“Hey” grinned Will, as Alex shut the door behind her.
Turning back to him, she blinked as the dazzling sunlight hit her, reflecting off the lenses of her glasses and temporarily blinding her.
She put her hands out in front of her, feeling her way forward.
Will took her hand, guiding her into the shadows. She bumped into his chest, blinking more to clear her eyes and looking up at him.
“Do you have any sunglasses?” he asked.
“No, I never have” she replied, looking away as her eyes adjusted.
“Do you need prescription ones?” he asked, watching her with concern.
“I don’t know, I’ve never tried them…”
“OK then” he said, taking her arm, “let’s go and find some!”
A short while later, they walked into the supermarket, immediately aiming away from the crowds and over to a quiet area. Purely by chance, they found themselves standing next to a display of sunglasses.
Evidently, they were not the first to look.
He moved over to the selection, picking up a pair and trying them on.
“What do you think?” he asked, leaning round the corner to grin at her.
She had just put a pair on, thick black generic sunglasses that would suit anyone, her own black wire frame spectacles hanging out of her pocket.
She was admiring herself in the mirror, flicking her overlong brown hair out the way for a better look.
“Can you see through those?” he questioned, slipping his own off and replacing them.
“Better than I could in my others” she answered, taking her glasses out of her pocket and folding them completely, putting them back in neatly.
Paying at the checkout, with Alex wearing her new eyewear the whole time, they made their way down the hill, where they found an old play area, that she insisted she must have a go on the swings.
Will chuckled as he watched her run over to the swing set, moving faster and harder than any of the children around her.
“Aren’t your sunglasses going to fly off with you doing that?”
“My usual ones don’t” she shouted, pushing herself harder and nearly launching over the frame.
“Can I try them? Why you’re not using them, I mean” he requested hopefully. She was never seen without her glasses, let alone given them to anyone else.
However, slowing herself to a stop, she pulled them out of her jacket and handed them to him. He saw her watching his every move as he unfolded them and put them on.
Looking through her eyes was similar to a bubble; while not catastrophically bad, her eyesight still needed assistance. He looked around, the cars around him fuzzy, the number plates indistinguishable black blurs.
Blinking his focus back, he handed them back to her, allowing her to resume swinging.
Eventually, she tired of the play area, stopping and coming over to him.
He laughed as she steadied herself, before they made their way back through the town. The sun began to go down, and the blinding light eventually ceased.
“Hold down” she said, and he turned back to her in concern, soon realizing what she was doing.
Reaching into that same pocket, she pulled out her glasses, opening them in preparation. He watched as she reached up and pulled off her sunglasses, her face bare for the first time.
She folded up the sunglasses, putting them in a different pocket. Beginning to put her glasses back on, she hesitated and held them before her eyes, deciding they needed cleaning first.
Walking up to him, she cleaned them on her coat, squinting to see where she was going.
“You alright?” he asked, as she checked them and continued to clean.
“Yeah” she said, finally looking at him, her face so different uncovered and unhindered by, “I just can’t get this bit off.”
“Shall I?” he reached out to take him, but she checked them once more, before sliding them onto her face.
Just in time, it seemed, for they had reached her front door. She turned to him, a faint smile touching upon her face.
“I’ll see you later” she said simply.
“Hang on” bravery took over him, and he decided to act for the first time.
“What?” she frowned, concerned.
“Take your glasses off again” he stammered.
“Why?” she asked nervously.
“Please” he said, forcing a friendly grin.
Cautiously, she reached up with both hands, her eyes firmly fixed on his, grasping the arms and gently pulling them, sliding them off her ears and free of her face. Holding them in front of her chest, she stared at him questioning, squinting slightly.
And then Will did something he’d never done before, that started the rest of his life.
He kissed her.