I looked over at my wife of 18 years. She was lying on the couch, only a few feet from the blaring big screen television that she had wanted so badly only a year ago. She had fallen asleep, and her mouth was hanging open. Oh how I wished I could kill her. What had seemed like a marriage made in heaven had over the past few years turned into my own hell.
You might think that even thinking of her murder was a total waste of time. It is so true that anytime a wife dies a violent or suspicious death the husband is the prime subject of investigation, and rightly so. Very few murderers go free in these domestic cases. And, hiring a hitman only opens up another can of worms. But I still canít help dreaming, and flashes of that old Hitchcock movie; "Strangers on a Train" run through my brain. I canít divorce my wife. If I did, not only would I be virtually penniless, but the courts would, because of her disability, award her an income for life, or until she remarried. But, her marrying again would be highly unlikely. She was no longer attractive, as she had eaten herself into a state of gross overweightedness. Heck, she hardly ever left the house, so she wouldnít ever have the possibility of meeting anyone anyway, so I would be paying healthy support payments as long as I lived.
When we first met, over 20 years ago now, she was a pretty girl of 21. There wasnít an ounce of fat on her and at 5í7 she weighed around 115 lbs. She ran, and swam, and held a job as a waitress at a local diner. Her wages were quite low, but she was a good waitress, and she made excellent tips. And that is where I met Allison, as one day I went to the diner for lunch and she took my order. As she was writing up my order in her little book my powers of observation kicked in, and because she pulled her order book close to her face as she wrote, I suspected that this young lady might be very nearsighted. She was extremely pleasant and very polite so I left her a decent tip. When I went to the cash register to pay for my lunch she came to the till to take my money. The lighting was better in this part of the restaurant, and on looking carefully I was able to see the glimmer of contact lenses on her eyes.
So, I made a habit of eating lunch at the diner for the next few weeks. Allison didnít wear a ring, and after some detective work I discovered that she didnít have a steady boyfriend. She worked breakfast and lunch 6 days a week, so that meant that she was available most evenings, however Sunday worked best for her because she had Monday off. So, I invited her to a movie on Sunday night, and she accepted. As I suspected when we went into the show she asked me if we could sit up closer to the front of the theatre, as her eyesight wasnít all that great. Of course I agreed, but I didnít say anything further about her eyesight, as I didnít want to scare her off, as I had some of my other girlfriends.
I mentioned "Strangers on a Train" a couple of paragraphs ago. I saw that movie so many times I could have probably done the complete script from memory. I was in love with Marion, and I could see no reason for her husband to ever consider getting rid of her. To me she was perfect, and I loved to watch the lights reflect off the plano fronts of the strong, likely about -10D glasses that she wore. And in real life, I never ever went out with a lady unless she wore minus glasses. I had gone out with a couple of ladies who wore decently strong prescriptions, but in my exuberance to know more about their glasses and their eyesight I had scared them off. So, now I knew better than to express any more than a casual interest in a ladies eyesight.
When I met Allison pickings had been slim for me. Most of the attractive ladies who needed strong glasses were wearing contact lenses, and unfortunately with contact lenses there is really no way that you can tell the strength. I did know that a lady who brought things quite close to their eyes was likely quite a bit more nearsighted than the average person, but even that wasnít a fool proof indication. With Allison the clincher had been at the movies when she told me that she had poor eyesight.
I chased Allison for the best part of a year before she agreed to move in with me. Even then she wouldnít do it until we were engaged, so I bought her a ring and asked her to marry me before I had even seen her wearing glasses. But the first night we were together I was positive I hadnít made a mistake. She told me that she had to take out her contacts, and put on her glasses, and she warned me that her glasses were pretty thick, and "kinda" strange looking.
When I saw her wearing her glasses I had to agree that they were unusual looking lenses. To me they were absolutely perfect and were beyond my wildest dreams. Her glasses had myodisc lenses, which are the holy grail of myopic lenses to me. I told her that she looked just fine wearing glasses, and she seemed very relieved at that.
