I scroll through my twitter, seeing tweets of Lynn and people I used to go to school with. It hurts me slightly that Lynn’s tweets are mostly about her doing fun stuff with her co-workers, we still have not talked since that one conversation we had on Skype four days ago. I’m going back to England tomorrow and visiting Lynn is definitely one of the first things I’m going to do when I get back.
My twitter looks pretty normal until I go to check my notifications, about a handful of 5sos fans were able to find me on twitter, followed me and asked me quite a few questions about Ashton. I look over to Ashton who is sitting next to me on the bed talking to Calum who’s sitting on a chair at the far end of the room. They’re trying to write a few new songs or at least come up with some ideas for new songs, but I don’t think they’ve gotten very far. Calum throws another paper ball at Ashton, who unfolds it, reads the few lines written on there and shakes his head.
I glance over to the floor, the amount of paper these boys have wasted is insane. I push my laptop off of my lap and place it on the bed, screen still unlocked. “How’s it going?” I ask them. I know they told me I was allowed to stay in the room partially because Ashton wanted to spend all the time we had left before I fly back home with me next to him and partially because I promised to stay very quiet. Which is not a difficult thing to do, if I don’t look at them or don’t try to focus on lip reading them I won’t understand what they’re talking about so I wouldn’t be able to give critique.
Ashton combs his fingers through his wary hair while, what looks like, sighing in frustration. He replies with just one sign: “bad”.
“I can tell.” I sign while pointing at the mess of paper on the floor.
Suddenly Calum sits up straight in his chair while quickly signing: “Write about Beth. You’re the only one of us who’s met his soulmate already. We can write about being in love with your soulmate, just write about your feelings for her.”
Ashton glances over to me and I feel my cheeks heat up, I don’t know if I’m ready to see what he has to say about me. “I, I’m not, like…, you know I’m not. I just can’t.” He signs with long pauses in between. Surprisingly I’m relieved that he doesn’t burst out a big love confession to me, because I’m not ready I realise. I’m not ready to tell him I love him, because I don’t, not yet at least. I know I like him and he likes me too, but love? Love is something that just isn’t there and I’m happy that he feels the same or doesn’t feel for that matter.
“No one knows, Calum. The fans are not supposed to know.” Ashton says trying to sound less harsh I suppose.
Their conversation gets interrupted as Calum asks me if “that sound” is coming from my laptop, I pick up my laptop and see I have an incoming Skype call from the laptop at home. I think of the last Skype call I had with them and I’m just about to decline the call as Ashton taps me and says: “You can pick up. I want to say hi.”
I hesitate yet again, but Ashton is having none of it and quickly clicks the green button. I throw him a nasty look to which he responds with a dimply smile.
“I’ll go, the writing is not coming along anyway.” Calum tells us while he picks up his stuff and leaves the room.
I look at my laptop screen and see my mum’s face slowly appear, thank god it’s her. At least she knows that she needs to sign to me.
“Hello dear, I just wanted to know some flight details so we know when and where to pick you up.” She signs to me and I give her all the details she asked for which she quickly jots down on a piece of paper.
“Is there someone sitting next to you?” Is her next question and I just turn the laptop so Ashton is in full image.
“Hello, I’m A-s-h-t-o-n, my sign name is Ashton.” He politely introduces himself which causes my mum to rapidly start talking to him. Ashton slowly glances over to me just to see my confused expression, he replies to all her spoken question with signs not wanting to be rude and exclude me.
Mum finally seems to remember that I’m still in the room as she starts signing to me again. “Eliot is doing so much better with English, his progress is amazing. So John and I talked about it and we’ve scheduled an appointment for you too.”
“What kind of appointment?” I sign and I already regret asking before even finishing my question.
“With D-a-v-e, he’s a lovely guy. He helped Eliot so much so we thought he might be able to help you with lip reading and speaking some more.” She tells me, her face lighting up with excitement.
“I don’t want to, Mum. I don’t need to talk or lip read, at home you all know sign language. All the people here are learning it, at university and my future job I’ll find an interpreter. There’s no need for any of this.” I sign trying not to lose my calm expression.
“Your father and I…, you know what? We’ll talk about this when you get home.” And after saying our goodbyes the call comes to an end.
“What was that about?” Ashton questions and since he saw the whole conversation there’s really no use in holding back this information from him, so I tell him the story. I tell him how Eliot’s English supposedly wasn’t good enough and how everyone blamed it on the amount of signing we do at home because of me. I tell him how much of an asshole Dave is for telling me I need to speak, need to adapt myself to the hearing world. I finish off my story with how I hate that Dave and Eliot’s teacher have brainwashed all of them into thinking of sign language as a bad thing.
“Well maybe they’re right.” Ashton simply states and my jaw drops as he proceeds. “It sounds like it was the right thing to do for your brother. If the signing is holding him back in school then it must not be right for him to use.”
I’m absolutely disgusted with him as I jump up from the bed and start walking around the room, trying to find a response to this. “How can you say that? You know it’s not the right thing for me! Do you have any idea how difficult lip reading is for me? I can’t believe you would say such a horrible thing!”
“Do you think signing is easy for me? It’s so difficult trying to understand you when you sign so fast, I constantly s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e to find the right signs.” He throws back at me.
“But it’s not fair! Your eyes are fine, your hands are fine, you can sign and understand it. I can’t hear, Ashton. I can’t communicate in the same ways you do and you know I can’t, you can at least learn sign language.” I can feel my blood starting to boil and I realise we’re already in way too far to be able to avoid this argument.
“But you can speak! When exactly were you planning on telling me that? Or were you just going to lie to me my whole life?” By this point I can tell that he’s not just signing, judging by his mouth movements he’s talking along with his signs.
“So what if I was? I don’t like lip reading and I certainly don’t like talking!” I can tell my signs are getting quicker but I don’t bother slowing down anymore, I’m way past the point of caring.
“And what if I don’t like signing? Ever thought of that? You know what? You’re always talking about trying, trying to be friends, trying to like me, trying to get to know me, but maybe you should try to talk with me in my language a bit more, because up until now all I’ve ever done for you is trying my best to learn your goddamn sign language as fast as possible!”
That’s it. That’s all it took.
“Out.” I sign to him.
“I’m sorry, … understand … when … sign language.” Ashton speaks to me and now he’s really pushing it.
“Fucking leave! You inconsiderate asshole!” I furiously sign to him.
“G-l-a-d-l-y.” Ashton fingerspells back to as he slams the door shut behind him.
I’m so mad that I don’t even know what to do anymore, I throw all the pillows from the bed against the wall as hard as I can. God, I’m glad I’m leaving tomorrow. I hate him. I hate him. I hate him.