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A Signing Love
by Jesus Puppy 
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Rachel nearly ran from the bus stop, literally dragging her friend, Kellie, all for the chance meeting that might never happen. Three weeks ago she had seen the young man leave the small Starbucks coffee shop, and had fallen in love in a single, childish moment.

In her heart she knew better, as the man had never looked her way, and as far as she could tell, had not even noticed her presence at the time. Then by chance, a week later as she and a friend stopped for a mocha, there he sat by the door. Each day since, she had made her friend come along, just to see if he would be there. Today was no different.

She caught the bus from the university to the downtown area, where Kellie would be waiting impatiently. Her friend would shake her head and laugh, as Rachel came running up, dark curls flowing behind her.

For years she had hoped and prayed for the right man to come along. One that would not look down on her for her disability. Rachel, though smart and rather attractive, had a major problem when it came to her social life. She had been deaf from the age of five.

* * *

Jim was determined, today he would nerve himself and be bold, no matter what might happen.

For two weeks now, almost like clock work, a young brunette and her red-headed friend came in to the same Starbucks he did for lunch. They would sit so quietly, reading he thought, possibly studying for class. He truly desired to meet the girl, if only to find out her name. For the last week he could not get her off his mind, even his dreams seemed haunted by the warmth in her eyes.

He was shy by nature; an only child, few friends, and not much interest in anything but reading. But this day he was driven to step out of his comfort zone and speak up-- even if it killed him to do so.

12:34PM... Right on time, the two girls entered, smiling as they passed his place near the door. Jim's stomach tighten as he watched them at the counter, but he refused to let his fear have its way. He took a deep breath as the waitress spoke, a little too loud, he though.

"Same as before, girls?" They nodded in reply, paid for their drinks and moved to the same spot as always-- the noisy table right by the cappuccino machine.

"How can they study with that racket?" Jim thought, "Oh well, to each their own, I guess."

Another moment passed as he calmed his ragged nerves and waited for them to settle. This is it, Jim thought as he stood and slowly crossed the room. As the shorter, dark-haired girl looked up and a smile crossed her face, Jim's resolve almost faltered, but he shyly nodded in her direction as he stepped up to their table.

"Hello," he said in as gallant a voice as he could, and gave them a slight wave of his hand. "I have seen you come in every day and wanted to introduce myself."

The girl of his dreams smiled in return, softly brushing a stray curl from her face, deep brown eyes sparkled in the sunlight flooding through the window. Her friend quickly opened a book in front of her, pretending not to over-hear.

"I was wondering," Jim stammered mildly, his words nearly a whisper. "They are having a new exhibit at the campus art museum. If you aren't doing anything later, maybe we could. . ."

Brunette strands rolled from her shoulders as the girl shrugged a non-committed reply, though her smile seemed to brighten. With growing embarrassment, Jim waved it off sheepishly and placed a card on their table.

"Well. . . if you. . . change your mind," he mumbled as he slowly backed away. "My name's Jim. . . text me."

* * *

Rachel's long dark curls fell across her open book as she turned to her friend, her hands blurred before her in sign language, "I couldn't read his lips to see what he wanted, but he sure is cute."

"He left you his card," the redhead signed back, then picked up the small slip of paper and waved it in front of her friend. "Text him."

"But what if he finds out I am deaf and doesn't like me?"

The girl rolled her eyes, shook her head and replied, "You are such a nerd. How will you know unless you tell him?"

* * *

All day long, Rachel thought of the young man. How would he feel when he found out the truth? How would they communicate? She tried sending a text message, but each time she started typing the words, her heart faltered-- embarrassed to admit her handicap. Being born with a hearing disability had never really presented a problem for her -- until now.

Her last class for the day, Historic Literature, seemed to drug on slowly as her mind pictured the face of the young man. From the moment she first saw him, she knew she was trapped. Even to the point of dragging one of her friends to the shop with her for lunch every day, then not allow her to use sign language for fear he would learn the truth and walk away.

Now, as he had spoken to her, Rachel wished she had taken her brother instead. None of her other family members were deaf, but they all knew sign language, and he was acting as her interpreter in several classes at school anyway. At the time, she had felt awkward just asking her friend Kellie.

