THIS AIN’T AN ENTRY FOR THE SHORTEST STORY COMPETITION

THIS AIN’T AN ENTRY FOR THE SHORTEST STORY COMPETITION

“Sweetheart, my optometrist called, the glasses are ready to be picked up. Can you please go and get them?” was the short message from my husband.  And that would’ve been the end of this story.  I would have entered with it the World Literature Competition for the Shortest Story and possibly win it if it wasn’t for the fact that we are a special kind of a family and everything normal in life doesn’t happen the normal way with us.

See, I have my two girls and they are like free-range chickens roaming into the filming studio set of Whose Line Is It Anyway? ready to improvise…  There is no chance I can just go and collect the prescription glasses.

I usually am trying to be in charge and full control of them and every time, just before we walk into any shop, they get a long sermon how to behave and how to talk.  The instructions usually contain in every second word “don’t!”, “stop!” and “no!”…

That’s what I did today, in front of the optic shop – I shot them down with “don’ts”, “stops” and “nos” and then looked at the skies, said to myself “God help me we do this painlessly” and walked in.  The optometrist greeted us and started verifying some last details before handling the expensive cargo of Armani and Burberry reading glasses.  Till then, all was perfect and under control. I was almost flittering with pride I can make those two behave.

Here we go, we shook hands with the optometrist, I got up ready to walk out the door when my older daughter came close to me and asked, “Mamma, can I get my eyes checked?  I think there is something wrong with them.”

“What’s wrong, darling” I was so worried that I forgot it could be a minefield I walked in.

“Well, mamma, when I close my eyes, I can’t see”, explained Apollonia.

Oh, I should’ve seen it coming! I looked at her; I looked at the optometrist hoping she’ll get my winking message and I said “Darling, we’ll book for next week a full examination.  I wasn’t planning to spend money today, so we better leave it for next week.”

“You don’t need to pay for the eye test, you have your Medicare card, don’t you”, the optometrist decided to be helpful.

Damn, she is not playing my game!

“Aha, we don’t need to pay”, I exclaimed through my teeth.  “We better get on the queue for appointments and book for sometime next week, because most probably all is booked out.  Let's see – Monday you have lesson, Tuesday you go swimming, Wednesday I go swimming, Thursday you have another lesson, so I think Friday is good, if they have free time on Friday” and I looked at the optometrist with an intensive look and gave her a sign with a hope she’ll catch my drift.

But no!  She was determined to be helpful and with an excellent customer service – “You don’t need to wait for next week, we can see her now”.

Goodness!  Was I born to suffer?  Why is everything going the wrong way!?...  She’s got free time for an appointment.  “Maybe not a good idea”, I tried to wiggle out, “if I book one child, I have to book the other.”

“Sure, we can see them both”, said the helpful optometrist and got up to show me the way to the specialist’s room.

Apollonia and Amadea followed her skipping; I dragged my sad face after them and cursed my life.

First on the chair hopped Apollonia.  She was so proud to go through the alphabet like a pro.  Then came the chart with shapes and animals.  So far so good.  Every line was easy to see and name.  Till the optometrist showed her a shape of a fish.  Apollonia squinted her eyes and said: “Hmm, that one is a bit hard to answer.  It looks like a tuna, but the more I look, the more I think it is a piranha.  Yes, definitely is a piranha.  Phew, that was a tricky question”, she signed.

Seriously!  Who knew I had so clever child!?

We whisked her off the chair and throned Amadea on it.  Fingers crossed it will be over soon.

“What’s your name, dear?” the optometrist decided to be engaging and entertaining.

“Amadea”, recited my younger girl.

“That is a very beautiful name,” noticed the optometrist.

“I know”, agreed Amadea and looked around with a pride we couldn’t wipe off her face.

“Amadea, do you want letters or shapes?” consulted the optometrist before she can start the examination.  Amadea wanted to be like her big sister and of course, she chose letters.  The lady started changing the letters’ chart on the wall and prompt Amadea “Can you tell me the letters you see on the wall?”

“Sure, I can tell you all the letters,” said readily Amadea and started to sing the alphabet song.  We had to wait and nod till she finished “next time won’t you sing with me”.

Hm, it wasn’t working, was it?  The optometrist had to check this with me, not with Amadea.

“Sweetie, can you please cover your left eye?” she asked my girl as she was changing the charts and looking for her mirror gonio lens.  Amadea covered her left eye.

“Good!  Now please cover your right eye.”  And Amadea placed her right hand over her eye, sitting on the chair with two hands completely covering her eyes.

“Open your eyes, let’s see the shapes”, by then I think the eye doctor had a slight idea she got herself in a big circus and my girls are very willing to keep us amused.  She started clicking with the remote control through different shapes and Amadea was happy to answer till they reached the shape of a flower.

“Rose” announced Amadea.

Apollonia jumped off her chair “It is not a rose, it is a tulip!”

“Rose!” demanded Amadea.

“Tulip!”

“Girls”, I interfered, “Do not argue.  It is a flower”

“No, rose!”

“Tulip!”

“Flower!” they got me deep in the dispute instead of stopping it…  Till my mobile rang – my husband, asking “Darling, where are you?

“At the optic shop”

“Did you get my reading glasses?”

“Yes”

“When are you coming home?”

“Listen, darling, I can’t talk right now” and I hang up.

Then we continued with the eye test; bottom line of the animal eye chart.  With optical trial frame on her nose, looking like a young Edward Scissorhands, Amadea inspected the chart and announced “Kitten”.

“How can it be a kitten, it is a dog” exclaimed Apollonia in disbelieve.

“Lolly”, said Amadea, “this is my test!  Look, it’s kitten – it has ears and a tail.  See?” victoriously pointed my little girl.

And when I thought my agony is finished, the optometrist changed the picture with the one of the fish.  Amadea said:  “I know that one, I know that one – it is a black goldfish”.

...

Well, after a thorough examination, it was established they both had a perfect 20/20 vision.  I, however, can be diagnosed with a mild nervous breakdown.  And honestly, my husband can go next time and pick up his own glasses.

© 2016 copyright | an ode to… sophia terra~ziva | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

OCCASIONAL ANGEL (monologue of a dilapidated writer) – project “IT'S PERSONAL”

OCCASIONAL ANGEL (monologue of a dilapidated writer) – project “IT'S PERSONAL”

A TOAST – project “IT'S PERSONAL”

A TOAST – project “IT'S PERSONAL”