She arched her brow and turned to her dad’s friend.
“Do you know him from somewhere?” the woman asked.
“Yeah, we attend the same school,” Mary replied.
Owen’s mother moved closer to Owen. “She said she knows you, why didn’t you greet her?”
Owen shifted and talked with sign language. “Why should I? I was not even aware that anyone will be coming to stay with us.”
“Sorry, her dad is not around, for the mean time. She’s going to stay with us,” Owen’s mother said.
“Alright,” he replied with sign language and focused his attention back to the television.
Owen’s mother went to meet Mary. “Mary, don’t mind him, let me show you your room,” Owen’s mother said and walked towards a room. Mary followed behind
“Here we are, you are gonna be staying here” Owen’s mother said as she got to the room that Mary will be staying.
“Thanks,” Mary said softly and stared around the house like a stranger.
“Mary, feel at home. Have a seat,” Owen’s mother said and Mary sat down gently.
“Don’t be dull, cheer up. Is it because of how Owen behaves? Don’t even think about it. You can see him talking to me in sign language, he cannot speak, so he feels sad always because of that. He doesn’t joke or play, not even with me, his mother. I had tried so many times to cheer him up, but he has refused to be happy. All he does is to either watch the television or read his books,” Owen’s mother said.
Mary who had being lowering her head raised her head and smiled. “No, it’s not about Owen, I just miss my dad,” Mary said.
“It’s alright love, he will be back soon but trust me, I’m fun to be with,” Owen’s mother said and Mary smiled. “Let me allow you to rest for now.”
“Don’t go please,” Mary called.
Owen’s mother turned to Mary.
“Please, I think I may not be able to have a conversation with Owen because I do not understand sign language. Dad promised to get me a sign language teacher but he has travelled. Can you get me one?” Mary asked.
“Yeah, I will, I really wish you can cheer that boy up. Learn the sign language as fast as possible when the teacher comes. You see, when I confirmed that Owen was truly dumb, I informed his father and we thought of how to make life easy for him with us. So we employed a teacher of sign language to come to teach us, and in six months, we understood the basics of sign language. Since then, anytime he spoke to us through sign language, we understood immediately,” Owen’s mother said.
“Oh! I will make sure I’m fast in learning it then,” Mary said and watched Owen’s mother leave the room.
She then brought her phone and clicked on the YouTube application, she searched for lessons on learning sign language, she downloaded some video clips and started watching it till she slept off.
Mary woke up the following morning and dressed up for school. She went downstairs from her room and saw the whole family gathered at the dinning table.
“We have being waiting for you,” Owen’s mother said.
Mary walked to the dinning and sat, her food was already served. She started eating
“Owen, you have a partner now, someone that you can go together with to school,” Owen’s mother said and Owen stopped halfway in eating. He sighed faintly and swallowed the remaining food in his mouth.
He ate two more spoons of the food and stood up.
“Owen, where are you going? You haven’t finished your food,” his mother said, raising her head towards Owen.
“I’m going to school,” Owen said in sign language.
“But you have not finished eating the food. And by the way, won’t you wait for Mary?” Owen’s mother said.
“Leave the boy, he knows when he is full. Owen, bye,” Owen’s dad said.
“Bye dad,” Owen said and left the house
“Mary, aren’t you full?” Owen’s mother asked in a whisper.
Mary had imagined all night how beautiful it would be walking together with Owen to the school, the thought of how she would walk alongside Owen alone made her happy.
She was about to miss what she had being hoping for, even though, she had barely eaten five spoonfuls. She lied to Owen’s mother that she was full.
“Are you sure?” Owen’s father who does not really like Mary said.
“She knows when she is full,” Owen’s mother replied him.
“I’m full sir,” Mary said and stood up, she walked majestically away from their presence, but as soon as she got outside, she jogged to catch up with Owen.
She really wanted her imagination of walking alongside with Owen come true
But to her disappointment, Owen had left.
She got to the street’s junction and discovered that Owen had left. She lowered her head and became sad
Is he trying to avoid me? she thought as she stopped a cab.
She took the cab to school.
Owen arrived in school and went to his class, the new girl was already waiting for him in class.
“Owen, welcome,” the new girl said as she stood up to allow Owen pass to his seat.
“Good morning,” Owen greeted in sign language.
“I believe you slept well,” the girl said.
“Yeah, and you?” Owen asked in sign language as he drops his school bag on the desk and sat.
“Yeah, I did, thanks,” she replied. “Owen, the last lecture we received yesterday was somehow difficult.”
“Maybe,” Owen replied in sign language.
“I know it’s not difficult for you and I. I’m talking about the average students of our class,” the girl said and Owen brought out his book and pen.
“Do you want to read?” the girl asked
“Yeah,” Owen replied in sign language as he opened the first page of his note.
“But you usually read at home, why are you reading in school?” the girl asked.
“Well, I was not in a right mood since yesterday evening. My mum brought a stranger home. She says the stranger will be living with us for the time being,” Owen said in sign language.
The girl’s face looked serious all of a sudden. “Tell me, a male or female?” she asked.
“My mood would not change if she’d brought a boy. She brought a girl of my age,” Owen replied in sign language.
The girl became uneasy all of a sudden, she sighed heavily and concentrated her attention to the empty board in front. Owen kept on reading his note.
“Owen, you are dumb, but you shall speak if the right lady gives you your first kiss, right?” the girl said.