How could I be so foolish, she chided herself as she fondled Jim’s business card once again. How many times had she looked down to see it there, as she absentmindedly turned it over in her hand.

As her brother, Timothy, told her the class was at an end, and handed her a list of books needed for the next weeks assignments, he noticed her distraction and asked if she was okay. Rachel simply nodded her head as she gathered her things, mentally tearing her heart in pieces.

Is it that obvious?

After some time, Tim finally caught her attention and told her he needed to get on to work, again asking if she was all right. She nearly broke then, telling him everything, but feeling she knew what his response would be, Rachel just smiled and signed that she would head to the library and see him at home later.

As she waited for the cross-town bus, she thought to send one of the ten text messages she had already written, but chickened out once again. Her experience with people who could not use sign language was embarrassing, to say the very least.

Disastrous is more like it. Her laughter was sad and short lived as she boarded the bus and took her seat.

Normally, Rachel would pick up her school textbooks from the campus store, today she felt the ride to the seldom used city library would give her time to think. She knew the young man was interested in her, but also knew how he would react once he found he could not speak with her like most people. Passing notes back and forth all evening is no way to spend a date.

The last guy to ask her out felt the same way and quickly lost interest, and that one didn't fill her mind the way Jim did, for some reason. His shy manners and quiet behavior -- he seemed different in ways she could not understand. If he turned away once he learned she could not hear. . .

Rachel looked out the window as buildings flew passed without recognition, her mind fixed on the truth of it as she decided the best course was to forget the whole thing. No more embarrassing looks from her brother, no more dragging her friends to coffee shops just for a chance meeting she already knew would end in heartbreak.

Resignation set in only when she took out her cell phone and deleted the "Save file" from her text messages. With the slightest twinge of sadness, she clicked the "OK" button and closed her phone.

The nearest bus stop by the city library was only a block away, and the cool autumn breeze helped clear her mind some more. Though her disability had never been a real problem for her, the social aspect of being deaf was always a hindrance.

Until now, it had not seemed such a burden. She had her friends, and her family was a great support for her. With this week's trials she realized what she had prayed for all this time; that deeper relationship, with someone that truly understood.

Head out of the clouds, Rachel, she grumbled mentally, who wants a deaf mute.

This point was driven home as she stepped up to the door and an old woman held it open for her, mouth moving soundlessly. Rachel didn't even have the heart to look at her lips, let alone try to figure out what she had said. The tricks life normally seemed to play were bad enough, but this week was devastating, made even worse as she saw the lost look on Jim's face as he sat behind the library’s checkout counter.

Of all places. Rachel nearly ran in fright, barely hiding behind a column in time to not be seen by him. Is this a cruel joke, Lord. What do I do now?

Fighting back tears as she faced the embarrassment of her worst fear, she sat down on the floor in defeat. As she looked up towards the door -- and escape -- Rachel could just make out his reflection in the glass. The pain of rejection she saw on his face was an exact mirror of how her own heart felt at that moment.

Give me strength Lord, she prayed, then dug through her knapsack for a notebook and pen, and quickly jotted down a simple letter to explain why she had not spoken.



I am sorry I did not reply to you this afternoon, it is not that I didn't want to, but I couldn't speak. You see, I was born with an inner ear disorder that caused total hearing lost by the time I was five.

Being deaf, I could not hear what you said, and as you kept looking down I couldn't read your lips well enough to know what you had said. I know that this makes it hard to communicate, and will understand if you don't want to speak to me again, but I felt you should know.

I think you are a kind and attractive young man, and I hope you will find someone special.

Prayerfully, your friend, Rachel.

P.S. If this doesn't scare you, you could always text me. 555-3121


She folded the page in thirds, marked his name on the back, and watched the reflection in the glass doors-- waiting.

* * *

After his last break for the day, Jim returned to the front desk, still discouraged from his humiliating lunch that had failed miserably. As he took a seat on the stool behind the counter he saw the slip of paper, addressed to him, and asked his co-workers what it was about. They had no idea, as it was not there a moment before.

