Agh, I seem to enjoy writing everything that I not supposed to be writing. Ah well, it gets you some more implied C/W! Speaking of which, this fic is a companion piece to my other Coraline fanfiction: "Metallic". Certain aspects of this story will make more sense if you read that one first, though it isn't mandatory that you do so. The events of this story take place, I imagine, several months after the events of "Metallic". Anyway, without further ado, I present to you "Myopia"! -HPS
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters associated with the novel/movie Coraline. They belong to Neil Gaiman (Wybie belongs to Henry Selick, technically, considering he features only in the film). The OCs mentioned are mine, but I will point out that they are random names that popped into my head and so it is likely that they will not be mentioned again.
In the dreary lot belonging to an elderly lady who lives quite near the apartment lot known as the Pink Palace, a surprising number of residents had trouble with their vision. Ms Miriam Forcible fancied to wearing a lorgnette to aid her now failing eyes – commenting once that glasses on a lady were 'unsightly', deeming the lady in question much less attractive than what could be possible. Mr Bobinski in the attic room started wearing reading glasses as he got older, resenting the fact that his precious beetroots did not withhold his good eyesight. The newest additions to the apartment block, despite having lived there for several years now, also possessed some sight impediments: Charlie Jones, a journalist who specialised in plants, had worn the same rectangular-framed glasses since before his daughter was born.
"MOM!" wailed the blue-haired girl upon entering the kitchen. Having to put up with this nonsense was bad enough, and yet, now, her mother decided that the time that Coraline Jones needed to scream at her was the best time to become elusive. Why, oh why, did her genes have to do this to her? Left with a feeling of frustration and deep unsatisfaction, she screamed for her mother again.
"There is absolutely no need to shout like that, Coraline." Charlie sighed, exasperated. Having had to put up with her daughter's foul mood for the past half hour or so, patience with his offspring had worn dangerously thin. It wasn't exactly like the problem was life changing, leaving her whole life to hang in the balance on one single necessary accessory.
"This is YOUR fault, Dad! YOU'RE the one with the stupid eye problems! And now I have to suffer!" Coraline hissed, though deep in her head she knew her reaction was rather unreasonable. After all, when Mel and Charlie had decided to conceive her, they had no choice over which genes Coraline was to receive. It just so happened that Coraline had grown up to become short sighted, just like her dad. It wasn't like it was that big a deal – she could take her glasses off. Her best friend Wybie Lovat, on the other hand...
"Coraline, if you're screaming for me just to go on about those glasses again, I swear it, I will scream. You don't even have to wear those glasses outside of class!" Mel Jones revealed herself from within the parlour room, finally, an annoyed look quickly evolving to anger. "Think of people other than yourself for once!" she continued. "Your friend Wybie has to put up with those braces, which, if I recall, do actually hurt a fair bit from time to time, and he won't be able to take them off for 2 or so more years!"
"But, Mom, I will have these," Coraline pointed dramatically at the small brown case, "for the rest of my life!" she cried. Charlie rubbed his temples in annoyance, while Mel tapped her foot impatiently.
"Coraline Jones," Mel started quietly, dangerously. "Until you can learn to accept that not every aspect of your life is going to be the perfect teenage dream, you are going to sit in your room while your father and I consider the possibilities of discipline. That means you're grounded indefinitely until we decide on a limit, young lady!" she shouted as Coraline stormed up the stairs to her room, leaving her glasses behind.
Coraline lay on her bed, trying desperately to ignore the pained sensations in her stomach. She had sat in her room for the whole afternoon, distracting herself with different stimulations. She tried very desperately not to notice that her vision had gotten so poor that she could not see the stuffed toys clearly, which were just metres away from her, on the shelves. Perhaps it is for the best, she thought resignedly, recalling all those times she had to sit at the front and take the name calling, all because she couldn't see whatever the teacher decided to write up there. It wasn't until that traitor Maths teacher, Ms. Snell, had rung up her mother while she was at school to inquire about her problems in class.
What was she so afraid of, anyway? It wasn't like she was the only teenager to ever wear the darn things. A fellow classmate, Teresa Parsons, wore glasses, and she was certainly one of the prettiest girls at Ashland High. Even Wybie had commented on her appearance from time to time, though this usually earned him a smack to the head. Why can't he see that I'm pretty?
