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Linkless

She sits and waits quietly at her table, crochet hook carefully moving through the creation she cannot see. Silently she counts the loops she makes, forwards and backwards. She cannot see it, but she has been working on this piece for a very long time. It must be getting large by now.

Her internal clock clicks, and she carefully lays her hook and yarn down. She cannot hear them being removed, but she knows they are being taken away, just like every day. She folds her hands and waits patiently. She counts the seconds in her head until the bowl is brought in – there are always 300 of them, always exactly – and she can feel the heat from the soup near her fingers. The bowl never actually touches her until she moves it towards herself. It happens like this every day. Every day is just the same. Blind, deaf and mute, she wakes at the same time every morning, goes to her table – exactly fifteen steps from her bed – where she waits for her bowl of oatmeal. When she is finished she waits the five minutes until her yarn and hook is brought out. She crochets until lunchtime, when the yarn is taken away and a sandwich is brought out exactly five minutes later. The pattern continues until dinner, when she is served soup. It is exactly the same every day, lived with pattern and preciseness and accuracy. There is no pain, no uncertainty, no longing. No questions, no answers. No links.

But this day is different. As she sits with her hands folded carefully in front of her, serene and proper, something changes. The bowl is set down in front of her, but instead of stopping it accidentally brushes her fingers. She feels the hot ceramic sides, the smooth table, the steam, and for an instant, flesh. Human flesh, just like her own.

Quickly the bowl is pulled back the tiniest bit, as if the accidental bump didn’t happen. But the world that had been created was gone. Suddenly everything was different. She had felt someone. She had never before wondered where the crocheting went when it was time for a meal. She had never before wondered where the sandwiches and oatmeal came from. She had never wondered. She had never needed to.

Now she pulls the soup towards her, the spoon as well. She unfolds her napkin and places it on her lap, but she cannot eat. She gazes at where the soup would be, could she see it. The schedule is thrown off. There is now turmoil in her life. She is not alone. She is not the same girl she was only a moment ago. She reaches out, feeling for the human who brought her this food and this napkin. Her hands brush only air. She reaches out to the side, but still nothing. She picks up her spoon and drops it to the floor, where she does not hear it clatter.

She cannot see, cannot hear and cannot speak, but somehow she knows someone is there, picking up her spoon. She holds her hand out, and as she feels the cool silver being placed on her palm she stretches her fingers and brushes against the hand that put it there. It is gone in an instant, but now she is sure. There is someone. She is not alone.

The schedule has been thrown off. The rest of her day will be unpredictable now. Perhaps the rest of her life. She is no longer exactly sure of anything. But she smiles. She is still deaf and blind, she still cannot speak, but she is no longer in her own world. It was only for a millisecond, but she felt a link.





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