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To his school he was Half-blind Brian: a name with few connotations, mostly negative. To himself, being half-blind was worse than being fully blind, but he would never tell a blind person that. Being half-blind was like not being able to reach the other side. He was always stuck on one or the other. And when he opened his left eye, he saw nothing. Even worse, the vision in his right eye wasn’t exceptional. At times when he was younger, he would try to look over to the left side from his right eye without turning his head, causing him to burst a vessel in his eye. But at other times, only being able to see what was directly in front of his right eye made him notice the crucial things in life. He didn’t realize this, but his friends did.
From accidentally pushing people in the hallways, to easily losing his place in books, to kicking the ball in the wrong direction in gym,Brian’s half-blindness had been his downfall since he was five. Despite the warnings his mother had given him about the risks of it, on his sixteenth birthday, he went to get laser eye surgery. The room he walked into smelled of antiseptic and bleach. On the right side of him stood a square machine with a keyboard sticking out of the front. Above the keyboard was a blue screen with the procedures for the surgery. On the left side of the screen there were two buttons to control the lasers. Next to the machine was a blue chair. Above the chair, a microscope for the ophthalmologist was attached to a rectangular device sticking out of the machine. Brian turned to his left to see a mocha brown man with thinning hair. “Brian,” he said with a smile, “we’ve been waiting for you. Come, sit down.” Brian sat down, intimidated by the laser tube above him that might malfunction and cause him to go blind forever.
Brian felt like his eye was being intruded when the ophthalmologist pulled down his eyelids to apply the numbing drops. He blinked one last time before the ophthalmologist used a lid speculum to keep his eyes open. He created a corneal flap for his eyes using a microkeratome. To secure this, he applied suction to his eyes, causing a discomforting pressure. He turned to the keyboard to type in the code for Brian’s prescription. His anxiety grew as he thought of what could go wrong.
“Look into this light.”
Brian looked up at the light while the ophthalmologist looked into the microscope to monitor his eyes while the laser reshaped his cornea. To his surprise, the procedure was painless and short.
“How was that?” A female voice rung.
“Mom?” Brian tested out his left eye, thanking God that he could be normal now. He ran into his mom’s arms. “Thank you for paying for this.”
Brian fell asleep on the way home. In his dream, he imagined himself going around town, pressing his face against windows, feeling like he had it all now that he could see better in both eyes. He thought of how he’d no longer be a flunk in gym, how he would finally be able to read in class without being laughed at for accidentally skipping lines, and how he’d be able to navigate in the hallways without apologizing all the time.
“No,” he said when he woke up, “this is not what I wanted.”
The whole weekend, he avoided telling his mom that he could see through things because she’d think that he felt like a superhero now that he could see out of his left eye. He didn’t know what to say or who to tell; this wasn’t a normal condition. Nobody would believe him unless he showed them how every time he went into the mall, he could see a girl’s underwear through their pants, but then he’d be labeled as a pervert. He tried to conceal his lust, but it’s not like he could gouge out his eyes.
Brian groaned the following Monday when he got up. His AP Biology class would be dissecting squids that day, and he was sure something would go wrong. All of his friends gathered around him when he got to school. His friend Xander ran up to him excitedly when he came to Biology.
“How’d the surgery go?” He said, nudging his arm.
“Not the way I expected.”
Before he could give an answer, the teacher began the lesson.
During the instructions for how to dissect the squid, Brian found himself staring Jess, the girl with the biggest boobs in the school. She had on a black shirt and a red bra. He didn’t know what was corrupting him, but before his surgery, breast size never mattered to him. Jess’s desk was the fourth desk back in a row of six. Brian was in the next row, so she couldn’t see him staring. No one noticed him staring until the girl behind Jess tapped her shoulder. She slowly turned her head around to see Brian timidly picking his nails. “You are such a perv. Just because you were half-disabled at one point doesn’t make it acceptable for you to stare at my boobs.”
“Your boobs are the only good thing about you. Maybe you should cover them up more.” Brian quickly clasped his hand to his mouth in disbelief. Did I just say that? He thought. A booming voice from their teacher disrupted their drama.
“Is there a problem here?”
“Yes,” Jessica pointed to Brian, “he was staring at my boobs.”
The teacher rolled his eyes. “Alright, Brian. Since you seem so eager to disrupt my class, you can be the first to dissect the squid.”
Brian walked to one of the science labs and poked around at the suction cups on the squid’s arms while observing its pale blue blood.
“What’s the color of squid blood?” The teacher asked.
“It seems like you’ve been paying attention in class.”
“We are on lockdown. There is a shooter on campus.” The intercom started blaring. Red lights flashed. Students got under desks. “Please locate your students to the nearest place of safety. Lock the doors, shut the blinds.”
The teacher assembled the students into the teacher office. A knock landed on the door. Brian’s muscles tensed. He knew he could stop the shooter, but his teacher would prevent him from going. “Mr. Stockholm.”
“Shut up.” He growled.
“Listen to me. I know this sounds crazy, but I have x-ray vision. You’re wearing yellow underwear, you have green socks, and on the inside of your shirt I can see a barbecue stain.” The classroom door began to jiggle. “I can stop him.”
“I don’t care what you can do, you are not going out of this office.” Something dropped from outside of the office.
Without further conversation, Brian charged out of the office. From outside of the door he could see a man with a mask holding a glock pistol. He had managed to get three bullets through the door, but he hadn’t gotten the force or the energy to bust it down. Mr. Stockholm began walking towards Brian. Red illuminated over his face. Brian walked towards the science lab closest to the door. He put his hand firmly over the scalpel next to the squid, nearly slicing his finger. Mr. Stockholm grabbed the neck of Brian’s shirt. The shooter burst into the room with a kick that sent the door flying towards the computers. Brian sent the scalpel barreling towards the shooter.
“Bullseye!” He said as the scalpel pierced his neck. The shooter stood paralyzed as blood spurted out of the center of his neck.