A Miracle

by Specs4ever

Jimmy owned the franchise for a small, well known photo shop in one of those shopping malls that have sprung up like mushrooms in almost every new suburb in the city. At first, it had been a struggle for Jimmy, because of the hours of the mall, he had worked 12-hour days, 7 days a week by himself. But now the shop was bringing in enough money to allow him to employ two girls, one full time, and the other part time. This let Jimmy have more time away from the shop to allow him take pictures. He was considered a good photographer and everybody who had their wedding pictures, or their family portrait done by Jimmy, really liked the results.

Jimmy couldn't afford the rent in the mall to allow him to have enough floor space to have a studio there, so he had a small studio in a lower rent area just a five-minute walk from his store. It was a nice little studio and it was just the right size for his portrait work. Jimmy was also known for his skill in taking pictures of people wearing glasses. With his technique in setting the studio strobes to avoid most of the reflections on the shiny surfaces of the glasses his clients were wearing, Jimmy became well-known. He was even able to convince people to leave their glasses on while he took their picture. He explained that the red marks on their noses would clearly indicate that they normally wore glasses and that no touchup could camouflage those marks properly. He always offered to take pictures without glasses at no extra charge, as well and when he showed them the "naked" pictures everybody liked the pictures with glasses better.

What none of his clients knew was that Jimmy had early in his life developed a fetish for young women wearing glasses. The stronger the glasses, the more he liked them. Jimmy also had a vast collection of glasses that he had gotten on e-bay and from thrift stores all over the state. His collection was very specialized, because he collected only very high minus prescriptions.

Jimmy had been so busy with work that so far in his life, he had not had the time to find himself a girlfriend. He had dated one or two of the unmarried women that he had taken pictures of, while they were wearing their high minus glasses, and once he had had an affair with a beautiful girl that wore very strong myodisc glasses. She, however, had moved to California and he had lost contact with her. Other than that, he had not yet found a companion that suited him, and at the present time he was without a girlfriend. His two employees were nice, and one of them wore fairly strong glasses and he felt that she would be more than willing to share his bed, but he had always tried to keep his business life and his private life apart, a golden rule that had saved him a lot of trouble in his life.

One Friday evening, Jimmy was alone in his shop waiting for a client to pick up her pictures. The lady he had photographed didn't wear glasses, but was a very attractive lady. It was already getting dark now. He checked his watch and saw that it was 8:30 pm and his client was late. A phone call confirmed that she had forgotten to pick her pictures. Anyway the time wasn't lost, because Jimmy used it to frame photographs, which he was now arranging in his shop's display window. As he was arranging his display, he heard a rhythmic tapping sound on the marble floor of the mall outside his shop. Tock, tock, tock, a pause and then tock, tock, tock again. Jimmy got out of the display window, and went outside his shop to see if he could determine where these strange noises were coming from. He knew for sure that it was not a "Poltergeist" .Jimmy didn't believe in things like that. He heard it again, tock, tock, tock several times. Then he saw what it was. It was a very pretty lady with a white cane. She was tapping the floor in front of her in semi circles. This was the tock, tock, tock sound that Jimmy was hearing.

The young woman was rather tall, around 5' 9" or 10" and had a nice curvaceous figure. She was wearing a medium length skirt and a nice white blouse. She passed Jimmy's shop and was heading towards Josie's restaurant, which was closed for the night. But the tables and chairs were, as usual, still in their place on the mall area that was used for "outdoor dining". The young woman was apparently blind and going to bump right into them, if he didn't warn her.

With a few quick steps Jimmy was by her side saying, "watch your step Miss, there are tables and chairs right in front of you."

The woman stopped abruptly. She turned her head towards Jimmy. She had a beautiful face, outlined with auburn-red hair. She was wearing dark glasses like some blind people often do.

Her voice was very pleasant as she said, "Oh thank you for telling me. I only moved to this area a few days ago. I live in one of the new apartments across the street from the mall and I am exploring my new surroundings."