I had accepted her glasses so readily that Allison began to wear them more frequently. She had been having little problems with her contact lenses, most likely from over wear, so she was relieved to be able to wear her glasses more, although she claimed that she couldnít see as well with glasses as she could when wearing contacts.
We walked a lot together and we swam in the swimming pool at our apartment complex. Allison would wear her contacts for swimming, and she would wear a pair of goggles over them to keep the water from entering her eyes. I didnít like her wearing her contacts this way, and I suggested that we should get her eyes examined, and maybe we could get her a new pair of glasses as well as a pair of prescription swim goggles. The more I thought about it, the more I thought we should also get her a pair of prescription sports glasses as well.
It took almost a month before we could get a Monday appointment with the Ophthalmologist that Allison had used previously. I was barely able to contain my excitement, as I was going to go to her exam with her, and now I would finally be able to learn what her prescription was. She hadnít a clue what her old prescription had been, and although this is pretty standard for people who have no interest in their eyes other than to have glasses that they can see well from, it really bothered me not to know. I made her wear her glasses for a few days before her eye exam and this bothered her when she had to show up at work wearing glasses. I told her that she would have been smarter to wear glasses at work every once in a while before this and then no one would have even thought anything about it when she showed up in glasses for almost a week. She didnít like it, but she did as I had suggested.
I was allowed to accompany Allison into the examination room, and I was absolutely beside myself with joy. I held her glasses as she sat in the chair behind the refractor, and the doctor positioned himself in his chair in front of her.
"I havenít seen you for a while Allison. How have your eyes been doing?" He asked.
"Oh, I guess that they have been the same as ever doctor. I canít see a thing without my glasses or my contacts, and I donít see all that well even when I am wearing them." Allison replied.
"Well, your retinas still look good, so that is one positive thing. Letís see if we can get your vision a little better than it has been." He replied.
With that the doctor swung the phoropter over in front of Allisonís eyes, and he brought her chair to the proper position. Then he clicked a few lenses and without asking her any questions he looked into her eye through the lens in the phoropter. He did a few more clicks and looked again. Then he did a few more. Then he asked her to read the line of the eye chart that was projected onto the wall. She read the line easily. Then he did the same with the left eye, and when he was finished he had her read the line again with both eyes. Then he projected a smaller set of letters and asked her to read them. She could, but she hesitated a little, so he did some fine tuning of the lenses, and when he was finished she was easily able to read the projected line. He then turned the lights back on in the room, and wrote on his clipboard.
"Well, we are able to get you back to 20/20 Allison, but you needed a pretty good increase. Your sphere is up a couple of diopters, and I had to add another -1D to your cylinder. I also had to change the angle of your astigmatism slightly. But the main thing is that you will be able to see a lot better. Do you want to order new contacts as well, or were you just going to get new glasses?" He asked.
"I definitely want new contacts Doctor." Allison replied.
"Ok, take this slip to the receptionist and she can place the order." He replied.
"What was her old prescription Doctor?" I asked.
"Her old prescription was -26.50 x +2.00 x 45 for her right eye and her left was -26.00 x +2.25 x 135. Now her new prescription will be -29.50 x +3.00 x 30 for her right and her left will be -29.00 x + 3.50 x 165." He responded.
"Is that a pretty bad prescription?" I asked.
"Well, until last year Allison had the strongest prescription of any of my patients, but now I have an 18 year old girl who needs around -35D. However Allison can still read the 20/20 line, so her eyes are pretty good for being so myopic, if you can follow that line of reasoning." He replied.
"I can. Thank you very much doctor." I answered.
Allison and I ordered her new contact lenses. They came to almost $400.00. Then we went to an optical store that the receptionist recommended, and we chose a new frame for Allisonís glasses. The girl at the optical store had a pretty good idea of types of lenses and what was available, and she talked Allison into ordering a pair of glass lenses that were a new type that were available. Apparently these lenses could be made in a way that they didnít appear to be myodiscs, but instead had the myodisc circle blended into the lens. So we ordered these new superlenti lenses. This was another $800.00. Then we ordered a pair of swim goggles and a pair of sports glasses that cost us another $600.00. When the girl wrote up the order she changed the numbers from the ones on the prescription to something quite different. Now the order read OS -26.50 x -3.00 x 120 and OD -26.00 x -3.50 x 75, and when I asked her about that she explained to me that medical eye doctors always wrote the astigmatism using plus cylinder, but the labs worked in minus cylinder, so she had to change it for the lab to make the glasses. This girl was good, and she never even commented on how bad Allisonís eyes were. It was a good thing that she didnít because we had just spent $1,200.00 in her store.
