wear them out of the shop, he put them in the case in his pocket. When we were at the bus stop he said, “tell me which bus is coming, will you?” I said, “No. You’ve got a pair of spex to help you see things—put them on!” “Fuck you then,” he said, and took them out and put them on. He looked all round and said, “Shit, I didn’t want these fucking things, but it is kind of cool seeing clear.” “Told you,” I said. “Yeah, I guess,” and he kept them on after that.

Sunday 23 February:

Shucks, that Reuben, where does he get it all? Last night when he’d locked the bedroom door he said, “Hey Asher, did you ever get a blow job?” “A what?” “It’s, like, I would suck your cock. Only, you got to suck mine first.” I didn’t think I wanted to get into that kind of thing, it turned out he’d never done it but he’d heard of it and he was desperate to try it, so I said I’d try. I took his dick in my mouth and he got so excited, he kept saying, “It’s so fucking good,” and after a while he shot his load into my mouth. I didn’t know what to do, there was nowhere handy to spit it out, so I swallowed it. It tasted kind of funny. It had got him so excited, I really wanted to see what it was like. I think he was better at it than me, he licked my balls and took them in his mouth one at a time, then he kissed my dick and licked it all over. Then he took it right into his mouth…he’s right, it does feel good…he kept me just off the boil for nearly ten minutes, then the explosion came, I thought my head would burst. He swallowed the lot too, then he got on the bed beside me and put his arms round me. I never had a kiss like that from Hana May, it went on and on and I started to get hard again. He made me get into bed with him and we slept like that and woke up in each other’s arms. We played around a bit, and that felt pretty good too. Then Reuben said, “Better get into your bed so it looks like you slept in it.” I got in there but he came with me and played some more again. There has to be a word for guys like him, insatiable maybe.

I tried Reuben’s glasses this morning, they’re stronger than mine, and things looked clearer with them. Are my eyes getting worse? Do I need stronger glasses?

Tuesday 11 March:

I was right, my eyes are worse. Even with my glasses on things in the distance aren’t as clear as they use to be. I guess I’ll need stronger lenses when they call me for my next test. That has to be pretty soon.

Friday 14 March:

Mom and Dad were out this evening. I tried to watch TV but the screen was kind of blurry. I went and got my black spex and tried wearing them on top of the gold ones. That was too much so I sat close to the screen the way I used to.

Saturday 15 March:

Movie with Hana May. When the commercials came on and we should have been kissing I asked to borrow her glasses a minute. When I borrowed them last year they were definitely too strong, but not any more. She said, “Are your eyes getting worse then, honey?” “Seems like it,” I said. “They’re sending for me after six months anyways, so that’s pretty soon.”

Monday 24 March:

We had to read some slides in class today; I couldn’t make out what was on the screen till I tilted my glasses up. I guess it’s “Roll on test day!” I really need new spex, even though it’s only six months since I got these.

Thursday 3 April:

They called from the optical store about booking my test. I got an appointment for Saturday.

Friday 4 April:

I wanted to watch TV again while Mom and Dad were out. I tried wearing both pairs of glasses together again and I could see pretty good from the other side of the room;

Saturday 5 April:

Had my test. I need new glasses, but then I knew I would. When I went in they checked me on the autorefractor; I didn’t get to see the printout, but when the optometrist looked at it he raised his eyebrows, and when he shone his light into my eyes he said, “Well Asher, I think it’s just as well we called you in for a new test because your eyes have changed quite a bit, as I guess you must have noticed.” I said, “Well, yeah, I’m not seeing so good now.” “This often happens at your age; nothing wrong that a stronger lens won’t help.” When he gave me the prescription it was -3.25 in both eyes…sounds to me like almost double what I’m wearing. I have to go again in another six months.

They said as my frames were only six months old it would be OK to put the new lenses in them, so I left the black pair and went home wearing my gold ones with the old lenses in.

Wednesday 9 April:

Went to school wearing my new glasses; I’ve never worn the black frames in school before, so everybody could tell they were new. Hana May asked to try them and says they’re stronger than hers. Just fancy, my eyes are worse than Hana May’s! One thing certain though: I’m seeing just great again. Desmond and Mario tried them, they’re way stronger than theirs. Some other folks tried them too and said how could I see through those; I said I can’t see much without them and took them back.

Friday 11 April

School broke up for Easter. The twins come home tomorrow.

Saturday 12 April

When we met the twins from the train they were both wearing their glasses—and both calling each other Ben! When we got home the one I think really is Ben was telling Joe (?) that he’s getting a lot of headaches again, and they agreed they’re going to go together to the same eye doctor and see if they really need the same prescription. They asked where I got my glasses and I told them; they called to see if they could get appointments and were told they could both go in this afternoon. I said I’d go with them, my black glasses are slipping down.

Well it was just as well I was with Joe and Ben; when they came out from their tests they couldn’t see properly, either of them. The doctor had used drops to get the right result, and he gave them identical prescriptions for glasses that they’re to wear as much as they can and in the end full time. Neither of them could read the script but I looked at them and they’re both +4.75. That’s a good way stronger than Joe (?) has now, never mind Ben (?) They wanted frames pretty much like they have now, so I helped them find them. Their new spex should be ready next week.

Wednesday 16 April

I took a call from the optical store first thing this morning to say the twins’ spex were ready. They weren’t up, so I went to wake them up and give them the news. When I opened to door the two of them were lying on one bed sucking each other’s dicks, both at the same time! I left pretty quick and I don’t think they knew I was there ’cause they never said anything when they came down to breakfast. Fancy Joe and Ben being into that kind of thing, I thought it was just Reuben.

(Later)

Turns out Joe and Ben did know I went in their room. After dinner they got me on my own and said (I never know which of them it is speaking) “Hey Asher, there’s no need to tell Mom what you saw when you came in this morning.” “Well, I don’t tell her about that kind of thing.” “Only it’s like, we were so close to each other for nine months before we were even born, we’ve never liked being separated, and now, when we get together…” “That’s OK. I knew about blow jobs, but I never heard of doing it to each other like that.” ”Well, that’s called a sixty-nine.”

(Later still)

The twins went and collected their new glasses. They’re wearing them all the time, but they both keep having to look over the top of them to see things in the distance. They’re working at it though, so as to get the benefit of them when they go back to college.

Hey, I’m looking forward to being the one who says, “Hey Rube, did you ever try a sixty-nine?”

But what about Hana May?

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