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Just One Wish
Fully alive. That’s how I felt at that very moment. The sun was just surfacing from the darkest, deepest depths of the ocean, bringing golden, shining light to the world while kissing everything in its path gently with warm love. I was completely ignorant to its promises that it held for the day, but I was lost in its radiant glory.
A rush of wind came up from the cliff, and though I was near a hundred feet above the waves crashing against its face below me, I was completely unafraid and relaxed.
I closed my eyes- their color matching the sea below me- and raised my head, spreading my arms wide. My fiery hair and green dress fluttered around in the breeze, and in that moment, everything was almost perfect. If only I could have heard it all.
I opened my eyes. The thought had been an unwelcome one, and I frowned as it remained, refusing to let me drift back into oblivion.
Though my life seemed to be a pleasant experience, all I’d ever wanted was to hear the world and everything in it. Sure, I could see and feel and smell better than most others, but who really wanted to be able to smell someone pass gas after eating a fifth bean burrito better than everyone else? Not me. I’d give anything to have been born like a normal child with all five senses instead of four.
Lost in my thoughts, I hadn’t felt the slight tremor beneath my bare feet. So much for that intensified sense. The grassy ground that had been holding me up seemed to deteriorate and disappear. Just before gravity pulled me down, begging for me to give it a face-to-face greeting on the stage of destiny, I turned only to find a tall man watching me, standing angelically in all his glory. I must have briefly hallucinated from shock, because I could have sworn that I saw wings spread out behind him.
My arms reached up above me and my legs kicked in the air uselessly trying to find solid ground to support my body on. I think I screamed…
By some miracle, the surface of the icy water, though hard it was, didn’t kill me. Instead, it engulfed me. Pulled me down deeper, deeper, deeper. The current tore me this way and that. A giant bubble made its way out of my mouth, and my stupid, stupid body tried to suck in air, not quite comprehending that there was none to be found. I began to choke on the salt water that was burning me like acid burning through fabric. I remember scratching at my throat before everything went dark.
I lazily opened my eyes and above me a pale, slightly muscular boy with wavy golden hair, and deep hazel eyes was leaning over me with sunlight glowing behind him.
Yeah, I’m definitely dead. This is heaven, because there is nowhere else I could find someone as amazingly hot as this guy leaning over me, I thought. I noticed his lips weren’t moving. He was just staring at me.
But I wasn’t dead. I knew that. I could feel the salt still burning my throat and the sand of a beach underneath me. My body ached like I never would have wished it to. I tried to sit up, but the guy gently applied some pressure to my shoulder, signaling that I should stay as I was.
That’s when something weird happened.
“You should stay where you are. You took a hard fall. I saw the whole thing from here, and dived in after you,” his strong, worried, though relieved voice said.
Wait, did I just hear, I wondered. It was hard to fathom, but then I noticed I heard a weird sound that seemed to be in sync with the shore line of the water teasing my feet. I ignored the guy’s warning and pushed his hand away, sitting up in a rush, and quickly regretting it, because my head throbbed with pain. I gasped aloud and heard it. What was even more amazing was when I realized that the weird noise I’d heard was the ocean kissing the beach.
Suddenly the world was a new place. I could hear the caws of the birds, the waves, and the wind… all of it. It was amazing.
I turned to look at the boy who was with me on a stranded beach. He was watching me with intense eyes. I smiled an honest smile full of joy and grabbed him, holding him in a big, girly bear hug and the world only seemed to get louder. I didn’t know who he was, and I didn’t care. He was my savior of death and that made me immensely grateful. After a couple of seconds, his shocked body relaxed and he wrapped his arms around me.
I thought for a second, trying to remember how mom taught me to say words even though I couldn’t hear them.
“I can hear,” my slightly slurred though soft voice quietly said. “Thank you.”
“Your wish and mine.” He ran a hand down the length of the back of my hair.
I let go of him, and stood up, slightly confused and creeped out. The volume of my surroundings seemed to dim a little. I thought to myself, "Oh, God, he’s not going to do anything to me is he?"
He stood up with me and held his hands up in a peace offering. “It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you. I come in peace.”
“Do you promise?”
“Then will you explain what you meant?” Talking seemed easier to do when I could hear than when I was deaf.
