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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17. Chapter 17

Tuesday, March 14th, but then, you should already know the date:

Silence woke the next morning in bed with Sara asleep in his arms. His head hurt and he was only vaguely aware of why they were in bed as he gently lifted the few strands of hair that covered her face and watched her sleeping. Her face was pale and smooth, around her eyes was dark from her makeup and her lipstick was smudged.

He lay back down and rolled over, being careful not to make too many sudden movements in case he woke her. That was when he noticed his alarm clock on his bedside table registering eleven o’clock. He just lay there in mild shock at the time. How’d I sleep in so late? He asked himself. Why didn’t my alarm wake me! He panicked.

After the initial shock had passed, Silence swept the covers back as he jumped out of bed and raced wildly across the floor, picking up his clothes from where they had been scattered the night before and hurriedly putting them on.

He was vaguely aware that he had woken up Sara and that she was watching him sleepily as he finally found his last sock and pulled it on. He turned to her and forgot for a moment that he couldn’t talk as he went to apologise for his rushing away like this. It didn’t come out in much sense.

Finding his notepad at last in a pocket he wrote her a note telling her that he had to go to work, and apologised for that. He handed her the note and ran out of his room and flat, into the hall and reached the elevators. He pressed the button and then kept pressing it in the hopes that it would make the elevator go faster. It finally arrived after what felt to Silence like years, and he jumped inside and pressed G. The elevator arrived in a minute and he bounded out, past the surprised man at the desk that went to hand him his mail and newspaper, and out into the street. The man at the desk just shrugged and tossed Silence’s mail back into the slot where it was normally placed. Because of Silence’s rush, he missed out on seeing Susan’s article in the paper.

Silence started to hail a taxi as he hit the sidewalk, and got one after a few seconds of waving. He hopped inside and relaxed a tiny bit, he was going to be in so much trouble if his boss was waiting for him.

He arrived at eleven forty-five and ran up the stairs to his office. He didn’t think his boss knew that he sometimes took the stairs and so he hoped that if his boss was waiting for him, he’d be outside the elevators waiting for the lift to come up with him in it. This meant that he would be able to sneak past.

He reached the doors at the top of the stairs and pushed them open, peeking out as he did so. The coast was clear. He stepped out into the hall and quietly headed towards his office. He was out of breath because of the rush to get here and he felt like his heart would explode.

No-one was outside his office when he arrive, which he took to be a good sign, and he entered.

From outside in the hall you can’t see into the offices, it’s just a white wall. In some of the offices on other floors though the walls facing where you come from to enter are made of smudged glass, that way you can see into the room but you can’t see what anything is, you can just see the shapes. Silence wished he had that for his office.

George Oldwood was waiting for him inside. He was seated in Silence’s chair, facing the window wall. He turned when he heard the door open.

‘You’re late,’ he said softly, stating the obvious in case Silence himself didn’t know. ‘Care to explain?’

Silence pulled out his pad and wrote out his explanation. I slept in after a late night. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.

It was such a bad thing to have to say, and he was afraid that his boss would get the opinion that Silence often went out and stayed out late at night. But Silence found no way to explain that he’d only started going out since Oldwood became his boss.

Silence sighed, this wasn’t good. He handed the note to his boss, who just stared at it for a moment and then looked back expectantly at Silence, as if Silence would suddenly grow a tongue and speak to him. If only that would happen, thought Silence wistfully.

He lowered the note as it was obvious that Oldwood wasn’t going to take it. Oldwood rose to his feet and walked to the door where he yelled out loudly for Miss Phelps.

She came running as fast as she could in her insanely high heels and stopped before him, swaying and holding her clip board and pen tightly to her chest.

‘Miss Phelps,’ Oldwood began. ‘Mr Mourner here has failed to provide an excusable excuse as to why he is so late this morning, and so, I feel it is my duty to suspend him from work for one week. At the end of which I hope that he will have learned his lesson and will never be late again,’ he hissed the last part at Silence, and then turned back to Miss Phelps. ‘Please write out a notice and place it where everybody will see it, telling the employees of Ink and Paper Incorporated that anyone else following the route of Mr Silence Mourner will be suspended. Or, if caught arriving late more than once, will lose their job and Mr Mourner too for providing a bad role model.’ He made sure that Miss Phelps had written down everything correctly, clicking his tongue with impatience as Miss Phelps read his notice back to him.

Satisfied that she had written down everything he’d said correctly and with a final glance at Silence, turned and walked out of Silence’s office.

Miss Phelps glanced at Silence, the sad look in her eyes saying it all, and then she too turned and headed out of the office, following quickly after Oldwood wherever he was going. Silence for his part sat down slowly at his desk and placed his head in his hands. He didn’t even look at my note to see the reason why! He groaned. How unfair and rude was that?

Silence exited the building ten minutes later, wondering why he’d even bothered to get out of bed in the first place when he’d saw that it was so late. He should have just called to say he was sick instead of showing up.

He was just opening the door of his taxi when he noticed another pull to a stop on the other side of the road a few feet away, and Susan just starting to hop in. He slammed the door shut of his and raced across the road, reaching the taxi just as it was about to leave he opened the door and slid in.

