May 29, 2009
By Rachel Schneider BRONZE, Ashburn, Virginia
Rachel Schneider BRONZE, Ashburn, Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I bend down to tie my shoelace when I notice a set of sandaled feet standing above me. I look up, straighten myself, smile and extend my hand. I see the most stunning woman before me; wild red hair and bright eyes, she wears a blue silk scarf around her neck and has a bag slung over one shoulder.

“Hello,” she says, “I don’t usually see others on my trips, ever actually.”

I put my hand to my throat to illustrate how I can’t speak. She has a puzzled look on her face. Maybe she has never encountered a mute man before. I gesture to my throat again and she begins to dig in her bag. She pulls out a lozenge wrapped in white was paper. I shake my head and she shrugs.

“Can you understand me?” she asks

I nod my head, yes. She puts her bag on the white marble stair, clasps her hands together, and lets out a sigh. Then she pulls the ribbon holding back her hair and shakes her red curls. She grabs my hand and pulls me up to the step so that I am eye level with her. I realize now she knows I can’t speak. She tells me her name, Sophia, but she will never know mine. She continues to speak to me. She asks yes or no questions.

“Have you always been unable to speak?”

I shake my head, no.

“Do you think I am beautiful?”

Yes, I nod.

I look into her eyes and can tell she understands me. All those silent things, she knows them, and through this realization, I know her. So I muster up my courage and hold my arms out to her. Would you like to dance? She is confused again. She takes off her scarf and extends it to me. I shake my head no and urge her to come forward with my gaze. I pantomime a waltz. She smiles, takes my hands and I put mine to her waist. We take tiny steps, slow down our time, and understand this one common place.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!