Puzzled, he opened the letter and read carefully, his expression changed from the dead sorrow lingering since lunch, to one of astonished confusion, then to surprised joy. He looked up just in time to catch sight of the long, dark curls of a young lady leaving the front doors, a smile came to his face as he hurriedly dug through his jacket.

Jim looked down at his phone for a good five minutes before he opened the messaging program. What will I tell her, he wondered, fingers hovering over the access button. Then he clicked the Text tab, typed in the number, and the first thing that came to him.


After what seemed a rather long time, the reply came. Though he had waited in anticipation, he was still worried as to where to go from that point.


In hope of seeming humorous, his answer was a common symbol, " :-) “

"So you aren't scared?"

Jim began to wonder if she were ashamed of her disability, being deaf was not a sin. He thought for a moment while typing the text to answer her. It was funny that she was worried how he might feel about her being handicapped. Does she think I'm that shallow?

"From a simple thing like that? Not one bit." Then to assure her even more, he sent another text before she could reply. "Want to have coffee later? I get off in another hour."

He laughed as two responses came. "I thought me being. . " And then a second later, "I would love to, but I have a report to get done for class. :-( "

"Lunch tomorrow, then?"

"The normal place? :-) "

"I will buy," he typed in quickly, then added, “And I have a secret for you.. but not til tomorrow. ;-) "

* * *

Rachel was walking in the clouds. Not only had he not been afraid of her disability, he actually looked forward to meeting her again. She wondered about his surprise, but it only heightened her mood. She had to tell her deaf friend, Kellie, as she had forced her to go along to the coffee shop everyday, just so she could see this mysterious man.

She was so excited when she got home, her hands were a whirl of motion. All of which was unseen by her friend from across the hall, as Kellie reported on the excited happenings of the day. Neither seeing what the other had said.

Kellie finally got through, only after grabbing Rachel’s hands to calm her long enough to sign her the News. It seemed the FBI had been in the neighborhood looking for a group of people she thought must be terrorists.

"They come to an area and set up in the city buildings as normal workers, then cause problems; electrical or computers, messing up the city government."

"I hope they find them," Rachel's reply was one of total non-interest as she continued with her own news. "Jim is really sweet. He works at the library, and we are having lunch tomorrow."

"I am not sitting through lunch with you two passing notes," her friend signed with a shake of her head. "Besides you don't know anything about him, he could be one of those terrorists from Maryland."

"Stop it." She waved it off with a laugh, "He is a lot nicer than the guy your boyfriend set me up with."

"Nice? I bet he is hiding something."

"Well, he did say he had a secret for me." she signed with a childish giggle in her excitement.

"Mark, down at the bookstore, said they pose as a family, real quiet types. They are wanted for the murder of those they leave after they disappear."

"Quit!" Rachel motioned as firmly as she could in sign language. "Jim is not a terrorist, or a murderer. I can't believe you would listen to Mark, he's a conspiracy nut."

All evening, as she studied and then made dinner, she could not stop thinking of the up coming lunch date. Should she dress-up, or go straight from class? She knew she would need an extra notebook, just in case. But all along her thoughts kept going back to his secret.

I've been around Kellie too long, she thought with a laugh. I'm starting to see conspiracy in every rumored thought.

On impulse Rachel sent him a text, asking if he grew up in the area. The response did little to set her mind at rest.

“No. With the old-man’s business we move a lot. Came from Baltimore a couple months back.”

Coincidence, she thought, just coincidence. He is not an axe murdering terrorist. With Kellie’s words in her mind, Rachel slowly began to worry.

“So, any hints as to your secret?” Her eyes nearly bugged out as she read over his reply.

“Not until tomorrow. :-) You will die when you find out.”

Just then, Kellie and Rachel's brother, Tim, came through the door. Seeing the confused look on her face, her friend asked what was wrong.

“Nothing!” Rachel signed back rapidly and turned to her brother. “Would you be able to go to lunch with me tomorrow?”

* * *

Jim sat quietly before his computer that next morning, reading the latest news and gossip on Face-Book, his heart though, was five hours away in a coffee shop. He was so pleased to find the little brunette was interested, and had even agreed to have lunch with him, he just had to share this bit of good news -- but with who.

