Kathryn walked down the sidewalk quietly but alertly, watching everyone around her with a silent intensity. The college campus was loud at this time of day with students lounging on benches and shouting at each other. To her left, a large group of them were gathered in front of a small stage where a young man was lecturing and gesticulating with a bible in one hand.
She heard nothing. Kathryn was aurally deaf to the world. The excited noises made by the people around her were unnoticed by the young woman. However, the sight of them bouncing around and gesturing made her smile.
Of a sudden, she noticed about two dozen people streaming out of the art building. From their expressions and exaggerated movement of their mouths, she figured that they were upset and shouting.
Concerned, she ran up to one of them and asked what was going on.
There is a fire in the building, she read on the woman’s lips.
Is there anyone else in there? Kathryn asked.
I think someone was looking for her little girl a minute ago. She’s still inside.
Kathryn looked behind the woman and saw that there was, indeed, another one inside, screaming.
It was a large building, so it would be difficult for anyone to find the child before she was injured or burned. Kathryn looked at the windows intently, searching for any sign of her.
Suddenly, something strange happened. As Kathryn scanned the nearly opaque windows above her, her ability to see through them was easier. Even weirder, the young woman thought she could see through the walls around them. Kathryn’s mouth fell open in awe as she stared through was appeared to be a transparent building. Her awe turned to excitement in a moment when she saw the small form huddled underneath what appeared to be a desk on the second floor.
I know where she is! Kathryn told the woman in front of her as clearly as she could, her hands forming the words as they were spoken.
Where? Kathryn read on her lips. Making a split-second decision, Kathryn shrugged off her backpack and started toward the building, knowing that she was the only one who could find the little girl in time.
Follow me; I know where your daughter is, she said to the frantic woman just inside the doors. The one who had told her of the child followed close behind.
As Kathryn led the way to the stairs, she thought of how exciting her life was about to become.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to my dear friend Kathryn Hruska, whose kindness and courage to live in a silent world inspired this origin story.