What a ______ World -- Page 1Mature

I was in the shower when it happened. I had just sudsed up the shampoo in my hands and had started working it into my short-cropped hair when I heard a sound, like a crash. I wanted to call out to Rosa but I knew she wouldn't hear me, so I just quickly rinsed out the soap and turned off the water as fast as I could. As soon as I turned off the water I could hear voices, men's voices, and my blood ran chill.

I couldn't help myself, and called, “Rosa??” as I snatched the towel from the rack and dashed to the door leading to the bedroom, even though I knew calling out would be useless.

On opening the door I saw two strange men standing next to the bed in the bedroom. Their police uniform didn't reassure me and their drawn weapons even less so, but in their defense they immediately lowered them when they saw me burst into the room. I guess a little white girl doesn't seem threatening, especially dripping wet and naked with soap still in her hair. I hadn't really gotten the towel wrapped well around me before opening the door, so I wasn't that well covered.

I froze at the doorway, though the voices coming from the kitchen made me desperately want to run there and screw the consequences. “What's going on? What are you doing here?”

The officer nearest the door holstered his pistol and began to open drawers as the second held out a hand palm outward in a staying gesture and said, “Just a police raid, ma'am. Calm down.”

“A raid for what? There's nothing here.” I huffed in exasperation and tried to towel off a bit as I spoke. “Can I at least put on something or do you have to search my clothes first?” My scathing tone might have been a bit ill-advised, but my anger and worry seemed to be overriding my good sense.

The officer speaking to me nodded and gave me a permissive wave of his hand as he said something that I immediately ignored once I understood his gestures. I grabbed the shorts hanging haphazardly out of the laundry basket and threw them on without bothering to dry myself off any further, then gave the same treatment to a sweatshirt that had been folded up on top the dresser nearest me. As fully dressed as I was going to get, I tried to gather my thoughts about how I was going to ask to go to the kitchen and used the time to rub vigorously at my still-wet hair.

Just then a woman's voice, authoritative but one I didn't recognize, came in from the kitchen. “Where are your parents, girl? Who lives here with you? Can you understand me? Hablas ingles?”

All further thought fled from my mind. “Let me go to her, please. She's deaf,” I said urgently to the two officers now digging through drawers in front of me. At the nod of the only one who seemed inclined to communicate with me, I hurried to the kitchen with wet footprints trailing behind me and stopped to absorb the tableau before me.

Several officers were in the kitchen or were visible from the doorways in the laundry room and front room. I saw Rosa, curled in a ball over her knees on the floor with her hands held behind her back by another male officer, her face pressed down into her knees as if to hide. The female officer who had been speaking tried touching Rosa's shoulder and cheek to get her attention and Rosa flinched away from the touch, eyes scrunched closed and her terror obvious on her face, panting in fear.

I didn't know all the details, but I knew that there was something violent she had experienced in her past, and seeing her terrified reaction while being pinned on her own kitchen floor now, I thought it was probably some kind of sexual assault or abuse. She hadn't wanted to talk to me about it yet, and I hadn't pressed, wanting her to take her time. Her hands were spasmodically opening and closing into fists, her mouth working soundlessly, and I had the terrible thought that if she weren't deaf she'd probably be screaming.

It only took a heartbeat to take in the scene and my realizations. “She's deaf! She's deaf. She can't hear you,” I said, panicking now. A third officer in the room had moved to block my path into the kitchen with his arm when I reached the door. His name tag read J. Simmons. “Please, let me talk to her. She's deaf. Let me go to her,” I said to him, and then repeated myself nervously.

Officer Simmons looked at the female officer, who looked suddenly comprehending, nodded and said to the officer holding Rosa down, “Let her up.”

I glanced at Officer Simmons briefly to verify that he was permitting me to go, then rushed over to drop to my knees on the floor in front of Rosa as the other officer stopped restraining her and she instantly wrapped her arms forward around her knees, hugging them tightly to her body. I tried to touch her shoulder since her eyes were still scrunched tight, but she flinched away from me too, so I put my hands against the outside of hers that she held to her knees and started signing. I didn't know if she could understand what I was saying this way but I hoped she would at least know it was me.

I think at that point the female officer was trying to explain that Rosa had tried to run from them, but I wasn't paying attention to her. All my attention was on Rosa.

It's me, it's me. It's Morgan, I signed, spelling out my name. I'm here. It's me, I'm here.

Her eyes flew open and Rosa unrolled to a kneeling position in front of me, pressing her face into my shoulder and neck as I wrapped my arms around her. I hugged her tightly to me for a moment and then twisted around to look at her arms, looking for wounds or bruises. I didn't see anything except maybe some redness on her knees that she had pressed against the inside of my leg, her darker skin from her Hispanic heritage contrasting against mine, and some more red on her wrists.

I tapped her shoulder to get her attention, then waited until she lifted her face up to see my hands. Are you alright? Are you hurt?

She shook her head and signed one-handed, I'm not hurt. Her left hand was gripping the front of my sweatshirt and once she was done signing she returned the other to join it, twisting the faded image on the front and pulling it up slightly off the waistband of my shorts. Her breath was still heaving as if she were sobbing although, as usual for her, she made almost no noise doing so. I wrapped my arms back around her and pulled her to my chest, rubbing her back trying to soothe her, unconsciously rocking slightly.

It's me, it's me. It's Morgan, I signed, spelling out my name. I'm here. It's me, I'm here.

Her eyes flew open and Rosa unrolled to a kneeling position in front of me, pressing her face into my shoulder and neck as I wrapped my arms around her. I hugged her tightly to me for a moment and then twisted around to look at her arms, looking for wounds or bruises. I didn't see anything except maybe some redness on her knees that she had pressed against the inside of my leg, her darker skin from her Hispanic heritage contrasting against mine, and some more red on her wrists.

I tapped her shoulder to get her attention, then waited until she lifted her face up to see my hands. Are you alright? Are you hurt?

She shook her head and signed one-handed, I'm not hurt. Her left hand was gripping the front of my sweatshirt and once she was done signing she returned the other to join it, twisting the faded image on the front and pulling it up slightly off the waistband of my shorts. Her breath was still heaving as if she were sobbing although, as usual for her, she made almost no noise doing so. I wrapped my arms back around her and pulled her to my chest, rubbing her back trying to soothe her, unconsciously rocking slightly.

The End

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