STELLA’S SILENT WORLD
By Jean Mckie-Sutton
Stella wore a pair of faded blue jeans molded to her round hips and thighs and tucked into her black, spike-heeled boots. Shiny silver dots speckled her white v-neck sweater, and a pendant necklace dipped between her breasts. The chandelier earrings dangling to her shoulders swung back and forth when she turned her head. Her coarse, raven hair hung to her waist. Thick, heavy make-up coated her lips and cocoa skin, but it was her eyes that haunted and dwelled within the mind long after leaving her presence. Stella’s large, searching eyes were dark, deep pools of raw emotion. As a little girl, they likely proclaimed her innocence and wonder, but now her eyes betrayed her, revealing years of grief and sorrow.
Stella existed in a world with no sound from the moment she was born. Sound was a feeling that caused vibrations to course through her bones, and words and phrases spewed forth from her hands in gestures and signs like some flamboyant orchestra conductor. For months I sat on a stoop across the street and observed Stella and her tiny, two- story home. Two faded wooden chairs with tattered straw seat cushions sat on either side of the door. Old newspapers still rolled and bound with taut rubber bands mingled with the leaves scattered across the concrete ground. A tabby cat sat in the downstairs window beneath a splintered blind.
As I watched, Stella emerged from the house and stood on her front porch with her hands on her hips, her weight shifted to her right leg. A Chevy rounded the corner. The man at the wheel smiled when his eyes rested on Stella, he beeped his horn, rolled down the window and yelled, “Hey sexy lady”!
Stella gazed at him with her head to one side, then shifted her gaze to stare off into the distance, her mind in some far off place. He slowed momentarily, waiting for Stella to respond, then floored the gas pedal and continued driving down the street.
I only knew three certain facts about Stella. She grew up in a boarding school for the hearing impaired. When she was a little girl, her mother abandoned her baby brother, and Stella perpetuated her mother’s sin, for she too had abandoned her own child.
When she went back inside, I finally mustered the courage to knock on her front door. A teenage girl, just a few years younger than me, opened the door.
“I know who you are”, she said. “You’re here to see her, aren’t you?”
Fearful of sobbing if I opened my mouth to speak, I simply nodded. The young girl pointed toward the rear of the house. I stepped into the dim living room. It smelled of Stella’s grocery store perfume, old musty carpet, and the fish frying on the stove. I approached the kitchen and Stella where she sat in a worn wooden chair identical to the furniture on the front porch. A woman sat to her right. Stella’s hands spoke to the woman, then stopped mid-air when she looked into my eyes. Her lips trembled, and a single tear slid down her cheek onto her breast. She stood and walked toward me, then stopped and cradled her arms as if holding an infant. She rocked the missing infant in her arms.
“Yes, Mother,” I said aloud to the woman who knew no sound, “I am the child you left behind.”
Stella’s Silent World was written by Mocha Girl Jean McKie-Sutton as apart of her blog tour promoting her new book The Fruit of Our Sin. Please take a minute to visit the other stops on her tour. And leave a comment or two!
July 3 – Introduction at VBT Cafe’ Blog
July 6 – Guest Blogging at Wise Words
July 10 – Review & Guest Blogging at The Lucky Ladybug
July 12 – Reviewed & Interviewed at A Book Lover’s Library
July 16 – Interviewed at My World
July 18 – Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews
July 20 – Reviewed at Books, Books, and More Books
July 23 – Reviewed & Guest Blogging at Words I Write Crazy
July 25 – Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
July 27 – Guest Blogging at Reading, Writing, and More
July 30 – Reviewed & Interviewed at Nita Bee’s WebBlog
August 1 – Guest Blogging at Mocha Girl Reads
August 3 – Reviewed at The Story of a Girl…
August 7 – Interviewed by Louise James
August 9 – Interviewed at Mass Musings