Cruising the aisles minding my own business. Suddenly I'm aware of a person just behind me and turn to see a girl I once knew.
Friend: Hi. How are you? Your Dad said you'd been in an accident.
Me: (Slow accented speech) I'm OK thanks. Been tough but doing alright.
Friend: It can't be easy losing your speech though. I hope things get better.
Me: The worst bit is people thinking I'm deaf and treating me like an idiot. It's better sometimes to smile and just let them get on with it.
Friend: People can be so ignorant.
From nowhere the friends' mother appears, marches straight up to us and puts her well powdered face uncomfortably close to mine.
Mother: Hello! How are you?
I nod and smile feeling somewhat nervous of her proximity.
Mother: (Looking me up and down) Has it affected anywhere else or is it just your brain? (She pats her own head energetically to emphasis her question in case I don't understand. Behind her, her daughter stares straight ahead - face stiff with horror.)