Her new contact lenses came in first, and Allison was thrilled with how much of an improvement there was in her eyesight. Then her glasses and swim goggles arrived, and she was really happy. The superlenti lenses took a bit of getting used to, and she found it a bit hard to switch from her contacts to the superlentiís, but after she wore the glasses for a few hours she liked them. We took up bicycling, and Allison loved having the sports glasses to wear for this, and for tennis. The goggles worked well for swimming, and we spent a lot of time together this way. After almost a year of living together we decided that we would get married. Since neither one of us had any parents alive, we went to city hall and got married in a simple ceremony.
Then the best 4 years of my life followed. We stayed in the same apartment until Allison became pregnant, and then we moved to a two bedroom apartment in the same complex. Actually this was her second pregnancy, as her first didnít even make the three month mark before she miscarried. Her doctor wanted her to have a cesarean section, because he felt that with her very high myopia it would be too dangerous for her to have a natural childbirth. Apparently with high myopia there is a chance of retinal detachment with a natural childbirth. Naturally we went along with what the doctor suggested, and we ended up with a beautiful baby girl.
We were not rich, but we had saved a bit of money, and I was doing well at my job. So we decided that Allison would stay home with Jacqueline. And, I guess that is where it all started. The weight from the pregnancy didnít come off. All Allison seemed to do was to eat, read, and watch soap operaís. Oh sure, she also looked after Jackie, but as time went on the apartment looked more and more messy.
Jackie was now 14, so I guess she was about 9 when the retinal detachments happened. Allison woke up one morning and discovered she was having red flashes in her right eye. I had read about retinal detachments, so I had a pretty good idea of what was happening. I tried to get hold of her Ophthalmologist, but it was too early, so I got Jackie up and dressed and we rushed Allison to the emergency room. They took her right in and they operated on her right eye. They had to do some kind of buckle thing, and when they were finished they checked her left eye and found that the same thing was happening there. So they did another operation, and did another buckle.
When they were finished Allison had to stay in the hospital for another week, lying flat on her stomach. She was already gaining a lot of weight, so lying this way wasnít the most comfortable for her, but she was told that if she didnít do that she could go blind. After she got out, her old glasses were next to useless for her, so she ended up with a new pair of myodiscs that were about Ė6D stronger. Now she wore glasses that were right around -32D, still with her same astigmatism.
Once Allison was home Jackie was called upon to do a lot of the work around the house. Jackie was a really good kid, and it wasnít fair that Allison was using her this way. Jackie took after Allison in that she was tall and willowy, was quite pretty and had long dark hair. She had also inherited Allisonís myopia, because at age 9 she had worn glasses for about 4 years, and was on her 3rd change in prescription. Her 4th prescription, only a few weeks before her momís detachments had given her -7D lenses in her new glasses. I rather hoped that Jackie wouldnít experience the same high myopia that Allison had, but only time would tell.
The last 5 years have seen things getting worse and worse. We still have the same 2 bedroom apartment, and it is becoming more crowded every day. When I come home from work, on the days that I do come home in time for supper, I am appalled at the condition of the place. Jackie keeps her room neat and clean, but she rebelled at looking after her motherís mess, as she can tell that her mom has turned into a lazy slob, and she refuses to pick up after her. Allison uses the "I am almost blind" card to the utmost, even though the doctor told her that her vision would be slightly worse after the detachments, but she would still have pretty good vision. But apparently she doesnít have good enough vision to see the dirt and disorder. I bet she has gotten up to almost 220 lbs as well, and all that excess weight doesnít look good on her. She wonít do anything except lie on the couch a few feet from the television set and watch her soap operaís. She still reads a lot, holding her pocketbook so close to her glasses that it looks very uncomfortable to me.
