“I’m not putting them on.”
I looked at the hearing aids in his hand, a birthday gift from me. Then I gazed up at him in wonder…and disappointment.
“I just don’t want to.” Still, he put the hearing aids back into the box and gazed back at me. He looked so serious, still holding the box in his hand.
“Are you…offended?” I asked him carefully. I even spoke very slowly, just so that he could read my lips.
Adrian smiled as he shook his head. His dark eyes softened.
“No,” he said calmly. He put a gentle hand on my shoulder. “Dahlia, have you ever heard of ‘selective hearing’?”
“Huh?” I didn’t expect that question, so I frowned. “Yeah, but what does that have to do with…these?”
“Look around you.” I obeyed. We saw two people arguing. Children screaming. Somebody playing very loud, rather annoying music – or should I say, irrythmical beats they’d call music.
And many more that day…
“I thought being deaf was the end of joy,” Adrian went on. “It took me a while to realise that this advantage existed. It does.”
“You get to hear or listen to what you want – and just ignore the rest,” I agreed, while my hands and fingers were forming the words in a sign language for him.
“That’s right.” He gazed down to smile at me again. “I’ll do it when I want to.”
— // —
I returned home, still feeling disappointed. Well, just a bit. At least my boyfriend took the box with him.
Since the diving accident, Adrian’s lost his hearing ability. So when the doctor suggested that he give the hearing aids a try, that inspired me to buy him those on his birthday.
Okay, I know this sounds rather cheesy, but I wanted my voice to be the first that he’d hear the moment he put them on.
I sighed and went to the piano. Oh, well. He might need some time to adjust to using them. I shouldn’t be too demanding.
That night, I finished my new composition. I needed to practise and prepare for my next recital…
— // —
That night, I felt like I was walking on cloud number nine. They weren’t just applauding; they were giving me a standing ovation.
They loved my new composition – “Music of My Heart” by.Dahlia Rahmadian.
Among the audience, I could see my parents, my best friends, and…wait a minute.
Since the accident, he hadn’t returned to watch my performances on stage. I totally got that; he hated it. He hated it because it reminded him of what he’d lost since the accident.
Later at the backstage, we stood face-to-face among the crowd. I accepted hugs and other congratulatory gestures first before we finally had some privacy.
And yes, he was still putting his hearing aids on that night. He wasn’t just smiling; he was beaming.
“I’ve told you,” Adrian said. “I only do this when I want to.”
“Why?” I actually knew the answer, but still wanted to hear than from him anyway.
“I choose to listen to anything beautiful,” he said seriously, his gaze deepening at me. “Like your music…and your voice.”
Oh. I felt a lump in my throat, but refused to cry. Not here, not now.
“I miss your music…and your voice too.”
I reached for his warm hands. Our fingers intertwined as I gazed up at him, my smile widening.
“It’s good, then.” I inched closer, so that he could read my lips…very closely. “That composition is for you…because you’ve always been the music of my heart.”
(Jakarta, 12/3/2015 – from The Couchsurfing Writers’ Club Gathering @Djakarta Cafe, Thamrin – starting at 8:00 pm. Topic: “Music”.)