Deaf, Blind, and Dumb

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Literary_Dreamer, Apr 18, 2014.

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  1. *****

    Time Since Accident: Seven Days


    “It’s all that damned—! It’s all her fault! If it weren’t for her, Chris wouldn’t—Chris wouldn’t…”

    “Amy. Amy, sweetheart, shh. You have to calm down.”

    “Calm down, my ass! That little bitch, that pretty faced little floozy convinced our boy to run away with her and now he’s lying here in a hospital bed and where’s she? Probably on vacation with her family!”

    “You can’t blame Khloe. She’s not a bad girl and she’s just a child herself.”

    “He could die, Robert.”

    “The doctor said—“

    “You’re going to believe that hack?”


    Time Since Accident: Nine Weeks


    He opened his eyes to darkness. There were sounds all around, loud and intrusive, but there was nothing to see in the darkness. Then there was her voice.

    “Chris? Chris! Can you hear me? Can you see me? Answer me! It’s your mother. Nurse! Nurse! He’s awake!”

    The sounds she made didn’t make any sense. Then he closed his eyes on the darkness and the sounds went away.


    Time Since Accident: Ten Weeks


    He opened his eyes in the darkness again. There were more sounds. There was again the voice.

    “All right. Let’s try this again. Chris? Can you hear me? Blink if you can hear me.”

    The words didn’t make sense but the meaning got through. He blinked.

    “Did you see that? That’s amazing! He can hear us. My baby boy can hear us!”

    There was pressure on his forehead.

    “Oh, do that again!”

    He didn’t know why but he blinked again. It elicited a loud sound, a cry of joy and more words.

    “Talk to your mother. Say that you love me.”

    He made words back.

    “Ughh muhggh blughg.”

    A voice, not the woman’s, made more words.

    “It’s a little early for that, Mrs. Dutt. He’s doing just fine. You’re doing just fine, Chris.”


    Time Since Accident: Five Months


    He was practicing making words while the sound was around. “Uhm… Uhm… Mutton…”

    The woman responded almost immediately. “Did you need something, Chris? Are you thirsty?”

    He tried again. “Te…le…phone…squi-squirrel bi…cycle.” It wasn’t right. He knew it wasn’t right. He didn’t know what it meant, but it wasn’t right. Still, the woman made sounds of elation and words.

    “Robert? Did you hear that? Chris just said something. I mean, not just sounds. He said words.”

    A deep voice, a male voice responded. “It was nonsense, though.”

    He tried to explain himself. “Cat! Bo-bot…tle cloud suit….case fl-floor.” It was still wrong.

    The man spoke. “It’s still nonsense.”

    But the woman was shouting. “Nurse! Get the doctor! Chris is talking!” It was loud, too loud for him. He tried to move his hands to cover his ears but at some point he’d forgotten that he had arms and the unexpected weight of the appendages made him give up halfway through and his arms flopped bonelessly to his sides.

    “It’s still nonsense,” the man repeated and he wondered what those words meant that was so important that the man had to say them twice.


    Time Since Accident: Five Months, One Week


    “What do you mean, he shouldn’t be doing this yet?” The woman sounded upset.

    “Well, typically, there is more responsiveness before a patient expresses this level of vocalization.”

    “Maybe Chris is just a fast learner?”

    “Brains heal in a specific pattern. It isn’t usual for someone to skip a step.”

    “Does this mean that he’s…permanently disabled, that he’ll be like this forever?” The woman’s voice wavered.

    “Not necessarily… Hm, no reaction at all, it’s as if he were… But the test results were… But he is reacting exactly as if he couldn’t see anything.”

    “You mean he’s blind? You’re telling me my son is blind? How could you miss this? How come you didn’t say anything before now?” Now the woman was even more upset

    “It isn’t definite. There was nothing in the test results to suggest that your son was blind. Of course, we will run more tests to make sure but the most definitive way to know is if we wait for Christopher to be able to tell us himself.”


    Time Since Accident: Nine Months


    “But there is nothing in the test results that would indicate a physical cause for his blindness,” the doctor said patiently, for the third time.

