Mute Girl

"He's blinded by my beauty, and I'm speechless by his love".
Luke's blind.
Maddie's mute.
This is a tale of how two unlikely people find love despite their disabilities, and how they overcome them together.
-Copyright2015-

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1. First Day

"What's your name? Tell the class a bit about yourself." I shift uncomfortably on the spot; the teacher's eyes bore into me, waiting patiently. I swallow hard; the sweat trickles down the back of my collar.

My name? 

A bit about myself?

I turn my eyes to the class. The lights are too dim - half the students sit slumped in their seats, picking at their nails, glancing at the clock above my head, daydreaming out of the window, falling asleep because of the poorly lit lights - the other half are doodling on paper, sneaking looks at their phone screens and watching me with that look in their eye.

That look in their eyes ...

It's always that look.

The look that tells me they're waiting.

Waiting and watching. Waiting for an answer; watching for words; waiting and watching for a sign to show that I understand what they're saying.

My mouth is dry; my head's spinning from the looks.

Most of the looks are side glances, like they can't believe I'm taking forever to reply - the other looks are fixed on me, quizzically, staring me down like I'm some sort of strange animal they've never seen. I avoid these stares - I'm scared they'll start prodding me and trying to stroke me like I'm a tamed beast.

Because that's what I feel like.

A tamed beast.

I'm hiding in a body that has been told what to do and what to say, yet I feel like a beast on the inside. I feel ugly, and different like I don't belong here. My soul is a beast - a wordless, scared, voiceless girl, but nethertheless, a beast.

The looks get brouder, more clearer, as the clock on the wall ticks away. In the corner of my eye, Miss gives me the look as well. 

She tries to hide it, like most teachers and parents do, but she's like the others. The look burns deep in her eye; she's curious to my silence; she's trying to stay patient.

And she fails miserably. 

Her gaze is unsteady - it starts to scowl and makes my brain hurt. 

Scowl.

Ouch.

Scowls means no.

She's not happy - that's what Cal says. He says scowls mean 'no'. He says it means they're upset, or angry. I'm confused. 

Have I made Miss angry with me? Have I made her upsetWhat did I do?

My insides turn all jelly like as her face starts to contort in anger. She picks something up, flicking through it, sucking in a deep breath. My head swims with thoughts - I try not to cry as I hear someone snicker. My eyes dart towards them - to the rest of the class. They all look upset and angry with me as well.

More looks aimed in my direction; they're all upset and curious to why I'm not talking. Miss is getting frustrated as well as upset and angry. She shakes her head, confused.

"Miss Casey? What's your first name please? Tell the rest of the class." I glance over at her. She's scowling, flipping through the paper - no doubt my files - and shaking her head at what she sees. I try to plead with my eyes, like I do with Cal, but she doesn't understand me. I imagine the words in my head, trying to push them towards her.

Read the files. I beg wordlessly. Find out my name from there. 

"Miss Casey? Can I have a word with you outside?" 

My name's not Miss Casey. It's Maddie. Say Maddie. I don't like Casey. Please don't call me Casey!

I follow her out of the room to avoid more looks. She shuts the door, too loudly, and turns to look at me. The slam of the door is loud; I'm scared at the disappointment in her eyes. 

I get that a lot.

Disappointment.

She's upset and disappointed.

Cal says that's not a good sign; it means I'm in trouble.

She shakes her head.

"Miss Casey, I know you're nervous to start a new school, but you're going to have to answer my questions please. All the other teachers, and students, are going to want you to talk to them as well!" I pale slightly; she looks shocked. "Dear god child, are you ok? Do you need a nurse?" I turn my head away, trying to hold back the tears, and reach out for the wall to lead me back into the classroom. Miss follows me with her eyes; I duck my head lower, fumbling to open the door, as she steps forwards again. "Miss Casey? Do you understand me? Am I making myself clear?" I nod my head, just because she's scaring me. Her voice is scary and loud. Really loud. Miss Green, my old tutor, never shouted, or raised her voice, at me. Cal doesn't shout at me either - Mum and Dad might if I'm being naughty, but never has a teacher shouted at me. Despite Cal telling me they yell all the time, I still don't want them to - It scares me when they do. 

I nod my head quicker and slip back into the room again to get away from her look
Cal says it's not good when a teacher calls you out of a room, but I get it a lot. I'm not good. I get called out and told off for not talking.

I still don't talk.

I just get more looks and scowls.

Cal also says it's normal for them to stare. He tells me to ignore them and that they're just curious about me. He says that If I get upset, it will upset him and the others.

And I don't want to upset the other children, so I pretend to not notice them.

"Take a seat Miss Casey." I don't look at Miss - I don't like the name Casey. I don't like how she calls me Miss either. I want my first name to be used. When teachers use your last name, it means they're upset and angry. It's just as bad as scowling, and I don't want Miss to be upset, or to scowl, or to use my last name. I just met her. I want her to be proud and happy with me!
I take a seat slowly, at the front of the class, and clutch my bag to my chest, hugging it tightly. Miss also takes a seat at the front of the class. She looks small in her big chair; I wonder if I look small in my big chair.  "It's the register. Say 'yes Miss' if you're here. John Brown?"

"Here Miss ..." John Brown is a small boy to my right. He squirms in his seat at the mention of his name, and looks everywhere but at Miss. There's a girl beside him who is laughing at him. She makes a noise - a snort - and another girl joins in. Miss glares. I get upset. 

