We’re sitting on the sofa with my head resting on Ashton’s shoulder and his arms wrapped around me, but not for long. He quickly pulls away and sits up straight.
“What’s wrong?” I ask him, he replies with one sign, the sign for “door”. I frown, but soon the door to the living room opens and my mum walks in with Eliot by her side, it surprises me that Ashton took action this fast. Did he hear the front door from here? Does is make that much sound? I’m not sure, but I’m glad he moved away, my Mum and my little brother walking into my boyfriend and I cuddling is not something I wanted to happen.
Ashton and I both get up from the sofa and before I can even introduce Ashton and my Mum to each other she pulls him into a tight hug while rambling some words I can’t quite catch since Ashton is blocking the view. As my Mum pulls away Ashton signs to her “It’s nice to meet you, Mrs. M-c-K-e-n-n-a.”
“Don’t be daft! Please call me M-a-r-t-h-a.” She quickly signs. My attention gets pulled away from their conversation as Eliot pulls on my t-shirt. “Beth? Who is that?”
I quickly tap Ashton’s shoulder and he turns around to face us. “Ashton, this is E-l-i-o-t, Eliot.” I sign, both spelling his name and using his sign name. “Eliot, this is A-s-h-t-o-n, Ashton. He is my soulmate.”
“You are very tall.” Eliot signs to Ashton which causes me to giggle and for Ashton to show a dimply smile. “Yeah, I get that a lot.” He replies, judging by his mouth he is speaking along with the signs, before crouching down to Eliot’s level. “Is this better, buddy?”
Eliot absentmindedly nods before continuing his interrogation. “You’re signing. Are you deaf? My sister is deaf.”
“Yes, I know, she taught me to sign. Is it okay if I sign to you or do you want me to speak?”
Everything about their conversation is making my heart warm up and my tummy do backflips, I’m so incredibly happy that they seem to get along. Mum would love anyone I would bring home with me and I also know that Mum and Dad understand the whole soulmate thing.
To me it is most important that Ashton gets along well with Eliot and Lynn, I know Lynn is very excited and can’t wait to properly meet him and hang out. I was most concerned about Eliot, he is still very young and I just really want the two boys that mean the most to me in this world to get along.
“You can do both, that way my sister will understand.” Eliot pauses for a moment. “Are you going to marry my sister?”
My cheeks redden and I just want to disappear into the ground. Where does Eliot’s obsession of Ashton and I getting married come from? Ashton looks up to me, still in his crouching position and I look back at him and for a second I am terrified, this is what it would look like if he actually did propose. I give him a sympathetic look, trying to silently apologise for Eliot’s questions, but Ashton doesn’t seem bothered in the slightest as he signs “We can try.”
Eliot seems to have lost all interest in the conversation with Ashton who is now intently staring into my eyes. I can see my Mum frowning, not understand why he would say “we can try”, she was probably expecting “yes, in the future.” or “we’re still young, we’ll see what happens.”
Those words seem odd to her, “we can try” means nothing to her, but it means everything to me, so here I am smiling down at my soulmate who still hasn’t given up on me.
“You’re an idiot.” I sign to him, not being able to control the smile on my face as I pull him up from the floor.
I get woken up by a hand on my shoulder softly shaking me, I open my eyes and switch on the little light next to my bed. “Ashton, what are you doing here? It’s 11.45 pm.”
“I can’t sleep, j-e-t-l-a-g is a bitch. Can I sleep here?” He signs with a pleading look and I nod while sliding over so he can get in my bed. I’m feeling extremely tired, but Ashton doesn’t seem like he’s ready for bed yet, because he just continues to sign. “Do you think Eliot likes me?”
I sit up straight before replying: “Yes, are you crazy? He let you play with his Legos, he doesn’t even allow my Mum to touch them.”
“What about your parents? Do they like me?” He asks and starts fiddling with my bed sheets.
“Yes, of course they did. My Dad is just a man of few words, he honestly likes you.” I try to comfort him.
“What about your Mum? She didn’t like me, did she?” Ashton rapidly signs.
“Ashton, please, calm down. Don’t be ridiculous, my Mum loves you, she even hugged you! She loves everyone I bring home.”
“Yeah, it was a bit u-n-e-x-p-e-c-t-e-d, wasn’t it?” He tells me as a nervous smile spreads across his face, but he quickly snaps his head up to look at me. “What do you mean? Everyone you bring home? Do you bring a lot of guys home?”
I give him a look of disbelief, I can’t belief he just asked me that. “Ashton,” I slowly sign. “I was talking about Lynn and like two other people that I thought I could be friends with.”
“Do you have a lot of ex-boyfriends? Oh god, you probably do. I mean look at you, you’re beautiful.” He starts rambling.
“Ashton! Stop being so insecure.” I slow down my signing. “No one ever wants to hang around with a deaf girl, it scares them. Signing scares them, they don’t know how to talk to me, so they just stay far away from me. No one ever took the time to learn sign language or even write down their words and it just hurts, it hurts being ignored all the time.”
“I, I’m sorry.” He slowly signs. “I didn’t know.”
“It’s okay, I have Lynn and I have you and even the lads took interest in learning signs and it means so much to me and just thank you.”
Ashton smiles at me and glances to a place right behind me. “By the way, happy b-i-r-t-h-d-a-y, babe. Now that you are l-e-g-a-l, I can finally do this.” And he leans in to kiss me, I laugh and push him off me after giving him a peck on his lips.
“We’ve kissed before, Ashton. Stop finding excuses to kiss me constantly.” I laugh while signing.
Ashton huffs and lays down, faking being hurt. I bend down and give him a small kiss before signing “There are no ex-boyfriends by the way, it’s only you, it’s always been just you.”
And just as I’m about to turn of the light he signs to me “Good, because you’re mine.”
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