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Naama Ireland

Grade: 10

Chaviva High School

Instructor: Ariella Landy

An Eye for an Eye

Short Story

An Eye for an Eye

My husband had a quiet sort of handsomeness. If you saw him walking down the street he wouldn't seem particularly attractive, but he was one of those people who gradually became more good-looking as you got to know him. In my mind, his kind demeanor and earnestness built his image different from what the rest of the world saw. His smile became more radiant, and I began to notice subtle things about him, like the small dimple on his cheek, and the way he had a certain look about him when he was making a decision. It was the crease that appeared on his forehead. It made it seem like whatever the decision was, whether it was about what to eat for lunch or which wedding ring he would propose to me with, he really thought about the impact of what his decision would mean for anyone else involved. And that's what I think I love about him, the way he thinks about everyone else in the world not as an irrelevant piece of his life but as a reflection of himself. He sees through other people's eyes with an astute manner and knows what they're feeling and what they need. And that's why I'm glad he is blind. I know that's awful to think, but I do believe it is true. And I worry that if my husband did ever somehow get the gift of sight... well I worry it would change him, I really do.

It was unsettling to look at him because he couldn't see you in return, but my husband had beautiful eyes which enhanced this strangeness. I, with dull brown eyes, was at first taken aback when he said he hated his eyes. He claimed that it masked his burden in false beauty. But I believe that they would not be as beautiful if they did see. When one looks at another's eyes, they don't see the color and shape, they see more what's behind them, the emotion. Because his eyes were broken you noticed the physical more than anything. Then again, sometimes the most purposeless things are treasured greatest of all. The question is whether the beauty of his eyes was a blessing or a curse.

Our doctor had approached us suggesting a recently approved procedure wherein they would take one of my eyes to give to him, allowing him to see. I was apprehensive. I loved my husband and would give the world for him to have the gift of sight, but I was afraid of the unknown. I was afraid of the shift in our relationship. Or if there would even be a shift. When he did see his wife for the first time would he be disappointed? What if how I appeared in reality wasn't in alignment with how he pictured me in his mind? I didn't know. An eye for an eye, my only sacrifice in the matter, but there was so much more.

It was early October when the operation was done. It was a good type of cold outside, the type of cold that exhilarates, rather than paralyzes you. I often found him in the bathroom, looking in his reflection in the mirror. He asked me if this was egotistical of him but I told him I thought it was understandable.

It was on one of those occasions in the bathroom, where he was looking particularly close to the mirror, carefully inspecting his eyes. I leaned against the door frame watching his reflection. When he caught sight of me he smiled and turned around to face me. "Everyone's always talking about my eyes, but yours are much more beautiful." I look up at him and laugh. "What!? Mine are nothing special," I say smiling back at him. He looked at me with surprise. Then, taking me into his arms he said "Well, to me they are everything."