You sat in the hard metal chair and did your favourite thing to do when you're in populated places. You watched. You complimented, judged and insulted the people that walked by your table. They would never know because you were mute. You were never a people person and have been called an introvert. Just you and your thoughts, the way you have always known it to be.
You smiled down at your fast food. You always ordered food instead of cooking yourself because it was easier for you to just point at the food or show a number with your fingers to order. You liked it better this way, no socializing or work required.
You looked up from your food and saw a man, about the same age as you, with messy sandy blond hair and bright blue eyes. He was holding a tray with 4 hamburgers, 3 piles of fries and an extra large drink. He was laughing for no reason. You inwardly sighed and started a list for him.
Glutton, loud, obnoxious
He pushed his way through a crowd of children to get to his seat. He muttered sorry apathetically and sat down.
Apathetic, rude, disrespectful
You turned away from him and picked out another person. You saw another man with messy blond hair, green eyes and big eyebrows. He looked to be a few years older than you and the first man but unlike him, this man's tray had a water bottle and one hamburger shaped thing and a small pile of fries. He made his way over to where the other man was sitting and set his tray down on the table in front of him. You thought about words for him. He seemed friendly; he was socializing with the first man.
'Not your best _______' you thought to yourself. You finished your food and stood up. You looked over at the men while you threw your garbage away and wondered how they could be friends. They seemed like complete opposites.
You looked out though one of the windows in the building and saw the bright green grass and blue sky. People walking by were laughing and chatting happily with each other. They were wearing shorts and revealing tops. You, on the other hand, were wearing a (favourite colour) t-shirt and skinny jeans. You looked at the change in your pocket. 'I didn't spend too much on lunch today, I'll buy an ice cream' you thought to yourself.
You walked up to the girl at the counter and pointed to the poster of the ice cream on the wall.
"Chocolate or vanilla?" she asked smiling. You raised 2 fingers and shook your hand, vanilla, but the girl didn't understand. You looked around frantically for something to tell her vanilla and saw a woman in a white dress in the corner. You ran over and pointed to her earning a strange look from the woman and ran back over to the girl at the counter.
"Vanilla it is" the girl laughed handing you your cone. You smiled politely and walked out of the building. You sat on the sidewalk near the parking lot and licked your ice cream as you watched more people walk in and out of the building. You let your thoughts wander away from you as you looked around aimlessly.
"Next time, we are not going to eat at a bloody American restaurant!" you looked up and saw the man with the big eyebrows from earlier yell at the first man. He had an accent, probably from England.
"Come on Arty! That was good food." The first man yelled back. You licked your ice cream and watched them continue to argue. The second man, Arty, walked to a car and the other man started to follow. You stood up, now finished with your ice cream, and walked over to throw the napkins that were given to you in the garbage.
You turned around and banged into something squishy. You looked up and saw the first man staring right at you. Your eyes widened.
"Hi, I noticed you were staring at me and my friend over there." he said pointing at Arty and smiling. You raised your hand to your forehead and did a little salute, Hello.
The man looked at you strangely. "My name is Alfred, what's your name" he said slowly, as if you couldn't understand. You rolled your eyes and signed each letter of your name for him.
"Cool name dude." he said trying to hide his confusion. "Are you deaf?" he asked seriously. You face palmed and put your index and middle fingers together and made them tap your thumb, no . If you were deaf, how could you understand that question anyways? He wasn't the smartest person you've ever met.
"Alfred, what's taking you so long?" Arty said walking over to Alfred.
"This girl's deaf, I'm trying to talk to her but it's not working." He said rubbing the back of his next and laughing awkwardly.
You put your thumb and index finger together and tapped your mouth. You kept the shape and moved it across your other flat hand like you were writing something, pen.
"I think she wants something to write with" Alfred said to Arty. Arty took out a pen and a receipt. You smiled and took the things from him. You wrote FAT in big capital letters on the back of the receipt and gave it to Alfred. He gave you an offended look, crumpled up the receipt and threw it on the ground. Arty was laughing hysterically while Alfred pouted. They walked off together leaving you alone as you liked to be.
You watched them walk away and picked up the receipt. It was for the food they just ate. You looked at your note sadly, why did you feel so sad about this one? You insult people every day.
Alfred was the only person who ever tried to have a conversation with you.
You folded the note carefully and put it in your pocket as a reminder of what you had to fix.
