Status: Finished, yo

Not a Sound

Dos Gatos Bailando

I stand awkwardly in the hallway. People push past me to escape their classes and I squeeze myself to the wall to avoid them. I can't believe I'm doing this. My palms sweat and I clench my bag close to my chest. I really can't believe I'm doing this.

And after what seems like forever, I finally see the trumpet-boy weave through the mass to me like Moses parting the Red Sea. I never thought I'd be relieved to see that safety-cone orange sweatshirt. He smiles at me and loops an arm through my stiff one. I want you to meet my friends, he says and takes me away. They're super nice. One of them is a trumpet player and the other two are saxophones.

I barely manage to nod.

The trumpet-boy leads me to the front of the school and unloops his arm from mine once we're out of the crowd. Two boys and a girl are chatting out front. The girl and one boy are wearing matching sweatshirts that read "I'm with the band". The trumpet-boy waves. Who's that? The boy with the non-matching sweatshirt asks.

I don't know what the trumpet-boy says because his head is slightly turned away from me and I can't read his lips too well. Whatever it is, the three musicians smile at me and introduce themselves. The girl is Jeena, the alto saxophone, her matching sweatshirt partner is Collin, the trumpet, and the other boy is Marko, the tenor saxophonist. What's yours? Collin asks for my name.

I feel my face burn. I sign it quickly in sign language and then shove my hands in the pockets of my sweatshirt. Triplet expressions of realization cross their faces.

Oh. You're deaf, aren't you? Marko asks.

They all share the same guilty look like they'd accidentally offended me. The trumpet-boy says something swiftly I can't read. It's OK. I hold up the OK sign and my throat closes with emotion. They were probably going to treat me awkwardly now, I think. If I had a quarter for every time this happened...

Well, okay, Marko says. It doesn't make much of a difference. You like McDonalds, right? 'Cause we're going there for lunch.
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Aw yeah, guys, I graduated from high school yesterday.

I thought I'd mention it. xD