Thursday, January 09, 2014

Susan’s story - part 2

This is my next instalment. After packing the older kids off to school and my young one to nursery, I had a few hours of free time on my hands. Somehow, I felt an intense urge to write. It's almost as if by telling this story, part of me is becoming liberated.
Readers of this instalment can judge its merits. I'm off to pick up the youngest. Take care.

To read the first part: click here

Susan’s story - part 2

by Susan

The alarm went off at 7 am, but Susan had been awake for hours already. This was the most important day of her life and she'd had a restless night, waking and then falling back into a restless slumber. 
But the clock's buzzing did mean she had to get up. Susan was getting married today and there were still lots of things to do before the church ceremony started.
Wearily, she reached out to the bedside table and picked up her glasses. Slipping them on, she slid out of bed and reached for her dressing gown.
The gown didn't fit her very well any more - and it was one of those now-thoroughly unfashionable bobbly things, in faded pink. That was one of the drawbacks of sleeping at home on the night before the wedding: the clothes left behind after years of living away were unlikely to win many catwalk awards. But it would do for today and in any event, within a few hours Susan would be dressed up to the nines.

She made her way downstairs to the kitchen, where her mother was flitting around, cooking breakfast for herself and dad. 

"Hello dear, did you have a good night's sleep? Fancy eating something?"
"Just a cup of coffee mum. I couldn't eat a thing right now - too nervous."

As her mum poured the coffee, her dad looked up from the paper he was reading. 
"Ready for the big day?" he asked, patting Susan on the arm.
Susan replied: "It seems like I'm jumping off the edge of a cliff. I never knew I could be so tense. It's not like I haven't been preparing for this for months. But now it's going to happen, I feel incredibly shaky and nervy."

Breakfast continued as Susan and her mother, with dad absent-mindedly listening in, talked over the arrangements for the day. Car coming at 11 a.m., ready for the service at 11.30 a.m. Reception at 12.30 p.m., with the drive to the airport for the honeymoon at 4.30 p.m. Buttonhole flowers and posies to be delivered in a couple of hours, hairdresser due in an hour, wedding dress hanging up ready to wear, honeymoon case packed and waiting to be taken to the reception. Everything programmed and ready.

Finally, it was time for Susan to start getting ready. She headed into the bathroom, turned on the shower and stepped in. With her hair in a towel and still wearing the gown, she went into her mum's bedroom (far more room than her own childhood box next door), where the hairdresser was waiting.

"Do you want to take off your glasses while I do your hair, dear?", the lady asked. 
Susan silently removed her specs and held them in her hand. The world descended into a deep blur. She could barely see her face in the dressing table mirror. It as almost as if, at the same time as her sight was being affected by the absence of the "props" now in her hand, a large glass capsule had also been placed over her entire head, strangely dulling all her other senses, not just her eyes.

Perhaps that wasn't too surprising: since she had first been prescribed glasses 10 years ago, her sight had worsened quite considerably, from minus 1.5 to about minus 6 or so.
Even though Susan's eyesight had stabilised in the past 18 months, her glasses were now quite thick round the edges, especially at the sides. She hated not being able to see clearly at all times.

Nevertheless, she sat patiently while the stylist toyed with her wet head, snipping slightly here, flicking there. Finally, the hair was ready. Susan thanked the woman, put her glasses back on (at last!) and went back into her own bedroom.
There, she sat in front of her own mirror and slowly began to apply her make-up. Her glasses off again, she had to lean very close to the mirror, laying on mascara, eye shadow, a light covering of make-up to her face and then lipstick.

Finally, job done, she reached out to a tiny case on her table, unscrewed the lid and, carefully inserting one finger in one of the indentations, removed a contact lens. A deft flick and she could see clearly with one eye. A second later and she could see with both.

Contact lenses had been a boon to her for the past few years, if truth be told. Not only had they helped her to snare Charles, her husband-to-be a little less than a year ago ("I love your eyes darling, they're like blue pools I could dive into forever"). They had also helped in terms of her own self-image through her late teens and early 20s.

Not that wearing glasses had been really, really unpleasant, or anything like that.
After she had been prescribed her first pair at 16, Susan rapidly became accustomed to wearing them. Unlike her friend Angie, who had taken many months to gradually wean herself onto specs, Susan took to hers almost immediately.

For a start, she liked the clarity of vision they gave her. In time, she had also got used to them, to the point where they became a natural extension to her face.

