Another Saturday and other date. A cycle I seemed doomed to repeat for the rest of my life. Not once in the past three years since my break up had I had any luck with women, it was as if Marianne had been my only soulmate and I had to go and screw it all up. “We were drunk, it was only a kiss” I said to her over and over again. But Marianne never listened, after she broke up with me she cut all ties with myself and her sister.
I sat at the bar with a beer in hand, half empty already. I checked my phone, twenty seven minutes had passed since our scheduled time and my date was nowhere to be seen. She didn’t even bother sending a text.
I opened up Hinge again and shot her a message. “Everything okay?” No answer. I told myself that I’d give her until my glass had emptied.
When I finished the last sip of my beer I felt a gentle poke on my shoulder. I sat the glass down and looked behind me. Smiling back me was the face of my date. She had a small angular face with a pointed chin and dressed in a black tank top and jeans. She didn’t seem that sophisticated but I didn’t care for sophisticated women that much.
“Julian?” She asked.
I nodded. “Eileen?”
“That’s me,” she smiled. “I’m so so sorry I’m late.”
“It’s okay. Everything alright?” I asked.
“Everything’s a-okay,” she smiled. “I just got caught up picking who to wear. What do you think?” The “who to wear” comment implied she had picked a high end outfit, which bewildered me because her whole outfit looked as if it had came from an Old Navy, and then she pointed at her face and smiled looking me in the eyes. Her eyes were ice blue, I had never seen that color before outside of the White Walkers on Game of Thrones. I didn’t remember her look being so piercing on her profile photo, but I didn’t pay much attention to eye color in the first place.
Her smile dropped to a slight frown and she said something that I thought to be nothing more than a harmless compliment. Oh how wrong I would discover that to be when we went back to her place later that night.
“You have such pretty eyes,” she said like one says when witnessing gazing upon something so beautiful that it takes their breath away. “I only I could scoop them out and wear them myself.”
“Thank you?” I said. Marianne used to compliment my eyes a lot, she said that they were like emeralds shaped like irises.
Her frown flipped back into a smile, she took the empty seat next to me at the bar and our date officially began.
Despite my initial impression of Eileen I came around to her by the end of the night. Our dinner that night consisted of nothing but beer, chips and salsa. It turns out that we had a lot in common from our lives as dog owners (“I always keep an eye on Rover, just to be sure he’s safe”), to a mutual interest in painting (“I have a good eye for color”). When I brought up pool she reciprocated in my love for the game. (“I have the eyes of a pro.”) So I challenged her to a friendly game of pool. She lost spectacularly.
“I thought you said you had the eyes of a pro,” I said, my breath smelling of beer and chips.
“I do, but I left them at home,” she said smiling. She wrapped her arms around me and looked me in the eyes. “Want to go back and see them?”
The alcohol inhibited any thoughts of no. She was weird but most importantly she was cute and just seemed a little socially inept, but that wasn’t a turn off to me. I was having a good time and I wanted it to last. And let’s face it, I’ve grown lonely over the past two years, so I jumped on the invitation as soon as it was handed to me. “I’d love to see them,” I said.
We took an Uber back to her place. When she opened her door her dog came straight to the door and wagged his tail. I greeted the golden retriever with a few pets before Eileen pulled me away towards her bedroom. I looked back towards her dog and hanging on his collar I saw a white orb dangling, right before she shut the door they orb spun around revealing a dark spot. I couldn’t tell what it was but I swore it was looking right at me.
She tossed me on her bed and I gladly let gravity guide me down to the soft sheets. The lights were off but I didn’t care. I would let her do whatever she wanted to me, I couldn’t be happier. She jumped on me and came in for the kiss. I felt myself sink into her mattress in pure bliss.
She pulled herself away from me and gasped. “I want to see your eyes,” she said. She excused herself from the bed while I laid there grinning ear to ear. I watched her silhouette glide across the room to the door, she flipped a switch and a rush of light came from above blinding me. I closed my eyes in discomfort. She must had seen me react because she quickly said “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your eyes.”
