Disclaimer: We don't own Twilight, but we own Voicey and Deafella...
I followed my father to the cruiser. I waited patiently for him to unlock it and then I got in.
My face and body appeared passive and compliant; trying to show him I wasn't going to put up a fight.
But meanwhile, on the inside, my mind was racing, stewing. It was going a million miles per hour.
There was no way he would take the Cullen's from me. No. Way. Of course, he would try to take me away from something I love more than this world...again. But I won't let him this time. This is my life and for the first time, I'm going to call the shots.
First of all, I'm 18. Legally, I can do what I want and its high time I did. Last time I backed down because I didn't want to cause another fight. I don't want the Cullen's to have to fight for me. But they will and I know that it's because they want to. Yes, it will cause another altercation but that's okay. After all I've seen tonight, I know that Edward and the Cullen's love me just as fiercely as I love them. I may not have been born theirs but I belong with them.
They are my family and I'll be damned if someone...anyone tries to take MY family away from me. I used to believe that my only family could be within the deaf community but I have learned that I was wrong. There were hearing people who cared and would protect me without sheltering or babying me. I finally found people that I love and more importantly that love me back in this hearing world. The same world that my father and mother threw me into blind and now he wants to take them away?
As Em would say, "Hell to the no."
My dad doesn't want me in the Deaf world and apparently he doesn't want me in the hearing world. Then where the hell does he want me?
All I ever thought they wanted for me was to be hearing and I couldn't do that for them. Now, I finally fit in somewhere and they want to rip me out? My mind was bombarded with images and memories that kept plaguing my thoughts. My mind was going so fast, I could barely keep up.
I tried to fight back the tears as we drove past the point where Edward and I were stopped by that creep.
My mind played over and over Jake's words, "Just get over it, Bella. It happens to the Deaf."
The Cullen's faces and how they were so concerned, even though they didn't know the truth. It didn't matter to them, they knew I was upset and wanted to fix it.
I know that Jasper knows but hopefully he'll just stay out of it. With him being "in" with the deaf, he should know that nothing can be done.
And then my mind played back my fathers words, 'I'll handle her,' like I'm a wild caged beast.
Old memories flooded back to me of sitting in speech pathology class and being forced to sit on my hands. Can't think about that now...
This ends tonight. I have a family that loves me and I'm going back to them.
Before the car was in park, I swung the door open and flew up the stairs. I could not be with people who didn't give two shits about me when I knew there were people who would do anything for me. I opened the door to see my mother sitting on the couch, she eyed me up and down for a second then her eyes went back to the TV. I balled my fists and gritted my teeth. As soon as Esme saw me, she knew something was wrong and wanted to help me but not my mother. My own mother. No...no, not mother no more. To this woman I was a burden, a curse. I knew my face was swollen, splotchy and red and that my body still trembled and yet she sat..
Well I won't sit. Not anymore. It all changes now.
I don't even remember racing up the stairs. Before I knew it, I was in my room flinging clothes out of my drawers and ripping them off hangers. I was moving so fast because I was so done.
I needed Edward. I need the Cullen's and they want me.
I was shoving everything into my bag and then I finally thought, "Wait...how the hell am I going to get over there?"
I could try to walk but Charlie would stop me. I could text them but they would still try to come in and talk it out with Charlie. They just don't get it. Carlisle and Esme can't comprehend not loving their children so they just don't get how my family works.
I can text Jake and he'll come get me. Yeah, then the Cullen's won't have to go through any more drama over me tonight. Jake won't even ask any questions and my dad knew better than to fight with with the Black's. My dad may be Chief of Police but Jake's father was Chief of the Tribe and most of the time their word overpowered anyone else in Forks.
I pulled out my sidekick just as I felt a slight breeze and the wood in the floor bounce.
Here comes the fight. I should be scared but I've been waiting for it.
I turned to face my dad. His eyes frantically searching over the room and the state it was in and I slowly saw realization sink into his face.
Yeah, Dad this is it.
His eyes stopped at my sidekick and I saw his jaw clench.
Here it comes.
"What the hell is that?" he asked as he tried to snatch it from me, I pulled back shaking my head 'no' at him.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
I mouthed slowly for him, "Getting the hell out of here."
Charlie shook his head with his face furrowed in confusion.
Come on Dad, you're a cop, isn't this obvious? Well, since we can't communicate like other fathers and daughters let me spell it out for you.
I went to my desk, yanked open a drawer to grab a notebook and pen and wrote in big huge clear letters; I'm leaving. I'm 18. You. Can't. Stop. Me. I held it up for him right to his face
He slapped the paper down with his hand. And got in my face, "NO!"
