When I was six years old, I lost my hearing. I was young so I didn't understand the impact of losing it at the time. Back then, I remember my parents and family being devastated. I always questioned what was so bad about it, after all, it was only my hearing. As I got older, my loss of hearing started to feel more and more like a burden.
Whenever we were out in public, my parents would have to tell others what I wanted. I felt like there was a loss of connection and it didn't help that it seemed that those around me communicated so well with others when they could hear each other. Before the age of ten, I experienced frequent breakdowns because I was different. My family tried to encourage me that it wasn't as bad as I thought but they weren't deaf, they didn't lose one of their important senses, they didn't really understand, they only said those things out of pity. For a while, that was my mindset but it's different now, I'm different now.
Now I'm kinda just hanging around my house a lot. My parents and I moved here about a week ago and it's been pretty quiet. Well, except for two things. One thing is a boy I've been chatting with, Eren. He's a guy who's going to my new high school. He's been very welcoming since he found out we live close to each other. I hope we can meet soon. I can't leave my house much this summer since my parents are working long hours.
Them being away almost all day is another reason I can't leave because I recently got a kitten. His name is Oliver but I call him Ollie. For the longest time, I wanted a pet. It took a lot of persuasion to get my parents to even consider getting a pet. Eventually, they said yes, said it would give me something to occupy myself with. I guess they were right. Ollie has been energetic, non-stop action around here. He loves to run and scratch furniture ALL the time. He certainly is hyper, but not too hyper for me.
I may be deaf but it won't stop me from using my other senses to stay alert and keep up with him. It's simply like taking care of a child. A small, four-legged, very fluffy, child.
Even with him around, I can't deny that being in the house all the time gets lonely but my parents say it's best to stay inside till the end of Summer is a bit closer. It is a bit better to stay at home but I wanna go further than the front and backyard. Maybe that's why I started talking to Eren...
I feel my phone buzz beside me as I lay on my bed. I'm sorting out photos I took before moving. Photos of family and friends, nice memories. I turn my head and grab my phone. I turn it on and immediately see a text from Eren.
"Morning, er....afternoon. How are you?"
I start typing, as a snicker a bit. He slept in late again.
"I'm doing pretty good, you?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. Just woke up, heh."
I knew it.
I text him a bit more before my mom opens my door. I switch my phone from my texts to the home screen quickly before looking up at her and smiling. She smiles back.
"I'm heading to work now." She says as she signs to me.
I read her lips even though she signs it. I nod and she leaves to go to work. Dad probably left a few hours ago. I sit up and walk out of my room and into the living room. Ollie is asleep on the arm of the couch and the rest of the place is empty. I sit down on the couch and turn on the TV. I flip through channels for half an hour before feeling my stomach growl. I go and get some of the Eggo Waffles left in the fridge.
It's been about three hours and I'm starting to get bored again. There's nothing to do and Eren is busy helping his sister. I want to go do something. Something fun! I lay upside down, dangling my head off the arm of the couch. Ollie is up now and eating. He's gonna get skittish soon. I look over at the window. People are probably out having fun right now. Shopping, playing in the park, being anywhere else but at home, feeling bored. Of course, I can go out in the back or front yard but it just isn't the same.
I start to feel anxious and sit up, walking around looking for something to do. Ollie sees me walk past and follows me, excited. After forty-five minutes of nothing, I looked at the front door and then at the clock. Mom and dad would be gone for quite a while. It's 4:06 and if I leave now, I could stay out for a few hours and then come back. I decide to go against my parents' wishes just this once and go back to my room to put on some clothes.
I grab my smaller book bag and pick up Ollie who is looking at me with his head sideways. I smile at him and leave out the front door, happy that I'll finally go out of the house, and I don't mean into the yard this time.
An hour and a half pass by. I took my bike and rode all the way to a cafe I found on Google Maps. I was worried about getting food but the cashier knew how to sign and made it easier for me to order. After that, I went to a park a few blocks down and let Ollie run around. He seems ecstatic to be outside, even more so since he's full of energy. I sit down on the grass, making sure he stays close, and take a book out of my bookbag. The Infamous Mizzy, a book about a girl named Mizzy who is framed for the disappearance of her younger brother. It's a great book and this is about the hundredth time I've read it. Just as I open my book, my phone buzzes. I take it out of my pocket and it's a text from Eren.
"Hey, wanna meet up? I gotta babysit my sister and I wanna get out the house."
I stare at the message and think about it. There are many reasons why this is a bad idea. One: He's still a stranger in a way, I haven't met him in person even once. Two: I'm out of the house even though my parents want me to stay at the house. Three: He has no idea I'm deaf! What if he thinks I'm weird and doesn't want to talk to me? What if he ignores my messages and we avoid each other? Just as I'm freaking out, my phone buzzes again. I look at it, a video call. It's my cousin, Amelia. I answer and she waves hello. I can see her saying hello as well. I wave back, trying my best to look like I'm okay but it doesn't take her long to realize something is wrong.
"What's up, Lil' cuz?" She signs, looking worried.
I prop up my phone on my book. "Nothing's wrong..." I sign back.
She crosses her arms and gives me that look I hate. The "I know something's wrong and I'm not leaving till you tell me" look. I frown.
"There's this boy," I start to sign.
She smiles bright and goes oooohhh, although I can't hear it, it still makes me embarrassed. I bury my face in my hands and look at her desperately.
She laughs. "So what's the problem?"
"He wants to hang out" I sign.
"Isn't that a good thing?" She signs back.
I explain to her the many reasons this is bad. She gives me a sincere smile.
"If he doesn't like you for who you are, then it's his loss, cuz. You're a wonderful person." She signs and I know she really means it.
I smile at her. "thank you" I sign.
"Now go get your man!" She signs and laughs.
I hang up quickly, I can feel my cheeks getting warm and can tell I'm blushing. I guess it's time to text Eren back. It's been a few minutes now. Ollie is lying on his back, waving his paws in the air. Cute. I pick up my phone, take a picture, then text Eren.
"Sure. Where do you wanna meet?"