“Well, not *none* of what you said,” I tried to explain to Juan. It was graduation night, and I didn’t want to start the next phase of our lives without coming clean. We sat in his parent’s room drinking and talking while the party continued downstairs without its host. “I’ve picked up some words from you over the years, like ‘Hola’ and ‘Tacos’.” I laughed and sighed with relief when he laughed too.
“I don’t believe you, you’re speaking perfect Spanish right now.” I shook my head and stared at his dark brown eyes. “Watch my lips,” I said. His eyes focused on the bottom portion of my face. “I’m not actually saying anything, I’m just moving my lips. You’re hearing me in your head.” I stopped moving my lips to drive the point home. “See? Nothing.” His mouth hung open.
“No way,” I heard his disbelief in my head. “But how?” I gave him an exaggerated shrug.
“Here’s what I know. Technically I’m deaf, but somehow my mind lets me understand people perfectly. Any language, and even animals sometimes. I’ve been like this as long as I can remember.”
“So you can read minds? What am I thinking right now?” He asked. I smiled, and chuckled mentally.
“No, I can’t read minds. At least not like that. It’s almost like I can tap into the part of the brain that converts thought to speech, and only that part. And I can sort of “broadcast” what I want to say, so that everyone ‘hears’ me.” He stared at me with an uneasy look on is face.
“Hey, sorry man. Can you start moving your mouth again? It’s gonna take me a bit to get used to it, but hearing your voice without your mouth moving is kind of creepy,” He asked.
“Sure, no problem.” I moved my mouth, and saw him noticeably relax. Then, his mouth formed upward into a giant smile.
“OH MY GOD! We’re gonna be so rich!” He jumped off the bed and ran out the door. Two minutes later he came back into the room carrying a small brown suitcase. “You have *SERIOUSLY* been under-utilizing your gift, man.” He set the suitcase on the bed, and unzipped it. He lifted the flap, and a pair of shiny, beady eyes stared at me from within. I began shaking my head violently.
“No. NO!” I protested.
“C’mon man! It’ll be so easy for you.” He reached in to pull out a wooden dummy, then set it on his lap.
“Yeah, c’mon man!” he repeated while working the dummy’s mouth.