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The Start of Something New

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Tony cursed his luck. Of all the times to rearrange the supermarket without alerting any customers. He’d had George’s MegaMart ingrained in the back of his mind since before he could remember, and he prided himself on his independence, despite his blindness.

He collided with new shelving and produce bins at every newly unfamiliar turn, and was getting steadily more frustrated as he went on. He shopped at the MegaMart for the familiarity and the quality produce. If there was a better place to get his soy milk and his veggies, he’d have switched years ago. Although, the customer service was very poor. He could hear the young employees chatting just a few yards away, and none of them would come to his aid.

He continued to explore the dangerous land of New Supermarket and made slow, agonizing progress until he reached the freezers. Frozen dinners tasted like cardboard and salt, but when he was too tired to cook, they came in handy. The convenience of it was desired because his work demanded his energy in order to make his drafts and circuitry without his sight.

The frozen dinners were not arranged the same. There was no way for Tony to know what each package contained. He was feeling dread in his stomach at having to memorize the placement of each dish all over again with a huge project coming up at work.

Just then, Tony heard shoes shuffle up beside him. Warmth emanated from the person beside him and he felt the sudden cold of the freezer as it opened and closed.

“E-excuse me.” Tony turned towards the person. He hoped he was looking at the person’s face, as he couldn’t keep count of how many women had yelled at him for facing their breasts.

“Oh, uh… yes?” The person - distinctly male - responded. Tony heard some shuffling and assumed that the man was putting his items in a basket.

“I - you see, I dont know how they rearranged these, they put them all over the place and… I need a few boxes, is it possible for you to help me out?” Tony hated asking for help. That’s why he tried so hard to be independent.

“oh.. OH!” Tony cringed as he realized that the man finally saw that he was blind. “Sure, what do you need?”

“Lasagna, Alfredo and the swanson TV dinners, two of each, please.” Tony said.

“Absolutely!” The man was cheery and happy sounding. His voice seemed to be coming from above Tony, so he turned his head a little upwards to face his head area. “You know, my mom went a little blind before she died. But she always had the prettiest eyes. Maybe people's eyes are just too pretty that they become blind.”

Tony was unsure if he had received his frozen dinners or not. But the man wasn’t moving…. and he was talking about his dead mother…. and pretty eyes?

“Your eyes are very pretty.” The man said.

“Oh, thanks… I’ve never seen them before.” Tony replied. He suddenly felt a little bashful, having never received compliments on his eyes. “Your voice is pretty nice.”

The man began laughing, and Tony found that he liked the sound. It was genuine and soft. It wasn’t a snicker or a flirty chuckle. Tony found that he really liked it.

“Oh, I’ll put these in your basket.” The man gently put the dinners into Tony’s shopping basket. Tony had the feeling that he’d miss this man, even if he’d only been in his presence for about five minutes.

“Can I touch your face?” Tony asked softly. He heard the man still.

“Uh, sure.” The man said.

Tony gently reached out and traced the man’s (very muscled) chest up his neck to his chin and over his cheekbones and strong nose. Tony traced the crevices of the man’s face and felt the puffs of his warm breath against his fingers.

“I’m Steve Rogers. Who are-- I mean, what’s your name?” The man’s lips moved surely underneath Tony’s fingers.

“Tony Stark.”

“Oh. Okay.”

Tony put his hand on the man’s shoulder and took a deep breath. The man smelled of Cinnamon and soap.

“Tony, would you like to maybe go out for coffee some time?” Steve asked.

“Coffee? I’d love to.” Tony replied.

“Okay. Meet me at Hopperton’s on the west side of town--”

“I don’t know where that is…” Tony said, lowering his head.

“Oh, sorry. Where do you know?”

“The little cafe down on 5th street beside the pet shop? I dont know what it’s named.” Tony hoped Steve knew.

“Yeah I know that place. How does tomorrow at 3:00 sound?” Steve placed a paper in Tony’s hand. “There’s my Phone number… Oh my gosh I’m sorry!”

Tony laughed at Steve. He didnt expect Steve to adjust to his blindness right away.

“It’s alright. You can just tell me and I’ll remember.” Tony said.

“You sure? It’s 456-1358”

Tony said his goodbyes to Steve and counted his blessings.

“Maybe this whole fiasco is actually something good.” Tony whispered, smiling. He turned to walk down an aisle and proceeded to trip over a newly placed display. His whole body ached from his spectacular fall.

“I take it back.”

~fin