Feel the Beat

What happens when you have two soulmate timers? What happens when you find out the one thing your soulmate's life revolves around is the one thing you'll never have? What happens when your soulmate is a drummer in a famous band and you're deaf? What happens when your soulmate seems to be anything but your perfect match?

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12. Chapter 12

I wake up to my phone buzzing, like nearly every morning during these past two weeks.

From: Ashton Irwin:

sorry for not replying last night. i was too tired. first we had a meet&greet and then a show and it was tiring. found some nice orange boxers on stage


To: Ashton Irwin:

Orange boxers? Where are you playing again?


From: Ashton Irwin:

Amsterdam! they chucked some orange boxers on stage and i wore em on my head hahah even got them to scream aussie aussie aussie im slightly homesick


To: Ashton Irwin:

You’re going home pretty soon right?


From: Ashton Irwin:

yeah after we finish up the europe leg and before flying to north america. you should come to north america with us itll be fun


I’m baffled, Ashton wants me to tour with them. I quickly go online and check the Where We Are tour dates. The first of August right until the fifth of October, that was way too long. Do I really want to go with them though?
 

From: Ashton Irwin:

im sorry wrong time to ask you?


please dont get freaked out


its only for a week or two weeks


please respond

 

Ashton’s texts keep coming, but I’m too caught up in my thoughts to respond. I’ve never been outside of the country, well unless you include the “holidays” I took with some help from Google Maps. The thought of flying terrifies me and the thought of not seeing my family for two weeks is equally terrifying. Not seeing Eliot for those three days I spent in London was hard enough as it was, I can’t even imagine it being weeks without seeing my little sunshine.

And then the unexplainable happens. My phone starts buzzing like crazy, caller ID shows up with Ashton’s name. Let me repeat that: caller ID. Ashton is calling me. I press the red button and immediately text him.

To: Ashton Irwin:

What are you doing?


From: Ashton Irwin:

Im sorry for asking you if you dont want to then just forget about it.


To: Ashton Irwin:

I do want to, I just have to ask my parents. Do you realise you called me? I’m still deaf you know


From: Ashton Irwin:

Oh. Yeah..


Unsure if his “oh yeah” is him being disappointed again or him just genuinely forgetting that I’m deaf. I decide not to make too much of a big deal out of it, ever since he dropped me off at the train station something was different, somehow we get along better and I don’t want to ruin it by causing unnecessary arguments.

All fresh and clean after taking my shower I walk downstairs and am greeted by a strong coffee smell, Dad never stops drinking his coffee, it’s becoming a serious problem. After explaining the offer that Ashton made me he looks pretty shocked, my mum is not as shocked. In fact she loves the whole soulmate thing.

“That’s wonderful, love! Of course you can go!” she happily signs.

“I’m not going to send my daughter off to the other side of the world with some strangers!” my Dad exclaims. “But Dad I know them. They’re not strangers, if anything I’m going to be safer with them than I am here, there’s an insane amount of body guards that go on tour with them.” I calmly reply, unfortunately it didn’t have a very calming effect on my Dad. Mum rudely interrupted him:

“John, please just let her go, this is her soulmate we’re talking about.”

“That’s the thing: we don’t know who we’re talking about. We have no clue who this Ashton kid is!”

All of the sudden they start speaking, rapidly moving their lips, I don’t even try to lip read arguments, they’re too difficult, moving too fast. My Dad grumpily gets up and signs something about him having to go to work while my Mum calmly signs to me “Your Dad and I are going to have to talk about this, we’ll tell you later if you’re allowed to go.” I nod and just as I’m about to leave the room she waves for my attention again.

“Oh could you please take Eliot to his speech therapy at 1pm today, I couldn’t get an hour out of work today because Jayne called in sick.” She tells me, I give her a bewildered look. She wants me, the deaf girl that doesn’t speak, to take her hearing brother to speech therapy because he is too used to signing with me? I’m the root of all evil according to Eliot’s stupid therapist, I don’t want to go to that hell hole. “Please, Beth, please do this for him? Eliot needs this. Whatever you do, just don’t give into him, he’ll try to talk you out of taking him there, but he has to go, okay? Directions are on the table, I’ll see you tonight, I love you.” she hastily replies as she runs out the door.

---

“Where are we going?” Eliot signs to me as he skips down the street. “Is it the park? Oh are we going to get ice cream again?” he excitedly asks.

