I wake up from a little ball of happiness jumping on my bed, at first it terrifies me until I notice the sparkling green eyes sticking out from underneath a mop of brown curls. “Is it time for Daddy’s present yet?” Eliot excitedly asks me. I glance at my alarm, 9.23 am on Father’s Day, “Yes, go and get the presents.” I reply. Eliot starts grinning and holds up two presents. That cheeky boy already went and got them, not even caring about what I was going to tell him.
We quickly make our way downstairs, seeing Dad sit on the sofa with a cup of coffee, even though he is very British; he still hates tea. “Dad, the Queen herself would be deeply disappointed in you, drinking disgusting coffee instead of the drink of the Gods.” I tease him, while quickly adding: “Happy Father’s Day.” I leave the gift giving to my overly excited little brother who can barely contain his excitement. “Thank you, it looks lovely.” Dad says as he leans forward to give me a kiss on my cheek. My face contorts in disgust “There’s no way you’re kissing me with that coffee smell!” I sign at him. Eliot doesn’t mind and happily gives Dad a big kiss on his right cheek.
I stare at Lynn who’s currently comfortably laying on my bed, opposite of where I am laying, nervously awaiting her response. She carefully nods, her mind slowly processing all the details about my stay in London. “So, do you like, love him?” she asks unexpectedly.
“What? No! Are you insane?!”
“Well you at least like him, that’s for sure.”
“No, I don’t like him! What is wrong with you?!” I frantically sign.
“You want to make him happy, you wanted to hug him, that says enough, Beth.”
“You’re insane. I want you to be happy and I hug you all the time, doesn’t mean I like you.” I object.
“That’s true.” Lynn tells me and I finally feel like I won this pointless discussion until Lynn starts grinning like the Cheshire cat “You love me though.”
“Oh definitely, I don’t know why my timer didn’t reach zero when we met, you are obviously my one and only soulmate, the true love of my life.” I sign before we both burst out in a fit of laughter. Some people may think the friendship we have is strange, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. According to Lynn; a friendship is not a proper friendship when there hasn’t been at least one rumour that you’re gay for each other.
Lynn is lovely, but also very crazy, so crazy that she thinks I like Ashton. I don’t like Ashton. I don’t. Not at all.
“Mummy can I go back upstairs, my Legos are waiting for me.” Eliot signs to my Mum as I put the dirty plates away in the dishwasher. To my surprise my Mum starts speaking to Eliot.
“Eliot, … talked about this. … have to speak … .” my Mum sighs.
“I don’t like talking! I want to sign, Mummy.” Eliot stubbornly signs.
“Please, Eliot. … your school … therapist said.” She speaks to him. “I don’t like them! I don’t like you for making me speak!” he angrily signs as he storms up the stairs, finding company in his Legos.
I can feel my blood starting to boil. “Why would you force him to talk? He obviously prefers BSL (A/N: British Sign Language)” I tell her. My Mum slowly rubs her temples while briefly closing his eyes, trying to find the right way to explain this to me, but there is no right way, I am fuming. “His old teacher told us that his literacy level is too low, he struggles in every subject in school, because his English is poorly. They said he has troubles keeping up, because he signs too much at home. So they advised me to take him to a speech therapist over the summer to help him with his English.”
Well, that certainly puts things in perspective. Of course I want him to do well in school but I’m too angry to take this lightly and just accept the talking instead of signing. “Don’t you know how hard it is to lip read for me? Do you have any idea what it’s like? It sucks! I miss out on so much! Don’t you dare take my language away from me, not in my own home! When I go outside no one signs, I have to lip read everyone, here, at home, is the only place where I feel safe enough signing, this is my own safe Deaf home. You have no right to take my home away from me! Because that’s exactly what is going to happen when you ban my language. Pretty soon you’re going to even start forcing me to speak!” I rapidly sign at her, I don’t think, I am disgusted by her story and I am beyond mad at her. I can see her lifting her hands and hesitating how to use them, she has no idea how to respond to my outburst so I just leave, I go upstairs and shut my door.
I can see my phone light up, indicating that I have a text.
From: Ashton Irwin:
Hi, how was your day?
I decide not to mention the fight my Mum and I had, he won’t understand it. He doesn’t know how difficult lip reading can be, he doesn’t know what it feels like to not being able to use your own language all the time. No, I refuse to mention it, because somehow I feel like he would agree with my Mum, he doesn’t view sign language as a valid language, he’ll support the idea of Eliot needing more spoken English in his life and I don’t think I can handle him saying stuff like that. I’d hate him too much and I can’t hate him, because I promised I was going to try.
To: Ashton Irwin:
It was alright. We celebrated Father’s Day this morning, this is what
Eliot and i made my dad [Attachment: picture]
From: Ashton Irwin:
that is really nice. i dont have a dad, he left a long time ago. he was my mums soulmate but he left her. i hated him for that, i never understood how he could leave his soulmate like that.
and i had such high expectations from meeting my soulmate and i didnt feel any of the things that people always told me i was going to feel when i met you. and i just hate myself for being so much alike him, being unable to love my soulmate and all.
wow, im really sorry. that sounded really harsh, i didnt mean it like that.
To my surprise I understood what he means, the way Ashton and I treat each other right now was no way near how I expected to be with my soulmate after meeting them. I kind of just assumed we would fall in love and it would be easy, but it’s not easy. Loving Ashton is difficult, he’s too annoying to love. He is too much of everything to love really. Ashton is just, just Ashton, he’s intense.
To: Ashton Irwin:
Its alright, I dont blame you. I feel the same.
From: Ashton Irwin:
right. lets talk about something easier. whats your favourite colour???
I smile at the texts that we send back and forth, we kind of make up our own version of “21 questions”, we just take turns asking question without keeping track of them, which makes it a lot nicer game. To my surprise learning that Ashton’s favourite colour is red, that he loves chicken, but hates chicken soup and that he’s unable to fall asleep when he has to wear a t-shirt to bed, actually makes me forget about the argument with my Mum earlier.
It makes me forget and it makes me smile. Ashton might be starting to make me happy and that terrifies me, because I don’t think I’m anywhere near making him happy right now.