by Kristen Melillo
Annika knew she had made a serious mistake the moment her optician peeled off the bandages. His moist breath warmed her face as he gently drew the delicate skin away from her eyes and said, “You should be able to see perfectly clearly forever now.”
His words were sweetened by a peppermint candy he had eaten just before their appointment.
She thought about Oscar taking care of her these last few weeks: making her favorite escarole and bean soup; hanging her delicates on the line instead of tossing them into the dryer; even buying her favorite lemon verbena scented soap from Scruff’s and bathing her. She had endured the blindness of recovery from Lasik surgery in comfort because of him, yet a nagging suspicion lingered in the periphery of her consciousness. She puzzled over this while waiting for Oscar to pick her up.
Reality organized itself in multi-dimensional Technicolor: mosaic tiles and stained glass windows, flower petals and pinwheels spinning in April breezes, everything now clearly defined instead of blurring into a mysterious softness. The comfort she had taken in removing her glasses and distorting her reality could now only be found in the emotional wash of her tears.
Kristen Melillo is from New England. She is a retired dancer, life-long lover of literature, mother of two. She finds inspiration for writing in observing the natural world, the quirkiness of the human race, and other art forms such as music and visual art.