“Mom, I’m heading out now, I’ll see you when I get back!” I yelled across the house at my mom. “Okay Honey, be back before dark”. She yells back, my mom is currently busy with my nephew, Austen. He’s the cutest little thing in the world. He’s got the deepest brown eyes I have ever seen and his bright blonde hair has little ringlets in it. He’s so going to be a heart throb when he’s older. I should know, he takes after my older brother, Ryan. When Ryan still lived at home, girls would come over all the time and leave him stupid presents. But now Ryan’s married to Vanessa and they have Austen, and a little girl on the way. When you compared me and Ryan, you would never guess we were siblings. First of all, Ryan is like 7 years older than me, and where he has light blonde hair, I have a deep brown. His eyes are brown and mine are blue. His nose is HUGE, (just kidding, but I like to tease him that it is). And mines just your average girly nose. Also, I’m clinically depressed. I take meds for it and it really helps, so even though its not noticeable, that’s another difference. But, we did both inheirit our father’s height. Ryan is 6’1’’ and I’m 5’11’’. Yah, I know I’m tall for a girl, even some guys. That’s why when I get married, he has to be atleast 6’2’’. I have a curvy body, that’s not fat, but not really your average supermodel material. I’m muscular. You can’t really see it because I’m not toned, but I can definitely hold my own in a fight. That’s why I’m where I am right now. I got in a fight with this bitch from school. I’m not usually a violent person, but this girl was going up to this blind kid and taunting him by waving her hand in front of his face and teasing him. I hate people like her. My one weakness is when people tease and make fun of people with special needs. I don’t care what’s different about them, they could be mentally retarded or have a broken leg. I hate when people are being teased. So, when I told her to stop and she said ‘mind your own business slut.’ I retaliated. I punched her in the face everything just escalated from there. Since I threw the first punch, I’m stuck with 30 hours of community service, but I don’t really mind, I like volunteering anyways. I decided that I want to work with the deaf. I’ve always been interested with ASL (American Sign Language), I’ve been learning it since I was old enough to talk. So I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to brush up on my skills.
Walking into the building, I go up to the front desk. “Hi, my name’s Marriah Miller. I’m here to do some service hours.” I said with a smile. The lady gave me that look that told me she wasn’t fooled by my cheerful appearance. Little did she know that I really was cheerful, that’s what my depression pills were for, hello! Anyways, “Right this way Miss Miller.” I followed her into a room that was full of people working. I was surprised to find that there was no specific age group, there was a little boy about 3 and then there were two very old men in the back corner playing chess and signing to eachother. Then, I saw him. He had to be the most gorgeous person I have ever seen! Tall dark and handsome didn’t even come close. His eyes were looking so deeply into mine that I could hardly breathe. What did he see in there that had him so distracted? My soul perhaps? His eyes were the darkest blue I have ever seen. They were hypnotizing. His hair was so brown it was almost black, and had a little flip at the bottom from its length. His lips looked so kissable, they were the most beautiful pink I have ever seen on a man. He looked muscular from what I could tell. I wondered what he looked without his shirt on. This evaluation only lasted a matter of seconds, but I felt like it was hours. I finally pealed my eyes from him and paid attention to what Front Desk Lady was saying.
“You’ll be working with Johnny. He’s 5 years old and has been coming here since he was 2. He likes new people, especially ones who are pretty.” She eyed me up and down. I suppose that was supposed to be a compliment.
“Okay! Where is the little guy?” I asked with enthusiasm.
“Right over here.” She lead the way over to him. When I saw him I had to do a double take. He looked just like my little nephew. It was a little weird. If I didn’t know my brother better, I would think he was an illegitimate son.
“Johnny, this is Marriah. She’s going to be working with you for a few weeks. Is that okay?” She spoke as she signed to him.
“Yes” he signed. You could tell that he was trying to move his mouth along with his action. When children are born deaf, its much harder for them to learn to talk because they’ve never heard it and don’t know if their making the right sounds with their mouths, unlike people who go deaf after knowing how to speak. They still have an impediment because they can’t hear what their saying, but they still know how to talk.
“Hey Johnny.” I waved to him and spelled out his name. “Can I play with you?” I asked, then jestured to his building blocks on the table.
He nodded his head no. “Lets talk”. He said.
“Okay, do you like to read?” I gestured.
“I try, but Its really hard. Will you read a book with me?” He asked.
“Absolutely. Go pick one out.” I told him.
He jumped up from the table over to a bin in the corner which was marked with hands making the individual letters for books. He came back with The Lion and The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney.
“I love this book!” I told him. Reading to him was just a little bit difficult, but I was lucky he was extroverted and didn’t mind sitting right beside me. I would read a sentence out loud, so he could see what I was saying, then I would sign it to him, so he would know for sure what I had said. I personally helps kids learn to talk faster that way.
By the end of the book, he looked so excited that he understood what had just happened in the book that I had to laugh a little bit. Although I was giggling, I was a little sad. Something told me that not many people took the time to read to the deaf children. I think I may have to start a story time for the little children.
“Okay, Johnny. It’s time for me to leave, but I’ll be back tomorrow for some more fun. How does that sound?” I asked him. For a moment he looked sad, but then a smile lit his face and he signed
“Maybe tomorrow we can read a longer book? And we can color and play with my blocks and we can talk and..” I stopped him and laughed. “Slow down there cowboy. Lets take this one day at a time. I’ll be here everyday for the next four weeks. Maybe even longer. We have more than enough time to have all the fun we want.” I told him.
He hugged me and I started to leave. I got to the front door and saw that the guy I had been ogling over earlier was leaning against the ball by the door. I looked at him and waved. I heard him say “Hey, hold on a sec.” I stopped dead in my tracks. I hadn’t been expecting him to be able to talk. “Hi”. I said and signed at the same time.
“You don’t have to sign with me, I read lips.” He told me.
“Okay.” I said, this felt really weird.
“You were really good with Johnny today, a lot of times he wears people out with his enthusiasm, but you were just as enthusiastic. It was fun to watch.” He said.
I laughed. “He’s such a sweet little boy. I really like reading to him. It was kind of new for me.” I told him.
“How did you learn signing?” he asked.
“I’m just one of those people who like to prove how different they are by choosing to learn a language they would never really need to use in everyday life.” I told him, then added “depending on who you hang out with.”
He smiled and said “You do it really well. I thought maybe you had a deaf family member or something.”
“Wow, thank you!” it was such a sweet compliment. That mean that I was fluent enough that he thought I talked sign daily.
“Well, I’ve got to go now. Talk to you later!” I told him, but right as I reached the door I realized I had told him with my back to him. I turned around laughing.
“Sorry. I said that I’ve got to go, but I hope I’ll see you later.” I told him. He smiled and waved goodbye to me.