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I stared at his lips, venturing to figure out what he was saying. He only inquired what the homework was for English class. I sighed, grabbing a sheet of paper and writing down the assignment that was allotted to us. “Thanks Ellen.” He smiled and sauntered with me to the bus.

My name is Ellen, and I have the inability to hear. I had a brain tumor six years ago, and when they proceeded to take it out, they hit a nerve: and so it’s limited my five senses down to four, making my life a more difficult adventure. I’m able to lip read, but that doesn’t mean it solves all of my problems. Numerous times I’ve had to ask people to speak slower or repeat what they’re saying. It usually results into them being exasperated with me. That’s okay though, at least I can talk.

When I stepped onto the bus, I could see everyone talking, laughing, and having a good time probably, but I couldn’t hear it. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to hear something; the birds chirping, people talking, or even someone tapping their fingernails against the hard surface of a desk.

I stared out the window, completely oblivious of everything around me. I nearly fell asleep when I noticed it was my stop. My brother and I both plodded off of the bus and headed toward the door. When I arrived there first, I opened the door for him. He thanked me by nodding his head and flashing a small grin.

Mother greeted me at the door with a kiss on top of my head and a hug. She questioned about how my day was, and I responded with the usual “just fine.” and continued walking to the dining room to finish my homework.

This is what my average day would contribute of. I’d wake up, go to school, come home, and do my homework. Sometimes I’d have a conversation with my dad but only happened when he didn’t have the late shifts. It was difficult talking to him since I had to pay attention to his lips to understand what he was saying. He understood I was deaf, but he doesn’t know sign language, and both of us wouldn’t feel like playing charades for a half an hour.

I didn’t talk to my mom a lot because she’s usually really busy with being the ‘stay at home mom’ business. She cleaned, she cooked, she did laundry, I could give you a list, and it just isn’t worth it.

My brother and I talk a lot. I know him better than I know my parents, and I was closer with him than anybody. We’d talk about stuff, and he’d ask me questions like “How would you react if you could hear again?” or he’d respond with “What if they never ended up hitting that one nerve that took out your hearing?” Sometimes it was difficult understanding him because he spoke too fast, but that was alright, he was still considerate of my feelings. As soon as I was done with my homework, I glanced at the clock and it read 1:30 a.m. I always procrastinated with homework and studying, which resulted in late nights and me acting grouchy in the morning. I trudged upstairs and drifted off into a restless sleep.


It was morning, the birds chirping and the sun shining. An overwhelming panic/excitement came over me, as I could hear my brother arguing with my mother about where his backpack was. I could hear my mother cooking downstairs, and I could smell it too. She was making pancakes with some bacon. I could hear my dad running up and down the stairs in search for his suitcase. I could hear my own breath exhaling and inhaling. I could hear the clock: tick tock is the sound that it made. I could hear. I could hear.

Everything was bliss; tears were streaming down my face as a sign of joy. They told me it was unfixable. They told me it wasn’t possible for me to hear until I had this expensive surgery done. I could hear the wind brushing against the window screen. I felt like I was in paradise. I turned on my lamp, and I could hear the clicking noise the switch makes.

I wiped the tears and ran toward my brother, embracing him, and he asked me, “What’s wrong Ellen?” I cried even more. I could hear his voice (and boy has it changed within the last several years). I responded with something I had yearned to say for four years: “I can hear again.”

Created: Mar 30, 2014

Tags: essay, story

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