Since Jimmy had nothing else to do this evening, he told the young woman that he would gladly show her around and tell her were she could find some of the different shops. She accepted and Jimmy helped her to sit down in one of the restaurant's empty seats, while he closed his shop. Jimmy had never closed up shop so quickly, and he was back very shortly. They introduced each other and now Jimmy knew that her name was Cora. Jimmy offered her his right arm, which Cora accepted. They started walking around the mall, which was almost deserted by now. Jimmy showed Cora the area where the Deli shop was and he described the women's stores as they went by them. Finally they arrived at the other end of the mall, where Jimmy's Italian friend, Stefano, had a small restaurant.

Jimmy asked Cora if she was hungry. She replied that she was indeed hungry and said that she had smelled that there must be a restaurant near by already five minutes ago. Jimmy knew from an article he had read in "Reader's Digest" that blind people developed their other senses to a higher level than sighted people in order to compensate for their loss of eyesight.

Stefano gave them a nice table. When they had settled down, Cora folded her white cane up and put it into her purse. Now nobody could tell that she that she was blind, except for the dark glasses that she then took off. As Jimmy looked at her pretty face, he could tell that she was indeed blind as her eyes looked vacant and unfocused. Even so, they were a beautiful turquoise color. Jimmy told her what was on the menu and they both decided that they would have Fettuccini ai Funghi, which simply meant noodles with mushrooms.

Stefano brought two glasses of a nice Italian Rosé. Cora seemed to instinctively know where Stefano had put her glass. She sipped at her wine and liked it very much. Jimmy looked at her beautiful face and thought that it was such a pity that she was blind. After a short while their food came and they ate, talking about their jobs. Cora said she was sad that she could not see Jimmy's photographs. Cora told Jimmy that she worked for a computer company, developing special software for blind people. They were very comfortable together and continued talking.

After a short pause in their conversation, Cora said, "Jimmy I like being with you very much. You are the first man that I've been with who has not asked me a million questions about my blindness in the first 10 minutes of conversation. You have treated me like a normal person. I have never felt so comfortable before with a man and I'd like to thank you for that."

Jimmy was both surprised and happy to hear that. He had wanted to ask her about her blindness the minute he saw her, but some good star above had just told him the right things to say and do.

"Well Cora, I think that I felt that you wanted to be treated like a normal person, and that you would bring up the subject of your blindness yourself when you felt like it," Jimmy answered.

The restaurant was now empty and Stefano wanted to close after a long day. So, Jimmy paid the bill and told Cora that there was a nice little street café in the neighborhood that was still open, and they could go there for coffee. Cora said that this would be nice. Upon getting up from the table, Jimmy gently took Cora's hand and guided her out of the restaurant. Cora got close to Jimmy and put her arm under Jimmy's .The folded cane remained in her purse. In the café, they found another nice place to sit. Cora asked if she could touch Jimmy's face so she could "see" what he looked like. Jimmy agreed, and soon he could feel Cora's fingers gently touching and exploring his face. Cora seemed to like what her fingertips told her she "saw". Jimmy felt that Cora was interested to learn more about his life and so he made the first step, telling her about his portrait business.

"I can tell that you are very good with people, so I can see how you must be very good at your job," Cora said. "It is so relaxing being with you, Jimmy. This is the first time that I can remember feeling so comfortable in a man's company."

Now Cora told Jimmy something about her life. "When I was a little girl about 5 or 6," Cora began, "I still could see some colored objects that were very blured, which over the years continuously became more blurred and faded and eventually became a milky white blur with no distinctive shape to it. Now at age 30, I can only tell, if it is day or night when I'm not wearing my dark glasses. I prefer to wear them to cut off the distraction of the slight milky blur that I can detect. If my parent's had had the necessary money, maybe a specialist could have checked into what was wrong with my eyes. But nobody in my family cared much about my eyesight. They just accepted that I was blind. I was 7 years old when both of my parents were killed when a truck hit the bus they were riding in. None of my relatives wanted to deal with a blind girl, and so I grew up as a blind girl in an orphanage," Cora concluded the sad summary of her life.