I flipped the paper over on my knee, and wrote; YES! You can't do anything and why you act like you care? Then I held it to his face.
His eyebrows knitted together and his lips crumpled together under his mustache as he took unsteady breaths. Finally, after a moment of him looking straight at me he said, "Why?"
I let a little laugh escape through my tears and my dad looked at me as if his heart stopped.
Why? I'll tell you why.
I wrote on the paper then held it in front of my chest; They talk to me.
He raised his eyebrows and his jaw tensed before he spit the words, "They talk to you?" he laughed but his face showed that he didn't think this was funny. "They talk to you? They talk to you. Well, good for them Bella. Good for them." He paused, looked down at his feet and swallowed harshly. Then he said, "Know why Bella?"
I shook my head, not getting what he was trying to say.. His face seemed mad but his body looked broken. Something was hurting him more than his body could even handle. That much was obvious. People who are hurting or about to break, are easy to read. They can't even hide if they want to.
What the hell could be hurting my dad so much? I haven't seen him show any sort of emotion in years. He always has up his cop facade.
He let out a deep breath and said with his eyes closed, "Because you talk to them." He laughed but his body betrayed him still showing the hurt dripping off of him.
I shook my head at him. Not telling him 'no' but telling him I didn't understand.
"You talk to them. When was the last time you talked to me?" His eyes finally found mine and for the first time in years, I truly made real eye contact with my father and I saw nothing but pain.
The hearing phrase, 'hit me like a ton of bricks' doesn't even cover how seeing those words come from his mouth affected me. It was as if time stopped but someone took the world in their hand and spun it too quick off its axis. Everything made sense because it all made no sense at all.
If you could see me sign you would see the devastation and confusion radiating from my face and body. I would gesture being gutted or torn apart at the seams; probably with a broken heart at the end. I would gesture getting hit and exploding with understanding.
Memories came tumbling back as I went back to that day in my head and played the history over and over. The day I changed. The day I became silent. And he was right.
He went on, "You talk to them, like how you used to talk to me."
More tearing, more ripping.
I had never explained anything to my dad. I had never tried to talk to him especially since that day. The day they forced me out of Deaf school. I had gone silent and shut my Dad out. We could spend forever pointing fingers at who's fault this was but the truth was if I had just reached out when I wanted too, and not let a little communication stand in the way, I could have had my Dad again. I could have had my own family. I could have been held and loved. Looking back, I see it, I see me shutting him out and I see it written all over his face.
He used to be my everything, but they day he took me from my school, really, it wasn't just my school, it was my whole world. It changed everything. And it all would have been fine if I just didn't use my voice and I couldn't explain that to my dad...or so I thought..I thought he was hearing there was no way he would get me. But maybe If I had tried he could see me like the
He used to be my everything but the day he took me from my school, it changed everything. It really wasn't just my school, it was my whole world. And it all would have been fine if I just didn't use my voice and I couldn't explain that to my dad, or so I thought. I believed that since he was hearing, there was no way that he would get me. But, maybe if I had tried, he could've seen me like the Cullen's do.
My tears overwhelmed me as my emotions swelled within me. I never knew how to explain it to him, and I knew I had to figure out how. I really couldn't do better than just decided to be blunt. I didn't want to use my voice anymore, I wrote to him on our sheet of paper. Hearing people just never understood why using my voice would be a problem, but I never thought for once about trying to explain it to my dad.
Now It was me that was ripping myself at the seams.
"Why not?" he genuinely asked. See? They just don't get it and it seems so obvious to me.
I sat on the bed with my notebook in hand and started writing with a heavy sigh; I might not be able to hear but I know I don't sound right. I held the notebook in front of me. My dad shook his head and moved to sit by me, and he waved his hand in my face to interrupt my writing, "Is that why you got in so much trouble in school? Baby, I never even knew what was happening. You just stopped talking."
I wrote with a shaky hand; Why did you take me out of there?
"Bella what else was I supposed to do? You were getting beat up everyday and you wouldn't tell anyone why. Not even your Deaf teachers. No one knew what was going on but all I saw were bruises and I did what I thought I had to do. I swear Bella I only wanted to do what was right for you. Then, after that, I totally lost you. Now you're going to tell me that it was all over your voice?"
I tried to write through the tears but it was proving to be hard but finally i managed to write; Dad, I know you remember.
What I sound like, I wrote.
He looked at the notebook and breathed hard through his nose, "Yeah, I remember all right."
He kept nodding and fiddling with his hands then he took a huge deep breath and said slowly with his mustasche shaking, "I remember your voice was the most beautiful sound in the world."
rip, stomp, tear, gut, stab, pain, hurt...