You woke up the next day and saw the note from the day before on your wall. You needed to change your insulting ways. To distract yourself from your sadness you decided to go to your favourite place.
The morning air was fresh on your face as you strolled outside. People were walked all around you but you didn't put words to anyone. You were almost proud of yourself.
You stopped in front of a building with black bricks and a red sign that read 'Edelstein music' (a/n: Uncreative store name is uncreative) you walked in and the smell of wood and plastic overwhelmed you. The old lady at the counter smiled at you and you smiled back, she was your only friend after all.
You strolled through the stacks of CD's until you found the operas. You smiled as you picked one out that you haven't heard of and happily walked to the counter. The lady smiled at you again and took the CD from you.
"Another one _______?" She asked through a laugh. You as an answer.
"How do you know her name?" a voice from behind you said. You turned and saw Alfred. 'Shoot' you thought to yourself, happy he couldn't hear you.
She laughed "Oh I've known _______ since before the accident; I'm the one that taught her sign language!" You looked at the floor, embarrassed she was saying something so personal to a complete stranger. "I'm the closest thing she has to family now" the woman smiled at you again. You paid for the CD and quickly left the store before Alfred could see you again.
You turned the corner and sat on the wall behind the store. Alfred also turned and slowly walked over to where you were sitting.
"The ground is dirty you know" he said sitting next to you. You ignored him. "I'm sorry I called you deaf" he said looking straight ahead.
You took out your phone and opened one of your applications. "I'm sorry I called you fat" a choppy computer voice read out. Alfred laughed.
"Let's not use that, it's too funny" He said through laughs. He gave you his phone and you exchanged phone numbers.
He picked up your CD and smiled. "Opera? Why did you buy Opera?" he asked confused. You smiled and started texting him.
"I like the way the voices sound. They're amazing! I'll never be able to do that kind of thing." He read out from his phone.
"I hear you dude" he said nodding in agreement "Wait! I mean I understand. I don't hear you, well, I can't hear 'cause you don't, uh I mean, you can't-" he put his face in his hands "Sorry".
You laughed and even though it sounded more like wheezing, Alfred joined you.
"Did you used to sing? I mean, before the accident" he asked awkwardly.
You picked up your phone and started typing your answer.
"I don't know. I was 3 when the accident happened and I've been silent ever since I can remember. But what 3 year old doesn't sing? My parents were singers, not famous ones just for weddings and parties and stuff like that" Alfred read out. "Silent?" he asked looking at you.
You picked up your phone again.
"I don't like using the word mute, it sounds like an insult" he read.
"If you don't mind me asking _______, what was the accident?" he asked looking at his phone.
You typed the message out slowly.
"I was in a car with my parents when a transport truck came out of nowhere and hit us head on. My parents died instantly and the car was thrown around. The seat belt strangled me and they had to remove my larynx." He read out quietly.
Your eyes felt hot and you looked away, tears starting falling from your eyes quietly. You wiped them away and sent another message.
"I was going to be a singer, just like them, Alfred." he read out almost inaudible.
You couldn't stop the tears from falling. You brought your knees up to your face and continued to cry like you do every time you watch the videos of your parents' shows.
"Where's your larynx?" Alfred asked trying to distract you. You wiped away the tears one last time.
You started typing.
"I don't have one." He read out and laughing.
"I didn't mean it like that! I was asking where MY larynx is?" he asked moving closer to you. You lifted your head up and pointed a shaky hand at his 'Adam's apple'. "Interesting" he said rubbing his chin, you smiled.
You sat texting/talking for hours. You learned about Alfred's brother Mattie and more about Arty (whose real name is Arthur) and he learned about your life and you being friendless. You taught him how to saw America, Hero and hamburger in Sign language, at his request.
I was started to get dark and both of you were starving. You decided to walk to McDonald's together.
"_______?" you looked up from your food at Alfred. "What's the sign for McDonald's?" he asked through a mouthful of hamburger.
You took the first three fingers on each of your hands and made the shape of the golden arches.
You looked back down at your food and smiled nervously, unsure of what to do.
You looked up and saw Alfred leaning over the table. He grabbed the back of your chair and kissed you softly. He tasted like his hamburger. You laced your fingers through hair, leaned forward and kissed him more forcefully. You felt him smile under your lips.
"I think I love you." He whispered, breaking your kiss.
Alfred's phone vibrated on the table. He picked it up and read the message.
'I love you too' you said