And here we have the sequel to the Bridesmaid Wore Myodiscs. This is new, fresh from my wonderful editor. And to those of my friends and acquaintances who have asked if this is a true story from my life, I must advise you all that alas, it is only a figment of my imagination, and while I sort of wish that the story could be true, unfortunately it is not. So Enjoy
To meet Linda again at the wedding was more than just a coincidence, it seemed like fate. We talked for a long time, reminiscing about old times, and then, we danced. I had Linda speak to Chuck and Sally to get their approval, as I didn’t want to get into trouble with my boss. I don’t know what she said, but for the rest of the evening, I became an honored guest, instead of the limo driver.
When the time came for me to take Chuck and Sally to the airport, Linda asked if she could come along for the ride. We drove to the airport with Chuck and Sally in the rear, with the divider up, and Linda and I sitting in the front. After we dropped the happy couple off at their airport hotel, Linda and I returned to her motel. Linda didn’t want me to go yet, but I also got the vibes from her that she didn’t want to invite me into her room. So we went over to a nearby coffee shop.
As the night wore on, we talked and talked. Linda told me how she had become a schoolteacher. She and Sally had attended teachers college together, and had taught at the same school for a number of years. She told me that she was a 6th grade teacher, and that she really enjoyed her work. She also told me that I had been her only love. I told her of how I had wandered around from place to place, searching for something, I didn’t know what and I could never seem to find it, and that now that I had found her again, I was thinking that maybe, it was her I had been searching for. We rehashed old school times, talked about friends that we had long since forgotten, and finally we got around to us.
“I love you Linda, and I have always loved you,” I said.
“Why did you?” She started to question and then stopped.
I interrupted her and said, “because of my mother. She took one look at your coke bottle glasses, and told me to forget any idea I might have of ever marrying you. She didn’t want her grandchildren to be extremely nearsighted and have to wear glasses like you have to wear.”
“She was right,” I thought I heard Linda mutter, but I really wasn’t sure.
“Why hasn’t an attractive girl like you ever gotten married”? I asked.
“Well maybe, I suppose that no guy has ever had good enough eyesight to see past my coke bottles. Or maybe it is my daughter Megan that was too much excess baggage,” she said.
“You have a daughter? Megan, it is a name that I always liked,” I said.
“I know, we chose it together, remember,” she replied.
I was stunned. She had just told me that there had been no other guy, and she had a daughter. We had only been intimate once, but sometimes once is enough. I got a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach, and my heart started to pound. Was it possible?
“Is…Is…Is. Am I the father?” I finally managed to stammer out.
“Yes,” came her one word reply.
The dam broke, and all of a sudden the tears began to roll down my cheeks. “I’m sorry, Linda. I’m terribly sorry, I never knew,” I heard my voice say between the tears. I must have cried and told her I was sorry for a good half hour. She took my head, and let me cry on her shoulder. I wasn’t just crying for myself, and the lonely 18 years I had spent wandering aimlessly, I was crying for a daughter I had never known, for Linda, who had raised this child on her own this far, and for my mother, who had wanted grandchildren so badly that by now even one with extremely poor eyesight would have been very warmly accepted into her life. Finally, I was cried out.
“Will you marry me Linda?”
“Brad, I have hated you for the past 18 years. I always thought that it was your mom’s influence that caused our breakup, but I have still hated you. I can’t forget the past 18 years in just one short night.”
“Is there anything I can do for you and our daughter?” I asked.
“Sure, you can pay for her university,” Linda said sarcastically.
I thought about all the money I had squirreled away over the past 17 years. “Yes, I can probably manage that.”
“You would do that for us?” she queried.
“Linda, now that I have found you again, I want to be with you for the rest of my life, and I want to take full responsibility for our daughter.”
“Well Brad, you are going to have to take it slowly with us.”
“I can do that. Just let me into your life,” I replied.
