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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2. 'Aw, don't be shy, babe!'

   Oh.

   Clearing my throat, I awkwardly murmur the words, "I'm sorry."

   He gives me a smile that says 'it's okay', before turning around in his seat. The bell rings throughout the halls, and about twenty students pour through the door, shuffling to their seats. All of them give Axel dirty stares, before gazing at me in interest. I already feel like one of their toys.

   "Alright, everyone settle down- Frasier! Don't kick a football indoors!" Mr Larham desperately tries getting his form under control, as I stay dead still, fully aware of the many stares on me.

   Everyone giggles at that Frasier kid, and I don't even have to look, to guess that he's a Jock. I take a peek anyway, yep, tall, tanned, surrounded by adoring fans, who either want him, or want to be him. Honestly, I'd rather burn myself alive, than become one of them. They all follow one mind; the mind of their leader. In this case, Frasier. Judging by his knowledge of kicking a football indoors, it's not a very bright mind to follow.

   The second bell starts up, making everyone go to their seat, the sound of chairs scraping the floor becoming evident. Some hushed whispers follow, as a few people switch their seats up, wanting to sit next to someone else. Sir doesn't seem to mind this, as he returns to his desk, opening up the computer file for our register. 

   Name by name, everyone responds, except for one person, who's probably ill, or late, or something of that sort. If only I was ill... I could be at home, right now, watching some overpaid programme, eating an unhealthy amount of junk food. That sounds like a plan... But I'm in school. 

   I answer to my name, being the last person in the register. Sir gives me a quick introduction to the class, before continuing with the school's expectations for the following term. Everyone just ignores him, and they begin to study me. Whispers echo around the room, all of them about me. Cringing slightly, I shrink in my seat, trying to focus my attention on Mr Larham, but it's difficult. 

   A hand on my thigh makes me jump slightly, but I realise it's just Axel's hand. He sends me a comforting smile, his eyes softening a bit, as he notices the whispers too. Quickly scribbling something down, he pushes the board in my direction, with the pen too, so I don't get caught for talking. It says 'ignore them'.

   Sighing, I write my own message back, saying 'I'll try'. Grimacing slightly, he nods once, and focuses his attention on Sir again. I can't hear what anyone's saying, but you can tell it's about me, as they take quick glances at me, checking to see whether I'm listening in or not. Fortunately, they're too quiet for me to pick up on what's going on.

   "Put your things away, the bell will go off momentarily," Sir announces, and everyone erupts in chatter, as they start to stand up.

   We're dismissed, as the bell rings, and we all head to our first lesson of six - Maths. Axel stays right next to me, but leads the way to the maths block. We get shoved around a bit, by people bigger than us, or people who just don't seem to care. A heavy blow to my shoulder knocks me off guard, but I force myself not to cry. Being an easy crier really sucks.

   Graphs, charts, and mathematical terms cover the brightly coloured walls, boxing in about ten tables for four. Surely this class wouldn't have forty students? Maybe some of the tables were just spare, in case people have to be moved around or something. Axel shows me to his table, right in the middle, and gestures for me to sit beside him. I blush slightly, but sit down quickly, trying to cover my reddening cheeks up.

   The teacher gives me a subtle nod of acknowledgement, but doesn't bother to learn my name. She seems like she knows what she's doing, so I'll leave her to it. Everyone else takes their seat, some of them I recognise from my form, others are completely new to me. That Frasier kid is sitting on the table beside us, so he can't really be as thick as I thought, seeing as we're in the extension class.

   Two people join our table for four, making it a full house. There's a guy, and a girl, both of them going for the stereotypical 'emo' look that Axel and I both have going on. The girl has bleach blond hair, rib length, dip dyed electric blue, which looks awesome. Her eyes are also bright blue, matching the tips of her layered hair, along with the ring on the left side of her lip. Also, a silver stud is in her eyebrow, making me shiver. That must have hurt.

   As for the guy, his hair was light brown, straightened, with bangs and everything. It slightly covers his eyes, but I can still see their chocolatey colour, radiating warmly. A dermal piercing situates discreetly between his upper lip and nose, a black diamond shape. He's really tall, a couple inches over six feet, whereas the girl is about the same height as me.

   A dragon, or a snake, or some kind of reptile tattoo is poking out of the top of the guy's shirt, crawling up his neck. It's scales are a dark grey colour, but some of them are white, depending on where the 3D effects need to be applied. It eye is a crimson red, glaring up at his chin. I want to see the rest of it, but that seems a little bit perverted. 

   Well damn, as if my parents would ever let me get a tattoo, even though I'm eighteen. Anyway, whatever his tattoo is, it's amazing, I can tell. 

   The girl makes a high pitched, squeal sound, "Yay, finally a girl I can hang out with! O-M-G I have waited forever to actually have a girl-friend! The guys get pretty boring, when I want to talk about make-up, or-"

   The guy suddenly slaps his hand over her mouth, giving her a warning look. Gradually, he releases her, and the pair of them slowly sit down, the girl shooting daggers at him, with her eyes.

   "Hi, I'm Devon Knight, and I- wait, why did I say my surname? Just call me Devon. It'd be really weird if you called me by my surname, unless you want to, that's fine if you want to," she beams at me, radiating hyperactivity. 

