An Optical Gift
This story is purely fictional, any characters names, situations, events and problems described are purely coincidental.
I fell in love for the first time when I was 5. Really! It was in the kindergarten. I started kindergarten that year as my mom thought I needed to get used to a group of children before I would start elementary school. And .. I fell in love with a girl the very first day. I still remember her name: Martina. She was cute. Tiny girl with red hair and small glasses on her nose. We played together.
Later in the first grade of my elementary school I fell in love again. I do not remember the name of the girl, but I remember her auburn pig tails, little nose and her glasses. She wore those glasses children used to wear in the mid sixties. Rather cat eyes, brownish. She wore a grey plastic patch over her right eye. I did not know why, but I liked that. I never spoke to her. I just looked. It took one year. Ten her family moved and I have not seen her since that last day.
My next love came when I was 15. Lida was a friend of my younger sister. She was blond, pump, geeky girl. And yes, she wore glasses. Brown rectangular frames made her yes look rather big. I asked her out, but she refused. I tried to join my sister and Lida anytime she came to our house. Well, the girls did not like me very much. I was fifteen, they were 12, I was a boy and they were girls, our worlds were too different.
One year later, I started grammar school, I was a big boy; a student and I forgot Lida quite quickly. I played basketball and tennis, which was very popular, as Czech tennis players were successful in the Cup in the 70s. My schoolmates dated girls, but I did not. There was not any girl I liked as much as to ask her out at school. So my life was tennis and parties with other boys from my class for all those four years.
Then it happened. It was unexpected, sudden, and fast. I was 19 and a friend of mine invited me to celebrate his birthday. The party took place at his parent's weekend cottage near a dam lake south of Prague. I though it would be just another party, the same as many other parties we had had. Some music, a lot of beer and a horrible hangover the next day. I was coming late because I had a match that Friday afternoon. I was looking forward to the party, my friends, and the wild booze-up. I entered the garden and roared: "Happy birthday Ringo!" His name was Frantisek, but everybody called him Ringo, because he played drums in a band. There were a lot of people. Some of them were our schoolmates, others were his friends from is neighbourhood, and others were some fans of the band. Ringo introduced me to some people and I drank my first glass.
After a while I noticed a girl I did not know sitting near the fireplace. She looked quite pretty. Short, slim, long black hair, and glasses. As I was looking at her profile I could see the lenses bulging out of the black frames. So I sat down next to her and introduced myself. Her name was Miriam and she said she was a friend of Ringo's sister. And I fell in love with her for the first sight. She was fantastic. She had slim arms and small nice hands. Although she was just 16 she had nice breasts. Well not really large, but still quite big for such a slim girl. Her lips were full and red, nice even teeth and what I like about her most of all were her eyes. Big brown eyes behind black-framed glasses. The thick lenses enlarged her eyes and her eyebrows. We were talking and I felt sinking into her velvet eyes. The party disappeared, there was only me and her. We drank from the same bottle of cheap wine and talked and smiled at one another, and drank, and talked … I knew she liked me, too.
When it started getting, dark we sneaked out of the garden and walked to the lake. There were made love on a cliff over the still water. She did not put her glasses of. she said she wanted to see me when making love. It was beautiful. She was beautiful. She was may real first love. Fateful. I knew I would never leave her.
When I woke up the next morning in the cottage Miriam was not there. Somebody said she had to leave with some other people who hurried for a morning bus that stopped in the nearby village. It was quite disappointing. I felt said.
The next Monday at school I asked Ringo if he had Miriam's phone number. I did know where she lived. I even did not know her surname.
Ringo looked at me: "What Miriam?"
"The girl with black hair and glasses, a friend of your sister."
But Ringo said he did not know her.
I was desperate. I called to Ringo's home, asked for his sister and asked her for Miriam's phone number. The phone was ringing … and ringing … and ringing. No answer. I asked Ringo's sister again. She gave me the same number. I repeated twice it to be sure I wrote the correct figures. No chance. Nobody answered my calls.
