TITLE: WATER SPEAKER
GENRE: YA Modern Fantasy
April and Travis are partners in a magic-based sport, about to face a game that might get them killed. April is deaf; Travis is hearing.
"Is this the part where you say, 'that's why I totally understand how you feel'?" I asked.
"No, because I don't understand how you feel, and saying I do would make me a moron. I just wanted to tell you that… that I admire how you won't run away."
So help me, after all the emotional roller coasters I'd ridden around Travis, I didn't think that line would be the one I broke down crying on. But I did. Not like a waterfall or anything but enough that it felt like a line of ice on my cheek when the wind blew.
"It's my fault," I signed. "It's my fault no one responded to Gabe's text for help."
"You don't know--"
I slapped his hand away. "Of course I know. How else do you explain everything?"
Travis lifted his hands. Whether to sign something or just put his arms around me, I couldn't tell. Whichever it was, he thought the better of it and put them back down. My tears kept coming. "I don't get it," I signed. "Why do I get things so insanely wrong all the time?"
"Because you're a human being is why," Travis signed. "If you suddenly become an all-knowing, all-powerful, non-human being, it would be a different conversation."
I rubbed my eyes, although all it really accomplished was spreading more cold across my skin. "Hope that never happens. I couldn't handle the responsibility."
"Yeah. Me neither." He started to lean towards me again, lips slightly parted, but suddenly he looked out at the street. His gaze landed on a surprisingly clean yellow taxi that had just pulled up to the hotel. Guess our heart-warming moment had to wait. Our game was on.