Her eyes froze me. I had never met someone who could say so much without a single word. Thoughts played like pictures across two small blue screens. The slightest lift of her eyebrow could convey things more clearly than most of my dim-witted friends and it is no wonder. They had willingly traded in the treasure of words for the sake of fitting in. How am I expected to know the true feelings of a person who would rather say “LOL” than share the actual joy of laughter with me?
But it was not what she could say to me that chilled my soul, it was what she could read. I felt naked when her gaze held mine.
When I met her I spelled my name slowly. S. A. M. It was one of the few things I remembered from my childhood neighbor Jackson. He was deaf too. And like her, he could read lips.
She nodded and spelled her name to me. I caught the “S” because I had one in my name, but the rest was lost on me. Luckily her friend was there to tell me her name was Allison. She spent a few moments with us translating for Allison, but her sideways glances made it clear that she was more interested in the guy with the tight jeans and big muscles.
That was the first time I saw how much one look could say. A little half-smile and nod and her friend was off to try and win her prize. It wasn’t just that the look said, “Go ahead. You can leave.” Somehow it said, “You have my permission to leave. We will be good. I have done this before and we can speak without you.”
I caught all of it. I stood shocked by two things. The first was that I knew her intent. That’s so much different than knowing what she said. It’s deeper. All the different ways of saying something were stripped away. I did not have to guess if she meant what she said because she did not say anything. She simply showed what she thought, what she felt.
The second thing that shocked me was that feeling of “we”. It seemed more important somehow than a normal “we”. This was no superficial “we”. I had just met her, but her eyes told me she felt safe with me. This would have been nice under normal circumstances, but at the moment it scared the hell out of.
Before the look that sent her friend scurrying, she stared into my eyes. Social etiquette would say that you can only do this for so long before it gets awkward and then you must look away. I did not want to look away, but I am always sensitive to being perceived as creepy. As she looked at me, and I at her, I watched for the signs that would tell me it was time to look away, but they never came. Her eyes invited me to stay there in that moment.
Now I don’t recall my eyes inviting her in, but apparently she just felt like she could just hop in my soul and have a look around. After a surprisingly quick search, she felt that I was safe. Next thing you know, poof, her friend’s gone and I am looking at the only person in the world who can read me like a book.
That’s when I knew I had to kill her.
Just kidding. It scared me though. She must of known this too because she just smiled, winked, and nodded for me to follow her. She led me out side where we sat on the porch swing and stared at the stars. Our hands slid together perfectly. It was like finding the place that puzzle piece was made to fit after trying every other place. I couldn’t see the whole picture yet, but I knew it would be beautiful.
Copyright © 2013 Adam Drake