Task: Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?
I haven’t stuck to the task today but instead have written about a character who is far more memorable to me than any person I’ve met for the first time this year,
Everyday the taxi drove up to the gate and the same driver got out. He walked around to the boot and took out the bag then went to the passenger door and helped Ruby out. She clung to his arm while she gained her balance then grabbed my hand and we slowly walked towards the building. Every step took effort, moving the top half of her body to the left she swung her right hip forward to move her leg then swayed the other way to move her left leg forward leaning on me for support. When we reached the door I held it open while she manoeuvred herself through first one door then the next. After that came the stairs. I stood behind her in case she fell backwards as she held onto the banister and dragged herself up the twelve stairs then she took her bag from me and placed it in the tall slim locker. She swayed her way into the room and smiled, a great big smile.
Several times a day she made her way up and down the stairs always having to wait for someone to accompany her until the day I put in a doorbell. I stuck the button under a stair with the bell upstairs near our room. When I showed her the button she understood immediately and the giant grin crossed her face. I went upstairs, she pushed the button and down I came to get her. As soon as others realised the button was there they wanted to push it too but she put up her “stop hand”, this was special, it was just for her and it gave her a little bit of control.
Whenever she overbalanced, which was often, she’d haul herself up from her toughened knees usually with a sheepish grin on her face and just continue on her way. Physical activities were approached with enthusiasm, she’d “run” as fast as she could and if she performed a personal best her arms would shoot up into the air and she’d shout in triumph.
Ruby accepted whatever challenges came her way but one thing that did fill her beautiful big, brown eyes with tears was being told she wouldn’t be back the next day. She’d have to wait two whole days before she could come back to be with her friends again. When you’re Deaf and only a couple of people can communicate with you a weekend can be a very long, lonely time.