in a grocery store.  this is my chance.  i know i’m not allowed to speak.  i’m not allowed to look around.  but how else will i get out?  i hold my white cane in one hand and steer a cart with the other, using it as a scooter to speed away from my overbearing parents.  i go to the tiny cafe section and sit on an orange chair in front of my sister-friend.  “we’re supposed to meet outside of the capita building then?” she asks, fully aware that i’m not deaf as i’m supposed to lead others to believe. yes, i tell her.  meet me 50 feet outside the capitol building.  she tells me it’s dangerous that i should reconsider.  i tell her i’ve spent plenty of time reconsidering.  it’s the only way.  they won’t let go of me so i need a new identity.  i have to be the one to cut the ties. i have to leave this place.  she disapproves, but she understands.  she’ll help.