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No Words Needed
Chelsea sat on her bed before plopping her head into her pillow and screaming.
“What’s eatin’ you?” her best friend Trisha asked as she ate a few chips she had in her hand.
“Boys are idiots.” Chelsea said as she rolled over onto her back.
“What’s wrong with this one?”
“He was obsessed with Pokémon.”
“You’re kidding me…”
“No… I wish I were.”
“You sure know how to pick ‘em…” Chelsea glared at Trisha.
“Me!? Trish! You set me up with him!” Trish appeared to be in deep thought.
“Oh… right.” She began as she popped another potato chip in her mouth. “You’ve gotta give me credit though…”
“He wasn’t an emotional train wreck like the last guy.”
“Good point… but just because you’re in a relationship and are all happy-go-lucky, you do not need to set me up. No… More... Set ups.”
“Fine. Fine. No more set ups.” A blanket of silence covered the room for only a moment before they started talking again.
“I brought games.” Austin said as he placed his bag on his cousin’s bed.
“Hey watch it! You almost crushed my dog!” Adrian warned as he picked up the little Yorkie.
“I think you mean cat.”
“She’s a dog!” Adrian said rubbing the head of the dog, “Don’t worry Snickerdoodle, he knows you’re a dog.” The little puffball let out a yap as if to reply to her owner.
“Dude that’s just pathetic.”
“Hey! She’s my pride and joy. A purebred she is!”
“Oh excuse me your majesty.” Austin said sarcastically as he bowed to the dog. Adrian grabbed a pillow and bopped his foolish cousin on the head.
“Hey… I thought we were friends?”
“We’re related.” Adrian corrected.
“Oh so I can't have my cousin as my best friend?” Adrian thought for a moment but never answered.
“To change the subject,” Austin began as he sat on the bed, “there’s this girl I thought—”
“No Austin! I’ve already told you! You don’t need to keep setting me up with all these girls! I can get my own when I want. Besides, all the girls you find me leave after I tell them my secret.”
“Dude. A minor set back is nothing to make you give up completely.”
“I just wish someone wouldn’t care about it.”
“I don’t care about it.”
“That’s different. You’re my cousin and best friend. Not a girl.”
“I cried when Old Yeller died and Dad called me a girl… does that count?”
“I bet you were little though…”
“That was last night.” They both laughed before they started up the TV and Xbox.
“Adrian. You’ll like this school. Everybody is nice.” Austin said right before they started a game.
“I don’t know Austin.”
“Adrian. They aren’t like the other school mates you’ve had.”
“Austin, thanks to my dad nobody will have to know.”
“Adrian I reall—”
“No Austin. I told you. Nobody needs to know.”
Chelsea struggled to get her locker door open. She pulled and pulled trying to open it. She put her foot on the locker beneath hers and pushed with her foot while she pulled on her door. Nothing budged. As she pulled she ended up slipping off and bumping into someone… hard. She stood up and looked at the person she bumped into. She looked up to see an unfamiliar boy looking back at her.
“I’m so sorry!” she said as she stared at him blankly.
“Don’t worry about it.” He said with a very strait face. He hiked his guitar case strap up on his shoulder and walked away. Chelsea watched him walk away, half hoping that he would turn around to look at her one last time… but he didn’t.
“Who was THAT?” Trish asked grabbing Chelsea’s shoulders from behind.
“Thank you for that update, Captain Obvious.” Chelsea said sarcastically.
“You’re welcome, Sergeant Sarcastic.” They heard the bell ring and headed towards their next class: History
‘Why do I even have to learn about all these people?’ Chelsea thought to herself, ‘They’re all dead anyways!’ class had barely begun when someone burst through the door. Chelsea recognized it to be the boy she ran into in the hall.
“Well. Mister Lockhart. Glad to see you could join us.” Their teacher, Miss Hawkins, said as she looked over her glasses. The boy blushed when he realized that everyone was watching him. He slowly walked to the first unoccupied seat in the front row with his head down. It appeared to be that he had most of the same classes with Chelsea.
At lunch Trish ran up and wrapped an arm around Chelsea.
“Misses Chelsea Lockhart… has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?”
“Yes future Misses Lockhart.”
