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?


5. Chapter 5

Not going to bother stating where anybody is this time as it’s the same place as before, only the date has changed. September 1st, 1997:

Silence leafed through the paperwork on his desk. It was finally settled. His name was now for real, marked down in writing, Silence Mourner. The man at the office had given him a funny look when he had been told what the name was to be changed to. Well, it was a weird name to want to be known as.

Glancing over at the calendar hanging on the wall over the head of his bed he looked at the date circled in red. It was his birthday today and he was now sixteen years old. His birthday present from his uncle had been the change of his name. He’d helped Silence with it.

Silence rose to his feet, picking up his school bag as he did so and walked quietly down the stairs, being careful to not wake his aunt as he passed her room. It was 7:56 and she didn’t wake till eight. He wrote a quick note in a pad on the kitchen bench wishing her a good day and headed out the front door.

Sometimes he would walk to school, other days he would take the bus, today though he decided to walk. It was good for him, that and he didn’t want to be on the bus with all the rowdy children. He himself was still technically a child, but he could still call the others kids. There was nothing wrong with it.

He reached the large red brick building of the school early, he could tell because there was no-one else there. He didn’t mind though, it would soon fill up and he wouldn’t be alone any longer. That would be the time he would mind. He crossed the green lawn and stopped for a minute to wonder who had raised the school’s state flag. It was in the rules somewhere that whoever arrived first, be it a teacher or a student, they should raise the flag, so someone else must be here. He crossed the rest of the lawn and hurried up the grey steps and entered through one of the open brown doors.

Silence liked to be on his own. He could do a lot on his own when there was no-one to worry about. The problem with being alone though is that it gets lonely. But dem’s da breaks.

Actually, he liked to be with other people, but he didn’t get along well with most of the people at the school, so he liked to be on his own. It was all rather confusing, he didn’t think like this much, it hurt other people’s brains to get around what he thought.

He did have some friends though, you didn’t go to school for seven years and not become friends with someone. He liked to be around them, and they didn’t mind him.

He walked down the clean white hallway, which always reminded him of hospital hallways, except they didn’t normally have red lines at waist height running along the walls, to where his locker was; checking his watch on the way to see how much time he had before everybody would start pouring in. It was almost nine o’clock. If he hurried he would be able to put away his stuff and get to his first class on time before anyone else. He hated to be late and he always ran to a schedule.

He reached his locker and hastily stuffed his bag inside and started running just as the first crowd of teens started pouring into the school. He made it to his seat just minutes before the others filed in.

Silence liked his seat in the classroom; he got a view of everything. It was near the back and to the side, from where he sat he could watch as people walked in.

All the other students taking the class arrived, with the exception of two, a boy named Michael and his girlfriend, Jenifer. If one was late the other always was as well.

Though he didn’t pay much attention, he could hear the whispered comments about him filtering from person to person. Not all of them talked about him, but a few did. You’d think after a few years they would find someone else to talk about. But no, the boy with the weird name who doesn’t speak is always the topic of any conversation. It puzzled him as to why they had stuck to talking about him whenever there was nothing else to talk about. Was he really so different? Though going by the name Silence Mourner was bound to attract attention.

The girls spoke differently about him though. It seemed half the girls in the school had a crush on him and the other half thought other. There was nothing he could do about it, they just found his name and the fact he didn’t speak mysterious, and in their words, ‘hot’. And the fact that he wasn’t that bad looking had a lot to do with it also. Silence wasn’t vain. He didn’t think that he was good looking; he sometimes wished that he looked as good as some of the other boys in his class, but the girls there did think he was, so who was right? The majority was against him.

The conversations and laughter stopped the moment the teacher walked in. Mr Franks was a tall, thin man with white hair that he tried to form into a comb-over, but the problem was that he didn’t have enough even for that. He was strict in his teachings and one thing he did not tolerate was talking in his class. Especially if it had nothing to do with what he taught, which was history.

No-one in class liked history enough to talk about it, at least, if they had a choice not too. Silence was one of the odd ones who didn’t mind history. It wasn’t his favourite, but he didn’t hate it. He had to do it so he did it, and he did it well. That was why Mr Franks liked Silence, another reason why he liked Silence. Silence Mourner didn’t talk.

