Last night in my dreams I met a girl that I had known many years ago. We had been in elementary school together, and I hadn’t seen her since. In the dream, she was still a 10 year-old girl. I suppose my imagination can’t picture her as an adult.
Her name was Amy. She was tall, graceful in movement and stride, with thick, shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair and the most piercing blue eyes I’d seen before…or since.
Amy could write beautifully, even as a quiet, pensive 10 year-old. She spoke more with smiles and expressions than with words, and this intrigued me. Her eyes would speak volumes by themselves, and yet I wondered why she never used her voice more than she did. I’d only heard her speak once or twice during class or in the cafeteria during lunch.
One afternoon during recess, I decided to strike up a conversation with Amy. I can’t even remember what I said to her; I only remember the discovery I made.
She smiled with her lovely eyes, as she usually did. She then slowly opened her mouth to speak, and I noticed the obvious forming of her lips as she prepared to grace me with her voice. It took her several long seconds to say what she had yet to say, and the words poured slowly, meticulously, and carefully from her mouth.
“I don’t like to talk much,” she said with an easy smile. “I can’t hear anything I say, and I don’t want to sound silly or stupid.”
“You can’t hear what you say?” I reverberated slowly.
“I can’t hear myself. I can’t hear you, either. I’m deaf.”
How hard to believe. That graceful creature heard the world with her eyes alone. That explained the unusual pensiveness behind them. Amy and I were friends until her parents relocated to another state a few years later. In all that time, she only spoke when I asked her to. She taught me bits of sign language, and she would often clamp her hands over my ears and say with a giggle, “tell me what you see now.”
I saw silence….and it was beautiful.
© Anna Christine Wess, 2001