I nervously got behind the wheel, not sure where to look as my driving instructor slid into the passenger seat next to me. He turned his head, looked me up and down and scribbled something on his clipboard.
‘What was that?’ I asked, panicking. ‘Did I forget something already?’
‘Just your name, Ms. Jones,’ he said with a sigh. ‘And I was checking the box for you not requiring glasses. You don’t, do you Ms. Jones?’
‘Require glasses?’ he repeated.
‘No, no I don’t,’ I said, avoiding the black spots encroaching at the edges of my vision.
He arched an eyebrow and jotted something else down on his clipboard.
‘Have you ever visited an optometrist, Ms. Jones?’
‘Uh, yeah, I guess,’ I said.
‘I mean, not for a few years, not since I was a little kid,’ I said. ‘My eyes seem fine.’
‘Only seem fine?’ he frowned. ‘I’m concerned, Ms. Jones.’
‘No, I mean that they’re—’
‘I have the legal power to compel an eye test. Brighton cannot have drivers who are unable to see the road.’
‘Wait, really?’ I frowned. ‘Is that true?’
‘It certainly is,’ he said sternly. I wasn’t able to decipher if he was lying or not.
‘Uh, okay…’ I said, confused. ‘So are you then?’
‘Am I what?’
‘Compelling me to get an eye test,’ I repeated back to him.
‘Should I be?’
‘You tell me!’ I blurted out, my confusion and anxiety mixing into a frustrated yell.
He raised an eyebrow again. Scratched another note.
‘If you would like, Ms. Jones, I have a highly recommended behavioural optometrist near me that may be able to help you with such… outbursts.’
He ripped off a piece of paper from his notepad and handed it to me.
‘That will be all for today, Ms. Jones,’ he nodded, unlocking his door and sliding back out of the car.
I sat, frozen in the front seat, clutching a ripped piece of paper and utterly confused at what had just happened.