Two weeks later, I went to Ringo's home to talk to his sister. She was smiling as I was urging for Miriam's phone number and her address again. She could see I was I love. She gave me her number again, her surname and her address.
With the image of the bespectacled beauty in my mind I ran to the street where she lived. I ran up the three floors. Breathless I stood in front of the door.
There was an adhesive tape crossing the door. It read: "State Security Service. Sealed. Do not cross."
It was the end. The end of my first love. The end of everything.
You see, I did not ask anybody in the building what happened, nor did I go to the police station. You need to understand the situation. It was in the 70s in the communist Czechoslovakia. The State Security Service was not an ordinary police. It was the special police. Those guys did not wear uniforms. They did not chase robbers of post offices or banks. Those were the guys who server the communist regime. It was no fun to get involved in their machinations. They arrested the dissidents. The radio Voice of America, which broadcasted in Czech language three times a day for the people in the country, reported horrible news about what they did to people.
I started shaking in front of the door and ran away.
I did not know what happened and I did not have the courage to ask anybody. I never called Ringo's sister again. I was not any hero, nor a dissident. Well, I listened to the radio, the Voice of America, and the BBC for Czechoslovakia. I hated the regime, but that was all I could do. You may think I was cowardly, but all I wanted was to study university, find a good job a do something interesting. I did not want to have problems. All I wanted was a normal life. The best thing I could do was to forget.
Years went by, I graduated the university, served my military duty, and found a job. I dated several girls during those years. All my girlfriend wore glasses. I found out I had the thing for girls with glasses. They aroused me. There is nothing like a pretty girl with nice big frames and lenses with some decent dioptres on her nose. I started wearing glasses myself, too. Although I had only 0.75 dioptres I wore my glasses fulltime. I enjoyed the fact that both me and my girl friend were bespectacled.
I married in late 80s. I had been dating Eva for 3 years when she got pregnant. It was a nice time. Eva wore quite strong glasses. In fact the glasses were the main reason I started dating her. I met her just by chance at a disco. I noticed her very quickly. Her glasses had flat fronts and flashed from a distance. So I went the direction, asked her for a dance, and ten everything went smooth and quickly because she did not have any boy friend. Later she told me, she had had only one boy friend before, because nobody wanted to go out with her, because her eyes were so bad.
Eva thought she was not very pretty. As she said one day: Average figure, thin hair, small breast, no hips, just a plain girl with bad eyes and strong glasses. Her visual defect was a reason she could not have a driving licence. She even did not want to tell me how many dioptres she had.
I got to know it a year after we married just by chance. She left her new prescription form on a table. I still remember the numbers. It read OD: –14.75 OS: -16.50 and some numbers for cylinder and axis. Even the numbers turned me on. It was arousing to know my wife has so strong glasses.
Unfortunately, Eva did not want to speak about her vision and the strength. She never wore her glasses in bed. When I asked her to leave the glasses on, she just said: "No, they are horrible."
Our marriage failed after three years. We separated and divorced. We did not have any children.
Living alone was not that bad. I did my job, played tennis, went to pubs with friends. Then one day the Voice of America reported a huge demonstration in the centre of Prague. I dressed and ran out. You all know what happened. People were ringing their keys. Police tried to stop the crowds. Dissidents started organizing peaceful resistance. And after several weeks the commies were fucked off.
One evening in January 1990 my phone rang.
"Hi, are you Pavel Horak?"
"This is Magda, Magda Janska, maiden name Novak, I am a sister of your schoolmate Frantisek, you called him Ringo, do you remember me?"
Of course I remembered!
"I would like to invite you for a party. We have a meeting of old friends from the school years."
I thought Ringo was organizing a reunion and Magda was helping him, so I agreed.
When I came to the restaurant the room was full of unknown people. I could not identify anybody. I was standing near the door thinking I mismatched the day or the place. Then a woman came, Magda. I recognized her.