    “Well, do them again because my boy says he can’t see,” Christopher’s mother insisted.

    “Nope, not a damned thing,” Chris added helpfully.

    “Christopher!” his mother scolded. Christopher started, surprised by the outburst. Had he said something wrong? He couldn’t tell. “Watch your language!”

    “We’ve run the tests twice, Mrs. Dutt,” the doctor explained, “and the results matched almost exactly. There is no reason to do them again.”

    “Relax, Ma,” Christopher said. “It’s not like I’m paralyzed or something. Now, I feel sorry for those poor bastards.”

    “Christopher! What’s gotten into you?”

    “Well, you see there was this accident… Or so they say. Horrible. Blood and guts everywhere. It’s amazing I survived.”

    “Your son suffered major trauma to his brain, Mrs. Dutt,” the doctor said. “It’s nothing short of amazing that he’s progressed this quickly or that he’s reached this stage of recovery at all. You have to expect some difficulties. For now, Christopher’s, ah, ‘filter’ you might say, isn’t working. If he’s thinking it, it will come out his mouth. You may have to live with this. You may also have to face the fact that this may be the furthest he can progress.”

    “And you may have to face the fact that you should just dry up and die, you shitty asshole,” Christopher countered. “Telling someone they can’t progress. I’m not going to stay like a fucking mollusk, you ass. Fucking shitty bedside manner, this is.”

    “He never used to swear,” his mother said. “But I suppose I can’t put it off any longer. I have to call my mother and tell her that he’s ready to move. I just hope they don’t ask for the money back if he doesn’t get any better.”


    Time Since Accident: Twelve Months


    Christopher often felt like he’d been sold out. He knew that his parents had had no choice but he’d never been so miserable in all of his life, or at least what he could remember of it. His memory was still in patches but it was getting better all of the time. They said that he’d never regain the memories of the accident or the six months that followed but he was rather glad of that. It seemed, from the stories, like it had been painful or embarrassing event after painful or embarrassing event. The last thing he remembered before the six month blank was looking over and seeing Khloe’s face illuminated by the soft green lights from the dashboard.

    Khloe was gone now. Christopher didn’t know when or why but he didn’t particularly care. He tried, from time to time, but he couldn’t muster up the strength. She was just a passing fancy that had flitted in and out of his life like a butterfly, beautiful while she lasted but now she was gone forever and that was that. His mother had been very worried about how he’d react and had tiptoed around the subject for a long time before he brought up the topic on his own with that ever-running mouth of his.

    Over time, Christopher had developed a certain level of shame about how he talked but there was nothing he could do about it. Often the words were out of his mouth before he was even aware that he was thinking them. Other times, he was aware of what he was thinking but not that his mouth was moving. Either way, he had caused a great deal of trouble and grief because of it, most of which happened after his arrival at the home of his grandparents.

    Which brought his thoughts back to the subject of being sold out. He knew that his parents had had no choice. He knew that the hospital bills had simply been too much for their meager income and deficient health insurance. He knew that his grandparents’ offer of paying the bills in return for giving Christopher to them as an heir to their business empire had been impossible to refuse. None of this, however, made him any less miserable. James Gruffudd was Welsh in name only and his wife, Patricia, came from a prominent British family, and they shared a strict, old-fashioned outlook on life that went completely contrary to anything Christopher had experienced before and was certainly different from the purposefully easy-going manner in which his own parents had raised him. It was disorienting and took some getting used to but Christopher thought that it had sped up his ability to monitor what he said, but maybe that was his imagination.

    “Sit up straighter, Christopher,” his grandmother commanded.

    “If I sit any straighter, my spine will snap in half,” he answered. Uh-oh, that one had gotten past him. Samantha, the woman who was helping him to adjust to life being blind by teaching him to read braille and to use his long white cane, chuckled softly but his grandmother let out a very irritated breath. It was amazing what he could hear.

    “Don’t talk back,” she reminded him with tired annoyance.

    “Yes, Grandmother,” he answered, “I’m sorry.”

    “Now, we were discussing how Christopher will be going away to university in two months. Do you think he will be ready, Miss Jones?” she asked, addressing Samantha.