Sure, there had been problems. Greg, whom she had been with for almost six months, had dumped her for someone else within a few weeks of her starting to wear glasses. "Umm, the thing is Suze, you just don't look the same to me anymore". And a few months later, a boy at another school, on whom she'd had a crush, told a friend of hers that "Susan was nice, but he didn't want to be seen with someone who looked so swotty." That dented her confidence a bit.
Still, there were other boys around so it wasn't all terrible.

Not quite as many boys as Angie, mind. Angie had turned into a terrible tearaway, picking up and discarding boyfriends at will. All this despite her own worsening eyesight: a few months after Susan had received her first specs, Angie went in for her own eye check-up. She came back subdued: "It's going to be -3.25 in both eyes Suze. The optician says that was quite a big leap in 18 months. He says I ought to start going in a little more regularly from now on."

Through Angie, Susan learnt a bit more about myopia. If your eyes got worse, the minus number became bigger. Astigmatism meant that some parts of your eyes saw things differently from the other parts, because the shape of the eye was elongated (or something), which meant the prescription was a bit more complicated.

Still, after a couple of weeks Angie was OK and back to normal, raising hell in school, picking up and spitting out boyfriends. Some of her qualities had also rubbed off on Susan, restoring confidence in her own self.

By the time she was 17, however, Susan noticed that her eyesight was not quite as perfect as it had been. She tried to put the moment of truth off a little longer, hoping things would pan out but if anything they got marginally worse. After a few more months' indecision, she went back to Mr Ripley.

"Hello there, young lady," he greeted her, "let's see what we have here." 
A repeat performance of the previous experience 18 months ago then ensued. 
"Yes, well, things have got worse and I will have to prescribe slightly stronger glasses, particularly for your right eye. But they're not that bad, believe me. If you take this next door, our assistant will help you."

As she took the slip next door, Susan glanced down to read it. It said R-2.25, L-2.5, plus a further adjustment for her astigmatism, which she still wasn't totally clear on (and would never really be). This time the frame selection was easy - exactly the same pair, giving her two of the same style. They were ready three days later.

In truth, they suited her. She was quite tall, slim but well-formed, with a pleasant, perhaps even good-looking rather than beautiful face, and shortish blonde hair. These glasses didn't feel as intrusive as the wide-lensed plastic models then available, or the black gun-metal colour aviator style which Angie had picked out for herself a few weeks earlier when she had gone for her own check-up.

Angie's own vision had worsened, not as much as the last time, but still up to minus 4 for both eyes in the past year. But by now, Angie nonchalantly shrugged off the change and professed herself delighted with her own new specs. But they did make her look slightly threatening.
Time passed. Both Angie and Susan took their exams and finished school at 18. In Susan's case, she went off to university straight away. The thought of taking a year off had appealed but somehow she also felt she just wanted to get things over and done with, finish her studies as quickly as possible and go out into the real world. In later years, Susan was to regret this.
Angie, on the other hand, messed around for a year. She took a job working as a hotel chambermaid, then in a bar and when she had saved up enough money she and a group of friends, boys and girls, headed out to the Greek islands for six months.

By now Susan was at college. She'd made a few friends (none as close as Angie), but she was pleasant and most people liked her. She joined in a few societies, acted (!), took a creative writing course, worked hard, immersed herself in books and generally enjoyed her first time away from home. By the end of her first year, Susan once again noticed that her sight was slipping slightly. Now 19, it was 18 months again since her last test, so she wasn't too surprised.

This time, she knew what to do acted quickly. An appointment with a new optician in the university town where she now lived was arranged and she went in for a test. After a similar eye exam to the others, the young man in a white gown said to her: "Your sight appears to have got a little worse compared to your present glasses. I need to give you a new prescription."
To her own surprise, Susan found herself asking: "Do you think I might be suitable for contact lenses?"
"Well, there's no reason why not. Of course, we'd have to find out how you get on. Some people don't really enjoy wearing them and find putting them in and getting them out quite hard. But if you like, we can do a quick test now."

The optician took her into another room, where he seated Susan at a table with a mirror. Handing her a small phial, he said: "What you have to do is place one of these lenses on the tip of your finger. With two other fingers, you move your eyelids up and down and then insert the lens firmly into the eye itself."

Susan did as she was told. The first time, her eye blinked just as she was about to insert the lens. The second time too. And the third, and the fourth, fifth, sixth and many more times. Just as the optician was starting to get impatient and abandon the experiment, she blinked once and suddenly could see quite clearly.