"Pavel, it is so nice you came. There is somebody who wants to see you." And she led me to a distant corner.
There was a table with two chairs only. One chair was vacant, and on the other chair was sitting a woman. Short black hair. Slim arms. Small hands were holding a glass of wine. She looked up. Strong lenses in black wire frames flashed and huge brown eyes looked at me. Miriam.
There was the woman I had been dreaming about when I felt lonely. The woman I fantasized about when I was making love to my plain wife with her inferiority complex cause by her glasses. There was the woman who I found and fell in love with one summer night only to loose her forever the next day.
I was standing in front of her, just looking. She was saying something, but I was so mesmerized that I was not listening. Then some hands, I think Magda did it, pressed me into the chair, and I started to listen was Miriam was saying.
She said she returned. Where from? From England. I was puzzled. I thought the family was arrested and disappeared in communist prisons for some reason. No, it was not the case.
Just the next day after the summer party that year. Her family went to Yugoslavia for holidays. When they arrived to the country her parent told her the family was going to emigrate. They crossed the border to Italy the next day to live in the free world. She had not known it would happen that night we met. They were given political asylum in the UK. Miriam studied university in England and found a job in an international company. She was still single. And when the regime in Czechoslovakia fell she decided to return to Prague to work in a new branch office of the company.
She finished her story. She said she wanted to se me, so she asked Magda to find me. She has not forgotten our night on the cliff. I was looking at her beautiful bespectacled face and after a long time I felt happy again.
I had to tell my story, too, and then we jumped into a taxi and ended in bed in her flat.
In the morning, when were having breakfast, she said:
"Since when do you wear glasses?"
"A couple of years." I answered.
"They suit you so much. How many dioptres do you have?"
"Just about one. Minus one dioptre."
"Only one and you do really wear them full time." She wondered because as soon as I got up I put them on just as every day.
"Yes, I kind of enjoy wearing glasses."
"Good. Wear them, you look very nice with glasses." She complimented again.
"Thank you. You see, I like your glasses too. I liked your old glasses then and I like these new very much too." I said.
"I have more dioptres than I used to have."
"How many?" I wondered.
Miriam pointed with her nice small hand to her right lens and said: "This is +7.5." she moved her finger to the other side: "and this side is stronger, it is +8.75, no cylinder, I am purely long-sighted."
Really her left eye looked bigger that her right one.
"That is quite a lot." I said, an instantly regretted that I had said that.
"No, it is not. I am ok with it. My mom has stronger glasses than me; and my sister has stronger glasses too. Everybody in my family wears glasses."
She smiled. I smiled. It was such a warm moment for me. Then she continued:
"You said when we met you liked my big eyes. Do you remember?"
I did not.
"Yes, you came, sat down, introduced, and then - suddenly - you just said: I like your big eyes. I fell in love with when you said that."
"And I fell in love with you the moment I saw you."
I held her face in my hands and kissed her. Miriam was looking at me through those thick glasses and tears were forming in her brown eyes. I noticed her left eye started turning towards the inner corner. She was slightly lazy-eyed. I found that very sexy.
We started living together one month later. Miriam's flat was bigger and more comfortable, so I moved my stuff to her place. We were a happy couple.
One evening as we were cuddling I felt like trying her glasses on. Miriam agreed, so I slowly removed her glasses. Her face without glasses looked very different. Something important was missing. She looked very naked and vulnerable without glasses. Before I put them on I could see, what always happened when she put her glasses off. Her left eye wandered towards the inner corner. The longer Miriam was without glasses the more inward her left eye went. I waited and looked.
"What are you doing?" she asked, because she could not see anything for such a small distance.
"Looking at you left eye."
"No!" She screamed covering her face with her hands. "Don't look. I am very lazy-eyed."
"I like it!" I said, "It's sexy."
"Sexy? OK!" She slowly put her hand down and looked at me. Her left eye was almost completely in the inner corner. I was looking.
