A Sign Language: A Short Story

Words: 624
Pages: 3

My heart was beating and my hands were sweating. My teacher asked me a question and I wanted to cry. I didn’t know how to say my response in English and was afraid of the other kids making fun of me because I thought my accent was too strong. All the students stared. “Just answer the question” one girl murmured. Every day I’d sit in the same seat without talking. Although I had spent a month in the same classroom I felt uncomfortable being there. I moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic when I was twelve. I knew the word for “mariposa” was “butterfly,” and I knew how to introduce myself, but that was about all. Some people would even become frustrated due to the fact they couldn’t understand me, or the other way around. Knowing how they felt about me not being able to communicate made me shut myself off from them.
Sitting there in the classroom not being able to say a word made me think of someone who will always stay with me, a deaf woman in the Dominican Republic who used to braid my hair all day on her porch and communicated just by pointing at objects. She didn’t know any sign language. Thinking back, I was the vivid image of her when I moved to the United States. My struggle to communicate in English cause me to come to the realization on how important it is for people to express themselves and how tough it was for her,
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After we grew tired of playing, we went inside of the plastic castle and gathered in a circle small circle. We met a new friend, we started to play together without even noticing. All and all, we didn’t know her name “¿Como tu te llama’?” she stood up and jog out of the castle. A kid we didn’t know any better and started to laugh and calling her names. When she came back with her mother, I instantly felt terrible for judging her right away. Seeing her mother moving her hands around and talking simultaneously, it amazed