Most of the "Chatters" were good for an online joke now and then, many he kept up with for prayers, but none were close in a way that he would confide openly about such things. Jim realized the one person that would be most thrilled, scanning his contacts page, he quickly clicked the icon for his Email, and pulled up his cousin's address.


"Jenny Martin" {JeN4271(at)MissionNet.org}

Hiya Cuz, how’s life in the field? Anymore earthquakes down there?

I have to tell you, this week has turned out great for me. Remember that girl I told you about? I took your advise and spoke to her. Guess what? She didn't hear a word I said - she's deaf. Cool huh? Mom was thrilled when I told her, she wants me to ask if she could do the group's youth camp this summer. I was like, “Give me a break Mom, I just met her.” I told her she could meet her later, and ask her herself.

Anyway, we have our first lunch date today, in just a few hours actually. I am thrilled, but nervous. :-\

Your Home-bound cousin, Jim.

After the message was sent, Jim began to get ready for work. Showered, dressed in above normal clothes to look good for lunch, and headed for the door. He stopped only long enough to remind his mother not to forget to come by the library before noon.

He knew it was rather mean of him to keep the secret from the girl, but felt she would find it funny. Especially after making it seem like I wouldn't like her, just because she was deaf. He laughed to himself as he imagined the look on her face when she found out.

* * *

Rachel was also nervous about the coming day. Not only did she have a test first thing that morning, and scared she might not pass anyway, but having thoughts about her date that afternoon only added to the distractions. After she finished her paper for Literature class, she decided to check her messages before school. The awaiting note from her Pen-Pal was always a blessing.

Her church youth group, years before, had started correspondence with other kids around the country. For Rachel to find one that was also hearing impaired was an added bonus, and they had kept in touch since they were both pre-teens. The other girl, two years older, had gone into Missionary work; Africa, China, and now helping as a nurse in Chile.

Her lifetime friend was happy for her, finding a good guy was one thing, but one that did not look down on her as "Handicapped" was a God send. In total agreement, Rachel sent off a quick reply before she headed for the bus stop.

Greetings PenPal :-D

I know what you're saying, I feel the same. It’s definitely from the Lord. Though we have only spoken in a few Texts so far, Jim seems like a real nice man. I am a little nervous about lunch though. Kellie told me about some terrorist group from Maryland and it brought on bad dreams -- just because Jim's family moved from there. I know, it's just nerves. Strange how dreams seem too real sometimes. Will write back this evening and let you know how it goes.

Your SISTER in the Lord, Rachel.

In a hurry, she practically ran out the door, even forgetting to shut down her computer. Seconds after the door closed, the light above Rachel's desk top flashed when her Messenger chimed in. Her PenPal had been online, read the Email, and tried to catch her before she left.

JennyM: 8:25AM; Rach, you still there?

JennyM: 8:25AM; Did you say his name was Jim? I have a cousin from Baltimore named Jim, who just told me about some girl he met.

JennyM: 8:26AM; Wouldn't it be funny if it was the same guy and you two hit it off and get married? Then we would really be family. :-)

JennyM: 8:28AM; Oh well, you must be gone. TTYL cousin-n-law. :-D

* * *

Pleased with the coming day, Jim arrived for work early and even had time to enjoy a cup of coffee while he read the morning paper. There, his day shifted to a darker note as the media headlines jumped out in bold print, "Computer Terrorists Attempt Take-Over."

Worry for the moment shadowed his personal joy. His father's work was in question if such things became known to the public too soon. It was for that same reason his family had left Maryland on such short notice. Jim's mother felt duty bound to stand by her husband, and he had not wanted to leave her alone while his Dad worked away from home, sometimes for up to twenty hours a day.

Now, after finding a new home, a job and, more importantly, a friend he wanted to build a greater relationship with. . . If things turned out as they had in Baltimore, they would be on the move once again.

"I know Dad's work is important," Jim mumbled sadly, failing to recapture the joy of his lunch date later. "I just wish I could tell someone about it."

