I’m woken up, not by the warm rays of the sun falling on my face, but because I hear something.
When did I fall asleep here?
The park looks quiet and empty without the people who decided to go back home before evening falls. I guess I woke up at the right time, I should go too.
But wait, I hear something.
What is this? Such an alien sound, pleasant nonetheless. It is sweet and… “well-rounded”, isn’t that what the sound guys call it? Heh.
But why do I hear it?
I look around, confused, dazed, not looking for a source because I know that would be futile.
I look at the sky, standing in the shadows of the generous tree, blocking the sun out.
A beautiful day, I think. Very beautiful indeed.
But this sound again.
I move my eyes to the flock of birds, now perched on the tree, happy to be home.
Their beaks are moving. How I wish I could hear them sing into the evening!
I exhale. Wishing. Yearning.
I stand, stunned. Frozen. Eyes wide.
What just happened?
What was that?
I reach out for the tree trunk, looking for support.
I freeze, again. Hand outstretched.
I slowly look down, eyes still wide with shock.
A twig, broken in half, lay lifeless under my shoe.
My outstretched arm swiftly moves to cover my gaping mouth.
Did I just gasp?
Did I just hear myself gasp?!
I stand still. Processing. Understanding. Dreaming? Possibly dreaming.
And with that thought I relax a little. I need to wake up. This is too good to be true, I need to wake up before I let this dream fool me.
I pinch myself.
I freeze again.
I heard myself. Again — A clear, well-rounded, “Ah!”
This cannot be happening.
The sweet, alien sound grows louder.
I look up, more birds. Many more birds. All beaks moving in unison.
Is this alien sound coming from them?
I slap my wrist.
No. No. I shouldn’t have been able to hear that.
Tears well in my eyes. I hear myself sobbing.
I run towards home. Run fast.
My sweet, sweet mother, turns around sharply. I can see the shock on her face.
She signals to me, ‘What did you just say?’
I smile and say, “Mama…” It doesn’t sound the way it should, but. “Talk. Speak.”
She reaches out for support, crying. “How are you talking?” She mumbles to herself.
“No idea.” I say, my mouth forming around the words.
She looks up at me, sobbing.
“Bu-But, you… you cannot…” She looks down again. “How.”
I run to her and hug her. Both of us, crying.
“Can. Now. CAN.” I manage.
My mother runs her fingers through my hair. Her touch full of love. She looks towards the heavens, her hand still on my head, “Oh Lord, oh my sweet, generous Lord. Thank you, thank you so much!”
She looks down at me, “My daughter. You can hear me now. Can’t you?” She sobs.
I nod, too choked up for words.
“No, my love, talk to me. You don’t know how much I’ve missed your voice.”
And before I can say anything further, she envelopes me in a warm embrace.