Friday, January 6, 2012

Her hearing loss was not total, but very close. She did use hearing aids and when she did she could hear very loud noises, but most of the time she didn't wear them. Should she just forget about the guy with the amazing smile? She didn't want to forget about him. Not at all. This was killing her and the more she thought about it the more acute the pain.
Chris thought about his parents and that made him feel a bit better. They were told by everyone they would never work out and they had proved everyone wrong, they were still together and loved each other so much they acted like the love struck teenagers they were when they met 26 years before. Chris's father Edward,  was a mechanic,from the Bronx, everything dirty and masculine and dark, being Italian he had black hair and dark skin. Chris's mother Marissa,  was everything feminine. She was also Italian, but she grew up exposed to the artistic culture of New York City-Manhattan, Her parents were both teachers and she became a music teacher herself. She wore long, flowing dresses and always acted like a lady. Her car had broken down after a trip to Atlantic City and Chris's father was the mechanic that fixed it for her. It was love at first sight. Their families were furious at first, but they could see the love between them and knew that nothing would stop them from marrying and being together. Chris had a sister, Vanessa, that lived in Brazil with her husband. They were both involved in protection of the environment. Maybe he and Claire could work. He wanted it to. All he needed was to talk to her. And to do that he had to find her.
Those same few weeks  were busy for Claire as well, she always spent Sundays at her parents with them and her sisters, Rachel and Robin. Robin was sure she would have an engagement to announce by Christmas and Rachel was a ballet dancer with a big recital coming up for the holidays. Claire was an art major and had been drawing nudes for class. Her instructors complimented her work although painting was her favorite form. She loved to add layers and make the painting seem 3 dimensional. But, she had lacked focus these last few weeks, ever since she has seen Chris at "The Pad". She had not seen him since and she had looked for him. She found out his name and that he was a music major. Her heart ached when she heard that fact. Her "challenge", as her family referred to it, usually didn't seem like a road block for her. She would be lying if it never bothered her, but she had lost her hearing at the age of 7 after a sever illness she caught while on vacation with her family in Africa.It was a severe virus that led to fevers and even a minor coma. Claire had almost died from her illness. But,  it was so long ago and it was never treated like a disability by her self or her family. She had had the same friends forever and had even dated. Claire had always been quiet, she was very in tune to animals and always had pets. She read a lot as well. Learning sign language was difficult at first, but now it was second nature. She never thought that being deaf would mean she could NOT do something she set her mind to. She worked at a book store in high school and most of the customers never realized she was deaf without her telling them. She wanted to attend college and live in the dorms and be the independent person her parents had raised her to be. She had never been treated by anyone she dated like she was different. She was excellent at reading lips and had even taught several of her friends how to sign. Now she felt like there was a huge brick wall in front of her.She really liked Chris, but why would he want to date her, knowing she was deaf and he was in a band as well as a music major? He obviously planned on a career in music. How would she, no, how could she fit into his life with it being so full of something she could not be part of or understand? Her hearing loss was permanent, and unless they came up with some radical treatment method that would not change in her lifetime.
The next few weeks flew by for Chris. He kept telling himself he was not avoiding seeing Claire. He was busy, his Show with Agony Revisited was a great success last weekend and they had spent a few more days practicing before that, he had hung out with his friends, playing War Craft and Halo and had gone to a few parties. The one at the house on 6th and Hill did have good weed like promised. Not as good as he had had on his trip to Amsterdam last summer with his Uncle George, but that was not even a fair comparison. The joints were the size of Chris's grandmother Rose's cannolis and just as good. They also had these awesome coffee shops that sold amazing brownies where you could hang out all day and listen to music. But, Chris felt a bit like he was on auto pilot even doing his usual things. Even his show wasn't as great as it would have been before he had seen Claire and then found out she was deaf. He kept thinking about her and felt torn about it. He liked her a lot, but felt like pursuing a relationship with her would be an epic failure. Music was such a big part of his life and who he was, how could he relate to her? What would they talk about? His friends had noticed Chris was "off" but didn't ask questions, they had been busy too. And Chris had never mentioned Claire to them so they didn't know how hung up on her he was. They didn't really discuss one nighters, unless it was to brag, but Chris had nothing to tell. Not really, he hadn't even spoken to Claire. All he knew was that he thought about her a lot and on a different level than any other girl since Kelly. And he knew she liked him, that tiny girl at "The Pad" had said so. Maybe he would talk to Brian about it. They had been friends since 3rd grade and had taken guitar lessons together until Chris switched to bass. He was "the other Son I never had" according to Chris's mother they had spent that much time together as kids. Chris called Brian and he came over. After Chris told Brian all about the dilemma Brian sat on the recliner for a while; silent. "Dude," he finally said after several minutes "This is