“It’s okay,” I said. “I just didn’t expect it to be so bright.”
I opened to a blurred world, my eyes watering to the bright white LEDs above me. When the tears finally cleared I looked around the room for Eileen.
My breath escaped me when I saw where she went. She stood against a wall grinning ear to ear. Behind her from floor to ceiling stood a bookcase full of glass jars full of eyes. The eyes within them spinning and darting in different directions as if they were looking for a means of escape. Clearly she had a thing for eyes.
“Those are some interesting decorations you have there,” I said. I tried sitting myself up but I couldn’t pull myself out of the sheet. The more I moved the more I sunk in, like quicksand.
She reached into a jar behind her, pulling out two eye balls drenched in a clear slime. They looked side to side. “These are the eyes I was telling you about. My pool eyes.”
Eileen sat them on the shelf and reached towards her own eyes. Sticking a finger in either of them she dug deep through the sockets and with a flicking motion her eyes shot out onto the bed with a sound like popping open a jar of salsa. She looked at me with two voids in her sockets. Reaching back towards the eyes on the shelf she guided them to her sockets and shoved them in. She looked at me with dark brown eyes and approached the bed.
Paying no regard to the two eyeballs that she had shot towards the bed she climbed on top of me and gazed into my eyes.
“They aren’t my favorite pair,” she said. “I don’t really like pool that much. But they have another talent.”
I fought the pull of the mattress. I swung and kicked at her but my hits didn’t connect. None of them escaped the pull of the bed, instead I felt my limbs sink deeper until only my torso and face remained above surface. I let out a scream, she placed a finger on my lips.
“Shh,” she said. “I wasn’t finished.” She cleared her throat. “This pro used his winnings to pay for medical school. He was an accomplished surgeon when I met him.”
“What did you do to him?” My voice trembling.
“I tossed his body in the trash, but he’s right here watching me watch you.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean it’ll all be over soon. Trust me, it’ll be much more painless for you than how it used to be, before I got this pair. Has anyone ever told you that you have such pretty eyes?” She leaned in for a kiss, I screamed. She took her hands and dug them straight into my eye sockets. The last thing I remember hearing was the sound of two pickle jars popping.
“… and that’s my story,” I said to my neighbors. They looked at me plainly. The always did. I saw Eustace’s eyes roll.
“Give me a break, that was nothing,” he said. Well said here is a subjective term, more like I could sense his disappointment. When you’re all jammed in a jar together you learn to read your neighbors in a peculiar way. We can’t speak but we’ve developed our own language with just eye motion.
“Everybody’s story is valid,” Carmen said. She was always onto Eustace’s case, when he wasn’t looking she told me it’s because she thinks that he’s just grown crabby from Eileen never wearing him. “He hasn’t seen the outside in like thirty years,” she told me once. “Also I’m sorry for everything.” She told me when I first learned their language, and she meant it I could see it in her ice blue eyes.
“Let tell you my stor-“ Eustace began saying. He was rudely interrupted by the rattling of the jar. We all looked up to see who would be so lucky to see the world once again through her eyes. Eileen looked in with the two voids on her face and fished for a perfect pair for her next outing when I felt her warm hands wrap around me.
“Of course mister pretty eyes goes again,” I saw Eustace say.
“It’s good for him,” Carmen gestured.
“Says you miss other pretty eyes. I tell ya-“
I missed the rest of their bickering when Eileen faced me forwards towards the rest of her room. I saw the bed where she took me from my body, I saw Rover with her own eye look back up me, and when she popped me into her sockets I saw the eyes of her next victim. Those beautiful hazel eyes looking back at me in his profile picture. I just hoped he wasn’t my replacement.
This story was originally submitted to /r/WritingPrompts under my new reddit account dedicated just for writing. You can read the other submissions here.