Thursday, October 09, 2008


Talk to Me

by Pat Simmons

Christian Fiction
Urban Books
ISBN-10: 1601629729

Noel Richardson is perfect, but genes don't define a man. The CEO of a St. Louis non-profit organization, Noel is deaf as a result of a fire works explosion. He's captivated by Interpreter Mackenzie Norton's graceful hands. Plus, Mackenzie's exquisite, a steadfast believer, and head strong, but a misinterpretation separates them.


On Thanksgiving Day, at nine-thirty in the morning, I fell in love. It was swift and irrevocable. In other words, I lost my common sense. Without warning or fanfare, I succumbed to Mackenzie Norton’s allure. Love is such a strange emotion—never enough time to savor all the sweet moments. It’s hindsight now that I’ve lost her.

Sometimes the memories taunt me, other times they provide comfort. When my eyes close, Mackenzie appears. Her brown eyes twinkled, causing a sexy glow to spread across her face. Her hypnotic trance released strong vibes that were undeniable. She was such a puzzle, allowing me the pleasure of seeing how her pieces fit together. Inside the church walls, she was sober. With me, her mischievous antics would issue challenges.

Mackenzie. The way she commanded her body possessed my senses. Thank you, God, for my eyes to see. With deliberate movements, Mackenzie’s hands beckoned to me, sprinkling magic along the way. Long, slender arms danced with the grace of a swan.

For the initial five seconds I laid eyes on her, I dismissed her until she demanded my attention without trying. A gentle spirit tempered her powerful personality. Yes, Mackenzie’s magnetism was undeniable. She became my teacher and I, her willing student. I chuckle at the memories.

Mackenzie had the most enchanting smile. Ah! Did I mention her lips? They were my worst distraction and her best asset—shapely and full, in a natural pout. They moved like a musician manipulating his instruments. Have I mentioned she was a feisty, five-foot four-inch beauty who was committed to her convictions?

Glistening skin reminded me of wet brown sugar—my attraction. A head of messy curls was her crowning glory. On any other woman, the look would’ve been scary, but it was Mackenzie’s trademark—stylish, sassy, and sexy.

During our quiet time, we mouthed promises to each other. We honored each word with sincerity and care, vowing not to break one. It happened anyway. Mackenzie was to blame, or maybe I was.

One evening we savored the quietness. We were being silly as we watched the sunset at a deserted playground. I spoke aloud a wish as I pushed Mackenzie on a swing. “I miss dancing. The final song I heard was Donna Summers’ “Last Dance.” How prophetic. More than anything I wish we could dance the night away,” I had told her.

Mackenzie dug her heels into the ground, halting the swing. Turning around, she finger-kissed the sadness, disappointment, and pain from my eyes. “I promise, Noel, one day, we’ll dance.” I didn’t hear her, but I knew she was sharing a secret when she always touched me. Now our chance will never come. I hate broken promises.
It had nothing to do with me being one of twenty-eight million Deaf Americans. It wasn’t from birth. I was almost sixteen years-old when the doctors delivered the tragic news to my parents that I had lost my hearing. They were in shock. My mother cried, knowing my family lacked the skills to communicate with me. I’m lucky—no, I’m blessed—to be alive, unlike my childhood buddy, Keith Morrow, who died in the freak explosion near a fireworks plant. He was an only child.

Anyway, I grew accustomed to interpreters signing at events, but it was Mackenzie’s contagious enthusiasm that sucked me into a storm, whirling me into the eye of the hurricane. Never had I witnessed an interpreter wrapped up in so much pleasure and total involvement in communicating what was happening around me. Not only did I see and feel; Mackenzie made me believe I could hear the choir’s rendition of “My Life is in Your Hands,” a Kirk Franklin song I had never heard.

My heart jumped at a thunderous rumble inflicted by Mackenzie’s imaginary wooden drumsticks, pounding invisible drums and tapping fictitious cymbals. With confidence, her fingers stroked pretend piano keys. Her expression, most humorous, depicted the altos’ deep voices and the sopranos’ melodious high pitches.
Who knew that when I stepped into that church, I would enter utopia? Suddenly, I felt like praising God for what I had—my eyes to gaze, hands to enjoy her soft skin, and a heart that throbbed faster when she was close. At that moment, for some unexplained reason, I thanked God that I was deaf. Can you believe that? I thanked God for allowing the worst event to happen in my life, because it made me the happiest. How else would I’ve met a woman whose love was fierce and unconditional? Then months after our meeting, I, Noel Richardson, lost Mackenzie Norton.


Pat Simmons is the first recipient of the Katherine D. Jones Award for humility and grace. She’s a Jesus baptized Believer and received evidence of the Gift of Holy Ghost. She is a news writer and assignment editor for a St. Louis television station. She is the co-publicist who handles media publicity for the yearly Romantic Times BOOKLOVERS Conventions. Pat holds a B.S. in Mass Communications from Emerson College in Boston , MA . She recently celebrated her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, and she is the mother of two college students. Her hobbies/interests include digging up dirt on dead people while researching her genealogy.

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