messed up. She can't hear and you are a music junky and a musician. I don't know if it will work, but I've never seen you into a chick since Kelly, I think you should at least talk to her. That's all I can say, I don't even know what else to say. She seems worth something to you so go for it, man" Chris decided then and there he would at least talk to Claire and see if the spark faded or not. He hoped not, but wasn't betting on it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The rest of the day dragged on for Chris, he kept thinking about that girl and wondered when he would see her again. It was really bothering him that he couldn't focus on his classes, even his favorite ones. Thankfully, none of Chris's professors noticed his lack of attention, he had turned in all his assignments and even found them easier to work on as he thought of  her. Chris left his last class relieved, all of his work was caught up and he planned to practice his bass and maybe watch some TV and clean his small apartment, it needed it. Chris walked towards the end of the campus, his apartment was only a block away. Chris's cell phone buzzed in his pocket, he retrieved it and looked at the number, his mother was calling, she was in Boston visiting her sister,Aunt Sarah,  who had recently had minor surgery so he knew he better answer and sit down, this would take awhile and the traffic on the main road would be noisy. His mother would be miffed if he tried to call her back, so he chose to suffer through the long minutes ahead filled with his Mother's complaints of the traffic and crowds in the city. Chris watched the squirrels chase each other as his mother rattled on about the pushy city people and some shopping she had done with Aunt Sarah. As Chris hung up the phone  he heard some people approaching the bench. His mystery girl was walking with another 2 other girls in his direction, he had seen them with her before. The girl's  two companions stopped at the nearby bus terminal. "They must be heading up town." Chris thought to himself. He had been here long enough to know that the only bus running at this time headed into the city. Chris's mystery girl kept walking towards Chris's bench towards the Freshman dorms. Chris said "hello" as she passed, hoping she would stop and he could finally catch her name. She acted like she couldn't hear him and continued walking past. Maybe she was nervous about walking by herself Chris thought to himself. He shrugged it off and walked towards his apartment. He didn't want to approach her if she was uneasy. He would wait until another time to try to talk to her.That opportunity would happen the next evening as Chris and some of his buddies were at "The Pad" His mystery girl was sitting at a  table near the window when he and his friends walked in and sat down near the wall facing the girl's table. The mystery girl got up and headed towards the bathroom located in the rear of the room, she walked right past Chris's table, again he said hello, she ignored him. One of Chris's friends noticed and said "Dude that was cold." and continued to discuss the new CD's he had just bought with the other's at the table. Chris was a little angry that the girl had ignored him twice. They were in public and he wasn't being rude to her, she never even looked at him. And she had smiled at him twice before so he thought maybe she at least didn't find him repulsive. Maybe he had judged he wrong, maybe she was a snobby rich girl after all. When she walked again past his table on the way back to her seat she Saw him and smiled and said "hello" but Chris looked away on purpose. She wasn't going to play him like that Chris decided. He hadn't seen the hurt and confused look on her face as she walked back towards her friends. She must have mentioned it to her friends because when one of the girl's friends went to the cash register to pay their bill she stopped in front of Chris's table. "excuse me may I talk to you?" She asked standing in front of Chris. "bout what?" he asked. "About you being rude to my friend," She said, not sounding very happy. "Me?" Chris countered "I said hello to her twice and she ignored me." The petite girl with long curly brown hair looked confused. "Claire would never ignore you on purpose, she's been talking non-stop all week about some guy that wears Sepulatura tee shirts. She doesn't even know who Sepulatura is!" Chris looked up at her, totally confused himself. "Well she's walked by me twice and never even looked at me when I said Hello to her." The tiny girl laughed, Chris looked at her, annoyed at her laughing. " Claire probably didn't hear you, in fact I know she didn't, Claire is deaf." That last word hit Chris like a cement block being dropped on his chest. "Deaf", this had to be a joke, he was a musician falling for a girl that couldn't hear? The tiny brunette let the thought sink in." Anyway, she said "I better go, they're waiting for me." Chris seemed to be in a fog the rest of the time he spent with his friends and later at home. It bothered him until he finally fell asleep. He kept seeing her face in his dreams, but this time she kept moving further and further away from him until she finally faded and was gone.