“Kat wake up.” A muffled voice spoke. I didn’t respond, the music was blasting into my earphones…if I ignored her long enough perhaps she’d jut leave. I kept my breathing as even as I could even though the music made me want to sing the words out loud. I heard a large groan and I pretended… ‘I am a zombie.’ BUMP! My eyes shot open as I was muffled under a couch cushion! My arms flailing around like a goose I began to gag before I was let up.
I aggressively pulled out my earphones to glare at my wicked step-sis. Super emphasis on the wicked – not the cool kind of wicked! She flicked her recently bleached blonde hair out of her face; I got distracted slightly by the few strands of hair that fell onto my bed.
“Have you finished working on my new song?” She asked hands on hips, I rolled my eyes at her and shook my head. She glared at me, “well when’s it going to be done? The singing won’t do itself you know?” I made a cross-eyed face at her expecting the worst. “HEY! Don’t you give me attitude! We have a deal, you give me what I want and I make sure no one kills you at school.” She never failed to remind me. It’s not like she tried really hard, I think the key words she was looking for was ‘they will seriously maim you, but just not do anything that could get them sent to jail’ type thing. “God, why do I have to have to be stuck with a mute stupid sister?!” She growled at me. “Just get it done.” She threw the pillow at me again before strutting out, the pillow hit me in the face and I fell back onto my bed.
“Lorna! Terry’s here.” I closed my eyes, trying to make the tingles go away from even hearing his name. Lorna’s new potential boyfriend was Terrence, aspiring music maker and an overall Mr.Popular. Why is it always a Mr. Popular? I mouthed his name, hearing nothing come out. My heart was pounding so hard from even the thought.
See, I wasn’t purposefully mute. I was mute by choice – the way I saw it was selective people could hear me talk. Okay, scratch that. It wasn’t by choice…I…just felt so shy eventually I couldn’t even talk. I think that most people come to terms with it. It was so comfortable to just have my thoughts in my head, no one was offended, I never put my foot in my mouth…and I have no friends. Great, just a great list of things that my inability to talk has brought me.
I sat up and got off my bed and went to the mirror, my sandy brown hair was a mess and I looked pale as a ghost – who wouldn’t after almost dying from being suffocated. I pressed play on my ipod and walked into the bathroom.
You are the love of my liiiifeeeee, oh oh oh,
Girl you’re my reflection,
All I see is you,
You’re my reflection.
All I see is you,
In everything I do, oh, oh oh.
(Justin Timberlake - Mirrors)
The only time I felt comfortable was when I closed my eyes, the words just flowed into a silence that was my world. The words and my voice just echoed into the darkness.
I wrapped a towel around my body and opened the door, standing outside was Terry, head pressed against Lorna’s door. Must have been another fight? He turned to look at me; I looked down and began to slowly and quietly (as usual) make my way back to my room.
“Hey Kathy!” His voice made me jump a little and I froze. It was so pleasant; I stood for a second trying to detect any trace of malice in his voice. My heart raced, as there wasn’t any. I slowly half turned to look at him and he smiled at me. “Was that you singing in there?” He asked, I raised an eyebrow at him and shook my head before walking off. Nope, wasn’t me. I cracked a smile as I entered my room. It was me but I didn’t want to tell him that…no I couldn’t.
“Oh forget her, she’s mute anyway Ter.” I heard Lorna yell, slamming her door closed as they began to head downstairs.
“Eventually she will talk to me. You said it was selective, she can talk if she wanted to.”
“Yeah but she’s so ew anyway.”
I sat on my bed, heart tracing. Did he want me to talk to him? Could I? If I wanted to?
I put on some clothes and ran to my dresser mirror. Say something. Anything. I started into my own hazel eyes searching for an ounce of confidence. Come on! Say anything!
“..H…H…H..i.” My shaking voice was so quiet, even the look in the mirror confused me. I groaned inside and grabbed my backpack and went downstairs. I put my earphones in and began my daily journey to ‘teenage jail.’
It was just another day that blurred past, people bumping me around or yelling things that I would never hear because I had earphones in. I took the quiet route to the music room, I ran my hand through my hair as I took out my Mac and connected it to the microphone. I didn’t want to take another chance at Lorna strangling me in my sleep again. My heart slowed and I counted the beat.
I loved music; it was the one thing I could get lost in. Lorna aspired to be an overall super popular cheerleader. She would use my songs to gain popularity for herself; she was rated number 1 vocalist in our school. Not that I cared, I never cared for the popularity. I just liked to sing. It really didn’t bother me. My voice trembled and I opened my eyes and relaxed. I pressed the playback and popped along to the music mouthing the words to myself.
“Whatcha doing Kathy?” A vibrating voice so close to my earphone scared the crap out of me! I pulled out my earphone and turned to look at who was looking directly at me. Terry was so close I could smell how nice he smelt.