Almost immediately, her eye began to water and she felt an excruciating pain under the lid. Observing her, the optician said: "These are hard contact lenses and they're a bit more uncomfortable until you get used to them. We can give you softer ones but they are more expensive and they damage far more easily. Plus cleaning is more time-consuming and the equipment costs more."

Meanwhile, Susan was starting with the second lens. This time, after just two or three attempts, it slipped under her eyelid. The young optician said: "Well, you seem to have got the hang of it. What I'd suggest is that you go and have a walk for a while and see how they feel to you. If you're happy with the idea we can order you a proper pair."

The next 30 minutes were the most excruciatingly painful experience Susan had experienced so far in her life. She walked around the town, eyes blinking madly and streaming, nose running as if from the worst cold in the word. It was like hay fever combined with huge balls of grit in her eyes. After half an hour, she went back to the optician.

She opened her mouth and, to her subsequent amazement, found herself saying: "They're fine, really they are. I would like to order a pair." 
A week later, they arrived. Looking at the prescription when she went to pick them up, Susan noticed that they were R -3.00, L -3.25.
Getting used to contacts was an ordeal that took weeks. At first she kept them in for just one hour, gradually increasing the time by a couple of hours every few days. By the end of the month she could just about keep them in for the entire day. Sometimes, if the pubs and clubs she now went to were a bit smokey, her eyes hurt and she had to take the lenses out quite quickly when she got home.

At other times, a minor hangover or small infections made wearing contacts irritating, if not impossible for long periods. Once or twice she had to wear her glasses for a couple of days. But she persevered and found, much to her amazement, not just that she had adapted successfully to contacts, but that people somehow treated her differently when she wore them.
Boys were much more likely to make passes at her, or so it seemed. Even one of her tutors, who had barely deigned to acknowledge her in class, now flirted with her in front of her fellow-students. Not that she had anything to do with him.

It was after she started wearing contacts that Susan finally lost her virginity, to a chap called Mark who picked her up in a disco one night. It wasn’t a really memorable experience as it happened (he rolled over and fell asleep after a few brief grunts), but there were enough pleasant things about it for Susan to feel that - with the right person - it could be a truly magical thing.

A routine developed. In the morning, when she woke up, Susan would immediately put on her glasses. She would have breakfast and then after a wash or a bath, would insert her contacts, get dressed and go out. At night, perhaps an hour before going to bed, earlier if they had been irritating her during the day, she would take the contacts out, put on her glasses and wear them until bed-time.

Life continued. First-year exams over, Susan went back to her old town for the summer. She worked, lolled around, had a brief holiday abroad. Just before the new term started, she received a call: "Hi there Suze, it's Angie. I've just got back from Greece and I'm off to uni. myself in a week or so. Fancy meeting up?"

The two friends arranged to meet for a drink that evening. As she walked into the pub, Susan instantly spotted her friend, even though her looks had changed dramatically. Angie was nut-brown, with her hair bleached from the sun. She was much thinner, at least a stone and a half lighter than she had been before setting off a few months before. Her clothes looked worn and slightly ethnic, or at least vaguely incongruous in a British environment. She also had on a new pair of glasses, plain black plastic, almost manly in style, and, or so it seemed to Susan, with stronger lenses than her previous pair.

"How are you Suze?" Angie asked. "Looking good, I see. Let me get you a drink". 
They sat in a corner of the bar, sipping on their drinks, catching up on what they'd been doing for the past year. Angie had been island-hopping in Greece for the past few weeks, after a brief fruit-picking foray on the mainland.
"What happened to your other glasses?", Susan asked.
"Oh, I lost them swimming in the sea one day, only a fortnight or two ago, and had to get another pair because I was helpless without them. This guy on the tiny island I was on took about an hour or two to kit me out with a fresh set. There wasn't much of a choice to be had. The prescription is a bit higher, about minus 5 or so, but I didn't speak Greek and he didn't speak English so I don't really know. Or care much. What about you? Why aren't you wearing yours?"
Susan explained about her contacts. 
"Urgh, sounds dreadful," Angie said. "I don't know if I'd ever want to put up with that kind of stuff. Still, if that's what you want, good luck."
A few drinks later, they separated, slightly drunk, and agreed to keep in touch.

