The warm afternoon cozied up the room. We sat together waiting for the therapist to start the session. Sunny boy was in the mood for a hide and seek. Cloudy now sunny in a moment. I could not stop smiling looking out the big glass windows. From the corner of my eye, I could see dad smiling too. The 6 feet 2 inches tall man with greying hair and an even greyer beard had the most calming smile in our family of 5. None of us smiled like him. He was the sole owner of that gentle look. He rubbed his forehead with the index finger repeatedly indicating his nervousness. We all were to an extent. 6 months into the therapy, we were all long due for a test today. But at this moment, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the gentle breeze swaying the shades of green to its rhythm. Hummingbirds fluttering around bee balms. I almost laughed when two bumblebees bumped into each other and flew away in opposite directions. My eyes were all over the garden trying to memorize every tiny detail of nature’s beauty.  The splendor of nature was being redefined, by me.  

Mom had to tap on my shoulder to get my attention back to the therapy. The reason why we all were present today after having done our share of homework. Basically, the work assigned by our therapist.

I started the conversation after the therapist gave me the nod to go ahead.

“It is not my pain that defines me. It is my resilience that defines me explicitly.” I was confident, yet I could feel butterflies in my stomach. What was I worried about? Hurting others with what, my confidence. It was high time, the world started seeing a girl’s confidence as plain confidence and not some hidden darker trait or agenda.

“I don’t expect you to understand me or my life choices. No, not even my pain. Those are mine to experience and learn from. We all have our share. No one can snatch from another. Neither can we share the pain, literally. All we can do is lend each other a listening ear. One that is free of judgment and contempt.” I had a lot to share today. Finally fluent and confident.

“So, how was today?” The therapist asked politely.

“Today was fun.” I contributed.

“That sounds great.”

“Yup, I can feel myself improving. My conversations are getting funnier as well. Yesterday, Dev walked back home with me from school, and we had the best conversation ever.” Dad was looking at me, amazed at how much I had already accomplished in just a few months. Even mom got teary-eyed at one point. I understood their emotions, but I was too excited for myself today. To be able to converse freely with Dev was truly an achievement.

The devastating car accident 6 months ago that had snatched my two senses leaving me deaf and dumb, felt powerless today. In that room surrounded by my people, I felt the strongest I had felt since the accident.  

Today was definitely a special day. Group therapy was loud with conversations. And everyone’s hands were well in-sync with what they had to say.

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