‘That’s one mark for Mr Mourner. He always does his homework and gets everything right. That’s another mark for Mr Mourner. A great lad and will go far. Someone in my class has to!’ Silence could just imagine Mr Franks saying to the rest of the teachers in their lounge. In fact he had heard Mr Franks praising him before to Ms James as he had walked past the open door of the teachers’ lounge last week.

The morning passed uneventful with only a couple of friends wishing him a happy birthday as he passed them in the hall. In fact it wasn’t until his Math’s class that something happened.

It was after lunch and Math’s was the first class Silence had to take in the afternoon. They were all sitting quietly, listening to their teacher, Mrs Jersey, who was busy telling them about their upcoming test when the first explosion happened.

There was a magnificent boom which shook the whole room and caused the roof rained plaster down onto the students’ heads.

Everybody’s ears rang with the resounding boom and nobody moved as they were all too stunned by the shock of the building which was starting to die down.  Then panic fast ensued as the fire alarms went off. All The students in the classroom started panicking immediately, all rushing to their feet and stampeding towards the door as Mrs Jersey tried fruitlessly to produce some calm in her students.

As those in the classroom reached the door another deafening boom occurred, the aftershock of which rippled through the entire school. More plaster and ceiling rained down on Silence as he was jostled in the back and sides by students pushing him.

The panic of everybody seemed to rise higher and Mrs Jersey yelling fruitlessly at them all to form a single line and walk quietly and quickly to their nearest fire exit. By the time Silence accomplished exiting the classroom he was suddenly being swept away in the flood of scared students running about.

In the halls everybody was running around and screaming. Black smoke was flooding in from somewhere filling the air with a thick smell and forcing Silence’s eyes to water. What struck him most about it all though was that nobody seemed to pay any attention to those in control who were trying to help them. And instead of being pushed towards the exit he found he was being pushed and battered further away from the exits and closer to where the smoke was coming from.

Suddenly from the mass somebody grabbed his arm and pulled him through the crowds. He was dragged away from where he had been, pushing through people who were in the way that he had no choice but to push through, to end up at the fire exit door he had been trying to head towards when he had left the classroom.

‘There you are, Sy! I’ve been looking for you for ages!’ cried one of his friends, one Joe Mitchel by name. He was a tall boy for his age and that made him the head of the basketball team. He was taller than Silence, and black. Silence was dark skinned, well, he was white, just tanned, with dark black eyes, but Joe, he, was black.

Joe dragged him through the rest of the crowd and out onto the sports field where everybody was supposed to congregate whenever there was an emergency.

Silence whipped out his pad and before Joe knew it, had handed him a note asking if he knew what had happened.

Joe skimmed it just to get to know what it was before answering.

‘I’m not quite sure, Sy, I think somebody set off a bomb! It sounded like one.'

Silence wrote another note faster than Joe had time to see. Silence was fast at writing. Being his main form of communication he felt he had to be. He could write with equal speed to someone talking.

Joe read the new note and replied, ‘I don’t know who set it off; I think it might have been an accident. It started on the second floor near the back, where Mr Wilkins chemistry class is taught.’

Silence nodded in reply. Mr Wilkins didn’t always teach the safest things in his class. He wasn’t quite right in the head. Silence reckoned that if it had come from his class than Mr Wilkins would be lucky if he kept his job. This wasn’t the first time something had happened in his class, though this was the largest.

As Silence watched from his place on the field he saw black smoke billowing thickly out of the open windows near the back of the building.

By the looks of it the school building had broken in half with the shock, separating where the chemistry class was held to the rest of the building. Silence wasn’t sure if the smoke was billowing out of open windows or if the shockwave had broken them.

He looked around at the crowd that was milling around not sure what to do. Some people were on their phones, probably calling their parents to tell them what had happened; others were sitting shaking on the ground crying while others comforted them.

He spotted a small group of girls who were having hysterics and pushing against a couple of teachers who were trying to hold them back from running into the building. As Silence watched them he heard some of the words that were coming muddled out of their mouths.

‘She’s still in there…!’

‘She was closest to the first blast…’

‘Still in there…help her!’

Silence turned back to the building and stared up at the second floor, eyes scanning the building. There was no way someone could survive for long in the smoke that was still streaming heavily through the windows. He turned and looked back around at the field; there were no fire trucks, still no help. Surely somebody would have called for help? If they didn’t get here soon then the girl might die! She might be dying already, while we all sit outside and wait for somebody to come and put out this mess. They won’t get here in time!