“Trish! I’m serious! I don’t even know his first name.”
“Why don’t you? He introduced himself to the class Friday.”
“I had to leave early remember?”
“Why don’t you tell me his name?”
“I don’t remember it… go ask him.”
“Fine, whatever… have it your way Chel.” Trish sat her tray on the table in front of her. “Hey Cassadee is throwing a party this Saturday. Wanna come with me?”
“Sorry, busy.” Chelsea replied as she shoveled a spoonful of Jell-O into her mouth.
“No… now you’re coming with me.”
“I like my life!”
“Who cares!? Be ready at three.”
“C’mon Adrian! Please?”
“No Austin. I told you… I don’t do parties.”
“C’mon… nobody misses a Cassadee Jenkins party!” Adrian didn’t say anything but gave Austin a threatening look. Austin got down on his knees and begged in the middle of the cafeteria.
“If I say yes will you get off of your knees and stop making a scene?” Adrian asked looking down on his pathetic cousin.
“Okay fine. Now get up you fool!” Austin got up and sat back down.
Trish honked her car horn in Chelsea’s driveway Saturday afternoon.
“C’mon Chel! We’ll be late!” she hollered as Chelsea came jogging down her pathway.
“Sorry, Mom wanted me to load the dishwasher before I left.” They drove down to where Cassadee lived and walked up to the door.
“Trish! Chel! Glad you could make it.” Cassadee said as she opened the door. She led them into her living room where tons of kids from their school were seated.
“Everyone, this is Trisha and Chelsea.” Cassadee introduced them. Everyone said their hellos excluding one. The boy Chelsea ran into in the hall.
“Adrian, say hi!” Cassadee commanded.
“Hi.” He managed to squeak out. Trish leaned over and whispered in Chelsea’s ear,
“Now you know his first name.” all Chelsea did was jab Trish with her elbow.
“Just sit wherever you’d like.” Cassadee told them as she popped a DVD into the DVD player. Chelsea looked everywhere but found limited available seats.
“I want to sit by you.” She whispered to Trish as they walked around.
“I don’t know any of these people very well!”
“That’s part of the fun! You get to make new friends!”
“What if I’m perfectly content with just you as a friend?”
“Oh, Chel just sit!” Trish commanded as she took a seat next to her boyfriend, Austin.
“Chelsea,” Austin called, “have you met my cousin slash best friend, Adrian?” Adrian, who was sitting right next to Austin, looked up at her briefly.
“You could say that we’ve “run into” each other before…”
“Don’t be shy Chel, you can sit by him… he doesn’t bite.”
“Not unless threatened.” Adrian said shooting a nasty glare at his cousin.
“He’s just joking.” Austin assured her. Chelsea looked around to maybe find a spot next to Cassadee, since she knew her pretty well. Finding the seat next to Adrian to be the only one left, she looked at him.
“Do you mind if I sit here?” she asked kindly. He looked down at his watch briefly. Then he didn’t say anything, but he moved his sweatshirt and patted the seat next to him with his hand. She sat down and kept her eye contact with him to a minimal. When she realized what movie was playing, she knew she had already seen it four times. Two out of the four were with Trish. Having nothing better to do, she tried to strike up a conversation with Adrian.
“Soooo…” she dragged out as she began, “do you play any sports?” he looked down at his watch again.
“No.” he replied not looking at her.
“Oh… do you do something else?” again he looked down at his watch.
“I play music.”
“Oh that’s neat.” She let the silence between them rest for a moment before asking another question. “Do you have any pets?” he looked down at his watch yet again. He seemed to do it after every sentence she spoke.
“Aw, what kind?”
“Boy or girl?”
“AW! That’s so cute.” The conversation seemed to die out after that. Austin asked him a question, and he looked down at his watch again before answering. ‘Why does he keep looking down at his watch?’ she began to wonder, ‘Does he have somewhere he needs to be?’
“Adrian?” she asked as she nudged him.
“Hmm?” he asked looking at her. She looked at him in the face and for the first time realized what nice eyes he had. She snapped herself back to reality.
“Ummm can I ask a stupid question?” she asked as she looked at him. He looked down at his watch. This was getting old.
“Um… do have somewhere you need to be?”
