Wow, I haven't posted anything in forever. (NaNoWriMo is partially responsible.) This was a short story I wrote for a local writing contest. I put it off until the last moment (oops) so it's largely unedited. I hope you enjoy it all the same!
They are lying on rough grass and basking in warm sunlight when he asks her what it's like to hear. She ponders the question for several moments – how does one explain such a thing? – before jotting down her answer on a well-worn notebook and handing it to him. He reads the scrawled handwriting with perfect clarity.
Some noises are soft and sweet, like cotton candy, and others are harsh and painful, like glass shards. Sometimes when it's really loud you can feel the sound in the air. There's a whole bunch of sounds, and you can combine them to make meaning, kind of like words.
Then she asks him what sight is like, because while he cannot hear, she cannot see.
He mulls over his answer, finding the same difficulty in explaining as she did, before answering her query in his slurred yet earnest voice.
"Well, everything's made up of colors. Lots and lots of colors. There's gotta be at least a billion of 'em, I think."
She makes a series of motions with her hands. What are colors like?
He tells her. There are two types of colors: warm and cold. She nods: those are concepts she can understand.
Blue is the cool, clear river water, she learns. Yellow is the sunlight shining down upon them. Green is the blanket of grass they are lying on. Slowly yet steadily, he describes to her every color he can think of.
She smiles in thanks, and they remain on the grass for quite some time, simply enjoying each other's company.
They are well aware that their relationship is abnormal. A blind girl and a deaf boy? Certainly there are too many obstacles to overcome, too many problems to face for them to ever be together. People see fit to tell them this constantly, rattling off lists of things they can't do together because of their disabilities. While at times vexing, they generally shrug off such worries with smiles and assurances.
It is a perfectly ordinary day when they first meet. She is sitting alone at a local meeting for the deaf and blind, thumbing through her deck of plastic, Braille playing cards, much too shy to dare instigate a game. She is feeling quite detached until he comes over and timidly asks her if she would like to play go-fish.
They play cards for several hours, sharing triumphant laughs and defeated grumbles, thoroughly enjoying themselves, until night falls. They promise to meet again at the next meeting.
They both agree that people never really seem to understand the impact a single moment can have. After that day, he puts renewed effort into learning how to speak, and she looks for a tutor willing to teach a blind girl sign language. Step by step, they chip away at the communication barrier between them. Eventually, they become so in-tune with each other's habits that they function as a single unit capable of seeing and hearing.
In the end, however, they both know that their efforts, while undoubtedly helpful, weren't exactly necessary. They are positive that if neither of them could see nor hear their relationship would still work.
They walk home that day with their hands entwined, feet thudding on the cobblestone road, and hair ruffled by the wind.
Because while she could not see, and he could not hear, they could both feel. And that was a language in which they were both fluent.