I looked out the window of the coffee shop to see the gray light of dawn approaching. We had been there talking for over 4 hours. I told Linda that it was almost morning. She told me that she had to go, as she had a ticket for the early bus, and Megan was picking her up at the bus station when she got back to San Diego.
“Megan drives?” I asked.
“Sure, she just got her license a few weeks ago. I also drive, usually only on familiar roads, and never at night,” Linda responded.
“So your eye doctor was wrong when he told you that you would never be able to see well enough to drive,” I said.
Linda went on to tell me that she had changed eye doctors after Megan was born. Her new doctor felt that she was a borderline case for driving, as she was able to read most of the 20/40 line with glasses, so he had signed for her license. Then, a few years later, he had tried to get Linda to wear a new type of contact lens, which had a very high water content. Linda was able to wear the new contacts for 3 or 4 hours, but her eyes produced a lot of excess protein, which built up between the cornea and the lens. So, as long as she removed the lenses before the protein turned into a film between her cornea and the lens, she was all right, but if she tried to leave the lenses in any longer, her vision became very blurry, and when she did remove her lenses, it took a good 2 hours before her vision cleared. Now, she would wear the contacts to pass her vision test for the DMV, and then remove the contacts as soon as possible. Apparently, with contacts Linda could read almost all of the 20/25 line. With her glasses, it was a different story. But, she did drive herself to work daily, and on occasion she would drive to Long Beach, to visit her father..
With this, Linda glanced at her watch, and told me she really had to hurry, so I waited in the car while she checked out of the motel. I drove her to the bus stop, and wouldn’t let her out of the car until she gave me her phone number and address. I kissed and hugged her before she got on the bus, and I told her that I would be in San Diego within a week, and would call her. My last words to her as she boarded the bus were, “I love you.”
One of the reasons why I am fairly successful in getting jobs is that I never leave an employer in the lurch. That way, I am able to get very good references. After leaving Linda at the bus station, I took the airport limo back to the garage, and was surprised to see Karl, my boss, in early.
“Thought maybe you had run off with the car when I didn’t see it here,” he grumped
He was a pretty good guy, and we had sort of become friends. So, I told him the whole story. I left absolutely nothing out.
“So, I guess I had better find me another limo driver for next weekend. Sounds like you are in a hurry to get to San Diego,” he replied.
“Karl, I am more than willing to work for you next weekend. You have been a great boss, and I won’t leave you short.” I told him.
With that we sorted it out that I would do the wedding that he had planned for me to do the following Saturday, and then I would be free to go. Monday morning, I told my boss at the tile company that I was leaving, and he expressed his regrets, but told me I could have my job back anytime. Before I knew it, Saturday came, and went. Early Sunday morning, I packed up my old pickup, with all my prized personal possessions, and left bright and early for the 6-hour drive to San Diego. Two o‘clock found me coming into San Diego. I stopped, bought a paper, and checked for furnished rooms for rent. I found a couple of possibilities, one of which was reasonably close to where Linda and Megan lived. Naturally, I checked that one out first. It was suitable, so I rented it for a month.
After I unpacked and showered, I phoned Linda. She invited me over for supper, although I did insist that it wasn’t fair to her to have to feed me with no advance warning.
She replied, “I knew you were coming.”
So, I drove over to her address, and found a parking spot on the street in front of the house. It was a plain bungalow, one of the ones built during the Second World War to house the navy men and their families that were based here. I rang the bell, and a tall, probably about 5’6” or so, slim young lady with Linda’s chocolate brown eyes, and dark brown hair answered the door. Unlike Linda, she wore her hair long, and pulled back in a ponytail. She was my daughter all right. She looked just like my mother did in pictures I had seen of her when she was Megan’s age. She wasn’t wearing glasses though.
“If you are Megan, I thought you wore glasses like your Mom,” I said.
“Contact lenses do work for me,” was her response.
“Duh, right, should have thought of that,” I replied.