Coraline sat up suddenly, thrilled and petrified by this thought. True, she had watched with varying levels of mild to extreme interest as Wybie filled out through middle school. Now that they were freshmen, and had been so for some time, Coraline found herself reflecting on the appearances of boys around her, inevitably comparing them with Wybie's new height (as a result of Coraline coaxing the boy out of his slouch over time), and the lean muscles that accentuated his limbs and abdomen (an item of admiration from most girls in her grade, Coraline had noticed). A feature which had not changed much was his face – it was still mostly round and tan; and while his ears stuck out from either side of his face, his messy brown hair had grown enough to cover them efficiently. His hazel eyes still captivated her with the innocence of an overgrown child so much like she, despite the fact that he demonstrated public displays of male immaturity from time to time (such as the time he joined the other boys in loudly analysing the figure of several of the more attractive girls in 8th grade – that had earned him a beating and the silent treatment). But, despite all this suddenly overwhelming evidence, none of this meant that Coraline had stronger feelings for her friend. No. It simply meant she was observant, right? Right?
She turned to her bedside table, realising that she must have slept for some time. The small case which housed her new glasses now sat there, taunting her curiosity simply by being there. Coraline thought of Wybie, and of Teresa, and of everyone else she knew that wore glasses, and finally, she snatched the glasses from their home, jamming them on her face angrily. Throwing herself off the bed, she stomped towards the mirror. Everything was so much clearer now – she could see out the window for a fair way – perhaps she imagined it, but that may have been a glimpse of the Lovat house in the distance. Glaring at herself in the mirror, she stared for nearly a full minute before she became taken aback by her reflection.
Gazing back at her was the same old Coraline. What had changed? The blue framed glasses with the square rims sat evenly on her face – perhaps making her eyes seem a little different in size, but it was not the glasses that had caught her attention. Her body had not made any noticeable changes (her bust size had grown significantly through middle school, thank you very much)... Coraline turned her attention back to her eyes as she searched in the hard, blazing look upon her face. Oddly, she found herself thinking of Wybie once more – he could tell me why I look different.
Deciding not to think about her best friend until it was time to meet him at the bus stop the next day, Coraline gently took off her glasses and placed them back in the case. She deliberated on the best course of action – humbly apologise to her parents, then hope for the best – and raced down the stairs, determined to have some food before her stomach started consuming the rest of her.
The day progressed, same as usual. Coraline met Wybie on the way to the bus stop, from which point they travelled without a hitch. The first class was Mathematics, one of only two classes they shared that year. Ms. Snell was already inside and waiting by the time the small horde of 15 year olds trooped into the classroom, searching for good seats in the classroom. Wybie cringed – Maths was the worst. For months now, Coraline had coaxed him to sit up the front with her, despite the fact that the other guys jeered at him just as much as they teased her. Not that she was aware of their teasing, of course; Wybie managed to achieve a one off deal with the guys, preventing the word 'whipped' to ever be thrown across the room.
"Hey, Lovat!" David Lewis called. "Sit with us today!" he said, grinning. Wybie blushed – the boys he associated with all somehow knew that where Coraline was concerned, he would not separate. And that wasn't just because she had a mean right hook.
"Yeah, you're always with Jonesy!" Ben Buckle agreed. Coraline sent a mocking glare at the pimple-faced teenager, before dragging Wybie towards the back of the classroom, where all the boys lounged.
"C-Coraline? Really, it's ok, w-we can sit up the front. I-I don't mind." Wybie reasoned. Laughing, Coraline sat next to David Lewis, while motioning for the boy to take her other side.
"I'm fine now, really." she replied gently, rummaging in her book bag for the necessary stationery. Ms. Snell, eager to start the class, called for attention. She stared at Coraline, unsure of why she was sitting so far away when they both knew that the girl could not see a thing unless she sat at the very front. The blue-haired girl grinned back, before pulling a small brown case out of her bag. Unnoticed by everyone except for Ms. Snell, Coraline Jones placed the glasses upon her face – though her face darkened once she realised that those were parabolic graphs on the board, all relating to algebraic equations.
Coraline was surprised that nobody noticed until halfway through Ms. Snell's class introduction until Maisy Peters screamed "Omigod Coraline! When did you get glasses?" causing everyone to jump, turn and stare in quick succession. Ms. Snell wasted no time in berating the redheaded girl for interrupting her class, meanwhile Coraline was faced with a flurry of comments which she could think of no reply.
"When did you get them?"
"Hah, blue, of course you'd get THAT colour, Jonesy!"
"Are you short sighted or long sighted?"
"They really suit you!"
You look pretty.
This last comment was written in a note, given to her long after the class had been silenced once more. Well, it really could have been addressed to anyone from anyone, only Coraline couldn't help but notice that, once she unravelled the small ball of paper which had fallen to the floor as the blushing boy left the class, that there was a capital C on one side, and that the handwriting most definitely belonged to a Mr. Wybie Lovat.