Never Too Far Gone: Find the Deaf Ear That'll Listen (COMPLETE REVAMP EDITION)

By A.

Prologue—part one

🍁🍁🍁 November 2017

I was born into church. But my family wasn't perfect by any standards—or so I originally thought. At the time, I was ten. Naïve and young, my dad was a classic workaholic who married my mom in 1984; my mother whose a devout Christian with trust issues and slightly over protective by two or so yard sticks. I love her, its just every time things get rough and she gets stressed out, her mood and demeanor change to complaining about nearly everything. Everything. That happened as I grew, but when my dad died couple years ago, it got worse. Especially when my brother decided to act out. Treating my mother and I as if we weren't family but objects of amusement.

Things that he was free to insult and belittle daily. I put up with it until I couldn't; which is when I found out I was pregnant. I hadn't told my mom when I found out, partly because I was shocked myself. I hadn't meant it to happen—of course, that's probably an asinine thing to say. How could one have sex and not expect to be pregnant? Well, I didn't count on having sex either. It just happened. I'm from Kansas, but I moved to Texas to go to school. It was when I went home on fall break. I met this guy at Wal*Mart (where all cheesy romances start, right?). We got to talking, he's from Texas. I told him I was going to school, living in Dallas. He's from Houston.

"What brings you to Lawrence?" I asked, biting my lip as I kick myself mentally for more topics of conversation. He had chuckled, swiping my bag of gummi bears across the register with a beep.

"KU." He answered. "I'm taking a sports medicine course."

Not gonna lie, he had me with the soft lilt of his deep voice that sounds like a hint of a tiny accent I can't place. I smiled by an inch as I reach into my messenger style bag to get my wallet (my mom is always getting up in my face to get a more ladylike purse.) I drum my fingers on my messenger style bag. Wanting that bag of gummi bears. "what 'bout you?" he asked, "what school do you go to, Gummi Bear Girl?"

The nicknames had started then. I grabbed the delicious treats and stuffed them in my bag, "Art Institute of Dallas. Fashion major."

He laughed, laughed, in a husky voice that made my knees weak. "Decorating the world by dressing its people one at a time?"

I laughed- what? He was funny. I nod my head as I just wink at him. "Guess you could say that."

He had the cutest smile; the sweetest dimples. His eyes just seemed to sparkle, he smiles at me as the last item is scanned. "21.19." I sigh as I leaf through my wallet and find my 49er's debit card. I should have enough, I should. I'm hoping. Well, here's hoping. I slide my card and just bite on my wallet; praying it works. I feel his eyes on me, I blush for reasons I do not know. The screen flashes with the word Approved! And I release the tense breath.

He smiles, "have a nice day..."

"Noley," I tell him, grabbing my groceries and putting them in my cart. He nods as he watches me slowly starting to leave. I said, 'starting to' because I had only gotten as far as the Subway when he had called to me. I felt myself blushing, sticking some hair behind my ears and slowly turning—you know, like I was in one of those cheesy romance movies. He smiled, coming to a stop and looking all confident. "before you go back to school….in Dallas…"

I've never been one to jump to anything. In high school, Freshman year, the theater class put on my favorite play—Into the Woods. Everyone who heard me sing had told me to audition for the part of either Cinderella or the Witch. I would have done it, however being in front of the overbearing teacher gave me so many nerves that I stammered the lines and couldn't even sing On The Steps Of The Palace. And so, ended my acting career; I was content to be unnoticed in the back anyway. Just drawing and/or reading.

Who wants to be "the star"? Certainly not me—

"…so, what do you say?" his eyes look so hopeful, wait, he asked me a question. I shuffle my feet uncomfortably as I blush, scolding myself for tuning him out that way. I can't help it, I have ADD…my brain can't sit still. I should say something…. now.

"Uh…s—sure." I nod for good measure. He exhaled, his adorably dimpled grin making his face glow.

"Great! Pick you up…tonight? 7:30?"

Oh! He has a car? Sweet! "you don't know where I live…but, we can just meet at Dillons. On 6th?"

Funny how when a guy blushes, its attractive. "Dillons? 7:30?"