Without thinking further on what he was going to do, Silence pushed roughly past his friend and butted his way through the crowd of students. He broke free of the last line and ran his way along the sports field back towards the school building. Behind him he could hear people yelling at him to stop and the sound of them running to catch up to him. But Silence was fast. He was fast and fit, and he doubted that they would catch him. By the time they caught up with him he would have entered the building and they wouldn’t want to follow him in to there.

Bursting through the front door of the school he ran in the direction he knew the classroom to be. He ran, sliding along the tiles of the long white hall and sped round the far corner to where the staircase sat that took you to the second floor. As he rushed up the steps two at a time he barely had time to stop himself from falling over a sudden drop.

The staircase had broken off just at the top of the stairs before it reached the second floor.

Pulling back he paused as he looked over the edge. There was about a ten foot drop from where he stood and about five feet from where he stood to the other side of the hallway. He could jump it.

Taking a deep breath he took another two steps back and prepped himself for the run and jump. He focused on the end of the hall where he was to land, and, taking a deep breath, sprinted to the edge and jumped.

The ground disappeared beneath his feet as he flew through the air, arms waving wildly as the ground soared up to meet him and he landed, hard and rolling.

Silence lay on his front with the wind knocked out of him, waiting for his vision to clear. When his eyes became focused and he felt he could stand he brought his hands to his sides and raised himself up.

Turning he looked behind him, shaking his head as he did so. He’d landed with barely a foot to spare from the edge. A bit before and part of him would have been dangling from it.

Right, let’s go.

Turning away from the edge he took a step along the hall, feeling a slight movement beneath his feet as he did so. It took only a second for his brain to register what that meant, but it was too late as the floor beneath him gave way.

He dropped, screaming, hands reaching wildly above his head in the hopes of catching something, they did. Some of the broke floor jutted out and his hands gripped it fiercely to prevent himself from falling.

Sharp pieces of plaster and wood dug into his hand as he held on. Looking down the front of his body, from where he was hanging, it was about a five foot drop, enough to hurt him if he fell. He was also lot nearer to the fire and smoke this time. He could feel the heat of it burning not too far away, and the smoke was also everywhere. He held his breath and struggling, pulled himself up.

He rose to his feet and looked around; the chemistry classroom should just be down the hall somewhere. Unfortunately, Silence didn’t take chemistry, and even if he did he would have had a hard time finding the right room. The black smoke was everywhere. So thick he couldn’t see his hand in front of him. Coughing roughly from the smoke he’d already inhaled, he pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and pressed it tightly against his mouth and nose to help prevent the smoke from getting into his lungs.

He pushed on, feeling with his foot first before placing it down. Kicking in doors to see what was inside. He also kicked himself for his stupidness of running into this business as well. He couldn’t see anything, his handkerchief wasn’t doing that much and he could already feel his head swimming.

In the distance he heard the sound of firetrucks arriving, but they would be too late. He might be too late. He might die in the process as well. But you couldn’t leave somebody to die in a place like this. Well you could, but he couldn’t.

He moved on and around another corner. The door closest to him looked to have already been kicked open, except from the inside. It looked like it had been blown open. Deciding that this must be the one he entered.

It wasn’t just smoke in the building. There was fire. And he could feel it, it was burning him. Every step he took he got hotter; he could feel his skin slowly burning. The smoke was in his eyes and he could barely keep them open as they watered and stung.

In the room he could just make out the shapes of tubes and things on tables. They were broken and a lot of the tables and chairs seemed to have been broken as well.

Silence moved further in and tried to look for the girl he’d come for. The ones downstairs had said that she’d been close to the first blast, and he realised, he didn’t actually know where the first blast had come from. Well it probably came from here, but did it?

He turned around once he was practically in the middle of the room, and then he saw her, some of her anyway. Her foot was just visible underneath a table. He ran forwards and tripped over something lying on the ground. He fell, instinct telling him to push his hands out in front. They scrapped against shards of broken glass and he hissed in pain as his body hit the ground, bending his wrists back.

Gritting his teeth he ignored the pain as he scrambled to his feet and ran to the table. He pulled it away, being careful not to hurt the girl underneath. He didn’t know if she was alive or not as he tied his handkerchief around her mouth and nose and picked her up. She wasn’t very heavy, which he was thankful for.