“What? Why would you think that?” he replied after yet again looking at the miniature digital clock on his wrist.
“It’s just that… you keep looking down at your watch and I thought that you maybe had to be somewhere at a certain time or something.” Once more he looked down at his watch. But this time, he didn’t reply. Instead he looked away from her. She could tell she hit a nerve with him. She looked away before speaking again.
“I’ll be right back.” She said as she stood to walk to the kitchen. Adrian didn’t say anything but gave her a reassuring nod. Chelsea walked to the kitchen with Cassadee’s cat, Fro-Yo, on her heels. When she got to the kitchen, she poured herself a cup of punch and took a sip. She felt Fro-Yo rubbing against her legs and bent down to scoop him up.
“Oh Fro-Yo,” she said rubbing his head, “what did I say? How did I offend him?” the orange tabby just purred, enjoying her attention. “Now he won't talk to me… not that he really said much before… maybe he doesn’t like me at all. Oh, I bet he’s still mad at me for running into him in the hall on Monday… maybe he already has a girlfriend and he’s just staying loyal to her… or maybe—”
“Or maybe he likes you and gets nervous and tongue tied when he’s around you.” A voice came from behind her and she jumped. She whipped around to find Adrian standing in the doorway that was between the kitchen and the living room.
“Adrian!” she said as she set Fro-Yo down, “I don’t know how much of that you heard but—”
“It’s okay… I heard all of it… in a way anyways.” He said as he walked closer. ‘What does he mean by “in a way”?’ she thought as he slowly approached her.
“I’m sorr—” he silenced her by placing his surprisingly chilly finger on her warm lips.
“No need to be sorry Chelsea.” He said as he removed his finger.
“Oh.” He inhaled deeply before continuing.
“If you knew me as well as Austin, you’d know my secret. And you’d also know that every time I thought I could trust a girl enough to tell her, she’d leave me the second she heard.” Chelsea listened carefully as the words fell from his lips. ‘What secret?’ she began to wonder. She listened as he continued his sorrowful tale.
“When you ran into me last Monday, when I looked in your eyes, I knew I had found something special.” As the words tumbled from his mouth, they struck her heart. She couldn’t believe he felt that way towards her.
“R-really?” she stuttered. He didn’t answer, but asked a question in return.
“Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?” Her words got lost in her lungs. She couldn’t speak.
“Ju-ju-just my parents…” she managed to say when she recollected herself.
“Once and a while, I guess.”
“No, no, no…” he said shaking his head, “that’s not enough. You need to be told everyday.” The heat that was rising to her cheeks was literally becoming unbearable. She looked down at the linoleum floor to avoid his distracting gaze. He took his finger and lifted her chin for their gazes to meet again. She stared deep into his brown eyes, and she almost lost herself.
“Your secret,” she began, as she regained some of her courage, “what is it?” he pulled his finger away, but her skin was still tingling from his touch. He walked away from her and took a seat at the kitchen island. ‘Way to go Chel… you hit that nerve again.’
“I… I… I’m…” he was struggling with himself trying to decipher whether or not he should tell her.
“You can tell me, Adrian.” She encouraged him as she walked closer to him.
“I… I’m deaf.” He said looking away from her.
“Why would that drive me away?”
“Because, it drove all the others away.”
“They were idiots… I’m not like them.”
“No… you’re nothing like them.” He said as he took her hand, but he stayed seated.
“I don’t care if you’re deaf, Adrian. I really don’t.” she said lightly squeezing his hand.
“How do you know what I’m saying?” she asked out of curiosity. He held up his watch and told her to say something while he took his hand away from hers and pressed a button on the side. She was surprised to see the exact words she had said displayed on the tiny digital screen.
“My dad’s an inventor. He revamped the Dragon® system my mom bought and converted it into a watch for me after I became deaf. That was when I was ten.”
“How do you play your music?”
“I never said I was any good.” They stood in each other’s presence for a moment.
“I don’t need to hear you to tell you that I really care about you Chelsea.”
“I know you don’t. And you don’t have to tell me… no words are needed.” They walked back into the living room. Now they sat next to each other with his arm around her and her head on his shoulder. And both had a smile engraved on their hearts that would last them a lifetime…