Wretched Trauma

Avery is an eighteen year old outcast, joining sixth form, for her final year of A Levels, before University. Before she started a new school, she was bullied, both verbally and physically. At her new school, she meets a new outcast, Axel; he's mute. No one knows why he's mute, but nobody cares enough to find out. No one, but Avery. She wants to know everything about him; how it's possible for him to lose his voice; how he became an outcast; but most importantly, he wants to know how to say 'I love you' without a voice. Everyone says love is blind, or maybe it's just silent?

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3. 'Are you cold?'

   By the end of the day, Devon has pretty much worn me out. At the most random moments, she'd shoot me with a question, like 'what's your favourite colour?'. Sometimes, she'd even feel the need to ask my of my blood type. I don't even know, to be honest. Anyway, she's pretty awesome, and I do like her.

   "So, do you want to hang out?" she asks, her hair shining in the outside light.

   "Um, yeah, where do you want to go? I don't really know my way around," I sheepishly tell her. 

   "Hey, Axel, want to hang out with us?" Devon completely ignores my question, harassing Axel instead.

   For a second, he seems hesitant, but then he looks at me, and nods. What's that supposed to mean? Honestly, it's probably just a coincidence. After all, why would someone like me affect his decision? Exactly, I wouldn't.

   Ethan suddenly appears, grinning, "What's this? Hanging out and not inviting your dearly beloved? I'm coming with," he states, suddenly leading the way.

   Quickly, I send my Dad a text, telling him that I won't be home until later. Instantly, he replies, saying that I could call him to pick us all up, if necessary. He's probably dancing around the house, congratulating me through his cheers, that I've finally made some friends. I could do the same, I'm so happy to have someone other than my parents, or brother.

   "So, where are we going?" I ask, jogging slightly to catch up with them.

   "Most likely to buy food, because Ethan is leading the way, and he eats pretty much all the time. Then over to the park, probably," Devon tells me, grinning like an idiot as soon as she mentioned Ethan.

   Axel appears on my other side, walking in sync with me, as the other two walk ahead. Obviously, I can't start up a conversation, so I just remain quiet, taking quick glances at him, every so often. His hair has stayed dead straight for the entire day, whereas mine is getting wavy at the tips. With his gaze focused ahead of us, I notice that his eyes are even lighter outside, in the open air, making them look crystallised. 

   Quickly, I look away, my cheeks flushing, when he looks at me. Awkwardly, I bite my bottom lip, trying to hold back my embarrassment to the situation. Axel actually just caught me staring at him! Mentally cringing, I hear him breathe a light laugh. At least if he's laughing, it means he isn't annoyed at me, right? Whatever, it's still embarrassing. 

   "Where abouts do you live?" Devon asks, shouting slightly, as she's further ahead than us.

   Trying not to stutter, I tell her my address, and Ethan practically jumps on me, "You're the girl who moved in next to me! I heard you playing guitar, you're really good!" 

   "Oh... Um, sorry," I scratch the back of my neck, sheepishly looking at the floor.

   "Don't apologise, you're good at it," he grins down at me.

   Another blush works it's way up my neck, as the embarrassment settles in. Ethan heard me playing guitar! Maybe I should lie, and say it's not me, it's my brother... But they're my friends, lying is an awful thing to do, and they'll figure it out anyway, as they get to know me. I'm not even that good at it, but if he's complimenting me, I may as well take it.

   "So, we live next door to each other?" I indiscreetly change the subject.

   "Yep, we do. This is so awesome!" Ethan skips ahead, like an excited little girl.

   Devon giggles, and jogs to catch up with them. Cars quickly flash by, clearly breaking the speed limit, on the road beside us. Some of them can hardly see where they're going, because the windscreen is covered in a layer of ice.  Each time one zips by us, they leave us in a cold daze of dust. 

   A shiver crawls up my spine, making the hair on the back of my neck rise in discomfort. I grip onto my jacket tighter, so that there's no space between my body and the warm-ish leather. Why does November have to be so cold?! Well, I'm from the North, I should be used to it. Well, I guess I'm not. Suddenly, I feel an extra weight on my shoulders, followed by a flood of warmth. 

   "Yo-you don't have to-" Axel cuts me off, by putting his finger to my lips, and giving me a stern look.

   He just gave me his jacket, put it around my shoulders for me, and then wrapped his arm around my waist, and wants me to be quiet about it!? I'm close to hyperventilating, yet he seems totally cool with it! For goodness sake, what do I do? Do I hold him too? Or do I just stand here like a complete pillock? 

   "Um, thanks," I mumble, when he takes his finger away from my lips, leaving a hot, tingling sensation behind.

   He rolls his eyes at me, giving me an amused smirk. Everything sane just leaves my mind, and I go for it - yep, I put my arm around him too. Heat settles in my body, leaving my skin tingling, wherever our skin makes contact. The exposed skin on his arm feels cooler than ice, but he's clearly not going to accept his jacket.

   "Are you cold?" I stupidly ask, looking up at him through my eyelashes.

   After a moment of thinking (and a very attractive lip bite), he nods, just once. I try to take my arm away, to give him his jacket back, but he holds my hand firmly on his hip. The amused smirk returns to his face when he sees me blush, but he shakes his head, in a way of telling me to keep the jacket. 

   Shyly, I look away from him, and focus on the pavement. Dried chewing gum takes up the majority of it, so I look back up again, to see Devon and Ethan staring at us. Oh yeah, I forgot we're with them... Oops.

   "You're so cute!" Devon squeals, jumping on the spot, clapping her hands.

   "Aw, they're blushing!" Ethan coos, lazily swinging his arm around Axel's shoulders.

   "So. Cute." Devon gasps, walking backwards, about a foot in front of us.

   "Leave us alone," I mutter, but then I giggle, finding it cute too.

   "Hell no, girl," Ethan turns his camp side on, "Axel has never had a girlfriend before!"

   At that point, Axel ducks out from under Ethan's arm, trying to hit him. If looks could kill, Ethan would be six feet under by now. I'm pretty sure the only reason Axel hasn't jumped Ethan, is because he's holding my waist, and I'm holding his. 

   For a few seconds, Axel mentally debates whether he should attack Ethan or not. I don't really see what the big deal is, about him never having a girlfriend. I've never had a boyfriend, but I don't really care. It's not like I plan to get married anytime soon, or something. Maybe he just finds it embarrassing, or ego-deflating. 

   After another ten minutes of walking, we reach a small corner shop. It's not a chain shop, meaning it's probably expensive, so I just wait outside with Axel. His hand still rests comfortably on my hip, holding me close to his side, as if letting go would be the end. The end of what though? I don't even know, but I'm sure as hell enjoying it.

   I can feel his intense gaze on me, so I decide to use up my courage, and make eye contact. His eyes are so striking, I find myself unable to breathe. For my entire life, I thought getting lost in someone's eyes was a stupid exaggeration, but now that I'm experiencing it... It's shocking, overwhelming, and amazing all at the same time. The sweet, baby blue colour is so radiant, as if his iris' are made up purely of crystallised ice. 

   His warm breath fans over my face, making the cold sting even more. There's a touch of mint still in his breath, making him smell a whole lot better than most guys. The aroma of his cologne is intoxicating from being this close to him, but it's a good kind of intoxicating. It smells clean, fresh, maybe with a hint of vanilla. Gradually, his breathing gets heavier, but then I realise he's closer to me, leaning down to me. 

   Holy mother of God he's going to kiss me!

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