The one good thing is that Jackie has, at age 14, not experienced any real jumps in her myopia. Her prescription is only around -8.50D, and she just got her first pair of glasses with fronts that look almost flat.
So that is why I am seriously thinking about killing my wife. If I could be sure that I would not get caught I would do it tomorrow. But I canít be, and I donít want to leave my daughter alone, in the hands of Childrenís Aid knowing that her father is a murderer. When I think back at how things were when we first met and got married I wouldnít trade it for a minute. Allison was the most perfect, most nearsighted wife I could ever ask for. But now I can see how the marriage in "Strangerís on a Train" turned sour, and how he wanted to get rid of Marion. I am now in the same boat. But sometimes I think about the movie, and I wonder if there would have been any other way to reconcile with Marion and for the two of them to be happy again.
Heck, forget about the movie. What would have to happen for Allison and me to regain our former happiness? I know she would have to start to keep the house clean, and she would need to loose a lot of weight. I wonder if I could get her to go swimming again. Or maybe I could get her to go for a walk with me? I wanted a really nearsighted wife, and I got one. I know it wouldnít be easy to find another one. Maybe Iíll ask her to walk with me tonight.
She did. We went for a walk after supper, but I had to hold her hand and guide her, as she couldnít see very much. I wonder if her eyes are really that bad, or if a new pair of glasses would help. Maybe Iíll book her an appointment as soon as possible.
We have walked every night after supper for the past 2 weeks. I havenít said a word to her about her weight, but she broached the subject tonight. She isnít happy with how heavy she is either. I told her that I had an appointment arranged the day after tomorrow for an eye exam for her, and she was happy to hear that. I donít know why she didnít make an appointment herself if she knew her eyes were so much worse. I guess she is in denial. If she doesnít know for sure her eyes are worse then they arenít.
That is definitely a big part of the problem. Her new prescription is going to have to be -39.50 x -4.50 x 120 and -39.00 x -5.00 x 75. I got the doctor to change the numbers so that the girl at the optical store wouldnít have to do it.
We ordered a new pair of hi index myodiscs. She really didnít want another pair of superlentiís. And she went along with me when I suggested another new pair of swim goggles. But this time her prescription is so strong that the girl wasnít sure where she could get the swim goggles from. She will let me know in a day or so if she can get them.
Swim goggles are available, but terribly expensive. I told her to go ahead, as I would rather have my highly myopic wife around rather than be sitting in prison for killing her.
Allison and I picked up her new glasses today. They look good on her, but they do look extremely powerful. We came back to the apartment and she looked around and asked how things got that messy. I didnít say anything. The next night I came home from work early, and the apartment was clean for the first time in years. Even Jackie commented on it. Allison and I went out and walked 2 miles that night.
After about a month of walking I could see that Allison was loosing a little weight. She had obviously stopped snacking all day, and now when we went to the grocery store she looked at the labels on the food to ensure that she was getting healthy food. No longer did we buy cookies, or potato chips.
The swim goggles came in, and now Allison is spending a lot of time in the pool. She told me that she broke 200 today, so that is a step in the right direction. And it is almost enjoyable coming home now. The place is clean, we are eating much better food, and Allison is spending her time swimming or walking instead of perched in front of the boob tube. She still reads once in a while, but not as much as previously. I donít mind that she is as heavy as she is, but all the other stuff was getting to me. I will know the next time she starts to do nothing but sit around and eat and watch television that it will again be time to get her to the eye doctor and get her a new prescription.
Another couple of years have passed by. Allison has gotten down to 145, still a bit heavy for her, but I donít care if she tries to loose any more or not. I made her go for another eye exam a few weeks ago, and the doctor said that her present glasses are still working quite well. She has a visual acuity of around 20/40, but her doctor said that that is about the best she can do. At least she is able to see well enough that she can still keep the apartment clean. We took Jackie along for an eye exam as well, and at age 17 she has broken the double digit mark, and is now wearing -10D lenses in her new glasses. The doctor says that she probably wonít go up more than a couple more diopters, so that makes me feel better.
I guess I donít have to figure out a way to kill her now.