Admitting it All
Autumn's surgery is in three hours. She has to be there in an hour to start pre-op. I want us to be together, I love that woman. She didn't give me time to explain myself or even tell her that I love her. Joe walked through the door and I threw my glass I drank my whiskey in. “Dude, you been like this for over a week now, just go to her!” Joe said and I sighed.
“I just think she will not believe me, Joe. She seen the real me, the conceited douche bag I am. I finally found the woman I wanted, and she hates me.”
“She does hate you, but she loves you. She admitted to you that she loves you, and I know you love her. Go to her at the hospital and see her before the surgery.” I guess I need to go see her, prove that she is my number one need, not myself.
“But, there is something you can do to prove that you love her...” Joe said and I leaned against the counter and glared at him. “Learn a very simple, yet powerful phrase in sign language.” I got confused. He is teaching me sign language, right now? It's three hours until her surgery.
“What is it?” I asked him.
“I am going to teach you to say 'I love you' in sign language,” He said and I did not fight him. He raised his hands and began to do symbols with his hands and gestures. “This is shorthand,” He raised his hands and done the heavy metal symbol headbangers do when listening to Slayer. Huh, that easy? “But, you need to do the actual phrase.” He points at himself, then made both hands to a fist, waved them across his body then cross them against his chest. He then held his hand out to me. “That is the actual phrase 'I love you', now you do it.” I let out a breath of air and copied his exact movements a few times.
“There, you done good! Want to learn a few more?” He asked me and I nodded.
“I want to learn 'I miss you,” I said and he nodded. He pointed at himself then got his index finger against his chin and twisted it then pointed at me. I repeated the gestures and he smiled.
“You're getting it!” He pointed at me then waved his hand across his face and he smiled. “That means 'you're beautiful'.” I repeated the gesture and he done one more. He pointed at himself, then make a cupping gesture with his hands, pointed at me then raises his hands in front of him and level them. “I want you here,” he said and he nodded. “That will tell her that you want her with you.” I nodded and I copied him. I done the four phrases he taught me a few more times and he gave me a thumbs up. “Dude, I think you are ready to go see her,” He said and my heart began to race. I am going to confess my love to Autumn, right before her surgery. Will it let her know that I do indeed want her to hear to let her hear me? I want her to do what she wants to do for herself, not for me. These eight days has been hard for me, I want Autumn to be mine forever and ever, deaf or normal.
Ben has not came over to see me yet. I think he is either giving me space or...this is it. Bethany has kept me company the whole eight days and her parents and brother let me stay over almost every night, but last night. This morning, I am packing my to-go bag for the hospital and Bethany is behind me. “Ben could show up at the hospital, you know that?” She signed to me and I sighed.
“I don't think he will. It's been eight days since we even talked or seen each other, I think we are over,” I signed and she ran over and hugged me.
“Come on, we better get over to the hospital.” I nodded and I grabbed my things and we walked down the stairs. My parents are waiting at the car for me and I got in and as they back up, I looked at my house and smiled. At least there is one good thing coming out of this, in less than a week, I will hear.
At Boston General, I went straight to the surgery floor and they gowned me up and put IV lines in me. Dr. Schwartz came in and introduced himself to my parents and Bethany. “Where is Ben?” He asked me and I looked away. I can sense that Bethany is telling him about Ben and I lay down against the bed. My mom stayed behind and she rubbed her thumb across my knuckles and she smiled at me. “You are my strong little girl, you know that?” She said and I can feel tears coming from my eyes. That is the last thing I ever heard from my mother before I went deaf. It's the only phrase that is still in my mind.
“You said that to me before I went deaf, I remember,” I signed to her and she smiled.
“You are very strong, Autumn. You survived a deadly infection that made you deaf and you are going to go through surgery. I love you, baby.”
“I love you, too, mom!” a red head male doctor came in and he introduced himself as Dr. Schneyder, an anesthesiologist. He gave me my first dose of juice and I already feel light headed.
“We are about to wheel her off to surgery, Mrs. Camden...” Dr. Schwartz said and I looked up and I see Mom, Dad and Bethany and they are smiling down at me and Bethany grabbed my hand.
“I will see you on the other side, pussycat!” Bethany said and I nodded and I held up the shorthand version of “I love you” and she done the same gesture back. Mom and Dad kissed me and they began to push me away. Right when I seen the doors, they went to a sudden stop and I looked up and there is Ben...
Shit, shit, shit...I ran into a few things at work before I headed to the hospital. I sped down I-90 to Boston General and I parked in the lot and ran through the doors. I am out of breath when I made it to the front desk. “Surgery...floor....pre-op...” I said and I feel like passing out. I never ran that fast in my life. Her surgery is in five minutes.
“Fifth floor sir,” She said and I ran to the elevator and made it in before it closed. I punched the “5” and slowly, and opening at every floor, I finally got off. I ran through the floor, pass nurses, patients and doctors. Everybody is yelling at me to stop, but I am not going to stop. I will see Autumn before she goes into surgery. I will tell her everything.
I see Bethany, Randall and Mrs. Camden looking at a stretcher and Bethany turned around and her mouth went agape. She turned around and yelled “STOP!” the stretcher went to the halt and I pushed my way through and went to the stretcher. I finally see Autumn and she is about to go to sleep because of the medicine. “Can I please have a few words with her?” I asked the nurse and she nodded. Autumn just stared at me and I raised my hands up. I pointed at her then waved my hand in front of my face, “You're beautiful,” I said and she smiled and a tear began to leave her eye. I done my next gesture, which is pointing at myself, my index finger twisting at my chin then pointing at her, “I miss you.” She repeated the same gesture at me and more tears came from her eyes. I pointed at myself, done the cupping motion with my hands, pointed at myself then raised my hands flat in front of me. “I want you here.” Her eyes closed and she is crying even harder, its now audible and I wiped her tears with my thumb. I leaned down and I brushed my lips across hers and then let go. I got one last one to do. I pointed at myself, made my hands into a fist, moved them across my body them crossed them across my chest, ending by holding my hand in front of her, “I love you.” I looked up at her family and Bethany and Bethany is holding her hand against her lips and she is fighting tears.
I looked down at Autumn and she is crying still. She held her hand to her face and I kissed her again and then done the shorthand “I love you” and shook in front of her. I can feel the tears flowing from my eyes and she reached up and cupped my cheek. She held her hand up and she pointed at herself, done the fist cross like I done then held her hand up to me. She just told me she loves me. She loves me still! I kiss her harder this time and I finally just spoke.
“I want you to hear, for you baby. I am going to make sure I am the first voice you will hear. I will see you after the surgery. I love you, baby,” I said and she smiled through her tears.
“I love you, too,” she just mouthed without sound. I finally let her go and I watched her go through the double doors and into the surgery table. My love is going to hear me in four days. I cannot wait!