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The funerals over. It's okay. It's okay. It's all okay, but I'm not. My younger sister and aunt's okay, my aunt's boyfriend's okay, and my best friend's okay, but I'm not and neither is he. You can tell by his eyes, his brutally amazing hazel and blue eyes. Left haze eye like gold holds his secrets, while his right blue eye like diamonds holds his sadness. Sharp jawline, wavy long, past shoulder blades black hair, a height of 6"7, and an lean athletic figure, working as a busy boy in two crappy, Mexican restaurants.

"What's a pretty boy like you doing working in a place like this?" Older women would always ask him that. He never answered, I never heard his voice.

A criminal record of drug possession and thievery, living in a studio apartment in the heart of the city, with only a pack of cigerares to keep him company.

"What's a criminal like you doing living in a place like this?" His neighbors would always ask him. He never answered of course and still, I never heard his voice.

A voice my mother said hold the weight of the world and power of a god. A voice my older sister said that gave away the meaning of his eyes, mostly the blue one, sadness. A sadness that can be explained. My father explained as loneliness. My younger sister explained as fearful. My aunt explained his hazel one as powerful and mysterious, hiding all his secrets and some not even his own. They heard his voice, still I haven't.

I never really heard anyone’s voice if I were to be honest, I haven't heard anything since I was born. My family used sign language or slowly mouth words, he never did any of that. It make since why he doesn't. He doesn't like me or maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. I always did that. I did it mostly when my mother, Sarah, was late picking me up from school. I would think she forgot about me mostly or she got into a car accident or worse she was dead. I never thought two of my conclusions would end up right or that my father, Christian, and older sister, Mary-Jane would be with her in that.

Everyone's at my Aunt Sasha's house after the funeral. She's talking to my mother’s best friend, Lucy with a cigarette in her mouth. I hate that woman. She once tried to steal my father from my mother. When I was younger, I couldn't speak often, I was pretty much just learning to speak, well my father was drunk at home and she came, looking for my mother and found my father instead, she came on to him, and I didn't know how to tell my mother what she did and she knew that, then she was pregnant three weeks later. She ended up killing the baby by "accident" since my father wouldn't leave my mother. It took three months, but my mother forgave her and they were friends, but that didn't mean she still didn't want my father. She cried the hardest at the funeral, everyone thinks for my mother. I know the real reason why.

My younger sister, Mary-Ann, talks with our older sister's best friend, Candy while she smoked. I don't like her either, she sole my sister’s boyfriend by drugging and getting pregnant. He ended up dying being hit by a truck after work one day and my sister help raised her baby, one year old now Jacksons Jr., thinking he cheated on her at a party. The old 'I was drunk and he was drunk and he came on to me' lie. My sister was gullible, hence the reason why she wasn't a virgin.

I may not be able to hear but I still have ways of finding out what happens around me. My main way was my best friend, Rosy. She was my ears. She texted me the lasted gossip and wrote down what happened in my house. I loved Rosy but she moved. She's here for the funeral but after, has to go back to California. I wish she stay. Now I have to live with my Aunt and go to a whole new high school, his high school and make new friends. I'm not okay. I am not okay and neither is he with this.

I believe he favors my sister more than me. I know he does, he doesn't talk to me. My mother said he was scared to try at first but months later, he still didn't. Not after his father died, not after my mother took him out of the system, not after he stared living on his own, differently not after the funeral. He's not going to talk to me in school or at work or when he visits my aunt. He'll be mute to me as I am deaf to him.

It's raining, everyone has left. My aunt, her boyfriend, and my sister are cleaning up. He's helping while smoking his fifth cigerate. I sit by the widow and watch the rain. I know I'm not crying alone. My aunt taps me,

"Mary- Lu" she says, "go with him."

I see him walk out the door and to his car, a Bentley, once his fathers. Once we're both in and safe, he lights another cigerate and pulls off. We pull up to a Wal-Mart, I tie up my black combat boots and fix my black off shoulder lace dress and follow him. To anyone who says black is sad, it's not. It's poetic and I'm pulling it off as outfit. He wears a black leather jacket, black jeans, black muscle shirt, and black combat boots. Black is definitely poetic. He pulls it off to, as if black was him and he was black. He's mixed caramel. Hispanic and African American. He's still black I guess.

We go in and he grabs spray paints, a large white t-shirt, Halloween masks, and black book bag. Once we reach check out, he grabs at least seven jumbo candy bags, maybe more. He throws a bag at me; it’s filled with my favorite chocolates, Kit Kats, Three Musketeers, and Hersey. He buys his stuff and pays for my candy. We head back to the car and pull off. We reach an old apartment building, his and his fathers. We walk up to the tenth floor before he knocks on the door eight times; take a push in between, like a code.

A man no taller than an inch of him opens the door for us and lets us in asking who I am. He just looks at the man as he puts down the bags, grabs a beer, lights a cigarette, and sits on the couch. He pats the seat next to him and I sit. It's awkward. Minutes later, three boys, one African American, One Asian, and one white with two girls, a Hispanic and Asian girl walk in the apartment.