Jimmy was silent. He wanted to tell her how sorry he felt for her and again had the right feeling not to show any pity, because he instinctively knew that she might not like it. Instead he said, "Oh, I see your life so far hasn't been a bed of roses, but I feel that you have achieved a lot because you seem to be a strong and independent person." Cora again seemed to like what he said. Cora removed her dark glasses and Jimmy saw that her blind, turquoise eyes were full of tears.

"Oh what's the matter Cora, did I say something wrong?" Jimmy asked.

"Oh no, it's just that I realize that finally I have met someone who seems to really understand me," was Cora's reply.

Jimmy walked Cora back to her apartment and they exchanged their phone numbers. Jimmy and Cora continued dating each other during the next few weeks and out of this casual encounter came a mutual feeling of love and affection. After a couple of months of dating, they finally decided to move in together. Jimmy liked Cora very much and he knew he would like her even more, if she were wearing really thick glasses. Jimmy checked his collection of glasses that he kept in a locked cabinet in a storage room at his studio. Suddenly he had an idea. Why not give Cora one of those super strong glasses from his collection. She wouldn't know that they were very strong glasses for a high myope and Jimmy would be very happy to finally have a companion that wore thick glasses. So Jimmy checked his collection and he found a nice pair of glasses with super strong thick, CR 39 plastic lenses, with a light blue tint that were in the -18 D range. Jimmy folded the arms of the glasses he had selected and carefully placed them in a hard case. The arms barely closed over the lenses because of their thickness, which was almost 1 inch. That evening he could hardly wait to get home.

Finally, it was time to close the store and Jimmy rushed home. Cora had already arrived and was waiting for him. They hugged and kissed. After telling each other about their Day, Jimmy finally got up the nerve to bring up the subject of Cora's dark glasses.

"Cora you know those sunglasses you wear, appear to be a bit outdated. I know this is of no importance to you, but I was thinking you should get some new ones, so I stopped at an optical shop this morning and got you a pair of nice glasses to try on," Jimmy said."

"That was very thoughtful of you, Jimmy. I had thought about that already, because I know that photographers are very attentive to detail, and you would likely think about such things," was Cora's answer.

He opened the case and put the glasses onto Cora's nose after removing the old ones. As Jimmy had hoped, Cora just felt something new on her face and the little increase in weight from the thick CR 39 plastic lenses passed unnoticed. Jimmy liked what he saw very much. There was a large bite out in the contours of her face and her small eyes behind the strong lenses were very much to his liking. Cora moved around in the apartment.

Suddenly she said, "Jimmy is the tint of these new glasses you brought me a lot different from my old ones? The blur seems a lot more distinct. The light from the lamp in the kitchenette is much brighter and it seems that I can almost see it."

"Oh darn, she is going to find out," Jimmy thought to himself. But then all of a sudden he realized that Cora's blindness could well be just an extremely severe case of myopia instead of actual blindness.

Jimmy at first didn't know how to react. "I don't know what kind of glasses the optometrist gave me. They just looked nice," Jimmy said, to gain a little more time to think about this development.

Could it be the case that her blindness was only severe myopia, which was never detected because her eyes were never properly examined and she grew up in a orphanage where her blindness had just been accepted? Jimmy didn't dare to finish his thought. If so, her myopia might well be into the range of -30D or -40D if a -18D power gave her just a very faint shape of light. This had to be checked out. Jimmy hoped that this might be the case. Jimmy asked her to hold a cup very close to her glasses and asked her if she could see anything.

Cora answered excitedly, "yes, I can see that it is a cup, although it is very blurred.

"Oh let me have a look at these glasses," Jimmy said.

When he removed her glasses Cora told him the shimmer of light was gone and she could no longer see the cup. Jimmy knew that he was onthe right track.

"Have you ever been to an eye doctor to have your eyes examined?" he then asked Cora.

"No Jimmy, my parents couldn't afford it, and I accepted being blind and at the orphanage they didn't care much either. And later on when I was at the school for the blind, everyone was blind and so nobody bothered about seeing an eye doctor."

