The Story of Silence

Silence Mourner is like every other person out there, but not every person is like Silence.

The story starts in the small, Italian village of Paura where Father Demetre finds a four-year-old boy in the snow beside three fresh graves. A mystery surrounds the boy, who is he? What was he doing out there alone in the cold? How did he get there? Whose graves are they? And finally, why can the boy no longer speak? Faced with these problems, Father Demetre takes the boy in and with the help of the village doctor, they care for him until a stranger from New York comes to claim him.

Now named Silence Mourner, follow this boy's road to manhood in the distant city of New York where he has slowly come to forget his secret, but his silence serving as a reminder that it should never be told. Now faced with a girl from his youth who is determined to bring it into the light, will it stay concealed, or will his desire to remember bring it all out?

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11. Chapter 11

Saturday afternoon. March 11th:

Silence went straight home after his ‘chat’ with Susan. He wished she would just see and leave the past alone, but she didn’t see, and Silence couldn’t show her. He didn’t have the power to. Well he had the power, he just didn’t know. So many years of distraction had made him forget, but one thing remained and that was his reminder that no-one must know. Hah! He thought as he walked home. Not even I know what it is. I’d love to find out though if I could remember it.

The rain didn’t ease up as he walked. It had started shortly after he had left Susan. With it constantly pouring down, and even with his umbrella, Silence was soaked by the time he reached his apartment building. He had tried to stay out of the rain but no taxi had stopped for him.

It was lunch time when he entered the lobby so no-one was there to say hello, but he didn’t mind. For once he was glad he didn’t have to talk, well, write to somebody. He hated not talking. There were times when he needed to say things and all he could do was write them out, but they were never the same written out. There were some things better said spoken.

He entered the elevator, and the doors were about to close when Thomas bounded across the room out of nowhere and slid in between the doors and slammed into the back wall of the elevator just as the doors closed. Silence helped him to his feet.

Thomas shook himself off and smiled at Silence. He waved his hand which was clasping a thick bundle of letters.

‘Thanks for that,’ he said. ‘I just came down to check my mail and saw you entering the elevator and decided to join you.’

Silence nodded. Thomas came downstairs once a week to check his mail.

Thomas stood by Silence’s side as he proceeded to check his mail. He made some weird noises as he shuffled through them, laughed at one and without opening it, threw it to the ground. He placed the rest in his pocket and stood quietly, occasionally hopping from one foot to the other.

Silence could tell he wanted to say something, so he decided to make it easier and to start the conversation for him. He pulled out his notebook and asked Thomas how he was and what he’d been up to.

Thomas read the note and then let it drop onto the floor and turned to Silence with a serious look on his face.

‘So, I’m going out tonight for a drink with some mates and I thought you might like to join us,’ he said coming straight out with it, not even bothering to answer Silence’s questions.

Silence wasn’t sure what to say. He’d say no, but he’d been saying no a lot of the time Thomas asked him if he’d like to go out with him and his mates.

Look, wrote Silence,it’s not that I have anything wrong with your mates, or you, or going out drinking, it’s just that I have lots of things to do. I’m busy and I don’t have the time to go out and relax.

‘And this is why you should come out with us, Silence!’ exclaimed Thomas after he’d read the note. ‘You’ve got to relax and chill, and then I guarantee that you’ll feel better. You’ll be able to do everything you need to do with a fresh mind!’

Silence shook his head. I don’t have time to go out.

‘You had time to go out this morning!’ pointed out Thomas.

Silence didn’t reply. He did have time to go out this morning, and if things hadn’t gone off between him and Susan he would probably have spent the rest of the day with her. He did have the time. He’d lied, he just didn’t want to admit that Thomas’s mates were all asses and he didn’t like being in their company. And also he didn’t like being in a busy bar trying to get drinks from a bartender who didn’t like having to read things even though it was easier for him to understand what was wanted.

He caved in after some more pestering from Thomas as they exited the elevator and made their way along the hall to their room. He couldn’t really get away from Thomas because they both shared the same flat.

Tell me when you would like to head off and I’ll join you. He finally told Thomas before heading into his room. He then spent the rest of the day watching TV in his room until Thomas knocked on his door and told him they’d be leaving in an hour when his mates came round with the car.

Silence left his bed and entered into the shower to refresh himself. The water was warm and he could feel himself relaxing under the spray. All the tension he’d been feeling seemed to flow away with the water.

He stepped out about twenty minutes later and studied himself in the mirror. His eyes were dark, and Silence thought it gave him the look of a pirate. And though he was only twenty-five, he didn’t always look it. He was young, but his eyes told people he was older than he really was. It was what Silence had seen that gave his eyes that look. Images stained into young eyes when he was only four. What things wouldn’t change a boy at that age? But what were they? He puzzled as he finished dressing.

