October 23, 2012
By Anonymous

I had never really felt handicapped. Being deaf had its disadvantages of course, but communicating with people had never been too difficult. I spoke clearly enough for people to understand me, and I was incredibly good at reading lips. Of course there were days when I longed to hear the new Katy Perry song that everyone was talking about, sometimes I wished I could hear the crowd cheering at our home football games, but for the most part I was able to live a pretty normal life for a 17 year old girl. Then there was the day that changed everything.
It was a Tuesday, and I was standing at my locker with my best friend Miranda in between classes. She asked to borrow a pen because someone had stolen hers off her desk when she went to the bathroom last period. After shuffling through papers and books in my locker I finally found one, and turned to hand it to her. She smiled and her mouth said “Thank you.” Then something happened. Her face changed so dramatically I swear I saw it in slow motion. Her mouth that once held a cheerful smile became agape, her eyes once filled with simple appreciation turned confused and horrified. My eyes looked back down to her mouth and I could tell she was screaming. I turned my head and saw a boy tightly grasping a pistol in his hand and another boy on the floor in a pool of blood. Maybe it was because I couldn’t hear the gun shot, or perhaps because I couldn’t hear the panic filling the hallway, but all of a sudden nothing felt real. Everyone broke off running while I remained frozen there; just staring, waiting for what surely must be a nightmare to end.
The boy raised his gun to the next closest person, a freshman girl I had seen many times in the hall but never actually met. Her face I will never forget. The complete horror in her expression, and then the tightening of her face as the bullet entered her body, then at last her face softened a bit as her body hit the floor, face first. The boy with the gun looked startled, as if he had just snapped into reality, like maybe he was in a dream of his own. A dream within my dream. He took off running and disappeared down another hallway. Was he still firing the gun? I didn’t know. Starting to regain my own consciousness I realized the hallway was cleared for the most part. I looked back at the girl on the floor and noticed her body twitch. I rushed to her and kneeled over her, inspecting the wound. She had been shot in her right shoulder blade; it didn’t seem fatal. The boy on the other hand had been shot in the chest, there was so much blood I was certain he was dead. I picked up the girl, and dragged her toward the science classroom a few doors down where I knew there was an exit. Was this smart? The shooter could be anywhere; I wouldn’t be able to hear him coming. I tried to be quiet, but what did I know about being quiet or loud? Finally we were to the door, I opened it and the light from the sun hit us hard. There were cop cars everywhere and an ambulance. Two policemen ran up to us and grabbed the girl from me. As they carried her off her eyes met mine for a split second, then her mouth said “Thank you.”

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