“No, we are going to speech therapy.” I sign, trying not to let any hatred I have towards speech therapy show. Eliot stops skipping “No! I don’t want to go there!”

My heart breaks as I talk him into going, bribing him with the promise that I’ll invite Lynn over later today so the three of us can play with Legos.

As we step into the waiting room I notice that even though this is a different therapist from the one I went to, it still looks exactly the same. White walls and chairs placed in a circle around a table filled with magazines, colouring books and a few ugly ferns. I hate places like this, but nevertheless I force a smile onto my face, trying to show Eliot that it’s not that bad.

Soon enough a man walks in and greets Eliot. “Hello Eliot, … bring today?”

“My sister.” Eliot signs, the man slowly nods, he must’ve figured out by now that Eliot is very stubborn. The man shakes my hand and introduces himself to me, but the words just don’t register and I just nod at him. He escorts us both to his, what I like to call, torture room but some people refer to it as “office”. The name tag on the door provides me with the introduction earlier that I completely missed, Dave Dunham it reads. Dave tries everything to get my little brother to speak, talking to him while he’s colouring, using flashcards with little pictures on them, talking with a sock puppet to Eliot, but nothing works.

Dave turns to me and rapidly speaks while awkwardly smiling, I completely missing what he said because I was too busy looking at what Eliot was drawing, I quickly glance to my little brother as he signs to me what Dave said. “He said I’m very stubborn.” I laugh at that, yes, for an eight year old boy he’s very stubborn.

“Why … question … sister, Eliot?” he asks with a frown plastered on his face. “She’s deaf.” He simply replies, no shame, no embarrassment showing. He says it as if it’s just a fact, no sign showing of him thinking I’m different or blaming me for being the reason he has to come here. This small gesture makes me realise that to him I am normal, everyone else is strange for speaking and being able to hear.

Dave turns to me again and hands me his card, I really don’t like this Dave and everything he does but I try to be polite to him for Eliot’s sake. “No, thank you, I don’t like speaking, I’d rather sign. Do you know sign language?” I ask purely out of curiosity, wrong thing to do.

“Yes. … university … part of my degree. ” He speaks to me. “Then why won’t you sign to me?” I ask. An almost devilish smirk plays on his lips as he slowly, very slowly speaks “Because you … learn to talk. It is … important. Signing gets you nowhere … .”

And that’s the moment I snap, I jump up and stand in front of Eliot, blocking his view as I let my angry proud Deaf girl come out. “Who do you think you are? I am perfectly normal! I can lip read a bit and have full access to interpreters! If anything you should be educating yourself on sign language and its benefits!” I turn around take Eliot’s hand and lead him away from this horrible place.

---

“Even though your Dad doesn’t fully agree, you’re still allowed to go visit Ashton, but for no longer than two weeks.” Mum tells me just as we are about to leave the kitchen after tea to go play with the Legos as we promised Eliot. A broad smile that hurts my cheeks shines across my face as Lynn starts jumping up and down in het excitement. “Thank you! You won’t regret it!” I sign before rushing upstairs.

The three of us plop down on Eliot’s bedroom floor while he gives us directions as to what he wants us to build.

To: Ashton Irwin:

My parents said that I’m allowed to come on tour for 2 weeks xx


From: Ashton Irwin:

xx hmm?? ask me out on a date first before you start flirting with me gosh!


To: Ashton Irwin:

I text all my friends ‘xx’


From: Ashton Irwin:

oh so were friends now??

 

I’m stunned as to what to reply, does he not want to be friends? What did I do wrong? Am I moving too fast? I thought we’d said we were going to try and be friends? However his next text makes me forget all about my worries.


From: Ashton Irwin:

xxx.


I blush creeps on my face as I smile down at my phone, we’re friends, he doesn’t hate me.  My attention get pulled away from my phone by a flying Lego hitting me in the head. “Hey! I’ve been trying to get your attention for ages, hand me that piece please?” Lynn signs to me as she works on her Lego building with great concentration.

“Beth has a boyfriend.” Eliot simply states.

“Oh, so it was Ashton that you’ve been texting all day?” Lynn signs while wiggling her eyebrows at me. “That explains all the blushing.”

“Maybe, but he’s not my boyfriend though!” I quickly respond.

“But you do like him.”

Instead of responding I just throw her the Lego piece she was asking for earlier.

I don’t like Ashton, not at all.

Nope.

At least, I don’t think I do. 

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