“Taytay my love, it’s time to wake up,” calls my mama. I don’t want to get up, It’s too much of a hassle.
“No now, mama, I no go school,” I say and hear her sigh.
“Baby, you didn’t go to school for the last three days, you need to go today, please get up and I’ll ask Nono to make your favourite breakfast,” she says and I sigh.
“K,” I answer and kick the blanket off me. Turning my body around in the bed, I press my hands on the bed and get up.
Going to my en-suite bathroom, I brush my teeth and get into the shower. Getting out and walking back to my room after finishing my morning routine.
Grabbing my clothes from the cupboard, I pull on my white tee-shirt and pull on my grey skinny jeans and white socks. I slip on my yellow vans and go back to my cupboard. Looking through my sweaters, I grab my yellow sweater and pull it over my head, fixing it around my torso to flatten it out.
Walking to my dresser, I look into the mirror and stare at my dull self. Scratching the mole on my right cheek, I untie my hair and let it hang loose over my shoulders. It’s pretty long and I don’t want to cut it, it hurts when they touch me, so I don’t want them touching my hair – it hurts.
I like my long hair but they think I’m girly. I like pretty things and boys too but they don’t need to know that. I’m already being called dumb, stupid, a retard and other stupid things. I don’t care but it hurts sometimes.
I don’t know why they think I’m stupid. I have top grades and many awards but I’m still called stupid. I’m autistic, not stupid. I can. I want to be normal but I can’t. My parents don’t understand and my siblings to that’s why I don’t talk to them anymore - no one understands me.
Walking to the door, I tap my hand on Finley’s cage and hand him a few pellets. “I go to school now Finley, I be back when school over. No be lonely, I come back,” I say to him and pick up my school bag.
Walking out of my room, I close the door behind me and walk down the passage, down the stairs and into the kitchen. I look at everyone then lower my head and make my way to the table.
I sit down on my chair and look at the plate in front of me.
“Morning son,” my father greets. I smile at my plate, “Good morning papa,” I greet back.
“Taytay~ papa isn’t the only one here, greet me too,” squeals Tarryin, my twin sister. I look up at her and at my brother Travon, who both smile at me, making me blush.
I scratch the mole on my cheek and look back down at the plate. Pressing my thumb and ring finger together I nod. “I greet if you greet, you no greet me Tarryin, you loss,” I say and hear them laugh.
“Urgh!” she complains.
“Well said little brother,” Travon says making me nod.
“Me know,” I say as my Nono puts a plate of chocolate pancakes in front of me and a glass of chocolate milk next to it.
Thanking her, I grab my fork and knife and poke my pancakes before cutting off a piece and putting it into my mouth – this tastes like heaven although I don’t know what heaven tastes like.
“Nono, cake?” I ask her as she puts my lunch in my bag.
“Master Taylum, I put a slice of carrot cake in your lunch box with a plastic fork. What juice would you like today?” she asks making me smile, I love cake, cake bae.
“Cranberry please,” I say and she hums.
“Tarryin, school time,” I say and she complains. We get up and I pull my bag over my shoulders. Walking out I greet them, “Bye, bye papa, bye, bye mama, bye, bye Nono, bye, bye Tray, no girls k,” I say and he burst out into a fit of laughter while I watch Tarryin skip in front of me.
“Tarryin, you no fall today?” I ask and she whines while missing a step out the front door making me frown.
She gets up quickly and glares at me, “You know what Taylum?” she asks me and I shake my head.
“Every time you say that I end up falling, if you weren’t my damn brother I’d set you on fire!” she says and I nod my head.
“You go jail, you go hell after, I go heaven and laugh, you burn,” I say and she starts laughing. Tarryin is my best friend and the only one I really like but I don’t let her touch me too, it burns, I don’t like getting hurt.
We arrive at school and I get out of the car. Tarryin starts skipping again and we walk towards the entrance. She greets everyone and I can hear them gossiping about me already.
We stop at my classroom and I walk in, “Bye, bye Tarryin, you go class now, I stay here.”
“Bye, bye,” she peeps through the door and greets Mrs Anderson and she nods.
I lower my head and put in my ear plugs. The bell rings for class to start and everyone runs in while making a noise. I sit alone at the back by the window so that they don’t bother me but they still do.
“Oh look who’s back and here I thought you fainted again,” says Derek. He likes to pick on me. I ignore him because I don’t want to talk.
I turn my head to face the window. “Why are you quiet today? No come back?” he taunts. I open my mouth to answer but someone answers before me.
“It’s early in the morning, why are you making so much noise?” says a deep voice that sounds close. The class goes quiet and I turn around. Someone sits down in the seat beside me and I quickly move to the end of the bench.
My eyes widen when I go all the way off the bench. I quickly close my eyes waiting for the impact but it doesn’t happen. Instead of falling, my face hits into a wall that makes my head slightly spin.
“What the fuck? Do you know you almost hurt yourself?” says that same deep voice from above me.
My body trembles slightly. My feet that was lifted into the air because of my bent knees, gets put on the floor and my body straightened. The arms that were holding me loosen and I didn’t realise that I was being held.
My eyes shoot open because this isn’t right, no one is allowed to touch me. I should be burning but why am I not?