A week on, both of them went back to their respective colleges, Angie to start her course and Susan to resume her second year. Or the next nine months, Susan continued at university, work getting slightly harder but not impossible, making friends, enjoying one or two brief flings with fellow-students.

Her eyesight had worsened again so she went back to the same young optician as before and had a new pair of lenses were ordered. This time, they were R-3.75, L-4. She knew because, for the first time ever, when she picked them up they came with a little slip with the prescription on. For some strange reason she kept it.

That summer back home from college passed much the same as her previous one. This time she saw much more of Angie, although her friend had decided to spend a larger part of the holiday at he own university town, where she had made a new set of friends. Again, Angie's fashion style had changed, this time to a more "rock chick" look. So had her glasses, although they didn't look much different lens-wise: "The guy up there said my vision had barely changed, up just 0.5. But I wanted to get rid of that awful plastic pair."

The final year passed for Susan in a swift blur. Masses of revision, huge amounts of reading late into the night, intensive essay-writing and long hours in the library. She was not surprised to find, just before her final exams, that she needed a new eye test. This time, her fresh contacts were up to R -4.75, L -5.25, plus the usual add-on for astigmatism.

Her optician said: "It's probably to do with all the work you've been putting in. Don't worry about it. I would think that your eyes will soon stabilise at roughly this level or slightly more. It might take two or three more years, but the worst is over."

Susan wasn't too worried. Of course, she disliked the fact that she could see far less well without her contacts than a year or two earlier - and that the glasses she was also forced to buy in addition (she'd skipped the last "round" for lack of money, but the difference between the two prescriptions, old and new, was now to great to ignore) looked so strong.

But as she wore contacts all day, there was no constant outside evidence of the changes to her eyesight. What difference did it make if, when she took them out, she could see very little that could be described as meaningful?

That summer was the last she spent at home. Susan was 21, ready for work, if unsure of where her career path really lay. As a last-minute present to herself - and encouraged by Angie who had also arrived home for the summer - the two friends went on a three-week round-Europe trip, covering Spain, Portugal and France.

It was a magical journey, sleeping in youth hostels, on beaches, in public parks and at railway station floors, eking out every penny but having a fantastic time every day and every night. Finally, their money spent, Angie and Susan arrived back home, travelling the last few hundred miles using their thumbs. In later years, Susan would remember with fondness her time spent abroad with Angie - while remaining sad that she had not taken the time off to go on a longer trip.

At last, after a thorough clean-up, scrubbing off weeks of grime, then dozens of applications and several interviews later, Susan was offered a job as a publishing assistant with a book firm in London. The money was awful, barely enough to live on. But she knew that if she were prepared to share a flat with others she could survive.

Susan moved to London that autumn, staying initially with a distant relative of her father and, once she had been at her company for a few weeks, moving into a spare room in a colleague's house.

Life wasn't so bad. At first she was homesick. But soon she started making friends and being invited to parties. Angie would visit every now and then, though not as often as Susan might have liked. But even Angie had exams to face that summer and while she wasn't too bothered about her marks, she still wanted some kind of a degree.

Even so, Angie remained Angie. When she did come down one time, shortly after her final paper, Susan was shocked. Angie had turned into a punk. He hair was spiky and bleached white. She wore ripped and torn clothes. Her ears had multiple piercings plus a further one through her nose. Most amazingly, her glasses were back to the heavy black plastic style she had briefly been stuck with in Greece - but this time by choice.

On the other hand, as Angie told Susan, her eyesight had remained the same over the past year: "My eye guy tells me that I may finally have stopped getting worse. Great news, eh?"
It was, although Susan did feel a slight pang of jealousy. Her eye test was coming up in the next few months and she had noticed a very slight worsening in her sight - and by now her vision was virtually on a par with Angie's!

Her friend's next words also gave her a pang: "Suze, I'm off for a while, travelling at the end of summer. I met someone who wants to head out on a long trip to Africa and then onwards, with a camper van. It sounds really exciting. I don't know when I'm coming back. Don't worry. I'll send you cards from wherever we go and stay in touch."

They saw each other often in the next few weeks. But eventually, bleary-eyed on a cold and drizzly September morning, she waved Angie off on her travels. As the van, driven by a strange-looking guy called Duncan (Susan couldn't understand what Angie saw in him) rumbled off in a cloud of smoke, she wiped away a few tears.

