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A Thousand Words

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Four years old and she still refused to say a word to anyone. This was years ago of course, before anyone had a name to call such a thing. This silent and grave child. But I don't think she ever realized she couldn't talk, I believe in a sense, she always was 'talking.' We all are always 'talking.'
I suppose as a writer of words, I sensed that her lack of them was a bad thing. I had been born talking, and this silent child with golden curls and bright gray eyes miffed me. Weren't children supposed to babble away through the days and nights, unaffected by the current of streaming life around them? I had always thought so.
And those lips. Those perfect little rose petals, parted, allowing for the wind to blow in and out in a silent way.
We took her to the doctor. They told me it was important to have her vocals looked at.
She was fine.
I knew she would be.
"Things like this simply take time. She will talk when she is ready," the doctor had said, allowing her to pick a sticker from the disarrayed pile near the door. "And besides, don't you see that she is already talking?"
All it took was those words, and I suddenly saw what she meant.
I didn't need her to tell me she was hungry; her beautiful gray eyes filled with a pleading longing, sorrow, and also a hint of annoyance, her body language spoke wonders of discomfort and unsettlement.
When she loved me her very soul seemed to sing, her hands tossing my curls to and fro across my face, her petal lips grazing my cheeks, the eyes in a sort of dazed fever, burning and happy.
When she was sad her entire being slumped under the invisible weight, and her hair hung limp, and her cheeks lost their rosy glow and simply hung there, like a forgotten coat in a disarray of closets and empty corridors.

When she finally did speak, it wasn't the same. Her voice had a passion behind it, but when someone starts talking, you can't see what you saw before. The raw emotions fade and disappear, sway and flitter to the ground, losing the glimmer of life they once had.





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