I stuff my dresses into my backpack and leave by the window of my room. I hope that I do not make a sound, I have to leave before my father comes to know. Tom is waiting at the end of the road with his old truck. I signal him to take me to the town. The flyer said that the beauty contest was to be held this evening, it is my last chance to escape this village.
I am finally here, among the other girls, with my lovely robe. I am happy, they allowed me to participate, they gave me a chance. We had to practice all afternoon, for it to be perfect this evening. The girls walk about, I did not see them, I run after them with my heels, I have to keep an eye all round me, and be alert to their slightest movement so as to not lose them. I should do as they do even if I do not hear the music or the instructions.
Suddenly, the man in grey in the front is annoyed, he has to shout, and everybody looks at me. I look at them in disbelief, he makes huge incomprehensible gestures, the girl next to me hints me to move forward. I let myself go and walk up to the end of the ramp, the man continues to be disturbed, I make signs at him to let him know that I can not hear him. He is red with anger now and shouts at his assistant, who brings me to the curtains, signals me to stay put, and runs back to the man. Should I just wait here?
I do not dare to move. It is terrible, I am lost here. I look through the curtains at all that is happening and my blood freezes – my father is there, angry at the man responsible for the pageant, dragging Tom by his collar behind him. He has found me, he is going to take me home now, everything is lost. I will not be chosen, I will never escape my village. I hide myself in the shadows of the curtains to delay his finding me. He anger is terrible, I do not dare to imagine it.
When they place the tiara on my head, this evening, I am happy, I did not understand all that took place. My father explained me the choreography, and translated for the spectators all that I was signing away emotionally. He had changed his mind, because the man in grey found it amazing that I was hearing impaired, that I was special, that I had a future.