* * *

Media Design was the one class Rachel felt would keep her from graduating. Seeking a degree in Art was a stretch for her, always in love with the subject, she had never known there was so much to learn. With the everyday work she could pair up with her brother, Timothy, but today's test was getting the better of her.

Building her own web design template would not be so hard, if she didn't have to do all the formatting and load it to the computer herself. Tim knew computers and could do the program work in seconds, but this was her class and her test to complete.

The task was easy enough, creating a dual color background, with header, footer, multi-column page spacing, and text size overlay for each. Simple, she knew what she wanted and had done it all before, but today, her mind could not keep the distractions at bay long enough to concentrate.

Three times now, she had added the wrong graph-codex and nearly ruined the page altogether. First with the colors, then she placed the columns above the header line. Now, this latest mistake, deleting the whole work page.

Head out of the clouds, girl, Rachel wanted to scream, sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Again she began typing it out from the first line: background page size, then color, border width and secondary color, header height with third color trim and font size, multi-columns with first word font variant then second size continuous. . .

As with the last time, here is where it changed. Rachel began adding the text to show her work. Once the page was set, her subconscious seemed to step in and slip her back to the beginning of class, to the newspaper her friend had sent in with her brother.

Still worried that she was getting into a relationship without all the facts, her neighbor had seen fit to send the article about hackers attacking the city's Utility Works computer. She had even highlighted the part where this odd group came from out of state, and their other crimes. And this, because her new friend came from the same general location.

Rachel shook her head free of the thought, only to see the paper's headlines typed out once more on her class work, "Cyber-Terrorists Sought for Murders."

Again, as she tried to delete the offending text, the whole page vanished from her screen. This time she did scream in her frustration – loudly.

* * *

A busy day at the library, the phone had not stopped ringing for more than a minute all morning long. None of the calls were the one he hoped for. Jim had realized he left his cell phone at home and left a message for his father to call him as soon as he could, but so far, no return call.

The news-cast prompter from CNN kept showing the latest update every ten minutes, and Jim began to worry. The FBI and Homeland Security had tracked the Cyber-Terrorists, good news for most, but sad for him, as it meant his family could be on the move again at a moment’s notice.

When the call came through, he was in the middle of a line of people, books tagged for return, and even more to be checked out, and everyone seemed in such a hurry. He answered the library's antique phone, nearly tripped over the extra long cord, and knocked over a cart and two stacks of books ready to be placed back on the shelves. With his mind preoccupied as it was, the day was not going well.

"Dad, I know, I shouldn't call you at work, but I. . "

A moment passed as his father pointed out the bad timing. His task growing close to completion, the city offices were a mad house.

"I know. I have been watching it on CNN. Does this mean we are going to have to move again?" Another moment, while Jim checked out two students wanting reference books they could not take with them. "You can't remove those from the building. No Dad, not you. Hold on a second."

Jim called for a co-worker to help the two in line, then tried to explain what he needed from his father, who still waited on the phone.

"I forgot my cell, and can't get Mom on the phone from here . . . Yes, it's important. I was suppose to meet someone today, but may be a little late . . . I know you're busy, but like I said, I can't get through . . . It's important to me. If you had been home for dinner last night you’d know that."

Jim dropped into the seat at the desk behind the counter and tried patiently to listen as his father explained how rushed things were for him the passed few days.

"I know, Dad, which mean we move again." His expression went from disinterest, to shock in a moment. "D.C.? You're kidding, right? No, Dad, I can't. Not this time. I met someone . . . Yes, she is important. Her name’s Rachel."

Jim knew it would be a waste of time trying to explain his childish desires to his business-minded father, who seemed to thrive on the chaos of his work. His need to belong somewhere, settled down, with friends, and a hope of something better.

“I am sorry, Dad, but if the Feds are that close, it could be over soon, which means we move, but this time I'm staying . . . Just text Mom and tell her to bring my cell to the library, we can talk about it later . . . No, I wont change my mind. I’m tired of rushing from place to place because of your oh-so-important job. At least Mom tries to understand. Just give her the message. Please. . . Thank you.”

As Jim hung up the phone, all he could think of was screaming at the futility of life. Just as things started to look good for him, the chaos of his father’s work had to ruin it all.

