What did you say? | Teen Ink

What did you say?

December 6, 2019
By mwatson3 BRONZE, Metairie, Louisiana
mwatson3 BRONZE, Metairie, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I'm in the Oto-something-ologist office, the signs around me say "Don’t just live life…. HEAR life!" And things like "Our NEWEST model yet! Completely invisible and now ONLY $900!" Plus, I definitely can't forget about the pictures of old people with hearing aids plastered on the walls, their fake smiles staring holes into my back. Ugh. Why do I have to be here? My hearing is fine. I complain to myself. 

“LYLA!” yells my mom, practically screaming, “I’ve been calling you, the doctor is waiting.” I can feel the ten sets of eyes glaring into the back of my head as I whip it around, I want to yell at her but I can’t. She’s my mom and if I did, that would be the end of me. Instead, I refrain from saying anything at all and I just glare at her, sometimes silence is better anyway. We walk over to the room where the doctor is waiting and I hum along to the song, matching my footsteps to the beat. That song had always been playing, for as long as I could remember. It followed me everywhere, no matter where I was. It was the reason I was even here. Nobody listened to me when I tried to explain what I heard, all they said was  “That’s normal” or “Don’t worry about it, we all get songs stuck in our heads”. But you’d think that after complaining about it since I was 4 they would finally catch on. They never did. I don’t really know when it first started all I know is it’s getting louder and more distracting 

After making it to the room, I sit down and think about how I got here. I had been in class, zoning out as usual, this time particularly lost in thought. I’m usually a mediocre student but on this occasion, along with many others, I was distracted by the song, thinking of other things and not paying attention to the world around me. Apparently the teacher had been calling on me to answer, and as she put it, I was “BlAtAnTlY igNorIng HeR iNstRuCtiOnS”

I got sent to the office. The principal believed that I couldn’t hear the teacher calling and I tried to explain the song, the reason I got distracted, but she insisted it was all in my head. Instead, I got to take a “field trip” to senior citizen hot-spot, the ear doctor. I’m going to lose it if no one starts listening to me soon. 

Back at the doctor’s office I sit down in the brown leather chair and the doctor runs some routine checks like he would any other patient. Then I realized. I had been trying to get someone, anyone to believe me. All I wanted was for one person to say “That’s really weird.” They don’t need to offer any help or contribute anything valuable to the conversation, all I wanted was just one person who didn't contradict what I was saying and not terminate the conversation. During that period of time I finally understood, the need to be heard does not always get fulfilled. The desire to be listened to is not always relieved. So guess what I did, I gave up and never uttered another word about the song. I never mentioned it again and intend not to, not tomorrow and not 20 years from now, but every once in a while I will stop tuning it out. I sit back and enjoy life with that steady beat as the only constant. Now it’s less of an annoyance and more of a comfort.

If only I had chosen to persist a little longer, or if I had paid closer attention to the world around me, I would  have figured it out. Everyone else has their own song playing in the background, maybe not a song, but something they need to let out. They face a dilemma, try and explain it to someone or take the easy way out. Naturally, they chose to give up, and forced themselves to believe it was normal. Shoving their thoughts in a drawer and closing it tight, intent on never bringing it up again. And they don’t.

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