Silence Is All I Hear This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 26, 2011
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The unchanging silence screaming in my head.
Those black fearless eyes staring intensely into mine.
He wanted me to talk, but I was stone.
I would not break easily, I told myself.
He didn’t know.
His mouth held tension around the corners of his lips as he moved them with every useless syllable. He was mad. Anger furrowed in his brow.
I could not hear him, but I could read his lips.
He said. "This is getting old Abby!"
I ignored his anger and looked to the floor, nervous.
I needed to do something. I needed to forget. I counted each square on the tile floor. 1 2 3 4....
The man stood there beside the wooden desk, his Timbaland shoe tapping on the floor impatiently.
I am stone I repeated in a mantra. I would not crumble.
I would not trust with my instinct, because everyone is the enemy.
I felt a sudden wind pass by me, and I knew he was gone.
Even though I couldn't hear the door slam, I knew it was shut. It always was.
I heaved a sigh of relief.
He didn't care about me, I repeated to myself. He was just like all the others who wanted to close this case. He wanted me to talk about that night, but I couldn't.
I would push myself to say something, but when I did, the words would come out jumbled together. I would stutter. I forgot how it felt to speak.
I sat in the orange plastic chair like a prisoner, silence closing in on me. My world surrounding me as a whole.
I abruptly became stone once more when a lady walked in. She sat in the wooden desk in front of me. She had mirror glass blue eyes and chemical blonde hair.
She smiled at me and then she tore a sheet of notebook paper out of her spiral notebook.
She gave it to me.
She said. "Abby. You can trust me. You can tell me because I won't judge you."
Her eyes shown honesty and truth. Like a chemical compound, because it never changes. It stays true to its formula.
The Provident Bank pen sat beside the sheet of paper. The blue lines on the paper screaming for me to write in their vacant spaces. I grabbed the pen in my hand, my fingers shaking. It fell from my grasp, my hands trembling.
She touched my hand, as if to reassure me everthing was going to be okay. And somehow that gave me courage.
I wrote:

I can't tell you.
I pushed the paper, so that she could see my words. My scraggly handwriting was a contrast to the perfectly horizontal straight blue lines that covered the paper.
She began writing, her hand moving rhythmically across the paper without hesitation.
After she finished, she pushed the paper towards me and I slowly read what she wrote in her cursive handwriting:
Why not? Anyone that threatens or harm you should be punished. Don't you think?
I breathed heavily before I responded. I wrote:
Silence is all I hear. I can't speak because I don't know how to. I forgot. No one can save me. I'm falling deeper and deeper into this pit of darkness. He told me if I told anyone he would kill me. That was before he made me deaf. It hurt but only for a second. Then the world slowly became silent and I couldn't hear anything.
I pushed the paper away from me and crisscrossed my hands in my lap. They flinched slightly. It was nerves.
I looked up to see her staring at me, her eyes surprised.
She sat up from her chair and walked over to me. She grabbed my hands in hers, tears hot and fresh on her blushed cheeks. She was crying. I didn't know why.
She grabbed the paper and wrote on it:
You're not alone Abby. I'm here with you. He will rot in prison for what he did to you. I promise.
I read what she wrote and shook my head furiously when I read the second part:
He will know I told. He will come after me.
She wrote:
No he won't because I won't let him. He won't come near you. I care Abby. I really do. Silence may be all you hear, but love is all you need and you have plenty of that. Do you trust me?
I nodded and she smiled at me like she really cared.

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