Disgusted, he returned to the counter, apologized to his co-worker for the mess, and started to pick up the fallen books.

* * *

Rachel was growing more nervous by the minute. She had decided to walk around the campus park a few times, but that left her mind free to wonder.

With class over for the day, she thought to wait for her brother, who had one more class, then they could head to the coffee shop together. While she waited in the student’s lounge at the Union-building, she caught a news program on the city’s terrorists.

They had most of the group in custody, with one more arrest in progress. She had laughed then, knowing her neighbor would no longer be able to claim her new friend was one of the group. At that point, Rachel had sent a message to let Jim know she was looking forward to meeting shortly. Now, two hours later as she sat alone in the coffee shop, no reply had come through on her phone.

Her shoulders drooped as if weighted down with care, or sorrow; depression easily read in the look pasted on her face. Things had gone so well the day before, only to fall away in a single morning. A date she had so long prayed for, now she feared would never happen.

Not more than a few hours ago Rachel had such hopes of the coming day. Finally, she had thought, a man that understood her disability, and did not look on her has handicapped-- defective. Jim had seemed so kind, and genuinely interested in her, not turned off by the fact that she was deaf. But why had he not replied to her latest messages.

The thought crossed her mind many times that her friend may have been right about him after all. Though he had been interested in her, his past had caught up too soon.

Just my luck, she sighed in disgust of her life. I find someone who would be perfect for me, and he turns out to be an axe murdering terrorist.

In such a sad state, Rachel was glad that the outside world was silent to her, as she closed herself off to everything around her. It was for the best, she thought, life had never worked out for things to happen the way she planned. First off, with her friend pointing out faults in the man. Then her brother Tim, who was going to act as interpreter for the lunch date, having been called off to work suddenly, was only the final straw. It was Jim's lack of a reply -- or inability to reply, if her friend was right -- that was the one thing causing the most pain.

Slumped even further in her chair at the coffee shop, Rachel still waited, beyond hope, for the date she already felt would never happen. As she sipped her Mocha, long cold by that point, it only made her day seem more real in its hopelessness.

As she shook her head at the blandness of the cooled drink, she noticed the man at the counter. His casual business attire showed him to be above average in wealth and position, as did the sad, bored expression on his face. Rich people always look that way, she thought.

The silent movement of his lips as he spoke while looking directly at her, only seemed to drive home her lack of socialization skills. At first she thought to just smile and nod her head, like always, but thought it best to drive him off with the truth. She opened a note book that rested on her table, jotted down a quick message, and turned it around for him to read.

"Sorry. I am deaf." A puzzled look flashed in his eyes for only a moment before he replied in perfect sign language.

"That is not a crime, young lady," he replied with his hands flowing before him. "I said, you look as bad as I feel."

"That bad, huh?" Rachel’s reply was only half-hearted at best, but as she started to turn away the man seemed intent on explaining.

"I just had an argument with my son. He has grown tired of my job relocating the family all the time."

"Must be rough." she signed back, not really paying much attention to his words. "What kind of job keeps you traveling? Mission work?"

"Not hardly. I work for the government. Computer research and reprogramming, for the most part. But they send me where I am needed most."

"And he is wanting to stay in one place?" Rachel could see the value in such a thing, packing up every few years would drive her insane.

Though it was nice being able to communicate with a stranger, she was still hoping he would simply tire and walk away, but as he received his drink and remained, now leaned against the back of a chair, he showed little interest in going.

"So why the long face?" He signed to her after he placed his cup on the edge of her table.

"I met someone I thought was special, but it doesn't look like it was meant to be."

"The social problems of the Deaf. I can relate to that. My wife was born deaf, so I can tell you honestly, it is not always so gloomy."

"Yes, I know." Rachel replied, though in her heart she felt it was a lie, or near enough to one. She had prayed for years for that special someone the Lord would bring into her life, only to be hurt time and again.

Just then her cell phone began to vibrate in her pocket, and almost went unnoticed, had it not been for the strange man letting her know it had chimed. As she dug frantically through her coat, her expression changed a hundred ways, from her low state of depression, to dancing in her chair from sheer joy.

