Aidan leads a simple life - a quiet life, his friends say, tongue in cheek. He's made his peace with that. He's fine, living by routine, where the most exciting thing that happens in a day is the university lecturer breaking down in tears. He tries to convinced himself that he isn't bored, isn't wanting more, but when he goes to the annual Deaf People's convention and meets the fervid ASL interpreter, he realizes otherwise. //for the diversity competition


1. 🐾



There was a time when Aidan wanted to be in a rock band. He was ten at the time, maybe eleven, and he had just read a book about a kid who learned to play the guitar, and for a start Aidan didn’t understand what the fuss was about – like, congratulations, you have mastered the big wooden box with the strings. You must be so proud.

So he looked it up on YouTube. His mother always told him to look up things he didn’t understand, to ‘fill that big brain of your up with knowledge’, and he liked discovering new things, learning a little more about the world every day.

 The first few videos he watched did nothing help him understand the deal with guitars, and he remained unimpressed, watching old men sitting in the street, nodding their heads and tapping their feet. It was only when he clicked on a video that had a woman standing on a stage wearing a tight leather vest that he started to understand.

He watched the lights flash, watched the girl jump around, pounding her fist in the air. He watched the other people on the stage, a couple with guitars, one behind a drum set, as they danced and yelled, their skin flashing neon colours in the bright spotlight. He watched the crowd roar and jump as one, eyes closed as they had the time of their lives.

Now that, Aidan thought, is something I want a piece off.

He practiced in his room, jumping off the bed, fingers hooked around an imaginary guitar, belting imaginary drums with pencils. He could almost see the blinding lights, taste the adrenaline, feel his fans’ love. He felt amazing.

Then his mother walked in, wondering what all the commotion was about.

I’m going to be a rock star! he had signed.

His mother’s face fell. Sweetie, she replied. You can’t.

He stared at her, confused.

You can’t, she repeated. You need to hear the music to be able to play it. I’m so sorry, but it’s impossible.

The thought hadn’t even occurred to him. He sat down on his bed, tapping his things together. His way of saying ‘I’m thinking’.

So then what am I going to do, mum?

She sat down beside him. I don’t know, she said. Something you want to do, but something you can achieve. You can’t do the same as normal people, Aidan. There are things that you simply cannot do.

Okay, he said.

Make sure you stay within your limits, yeah? I don’t want to getting hurt.

Okay, he said again.

And he made sure he didn’t go out of his limits. 

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