What a ______ World -- Page 2Mature

“If you cooperate this will be over faster,” the female officer standing over us said. I lifted my head up to look at her and saw that her name tag read L. Davis. “Does anyone else live here? Where are her parents?”

“Her parents don't live here,” I told Officer Davis tiredly. “She's the only one that lives here.”

Officer Davis looked at me pointedly. “Then what are you doing here?”

I frowned and glared at her, then said defensively, “I'm a friend.” Just after the words left my mouth I kicked myself internally. Why did I try hiding what I was or try to make it sound better for these idiots? I didn't care about offending their delicate sensibilities or want their approval. I almost opened my mouth to correct myself, but stopped, wishing I were braver. Instead I thought back to what Davis had been saying earlier but hadn't paid attention to, and asked, “Why were you trying to handcuff her anyway?”

The third officer, whose tag read R. Lee, was standing up, putting the handcuffs he had been in the process of putting on Rosa back on his belt. Lee looked questioningly at Davis, who impatiently waved him off, and he started looking through the cupboards. Officer Davis put her hands on her hips and looked at me, an unhappy and frustrated expression on her face.

I rolled my eyes, sighing. “I don't know what you're looking for but you won't find it here.” I had stopped rocking so I could look the officer in the eyes steadily.

“And how do you know that if you don't know what we're looking for? This isn't your house,” she said angrily, hands still on her hips.

“Because I've seen enough of this house to know there's nothing here that the police would care about,” I bit off sharply, angered. A thought occurred to me. “Someone called with an anonymous tip, huh?” The guarded expression on the officer's face made me think I'd guessed correctly.

“It's just more harassment. Someone is using you to trash her house.” I started off speaking angrily, but by the end I was just resigned. It was too hard to be angry sometimes. I'm sure some of it also had to with it being too damn early, which I confirmed when a glanced at the clock revealed it was just 7:00 in the morning.

Rosa had felt the vibrations in my neck and chest to know I was talking, and had lifted her face up to look at mine. I could see the tear streaks on her cheeks and feel the wetness against my shoulder as soon as she pulled back her head and its warmth – not that I wasn't already fairly damp in various places from my aborted shower. She turned her head slightly so she could see one of the officers, Lee, at the cupboard out of the corner of her eye, but Rosa kept her eyes and hands on my sweatshirt. I reached up with my left hand to stroke her dark hair over her ear and tried to smile at her reassuringly, but didn't pull my arms away.

She breathed deeply for a minute, trying to calm herself, then pulled back just slightly to give herself enough room to sign. What do they want? Why are they here?

I spoke and signed at the same time so the officers would hear but keeping my eyes on Rosa. “I don't know what they want. The police say it's a raid.”

Rosa frowned, looking confused. A raid?, she signed. I don't understand.

“I don't understand it either,” I signed and said back. I have a habit of talking at the same time as I sign, because somehow vocalizing my words when I sign makes it easier for me to think, so communicating to Rosa in this way wasn't that strange for me. It also had the added benefit of letting other people know I was in a conversation so they wouldn't try to interrupt or wouldn't think there was nobody in the room.

“We have a search warrant,” said the still-visibly-angry-but-no-longer-scowling Davis.

I looked up at the officers in the kitchen. Lee was turning from the cupboard and shaking his head, then Simmons straightened up from digging under the sink and said, “Nothing here.”

Just then I heard a crash from the living room – really it was a second bedroom that had been converted – and jumped a bit, involuntarily, at the noise. Rosa felt my reaction and looked at me questioningly. I grimaced at her and shook my head. “I don't know, I heard a noise,” I signed/said. “We just have to wait until it's all over and then go see.”

She closed her eyes and turned her tear-streaked face into my shoulder for a moment again and just breathing until her shaking stilled somewhat, some of her long dark hair swaying against my chest. Then she turned back and signed to me, opening her eyes. Sing for me? Until they're gone. I always like it when you sing for me.

“Sing? Now?” I huffed a quick laugh. “But I'm a terrible singer. I know you don't care about that, but ….” I trailed off, looking at the strangers in the room.

Singing for a deaf person might seem like a strange idea at first, but all sound causes a vibration that can be felt. Really that's what ears are – just a very sensitive, specialized organ built to detect the delicate touch of air waves. Singing when in physical contact is visceral, and for a deaf person it's a touchable sound. In my music classes back in school we learned that Beethoven was able to play the piano even after he went deaf by leaning his head against the piano so he could feel the vibrations. Some of my other deaf friends told me that's why they like to go dancing at clubs, because the music is usually so loud that they can feel it.

You are a wonderful singer, she signed firmly, each movement decisive and a determined expression on her face as if brooking no argument.

“You're the only person who would ever want me to sing for them,” I laughed quietly. Like Beethoven piano was really more my forte, but how could I say no to that?

The End

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