   "I'm Ethan. Sorry about her, she just really wants a girl-friend," Ethan rolls his eyes, but a smirk tugs at the corners of his lips.

  "O-Okay, it's fine, I'm Avery," I quietly introduce myself, blushing from the amount of attention.

   Devon sighs, "Aw, don't be shy, babe! We're going to be best friends - I can see it now," her gaze goes somewhere behind me, as if she's imagining our future friendship.

   Axel sighs, half in amusement, half in annoyance. A smile makes its way onto my face, as for once in my life, I'm going to have friends. No way in hell am I going to screw this up. Devon seems like an amazing person, and despite how open she seems, and how closed I am, we can definitely be really close. Ethan also seems pretty cool, and damn it I want Axel more than anything.

  "You have really pretty eyes," Ethan announces, gazing straight into my eyes.

   A blush quickly works up, "Um, thank you."

   Both Axel, and Devon shoot him a look, Axel's says death, Devon's says jealousy. Oh, so Devon likes Ethan? That should be interesting. Maybe like a soap opera... Either way, I think they'd be a cute item, but I don't really know much about them. For all I know, they could already be together. Or she could be with Axel. I hope not...

   "Anyway..." Devon murmurs, her happy attitude slowly slipping away.

   "Hey, Dev, what's wrong?" Ethan pouts, looking down at her.

   Okay, if that look doesn't say that he genuinely cares about her, then I don't know what does. His eyes just seem to smoulder when he looks at her... Personal Mission No. 1: Get Ethan and Devon together. Period.

   "Nothing, I'm fine," she mumbles, not meeting Ethan's intently soft gaze.

   "I know you're lying," he says softly, brushing her bangs out of her eyes in one swift movement.

   "I'm not, leave me alone," she elbows him gently, and Ethan feigns a hurt look.

   "Ow, baby, that hurt," he whimpers, massaging his ribs.

   "Good," Devon snaps, but the humour is evident on her face. 

   We fall into silence, as our teacher hisses at us to be quiet. The rest of the lesson passes by without anymore flirting, or even general talking. Forty five minutes of maths is absolutely plenty, and honestly, I'm kind of looking forward to science, if it means getting out of Pythagoras' theorem. 

   I finally get a better look of what they're wearing, too. Devon has a pair of skinny jeans on, worn out at the knees, with a large, silver studded belt to old them up. Her shirt has a band on it, one of my favourites actually, from their latest record. She's wearing a pair of combat boots from my favourite shoe brand, coming up to the middle of her shin. 

   Ethan's outfit is plain, as if he didn't even think twice when he dressed himself this morning. It's the subtle combination of dark grey chinos, a white polo, a green sweater, and a dark grey slouch beanie. Actually, the outfit is kind of nerdy, but he makes it look cool. Everything is fitted to his tall, lean stature, making me wish I was slimmer.

   Devon links her arm through mine, telling me that we're also together for science, along with Axel and Ethan. That's good, I actually really like them, they're all really cool, and friendly. Then again, I hate Ethan for being blind towards Devon. Dude, she clearly likes you, get a grip!

   In science, we sit on a bench, with me in between Axel and Devon. For the entire period, I kind of just study Axel. Psychologically mute... So that means something must have happened to him, to make his brain shut his vocal chords down. Trauma, most likely. So if it is something traumatic, I won't ask just yet, in case he's sensitive about it. 

   Maybe I should ask one of the others... But that's digging too deep. If he wants me to know, he'll tell me, or I can just ask him myself. He might not have even told Devon and Ethan, because it's just too personal. However, he didn't hesitate in telling me that he's mute, so he'll probably just tell me why, when I ask. If I ever pluck up the courage, that is.

   "Do you like Ethan?" I whisper to Devon.

   Quietly, she gasps, "How did you know?!"

   "Pft, it's obvious," I roll my eyes in amusement, feeling myself becoming more comfortable around her.

   "Really? Ugh, I need to tone my game down..." she mumbles, scowling slightly.

   "Don't worry about it, he clearly likes you back. Did you not see how much he cared, when you got upset earlier?" I say to her.

   "Really!?" she beams at me, but then frowns again, "Then why did he compliment you? No offence, or anything."

   "None taken, and it was probably just a friendly gesture, you know, for meeting new people," I suggest, with a slight shrug to my shoulders.

   She smiles, flashing her sparkling, white teeth at me, "You know Axel likes you, right?" 

   "No way," I shake my head, knowing that there's no way that'd be true.

   As if Axel would like me. I'm just plain, shy, too afraid to do practically anything, so he probably has better people to like. Maybe one of the popular girls, who plays netball or something. I don't know!

   "Uh, yeah way! He's been staring at you, the whole time we've been talking, and when Ethan mentioned your eyes, Axel gave him the look of 'back off or I'll murder you'!" Devon gossips, and I take a quick peek at Axel, to see that he is actually looking at me.

   Maybe he just likes me as a friend. That's the more logical answer, anyway. As if anyone would ever like, like me.

   Anyway, I really want to know why he's mute, and pretty much everything about him. 

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