"Well, the optometrist must have accidentally given me the glasses of one of his patients. These glasses seem to have very strong lenses, maybe they let more light into your eyes. Maybe it would be a wise thing to let an eye doctor check your eyes," Jimmy said.

Cora was silent for a moment. "Can I have the glasses back Jimmy?"

Jimmy put them back on her face, and Cora moved closer to the lamp. She was telling Jimmy that the light became brighter as she got closer to the light and that it got more distinct in its features. So the next morning, Jimmy had his assistant open the shop, while he took Cora to a specialist to examine her eyes. The doctor confirmed Jimmy's thoughts and was furious that nobody had ever found it necessary to check Cora's eyes. After a few hours of testing, the doctor found that Cora indeed suffered from a very severe form of myopia. His testing led him to an estimated -50D of correction for each eye. He put 3 lenses in one side of the trial frame, 2 of -15D and 1 of -20D. Cora's head moved back in shock when he placed this combination in front of her right eye.

"I can see some things," she said.

She blinked her eye behind the strong lenses. Quickly the doctor inserted the other set of lenses in front of her left eye. Cora turned her head until she thought that she was seeing Jimmy. She could make out human features and the voice sounded like Jimmy's. Cora's vision was still blurred but another -5D brought her to a visual acuity of 20/80 under normal light conditions. In darkness it would be difficult for Cora to see properly, but as a former totally blind person, she was accustomed to the use of her cane.

It was going to take a while to obtain glasses with a correction of -55D lenses. The eye doctor removed the trial frame from Cora's face and wrapped some adhesive tape around the frame and lenses in order to make the trial lenses stay in place. He then handed the trial frame back to Cora.

"You can keep these makeshift glasses to wear until your glasses arrive, Cora. I think you will need some time to get accustomed to wearing glasses and having sight. Your eyes are extremely weak and will hurt a little bit from the strain of your inner eye muscles, trying to accommodate. We'll likely need a little bit of fine tuning for your prescription in about six months to a year," the doctor said.

Jimmy and Cora went to the optical store that was near the doctor's office to select nice frames. It was still quite difficult for Cora to walk around being able to see. It was all so very new to her, but she was very excited to be able to see. Now, she could tell what a car looked like, revealing quite a discrepancy from her imagination to reality. Cora was so happy and so was Jimmy. After two weeks later, Cora's glasses arrived. She and Jimmy went together to pick them up. The glasses had myodisc lenses and were quite thick, with a small bowl that she had to look out of. But now, with these glasses, she was able to see almost normally, and so much better than with the trial lenses the eye doctor had lent her. She could see pretty well during the day, but when it became dark, it was somewhat more difficult for her to function properly, she had to feel her way more. But it was still very much better than living in total darkness. Cora's eyesight seemed to get a lot better after she had worn the very strong glasses for six months. Once she started to see, her inner eye muscles became stronger and she even obtained a considerable amount of accommodative power.

The doctor suggested that the very thick and strong glasses might be able to be reduced considerably by wearing a combination of contact lenses and glasses. He prescribed -20D contacts and -25D glasses. Her eyesight and appearance with this combination were much improved. The lenses were not nearly so thick and you could actually see her pretty turquoise eyes behind the lenses. After using the combination for several weeks, her visual acuity had increased to 20/40 in her left eye and 20/50 in her right eye. She would sometimes still wear her first pair of glasses with the -55D lenses in the evening, when she removed the contacts. Cora was so happy to be able to see, after so many years of being blind that she seemed to be in heaven and it was all due to Jimmy. If she had not met Jimmy she would still be blind. Jimmy also was very happy for Cora and he liked her even more now that she wore the myodisc glasses and could see. After getting her glasses, she could see that Jimmy was indeed very handsome and was her knight in shinning armor. It was natural for Jimmy and Cora to get married. They both are now very happily married and Jimmy is especially happy to have found a wife that is so beautiful and still has to wear very strong glasses. He constantly refers to Cora as "his miracle". Cora also thinks that her meeting Jimmy was "her miracle".

Specs4ever, from a story by Andy, with editing by Aliena.

June 2003