They shouldn't laugh at him. Cal says laughing at people makes them feel bad. I should tell them off. The twisty, angry feeling I get in my pit of my stomach starts to appear; I know I shouldn't glare, it's just as bad as scowling, but Cal says I'm allowed to glare if it's to tell someone off for being mean.

So I do.

I glare.

I want to tell the girls off, like Mum and Dad do when I'm being naughty, but my lips freeze in position; I forget that I can't - no, don't want to. I can speak, Cal says he believes in me, I just choose not to - speak.

Another boy is called in the register before me - and then my name is called. Miss looks at me with that look again. I squirm in my seat as well.

The other classmates look at me with the look as well, including John Brown. I raise my hand like I use to in my old high school - she shakes her head.

"Miss Casey I need a reply please." The room gets hot  - I don't like it. She makes me upset. I don't like her. She's being mean. I don't want to talk out loud; Cal says I don't have to talk to anybody if I don't want to. 

And I don't want to

I don't say anything and Miss gets mad. 

"Miss Casey! Can you please say something!" The looks from the other students are strange. They don't like me. I can sense it. They don't like me because I don't talk. I feel upset and unhappy in this new school, and shake my head, clinging tighter onto my bag. Miss gives me a nasty glare. I want to tell her off as well - I don't. 

"I'll let you off this once, Miss Casey, but tomorrow, I expect a reply ... please." She sounds exhausted - tired, and moves on in the register; the girl next to me lets out a crystal clear, "Here Miss.", and Miss gives her a smile. I stop holding my breath as Miss doesn't look at me for the rest of class, and I look at my desk, ashamed

I wish I wasn't mute. I don't like not talking. It makes me feel different. I feel like an alien, like in the book I read a few days ago. The little green alien was different to everybody else - he was upset like I was. I felt sorry for him - I wish I could hug him and tell him he isn't different, he's just special, but, unfortunately, Cal wouldn't let me read the rest of the book when I let him read the book - he said it would make me cry, but I think I'm old enough to understand what's going on. I'm nearly sixteen! 

I'm fine

"Are you ok?" It's John Brown. I look at him and at his questioning gaze. His look is the same as everybody elses; I don't like it. His skinny little face is a dark shade of red; the spectacles on the end of his nose are big and round. He grips a book in his hand - the Harry Potter Series. I open my mouth to ask him if he likes the Harry Potter Series, like Cal says I should if I see anybody interested in the same things I am, but I freeze. My voice is not there, like always, and I become scared. John Brown waits, but then he starts to scowl. "Can't you talk? Do you have a voice?" I look down at his book, and back at him. He has lots of freckles; I try to count them, to distract myself, but he gets uncomfortable with my staring. "Why are you looking at me like that?" I turn my head away as someone snorts again. It's the rude girl. 

"Why are you talking to him?" She snaps. I look at her and at her full lips, bright greeny blue eyes and overwhelming bright red hair. She looks strange. Her skirt is too high; I can see her thighs. I self consciously pull at my own skirt, trying to bring it further down my leg. She gives me a funny look as well. Her look is scarier than John Brown's. I don't know how to reply to her, even if I had wanted to. "What's your name? I'm Lola." My eyes fall to her red hair. It's a vibrant colour; it hurts my eyes. I can't look at her for too long; the colour makes my head swim. I turn my attention back to John Brown. He's staring at me even though he told me to stop staring at him. I hold my breath and hope he stops because I don't like it either. It makes me feel weird.

"Are you ok? Can you talk?" I bow my head and she sits forwards, challengingly. Her scary, sharp catlike eyes narrow and she glares. "Prove it. What's your name?" 

Maddie. 

She waits.

And waits.

And waits.

Finally, she shakes her head in disbelief.

"Hello? Am I talking in a different language to you? Can you talk English?" I nod again, and she gets angry with me. "Then say something." I feel hot and fearful. I want Cal, but he's in a different class to me. I want him to get this frightening girl away from me - I want him to tell me everything's going to be ok - I want to go home and hug Pebbles, my dog. 

But the girl won't 'leave me alone', like the other kids used to say to me. 

"Excuse me? Why are you being so rude? My friend is trying to talk to you!" It's another girl. She has has bright blonde hair; it's just as bright as the red head. I turn my head away, wincing. "Can you answer her please? Why are you so rude?" I want to cry; they're yelling at me. Miss doesn't say anything; I look to the clock, desperate to go. The class ends in ten minutes, but I want Cal now. He told me what form room he was in; I grab my bag and get up. The girl with blonde hair gives me a weird look. "Where are you going? Why aren't you talking to us -" I start towards the door, ignoring their rudeness; Miss looks up from the computer, shocked

"Miss Casey? Where are you going?" I look at her, and then at the door, puzzled. She sounds confused. frown. "You aren't allowed to leave the room without permission! Sit back down again!" This makes me sad. I'm not allowed to leave and see Cal? But he said I can see him whenever I like! Why won't she let me go and see him?

I want to tell her this, but everybody's looking at me with the scary look, and I'm getting upset. I return to my chair quietly, and red head and Blonde locks snigger. 

It's not nice to snigger. It hurts people's feelings - it's hurting my feelings.

I don't tell them this, sad that I'm not allowed to see Cal yet, and I wait patiently for Cal to come and get me. 

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