“So you are my father, the one who ran off and left my mom all alone to raise me by herself. And now, I am supposed to love you and everything just because you are going to pay for my university tuition,” she said sarcastically.
“Megan! Watch your mouth. Don’t talk to him that way,” Linda, who had been coming to the door when she heard Megan, angrily chided her.
“It’s all right Linda. I deserve it. I didn’t know that your mom was pregnant when I took off, but that is not a good excuse. And, as far as you loving me, well there are no strings attached to the money, and you will love me if you want to, not because you have to,” came the words from my mouth.
Megan looked at me and said, “Maybe you are all right after all.”
I went in and had a pleasant evening with Linda and my daughter. Megan towered over Linda, as Linda is only around 5’ 2”, and I might be a little prejudiced, but I thought that both ladies were gorgeous. I asked Megan about her contact lenses, and how it was possible that she could wear them, while her mom couldn’t. She apparently didn’t have the protein problem, and contact lenses had been part of her life since she was 13 years old. She told me though that Linda made her wear her glasses to school one day every week, so that she would never be able to hide her poor eyesight from anyone. She told me that she usually wore her glasses on days that she had swimming, as the chlorine really bothered her eyes when she had her contacts on, even with the swimming goggles on. So, it really was easier for her just to wear glasses that day, and use her prescription swim goggles while she was in the pool.
The evening ended far too early for me, but Linda had to teach, and Megan had classes the next morning, so I reluctantly made my exit. But, I extracted a promise from Linda to go out with me the following Saturday night.
The following weeks Linda and I spent much of our spare time together. The area around San Diego is rife with new construction, so it wasn’t much of a problem finding work as an experienced ceramic tile setter. My biggest problem was getting time off. But, we managed to find enough time to discover that we really did enjoy each other’s company.
Thanksgiving was approaching, and Linda and my mom had been talking. My mom wanted to see Megan, so she had invited the 3 of us up to Long Beach for turkey dinner. Linda agreed, providing her widowed father could join us. Linda’s mom and dad had raised Megan for the first 5 years, while Linda continued her education, and both Linda and Megan were quite close to “Ampa Paul” as Megan still called him. So, my mom agreed to invite Paul as well. After we drove up to my mom’s, I left Megan and Linda, helping my mom with dinner, and I went over to pick up Paul. He was a little older, his glasses were a bit thicker, but he was the same person I had known many years ago. He chided me for taking off and leaving Linda with child, and of course I offered my apologies. Paul accepted, we shook hands, and we went back to have a great dinner at mom’s.
Of course, I had told Megan and Linda that mom would deny ever having said anything about not wanting me to marry Linda because of her poor eyesight, so I had decided not to say anything. But my mom got onto me about my having taken off, and denying her the pleasure of having known her granddaughter. So, I had to open my mouth, and of course, as expected, she denied ever having told me not to marry Linda. But, other than that, it had been a pleasant day.
Christmas came and went, and still Linda would not give me an answer. By this time, Megan was sort of on my side, and one day she told me that her mom had gotten birth control pills from her doctor.
I said, “She should have done that 18 years ago.”
Megan gave me a quizzical look and told me, “Well I’m darned glad she didn’t.”
I had stuck my foot in my mouth again, but I apologized and we had a good laugh.
Valentines day came, and I bought Linda a nice diamond heart broach, along with a beautiful card. I also gave her a box, containing an engagement ring, and I told her that she had until the end of the month to put it on, or I was returning to Arizona. Megan had suggested the push, and as I said the words, I was worried that she would be upset. But, she only told me that that was a fair deadline, and I would have an answer. I had spoken to Megan and I found that Linda woke up to the Johnny Platter show every morning. Johnny Platter played mostly oldies, and mostly requests, so the following morning, I was lucky enough to get through. I requested that he play, “Pretty Woman”, by Roy Orbison, from Brad to Linda. When we had dated prior to Megan’s conception, we had seen the movie, Pretty Woman, and I then called Linda my Pretty Woman. So, he played it. The following morning, I got through again, and asked for the same request.