I nod and let a grin split open; my eyes seeming to sparkle (or so I've been told; can't actually see my eyes unless I have a mirror in front of my face). "See you then…Axl."

If I had known, if I had an inkling of what lies ahead, I wouldn't have jumped at this chance. If I had known what God would put on my shoulders…I would've just walked away. But no, I wanted to be like the other girls in high school. I want to be confident, a little boastful. Sexy even. But all choices come back to bite eventually…just as my choices bite mine.

My mom had been excited when I said the words "I" and "date" in the same sentence. She gushed; sitting on the toilet while I showered, begging me to help choose an outfit. I have an issue saying no to my mom, so while I cringed on the inside, I mumbled a yes and ….she went crazy. The dresses I had were too short for her liking—an inch above the knee? Really? She picked them out in the beginning! So…she picked out a floral top of hers and I grabbed one of many pairs of skinny jeans that I painted the back pockets bright colors. She twisted her nose, but I had pointed out that I am twenty one. Let me dress between the ages 21 and 60.

She pouted, but agreed. And so I am here, in front of Dillon's and nervous. Palms sweaty and heart racing as I bounce my leg up and down. Sipping my Teavana iced tea, I should've asked about his phone number. I could text him and ask if he is on his way….but…crap, I'm already clingy.

Take a sip. Relax. Even a cold sip of my tea doesn't calm me. My palms are now covered in sweat and condensation. Great. I wipe my forehead, thankful for my choice to not wear makeup save for a bit of eyeliner and foundation.

Yep. Perfectly simple. Now if only my leg would stop bouncing.

I take a deep breath; wanting to release the tension in my muscles and just relax, I wander my eyes around the little Starbucks. Its not busy, but it has a nice and easy flow of customers coming and going. This is nuts; i'm gonna drive myself crazy by sitting here being anxious; I have to find something to do. Sighing, I dig through my purse and get my phone, opening my Sodoku aop and beginning to play a challenging puzzle; my phone beeps with a text from my best friend and room mate. She's practically my sister.

Hey, Girlie. Hows your Turkey Day break? Catching some boyss?

I smile at the screen and begin to text back, but then the messages disappear; revealing Uma's light brown skin smashed against a window. She said she wanted her contact photo to look like she was trapped in my phone. I still haven't chosen a ringtone yet, some how I think she's okay with that. Rolling my eyes, I answer and put the phone to my ear. "y'know I was about to text you back right?"

"yeah, sure you were. " chirps the cheerful lilt of Uma's voice; funny story of how I met her. It had been in a coffee shop and I couldn't decide what to get. She ordered for me and said that I would "just totes love" the chocolate chip double fudge mocha. I actually didn't until I ordered one two weeks later, but with less chocolate and more decaf. We've been friends ever since. Huh, guess my dad was right… coffee does have magic powers. "So whatcha up to, girl"

"if you must know, " I chide, looking at my nails and sipping my tea casually. "I am waiting for my date."

The sound of a phone dropping and the sharp gasp of shock, "OMG! You have a date!?"

"Try not to sound too excited—" and suddenly, I saw him. He had walked into the Dillons, almost passed Starbucks, but he stopped and now he's looking at me… waving… smiling. Oh boy. Am I blushing? I feel like I'm blushing right now. "I got to go"—he's walking over—"talk later. "

I barely hear Uma as I hang up and stand from my seat to look up on him. His hair is combed; only a few strands hang in front of his face. In front of his attractive grey eyes. "Hi." I may or may not have giggled like a twelve year old in front of her first crush. He smiles a large smile, rubbing his neck nervously.

"Hi."

We just stare at each other; both grinning and looking like idiots. Until…

"You look nice, Noley… "

"Thanks—you look good yourself. " Please kiss me. "So, uh, where are you taking me? "

"it's a surprise. " he winks at me, holding out his hand as I take it. I like how his hand wraps securely around mine. "hope you like motorcycles. "

I love them; the thrill of the ride. The joy of the feeling you get when the adrenaline blazes through your system. The company… . I can't help myself as I squeeze him hand. "love them. "

He smiles, "great. Let's go. "