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Grade
7

Light sat in the same spot of his bed for what had felt like hours. The t.v continued to glow a dim grey light in a portion of his dark room. Buzzing with the t.v static you usually see once it doesn’t have signal. The quiet droning sound was bombarded by the shouting of his mother. He was taken out of his gaze the second time she yelled. Stumbling, he got off of his unmade bed to reach the kitchen where his mom stood frowning.

“Your grades seem to lower every quarter,” she stated without emotion.  There was really no point telling him as wouldn’t be able to defend himself with words. “F in english, C in maths.. I’m not surprised though..”

Well, she shouldn’t be, his grades since primary school remained C and under. That’s how it was. Light stood there as his mother grew bored of the one-sided conversation, but that sight had soon disappeared as he was let free of the repetitive lecture that caused a small headache. He gathered his large white duvet into a bundle and watched his show that never seemed to have an ending. The the small black and white dots vibrated as always until he fell asleep.

 

He woke up to an uncomfortable state, a stream of blinding pale sunlight and him being on the verge of hitting his head on the floor. With his confusion he ended up flailing off his bed onto the hardwood with a thud. Just another thing to make his day even worse.

He hated school. Not the homework or teachers, but just the fact that it was absolutely impossible to make friends when he couldn't even face someone without the word “freak” being shouted his direction. He wasn’t particularly unattractive or odd socially, but the non existent words that left his mouth sure gave something for the kids around him to tease. He couldn’t help that he was mute: it was a curse he was given.

Once he arrived to 1st hour he was greeted by an unexpected person that seemed to be sitting in the seat right next to his. He caught himself staring which wouldn’t make much of an impression. Light sat down next to the new boy that was reading a large chapter book. The boy seemed very interested in the book, so much that he didn’t even realize Light had sat down. The light tapping of heels had filled the students ears and they all quieted down knowing if they didn’t they would all be lectured of the rules for the hundredth time.

“Good morning students, if you hadn’t already noticed, we have a new student!”

For the first time the boy raised his head knowing the new kid was him.

           “Aren’t you going to come up here and introduce yourself?” He wasn’t planning on it, but she had cleared her throat for the enough times making him feel like he had no choice. Stumbling off a chair and tripping slightly over the leg of it, he finally found himself front and center of a whole new group of people.  

          “I’m Howell.” he said while soon being interrupted by the chatty teacher.

“Tell us about yourself, Howell.”

“I don’t do anything.” he stated.

“No sports? Any talents or interests?”

“I, um, no? I don’t think so I-”

“No surprise, go ahead and sit down, you’ll be sitting by Light.”

Howell shuffled to his seat across the room greeted by a large chapter book that he read already. It felt like only seconds went by until the hour was over and he was stood with an overly detailed schedule that made absolutely no sense. Light had noticed, but being as non talkative as him would make it difficult to help. It was too late to deny though as he was already walking unsteadily towards him.

          “Hi, um, could you explain this to me at all?”

Light stood there in panic. He grabbed his notebook without context and wrote down “I lost my voice, but I could show you to some of your classes.” He smiled and nodded.

They have the same classes, that made it pretty easy to show the new boy around.

 

                                                             *Howell’s POV*

My only friend continued to be the silent boy that people seemed to make fun of on a daily basis. The girls were pretty interested in talking to me until Light showed himself in my perimeter. They scattered away in an instant. I didn’t really mind though, I wasn’t someone that wanted attention nonstop. The classes I’ve gone through so far were easy to me and somewhat enjoyable as Light was in all of them. I didn’t know someone could lose their voice for a whole five hours, but i wasn’t going to ask him about it.

 

    Next was science, my best subject. It was no surprise that i was seated next to Light that hour, just like the rest. He was drawing. I don’t know what it was, but he seemed to be very concentrated. He welcomed me by writing “Hi” in the corner of his lined notebook paper. I smiled and slid it in front of me to write “Hello :)”. Smiling at the word, he started a new sentence until the teacher had walked into the classroom whilst yelling at the kids that hadn’t stopped talking. Light crumbled their notes to each other and looked straight ahead. Mr. Pentland was his name. He had made it clear he was not very happy. Light grabbed another piece of paper and wrote “With his mood I doubt he’ll want to deal with anyone this hour.” I read it until the teacher had raised his voice.

    “There will be no work given out today. Please remain quiet, I have a terrible headache.”

With that, the only noise was the slight whispering from random places. I tried to pull out my book from my binder until someone had taped my shoulder. I looked over at a girl who seemed to be really concerned.

    “Had it touched you??” she said as her finger pointed to Light. I remained confused not knowing what the problem was. Why were people so mean to him?

    “Why does it matter? It’s not like he’s toxic or anything.”

    “Sure he is. He can’t speak for crying out loud, and that hairstyle, it’s-” she stopped mid sentence to look straight at me.

    “I feel really bad for you. He seems to be around you all the time.” That’s what made me angry. If I didn’t like him I would ask him to leave me alone, and what is she on about? He just lost his voice, he couldn’t help it.

    “I like being around him.” I said simply.

    “But he’s mute and flings his arms around like he’s trying to communicate. How could you enjoy being around a boy like him?”

Oh. He was mute, there was nothing wrong with that though. Just another special feature. They were just making fun of him because he was different.

   

           The day went on and I went home soon enough. While being alone I was able to realize that Light really did need a friend and I was able to provide that. All these ignorant people at school didn’t seem to understand that everyone's different. Maybe I could buy a book on sign language tomorrow so I’d be able to talk to him more easily.  It was hard to sleep that night with my mind wandering elsewhere.

 

          A new day. I woke up at 6:45am like always, but this time I was incredibly tired. The sun shined way too bright through my smudged window due to the fact I only moved here a week ago, I had no curtains still. After being shouted at for the 5th time for not getting up straight away I removed myself from my sheetless bed and traveled to the kitchen. Made cereal was placed on the counter in front of a chair for me. I ate quickly, brushed my teeth, and got dressed.

 

         Today I was going to become best friends with Light.

 

          Bus 09 arrived at the corner of my street and Grandé Avenue. It wasn’t the worst, but it truly was not the best. Swear words, fighting, and irrelevant rap music blasting from multiple speakers. I don’t mind it, it’s a lot more fun than being stuck in the car with my mom that continuously complained about her coworkers and how ungrateful they could be.

 

         After at least four more stops we had arrived to the school. Still, I needed to get the book.

 

Rushing, I finally made it to a store. Looking all around I was unable to find the  book i was looking for. I walked up to the clerk who seemed to hate her job. Getting her attention, she was able to escort me to a sign language book at the back of the store with the help of her manager.

 

        I made it to school with my surprise in hand. Homeroom was first.

        “Hello Light!” I stated as I sat down next to him. He looked up from his drawing. I don’t think he was planning on telling me he was mute because he showed panic in his expression.

       “Hey, it’s alright, I know you can’t speak. I don’t think of you any different than I did yesterday. I actually wanted to be your friend.” I could tell he was shocked that I knew but soon fixed his face with a smile. “I guess we’re friends then.” He wrote in the corner of paper. I smiled and reached for the book I had put on my desk.

       “I got this before school, I want to be able to communicate with you better.” Light grinned bigger than ever. “I can’t wait, I’ll help you as well!” he wrote in his notebook.

       

        

 

From then on out no one really made fun of Light anymore, and he and I were unable to leave each other’s side, and I learned quite a lot of sign language too.

         

         

    

State
Missouri
Zip Code
65084