The first thing I see is a grey shirt. My eyes shift up and I raise my head. I can smell him, he smells nice.
I can see the outlines of his muscles through his shirt. Looking up at his face, my eyes widen in surprise. Those beautiful greenish-blue eyes are like pools of magic water. He looks down at me with worried eyes.
He lets go of me and I step back. Hugging myself, I look down and shake my head. I hear him sigh and say, “What the hell are you all looking at!”
After I hear shuffling, he sits down in the desk beside me. I feel a tug at the bottom of my sweater and then I get forced into my seat by the tug. I turn slightly to face forward and Mrs Anderson starts class.
From the corner of my eyes, I see him take out his books and starts writing. Today’s first period is history so we are mostly listening to her speak. He takes down notes and I turn my head slightly to see what he’s writing. He’s just writing simple points while she’s talking.
His hand writing is elegant and the movement of his wrist is elegant as well. His voice is nicely deep and husky not to mention how nice he smells.
“Mr Rayleigh?” my surname gets called.
“Mn?” I answer knowing that she wants to know if I’m paying attention in class. I look up at her then lower my head to face my empty desk.
“Are you paying attention?” she asks and I roll my eyes even though she can’t see me.
“Mn,” I answer her.
“Mind repeating what I just said?” she says and I nod my head.
“I mind,” I answer and I hear the one beside me laugh. I turn to look at him, mostly his chest because it’s moving up and down as he laughs. He has a nice deep belly laugh that makes me want to smile.
“Mr Kang! What’s so funny?” she yells at him a question.
He shrugs his shoulders and starts tapping his fingers on the table but doesn’t answer her. I can see a smile on his lips. He hums then answers her, “Mrs Anderson, please continue,” he says and she stomps her foot and actually continues.
I watch him pull out a note pad and write something on it. He pushes it to my side and places a pencil on it. Reading it says, ‘Are you paying attention?’
Lifting my hands, I take the pencil and write ‘Yes’ then slide it over without putting the pencil back on the desk and tapping it on my thigh while looking out of the window.
The note pad comes into view again and I look down at it, reading, ‘Alright, your name is Taylum right?’
‘How do you know?’ I write and slide it over. It comes back into view again, ‘I asked about you yesterday’
‘I’m in all your classes, so I’ll be sitting beside you, sorry about touching you, I didn’t want you to fall,’ it reads and my reply is ‘K’ again.
He doesn’t send it back again and continues listening to her.
I’ve read the textbook so it’s no use her talking all of this or well me listening, but I am listening, just not looking at her.
During the last period, in science, the notepad comes into view again, reading, ‘Do you have a cell phone?’
‘Can I have your number?’ I read and frown.
‘Give it to me then I’ll answer you.’
I nod and write it down on the notepad but this time it doesn’t come back and he rips the page with my number on it and places it in his pocket. I frown because he was supposed to tell me why but he never wrote back.
I never got to see his face properly and I don’t want to look at him, just now he thinks I’m a freak too.
Sighing as I wait for Tarryin at her car, she’s still at cheer practice and will be here soon but soon doesn’t want to hurry up. The parking lot slowly empty’s but it’s so boring.
Lifting my head up, I look around and see that there is only one other car left and I haven’t seen it before. It’s a beautiful colour but I don’t think I’ve seen it before. Even him! I don’t know what his name is but he knows mine.
Squeezing my books tightly against my chest, I close my eyes and think of when he touched me. My body shivers as his smell comes into my nose. I can still smell it as if it was before me. His beautiful greenish-blue eyes too, made me drown in them – I want to see them again.
I feel my pants tighten and my eyes shoot open as I cover my crotch. Why all of a sudden?
That same grey shirt is standing in front of me. A finger cups my chin and lifts my face up. My eyes stop when I gaze into his beautiful eyes.
I can finally see his face properly. He has two moles under his left eye. His skin looks so soft but his finger under my chin feels so rough.
“Why are you just waiting here?” he asks me with a worried look in his eyes.
I swallow the lump in my throat, “I – I wait for Tarryin.”
He brushes my long hair out of my face with his other hand, putting it behind my ear while asking, “Who is Tarryin?”
“M-my twin,” I say and he hums. He lets go of my chin making me frown but he puts the other loose strands of hair behind my right ear as he did with my left.
“Oh so you have a twin sister, is she as pretty as you?” he asks and my heart flutters. My brows knit, is Tarryin pretty like me?
He likes Tarryin? Does he know her? No wait, he just asked me is she pretty like me, does that mean he thinks I’m pretty?
Why would he say I’m pretty?
Am I pretty?
I don’t know?
Why is he saying this?
“Taylum calm down,” he says while rubbing my shoulders. I raise my head to look at him and he looks worried.
“Why you ask she pretty?” I ask him and he frowns.
“Well it was an indirect compliment towards you, I don’t really care if she’s pretty,” he says and I don’t know.
An indirect compliment.
So he thinks I’m pretty?
“You think I pretty?” I ask him and his face flushes. He steps back and nods. My head lowers and he lifts it with his finger again.
“Yes I think you’re pretty Taylum,” he answers and I smile. His eyes widen looking down at me and I can see his face flush deeper.
“Then you take me on date?” I ask and I see his face turns in shock!