Living For Two
(Jayson and Geneva are university students, who meet in a statistics class. Their attraction for one another is instant, but there is a communication problem. Jayson is profoundly deaf and does not speak. Geneva does not know sign language. They are forced to write back and forth on an iPad.)
Geneva: Sorry I didn’t email you yesterday. I really meant to, but I —
He quickly interrupted her typing, his face showing understanding, as if to say ‘no worries’.
Jayson: Geneva … you don’t need to explain, it’s OK.
Geneva: I want to explain. I wrote you a bunch of emails. I just didn’t send any of them. I chickened out; afraid I might say the wrong thing. I was nervous. I’m not sure why.
Jayson: I totally understand. Can I tell you a quick story? When I was about three or four years old, my mom and I were on a bus. It was crowded, there was only one empty seat, and it was next to me. This blind lady got on, and started to walk down the aisle with her cane. I remember thinking, “Please don’t sit next to me, please, no, no!” I was terrified, paralyzed with fear; shaking as I clung to my mom. She did sit next to me, and immediately opened a book and started reading it, in Braille, of course. I was completely fascinated. At one point, I reached out to touch the book and my hand accidentally bumped hers. She didn’t even flinch; she could tell it was a child’s hand. My mother apologized, explaining I was deaf, but the lady said it was OK for me to feel the book. She placed her hand on top of mine and moved my fingertips lightly over the Braille. It was a profound moment in my life; taught me to look beyond differences and limitations. We learn and grow the most when we choose to be with people who are unlike ourselves. So, I completely understand why you would feel nervous around me.
Jayson had been typing furiously, beautiful slender fingers flying over the keyboard. He paused to take a short breath, turning to face her. Geneva’s eyes had misted over, and she was close to tears. His soft, chocolate brown eyes dove deeply into hers, as if he recognized every one of the emotions bombarding her, because they had once been his own.
Geneva: Thank you for sharing that story with me.
Geneva wanted to say so much more, but couldn’t seem to find the right words. The sun through the overhead skylight shifted slightly, casting shadows beneath his cheekbones and outlining the soft curve of his lips. The universe has brought the two of us together. Why?