|Breaking the Silence
Author: S.H. Marr PM
My name is Juele. I live in a world of chancy literacy and due to my life traveling, no unified language. Because of my inability to speak any language, most everyone in my life treats me like a child. I am not a child.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 30 - Words: 32,127 - Reviews: 57 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 24 - Updated: 05-24-12 - Published: 12-12-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2979063
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Zalon was snoring again. I know that's not exactly his fault, but it was still annoying, especially when it woke me up in the middle of the night and he didn't usually do it when he was getting enough sleep. So in a way, he could help it.
I rolled out of my cot with the ease of much practice, stood, walked over to Zalon's side of the room, and unceremoniously dumped him out on the floor before slinking back to bed.
"What the fuck?" he swore. Oddly, his complaints were easier to tune out then the snoring was. Guess he just complained too much.
I pulled my worn blanket back over my head and shut my eyes, because what did he want, an answer? And just how did he expect to get that?
It was still the middle of the night. I drifted back to sleep.
I didn't see my roommate for the rest of the day. The fact didn't bother me so much in the morning, but by dinnertime I was starting to get curious. Usually we would have run by each other several times by now. My cousin's ship wasn't that big. The last person to disappear had been Rekeir, and he'd hardly come out unscathed.
I didn't really want to think about that.
Speaking of Rekeir, I glanced over to where he and my cousin were curled up together eating and decided not to bother them. I could eat by myself. Instead of going near the two of them, I sat against the edge of the ship and looked around, trying to find my roommate. Surely Zalon didn't want to miss dinner.
I wasn't even halfway through dinner when someone else sat down next to next to me.
"Hi." Ahrin, then.
I glanced at him and furrowed my brow.
"You looked lonely," he explained. "So I came to keep you company!"
I smiled and looked down at my plate. He was probably, lonely, too. The only one even near our age on the ship was Zalon, and I could imagine why Ahrin didn't want to spend time with him. Even I didn't want to spend time with him, and I lived in the same room as him.
After a few minutes of eating in silence, he let out a breath and said, "You know, I don't understand why everyone else makes fun of you for not talking. It's a relief."
I rolled my eyes. It would be a relief if I actually had a choice in the matter. But he was right—everyone overreacted to it, including Terrahe.
Eventually, though, I shrugged in response to his comment.
Ahrin laughed. "Do you want me to stop talking?"
I shook my head. I didn't, as long as he didn't expect a response. I didn't have any paper with me, and I wasn't sure how well Ahrin could read, anyway. Zalon refused to even try to learn, so I couldn't even communicate with him at all.
Ahrin didn't seem to mind. He settled against the ship next to me and took a bite of whatever it was that Cook had served up today. "Do you know when we're docking?" he asked. "I need a break."
I nodded, holding up two fingers, hoping he could interpret that to mean "in two days".
"Oh, great," he said happily, apparently reading it correctly.
I shrugged again.
"Aren't you happy? Going to ports all over is fun!"
It was, if you were Ahrin and got some measure of freedom. Terrahe didn't trust me to be able to take care of myself, since I couldn't call for help, so he didn't let me off the ship without him or another escort watching me. It was ridiculous. Yes, I couldn't speak, but I was nineteen now, and perfectly capable of making good decisions. It wasn't as if I wanted to go looking for trouble, and I knew how to avoid it.
Rekeir was the one that needed a damn escort, but it wouldn't look right for my cousin to baby his lover, now would it?
"Juele?" Ahrin asked, leaning over and looking into my face. I jumped back when I noticed him. "Aren't you gonna answer? It was a yes/no question, right?"
He was in a talkative mood tonight. I shrugged and kind of nodded. He was right, it was fun. It would just be more fun if Terrahe didn't worry so much.
Ahrin grinned and sat back down. "I'll take you with me next time. Maybe I get some more enthusiasm outta ya."
I smiled. Maybe.