He greets them like he has seen them in years, maybe he hasn't and there I go jumping to conclusions.

The Asian girl asks who I am. He gives her a look. No words still come out his month, maybe because I'm around. She says her name his Mi-Ling and her brother is Ling-Yun. I mouth my name. The white and black boy, Jack and Jazz, ask why I can't speak. The Hispanic girl, Maria, tells me to pay them no mind. I look at them, the give me compliments. Saying I have beautiful, big brown eyes and nice short reddish brown hair. They say it fit's my brown skin. My hairs natural. I got from my father. He's half Irish, half African American. They ask him if I'm hanging with them tonight, he nobs. I look at him, I try to speak,

"Where and what are we doing?"

My voice is soft, it's low, and it’s cute. That's what they say. I wouldn't know. He smiles at me, a real smile. They say wait and see. I get back into his car, he lights a cigerate, and we pull off. We pull up to an old house, a drug house they say. They came in a jeep. It's parked behind his car. I like it. It's shiny black. Black is now my favorite color, than gray.

People are everywhere. Eighty-seven percent here in this house are on drugs, the rest is either drunk or don't want to be here. I like it here. Reality is for people who can't handle drugs after all. I don't pity the people who don't want to be here. I hate realty, it killed my family. Every last one of them. The music is low but heavy and hard core. I can feel it. Smoke fills the air, alcohol plugs the nose, and I taste sweat running off my body. Look around me, no one I came with is to be found. I head to the back of the house. There he's spray painting on the house walls with a cigerate in his mouth. He throws me the white shirt and black and gray spray paint cans. I put the shirt on and start to paint. I just let my hands and soul do the work. Soon I feel him behind me, guiding me, like he knows. Like he knows what I'm trying to paint. What I'm trying to say. He paints, guiding me mostly, for what seems like hours. He sheds off his jacket and I lose my shoes. Kids come knocking on the door, his friends wear mask and hand out candy while making sure they don't see what's inside. We eat a few chocolates and keep painting. I feel his warmth but I want to hear his voice.

This makes me remember last summer and I don't know why. It was a warm summer day. He wears no shirt, just black ripped jeans. Ridding his decked out board like he said he would. I watched him; I wanted to know why he took the weight. I wanted him to teach me how to skate. I remember how he told my mother how his mother was never around and his father always came home late. His EX never had a backup plan and he was afraid but she lost the baby that summer anyway. All I wanted was for him to teach me how to skate.

 He forgotten to take his medicine a lot that summer, he smoked twelve packs of cigarettes, and my mother got injured at work again. He never taught me how he dealed with the pain. He never taught me how to skate that summer. I never asked.

We dunked whatever we're given. We eat whatever is around. We paint with our souls. We dance with our hearts. We speak with our......minds. I understand now. He lights up another cigarette.


We're done painting. About seven fallen angels standing on rocks while the wings are black and burning, saourned by ashes cover the back wall of the house. I understand now. He walks off. He cleans up. He packs up. He finds his jacket and my shoes. He throws them at me. He grabs his keys. He lights a cigarette. He walks through the house. He gets into his car. He starts it and pulls off. He pulls in to Burger King. He pulls off the white shirt and puts on my shoes for me. He leads me to a booth. He orders me my favorite. We eat in silence.

Once done, we head to the beach, I know because my mother took the same way he just did. He parks the car and we sit on the sand. He lights another cigarette. Speak to me. Tell me what you’re thinking, open up your mind, put down the gun you might use to shoot me, please just don't lie. Speak to me. Speak to me. Speak to me. "Speak to me." He looks at me, no words.

I breathe and talk again, "Before I met you, I was planning on leaving Virginia after high school and NEVER come back. Change my number, Finish College and leave the country, but then I met you and you.... You changed everything for me, so please speak to me."

He looked at me still.

"I know I can't hear, I can't even hear myself but I know what I'm saying ... I guess. I'm sorry." I look at the sand and draw in it, sad.

He stares at me still. We go back to the car. He pull up to my aunt’s house, he says nothing, just lights a cigarette. His pack is finished. It's around twelve. Everyone's asleep, no one cares I'm out late. My mother would, but Sasha isn't my mother, she's my aunt. I turn to him, he's waiting. "Keep driving." And he does. He pulls up to his apartment building. He leads me inside. He leads me to his room. His eyes say it all.

He can't speak but he has his actions. It's seven in the morning, he's cooking. He's making plates and pouring juice. We eat in silence. He cleans up and takes me to the guest room, my room now. He leaves me there. I shower and change. Black clothing today, how I'm going to keep it. He takes me to school. We sit in home room with his....with our friends. He gives me a gift before school starts. I put it in. I can hear. I can hear with this hearing aid. My hearing aid.

"The say the most powerful drugs for humans are other humans and I total agree, what about you Mary-Lu?" He asks me giving me a smirk upon his bright pink lips taking out a new pack of cigarettes.

"I agree. You do know that cigarettes can kill you faster than expected right?" I can hear my voice; it's like what they said. His voice on the other hand, is nothing what my mother or sister said it was. He’s nicotine. And Dixon is worst then that, he truly is.

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