A deep scarlet tinted his cheeks. “My deepest wish was granted. Please don’t think I’m nuts when I tell you this.” His eyes pleaded as he waited for me to say something.
“I’ll try to be understanding.”
“Okay. My guardian angel came to me when I thought life couldn’t get worse. I tried to kill myself and she appeared right in front of me. She told me that I would save the one I would spend forever with, and that I wouldn’t have to wait long. She disappeared right as I blacked out and I woke up in a hospital. I’ve waited a couple months, but I was walking along the beach when I suddenly saw you falling like an angel and knew that it was you I was meant to save.”
Okay, I decided this guy was nuts. I turned and ran in the opposite direction, and with every step I took, the world got quieter and quieter. When the sounds turned off completely, I stopped and looked back behind me. The boy was standing where I’d left him, and even from the distance, I could tell he looked immensely hurt and embarrassed.
That’s when I realized I’d gone against my word, and I felt a pang of regret and remorse grow inside my stomach. Something odd happened in my mind, and an invisible string began to tug at me, begging me to go back to the boy.
I thought back to what I saw right before the world I knew crumbled. That man. Could I have really seen what I saw, I pondered. Something in me whispered, “Yes.”
An angel. A guardian angel. My guardian angel.
I took a hesitant step toward the boy. And then another. Until I suddenly broke out into a run, and with every step I took, the world began to make more and more noise. I stopped when I got in front of him and looked into his open, honest, hurt though forgiving eyes and suddenly believed him one hundred percent.
"Your wish and mine" echoed in my mind. I could now hear. That had been my wish, and it had been granted. “I believe you. I’m Jessica.”
“Erick.” Then he kissed me. I didn’t pull away from him. Not only did I let him kiss me, but I kissed this strange rescuer back.
When things settled down, I told him about my story. We got to know one another, and the more he talked, the more I fell in love with him. I’d never felt so close to someone before, and I couldn’t possibly imagine living without him in my life.
“Um, I think I love you,” I admitted, slightly embarrassed at the confession.
“You think? I know that I love you.” He replied.
“You certainly have a way about you, you know that?”
“No, but thanks. Hey, guess how silly this sounds.”
“You literally fell for me.” he laughed.
I couldn’t help but join in on the fit of giggles. “I guess I did, didn’t I?” Then I kissed him again.
Suddenly, a bright light flashed, and we broke apart. I held a hand over my eyes and turned away. “What is it?”
“I don’t know,” he said, sounding worried.
A voice boomed out, “I am an angel of God. Two wishes of the heart have been granted, but only one shall be granted permanently.”
I forced myself to look at the painfully bright glowing man and asked, “What do you mean?”
His face remained emotionless as he said, “Only one will have a wish granted. The other will lose theirs. Which one is willing to give up their wish?”
Give up my hearing, I wondered, pained. I’d only just gotten it, and it was amazing, but when I looked over at Erick, I knew I was willing to give it up for love.
“I am,” we both said at the same time.
I looked at him. “No, Erick, you can’t do that. You deserve love. I love you.”
He looked pained, “But you’ve waited your whole life to hear, and now you can. Why should I be the one to take that away from you for my own selfish reasons?”
“You’re right. I have been waiting to hear for my whole life, but I’ve gone my whole life without hearing, and I can easily go back to living without it.”
“I can’t sign or sign language though.”
I laughed at him. “You can always learn.” I threw myself on top of him and kissed his sweet lips gently. Then quickly covered his mouth and looked up at the angel. “I give up my hearing.”
The voice boomed aloud again, “As you say, it shall be.”
And the world went silent again. A pang of sadness budded in my heart, but love was worth it.
I removed my hand and Erick’s eyes were filled with sadness. I read his lips when he said, “I’m so sorry.”
I’m pretty sure I replied, “Just hold me, please.”
When I awoke, Erick was holding in his lap on top of a rock. The water had risen and consumed the shore for the evening, but the moon was full and bright, making everything easily visible. The roar of the waves was loud, but it was comforting.
Then shock took over me. I can hear, I thought, overjoyed! I looked up and Erick, “I can hear, Erick! I can hear!”
“What? Are you serious?” His eyes were filled with excitement and hope, but I could still see his love for me in them.
And we kissed, and in my mind, a voice said, “Sacrifice is always rewarded.”