Stars Worth Searching For

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Chapter Fourteen

“Alex, your alarm is going off.” Mom comes unto my room.

“Okay.” I shut my alarm off. Thankfully the oil bubble dissolved last week, and I’m going to my four week checkup with Dr. Calloway.

“Hey.” Hannah comes into my room. “Can I come to your appointment with you?”

“Sure.” I smile. “That means a lot.”

“So, do you still want to go back to school?” Hannah asks.

I slip my sweatshirt over my head. “Yeah, I still want to be a medical researcher.”

“Oh cool, are you registering for next semester?”

“Yeah, Leo’s actually taking me to meet with my advisor tomorrow.”

“That

S cool.” Hannah smiles. “I’m proud of you.”

“Thanks.” I hug her.

“Girls, let’s go if you want to go to Dunkin before the appointment.”

“Okay.” I slip into some converse.

“Are you happy that you don’t have to keep your head down anymore?”

“Oh, definitely yeah. That was unpleasant.”

“Yeah, I bet.”

“Is Leo coming to the appointment?” Hannah gets into the front seat.

“No, he’s working, but he’s picking me up this afternoon.”

“Oh, cool.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………

I carry my iced coffee into the doctor’s office.

“Hi.” The woman behind the front desk smiles. “How are you feeling/”

“Good, thank you.” I sign in on the sheet.

“Do you feel better, now that you’re able to keep your head up, during the day?”

“Oh, yeah.”

I laugh, grabbing a chair.

“Alex?” Jamie, one of the nurses I’ve gotten close to calls me back into the examining room.

“Hey.” She smiles. “How are you?”

“I’m good, just getting back into school, now that I’m healing from surgery.”

“You graduated, right”

“Yeah, but I’m going back to school, to become a medical researcher.”

“That’s good, any reason why?”

“I want to do more research to maybe find cures for diseases such as ROP, or diseases that cause childhood blindness.”

“Wow.” She puts her hand over mine. “That’s pretty amazing.”

She turns the computer on, and hands me a tissue.

“Okay, sweetheart, cover your left eye, and we’ll see what your vision is.”

“Did you want me to try without my glasses?”

“Yes. Please, and then we can get your vision corrected, too.”

“Okay.” I shakily take my glasses off.

“Can you see any of these letters, honey?”

“Not really.” I say in a shaky voice. It looks incredibly blurry still.

“Don’t worry honey. This is your vision without your glasses.”

She goes to another line above, and changes the contrast to white letters in a black screen,

“Can you see any of these letters?” She asks.

They’re blurry, but bigger.

“E?”

“Good job, sweetheart. You’re at about 20/250 uncorrected, let’s see what it’s like corrected.”

Thank God.I put my glasses on, and although it looks really far away, it looks so much clearer with glasses.I’m able to read three ,etters on the screen.

“Good job honey, your vision is 20/80.”

“Really?” A tear escapes my cheek.

“Yes.” She hands me a tissue. “You can just go wait in the back, they’ll call you for pictures.”

“I’m happy for you, honey.” Mom puts her hand over mine.

“Thanks mom.”

After pictures, Dr. Calloway calls me into an examining room.

“Hi, honey.” He puts his hand over mine.

“Hi.” I smile.

“So it does look like your vision is getting better, so are you happy you had the surgery?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you still looking into being a medical researcher?” He asks.

“Yeah, I’m starting in January.”

“That won’t be a problem, will it?” Mom interjects.

“No.” He smiles. “Good luck. I’ll follow up in a month.”

“Does she have a cataract?” Mom asks.

“Yes, but it doesn’t need to be operated on yet. It was caused by the surgery.”

“Oh, okay.” Mom takes her purse.

“Are you happy to not have an injection today?” Dr. Calloway puts his hand on my forearm.

“Yeah, I really am.” I pick my purse up, and mom, Hannah and I head home.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

“Hey.” Leo kisses me after I get in the car.

“Hey.”

“Are you staying over tonight?”

“Yeah. I’ve been cooped up in the house for so long.”

“Wanna go to the beach?”

“Yeah, that sounds fun.”

“I think there’s a carnival there tonight.”

“Oh cool, that’ll be nice.”

“Pizza for lunch?”

“Yeah.”

“Cool.” Leo parks at the boardwalk, and we walk into the pizza restaurant.

“Have you ever thought about doing a fundraiser?” Leo asks, after we’re seated.

“A fundraiser?” I smile at the waitress, as she drops our drinks off. Root Beer for me, Coke for Leo.

“Yeah.” Leo butters a garlic roll.

“For what?”

“To maybe raise money for research for childhood diseases that cause blindness.”

“Wow, I never thought of that.”

“Maybe you can have a bake sale at the vision clinic.”

“That sounds really cool. When should I have it?”

“Well you would have to propose the idea to the team, but I think they would love it.”

“Hmm.” I take a slice of pizza. “I’ll think about it.”

“I’m sure your sisters would help you. And you could pass out flyers around the hospital.”

“That sounds like a good idea.”\

Leo strokes my cheek. “Yeah,it really does.”

“So, do you think you can go on any of the rides, yet?” Leo puts his arm around me, as we’re walking along the boardwalk.

“No, but you can.”

“No.” Leo says, “Let’s play some games instead.”

“You aren’t going to go on the sea ray? It’s your favorite one!”

“Nah, it doesn’t feel right.”

“I’m buying you some tickets. I want you to go.”

Leo smiles, and kisses me. “I love you.”

“I love you too,”

“So, when you’re working this afternoon, I’m going to look into some fundraising ideas.”

“I think the bake sale would be your best bet.”

“Yeah, maybe ideas on fun bake sales.”

Leo kisses my cheek. “That’s a really good idea.”

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