We pull up in front of a diner, when we walk in we are greeted by the lovely smell of waffles. It doesn’t come as a surprise when I notice that we’re the only people there at this time of the day.
Ashton’s hand waving in front of me takes my attention away from the menu I’m currently studying. “I o-r-d-e-r for you?” I can tell he isn’t talking, his lips don’t seem to move enough, he’s solely using his hands. I’m a bit unsure why he resorted to only signing, he doesn’t normally do that. My only guess might be that the place is too quiet for him to comfortably speak.
I nod my head in response and point down to the menu, showing him what I want.
A girl walks up to our table with a coffeepot and teapot. “Good morning, coffee or tea?” I presume she asks me. I point to the tea and see her fill up my cup, I look around and see that there’s only sugar on the table and as a true British girl I can’t drink my tea without milk.
“Milk.” I sign to Ashton and I see him talk to the waitress, giving our orders and asking for my milk. Something in her posture changes when she looks at Ashton, a smile shows up on her face that could light up the entire café. She nearly skips back to the kitchen.
“So, breakfast huh?” I ask Ashton.
“Well, it’s not a f-a-n-c-y dinner, but it’s something.” Ashton blushes.
“Don’t worry. I love breakfast, especially pancakes.” I smile at him right before I sip my tea, I pull a funny face at the taste. I forgot that it’s milkless tea, disgraceful.
“So what’s wrong?” Ashton signs to me.
“It’s tea without milk, what do you expect?” I laugh which causes him to laugh too.
“No, I was talking about the date. You showed up u-n-e-x-p-e-c-t-e-d.”
My smile falters as I get reminded of what happened just before I knocked on Ashton’s door this morning, I lift my hands and plan my half-hearted explanation to him, not wanting to have to explain all of it. I don’t feel comfortable talking about what is currently happening at home, the whole sign language versus spoken English debate is too painful for me, I haven’t even told Lynn about it. Talking about Lynn; I can’t really tell Ashton about that either. I can’t tell him that my best friend is upset, because I’m not in love with him.
But I get interrupted by a plate full of blueberry pancakes that gets put right in front of me by the same waitress that took our orders. She seems to hesitate, but eventually bursts out in a waterfall of words. “Ashton, oh my god … , I … picture. … sorry, don’t … , … please … ?”
Ashton smiles and gets up and she basically launches herself onto him, enveloping him in a tight hug. Ashton quickly signs “I’m sorry” to me as the girl pushes her iPhone into my hand. I quickly snap a few pictures for the girl and only now notice how pretty she really is. She is tall and blonde and has a dashing set of white teeth.
I don’t know what overcomes me, but I feel so insecure. There’s so many beautiful girls out there who would all kill to be with Ashton and yet he’s here with me. I subconsciously push my glasses back up my nose and let my fingers brush through my frizzy light brown curls. God, I feel so awkward, I didn’t even bother putting on any make-up. As I pass the girl her phone back I can’t help but admire the way her face lights up as she hugs him again. And as she walks away and lets her hips sway a little I start wondering why he doesn’t just date his fans, because they’re all beautiful and so much unlike me and I can’t help but wonder why he would pick a daisy in a field full of roses.
Ashton sits back down while signing “sorry” yet again. I start on my pancakes and finally finish my, may I add cold, tea with milk and observe Ashton who is completely focussed on his food right now.
“How do you do that?” I ask him, snapping his attention away from his food that he was admiring just seconds ago. “How do you make everyone fall in love with you?”
“Not everyone.” He signs. “The one that m-a-t-t-e-r-s hasn’t fallen in love with me yet.”
I blush and start eating again, keeping my hands occupied so I don’t have to reply to his previous comment.
“I don’t like your sign name.” He blurts out randomly. “The person that gave you that name must not have known you like I do.”
“No one knows me like you do.”
“So you don’t get mad at other people?” He questions.
I shake my head in response. “Around others I’m usually quite calm, you just bring out the worst in me I suppose.”
“Also the best. I haven’t seen you smile and laugh around other people like you have today.”
I nod, that is just what happens. Ashton brings out both the worst and the best in me. He is the only one I wanted to be with after the bad talks I had with Eliot and Lynn, it’s not even that I wanted to be with him after that, I needed to. He makes me laugh and forget about everything, but god, how he makes me upset too sometimes. I can’t help it, my feelings are always so mixed when I’m with him.
“I want to c-h-a-n-g-e your sign name. How do you sign L-i-z-z-y?” He asks me. I simply shrug, no one has ever called me that, let alone sign it. Usually I would object to a hearing person handing out sign names, because, well, giving sign names to people can only be done by a deaf person. Sign language is a deaf person’s first language so it seems only fitting that just deaf people get to pick signs to give to others. But for some reason I don’t mind that Ashton is trying to come up with a sign for “Lizzy”, he is the first one to call me that and it makes me feel sort of special.
And then he signs something completely unexpected, my eyes widen as I ask him: “What sign was that?”
“Beautiful, b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l? Please tell me I didn’t fuck up? Is that the c-o-r-r-e-c-t sign?”
“Yes. Yes, it’s correct, but it just doesn’t suit me.” I can feel my cheeks heat up more and more with every passing second.
“I think it does, Lizzy.” Ashton signs, using the new sign name he gave me and I begin to question if my cheeks could heat up even more, I’m pretty sure my red hot cheeks have cooked my brain, because I’m at a complete loss of words. Or signs should I say.
We walk back to my hotel room where Ashton drops me off.
“Thank you.” I begin to sign, not really knowing where to go from there. How do you tell someone that you had the most amazing time? That this was all you needed to take your mind off of things? I wrack my brain trying to come up with a way of telling him.
But I can’t.
So instead I just show him as I lean forward and let his lips collide with mine. I stand on my tiptoes to be able to reach his lips, because damn he’s tall. And I’m so thankful that his strong arms wrap around my waist, because I’m not sure if my knees could have supported my body for much longer. I don’t even know what parts of my body are touching his and which parts aren’t, because at this point every inch of me feels like it’s on fire by his touch. Everything about the kiss makes me feel electric, my stomach flips and the world doesn’t even seem to spin anymore. Everything fades away until it’s just Ashton. Just Ashton and his lips on mine and his arms wrapped around me.
I pull him into the room by the collar of his shirt, because there’s no way he’s leaving me now and as soon as we both fall on the bed I curl up into his chest, making sure that I’m lying on my left side. His breathing slows down, but I can still feel his heart beating at the same rapid pace, I remove my hand from his chest, losing the feeling of his heartbeat and I search for his hand, playing with his fingers until we both fall asleep.