I shook my head 'no' as fast as I could, trying not to see him talk anymore and trying to keep all of the old memories of me and my father at bay.
I felt a tap on my knee. "Can I tell you a story? You know, like I used to?" His eyes begging me with lips pressed together.
I eyed him hesitantly and wearily nodded my head. Like he used to? I don't think this is the time for Cat in the Hat, but at least we were talking.
"You were 18 months old and your mom and I had taken you to a specialist in Seattle. He was the one that told us that if there was any hope for you, we had to take you to a pathologist right away."
"We were watching you play through a two-way mirror. You were playing with the dolls and you grabbed the boy doll and you said...I remember it to this day, it was so clear as a bell, you said 'Daddy.' I literally jumped from the table and pointed to you screaming 'Did you hear that? Did you hear that,'" he paused, as he smiling and looking down. "See, I knew you said it, because you and had been working so hard. Everyday when I came home from work after we found out," dad popped his neck and rubbed his mouth before continuing, "anyway, I knew, I just knew you said it and everyone said it was impossible. 'You were just babbling,' they kept saying. 'There was no way you could know any better. If you did say it there was no way you could connect it internally.'" He stopped to rub his eyes and his forehead, "Then they brought you back in with us." My dad wasn't looking at me anymore, but he was looking past me. He seemed totally lost in a dream.
"You ran straight into my leg, like you always did and you said it again, 'Daddy.' It was crystal clear. I laughed so hard. Well, I laughed and cried. It was like you wanted to prove them wrong. Just for me. That was my girl. That's all I want, you know. I want my girl back. I don't give a damn if she speaks Chinese, but I just need my baby girl back."
I shook my head profusely as my dad's words seeped into my brain, 'My girl.' Tears trickled down my face and I felt a sharp gasp escape my mouth. The sobs intensifed as my chest pounded. My heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to burst out of me. My jeans were getting soaked, I was crying so hard. I felt my dad put his arm around me and he pulled me into his chest.
Instinctively, I reached out to him, wanting my dad. I sobbed into his flannel shirt collar and I felt him stroking my back. I felt his voice vibrate in this throat, "Shh...Bella. It's okay." I sobbed more, hating myself for not thinking about what I have put him through. I never took into account all the work he did with me early on. So much of my childhood memories are of school. But, I remember Dad coming home from work after a long shift. He would be tired and completely worn out. I would be coloring in front of the TV as always. My mom always left the TV on for me, she was always preoccupied with other things. My Dad would kneel down and sit with me. His eyes would be bloodshot from working extra shifts to pay for my specialized classes and expert appointments. No matter how tired he was,he would always make time for me. He asked me what I was coloring and I would say, actually voice, "Dog" or "Cat". I remember his loving smile as he would pet my hair and kiss the top of my head.
I was still crying into his shoulder. I felt so safe, so loved right here in my dad's arms. It's been years since I've let him get this close to me. I just figured I wasn't good enough for him. I never realized I was doing some of the pushing away as well. I clutched his neck harder, he smelled faintly of stale coffee and pine. I remember him smelling that way even when I was younger. A smile appeared on my tear-stained face as I remembered how good it felt to be in my daddy's arms again. I nestled my cheek under his jaw and closed my eyes.
Then, I felt his throat tremble, "Mmmm... Mmmmm..."
I pressed my hands against his throat to feel him again, "Mmmm..."
My dad was humming me my lullaby. Just like he did when I was little, before I left for school. I have always been scared of the dark, for as long as I can remember. My mother refused to buy me a nightlight. She figured I would just grow out of it. But Dad realized how scary the dark could be for someone like me. He always did his best to make everything better. Why the hell am I just remembering this all now?
Every night, Dad would read me a story. He pretty much just acted out the pictures, so I could get an idea. He would always try so hard, getting on his knees acting like a horse or wrapping the tablecloth around his head to be the princess in distress. When he was finished I would clap before climbing into his lap when he was on the rocking chair and I would nuzzle underneath his chin and press my hand against his neck. Sometimes, I would press so tightly against him, he would have a hard time breathing, but he never wanted me to let up. When I would feel him struggle and pull back, he always just pulled me in closer. He would never push me away. He'd never leave me in the dark.
Every night my dad would hum soothingly and let his vibrations lull me to sleep.
And for the first time in ten years he did it again.
Author's Notes: **passes you some tissues** Hope you enjoyed this chapter ladies. Sorry, it's taken us awhile, but RL and the Holidays happened. Thanks for all your support! WE LOVE YOU!
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