As he moved quickly to the door something started to click. He paused next to the door and slowing turned around. The clicking continued, becoming suddenly faster. Silence’s eyes widened as he realised what it was. It was a bomb. He could see it underneath an overturned desk. How it hadn’t been blown up with the rest of the room he didn’t know, but he knew that the explosions hadn’t been the fault of Mr Wilkins. Turning quickly he started to run just as the final bomb exploded, the force rippling through the broken building.

It shook and roofing fell down. The force hit Silence full in the back and piloted them both forwards. They tumbled through the air and crash landed through the wall opposite the classroom.

Groaning, Silence pushed the girl off of him, swearing as he did so. He climbed slowly to his feet and checked her for signs of life. She didn’t seem to be moving, but that didn’t mean she was dead. If she was alive then she would feel things, just like he felt the pain of landing on his back with her on top of him. Faintly through his fingers pressed against her neck he felt a pulse and he signed in relief.

With his whole body hurting, and the need to get out as fast as he could, he picked her up again and started forwards as fast as he dared go.

He remembered the way he had come, but he took longer because she was starting to feel heavy. His mind swam and he could barely keep focus as his head and body throbbed with pain. He wanted to just drop her and curl into a ball and wait for the firemen. But they might not find them in time.

Some birthday this is he thought as he pressed on and pushed all thoughts of stopping for a rest out of his head. They were bad thoughts to have; he could rest when they were out of the smoke and in fresh air. That was something to look forward to at least.

The smoke started to clear a little and he could now hear the cries of people talking. Through the thinning smoke he saw sunlight ahead and pressed on towards it. It seemed he hadn’t been following the same path as he had come by; there was no building on the other side of the gap he could see. He guessed that he must be at a wall, or where a wall had been. He could see as he neared where brick had been torn from it.

The sunlight was coming through the giant hole. He took another step forward and the floor gave way and they fell.

He landed on his feet and felt one of his ankles twist funny as he fell over with no control of how he would land. He still held the girl in his arms and tried to protect her head as he fell over onto his side. The sunlight was brighter now, but it was hazy, his eyes still stinging from the smoke. He was still able to see people running towards him though.

Well, that was dumb was his last thought before finally closing his eyes and falling unconscious.

He became conscious for a short time as he was being carried into an awaiting ambulance. He could barely see and he had some sort of mask on his face feeding air into his lungs. Some people climbed into the van with him and then he felt it start up and drive away.

‘You’re going to be all right, son,’ the friendly voice of a paramedic spoke in his ear.

Silence knew what the man was going to say next, and he dreaded hearing it. He didn’t want to hear it but he couldn’t tell the man to stop talking. He didn’t have long to wait for the man to say it.

‘You did a very brave thing back there, risking your life for another student. You must have been great friends.’

I was an ass thought Silence. I’ve never met the girl or seen her before in my life; I should have left her to die. They weren’t good thoughts for him to think, but he thought them anyway. He thought they were true thoughts. He wouldn’t tell anybody he thought that, but that didn’t change the fact that he did think them, and he felt ashamed. If he should have left her to die, why did he go in there to save her? He didn’t know her, didn’t know her at all. So why did he save her? He guessed he just couldn’t stand by while there was someone inside who was possibly dying.

That was something Father Demetre had once told him. If you can help somebody, help them. You may get hurt in the process, or die, but at least you’d have helped someone, and that got you rewards in heaven. Silence didn’t actual agree with that last part. But if you could help somebody, help them. He didn’t even know her and he’d almost died in the process, but he hadn’t, had he? But did she?

He hadn’t thought about that, he’d been too busy thinking about himself. How was the girl? Did she survive? He tried to move his hand to get to his pocket for his notepad, to ask, but his arms seemed to be chained to his side, to the bed. He wanted to write something, he needed to ask, but he couldn’t!

He started thrashing around, trying to get his arms loose. The paramedic in the van with him tried to calm him by saying something but Silence didn’t hear. He wanted to get free, the mask was annoying him, and his ankle hurt like hell. Finally the man stabbed Silence in the arm with something and he immediately started to feel tired. Everything slowly became fuzzier, and peaceful, his eyes finally closed as he lost consciousness again.

‘Today was some birthday, wasn’t it?’ his uncle remarked as he sat across from his nephew two hours later after Silence’s operation. Silence was sitting in bed with his leg hanging from something. He had only broken his ankle, which for all the falls he had taken that was an amazing thing. He had also sustained burning, but surprisingly, nothing severe. And as he didn’t try to say anything, his uncle continued.

