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By Emelisa Mudle

Old Matilda was a little bit on the deaf side, you had to yell for her to understand anything you said.

 

Every day at the same time she would take her walk, never failed 4:00pm on the dot. I would wave to her and she would smile back, we exchanged the occasional pleasantries and that would be it.

This has been going on for 5 years, I thought to myself next time she passes by I am going to ask her if she would like to have a cup of coffee.
"Matilda"
"Yes?"
"I was wondering would you like to join me this afternoon for a cup of tea?" "I would love to, let me finish my walk and I shall be back soon."

I went inside to get some cake and coffee ready.
I set up the table on the outdoor balcony and made it all prim and proper. There she is.

"Come in welcome"

Matilda smiled.
I am yelling loudly hoping she can hear me "I know we have seen each other for 5 years I thought it was time we had a chat and got to know each other better if that is ok with you"

 

She smiled again.
Maybe she cant hear me and I yell a little more." Sugar with that?" "No thank you I don't like sugar." Then she looks me in the eye's and says, "Why are you always yelling at me?" "Oh I thought you were deaf?"

"I'm old but I am not deaf!" "I just thought at times when I talk you were unable to hear me?" "No I hear you ok it is just I have a little trouble with your accent." We both laughed so hard. We talked for hours, we even knew some of the same people and had family that lived in the same village in Italy. My heart was warm and open from sharing with her. We hugged and said we should do this again sometime. After she left I sat there watching the sunset, feeling the cool gentle breeze as this hot summer day ended. How many times have I stopped myself from saying hello to people I don't really know. And how do you get to know them unless you say hello. How many times have I misread people?
I laughed at the fact that she isn't deaf. I cried at the times I have kept myself lonely, from fear of rejection or intruding.

I arrived home from work the next day to find a card and a red rose.

Dear Angela
What a beautiful afternoon it was talking with you. I would very much like to do that again I have been alone for so many years, always scared to say hello and reach out, always not feeling safe that I will be liked. Because I am old and really don't feel like I have much to offer. But my conversation with you yesterday brought tears to my eyes, I really do have something to offer. We all do. And I wanted to say, bless you for asking me.
Love Matilda.

Tears were flowing down my cheeks.

5 Months Later.

"I love that outfit you are wearing who would have thought we would be doing this" "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaghhhhhhhhhhhhhh"
"oh my god"
"nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"
laughter,
screams, excitement.
"I cannot believe you talked me into going on this roller coaster ride before dinner, Matilda you are younger than I am." Matilda smiled "age is irrelevant."
"Attitude my dear." "Attitude."
"Now what would you like to do Angela?"

 

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