Humans is powered by Vocal creators. You support Teya Hooper by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Humans is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less


Beautifully Underestimated

The dictionary describes words as "a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation that functions as a principal carrier of meaning."

Technically speaking, that’s true.

However, let's talk about the beauty and the disaster behind them.

A baby says their first word. The moment was lovely for the parents, the first time hearing their sweet sound.

Fast forward, they are a toddler now. Curious about everything and getting into anything. Learning so many new words. It’s a fun time exploring our language together. Both laughing and all smiles.

Years later, we're looking at a teenager. But we're also yelling. Words you never thought they know were coming out of their mouth.

Tears are falling and you wish nothing more than to go back to that simple time of few words.

But then.

"I'm sorry."

So quiet. So soft.

Another tear falls as you both hug each other tight, squeezing together the broken pieces.


A young man quivers as he shakily ties a rope around his neck. So much has come to this point.

He takes a minute as he lets the horrible memories come flooding in on him.

Abusive and neglectful parents shaped him into the angry and scared young adult that he had become. The others bullied him so heavily. Even from a young age. Girls didn’t like him. His parents didn’t love him. He had no one.

He was no one.

He’s drowning in so much negativity.

Remembering everyone telling him to end it, how he wouldn’t be missed and how he would be “doing the world a favor.”

Just as he’s about to kick the chair, his phone pings.

A glowing light comes from his desk, just in his view. He glances, a tear collecting in the corner of his eye.

Who? Why now?

“Hey, it's Julia! I know this is random, but I just wanted to say thanks for helping me find my way around this week! I’m happy to have met you.”

She had stopped him and asked for directions yesterday. He hadn’t thought anything of it. It was such a small thing. He had given her his number though, just in case she needed anything.

Tears are streaming down his face now, blurring out the text as the screen fades to dark.

He slips the rope off, wipes his eyes and sends back a heart filled but short message.

“Thank you.”


She had never known love. Never known how to trust.

Fear and abuse was all she was used to.

Not physical abuse. No.

But verbal.



It all started so amazing. He was older. She was infatuated. Her friends were happy for her.

Life was great.

Until it wasn’t.

He started getting possessive.

She started apologizing.

Because everything was her fault.

Even when it wasn’t.

The worlds he would use.

The tone of his voice.

So much damage done without raising a fist.

Finally, thanks to the love of those around her, she had the courage to leave. But not without the lasting effects of being with him.

Without getting into details, she had to learn to explain why certain words and tones caused her so much anxiety.

Why she would apologize so much.

It’s all she knows.

However, she’s learning the positive power of words.

More importantly, a way for words to empower HER.


An employee at a local restaurant clocks in for their shift. They come in, positivity flowing and feeling good about the day.

She talks with the manager for a moment, waiting for the news that she has her first table. The time comes and she heads out of the kitchen to the dining room, a smile already forming on her face.

A couple is browsing the menu as she walks up. She introduces herself and asks about beverages. The lady cuts her off.

“Water. Two lemons.”

“Same.” The man said gruffly.

“Absolutely! I’ll be right back.” She says with a smile and heads for the kitchen.

Okay, so they aren’t chatty. No problem.

She comes back with the water and lemons. They don’t even acknowledge her.

“Were we thinking of appetizers?” cheerfully questioned.

No answer.

She stood there a moment. She now has another table that she needs to greet.

“Okay, take your time. No rush. I’ll be back in a moment.”

Quickly she slides over to the other table, same questions. This table though, is much more talkative. She loves tables like this.

Brings back the drinks and checks on the first table.

“Have we found anything? She asks with a gentle smile.

“We’ve been ready for 20 minutes!” the lady snaps. “You would know if you weren’t flirting with the men at that table!”

Her heart sinks.

“I apologize, mamm’, what can I get for you?” She stammers.

“Your manager,” she spits.


She steps away and grabs the manager, informing him of her side. He has dealt with customers like this, so he heads out to handle it.

But her spirit is broken. She came in so excited and ready for a great day. There definitely is still a chance of having a good shift, but something in her mood has changed because of the way that woman spoke to her. Even their body language was awful.

The manager comes back looking disgruntled.

“They left,” he said matter of factly.

Great. Now she’s lost the table.

Collecting herself, she goes back out to her other table. The two gentlemen asked what happened. She explained.

They told her that its okay and she didn’t do anything wrong. Some people are just looking for things to complain about. Even making things up.

She smiled.

“What were you thinking of ordering, guys?”


Maybe words aren’t so simple.