Susan turned in surprise at the sudden intrusion, and was about to say that the taxi was taken when she saw who it was. She stopped and instead said, ‘Oh. It’s you,’ and turned her attention back to looking out of the window. The cabby after a moment’s hesitation shifted the car into gear and continued driving.

You don’t look pleased to see me.Noted Silence, handing the message to her. She sighed, then took and read it.

‘Whatever made you guess?’ she asked, sarcasm dripping from her words.

Silence ignored it and just wrote: Is there something wrong? If it’s about the other day, I apologise for that. But I really wanted to see you again. I heard you found a new article?

‘Yes,’ she said brightly, her expression changing drastically. ‘I wrote the article and I got the job!’ she exclaimed smiling. ‘Have you read it?’

Silence shook his head. I was late this morning; I haven’t had time to check the papers.

‘Oh,’ her smile faltered and then brightened up. ‘I probably have a copy somewhere.’ She rummaged in her bag, and with a cry of elation pulled out a copy and handed it to Silence. ‘Interviewing the inspector on the case was a trick. He refused to talk to me or give me details; I had to search out other means of getting the information I needed,’ she mentioned as he opened the paper and found the article.

The bodies of a family that went missing a week ago in Colorado have shown up in the basement of deceased, Joseph Amerigo. Joseph Amerigo died after a fall early Saturday morning which caused his skull to connect with the path leading down to the park he was heading towards.

Police were called to his house late Saturday night after a neighbor reported seeing a light on in the house. They have already made an arrest.

While conducting a brief search of the house to see if anything had been stolen, Officer Patrick O’Nile stumbled across the bodies in a connecting room in the basement.

Police Inspector, James Holland, more commonly known as ‘Dastardious Hollow’, has offered no explanation to the press of how the bodies came to be in Joseph Amerigo’s basement. In fact he has refused to talk at all about the case, claiming: “it’s none of the public’s *Bleep* business to know at this very point in time”.

Reports of the family’s relatives claim that the family is devastated by the findings of the Police.

“The last we heard of my son (Edmond) and his family (Emily, mother of daughter, Jasmine), they were on holiday in Colorado,” says distraught mother, Hannah Cloves. “When they (Edmond and his family) phoned up a week ago, they sounded like they were having so much fun. Edmond told me that they might be out of touch for a while due to bad connection on the road. I never suspected that they had gone missing when I didn’t receive any news. I didn’t know until today when we were told!”

According to the manager of the hotel in which the Clove family last stayed at, the family went missing in the middle of the night and no trace was found of them.

“I placed a notice to the police, telling them of their disappearance, and they said not to worry about it and that they would keep me posted if they turned up. I heard nothing from them until yesterday when they called me up to tell me that they had been found. It is tragic news, and that they went missing in my hotel makes it even worse for me”.

As of yet, the daughter, Jasmine, is still missing.

Silence looked up, frowning in concentration as he thought. The news of murder didn’t shock him; it was more the name which he thought of.

Joseph Amerigo… I knew someone with that same last name. The boy lived in the same orphanage as me when I was younger.

Susan shrugged. ‘I’d never heard of him before.’

So I suppose that now that you’ve found another article and you’ve got the job, you won’t be looking into my past anymore?Silence wrote, carefully touching on the subject he had been eager to mention earlier.

Susan looked at him in surprise after reading the note.

‘Oh no! I told you! Your story still interests me; I still want to find out the truth, it just won’t be placed into an article. Well, who knows? The public might like it.’

Silence stared at her in disbelief, his heart sinking to his stomach. He had hoped that if she got another article then she would stop looking into his past, but apparently not.

But it’s my life!

‘So?’

You’ve got your story! You don’t need to look into my past anymore. It’s not for you to know anyway!

‘Why on earth not? Why can’t I know it? What have you got to hide?’

I don’t know. I’m not supposed to tell! I… I can’t tell.

‘Well if you can’t tell me then I’ll have to find it on my own!’

But what if I don’t want you to? What if I try to stop you?

‘Why would you try to stop me? You said you don’t even know why I’m not allowed to know!’

The taxi reached its destination and pulled to a slow stop, Susan hopped out and paid the driver, and Silence quickly hopped out after her. They had arrived at some building which Silence guessed must be where Susan was living. The building was made of red brick and it didn’t look as nice as the one that Silence lived in. But then, he didn’t think Susan had as much money as he did. He followed Susan to the front door.

Because I’ve lived my life knowing that no-one should know, and now that you want know I can’t let you!

‘Well I’m sorry, Silence, but we’ve been through this before; I won’t go through it again. Unless you tell me a good reason why I can’t know, I’m going to continue on with my work. If you’ve spent so long with no-one knowing, maybe it would be best if somebody found out.’

Silence sighed. He himself didn’t even know why no-one should know. He had just spent so long knowing that people shouldn’t know that he’d forgotten the reason why.

‘Goodnight, Silence. I’ll probably see you around.’ Unlocking the door, she stepped in without another word.

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