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How I lost my hearing

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 I lost it due to a mysterious event.

I used to have an extraordinary hearing. I was normally the first one to notice any little noise among people. I was able to hear tiny noises when other people couldn’t hear anything.

Believe it or not, I could even sense the bats’ sonar sounds. But unfortunately I lost it due to a mysterious event. I still don’t know what really happened. But it still scares me to this day.

It happened when I was driving back from work in the middle of the night. The car was going through the mountain area. It had been snowing on and off all day.

The whole area was covered in snow with an occasional blizzard hitting my car. Even though the snow had been cleared off on the road, there was no other car in sight.

The car radio I had on was breaking up a lot due to the unstable signal in the mountain. But I started noticing something strange. In between the signal loss, aside from the static noise, there was another noise which was clearly different from the static noise or the radio program I was listening to.

I thought the line might have been crossed by other stations, but …there was something really odd about it. It was like one phrase of a song playing over and over. The same melody which would last about 15 seconds kept repeating over and over. I started feeling annoyed and turned off the radio.

The radio was off, but the melody did not stop…. I could hear it even clearer without the noise from the radio. It was a plain electric sound like an early era phone ringtone, or the sound of an alarm clock. The car I was driving was a rental. I thought maybe the previous user might have forgotten a phone in this car, so I decided to stop the car and check if there was any phone left inside.

I pulled off the car at the side of the road, put the hazard lamp on and stopped the engine. I checked under the seats, inside the dashboard, under the mattress, and door pockets. There was no phone. I leaned over to the backseat and looked everywhere as closely as I could. No phone. But I noticed that when I leaned toward the back, the sound got smaller.

That meant the sound was coming from the front area. I reached my better ear (left ear) closer to the dashboard and tried to detect the exact spot the noise was coming from.  It seemed like it was coming from the car stereo. I checked the ashtray and cigar socket right under the stereo. There was nothing.

It only confirmed that it was coming from the car stereo. But how could it be? I had turned off the car engine before I started searching.

 

I sat there thinking for a while. Then it occured to me. There was an air-conditioner vent right above the stereo. I had adjusted it downward so it wouldn’t blow me directly. I adjusted it back up and put my ear next to it. That was where I heard it the loudest.

I found where the melody was coming from. So the previous user had dropped his phone inside the vent. How careless, I thought. I remembered my friend complaining about his car insurance guy accidentally dropping a pen cap inside the vent and ruining the blower fan of his car when the engine started.

This blower fan better not break when I start the engine again, I thought. I wouldn’t want to be blamed for breaking the car when it wasn’t even me who dropped a phone inside. My thoughts were occupied thinking about the explanations I’d have to say to convince the rental company that I wasn’t the one who dropped the phone, if that ever happened.

The car had been stopped not more than 10 minutes, but a thick snow was already covering the front glass. I decided to head back my way and put the car key into the keyhole. That moment, the melody stopped. Suddenly, there was a silence in the car and all I could hear was the sound of snow falling and the sound of a hazard lamp. Inside the car was dark.

All I could see in front of me was the blinking hazard light reflecting on the thick snow over the front glass. Suddenly, the whole situation felt creepy to me. I told myself the melody had stopped because the phone battery ran out. I tried to force myself to stay positive, and brought myself to think it was a good thing the melody had stopped because it was annoying the hell out of me. I hurried to start the car.

Just as the engine started, cold air hit my face. I squinted my eyes on just how cold the air was. When I checked the air conditioner vent a few minutes ago, I made sure to adjust it back so it was pointing at my feet area.

Strange… I looked at the vent. The vent had tiny vinyl stripes attached to make it easy to see which direction the air was blowing. Inbetween the stripes, my eyes caught something white moving.

(the vinyl stripes were red color) Out of nowhere, the melody started playing again. But this time, it stopped after one phrase. Then I heard something else. It sounded like a muffled voice of someone. Like, I was hearing a voice coming from a phone from afar. It was a male voice.

I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but it sounded like he was going off about something. My body was frozen in fear. I knew in my gut that I shouldn’t be looking at the vent. But I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I couldn’t even blink my eyes.

The vinyl stripes were floating in the air slowly.

Between the stripes, a green-ish yellow fingernail appeared.

