Silenced, Like the Roads

February 21, 2010
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I wake up in the morning and get dressed, trying to ignore all the piled up makeup my mom always gets me, makeup that I never wear. I grab my backpack and the book I just started reading. I leave my bedroom door locked and the house unlocked. My bus stops at my driveway so I wait on my stepfather's tailgate and read the Poisonwood Bible. 
    I stop reading for a moment and notice the silence. Almost no cars come down my road, because it's one of those roads named after my family for being the first to own this land. But today, today something is different. The roads aren't just silent today, they're so silent they seem almost lonely. Silent and lonely, like me. 
    You can hear the bus from a mile away when it comes because of the eery silence. I push off the truck, landing flat on my feet and wrap my arms around my book, walking towards my empty, inviting, almost desperate dirt road. I wait a second and the bus pulls up, stunning the silence of the roads with the shrieking opening door. 
    I yank at my sweatshirt sleeves to cover my scarred hands and step onto the bus numbered 232. It makes me nervous walking down the bus aisle, everybody stops talking to stare at me, all wondering. I try to walk faster, but the skinny opening called an aisle is making it hard. By the time I get to my assigned seat, I'm shaking. I'm breathing hard and I've broken a sweat, though it's very low in temperature. I try and take deep breaths when I feel a hand on my shoulder blade. I turn to the girl named Melissa behind me. Melissa has big blue reassuring eyes that say it's okay. 
    I nod and turn back, trying to breathe again. When it slows back to normal, I lay my bag across the seat and flatten myself to the window. I watch the scenery. It's almost peaceful. But it's harder to find peace for me. 

Somehow in the midst of my silence, I picked up a best friend. Her name is Cancer. We are living examples that opposites attract. I never speak, while she can't seem to stop. I have long red hair and Cancer can't grow hair. She has big, dark red rose petal lips, while my top lip is significantly bigger than my bottom. My body is curvy but hers is straight, she hasn't hit puberty yet. My skin is fair, but hers is ghostly. You can't find her pupils because her eyes are so dark when mine are forty-five different colors.
    When I get off the bus the entire student body is standing in a circle. I hear things like, "Dude, what's her deal?" 
    and, "It's only a nose bleed." 
    When I hear "nose bleed," everything clicks. I push through the crowd and people glare and say, what the hell is your problem. I get through and see Cancer screaming: "CALL 911!!!" and holding her nose. "I HAVE APL!!" 
   I run up to Cancer and hold her to me even though blood is pouring onto my shirt. Within minutes, an ambulance siren is sounding, cutting the whispers like a knife. Everyone took notice when men rush out of the ambulance. They didn't have to push through the crowd like I did. The student body parted like the red sea and the gurney was pushed the opening. Cancer's long skinny body was lifted onto it and she pulled me along with her while it rolled. 
    But when the gurney was lifted, I was left behind, in the dust.             


I wasn't feeling too great this morning and when I got to school my nose started to bleed. I felt like Curse. She can't talk, her voice was taken from her. And mine was, in the clutches or this dabgerous disease, i was muted, i'd only for a minute or two. It was enough, though, to see from Curse's eyes. 
    When you can't speak, you feel like not only I you're opinion not voiced, it's not heard, and it's definitely not cared for.
    My voice finally pushed out of my mouth and I screamed. The entire senior class stared at me as if I was speaking fluent Latin. And Curse was looking at everyone with her innocent blue green eyes like, DO SOMETHING. Curse is unable to talk, her voice stolen from her.
    A few summers ago, we were fourteen. I wasn't sick and Curse could speak, she didn't much, but she could. We'd walk down her family-owned dirt road and I'd talk while she'd listen, she's good at that. Occasionally, we'd walk along the gravel and do the same.
    One time, while making a trip to the library, I heard the squealing of wheels peeling out on the road. Of course, being me, I was in the middle of the road when a truck the size of the ark comes barreling down the one way road. I looked back, but not in time. Curse ran in front and pushed me out of the way. 
    We were in the hospital. Me, with minor cuts and bruises; her, with major esophagus damage. Later, I'd remember Curse was actually yelling for me to run. I guess some subconscious piece of me figured she'd end up voiceless, that it was meant to be, why not make it go Cancer-style? 

I woke up from The Dream that haunts me every time my eyes close. This is the second time I've awakened because I passed out from blood loss in the ambulance that was called.  I'm hooked up to IVs and a machine that monitors my heart and blood pressure.
    I look around and there's my mom two whose talking to my very Jamaican doctor. I can't help but laugh, a Britain and a Jamaican. I wonder if either one of two can understand the other. I think against it.            

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