“There’s something I should tell you,” you say.
“There are some things I actually can’t do. Like read text or drive. I mean, I could drive before. I learned how, on a stick too, but now I can’t. Because of this condition I have that means I have terrible eyesight.”
“Oh,” she says. Her voice sounds falsely bright. “So, it’s like being legally blind? Like, can you get glasses or something?”
This is a question you get asked all the time. When you’re checking out at the grocery store, and have to lean in really closely to see the prompts on the screen, the cashier will giggle and say something like, “Forgot your glasses, hon?”
You swallow your irritation, know it isn’t the girl’s fault for being curious, for not knowing. “No, unfortunately, there’s not really anything I can do. It’s a rare condition. I’m –” you pause for a moment, afraid of how she’ll take the next thing you’re going to say –“going blind.”
“Oh.” The word is stone-heavy, lands between the two of you. “God. I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to, you know –”
“It’s okay,” you say, quickly. “It’s no big deal. I mean, it is, but I’m used to it.”
She nods. There’s a long silence, and you’re afraid you’ve entered that alternate time bubble again.
“So, um,” she says. “But is sushi okay? I could give you a ride over.”