‘I’m proud of you, for what you did, but I’m also sort of not happy. Your aunt definitely isn’t, she isn’t happy at all. She said that it was a foolish thin’ you did. You should have left it ta the firemen when they arrived, and I’m inclined ta agree with her. It was very foolish ta have rushed inta danger like that, especially when you were safely out! You could have died.’

But so could have she, he thought. But did she? He still didn’t know; he hadn’t been able to ask. For all he knew he could have carried a dead body the final steps out of the building.

He twitched his arm, and finding that it was free he moved it over his person to see if he could find his notepad. He was in a gown and so he didn’t have it on him. His uncle realised what he was searching for and leaned over and pressed a pad into Silence’s hand and a pencil in the other.

Silence nodded to him and then hastily scribbled: Is she alive?He handed the pad to his uncle who read it. His uncle nodded.

‘She is alive. And well, thanks to you.’ He handed the pad back to his nephew who took it and sighed. So she was alive. Well that was a relief.

Silence lay still in bed after his uncle had left. He had a broken ankle, though he was sure that the short fall shouldn’t have broken anything, maybe if he hadn’t been carrying that excess weight and had landed differently… But you couldn’t change what was already done.

Alone in the quiet a sudden knock sounded on the door and he panicked. What would he do? How could he answer it? He could make sounds, but he didn’t like the sound of them.

The knocks were only light, like the person wasn’t sure if those in the room would be awake. Silence was the only one in the room, so he presumed the knocker was looking for him. He took a breath and was about to make a noise when the knocking stopped.

Silence sighed as he thought that maybe the knocker had decided that no answer meant that no-one was in. But apparently that was wrong as a short moment later the door was quietly opened and a figure stole into the room.

The person and Silence should both have been asleep. It was 10:30 PM; everyone else was in bed besides probably those nurses and doctors who had to be on shift.

The figure walked over and stood at the end of the bed. ‘Are you awake?’ the person asked. By the voice the speaker was female, and Silence wondered who it might be. He moved and reached out and turned on the light.

They both stood and lay blinking as the light lit up the room. Silence mumbled something about being sorry for that, but it didn’t come out as anything translatable.

‘Oh yes, the nurse said you couldn’t talk. She tried to tell me not to come in here and see you. But seriously, I’m not allowed to see you? All you got was a broken ankle; the rest of you is fine. And this calls for being left alone to rest? It’s kind of silly to me,’ the girl said, moving over to the chair next to the bed and sitting down.

Silence still lay blinking. That light was too bright. He reached up and turned the lamp to face the wall.

Now he could see the girl more clearly. She wore a light pink dressing gown over her hospital gown, and there were bandages on her wrists. Her hair was dark brown and was let loose so that it hung past her shoulders, and pale blue eyes sparkled at him from under the bandage around her forehead.

‘I’m Susan,’ said the girl holding out a hand to his face. ‘You are?’

But before Silence could write a note telling her she dropped her hand and placed it on her lap.

‘Actually I know who you are. It’s not hard to know. We’ve been going to the same school for six years. You’re Silence Mourner.’

Silence nodded, verifying that that was who he was.

Six years, you know who I am; I don’t know you. He wrote.

‘Oh, you don’t?’ she said in surprise when she read it. ‘We’re in a lot of classes together,’ she told him. ‘I’m always in the library whenever you are. It’s not that I stalk you; it’s that you seem to stalk me. But if you say you don’t know me then that probably don’t count as stalking. A bit of a shame, really, but there are plenty more fish in the sea if you know what I mean.'

Silence didn’t. Not really. And he didn’t know what to reply. Thankfully, or maybe not, Susan started talking again. She seemed to like talking.

‘I want to thank you for saving my life. I must say, that will bring about quite the gossip tomorrow at school,’ she laughed, and then stopped. ‘If there is any. Those boys made a right mess up of the building. I heard from friends who came and visited me that one half of the building fell down shortly after we arrived here. Fancy that! I suppose that’s a good thing. No more school. But then they might relocate us somewhere new and that probably won’t be a good thing. Well I don’t know about you, but I’d think it a bad thing. I have trouble fitting in. It took a whole day before someone came and talked to me!’

Oh, that’s a shame! Thought Silence. He knew what sarcasm was, but he didn’t want to say that in case she didn’t and continued talking.

