It was just before 6pm on a hot June evening when trouble found Valdez, who has been deaf since birth; she can detect some sounds with the help of a hearing aid, but its battery was not working on June 16. Valdez and Bermudez, who is hearing, were walking to the grocery store from their apartment. Rush hour traffic buzzed by in both directions along Metric Boulevard as they walked south along the sidewalk, but the two women barely noticed because they were engaged in an intense, personal conversation carried on in sign language.
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