Then the vinyl started to blow upwards. Ghostly pale fingers came out, trying to reach out to my face. Inside the vent was pitch black. It looked so deep like there was no end to it. “No…No….” My body was releasing all kinds of signals that I was in danger. I started shaking.

Suddenly I sensed a fishy smell. Someone was breathing next to my ear. Then it screamed to me.

I KNOW YOU WERE LISTENINGGAAAAAHHHHHHH”. It was a raspy voice that I couldn’t tell if it was male or female.

There was a set of yellow eyes inside the vent, looking at me. They were the most evil eyes I’ve ever seen. When those eyes caught my eyes, I lost it.  I screamed my head off and started the car.

The white snow exploded in front of the front glass. Thinking back, I think I wasn’t even paying attention to the road. I might have even been closing my eyes at that time.

I don’t remember. It was really lucky that I didn’t hit another car or a person. Then I heard the loudest metallic noise in my left ear. It was so loud that I could feel the pressure on my eardrum. It was painful.

The pressure kept getting stronger and stronger…and it ended with the worst pain I’ve experienced in my ear,  like a thick needle penetrated deeply in my ear. My whole vision turned yellow. Then I passed out.

I woke up in the hospital. My car had crashed into the piled snow at the side of the road and stopped. Fortunately, it was a pile of new, fluffy snow that saved my life. If I hadn’t driven into that exact spot, the car would have dived into the cliff.  A snow-plow truck that came on the road found me.

According to the driver, I was lying unconscious on the ground, outside the car. I don’t know how I got out of the car, I could have been thrown out by the impact of the accident, or could it be my subconscious act? Again I was really lucky because I could have frozen to death if the driver hadn’t found me at that time.

I got minor bruises from the accident. It wasn’t so bad except, my left eardrum was torn. The doctor said it was due to the impact of the crash. But there was no bruise above my neck. Is it possible to get damage in one side of my eardrum only and nothing else in my head area?

And I remembered the timing of my eardrum popping was before the car crash…. But I know that even if I had said so, nobody would have believed me. It made no sense and, they might have suspected that I had brain injury and kept me in the hospital longer. So I decided to keep it to myself.

I was soon dismissed from the hospital. The doctor said that my eardrum would gradually heal itself and I would be able to hear like before. This was over a year ago, and my eardrum has been healed. I’ve got my hearing back too. My hearing test result is still better than average.

But I don’t feel quite the same as before. I feel like there’s something covering my left ear. When someone talks to me from the left side, it’s a little bit uncomfortable. But aside from that, my life has been back to what it was before the accident. I’m still working at the same company. My insurance covered my entire medical cost at the hospital. What surprises me is that the rental car company did not charge me a dime about the accident.

In fact, I haven’t heard from them at all since the accident. Well, I guess they had their own insurance and, I don’t have to get myself in trouble by asking about it. But I wonder, is that car still being rented…?

Like I said, this happened over a year ago, and my life has been back to the way it was now. But, the other day, something happened that shook me to my core. There was this new girl in my office who worked on a temporary contract. When I went to her desk to talk about something, I noticed she had this weird look on her face and looked around me like she was looking for something.

And then she looked at me and said, “Is your phone ringing?”  Of course, my phone wasn’t ringing so I said No. And she goes “That’s weird. I heard this music getting closer and closer to me then I saw you walking toward me. It isn’t your phone? Hm. Well. This one is a good song though.”

No way in hell. I started to sweat and suddenly there was a sharp pain inside my ear towards my tongue. I said to her, “My hearing isn’t that great. I don’t hear it. What does it sound like?”

She said “Oh, what was it called? It’s from the old movie, it goes…” She started humming the melody.

It didn’t sound anything like the melody I heard in the car.  Okay. Good. because honestly if she had started humming that same melody I would have freaked out right there and then.

But my relief didn’t last long. Days later, there was a company dinner and the after party was at a Karaoke. The same girl was singing. And I wish I never heard her singing.

It turned out she couldn’t sing to save her life. The god of music must have cursed her. Not one key was right coming from her.  And whatever she was singing, she made it sound like a whole different song.

I try my best to stay away from her ever since.

If she comes up to me and says “Is your phone ringing?”  “You don’t hear it? It’s that song!” one more time, if she says that her ear is in pain…

I will for sure be in a major panic.

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End of Story

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