Ten in the night. Her table.
She stared at the blank page in front of her. She knew what she had to do. It was simple.
At least, that’s what others told her.
“Ha!” She thought to herself. “‘Easier said than done’ to them all! What do they know anyway? They’ve never had to think. Gah!”
She sat there, looking around her room for ideas; for inspiration. She gazed at the picture frames on her table – heart shaped ones, self decorated ones, ones with her; with her parents; with her friends; and her favourite- the one with Ronald McDonald. That one was taken when she was six. She loved that day. But that didn’t matter now; didn’t matter at all. She looked at her Mac, in sleep mode; her phone, switched off. She didn’t need messages flooding into her inbox dozen to the minute demanding her attention. No, that wouldn’t do. She knew what they’d be about anyway. “Are you done yet?”, “Today’s the last date”, “What’s wrong with you?” yada yada yada yada.
Bored, her gaze shifted to her CD collection- Buble, Presley, Kylie, King of Pop, Rolling stones, SOAD… “It would be easier to write a song”, she thought and put her head down on her table.
After some time, she swiveled around, only to find the T.V running pointlessly, clothes strewn around, Plato, Spinoza, Crichton, Rowling and Blyton lying around cozily on her bed, some on the floor, and the table fan whirring away. It was all just a huge, confounding mess to her right now. Just like her life.
Out of desperation, she turned to the ceiling and found nothing that could help her there either. Just dingy, old, blue paint. Exhaling loudly, she closed her eyes and mouthed a small prayer.
“What am I doing?! Ugh. I’ve to finish this today.”, she thought, disgusted with herself, and faced the table again.
She fingered her application form for the scholarship and read (for what she thought was the thousandth time) the last line: Please attach herewith a handwritten composition on how you view “Speech”. You will be tested on your ability to put across your ideas within the limit of five to ten sentences.
She stared at it and cursed herself.
All said and done, she knew she had to do it, and now at that. So she got down to it.
Shakily, her hand reached out for her pen, “accidentally” dropping it back in twice. She set it down on the paper and slowly wrote:
Then she put the pen down again and took a deep breath. She knew she was needlessly over-dramatizing, but she didn’t know what to write. And so, for the first time, she sat back and thought. After two minutes, she slowly picked up her pen again and put nib to paper.
Speech is a comfort, nothing more. It improves communication but is not necessary. It is just a vocalization of thoughts. Undoubtedly, without speech, the civilization we know would not exist, but civilization still would. Life may not be as simple, but life would go on. After all, my life has been going on, and I haven’t been able to speak in eighteen years.
She took her pen, closed it and read what she had written once again. Calmly, she kept the forms aside and got up. She could feel the anger rising in her slowly. By the time she’d reached her bed, all she could do was fling whatever was on her bed onto the floor and throw herself on her bed. She made an awkward moaning noise and, for the first time in a year, she cried; cried about the unfair ways of the monster she thought Life to be.