Once I was somewhat fluent with sign language, I realized what his blessings at the dinner table really meant: “Threatened with death if talk, please go to police”. I was shocked and scared, but I couldn’t tell anyone. I had to keep my knowledge of sign language a secret.
I started to piece together the events leading up to my father’s warning. He had started to become more and more reclusive, and I had noticed strange people coming and going from our house. I was too terrified to ask him about it, so I decided to investigate on my own.
One night I followed my father to a nearby abandoned building. He met up with a group of people and they began to communicate in sign language. I was able to understand most of what they were saying, and I quickly realized that they were involved in some kind of criminal activity. My father was the leader of the group and he was threatening them with death if they talked to the police.
I was terrified and I knew I had to get out of there. I ran home and never told anyone what I had seen. I kept my knowledge of sign language a secret, but I still felt unsafe. I was constantly looking over my shoulder, expecting the worst.
I never found out what happened to my father or the people he was with. I still don’t know why he was involved in this criminal activity, but I’m grateful that I was able to keep my knowledge of sign language a secret.