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The next day Chris woke up late, haunted by images of that girl he had seen yesterday. He saw her laughing and smiling at him, most of the night. "what the hell, " he thought. Chris never got hung up on chicks. He had one serious girlfriend in high school, but Kelly moved away to go to Davenport College in California. The end was very nasty, Kelly wanted Chris to go to Davenport with her and of course Chris refused because he didn't want to leave the band behind. Kelly was crushed, they had been together for over 3 years, she had put up with a lot of grief because of Chris's dreams to make it big as an artist. She had spent alot of nights alone as Chris was playing gigs  in other towns, and of course she worried about Chris hooking up with other girls, Kelly wasn't ignorant to how the game was played; the whole sex, drugs, and rock and roll thing, but she had hoped that Chris would grow out of his 'Peter Pan Syndrome' as she called it and that they would get married someday and have kids; the whole deal. It's not like Kelly didn't have opportunities to date other guys and now at the end of all this she felt like she had wasted her time with Chris, she loved him. IT didn't end well at all for Either of them. So. Chris decided not to get involved too deeply with any one else. A one nighter or maybe a hot weekend, that was it. Not that he ment to hurt anyone, besides alot of the girls only wanted a fling anyway. They didn't want some possessive guy tying them down, they were in college, enjoying being away from Daddy and getting laid just like most of the guys on campus were. Chris thought about what to do about his mystery girl. Should he avoid her altogether or hook up with her and get her out of his system? No, he wouldn't hook up with her, she didn't seem the type for that. she seemed to have class and the way she was dressed she came from a good family, so she deserved more than that from him. "okay, fine, friends only," Chris mumbled to himself that that scenario would probably be harder than he thought. He would find out how hard that would be alot sooner than  he thought he would because as soon as he entered the coffee shop around the corner from the music building she was there with a couple of girls. He almost walked right into them. The coffee shop was crowded as usual for this time of morning. The girls turned around when they felt the cold  draft of the opening and shutting door hit their backs. She looked right at Chris and smiled until her friend handed her her coffee cup and they wandered away from the cash register area to look, hopefully, for an empty table. Chris was running late already, even more so now so he quickly ordered his tall black with 3 sugars and left, wishing he could linger and find the girl with the awesome smile instead of rushing off to class in the drizzle, the nice weather of the other day was now just a memory, as was the smile his mystery girl flashed at him.
The guys were all waiting for Chris when he walked to their usual table ion the corner with a couple slices, some blue cheese and a large chocolate shake. "So," says Chad the lead guitarist and Chris' oldest friend "what are we doing Friday night? I heard there is going to be a party over on 6th and Hill." They had good weed there last year from what I heard. One of the guys that lives there is a Hort. major." "Chad all of the Horticulture majors grow weed." Said Brian as he crunched on the ice at the bottom of his empty glass. "yeah, but it's good weed, Brian, not that seedy crap you buy." Brian threw his dirty napkin at Chad, missing,' thank God he is a drummer, not a baseball player', Chris though to himself as he finished eating. The guys talked more about their plans for the weekend and about the flyers for their next show in a few weeks. They were friends with a couple guys in the art department and they did all the flyer design for the band as long as they got into the shows for free. The guys didn't mind because it saved them the headache of making the flyers themselves and the flyers were really good, alot better than any of the other bands on campus, it got them a bigger audience and they stayed for the musical talent Agony Revisited had. Late Chris lay in bed listening to Tool on his headphones waiting to fall asleep. He had smoked a bowl a while ago so it wouldn't take long to fall asleep. When Chris did fall asleep he saw the face of  that pretty girl with the chocolate colored hair.

Silent Love Song:Chapter 1

The day was warm for September in Western New York. There was a false hope that the warm weather would hold longer than reality would allow. Even the bees were being lazy, buzzing around the brown apples under the apple trees of an orchard long forgotten. Students lounged against some of these trees, reading texts or for their own pleasure. Others listened to music as they enjoyed the unseasonably warm sunshine.
Chris walked towards the old brick buildings of Montgomery University campus. He nodded at a few students that were dressed like himself in old Iron Maiden and Metalicca tee shirts and torn jeans. Chris walked towards a group of girls that were clustered together looking at campus maps and class schedules. "Freshmen" Chris thought to himself and continued to walk by until one girl caught his eye. She seemed to be paying very close attention to the others and made eye contact with each one as she spoke, not like the others who flitted around like little birds. "She's hot," Chris thought to himself "and not an airhead like the others". He looked at her with out seeming like a stalker. She was well dressed, which he liked, he was sick of seeing girls in sweats and pajamas all the time. She had long shiny dark brown hair, like the color of chocolate and a sweet face with out a lot of makeup. Chris liked that as well. Most of the girls he knew wore dark liner around their eyes and red stained lips. The girl laughed and looked up, catching Chris's eye for a split second, she smiled and looked away from Chris and to one of her companions. Chris continued walking to his class, Jazz Composition. Chris was a Sophomore, majoring in music. He played bass in a band called Agony Revisited. As the instructor rattled on about the greats of jazz. Chris's mind wandered back to that girl he had seen. She was nothing like his usual type, so it bothered him that he couldn't stop thinking about her, but maybe he needed a new type. "Try something new, Chris" he smiled to himself as he gathered his notes at the end of class. He needed to get some more sheet music soon, he thought as he left the classroom, glad it was his last class of the day. He was meeting his band mates for pizza and wings at "The Pad" a pizza joint on campus. The food was hot and cheap. They had comfortable couches to lounge on and really good coffee. They also had an internet cafe. Many students lingered there for hours drinking way too much coffee as they enjoyed the quiet, away from crowded dorm rooms and noisy roommates.