Stars Worth Searching For

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Summary

When the struggle of a rare eye disease causes Alexandria to have her eye removed, and causes her to have another surgery on her "good" eye, Alex is determined to advocate for diseases of the eye that cause childhood blindness. Will Alex be able to accept herself for who she is? Or will her disease break up her and her boyfriend of four years?

Genre:
Romance / Other
Author:
Clarice95
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
24
Rating:
4.0 1 review
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter 1

"Hey Alex.” Dr. Calloway comes into the examining room.

I’m at an emergency appointment, because I’ve had a headache so bad it’s induced vomiting for the past couple of days. I’m freaking out about it, because this is just like the pain I had four years ago, when all this crap started. Three surgeries. Three retinal detachments, numerous eye injections (yep, a needle going through my eye); and a diagnosis of Retinopathy of Prematurity. I’m pretty sure my left eye has had all it can handle. I know he’s going to tell me he needs to remove it.

“So, has it gotten any better since the last appointment?” He sits in front of me, putting his hand over mine.

“For a couple of days, but it came back.”

Dr. Calloway points at the screen, and shows me a picture of my eye.

“So, we can keep it on drops until your next appointment to keep it stabilized , or if you don’t think we can do anything else, we do have the option of removing it.”

“Yeah.” I sigh. “I was actually gonna talk to you about that.”

“Okay.” He says quietly.

“Do you think it’ll be better once it’s removed?”

“Yes, it will.” He looks me in the eye. “Do you want to go ahead and schedule it?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay. wait here we’ll bring your mom in, and set you up with the scheduling coordinator, let’s set it up for next Tuesday.”

“Next Tuesday, as in a week from today?!” I ask, already starting to panic. That isn’t much time to prepare.

“Yes love, I promise it’ll be worth it.”

“Okay.” I sigh, uneasily. Tears stream down my cheeks.

I hope this is worth it.

“You okay, honey?” Mom puts her hand over mine, as she’s pulling out of the parking garage.

“No.” I start bawling. “I mean I saw this coming, I just didn’t know it was going to be so soon. And I’m literally twenty-two years old!”

Mom sighs. “I know honey, I’m sorry.”

I text my therapist to make an appointment with her for as soon as possible, so I don’t end up being the same way I was four years ago.

“You want me to drop you off at Leo’s, after we try to get an appointment with Dr. Robinson for a physical?” She asks, referring to my boyfriend of four years.

“Yeah, I hope I’ll get to see him today, but this appointment has to be made first.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………

“Hey.” I call Leo, as soon as I leave the doctor’s office.

“Hey.” Leo can tell something’s wrong. “Did you see Dr. Calloway?”

“Yeah.” I’m already starting to cry.

“What did he say?” He asks.

“I have surgery Tuesday.”

“I’m sorry. Are you okay?”

“Yeah.” I sigh. I’ve already come to terms with the fact that my left eye has been irreversibly damaged, and I knew this would happen someday.

“Do you want me to pick you up?”

“No, I know you work this afternoon, and I have an appointment with my primary today for a physical.”

“Oh, well you wanna go to the beach tonight?” He asks.

“Yeah.” I’m already starting to feel a little better. “But I have to get bloodwork done tomorrow morning.”

“I’ll take you. I’ll pick you up on my break, love.” I hear the smile in Leo’s voice.

“Okay.” I smile. “I love you.”

“Love you too, sweetheart. And I’m here for you if you want to talk.”

“Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………

“Want Starbucks?” Mom asks, after we make an appointment for this afternoon.

“Yeah.” I need an iced Chai Tea right now.

“You wanna talk about the surgery?” Mom asks.

“No, I really don’t.” A tear streams down my cheek.

“Okay.” Mom takes my hand. “Let’s just enjoy our day.”

I don’t really know how to feel about the surgery, so I don’t really want to think about it. It hasn’t hit me yet.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

“Am I dropping you off at Leo’s?” Mom asks, after my physical.

“No he’s picking me up around dinnertime, and then we’re going to the beach.”

“Oh cool.” Mom smiles.

“Yeah.” I grab a pink tee and denim shorts, and hop into the shower.

Tears stream down my cheeks, but I don’t want anyone to know that I’m crying. I have three little sisters. I have to be strong for them.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Hey.” My seventeen year old little sister, Ashlynn comes into my room, right as I’m out of the shower.

“Hey.” I offer a small smile, and hug her. “How’d school go today?”

“It was okay.” A tear streams down her cheek. “But mom told me what happened at the doctor’s office.”

“Hey.” I hug her, rubbing her hair. “It’s gonna be okay.”

“Well what do they do?” She asks.

“Here, come sit next to me at the computer, and we’ll look it up.” I pull up a chair next to my computer chair.

I look at the surgery paper for the title of the surgery: Enucleation

“You know why I’m getting my eye removed, right?”

“Yeah.” Ashlynn sighs. “But that must be really hard.”

It is really discouraging, but I don’t want to be anything but strong.

I put my hand over hers. “I’ll be fine, I promise.”

“I hope so.” Ashlynn hugs me.