"What?" she asked?
"What, what?" I asked,
"What are you doing? I cannot see a shit."
"Is it still sexy?"
"Yes, it is."
"OK, if you like it, I can wear glasses with weaker left lens when at home. If the lens is weaker, I will be slightly lazy eyed."
"It is a good idea." I answered.
"But out of the house I have to wear my standard glasses to have correct spatial vision."
"That's all right."
"OK," she moved, give me the glasses back. I want to see how you look with my glasses, now."
She brought one of her spare glasses - she had about 5 different pairs - and put them on my face. I could not see anything. Actually I did not expect to see much, but her dioptres sent me into a total blur. Miriam was quiet.
"What?" I asked.
"Heee, what do you think?" she giggled.
"I do not think anything, all I can see is some light and shade." I said.
"Well, that is what I see without my glasses."
I started putting the glasses off, but Miriam pressed them back on my nose.
We started kissing. It was strange not to be able to see her while kissing, because I always kissed her with open eyes looking at her eyes and glasses.
"I wish you could wear plus lenses." She said suddenly.
"I can't ."
"So, for once, make love to me with these glasses on."
The topic came a few times again during the next weeks. I could not see any solution because I was slight short-sighted. So sometimes we were making love while I was one of Miriam's spare glasses. And those moment were very good and intense.
After some months we were talking about sex with glasses again and Miriam had an idea. She read in a magazine about making a film. One of the characters wore glasses and to be able to see, the actress wore contact lenses and glasses of opposite powers to be able to see. We discussed that all evening trying to figure out how it was possible. The result was a visit in an optician store. We just said we read about it in a magazine, and we wanted to try it "just for fun". The optician was surprised. But he said it might be interesting to try if it is possible. A week later, I was learning to put minus contact lenses into my eyes. When I succeeded, my eyes were itching and tears were running down my face. Miriam was sitting next to me holding my hand.
"Are you ok?" asked the optician.
"I am." I said.
"No more crying?"
"No. I have cried all my tears away." I said jokingly.
"All right, let us make the test."
The optician murmured. He was very satisfied. His calculations and estimations proved to be very precise. The trial lenses clicked and I read the letters.
"Very good." He said. "Now, do not go anywhere, just wait, leave the lenses in, you glasses will be ready in a short time. I want to see if it really works."
So, we were waiting. I hate waiting. And waiting in the blur the contact lenses caused was horrible. Miriam was talking about usual things and I tried to answer and talk too. But it was not the same, I could not see her. It was endless.
"Here we go. The last part of the experiment." I could hear the voice of the optician.
He put the glasses on my face. Everything came into the focus. I could see again. And everything was big. Really BIG. I looked into the mirror next to me. My eyes were big, too. Not as big as Miriam's, but still quite big.
The optician instructed me to read a paper. It was ok. I looked at Miriam, she was smiling very happily, and she obviously liked how I looked. Ten the optician told me to stand up and walk. I stood up and take a few steps. There was a small problem I could not see the floor enough. I needed to bend my head a little. Also the distances and angles were different.
"So, how many dioptres are in the glasses?" I asked.
"There are +5 dioptres in the glasses," he said, "and the contact lenses are –6.50. Both eyes are the same."
When I turned back at the door I could see a woman in the door to the workshop. Another optician. She was observing the experiment. I looked at Miriam, who was very quiet for the all time. She was looking at me really emotionally.
When we were paying the bill. The other lady was behind the counter, too. Money settled she spoke:
"Stand in front of the mirror once more both of you." she asked.
We did so and looked at our image.
"Now, you really match." she said. "Everybody can see you were made for one another."
We kissed and went out of the shop.
Since that day I have been wearing plus glasses full time. It is my gift to the love of my life. And Miriam wears glasses in which the left lens is much weaker than needed, so her left eye is turned into the inner corner all the time. It is her gift to me.