Epilogue 44

She sat opposite me, talking. I looked at her lips, trying to discern the words, but she spoke too quickly. Desperately I focused my mind with renewed concentration, observing every movement of her mouth, imagining the shapes that the words might take, and tried to imagine moving those shapes to my mind. At first nothing happened, but then gradually a sound became evident, like the rustle of a breeze through a field of reeds. I redoubled my efforts, trying to match the shape of her mouth to what I was hearing, and then suddenly, I could hear! It was not like I remembered sound, just as the world does not look the same visually as when I was alive, but it was recognisable nonetheless and I was thrilled! It was as if a tap had been opened in my mind.

“… we played catch, and I was it. I’m always it. I don’t like being it. Then Miss Jones came and rang the bell to go back to class…”

“Anne.” I framed the word in my mind as a shape and willed it across to her. She stopped midsentence and looked at me quizzically.

“You talk too?”

“Yes … Anne … but … it is hard … for .. me.”

She beamed.

“I can teach you! Mrs Jones is teaching us lots of new words. Wait!”

With that she ran off, returning soon with a batch of flash cards. She held one up.

“Do you know this word?”

I did. “C…at”

She nodded seriously and showed the next card.

“Very good. And this?”


Then she stopped and looked at me.

“What’s your name?”


She furrowed her eyebrows. “Grr .. a… ndpa?” Then suddenly, “Grandpa!”

She squealed with delight.

“I'm Anne. Are we best friends?”

I nodded.