"It's him," she told the stranger in her excitement, as though he should understand her delight. “He said he is sorry he is late, and that he is now on his way."

"The Lord hears our lowest cry, and answers with the greatest of blessings."

"I will be praying things work out as well between you and your son." Rachel signed a moment before the man turned for the door, where he seemed to be waiting for his own blessing. His slumped shoulders and down cast eyes said he had little hope for it.

* * *

As she sat waiting for her first date in many months, one truly longed for, Rachel noticed a man hanging posters across the street from the coffee shop. There were two reasons she noticed; first was the size of it, a rather large four-foot sheet of paper. The second; that it was announcing the coming dance event to kick off the fall term.

Such things only seemed to point out her lack of socializing again, it was hard to dance to a tune you couldn't hear.

On impulse, Rachel took out her cell-phone, typed in Jim's number, and a simple question. "Do you know how to dance?"

She knew he would be there shortly, but thought it better to text him before communicating meant writing things down in a notebook. Knowing well the strain that would cause, she was surprised by his carefree attitude, as though it would be nothing for them to speak in such a way. Past experience told her otherwise.

The frown he sent back in response made her smile, the following message from him added even more cheer.

"Mom made me learn when I was younger. Why do you ask?"

Rachel laughed aloud at that point, then told him of the poster and the coming dance. She had learned to dance as a child, by placing a hand on her brother's radio, feeling the tune that played, and trying to move to the same beat.

When Jim replied back, his comment caught her off guard. "I could teach you, if you want."

Her heart fluttered for a moment as she thought of this strange young man she knew so little about. He seemed so kind, willing to overlook her disability-- and more. Such a caring nature could only be from God, she thought, then prayed it were truly so. Everything about him stood out like a billboard, flashing the Lord's blessing. She just hoped it did not come crashing down like her previous dates had.

The rumbled vibration of her phone brought Rachel out of her thoughts with a smile as she read a message from Jim. He had just parked the car and would be there in a minute. Her nerves started to tremble slightly, and she felt giddy as a child on Christmas morning, as she looked up and down the street.

When she first saw him at the opposite corner, her heart nearly stopped. There he was, noticeably impatient, as he waited for the light to change. But what caught her eye most was the beautiful woman that stood beside him. She watched as they crossed the street together, the woman looked as happy as Rachel had felt only a moment before.

Her confusion grew as they neared the front of the Coffee shop. A well-dressed businessman, whom she had been speaking to when Jim had first texted her the message that he was on his way, stepped up and seemed to be pleading with him. Jim couldn't be the man's son, she thought, but that would mean...

Rachel's eye fixed on Jim as he shook his head and walked past the man without stopping, his lips moving in a soundless debate as they entered. Here, the woman moved in front of the two men, smiling as she neared Rachel's table and began to sign a greeting.

"Hello. You must be Rachel. You look just like Jim described. I am sorry we are late, Jim forgot his phone and I couldn't find it, then I missed the bus getting to the library."

Rachel's mind was in a whirl as she glanced quickly between the woman, the well-dressed businessman, and finally came to rest on Jim as she mouthed a single statement, "You mean..."

His crooked, sideways smile as he looked at her, seemed as though he was guilty of something. Rachel barely noticed Jim's shrugging shoulders as his hands flowed before him in sign language.

"Sorry. What can I say, they’re my parents?" As his hand reached out to her, Rachel's first thought was to stand and greet them, but her eyes would not move from the face of the young man before her.

As she rose from her chair, he took both her hands in his, stepped closer, and began to move to music she could not hear. Slowly, Rachel began to dance to a tune of God's love, signed upon her heart as an answer to prayer.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shelley Ledfors  01 Feb 2011
A great story! I remember reading one section of this as a challenge entry a while back but I hadn't ever read the whole story. Very nice!
AnneRene' Capp 29 Jan 2011
Just finished reading this again. What a joy! Great, Great story. I relived days gone by while smiling, being nervous, let down and ultimately, filled with joy for Rachel and Jim! Seroiusly...please consider a sequel!!!! :)


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