Happenings in a Grocery Store Aisle This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Sighing heavily, I yanked my pillow off the floor, throwing it in the general direction of my bed. I'd only caught a glimpse of my mother's rapid-fire sighing, but I understood her nonetheless. She'd been yelling, too, afterall. Her voice wasn't normal, no, but that didn't mean I didn't have the ability to understand it. I'd lived with her for thirteen years, along with other deaf adults and teenagers. Namely, my parents, and one of my brothers.

I kicked at the wooden frame that held my bed up. It was never fair. People would stare. People would talk. They assumed I was also deaf, whenever my mother and I spoke with each other. That was when they spoke freely. They'd never consider the fact that I might not be able to hear every word they say. I wish I couldn't sometimes. I don't like hearing the nasty words they say.

They call us retards. They say we're 'challenged'. Or, "Stay away from them, honey. They could get you sick." They say cruel, cold-hearted words. Words that should only be spoken by those with chilled blood. It really hurts. Those who speak don't realize how intelligent they can be. But I can't say anything. I'm too nice. So I glare at their backs instead. Immature, a voice often says inside of me. I know. What else can I do? Forgive and forget? No; I can't. My mother tells me to do so, nearly everyday. She hasn't heard the words. She doesn't understand this anger.

I sit down on my bed, hugging the pillow I'd just thrown. It'd never amount to a real hug, but it was close enough. What better to face my problems with me, than a pillow? I bite the corner of the fabric, holding back a scream. Today was a different day. I didn't keep my feelings in.

Today, I'd overhead someone saying crude things. Unlike every other day, I marched up to them. I forced a smile, then began to speak. They seemed shocked. I told them how smart deaf people were. I told them about my brother, and how he scored perfectly on his ACT test. About how he graduated at age 17. He's smart. My father's a landscaper; one of the best I've seen. I told her; the pastor's daughter, that she had to be careful what she said. You never know what someone might hear... What someone could say.

It felt good to finally confront someone who's insulted my family and friends. It felt great. Alas, all good things come to an end. My mother yelled at me for being so rude. She yelled, signing to me about how I had to forgive and forget. I almost cried; but I resorted for walking out of the store.

I wonder sometimes; isn't it funny what can happen in the aisle of a grocery store?





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kitkat522 said...
Nov. 20, 2009 at 4:24 pm
I really like your story/essay, and would like to see bits extended (such as the end?). Very interesting from the point of view of a CODA
 
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