Thomas knocked on his door just as he was finishing combing his hair to say that the car was downstairs and that they would wait for him.

Silence joined Thomas and his friends downstairs in the car -which was actually a van- some three minutes later after he’d found his wallet and a fresh notepad and pen.

Their driver wasn’t sure where they would start, and the general vote of the team was to just drive and stop at the first place that sold alcohol.

The van stopped outside a nightclub someway up the street and everybody trooped out. This was the first place, and this would be where the party started. Thomas and his friends all went straight through the doors without a thought, but Silence stayed outside by the van. In a short moment Thomas would miss him and come out to find him, but by then he could be long gone in a taxi headed for home. But that, he reckoned, wouldn’t be fair to Thomas. Silence had after all told him he’d come and join them. Sighing, he walked up to the doors he entered.

The sound of a heavy bass and weird electronic music filled his ears and deafened him as well as the chatter of a hundred people or so all pushing around dancing and screaming to be heard.

The bouncers inside the door stopped him and got him to produce his ID. Satisfied with it they let him continue through. Silence found his group seated around a table, being served by a pretty, blond haired, waitress.

She walked over to Silence as he seated himself and asked him what he wanted. He pulled out his pad and quickly placed an order and slid the piece of paper across the table to her. She looked down at the piece of paper but made no move to pick it up.

‘I asked what you wanted to drink, not for your number!’ she called above the din of the crowd.

Thomas overheard her and Silence heard him laugh. He leaned across the top of the table so that she could hear him and told her that Silence couldn’t speak, and that what was written on the piece of paper was probably his order of what to drink.

The waitress nodded her head as understanding filled her and she picked up the piece of paper and read what it said.

‘I’ll be right back with you drinks, in the meantime, how about writing me your actual phone number?’ She said with a wink to Silence. ‘Also the name’s Jess,’ she told him, and tossing her fair hair over her shoulder sauntered off to get their drinks.

Thomas and his friends all found this very amusing, and they started jabbing him in his side and hooting at him. Thomas leaned over so that he could speak into Silence’s ear so that he could be heard and said, ‘Boy! Makes me almost wish I couldn’t speak so that I could pick up the ladies like you do!’

He sat back laughing, and Silence, he almost wished he could speak so that he didn’t pick up ladies so easily. But there was just something about him, and the fact that he couldn’t speak made ladies attracted to him. Thomas wouldn’t find it annoying, and Silence didn’t a lot of the time, but there were times when it was. He wasn’t gay or anything, no way at all, he found gays to be disgusting, and he loved woman, he just didn’t always like their company. Their constant flocking because they found him to be attractive, and there was no way he could easily tell them to go away.

Jess returned shortly with their drinks, and Silence thought, what the hell, and gave her his number, explaining along the way that he would need hers to send her reply texts. She laughed at this and told him when she got off of work and that they could talk then. She then left them and went off to serve some other people.

A couple of hours later, Thomas and his friends were spread all over the bar, only Silence was left where they had started from. He was fine with just sitting and listening to the people talking and the sound of the music.

Another hour later he couldn’t stand the noise anymore and staggered through the crowd and out of the main doors.

He dropped to the sidewalk and leant against the wall. He wasn’t drunk, definitely not, he was just tired. Presently, Thomas and his friends also staggered out and joined Silence against the wall.

None of them did much; a couple of them threw up into the gutter and then, helping each other, headed back inside. Silence also climbed back to his feet and wrote out a note to the waitress inside saying:

I am sorry for not showing up, but I have other things to do. I’m sorry, but better things to do. I don’t know the man that has just brought you this note but, maybe, you’ll find him better company than I. Wishing you well though I know you not –Silence Mourner.

He folded up the note and passed it to one of Thomas’s mates that seemed to be the least drunk out of all of them, and then another one which told him to please take it to Jess when she comes out and to wait round for an answer to her note in case she says something concerning him. Silence then pocketed his hands and left.

The man looked at the notes, read them both, laughed and showed them to his buddies who then started to claim that they would be the one taking the note to the waitress when she comes out.

Silence reached the end of the street and turned left. He wasn’t heading back towards home, he was just heading ahead. He needed to sort things out in his mind. He kept telling himself that he needed to sort things out; he thought he did sort them out, but they were never the right things.

He pulled out his notebook and started writing. He used up two full pages before he’d written down everything he thought he needed to write about, and then re-read them. He sighed when he’d finished and instead of closing the book and placing it back into her pocket, he tore out the pages and threw them in a bin on passing. He walked on for a couple of steps before rushing back and rummaging through the bin to find his pieces of paper. He couldn’t let anybody find it and read it.

Finding them sitting on the top of the rubbish, he replaced the crumpled pieces of paper and his pad back into his pocket and walked on.

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