Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Loud and Clear

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Loud and Clear (2016) Aidan Wayne

Loud and ClearAnother mental hug for me.

Jaxon was getting the feeling that was his default way of coping with the world. Blanking himself out when things got tough. Jaxon used to do the same thing but with anger, till he’d gotten better ways to cope.

If he wanted to do his part and try to get a decent conversation going with Caleb, see where this dinner might take him, he actually had to at least make an attempt at learning the language Caleb was obviously more comfortable with. Jaxon wasn’t about to magically get better at reading overnight, but sign language— that he might be able to do.

Caleb grinned. “Hi. How are you?”

Jaxon beamed. “I’m fine,” he signed. Signed! “How are you?”

You speak ASL?!” Caleb signed back, sure his eyes were bugging out of his head.

“Only a little,” Jaxon said. “I tried to learn some basics. Thought it might make things easier for you if you could sign at least a little to me. I didn’t get to learn very much. I only had a few days. But it’s not that hard to learn! It’s just memorization, so even I could get it through my head.” His smile was bashful, but he still looked nervous, like he was waiting for Caleb’s approval.

This man had started learning ASL for their first date. And he was good at it.

And he thought he was stupid?

Caleb blinked himself back to reality and tried to give Jaxon his warmest smile. “It’s good,” he said. “Thank you. You’re amazing.”

Jaxon rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m glad it was okay.”

Okay to try learning the language Caleb was most comfortable speaking? Okay? This was already the best date of Caleb’s life, and they hadn’t even ordered dinner yet. “Very okay,” Caleb signed.

Jaxon always acted like he’d done something wrong when he didn’t know a sign, like he was stupid for not learning an entire language in a weekend. Caleb really wanted to find Jaxon’s old teachers and punch them all in the face.

Rating: 9/10


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