“Are you nervous about your new job, honey?” Mon asks.
After my two week appointment with Dr. Calloway, he cleared me to resume normal activity, and he also thinks it’s cool that I have a job at the rehab clinic.
“I’m just kind of embarrassed about the patch.” Surprisingly, my right eye isn’t swelling up, and the swelling in my left eye has gone down. But it still looks like a socket cartilage and a clear conformer in it. I’m used to wearing a Scleral shell. I got it when my left eye began shrinking, so my eyes would look more “normal”, or at least the same size.
“It’s like I wish I could still wear my shell.”
Mom takes my hand. “Honey, I’m sorry. I’m gonna see if I can find a stylish eye patch for you. I’m pretty sure you’re not going to be the only one wearing one at an eye clinic.”
Yeah, that makes sense.
“Yeah.” I smile. “Maybe that’s why he got me this job.”
“Yeah.” Mom strokes my cheek. “That’s my girl. Let’s go look for a patch.”
“Hey.” I get into Leo’s car, and toss my backpack in the back. He’s taking me to my work orientation tomorrow morning, because mom’s going back to work tomorrow.
“Hey.” Leo leans over and kisses my cheek. “I bought this for you.”
He hands me a box.
“What is it?” I smile.
“Open it, love.” Leo massages my palm with his thumb.
I open the box to see a pink fluffy heart shaped eye patch that has our anniversary engraved on it.
“Leo.” My eyes well up with tears.
Leo leans over, and kisses my cheek. “I knew you’d like it.”
“Thank you so much, love.” I put my head on his shoulder.
He kisses my forehead; “No problem.”
I cuddle up to Leo, wrapping my arms around him. “You wanna watch a movie?”
“Sure.” He nudges my chin with his thumb, and kisses me. “You are so beautiful.”
A tear runs down my cheek. “I love you.”
Leo wipes the tear with his thumb, and kisses me. “I love you too.”
“Guys!” Jenny calls from downstairs. “Dinner!”
“Coming!” We both call, before heading down.
“You look a lot better.” Jenny smiles. “It doesn’t look swollen at all anymore.”
“Thanks.” I help myself to some chicken pasta.
“So, are you excited to start your new job, honey?” Leo’s dad, John chimes in. “Yeah, I’m really excited for orientation tomorrow.”“Do you think it’ll make an impact on you?” Jenny asks.
“Yeah, I’ve never worked with children that have had visual problems similar to mine before, and I’m really excited to work with them.”
“You’ll leave an impact on them too.” Jenny smiles.
“Thanks.” We finish dinner, and I help her clear the dishes. “So what’s all going to go on at Orientation?” I curl up next to Leo on his bed.
He puts his arm around me. “There’s something I didn’t tell you.”
“What do you mean?” I look over at him.
“You can share your story with the other therapists. There’s also counseling services if you need them.”
“What do you mean, share my story?”
Leo hands me a notebook and pen. “Write down what you want to say. Anything you want to say. The orientation is also a welcoming party for you, because you’re a new person coming in, and they know some of your backstory. They’ll treat you like family.”
“But I don’t want to get emotional.”
“Why?” Leo puts his hand on my forearm.
“Because it’s my first time there, it’s not Alcoholics Anonymous.”
“But it’s not good to hold in emotions, Alex. Showing emotions shows people you have compassion and empathy.”
I smile at Leo. “Okay, I’ll write, And then I’ll type it on my laptop, so I can actually understand what I’m writing.”
Leo leans in to kiss me. “Good. I’m proud of you.”