“ You are the same Brad who requested this song yesterday, aren’t you? There must be a story behind the same request, 2 days in a row?” he said.
So, I told him the story, and I told him I was going to request that song every morning, until Linda agreed to marry me. This time, when he played the request, he told all the listeners the story of Linda, my mom’s disapproval of her poor eyesight, the birth of our daughter, Linda raising our daughter alone, and us meeting by accident at the end of the past summer. He also told the listeners that he would be playing the same request every morning, until Linda agreed to marry me. Megan phoned me from school later that morning.
“You got a problem Dad. Mom is really, really upset that everyone knows her story.”
“Nothing I can do now, sweetheart. I’ll just have to play this one out,” I told her.
That night Linda phoned me. Upset wasn’t the word. Apparently when she got to school, all the kids in her class knew that “Old Binoc’s” had a boyfriend that wanted to marry her.
“Old Binoc’s?” I queried.
“That is what they call me because of my glasses, which to kids they look like a pair of binoculars. Anyway, these kids have never seen anything other than plastic coke bottles, and glass coke bottle bottoms don’t mean a thing to them. And quit changing the subject. You have got to get that dedication off the air by tomorrow morning, or I will never speak to you again,” she replied angrily.
I knew that I was probably pushing my luck as I replied, “All you have to do is to agree to marry me”.
“Not until……….. Well all right, I was going to agree before you left anyway,” she told me with a mischievous grin.
So, we agreed on a date for a July wedding. The following morning, I phoned Johnny Platter bright and early, and told him that Linda had agreed to marry me. He agreed to cancel the Pretty Woman dedication, but later when I was listening he played “Will You Have This Dance”, and dedicated it to Brad and Linda from himself.
As July drew near, plans for the wedding grew and consumed all of our time. Linda wanted to be married in Long Beach, and even though it was a short hour and a half drive, it still took us a lot of trips to get things set up. I knew absolutely no one there anymore, so Linda’s brother, Paul junior was going to be one of the ushers. His wife, Sue was a bridesmaid, and their little boy and girl were going to be the ring bearer and the flower girl. Megan was the maid of honor. Chuck was willing to be the other usher, as his wife, Sally was the other bridesmaid. And, my old boss, Karl, agreed to be my best man. Karl even brought one of his limos over, giving Chuck and Sally a ride with him.
I won’t bore you with details of the wedding, but I will tell you that Paul wore pretty strong glasses, not as strong as Linda’s, but likely in the range of Megan’s, –18D prescription. His wife, Sue, also was a pretty hefty minus prescription, and both of their children also wore strong minus glasses. Sally also wore glasses, but she had the lowest prescription in the group. But, the girls had all gotten together, agreed to wear their glasses for the wedding, and had all ordered new glasses with the same style of frame. They all looked lovely.
After the wedding, Linda and I returned to her home in San Diego, where we live. Megan is off at university, and instead of starting a second family, Linda and I have become foster parents, and have taken in a young lady of 12, that has extremely poor eyesight and wears glasses with myodisc lenses, with a prescription of –22D for both eyes and astigmatism correction of –5.0D for both eyes. In many respects, she is somewhat like Linda and cannot wear contact lenses because of the protein problem, but her eyesight is much worse, as her best corrected visual acuity is only 20/100, and she has to hold books and papers a few inches from her glasses to read. If it works out, we will adopt her, and maybe we will take in another child after that, also with poor eyesight. Linda and I are very close and we are making up for all of those years that we both really wanted each other. We do make love like young newly weds. I am especially aroused, every time I look into her glasses and see those soft, chocolate brown eyes and long lashes, peering at me through those thick myodisc lenses.
Specs4ever, with editing and more than a few additions by Aliena