There are New Eyes in my hand. New Eyes where there were no eyes before. I have to admit, I’m a little puzzled. Up until now it’s been my impression that SuperMegaNet is only for uploading and downloading things that already exist. This appears to be something from nothing—unless Beta uploaded it from somewhere actual before downloading it with me. Regardless, I’m impressed. Nanotech stuff is expensive. Usually only the movie stars can afford it.
I examine the bottle dropper. It looks real, feels real. There are instructions on the back: three drops in each eye at bedtime. Simple.
I remember seeing commercials on TV a while back for corrective eye drops. They were all the rage until a year or two ago. It seems odd that you don’t hear about them anymore considering the relentless ad campaigns. Once or twice every hour during prime time you’d spot geeky-looking guys placing a few drops in their eyes, blinking, and finding themselves suddenly tanned and muscular and standing on a beach with legions of cheerful bikini women bouncing about. “Appreciate the View” was the official slogan. Apparently an intended, though highly unlikely, side effect of New Eyes is overnight Olympic conditioning.
“Go for it!” calls a tiny voice from below.
I look down. Mini-Devil Theo is clawing his way out of my backpack.
He toddles across the floor, tugs at my pant leg. “Come on, we so need a refresh!”
It’s vaguely unsettling that there’s a miniature plush version of myself talking to me. Where did I get a thing like this? Did I buy it, did someone give it to me as a birthday gift—
“Check it out.” Mini-Theo takes off his shirt, drops his pants, steps out of them. He takes off his miniature glasses, tosses them onto the floor, stomps on them. Then he faces the full-length mirror and flexes, squints. “Years at the gym with Mom, impeccable diet thanks to her health food streak…Eva wants a hard body? We’ve got one! And now that we no longer need any dumb old eyeglasses getting in our way, why, we’re unstoppable!”
It kind of makes sense. I’ve never been a showoff. People should like me for who I am and not how I accessorize. But maybe there’s something to the whole packaging thing. Maybe Eva’s ignoring me because I’m ignoring myself.
I strip down to my underwear. I stand side by side with my plush likeness. Both of us are admiring our physiques in the mirror (don’t laugh; if you were ever a twelve-year-old boy, you’ve done this once or twice, too). I flex. Beta’s right. I am in great shape. Why didn’t I notice before? Why didn’t I care? I’m not a geek, I’m…I’m a smaller, more compact version of Jan.
I take off my glasses. Everything around me goes blurry. I have to step in close to the mirror to make out my features properly. I’m not used to seeing my face when it’s not being framed by a pair of lenses. The effect is not altogether unpleasant.
“Eh?” Mini-Theo grunts, nudging my calf. “We could get her—we could totally get her.”
I smile at myself. I’m going to do it—
—I’m going to get New Eyes.