Erika's Eyes | By: Abbey Gray | | Category: Short Story - Reflections Bookmark and Share

Erika's Eyes

Erika’s Eyes


I got my first pair of glasses in fourth grade. I noticed something was different when I couldn’t read the brand of the oven when I sat at the kitchen table. I had also started getting headaches on a regular basis. Mom had an eye appointment and decided to take me with her and get my eyes look at as well. I actually wanted glasses. I was pretty happy when the eye doctor told me I needed them. I had astigmatism and that is why I had been getting headaches. I was going to have to wear my glasses all the time. My left eye had worse vision than my right.

I got to pick out my own frames. I was trying to decide between a wire pair of pink ones, a wire pair of gold ones and a plastic pair that were blue on top and pink on bottom. I decided to go with the plastic pair because I had read a book about a girl who had pink and blue glasses. The nosepieces on the wire frames also felt like they were going into the corner of my eyes.

I was worried because I thought some of the kids at school would call me Four Eyes. Dad just said if any of the kids teased me to tell them now that I had glasses I could see how ugly they really were. I almost made it through the whole day, but as we were leaving to get on the school bus one kid who really was a geek said, “See you, Four Eyes.” I ran after him and told him what Dad told me to say. I don’t remember anyone else ever calling me Four Eyes after that. I was also pretty surprised when a lot of kids in my fifth grade class had glasses.

Every year when I got my eyes checked, my lenses had to be changed. My eyes were getting worse. I had gone from 20/50 in my left eye to 20/70. Mom could see better with her cataracts than I could without my glasses. When my lenses had to be changed, I decided I wanted to get wire frames. I chose gold this time.

I used to try and go swimming every day during the summer. When I was younger, Dad would come home from work and I would be waiting in my bathing suit. The pool had a rule that every 45 minutes the kids had to get out for a fifteen- minute break. When I got old enough to be at the pool by myself, I would take my glasses with me so I could read the list of food at the concession stand. One day, they blew the whistle to let us know the break was over and I went and dove off the diving board. I know it sounds strange, but I totally forgot I had my glasses on. I didn’t even feel them fall off my face. If I had known about it, I could have gone down to the bottom at the twelve- foot end and gotten them myself. Another girl found them and instead of turning them into the lost and found, she took them home with her. When I found out they were missing, I was scared to death. Luckily, the people at the pool knew this girl since she was there all day every day. It just so happened I went to school with one of her friends. Her friend said she thought the glasses were mine. We found the girl’s address and she gave me my glasses back. Mom said I needed to write this girl and her friend a thank you note and give them three dollars as a reward for a snack at the pool. After that I had to either know ahead of time what I wanted at the concession stand or have a friend read the list to me since I was not allowed to take my glasses.

In school, we were playing soccer in gym class. I am not the most coordinated person in the world…all right I am an absolute klutz. No one would pass me the ball and they did not let me play goalie so I could use my hands. So I usually just stood around. Mom and Dad don’t believe me when I tell them I didn’t see the ball coming. One of teams had just scored a goal and the next thing I knew the ball hit me in the face. One side of my glasses went back and the other side went forward. I was crying and the gym teacher was worried I had a broken nose. I was more worried about my glasses. Dad bent them back into shape, but I got another set of frames when my lenses had to be changed yet again. One year for April Fool’s I told Dad I had gotten hit in the face again and broke my glasses. And he believed me!

When I finally got to high school, my parents decided to let me get contact lenses to see if that would slow down the changing of my eyes. At first, the eye doctor told me I couldn’t wear contacts because of my astigmatism. Most people have a horizontal one, but I had vertical one. As it turned out I could wear them. The contacts just had to have a weight in the bottom to hold them in place. I wanted to get blue ones since my eyes were naturally blue. Because of the weight I couldn’t. Before I could go home I had to be able to put them in and take them out. Putting them in wasn’t the problem; it was taking them out. That night I had to have Mom and Dad help me take them out. I wasn’t allowed to sleep in them even though I did take naps sometimes. Then when I woke up I had to blink a few times to clear my eyes up.

The next morning when I tried to put them in, I dropped one and couldn’t find it. After that we got me disposable lenses incase I lost one I could replace it. I would wear my contacts as long as I could until something happened whether I lost it or it would tear…I had soft contacts. One time, I was supposed to wear glitter on my eyelids for a part in the fall play. I had another girl put the glue on my eyelids and she got the glue in my eye. Another time one of my contacts fell out on the way to school. I put it in my mouth to keep it moist. Before we got to school, I had swallowed it.

I got another pair of frames my senior year of high school. The pair of gold frames I had were way too big for my face. I still wanted wire frames, but I wanted sort of a brownish color. I finally decided on ones that had gold and black colors mixed in with the brown. I have already decided the next frames I get I want to be silver or navy blue. My favorite colors are blue and gray and I have a lot of shirts that are those two colors. And silver or navy frames would look good with them.

I took my contacts to college with me and after a while I didn’t want to take the time in the morning to clean them and everything. It was just easier to go back to wearing glasses full time. The older I got, my vision did eventually stop changing. As of right now I am 20/200 in both eyes.

Mom says I got my eyesight from my grandmother. She was almost completely blind when she passed away.


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