Above the Silence

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Chapter Twenty-Three

“Where to, Noah?” Allison asked him as he came down the steps, pulling on his jacket.

“Lucio’s, mom. I’m craving some cupcakes and doughnuts. I’ll get some for you.” He kissed his mother on her cheek as well as his sister who was in her arms. “See ya!”

Noah ran down the steps and hopped on his bicycle. He pedaled straight for Lucio’s. It was a family owned coffeehouse in town and they made the best cupcakes. He intended to get enough for dessert that night. Classes resumed the next day and he could not wait. As he got into the alley besides the brick building to lock his bike, he heard a sound, it was like a scream. Noah followed it and turned a bend. He sighed as he saw what was going on. It was his friend Lena. Her family owned Lucio’s and she was at the mercy of two morons.

“You do know that assault is a crime, right?” Noah asked them as he approached. The two guys stopped and turned around. They immediately lunged for him and Noah sidestepped them at the last minute and one fell against the dumpster, falling to the ground. The other turned and landed a punch on Noah’s cheek and another to his gut. Noah pushed him off and hit him in the face.

Before one of the guys could turn around, Noah took Lena’s hand and they ran into the building, locking the door behind them.

“Thanks a lot for that, Noah,” Lena breathed hard. “They could have killed me.”

“That’s okay, Lena. I’m glad I got there when I did.”

“You’re bleeding, Noah,” Lena exclaimed.

“It’s okay. Come on, let’s get some smoothies. I am parched.”

Lena chuckled and followed him.

Noah could not evade explaining what had happened to his mother because of the bruises. She had looked at him sternly, cleaned his wounds and given him a very tight hug whispering, “I am proud of you.”

It had been two weeks since classes resumed and notwithstanding the insults, Noah continued with his stand.

Noah sat in the classroom in the midst of his friends during study hour. They were all busy talking around him but he ignored them. Their conversation interested him in no way.

“Hey, Noah, let’s go.” His friend tapped his shoulder. He looked up and realized that the bell had just been rung. It was lunchtime. He picked up his bag and headed out of the building. As they stepped out into the quad where they usually and lunch, a hand tugged at his sleeve. He looked and saw that it was Luke. He smiled at the guy.

Before Noah could say anything, his friend, Dan tugged at his sleeve.

“Come on, Noah, leave the loser behind. Let’s get to the table.”

“Would you stop calling him that already, Dan? What makes you better than him that means that you can treat him however you please?” Noah asked his friend.

“Uh… he’s a fag. Of course I am better than him, we are better than him,” Dan replied.

“He is still every bit as human as you and I so please stop the cruelty. It is wrong and you know it. His sexuality should not cut him off from everyone else. Don’t you have a heart and a conscience?”

“You are a moron, Noah. I cannot believe you are taking that faggot’s side! I cannot believe that you are still friends with him,” Cove, his friend said.

Noah sighed and rubbed his temple in frustration. “Go on, have your lunch with your buddy. He goes nowhere near our table!”

“Alright, if you say so. Come on, Luke,” Noah walked to a nearby table and sat down.

“I am so sorry about all that, Noah. It’s my fault that your friends are mad at you,” Luke apologized.

“That’s nonsense, Luke. They used to be your friends till you came out. If they cannot stand by their friend in such times, then they are not friends. Don’t worry about it.” Noah dug into his lunch.


“Can I join you guys?” the two guys looked up and saw Lena.

“Sure, join us,” Noah nodded.

As she sat, they could hear snickering from other tables but Noah ignored them. The three of them started up a conversation until someone approached them.

“You are right, Noah. Luke and Lena are our friends and we should not treat them any different,” Felix, another friend of Luke said. He sat at their table too, ignoring the insults from Cove and Dan. He had gone to sit there at first but he could not tolerate their nonsense.

Noah smiled as he ate. In due time, they would touch everybody. He would never back down.

They had an impromptu test immediately after lunch. During the test, Noah finished early and he observed all that was going on. He noticed that Lena and Luke were being pelted by spitballs aimed at them from two corners of the classroom. He did not need to look to know who the troublemakers were. It had to be the mischievous trio of friends, Brad, Chad and Troy. They were bullies and never enjoyed each other’s company, else, why would they be disturbing others and getting involved in the lifestyle choices of others?

Noah tried his best to control his anger and due to it, his pencil broke as he formed fists. He quickly stood up and submitted his completed test. He knew full well that if he stayed in the class one minute more, he may flare up.

At the end of the day, Noah was heading to his bicycle when he heard a shout. He rolled his eyes and headed in the direction, his fists clenched. His high school was like a breeding ground for bullies and he was tired of all the nonsense. He stepped into the schoolyard and saw Lena and Luke on the floor. The trio, Brad, Chad and Troy were hovering over them and slapping their cheeks. One other person was standing to the said laughing maniacally and videoing the whole show.

Just then, Chad pulled off Lena’s glasses and trampled on it. Lena released a shriek and he slapped her across the cheek. Noah could not take it anymore and he stormed to the front of his friends. He protected them from the trio.

“What the heck is wrong with you? The both of them are human like you, aren’t they? The fact that you do not agree with their lives or understand them does not give you the audacity to trample on them! How dare you treat them like you are the owner of life itself?! How dare you?” Noah shouted at the guys.

“Step away, if you don’t want to get hurt, Noah,” Troy said in a threatening tone.

“I think that you have had enough fun for today. You can go ahead to your homes now,” Noah replied.

“Noah, leave the way. You have no business with these anomalies of nature. All we are doing is trying to change them to what they should be,” Brad glared at him.

“No. You want to conform them to what you think that they should be, and that is not right. What would you do if this was your brother or sister or someone you care about?”

“No one associated with me would be a disgrace like those maggots behind you. Step away.”

“No.” Noah stood his ground. The first punch came and then, the next but Noah refused to move. He turned his back on them and shielded Lena and Luke. He took all the blows. A short while later, he stopped feeling anything.

“He’s awake. He is,” an excited voice squealed. Noah opened his eyes and saw the faces of his parents and siblings.

He was about to ask what happened but then he remembered. He winced from the pain that was shooting through his leg.

“How are Lena and Luke?” he asked.

“They are both fine, baby. Aaron, go and call them.” Allison sat beside her son with teary eyes.

Lena and Luke rushed in and immediately they started apologizing and thanking him.

“It’s okay, I just did what was right. No one deserves to be bullied or ridiculed because of what they are. Everyone deserves equal rights.”

Norton nodded and patted his son on the shoulder, “You are right about that. So very right. No one should be bullied, no one. I have already filed cases against those three hoodlums. They are never going to bother anyone again. And you are going to be fine.”

Noah nodded. “Thanks mom, dad.”

“We love you and will always be proud of you,” Aaron said and they all nodded.

Lena kissed Noah on his cheek as Luke took hold of his hand in gratitude, and in some ways, he felt better. He was with his family and friends, he was loved and he was going to do all he could to rise above the silence to ensure that no one felt hated anymore.

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