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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Music has an amazing ability to move people, even if they cannot hear it.

Submitted: September 30, 2012

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Submitted: September 30, 2012



Mary was born deaf, but she loved music. She would sit on the floor and put her hand up to dad’s big, old, brown speakers and feel the vibrations with her hands. She did this since she was a little girl and it made my parents smile. The attention Mary got from our parents made me jealous as a child, and I especially hated the attention she got for her love of music. When no one was around I would sometimes turn the music on and put my hand on the speaker just to feel what Mary felt. It just made my hand tickle a little, and I much preferred the sound of the music to the feel of it. I still don’t understand Mary’s love for musical vibrations, but I have come to love her love for it. Just like my parents, I smile every time I see Mary sitting by the speaker feeling the music.

Now that we are both in our late teens, I feel very protective over my twin. We go to different high schools because of her disability, so I am afraid to bring home my friends in case they judge her or somehow hurt her. I told Mary this, and she said that she can look after herself, but I still worry.

I had been dating Wills, my first serious boyfriend, for two months before my parents insisted I invite him over for dinner. I remember how excited Mary was to meet him. Her being my only sister and my best friend, I wanted desperately for her to approve of Wills and for him to accept her.

In the car ride over to the house I sat in the passenger seat of Wills’ Jeep and let the notes of Nirvana wash over me. The windows were up because it was winter in Raleigh, but we were both wrapped up in blankets because the heating was broken in Jerry the Jeep.

“Wills,” I said.

“Hm,” he responded, glancing over at me out of the corner of his eyes, bobbing his head to the music.

“I just want to make sure you’re ok with meeting Mary.” I twisted my hands around in my lap, crossing and re-crossing my fingers.

“Paulina,” he said, “I’ve already told you that I’m perfectly fine with meeting Mary. I’m excited even! I know you care about her more than anything, and I feel like the reason you keep asking me if I’m ok with it is because you’re not.”

“I just want you to see her the way I do,” I said, looking over at his profile. Wills reached over and took my hand out of the blanket and kissed it, keeping his eyes on the road. I took a breath and let it out.

When we finally made it to the house I saw quick movements behind the windows surrounding the door. When we walked in, hand in hand, I saw my father sitting at the table staring intently at the newspaper from the day before and my mother standing at the stove rapidly stirring a pot. The sounds of Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles was filling the room. I looked over at Wills, opening my mouth to introduce him to my parents, but he wasn’t looking at me or them. His head was turned to the left and his eyes were focused on something in the living room. I looked around him and saw that his eyes led to Mary, sitting on the floor, eyes closed, and her right hand on the speaker.

Wills let go of my hand and walked into the living room towards Mary. He sat down facing her and mirrored her stance, eyes close and hand on the speaker. I looked at my parents who were watching them as well, and glanced back at Wills and Mary.

Mary had opened her eyes and was staring at Wills in a mildly interested manner. Wills opened his eyes. I held my breath, glancing between Wills and Mary and my parents.

“I like this song,” Wills signed to Mary. She nodded. “The Beatles were my dad’s favorite band,” he continued. Mary nodded again.

“Paulina told me you like music a lot. Who is your favorite band?”

Mary reached up to the shelf next to the speaker and pulled down a CD: Nevermind by Nirvana. Wills smiled. “That’s my favorite, too,” he signed. Mary smiled at him. She still hadn’t spoken or signed anything back to him yet. It was not like her to be quiet. Then Wills said something that I will never forget.

“What makes the feeling of music different from the other things you feel?” He asked. Mary paused before replying.

“Music moves,” she signed.

“Other things move, too,” Wills said. “Cars, people, wind…” Mary shook her head.

“Those are things you can see move or feel move outside your body. Music moves inside. Music moves my whole body. My heart beats to the rhythm and my breath moves in time with the vibrations. Music moves my soul.”

Everyone was silent. Wills smiled at her.

“I understand you,” he signed.

“I understand you,” Mary signed back.

I looked over at my parents, who looked just as awestruck as I felt. We had loved Mary’s love for music. We thought it was interesting or cool how she sat and felt the vibrations because she couldn’t hear it, but we never really understood her love for it. I had always just thought she liked to tickles, but music was so much more than a feeling to her, it literally and figuratively moved her.

I have met people since that say they love music or that music is their life, but I don’t think anyone can really understand music as much as Mary does. Hearing music can be a spiritual experience for people. The lyrics have meaning and can inspire, but there are very few people who have ever truly felt music and have truly had it move them. It is strange for someone who cannot even hear the notes or words to love music so much, but I think that just makes Mary’s love for music that much more special.

© Copyright 2017 iameffy. All rights reserved.

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