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The fog of the early spring morning was finally starting to part across the great teal water. Ocean breezes skipping across the horizon making me shiver a little bit. Inhaling deeply to wake myself up, the salty scent embraced me as tightly as my blanket did. Sipping my hot chai tea, I watched as seagulls circled in wait for their first catch of the day. So many times I have sat in wonder, asking myself what it would be like to fly up in the sky. I imagine it would be liberating; to feel the sky not only above you but below you too. Just the thought is absolutely and completely breathtaking.
Shivering once more, Larissa, my care taker came outside with me. She took the now empty mug from my hands and waved me inside. Then Larissa signed something with her hands, I assume it was the action for “inside.” Sliding my right hand into my left as Larry (my nick name for Larissa) had, she then nodded in approval. Taking in the ocean view again, I blinked slowly and walked back inside the facility.
Sitting down at one of the tables in the rehabilitation room Larry put both of her fists together, slid them 90°then pointed at me with her index finger. This meant “how are you?” Trying to remember how to sign “sad” I put one hand in a fist with my pointer finger still up and used my other hand in an “O” shape and ran that hand down my index finger. Larissa started to laugh very hard! I didn't know what I signed, seeing the frustration in my face she grabbed a paper and spelt out “you just said banana!” I started giggling too.
After calming down she started teaching me more signs. Larry patiently waited for me to do each one correctly before moving on to another. After thirty minutes I finally understood she was saying “today we will learn numbers.” Up to five is easy, but after that things get more complicated. After I learned up to 10 by heart Larissa put both fists out together and then moved them apart as if breaking something. Guessing this meant “break” I took my fist and shook it up and down signing yes. When she signed the letter “O” then a “K” I knew I had guessed the word right. Relieved I headed to my private room for awhile.
Entering the small mauve room it made my mood decrease instantly. Something about the perfectly clean room made me miss the neatly piled mess of my own house. Lying down on my bed I reached over to grab my iPod off the bed side table. I put my ear buds in my ears for the first time since the accident. Playing my favourite song Dearest I’m Sorry as loud as my iPod would allow, I attempted to drown out the piercing silence of my new world. It didn't work. Even when I could hear I never liked silence. Every time I was working or even just alone I would always have some form of noise around me, whether it be music the T.V or people around me; I craved noise. Now, the world of sound was ripped from my grasp. It's scary because I know what sounds I should be hearing, but no matter how hard I strain no noise will register in my ears. This is the first time in over three months I let myself to think of my former life, a life in which I could hear. Then for the first time since the accident, I cried.
So many thoughts came flooding into my mind at that moment. The moment when the first pure tear left my eyes, following the lines and contours of my face then meeting the pillow that lay on my bed. Horrific memories of the plane crash that caused my hearing loss danced around my mind, images flashing up into my view. The way my fiancé hasn't tried to contact me, even though I need his support, now more than ever. My job as a veterinary technician shattered by the fact that I can’t communicate well. Even the 6 years of school that I went through to achieve my dream career all taken from a plane malfunction.
The deep depression I was feeling soon changed to anger. My tears stopped falling and changed to deep rooted loathing. Hatred boiled up through my very being. I hate every obstacle that has ever stood in my way; every barrier that has ever prevented me from being successful. I hate the iPod in my ears that won’t make noise. I hate everyone who has left my life. Everything that has gone wrong echo’s in my head. Hating the simple things like dropping piano lessons, to the big things like not forgiving my mother for letting my father walk out the door.
Suddenly a cool hand pressed against my shoulder. Jumping a good three inches off my bed I looked up and saw Larissa’s concerned face. I have no clue how long she has stood there I just know I want her to leave. Frantically I comb through my brain, searching for the sign “leave.” Going back to the very first day of my rehab I remembered what that sign is. Quickly I rubbed my chest with my left hand meaning please. Then I held my two hands palm down to the left side and slid them to the right, as moving them I switched them into thumbs up. With an odd look of satisfaction and worry mashed onto her small face she nodded once and left me alone.
Breathing deeply and sitting up on the side of my bed I managed to calm myself down. Golden pink shades started to cast themselves across the small room and I noticed that I must have been in my room for hours. Once realizing the time the fact my stomach was unhappily rumbling at me came soon after. Easing myself off the bed I threw on my brown slippers and shuffled down the hall towards the large kitchen. Grabbing a bagel and toasting it I slathered cream cheese all over both halves. Biting into it has never been more satisfying. Filling my mouth with bread and cheese I ate the entire thing before realizing Larissa was in the door frame watching me.
Getting off the hard plastic chair I put my plate into the dishwasher and put my hand into a salute meaning hello. Larissa gave me a small half smile that quickly fell. Looking into my eyes she pointed to me then spelt ok. This means are you okay. At that moment I honestly didn't know how to answer her question. My stare dropped to the floor and I shrugged my shoulders. She calmly walked up to me and put her hand over my shoulder. I know she was trying to cheer me up or give me comfort but it didn't work. Stepping back I took both of my hands and drug them from my collarbone down. The sign meant tired but Larissa knew I wasn't just physically tired I was emotionally drained too.
Slowly walking back to my depressing room and tucking myself into bed I fell into a disappointing half sleep. Being awoken by a cold shiver I glanced at the clock that read 3:41am. Sighing I just stayed in my bed and tried to relax. While laying there I had an epiphany. I realized that letting this accident get in the way of my life was foolish. Just giving up when life presents a challenge is not what I want to door how I want to be. I have to try to get better. Letting go isn’t an option when you’re 26. I refuse to let an invisible force in my life that loves to push me down control me. I am stronger than this. It will not conquer me.
Just then I let the pain take hold of me and I yelled. Everything distressed inside me went into that one scream… and I heard it. I heard the emotion… I heard the scream.