The Silent Life of David Shatter

I'm mute. I don't talk. Ever. Comes as a shock to some people. Comes naturally to me. I can talk. I just prefer silence.

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5. I'd Catch A Grenade For Ya

 

What I did next was probably stupid. Romantic, possibly, but definitely stupid. Me and Aileen were walking home from school to her house, as normal. Normal day. We were on Aileen's road, a quiet road, but quite wide. We were about to cross the road, Aileen going first. Out of nowhere, there was a car speeding down the road. Aileen was looking the wrong way. Didn't see it. I leapt at her, pushing her onto the path, leaving me in the road, lying right in the path of the car. I don't know what happened when the car impacted into my body. But I do remember what happened after. The driver of the car skidded to a halt. I lay on the ground, drifting in and out of consciousness. Aileen ran over to me, kneeling down by my side. The car radio was blaring. As if on cue, the song 'Grenade' came on. Whilst Aileen was fussing over me, as was the driver, and they were trying to summon the Emergency Services, I started singing  
"I'd catch a grenade for ya," I whispered weakly. "Throw my hand on a blade for ya," I continued. Aileen smiled at me, seeing the link I'd made. "I'd jump in front of a train for ya, you know I'd do anything for ya," I went on. I shut my eyes, trying to block out the pain. "I would go through all this pain, take a bullet straight through my brain, yeah I would die for ya baby, and you would do the same." I sang, finishing and changing the last part. Aileen leaned down to me, kissed me, and whispered in my ear "Of course I'd do the same."

I woke up in a hospital. Probably the Matter. I'm only a kid, so the Matter Children's or Temple Street. I don't think it matters. Hah. Matters, Matter. No? Ok then. I opened one eye, keeping the other closed. No glasses on. I couldn't see a thing. I waved my hand around a bit, trying to get the attention of whoever was in the room. 
"David! You're ok!" I heard Aileen shriek. I opened my eyes. Aileen looked tired, but still beautiful. She leaned in to hug me. I tapped her glasses, trying to tell her to get my glasses. "David, they broke. You got hit by a car. Of course they broke." Aileen said. She hugged me again. Then kissed me. When we were done kissing, my mother, father and a doctor came in. 
"David!" the two of my parents exclaimed in unison. They ran over and hugged me, while Aileen stood back, giggling. I was looking at her from between my parents shoulders, mouthing the words HELP ME. 
"Let him breath." the doctor said. My parents stood back, both blushing. 
"Sorry. Here's your iPad, Dave." my dad said, still blushing. I almost grabbed it from his hands. For the first time, I noticed the drips and the tubes leading into my arms. 
SO CAN SOMEONE TELL ME HOW SCREWED I AM? I typed. 
"Well. I'm Dr. Hugh. Not Doctor Who."
DAMN. I WAS HOPEFUL FOR A MINUTE. 
Dr. Hugh chuckled. 
"And you're in Temple Street."
YESSSSS......
"You've got some broken ribs. Mainly on the left side. You have a serious head injury, but no concussion. You have loads of cuts down your left side. And you are not leaving this hospital for at least a week...."
YAY NO SCHOOL. 
"... And will get tutoring from your girlfriend."
DAMMIT AILEEN. WHY'D YOU AGREE TO THAT?
I practically shoved the iPad in her face. 
"Ah well." she shrugged. 

I did get out of hospital after a week. But over that week I did something special for Aileen. I walked home from school with her to my house. When we got inside, and dumped our bags, I grabbed her hand and we ran upstairs. We sat down on the bed, and I grabbed my iPad. I opened up an app. I pressed play. 
"Easy come, easy go," a voice sang out of the iPad. 
"Oh my God." Aileen smiled. "You recorded a song on your iPad for me."
It continued playing. I had created drum beats, guitar and bass riffs, orchestral pieces and I got my brother to sing it. She let the song finish. Then she put her arms around me neck and hugged me. "That was so sweet." she whispered. 
NO PROBLEM. ANYTHING FOR YA. EVEN JUMP IN FRONT OF A TRAIN. 
"Don't do that. The car was enough."
HOW DO YOU PUT UP WITH ME? HOW DO YOU LOVE THE BOY WHO DOESN'T SPEAK?
Aileen thought for a moment. She put her hands on my shoulders, looked in my eyes and said "It doesn't matter how much you say. You are you. And I love you. And when you do say something, it's only for a very good reason.".
DO YOU EVER WISH I WOULD JUST TALK?
"Yeah. All the time. But it's your choice, and you made it well before you knew me, so you shouldn't change for me. And I'm proud of you. It's so difficult to not speak."
NO IT'S NOT. IT'S EASY. 
"Says you. You never speak. I talk endlessly."
TRUE. 
Aileen hit me on the arm playfully. 
:( I'M SORRY. 
She hugged me, laughing. I laughed with her. 

Before I met Aileen, I thought I didn't need friends. I was wrong. Friends are the best things in the world. They bring a smile to your face in the desperate situations. They show you how to do things. You help them through their hard times. They help you. Everyone needs friends. It was stupid to think I didn't. But sometimes, you just want to be alone. 

"David, are you ok?" Aileen asked cautiously. 
I JUST NEED SOME TIME. 
"Are you sure?" 
YEAH. JUST LEAVE ME. 
I was sitting on the bleachers, and Aileen had just finished with her cheerleading. My Granny had just died. And saying I was sad was an understatement. I was distraught. I sat and cried on the bleachers. Little teardrops landed on my iPad. I wiped my hand with my sleeve, then wiped the screen. 
"Speechless." came the unmistakeable voice of Jack. I ignored him. He was standing behind me. "Speechless, I'm talking to you." he continued, insistent. 
WHAT?!
"Look, I heard about your Gran. I'm sorry."
WHY WEREN'T YOU SORRY WHEN YOU HIT AILEEN? OR BEAT ME UP?
"Because I-"
THERE AREN'T ANY EXCUSES, JACK. 
"David-" 
DO NOT CALL ME DAVID. YOU CAME UP WITH SPEECHLESS, WHAT EVERYONE EXCEPT AILEEN AND THE TEACHERS CALL ME. USE IT. 
"I'm sorry, ok?! I just wanted to apologise for being such an asshole. I was wrong to hurt Aileen, and I was wrong to hurt you. I came here for forgiveness."
YOU SHOULDN'T APOLOGISE TO ME. APOLOGISE TO AILEEN. 
"Why?"
BECAUSE I JUST DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT JACK. I'M NEVER GONNA FORGIVE YOU. 
"Ok. I'm sorry, David."
Jack walked off. I was alone. Darkness fell. It was nighttime. And I was still just sitting in the bleachers. I stood up. My head was filled with thoughts and feelings, things I couldn't comprehend, things I couldn't make sense of, things I couldn't understand. I was so angry, so unbelievably angry. 
"AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!" I screamed. I just wanted to scream and scream and scream. I was just so angry and confused. 
"David. It's ok." 
It was Aileen. How long had she been standing there?
"David, go home. It's cold. You need to sleep." Aileen continued. 
I JUST WANT TO SCREAM, AILEEN. I'M SO CONFUSED. 
"I know. C'm'ere." she said, opening her arms out wide. I walked over to her, and hugged her. I cried. I don't know how long we just stood like that for. Eventually, Aileen said "Let's get you home."
I told her how Jack had aoplogised. And then I cried some more. When I got home, I just flopped down on the bed. I conked out, absolutely shattered. 

 

 

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