    “The only thing he needs now is more practice,” Samantha said.

    “You didn’t answer my question, Miss Jones,” Mrs. Gruffudd (she was Patricia to no one but her husband) said.

    “Yes,” Samantha rephrased, “he will be ready.”

    “Good, you may go. Both of you.” And that was their cue to leave, which they did as quickly as possible.


    Time Since Accident: Fourteen Months


    “And this is your roommate, Jared,” said the assistant director of the university who had been encouraged by the immense wealthy of Christopher’s family to show the new blind student around. “He knows your situation and can help you if you need it.”

    “So, is it true that you’re really blind?” asked the young man whom the assistant director had presented once they were left alone in the room.

    “Yup,” Christopher answered, “like a bat. But don’t tell anyone. I’m trying to keep it a secret.”

    Jared was silent for a long moment, trying to decide whether or not Christopher was being serious. “Uhm, the glasses and the cane are kind of a dead giveaway.”

    “Damn,” Christopher said. “I knew I should have gone with the dog.”

    They both laughed.

    “Uhm, sorry, I mean…” Jared said awkwardly.

    “It was a joke, you were supposed to laugh,” Christopher said.

    Jared laughed again, “I think I like you, man.”
  2. ******
    Time since accident: 2 days

    The yelling in the room would grow louder like a roar. So much it was waking her from her long slumber. Khloe would hesitate opening her eyes. The light was too much as she shut them fast. But that was the least of her worries as pain shot through her whole body. The roar of people arguing would get louder and louder she would open her mouth to say stop. The sound never came it was silent.

    "It's all his fault his fault," her father David would be screaming to the doctor.

    "Dad dad she's waking up," Her brother Jordan would say squeezing her hand.

    David would turn back to the nurse and doctor, "I don't care I want to sue his parents for everything. How dare they think they can get away with this."

    Khloe couldn't take the scolding, yelling and pain so she finally closed her eyes. She would drift back into herself.

    Time since accident: 1 week 3 days

    "We want answers and answers now do you hear me? I will have your job. You can not drag my family along, " David would yell at the doctors once again.

    Khloe would sit there in a daze looking out the window at the birds flying by. She didn't care too much of what her dad had to say anymore. The one and only important thing in her life was gone, dead. So at that moment she decided the best way to get over it was to forget about it completely.

    "We don't understand what's going on the tests aren't adding up sir. We have ran them 4 times and it's the same every time. It's a medical mystery to us," the doctor would say rubbing his head.

    David would punch the door, "Your telling me she's never going to talk again? What do you expect she's going to do with her life now?"

    Time since accident: 3 months

    Khole's mother, Wendy, would look out the window, "Honey, why has Khloe been spending so much time at the library? She's gone every day till well passed dinner."

    "I hired a tutor who works there to teach her sign language. We can't go much longer without her communicating at all. Plus honey I was thinking she can't stay in this house forever. I found a wonderful college that takes cases... you know like hers. I'm gonna enroll her next semester. Khloe needs to make some new friends move on from this accident," David would say as he tapped his pen on his desk.

    "Maybe your right school looks like her only future now," Wendy would say as a she watched Khole walk up the driveway.

    Time since accident: 14 months
    Bing bing bing

    The sound of the bells were ire this morning as they echoed in the hall. Khloe would run down the hall hoping to find her new class soon. Great she would think to herself first day I'm late. Khloe wasn't looking forward to going to this new class. She was told it was mostly normal students and was a requirement to graduate. How was she to talk or communicate if everyone is just going to talk to each other. Oh well who cares she would think at least the teacher can sign that's good enough for me.

    As she rounded the corner she would make it in the room before the second set of bells would ring. Khloe would carefully scan the room till she found a seat in the very back by the windows. She would sit down at the table for two alone. As she waited she would look out the window onto the beautiful court yard. The flowers were at bloom now and were so pretty even though no one would notice as the rushed by.

    As everyone waited for the teacher gossip would fill the room. Khloe would look around at the noises and pull out a book from her bag. She would start to read as she slowly lost herself in the book.
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