It was only the beginning of freshman year, and I had already gotten off the wrong foot. I offered a greeting and received silence; I offered friendship and received the back view of his head. I flicked his head with my forefingerfrom across the distance between our seatsand hissed at him under my breath. "Are you daft or do you just like ignoring people on purpose?" The male student appeared offended as he dejectedly equipped himself with headphones and locked his gaze elsewhere. The first impression had been made, and I formulated an opinionjerk.
The next day, simply counting down the steps left until I would reach my morbid destination with an agitated anxiety, I brought along the desire to make more friends than enemies. And to accompany that desire, I carried a catalyst of silent communicationsticky notes. Tucking myself into my seat, I noticed him, the same male student from yesterday, wearing the same headphones and tuning out the instructor's lecture. I rolled my eyes and thought about how typical teenagers were as I jotted down my apologies onto the small, yellow square. "Sorry we got off the wrong foot yesterday. My name is Thi. What's yours?" I slapped the note onto his desk with a soft tap and sat on edge for his reply. I saw a smile sprawl on his face in my peripheral before he grabbed the wad of sticky notes from my desk and scribbled a response. "It's alright. Pleasure meeting you, my name is Psyn." A silly grin made its way from ear to ear on my face. Maybe he's not so bad after all.
After that day, Psyn and I would bring our fair stock of sticky notes; the way we talked practically paralleled the image of two kids sending messageswithout uttering a wordand communicating through the internet. Curious as I was, I thought of a random question to ask in the midst of our silent conversation. "What songs are you always listening to?" Psyn gawked blankly for a moment before tapping his pencil away. "I'm listening to a special type of music." My pencil was probably as curious as I was now. "Could I listen to some of your music after class?" Nervously, he scratched the note with lead again. "How about I show you tomorrow before class?" Mischievously grinning, I scribbled down my answer. "That's a promise I'll hold you responsible for." What an interesting guy.
Giggling like a school girl was not part of my niche, but that's exactly what I did as I glided with a spring in my step towards my class. I was now officially infectedtypical-teenage-girl-syndromebut I let it slide for that day. In fact, I was forced to let it slide for that day when I grinned like a fool at the sight of a sticky note already on my desk. "It's good to see you again today." Before I could even grab my sticky notes, Psyn surprised me by confronting my face with his headphones. Remembering yesterday, I slid the headgear over my ears, feeling excited as they filled my head with a perfect soundsilence. I paused in my demeanor as I thought that was genuinely puzzling. Turning to Psyn, I parted my lips only to have them ushered silent with Psyn's finger as he gestured a message with his other hand. "D-E-A-F" Too stunned at the moment to have a dynamic reaction, he wrote a note and held it up to me. "Do you remember that day you asked if I was daft? I thought you had mouthed 'deaf'. Although, now that you know I am, do you hate me?" I smiled gently and grabbed my pencil to reply. "No. In fact, I think you're even more amazing now."
And two years later to this day, Psyn and I are still the best of friends. It's so silly how off-the-mark my first impression of Psyn actually was. I thought him to be a rude, ignorant punk in the beginning, but he turned out to be a shy sweetheart that was afraid of people degrading him for being deaf. That's when I learned that the first notion you receive and interpret from a person's appearance and behavior isn't always accurate. And over time, my old opinion of him changed into a new onesimply adorable.