I haven't been posting for a while. Lots of different reasons, but with a bit of luck, and a little pinch of pixie dust, I'm back, and so is Cyan
The prompts this week really didn't fit with anything I wanted to write. This week's chapter is important to me, and I didn't want to compromise. My fault for choosing this week to come back. Some of you might know that my son is autistic, and writing Cyan is a special project. I really wanted to give a little glimpse of his world and show everyone how absolutely adorable someone with ASD can be.
This is the prompt I chose, and yes it is a little strained again.
“I haven’t really thought about it,” Cyan said. “Not like this. I don’t really know how my world is different to yours. I just know it is.”
“Well, you feel thing don’t you? I mean touching soft things and stuff.”
“Yes, touch and colour is very important to me. It’s not always good. I like to touch things, especially soft things, like your hair. At least I think your hair will be soft, and your cheeks. I really like soft cheeks.”
“You can touch my cheeks if you like, and my hair.”
Robin closed his eyes. Cyan’s fingers ghosted over his face, and combed through his hair. Robin sighed. “That feels good.”
Robin opened his eyes and raised his hand to touch Cyan’s cheek. He jerked away from Robin’s hand.
“Don’t be sorry. I know you don’t like to be touched. I suppose it’s going to take some time to get used to it.”
“It’s not just that.” Cyan looked sad. He took Robin’s hand and laid it against his face. “Sometimes it hurts.”
“Hurts? What do you mean? When someone hits you?”
“No. When someone brushes against me, or touches my arm, or…lots of things. Sounds hurt, too, and smells, and colours.”
“Really? I thought you like colours.”
“I do. I like bright colours with soft things, but when they’re everywhere.” Cyan paused, a frown between his brows. Robin let him be as he ordered his thoughts.
“When there are lots of sounds, especially loud sounds, it hurts my head, and it’s hard to hear any of them. It’s just a jumble of noise. I don’t understand how people can have conversations when there is so much going on around them. How can they pick one sound out of all of them to hear? It’s hard at school when there the corridors are crowded. That’s why I don’t answer when someone calls – because I don’t hear.
“Then there are colours. God colours are confusing. Like in shops when they’re everywhere. Especially when there are lots of bright things. I hate circuses, and fairs – anywhere with colours and lights and sounds. Christmas can be hard.”
“Hell, I didn’t realize. You said smells, too.”
“Yes. Smells are different. They stand out. There are so many of them, and they all want to be smelled at once. I used to heave whenever I walked into a restaurant, but I’ve learned to control
smell, to shut it off if I want to. The others are hard.”
“I can imagine. God, school must be a nightmare.”
Cyan smiled, relief creeping into his expression. “Yes, it is, but I manage. I have to. I can’t hide from people for the rest of my life. I won’t have a life.”
There was something about the way he said it that sounded slightly wrong, as if he was repeating a line he’d learned.
“Is that what your mother says?”
“My mother, my therapist, the headmaster. Lots of people.”
“I do that a lot, too,” Cyan said sadly.
“Repeat things other people have said, or that I’ve seen on television, or heard somewhere. I notice it now, well sometimes. My therapist says that when I’m not sure what words to say, I repeat things I’ve heard that I think fit. I don’t think it works quite like that, though. I don’t know I think I find my own words mostly.”
“I think you do, too.”
Cyan smiled and rubbed his cheek against Robin’s hand. Then he frowned again. “My therapist also says I get confused about things that are socially inappropriate. I really don’t understand that one. I’m learning from things my mother’s told me, and things that have gone wrong, and I’ve got into trouble over, but I don’t really understand them.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well…like when I first met you. Mam says I should have just barged into your conversation. I’ve learned it. I won’t…I’ll try not to do it again, but I don’t understand why.” Cyan gazed at Robin expectantly.
“Don’t ask me to explain. As far as I’m concerned that’s the best thing you ever did.”
“It was?” Cyan seemed surprised; so surprised it made Robin laugh.
“Yes, of course it was. If you hadn’t we wouldn’t have met.”
Cyan beamed. “That’s another thing,” he said. “It’s hard to put things together like that. You know – one thing leading to another. Consequences was a hard thing for me to grasp. Things happen. Sometimes there’s a pattern, a sequence, but often, especially with new things, that I haven’t learned they’re just unconnected events.”
“I see. I think. I have to admit consequences was a hard one for me, too and I still often do or say things without thinking about consequences.”
“Yeah, like you do.”
“No. I mean you rushed into me without thinking about the consequences.”
“Oh. Yes, I suppose I did. But on the whole I’m liking the consequences.” He gently rubbed his thumb over Cyan’s cheek and Cyan closed his eyes, practically purring.
“You’re very kittenish.”
Cyan opened his eyes. “What do you mean?”
“Well…Sometimes you seem like you should be purring, and you’re so cute and – what’s wrong?”
“You looked…not happy about it.”
“I don’t know if I want to be like a cat. It feels weird.”
“You probably aren’t to anyone but me.”
“Oh. I guess that’s another problem.”
“My mother tell me all the time that I take things too literally. I don’t get idioms and stuff. I can’t read body language and I don’t know when people are angry or frustrated, or sad. When I was in hospital I kept thinking the nurses were angry with me all the time, and I got upset.”
“What about when I…When I look like this?”
Robin felt Cyan shiver as his hand carefully stroked down over Cyan’s shoulder and slipped around his back to draw him closer.
And now you fortunate people get to head over and check out the rest of the wonders on offer today.