Owen turned to her in shock, he swallowed hard and his breathing increased. “How did you know?” Owen asked. The girl smiled. “Tell me,” Owen said in sign language.
“The teacher for the first period will soon come, follow me to the rest room by break time, you will speak today,” the girl said.
“What! You mean I will see the right lady today? And she will give me my first kiss today and I will speak today?” Owen asked anxiously with sign language.
The girl nodded and Owen turned his head gently back to his book.
Owen was very happy as the thought of speaking was so good. He just couldn’t wait to meet the right girl and have his first kiss that would make him to start talking.
Mary was in class with her friends. She was sad because of how Owen treated her in the morning. She wondered why Owen hated her so much.
“Why am I so much in love with Owen? why did he have to help me on the day I wanted to fall on my way to the cinema? If he didn’t helped me, I wouldn’t have known him not to talk of loving him. And now, I’m so much in love with him, I can’t even help it,” Mary lamented.
“Mary cheer up,” Kitty said and Lydia shook her arms as they all stared intently at her face.
Jude who was always known for coming late to class came and saw Mary lowering her head like someone thinking.
“See Mary, something is wrong with her,” Jude said and faced his friends.
“Yes, will she collect what you bought for her with this her mood?” Thomas said.
“We can probably create a scene and sing for her, she may cheer up,” Bigger suggested.
“What if she doesn’t want that? what if we sing for her and instead of making her happy she became sad the more?” Jude said.
“Our song doesn’t make people sad,” Bigger said.
“Jude, go,” Thomas said.
“I should go and meet her?” Jude asked.
“You know what I think that makes her sad?” Thomas said.
“She missed you,” Thomas replied and Jude arched his brow.
“Are you serious?” Jude asked.
“Yeah, go and cheer her up, she is waiting for you to come to her, now go,” Thomas said and Bigger smiled.
“Really?” Jude said.
“Go,” Thomas said.
“Bigger, what did you think? What if she insults me?” Jude asked.
Bigger smiled. Thomas pushed Jude slightly and Jude summoned courage and went to where Mary and her friends sat.
“Hi Mary,” Jude said and Mary waved her right hand. “Mary, you are worried about something. I know because I care, a very beautiful girl like you should not even worry or be depressed. Tell me, what’s wrong?” Jude asked as he sat down on the edge of a desk in front of Mary.
Mary raised her head and looked at Jude. “Jude, how are you?” she asked.
“I’m fine,” Jude said. It was the first time Mary asked about his welfare. He remembered what Thomas said that Mary was thinking about him and he smiled.
“Jude, I just want to be alone, I hope you understand?” Mary said.
“Yeah, you mean you want to be alone with me,” Jude said and faced Mary’s friends. “Please, leave, Mary said she wants to be alone with me,” Jude said facing Kitty and Lydia.
Kitty and Lydia shook their head and wondered how could be that stupid.
Mary sighed heavily. “Jude, you know what?” Mary asked.
“What my dear?” Jude asked and smiled as he blushed at Mary speaking to him.
“I do not want to hurt you with my words, please go back to your friends,” Mary said.
“Oh! Your friends made you change your mind. Damn it!” he said and banged his right hand on the desk. “I’ll go, but first, I brought a gift for you, here is it,” Jude said as he stretched the gift to Mary.
Mary sighed and placed her head on the locker. “Jude, keep your gift,” Kitty said.
“Why would you say that, are you Mary?” Jude asked.
“Jude, Mary is not in the right mood, respect yourself and leave,” Lydia said.
“I’m conversing with Mary here not you guys,” Jude said and squeezed his face, he dropped the gift on the desk that Mary was placing her head on and took a step to leave. He turned back abruptly. “Mary, can I sing for you?” Jude asked.
Kitty and Lydia sighed and also placed their heads on the desk, they pretended as if they were sleeping.
Jude saw that their heads were all placed on the locker and he left.
Unknown: Lennox, I revealed to you then what I had to do to break the covenant between Seven and Star. I had to break their covenant with the foundation of this temple. If Owen, the daughter of Star speaks, this temple will crumble and you know what means.
Lennox: I know. I will never allow that to happen, our forefathers laboured hard to build this temple. I was just being merciful when I went to meet Owen at the hospital.
Unknown: Lennox, I have a feeling that the right girl that will give Owen his first kiss is not far from him.
Unknown: Yes, if the right lady kisses him and he speaks, then this temple will suffer the consequence. Our temple will crumble and our enemies will mock us.
Lennox: What do we do?
Unknown: We will send the wrong lady to kiss him. Once the wrong lady kisses him, he will never speak again for the rest of his life and this temple will be safe.
Owen followed the new girl to the rest room, they were alone.
“Owen, the right lady that will kiss you is…” she said and paused.
“…is who? Please tell me,” Owen said with curiosity in sign language.
“It’s me,” the girl replied.
Owen arched his brow. “You!” Owen said in sign language.
“Yeah, kiss me now and you will speak today,” the girl said.
Owen remembered that the only hope he had to speak was that the right lady would kiss him. He had been told that if the wrong lady kisses him, he would never speak again for the rest of his life.
Owen was confused and prayed to Zeus his god in his heart to guide and help him.
“Don’t feel shy,” the girl said and placed her two palms on Owen’s cheek. She moved Owen’s head closer to her. “You will speak, be bold, don’t be scared, kiss me,” the girl said.
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