Meanwhile, things were going well at work. Barely a year after joining the company, she had been given a manuscript to read and assess. In truth, she had virtually grabbed it off a bored editor who was herself inundated with submissions by hundreds of would-be authors.
Susan read it in one sitting and then re-read it twice more. Then, over a weekend, she painstakingly typed out an analysis of the manuscript, its strengths and weaknesses, of its plot line and style, plus how it could be improved. She made sure only that editor saw it, so she could not be accused of going over anyone's head.

A few days later, the editor stopped by her desk: "Thanks for your memo. Just thought you'd like to know that we'll take this guy on, refer him to an agent and act on many of your suggestions. You made some really intelligent comments and I appreciate your help. If I can repay the favour, I will."

Susan's joy at this first glimmer of a serious opening at work was tempered by the results of her eye-test that autumn. Once more, her sight had worsened, albeit not by the larger margins of a few years earlier. This time her new lenses were to be 0.5 stronger in both eyes, taking her to R -5.25, L-5.75. 
The female optician se now went to in London, her third, told her: "We may be finally at the end of your worsening period. Time will tell, but I think you're nearly there."
This time, Susan splurged out, buying a set of soft lenses for the first time. The difference in comfort was staggering. Within a few hours she felt totally at home with her new lenses. Sure, she had to spend a lot more time cleaning them and they were far more delicate. But at the same time, she felt she could see even more clearly than with her hard lenses and was able to keep them in longer than ever before.

Gradually, Susan started thinking of herself as cosmopolitan young thing rather than a small-town girl. She was now able to argue intelligently about art and literature, to go to films and exhibitions and understand what they were about, even see things in them that she had not previously read in a book or had been told about by someone else.

And the first in a series of minor promotions (the commissioning editor had been as good as her word) meant that she was now far more able to support herself financially. Two years after coming down to London, Susan finally moved into a flat by herself. It was a small place to be sure, barely enough room to swing a cat, but it was hers and she could do with it what she wanted.
Her eyewear routine had remained the same - but now she no longer had to share, her bathroom and kitchen were far more hygienic.

It was about that time that she first started seeing men on a more serious basis. Short but intense affairs, learning about real love for the first time, and finding out that sex could be very pleasent indeed, all helped Susan become a more rounded person, even if she somehow never managed to keep a relationship alive for more than a few months at the most. Not that it mattered much. She was content with things that way.

While her eyesight carried on causing slight problems, the pace of worsening slowed even further. Some 18 months after her last test, when she was 24, her optician told her that she only needed a mild 0.25 per cent increase in her prescription. Things were starting to look even on the vision front.

The only slight pall on the horizon was Angie. After a few cards from Spain, Morocco and a few other African countries, she'd heard nothing more from her friend in all this time. She missed Angie and her exuberant devil-may-care spirit.

Still, things were going great. And to cap it all, she met Charles. It was shortly before her 25th birthday, at a dinner party given by a colleague at work. Susan had not wanted to go: she knew hardly anyone there and her colleague wasn't even a friend. But she didn't know how to refuse without giving offence.

So it was that she found herself sitting next to a 28-year-old tall, public school-educated, impossibly blond man with a floppy fringe and a very loud fruity laugh. Charles worked in the City as a fund manager and made pots of money. More importantly, he made her giggle and they found they had both common acquaintances and tastes in music, art and other areas. When, at the end of the meal, he asked for her number she gave it to him.

Two days later he called and invited her for a meal. She didn't hesitate. That night she dressed up to the nines. They shared a cosy candle-lit supper, then, in the next week or so, two more. Finally, after inviting Charles to her place for a Friday night dinner which she had offered to cook, she went to bed with him.

The sex was fantastic. He treated her gently, taking time to please her, timing his own orgasm to match Susan's. She fell asleep that night, with him lying next to her in her flat, knowing that she had found the right man.

