They didn't let her take anything in –– not even the book for translation. Usually I’d sign a word or phrase and wait while she looked it up, but I couldn’t do that now.The black telephones dangled useless and mocking between us. She knew how to sign “thank you,” but she wasn't grateful. She knew how to sign “I love you,” but we weren’t there yet. Most of our conversation relied on shrugs and grimaces. We pointed to my jumpsuit and the slimy gray tiles and wrinkled our noses. Once, we stared at each other and cried in silence. I could still sign “thank you,” for her coming like she did. Or, I could sign “I miss you,” and she’d recognize it. Today I signed, “bad cabbage lunch,” and she heaved a deep sigh, as if she could feel exactly what I meant.
Nad Messmer is a sophomore at Simon's Rock and Frequent Contributor to The Weekly Cad.