“Where’s Mads?” Referring to Ashlynn’s twin sister.

“Oh, she’s on the phone with Hannah.” Ashlynn says, referring to my oldest little sister, Hannah. She’s in treatment right now for her Eating Disorder and mental health problems.

“Oh, I hope she’s doing okay.”

“Me too.” Ashlynn sprawls herself across my room. “Is Leo coming over?”

“Yeah, but just to pick me up. I’m going to his house tonight.” I pack my overnight backpack.

“Good.” Ashlynn hugs me. “It’s good that you get to spend some time with him, tell Jenny, I said hi.” Ashlynn says, referring to Leo’s mom.

“I will.” I take her face in my hands. “Hey.”

“Yeah?” She looks up at me.

“Don’t worry about me. I’m gonna be fine.” I run my fingers through her hair.

“I hope so.” Ashlynn hugs me again before we both head downstairs to wait for Leo.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Hi.” I smile at Jenny, Leo’s mom, as soon as I walk into Leo’s house.

“C’mere.” She says, sympathetically.

I hug her, and she kisses my cheek. “How are you feeling?”

“I don’t know.” A tear escapes my cheek.

“Honey.” She hugs me, rubbing my back. “It’s going to be better for you.”

“I know.” I offer a small smile. “I’m just worried about what it’s going to look like after the surgery is done.”

“Honey.” Jenny takes my hands. “It doesn’t change your personality. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside.”

She puts her arm around me. “And you’re still beautiful.”

“Thank you.” I hug her.

“I’m making your pasta for dinner.” She walks over to the stove.

“Thanks.” I head up to Leo’s room.

“Hey.” I put my glasses on the dresser, and curl up next to him on his bed,

“You still wanna go to the beach tonight?” He kisses my forehead,

“Yeah.” I smile up at him.

“Cool.” He nudges my chin with his thumb and kisses me. “I love you.”

I smile and kiss him back. “I love you too,”

……………………………………………………………………………………………

“It’s so pretty out here.” I lie out a blanket next to Leo’s, and cuddle up next to him, taking his hand.

He kisses my hand. “You know why I suggested we come here?” He runs his thumb along my cheek.

“To talk about my feelings?” We went to the beach to talk about my feelings the day that Leo was just getting to know me. It was the first time I told him what happened and how screwed up my eye was.

Leo nods.

“I’m okay, really.” A tear escapes my cheek.

“Talk to me.” He wraps his arm around me.

“It’s just so discouraging.” I sigh.

“I mean, Monday morning I was bawling my eyes out, because..” I hiccup sob.

“Because I just remember talking to my therapist about like.. about how I just wanted it to get better.”

Leo runs his fingers through my hair. “I’m sorry.”

“And I mean Dr. Calloway, like he’s saved so many people’s eyes, so I mean I’m not mad at him, but it’s just so discouraging it’s like I wish I had gone to him first.”

Leo kisses my forehead. “It’s not your fault. You didn’t know.”

“I should’ve looked out for the signs more.”

“How would you know what to look out for? You were trusting someone who was supposed to know what he was doing, because you didn’t go to medical school, he did.” Leo says, referencing my old doctor, Dr. Bradsaw.

“I mean I feel like I’m getting angry with him again, but I don’t want to be bitter.”

Leo turns to look at me. “I don’t blame you. Feeling bitter towards someone doesn’t help or change the situation at all.”

I massage Leo’s palms with my thumb. “I see where you’re coming from.”

“There’s another reason why I brought you here.” Leo sits up, and helps me sit up on the blanket.

“Why?”

Leo tales my face in his hands, and points it upwards. “Did you forget about the stars?”

Tears stream down my cheeks. “What’s the point of searching for them now?”

“Alex.” Leo kisses my forehead. “What’s really bothering you?”

“I’m just worried about what I’m going to look like after the surgery.” I swallow a lump in my throat.

Leo kisses my cheek, but doesn’t say anything. He knows I’m not done talking yet.

“Because I’m afraid you aren’t going to be attracted to me anymore!”

There. I said it.

“Alexandria.” Leo wraps both of his arms around me.

“I love you for who you are. We’ve been together for four years. You should know that.” He rubs my back. “I don’t want to be with anyone else.”

“Well how do you know that isn’t going to change, when you look at me after the surgery?”

Leo looks me in the eye. “Nothing is going to change. I’m going to be here for you, and with you, because I want to.”

I smile at Leo, and bury my head in his chest. “I love you.’ I smile up at him, and kiss him softly.

Leo kisses me back, and kisses my forehead. “I love you too,”

“Wanna put our blankets back, and go for a walk?” I smile up at him.

“Sure.” Leo takes my hand. “I’d love to.”

……………………………………………………………………………………

“That was fun.” Leo whispers as we come through the garage at midnight.

“Yeah, but I’m so tired, and I have to get blood work done tomorrow.” I yawn.

“Let’s go in pajamas, and nap when we get home.” Leo runs his fingers through my hair.

“Wow, I never thought of it like that.” I smile. “I never thought to go anywhere in pajamas.”

“Well you should try.” Leo kisses my cheek. “It’s fun.”


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