The next morning, she woke up to find the bed empty and a banging of pots and pans going on in the kitchen. Puzzled, she reached into the bedside drawer where she kept her glasses, put them on and sat up in bed.
A second later Charles walked in with a tray, two glasses of orange, coffee and what appeared to be several slices of burned toast. "Ta-daa," he said, swiftly followed by, "Crikey, what's that on your face? I didn't know you wore glasses."
"I don't, usually. I tend to wear contacts but I tend to put these on in the morning before I go out," said Susan. "Why, is that a problem?"
"No, well, it's just that you look so fabulous without glasses on that I was a bit surprised to see you wearing a pair. They look a bit strong, don't they."
Susan replied: "I've worn them on and off for almost the past 10 years or so years and my sight has got a bit fuzzy in that time. Without them I can't see very well at all. In fact, I've got an appointment in the next week or two. But I expect to be given an all-clear this time since my eyes haven't given me any trouble in the past year."
"That's great news angel. To be honest, I don't really like glasses. I think they make people look a bit weak. And you can't really see their eyes very well," Charles stated firmly.
Susan started to feel slightly uncomfortable - and mildly cross: "Maybe I should pop into the bathroom and put on my contacts then. You'd find me much more attractive, perhaps. And I wouldn't want to let you down."
Totally misunderstanding her, Charles replied: "That's not a bad idea. It will just take a few seconds and then I'll be able to see your eyes in all their glory."

Perhaps she should have acted then. Maybe if she'd been firm at the time, everything that subsequently took place would not have developed, or in quite the same way as it did.
However, almost to her own amazement, Susan found herself heading for the bathroom. A minute later she was back in bed, where Charles was waiting as if nothing had happened.

The rest of the Saturday morning was spent in bed. And the Sunday. Despite her hurt feelings about his comments on her glasses, Susan felt happier than she had ever been before.
Within a few weeks they were inseparable. A few months later, after she had spent the past three weeks in a row living at his own London townhouse, ferrying over several days' clothing at a time over from her flat, he finally suggested they move in together. Susan said yes instantly.
Her only reservation was his attitude to her glasses. Charles hated them. He would sigh every time he saw them on her, morning or night, making umpteen excuses to take them off and leaving her in a blurry fog. He nagged her about taking them off in the evening and about the fact that she wore them a breakfast. Even the fact that her optician had given the good news that no, this time she didn't need new contacts, felt to Susan almost like a vindication of his refusal to acknowledge her short-sightedness.

Yet she acquiesced to Charles' wishes. Within a short period of time, Susan developed a new routine of taking her contact lenses off last thing at night and, as soon as she woke up, going into the bathroom to put them back on before sliding back into bed for a cuddle with Charles, or more. It annoyed her, but everything else about him was so wonderful that she was almost prepared to forgive him his obsession.

After six months, she took Charles to meet her parents and he charmed them, being gallant to his mother and blokishly friendly with her dad. She wasn't altogether surprised when Charles told her he loved he and, a short while later, when he asked her to marry him. It took her no time to say yes to that too.

"I want us to have at least three children, darling," Charles confided to Susan in bed one Sunday morning, "Two boys and a girl".

It sounded like an order.

Even so, Susan loved him. In fact, her love for Charles was so fierce it shocked her. She would have done anything to keep him happy, including his petty little feelings about her glasses.
And so it was that, aged 26, she found herself waiting for the limousine to take her to the church where her own parents had been married 30 years earlier. She would definitely make Charles happy, she resolved, climbing into the back seat of the car.
The next few hours went like a tape on fast forward.

Susan had always anticipated that when she got married she would be able to recall and savour every small moment of the day. In reality, apart from a few cameos - the best man dropping the ring as he passed it to Charles, her dad wiping his eyes (she'd never seen that), the best man making a truly awful speech (where did he come from?), the limo driving them out of the hotel grounds, past a throng of cheering wedding guests - in later years she found herself unable to remember much else about the day.

Two weeks later, sitting on a beach in the Bahamas, watching the sun go down and sipping a pina colada on the final day of their honeymoon, Susan reflected on the wonderful time she'd had in the past fortnight.
There had only been one niggling moment when, after sand had penetrated into her left eye, she had been forced to wear her glasses at dinner one evening. Charles had sulked all night - and into much of the next day.

By now, Susan had become accustomed to his views and, virtually without realising it, was adapting totally to suit Charles. In practice, he never saw her with her glasses on, no matter whether she was able to wear contacts or not. At times, it meant living in a blur for an hour or two.
It was a small issue, mind, and didn't really matter too much.
After all, she could see well with the contacts in. They didn't give her any problems. She didn't particularly like wearing glasses herself anyway. And when he wasn't around, she could do as she pleased, just as she had on her wedding day. Everything was fine.

The newly-married couple flew back into London the next morning. They set up home in Charles' house (she'd given up her flat months before) and settled down to a happy life together, setting off to work together and, as they went of to their respective jobs, kissing each other on the lips outside the tube station every morning. Everything was fine.
Then, three months into the marriage, Susan became pregnant.

To be continued ...

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