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Faintly my ears hear, through the din in my head, a voice glaring at me. It is an impatient, harsh voice. My ears struggle to listen to it. What is it running on about, anyhow? My mind identifies it as the voice of my German teacher, who sounds very annoyed.
"Ahhh! Class, she listens! Progress has been made!"
The class titters at her unfunny remark. My mouth sighs and my mind returns to listening to the noises coming from my head, which are ever so compelling. Unlike my parents, they do not notice the falling marks on my report cards. My mind cannot seem to reconcile this contradiction in my life.
After the embarrassing German class, my body takes itself unhurriedly to biology, history, and English. None of these classes is particularly interesting to my brain, which not only continues to distract itself with voices, but pokes fun at students and teachers as well. It inevitably fails to command my mouth to smile, nod, or giggle appreciatively at any nonsensical comment anyone makes; no matter, since my ears failed to hear it anyway. My body is informed by its English teacher that it is in danger of failing. The voices are dancing around and waving colorful scarves in front of my eyes. My eyes stare at nothing in the direction of the ceiling.
Somehow, my mind suddenly becomes aware that a joke has been made at the expense of my outward appearance which seems to have deteriorated in recent weeks. My mind dismisses this as nothing, a faint and stupid ploy to draw the attention of my body away from the voices. It does not work, because my mind is too quick for them and their pitiful ways. It does not matter. My clever self has escaped them once again. My ears tune in again to the attention of the voices. What do they say?
Another day at school draws to a close. My legs carry me slowly up the stairs to the locker assigned to my name. My mind realizes that it does not care whether or not any homework has been assigned today. I close the locker slowly (every movement must be slow, my mind reminds my body) and turn to descend the stairs. My body is alone, except for a few, younger stragglers who think it is "cool" to be seen with the girl who does not speak. Foolish victims of conformity though they are, my brain does not see fit to turn them away. After all, there would be no purpose.
My body goes home and lies upon the bed. For some reason, when my mind has opportunity to listen to the voices, they disappear. Right now, my mind is left with only a blank white screen and a vague, low humming noise, as a machine makes when it has nothing to do. My body has been known to lie on its own bed all night, staring up at the ceiling. Waiting for the voices to return.
It is not to be today, though. For some reason, my ears begin to hear a faint voice inside. It is unlike the voices my ears usually hear in that it does not sing and it is distinguishable as male. My body strains with the force of trying to understand. All it can seem to make out is a vague whisper. My ears give up. The effort is too much lately.
Just as this endeavor is abandoned, the phone rings. Usually, my body fails to notice it, since phone calls never come for it anymore. But occasionally, for amusement, my brain allows my hands to pick it up and my ears to hear the caller on the other end sputter at the indignation of receiving no response. This is the way it is today. My hand reaches for the receiver. This voice, like the other, is male.
"Hello? Hello, is anyone there ...? Oh, it must be you, since you don't talk anymore. Listen, okay? Can you come outside your house and see me? You don't have to talk. Just let me explain. It's all just a misunderstanding. That thing with the girl from the other school? It meant nothing. It must have been hard for you, walking in like that ... But will you come out? Can you even look out the window?"
For some reason, my brain commands my body to do this. It rises and opens the shades. There is a male standing outside at the pay phone across the street. He waves frantically and hangs up, taking this small response as consent.
The voices have deserted me when they are needed most. Now that an opportunity has arisen to make things normal again, my brain is not sure what to do. It seems that, though my mind thought otherwise, this is what it wanted all along. A giant feeling is rising in my body for the first time in a long while. My body spins around and runs for the front door. If I do not move quickly, I think I might break. n