‘You don’t talk much do you? Of no fault of yours probably,’ she continued anyway without waiting for a reply. Then she stood up.

‘Well thanks again, for saving me,’ she said. ‘I was told that you saved me even though you don’t actually know me. No-one’s ever done that before,’ she stopped suddenly, her voice cracking, and then before Silence could do anything she ran out of the room in tears.

Silence lay in shock in his room. He was unexpectedly worried about her. He found her kind of annoying, but that might not have been her. He was tired after all, today hadn’t been the best day, and now she was somewhere in the hospital crying her eyes out and he felt terrible, like it was his entire fault. He didn’t think it was, but his thoughts and how he felt didn’t always agree and go together. In his mind feelings were silly. The mind should take power of the body, not the feelings. And all that other stuff about letting your heart rule was stupid. Your heart did in a way rule. It pumped the blood so you could survive. But it was just an organ; everything you do comes from the brain, the thoughts to do things.

Silence arrived home the next day. He hadn’t seen Susan since the night before and he was still feeling worried about her. He figured she would be fine, she had almost died today and probably would have if it wasn’t for him so she was probably still in shock at the thought of it.

His uncle opened the door of their house for him and he stepped inside. It was good to be home, it had a different feel to it from the hospital.

Leaving his uncle in the living room he made his way to his room and closed the door behind him, wanting some time alone to think about things.

About an hour or so later there came a knock on his door.

‘There is some lunch on the table if you’re interested, Silence. Or if you don’t feel like comin’ down I can bring some up?’ His uncle’s voice came through the door.

I’m not hungry, thanks. He wrote. I think I’ll just stay up here and go to bed. He ripped the page out from his note book and opening the door handed it to his uncle.

‘Well if you feel hungry later you’re welcome ta come down and help yourself ta whatever you need.’

Silence nodded his head in thanks and closed his door.

Hobbling over to his desk he seated himself and leafed through the papers telling him that he was now officially Silence Mourner. For as long as he could remember ‘Silence Mourner’ was the name he wanted to be called. It was what the kids back at the orphanage had called him. He knew why they called him that. But the how and the way he had become that had faded. The key was in the name, but the chest that it locked was buried in his mind. Buried under everything he’d learnt.

He got to his feet and restlessly started to pace his room. Finally it became too tiring to hop/walk so he lay down on his bed and stared at the ceiling. Again after a while he got bored of lying around that he eventually rose to his feet and left his room.

He walked across the floor to the top of the stairs; below he could hear his aunt and uncle talking.

‘He’s been nothing but trouble since he arrived here!’ he heard his aunt say.

‘What do you mean he’s been nothin’ but trouble since he arrived here? He’s helpful, and hardworkin’, doesn’t ask stupid questions, polite. He’s smarter than I was at his age and he’s never gotten less than an A on any of his subjects at school,’ responded his uncle.

‘What about today then! He rushed into danger without a thought! It wasn’t his job to do that; he should have left it to the firemen!’

‘Silence saw that the girl would not have survived if he hadn’t gone in. The firemen took way longer to arrive than they should have.’

‘Well she almost died anyway, and so did he! After all we’ve done for him! Taking him in and giving him a place to stay, food to eat and an education and he repays it by being reckless and almost killing himself!’

‘I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose out of spite for us. He saw what needed ta be done and done quickly, so he did it. The girl wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for him. She almost didn’t make it out of there alive even with his help,’ his uncle replied calmly.

‘Well what about when he sneaks around the place and never says a word; you can never hear him while he’s here!’

‘That’s because he can’t talk, Geraldine, you know that. And you never hear him because he doesn’t want ta disturb us while he’s here! He doesn’t want ta be trouble and you always say he is! Have you ever looked passed what you want ta see and seen what is really there? I don’t believe you have.’

Silence pulled himself to his feet from where he sat at the top of the stairs and made his way back to his room. He didn’t want to hear what his aunt and uncle said any further. Even as he shut the door he could still hear them talking.

He walked back to his bed and sighed. It wasn’t his fault he couldn’t talk. But what did his aunt want? Whatever she asked he did. So did she want him to actually refuse to do things, so she could actually blame him for something he hadn’t done right or done at all? His uncle said she just complained about him because he never did anything wrong and she didn’t like that.

He changed, did his jobs and turned off the light, wishing that tomorrow would be a better day.

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