I was like a statue, I couldn’t move. Say something! I opened my mouth and it just closed again. I looked around before pointing at my screen, as if that would explain the reason I was in the music room.
“Making some music? Let me listen.” Without any permission he just unhooked my earphone jack and pressing play. My voice echoed into the room, I couldn’t have been more embarrassed. What was he doing? Why was he here? It’s not me! I wanted to tell him. “I like it. Who sings it?” I stared at him, was he playing dumb? I stared into his chocolate brown eyes for slightly too long. It…didn’t seem like he was lying.
I turned to my Mac and opened a notepad
‘It’s Lorna. I help her make her music.’ I typed; even typing it felt like a lie. He read the text before turning to look at me again. I was getting annoyed at how close he was and how annoying his staring at me was becoming.
‘Shouldn’t you go be with her? She’s probably waiting.’ I typed. He read it and shrugged his shoulders. He grabbed a chair and sat down at the table with me, I raised an eyebrow at him. It was beginning to make me feel so uncomfortable. His fingers began to inch closer to mine and I moved them to my lap, his fingers began to type on my Mac. ‘I wonder if we have can a conversation where we both communicate the same way.’ I read the words over a few times. It confused me, why would he bother?
‘If you can speak, why don’t you?’ I questioned him. He was such a strange guy… He shrugged his shoulders and continued to stare at me. We sat like that for a little while before I began typing again.
‘What? Cat got your tongue now?’ I typed, sarcasm written all over my face. He chuckled, a devilish smile on his face, he held up his finger as if he was about to counter me.
‘No. Kat’s got my tongue.’ He re-wrote. Without thinking I closed the lid to my laptop and disconnected the plugs, clumsily I picked up my bag and without a look at him I walked out.
“Wait, Kathy, let me walk you home.” He urged coming after me. “I was just being silly.” I rolled my eyes and briskly began to walk. I heard his footsteps race up and catch up with mine. I let out a large sigh and took out my phone and began typing away.
‘Is this a game to you?’ I showed him my phone; his face was unreadable as he took it, his fingers brushing against mine.
‘Yes.’ He turned it back to me, my eyes widened and I snatched it away and shoved it into my backpack before storming off.
That arrogant, ignorant! Ugh I can’t even. I fished through my bag for my earphones; I slipped them in and began to walk home.
“YOU CAN’T IGNORE ME.” I had been walking for a good 15 minutes before turning around to see Terry still following me. What did he want with me? I let out an outward groan at him. I held up my hands to tell him to stop. Would he get the message? I’ve had enough of his crap today. I didn’t want anymore. He was eating at my brain and I was beginning to feel like zombie. “Geez, how loud were you listening to your music, I was talking to you for the entire 15 minutes.” He breathed, it seemed like he was so frustrated. I began typing away.
‘What do you want from me?’ He began walking closer to me, taking my phone and my hand into his one hand, every step he took towards me I took one back towards the wall. “I told you, I want to talk to you…” He breathed at me, maybe he felt this way I would hear his words. This was too hard. I couldn’t take it. I tried to break free from his grasp. “I want to hear your voice.” He whispered. My heart was racing…why? My mouth opened and closed a few times, he was watching the entire time.
“…W…” A large horn sound made me jump and his gaze broke mine and I took it as an opportunity to move away from him. The intensity had sparked tears in my eyes. I couldn’t do it. I hiccupped. Oh no. I hiccupped again and I felt the tap loosen on my tears.
“Kathy…no I didn’t mean it okay?” I hiccupped as I felt his hands on my shaking shoulders. You idiot it wasn’t you. I just didn’t like large sounds that came out of nowhere. I didn’t like to be scared that easily. He began to try to comfort me by embracing me but I shook my head breaking free from him. Maybe this would send him the right message, without a second thought I punched him square in the face.
“Ow.” He muttered holding his lip. “Who punches someone in the lip?” It was the first punch I had ever thrown, I felt so embarrassed to have missed his nose but to hit his lip instead, and it made me giggle. I couldn’t help it. I began to giggle at him, and shyly waving my hands around, as I couldn’t hold it in. “Oh haha, physical abuse, that’s so funny.” He rolled his eyes gingerly touching his reddened lip. I bit my lip and threw an apologetic look his way, I genuinely felt bad about awkwardly punching him now. It was an awkward silence as we both looked at each other, I typed the word sorry on my phone and showed him.
“Yeah, you can make up for it by actually verbally saying so.” He nudged, I sighed and shook my head before turning around to go home. My brain was too fried to make him understand. I turned around to see him walking in the other direction. At least punching him sent him the right message. I couldn’t help but look back to see if he was going to chase after me. By the time I realized I wanted to go back and find him I had reached my home.
I headed upstairs and placed my USB stick on Lorna’s table before going into my own room and closing the door. Brain. So. Fried.