This needs a bit of introduction. I wrote this for my creative writing class, it was a quick story to write, and I thought it would be bad. But surprisingly I got a favorable response from both my peer group and my teacher. Her comments she made on my manuscript are at the bottom. I haven’t figured out a title for the story yet. I’m bad about titling stories, if I could I would just publish all my stories as “Untitled” 🙂 (Edit: man…no matter how I fix it, you can’t copy and paste without some problem in the formatting…hopefully it’s still readable 🙂 )
Creative Writing Class:
Hi, Adam signed. How are you?
Good, Jamie replied, one hand keeping her spot in her book, an autobiography.
Can I join you? he said, sitting down opposite of her at the weathered table, on a rusty red chair.
She nodded, reading some more. The wind rustled the pages; the sky glowed with autumn colors, with silhouettes of geese flying arrow-true to the south.
Adam tapped her book with his finger, and she looked up. What are you reading? She lifted the book off the table, showing him the cover. Marlee Matlin? he fingerspelled, forming the shape of the words in the air. Did you see her in “Children of a lesser god?”
Jamie nodded again. That was an okay movie.
You didn’t like it?
Not really, she scrunched up her face, too much sex. I like…oh, what’s the name of that Hallmark movie? It was based off the book “In this sign”…do you remember it?
Adam looked up in the air, trying to recall it, sighing deeply. The air grew chillier, and the passers-by, drawing in their jackets closer, hurried to their cars, bent low under their survival backpacks. Jamie slid in her ILY bookmark into the book, looking at him.
Was it… “Love Is Never Silent?”
Yes, that sounds right. Anyway, that was better.
Yes, but better; I can totally relate.
Me too! Adam said, quickly agreeing. Like when the guy came and needed money, but didn’t like talking to the parents through the daughter…
Ugh! I hate it when people get all weird about having an interpreter. Or like when you use the relay; people get all weird.
“Tell her…blah blah blah, tell him…blah blah blah.”
I know! But I’m like, you wouldn’t be having this problem if you’d just give me your email.
Have you tried VRS?
I’m saving up my money for it.
I have one. You can come over to my apartment and borrow it.
Thanks! I’d love to! I want to talk to my grandma.
Is she deaf? Adam asked.
Nope. I’m the only one, Jamie replied.
Adam shrugged his shoulders as if to say “That’s what life’s like.” Then he signed, How about tomorrow?
See you after class then? Three o’clock?
OK. Jamie smiled.
The sun set even further; the sky was fiery, casting everything with a red glow. Long shadows stretched on the sidewalk, and in the distance the city lights began to flicker on. A police helicopter flew overhead, making the air and the white metal table pulsate; the sound waves flowing up Adam’s and Jamie’s hands, through their arms, and into their bodies, speeding up their heart rate.
Do you like comedies? Adam asked, signing a little faster.
There’s one in MoPix this weekend—it’s supposed to be good. If you don’t have any homework—
That sounds fun, Jamie interrupted him, smiling.
What’s your phone number?
Here, let’s switch, Jamie said, taking his Sidekick and entering in her contact info; he did the same for hers. The sun set faster.
Adam signed faster. Where should I pick you up?
I live in the dorms.
South campus. You know the one with the gates?
Is that across the street from—
The Institute, yes.
Pick you up at 7?
The sun dipped below the horizon, and it was dark. Only a faint green tinge remained in the west. The fainter Polaris star came into view.
I love you, Adam signed in the darkness.
Jamie drew her finger across his palm, signing what.
Adam shook his head never mind; the motion was just barely visible against the night sky. He felt around the cool tabletop, found her hand, and clasped it. Jamie squeezed back. The wind blew. It hinted of frost, but neither of them noticed it, sitting very still. It was a mutual understanding, silencing each other’s hands. They sat there until the moon rose above the trees, and then Adam walked her to her car, using his Sidekick to illuminate the way.
This is such a small, sweet moment, perhaps a budding romance, and a study of deafness that makes it so comprehensible. I really hope you write more on this topic, as it has brought out a clear, gorgeous sentence structure-a precision I haven’t seen yet from you. I think it’s because you’re discussing what you know! These characters are fully realizzed, and I can see this fragment unfolding over 10 or 20 pages-these two and their evolving relationship. Thanks!