A/N:Hi all. Since I have been told that this is a good piece but there is no market for it, I have decided to repost Secrets Hidden in Silence. It is still the piece that remains closest to my heart and I hope that you all enjoy it even though the publishers don't believe this is publishable.
Green eyes and pink streaks
Some things are better left unknown, cloaked deep in the depths of darkness thus never to see the light of day. Some secrets are best left undiscovered, unspoken, buried deep in cold damp earth. I shiver at the thought, at the memories that refuse to fade and continue to haunt me. I absently rub at my skin, trying to chase the deep chill out. I'm always cold, even in the middle of summer, chilled from within and no amount of rubbing at my skin ever helps, making my absent habit rather pointless.
My name is Dimitri. Call me Dim and I just might flame you. Don't look at me like that! It could've been worse. I was originally going to be named Vladimir after some famous Russian or other. My mother loved anything Russian to the point of passionate obsession. Anyway, my name is Dimitri and I have issues, or at least, that's what I have been told. I'm mute. No, not because of any physical handicap or anything. I'm mute, by choice. I am capable of speech, or at least used to be before I stopped speaking. I just choose not to. I've not spoken a word, not made a single sound since I was six years old, where I spent my last few moments with a voice screaming and sobbing, I think. That was ten years ago. I do not cry anymore. It's a waste of effort, of time and breath. It doesn't change anything. Ever.
So back to the point, I'm Dimitri and today I'm starting at a new school. Again! And in case your mathematical skills are lacking, I'm sixteen. Going on seventeen, mind you. This is my sixth school, in a sixth State. Not very conductive towards making friends, even if my chances were not already complicated by the fact that I'm voluntarily mute. Refusing to speak? Sure death for friendship, believe me, especially when you attend a normal public high school. People tend to look at you funny when you start waving your hands about and being different makes you a target. Usually for pain. Most people don't like different and don't bother trying to get to know you, don't bother trying to find out why. This makes it easier to keep my secrets. People don't usually care enough to realise that I have something to hide, seeing only what they choose to perceive, usually on a shallow visual level.
So here I am, in yet another State, new hunting grounds for him, staring at my new school. I adjust my bag on my shoulder, watching the crowd of teenagers before me, flocking towards a rather non-descript building like the mindless animals that they are. Red face brick, square windows and grey rather lifeless concrete, as I've said, non-descript. A rather depressing atmosphere hangs in the air, lying just beneath the shallow illusion of happiness given by the chattering students, but, if there's one thing that I've noticed about schools, it's that, no matter where you go, no matter what the building looks like, they're all ultimately the same, so it doesn't make a difference to me. The people inside are usually what defines a school and the people inside are a bunch of idiots. So I'm jaded. Sue me!
I climb the narrow, rather steep stairs, heading straight towards the rather boring cement building, a prison of sorts, ignoring the students around me. I don't particularly care to know them and know from experience that they don't particularly care to know me. Students at school can basically be divided into a number of groups. There are the jocks and cheerleaders, students obsessed with sports, physical achievements, appearances and being popular. Then there are the nerds, book worms and computer geeks obsessed with the library, code, cultural achievements, chess and getting that A. Those that don't fit into one of those two groups form smaller groups of their own, Goths, emos, drama nuts, giggling fan girls, arrogant socialites, the list goes on… small groups of people defined by some kind of common interest.
Then there are those like me. Those that simply just do not fit in, not into any of those groups, shunned by them all, usually the brunt of rather cruel jokes. I guess every school needs people like me, to amuse the masses and bring together some of the divergent groups, giving them another common factor to define them and to give them some sense of satisfaction. Personally, I don't really care. There is nothing they can do to me that would give me nightmares. That honour has already been reserved, taken, by a horror these shallow idiots cannot even begin to imagine let alone understand. Jaded, that's me. If you want a good lawyer don't ask me for any advice. I avoid those… like the plague, along with our trusty men in blue. I do not need any more complexity in my life.
I weave through the crowd of chattering students, my gaze locked upon the ground, avoiding looking at anyone. Looking at someone draws their attention to you. A gaze, intangible as it may seem, has the strange ability of making itself known, felt regardless of one's efforts to ignore it. Looking down delays the inevitable for me, keeps me from being noticed for longer. Only thing is… as good a tactic as it is, it does have its drawbacks. Bump. Yes, you guessed it, not looking up makes it difficult to see where you're going!
So here I am, Dimitri, flat on the ground, failing miserably in my attempts to remain unnoticed. Nothing draws attention more than things going wrong and things are going horribly wrong on my first day here. Go figure. I love you too Murphy. "Why the hell don't you watch where you're going?" A harsh voice demands; obviously expecting a response from me. The owner of the voice is not at all impressed when I remain silent, refusing to look up at him and in doing so refusing to acknowledge him.
I don't like looking at people. It requires that I register them, define them as more than simple objects to avoid and so acknowledge their existence. That is something I refuse to do. Why bother to acknowledge someone that will soon disappear, someone I'll never see again once I leave here, once we move yet again, to a seventh state. If there's any certainty in my life, that would be it. We will be moving again and I will be starting at a seventh school before I'm done with my education, assuming I live that long that is.
"Didn't you hear me?" The voice snarls, harsh hands taking hold of me, pulling me up and violently shoving me into the lockers. Pain flares through my body, intense and sharp. Damn, he's strong. He hits hard.
I remain silent, not making a sound. Silence has become my refuge, my prison, a contradiction of existence that is all I truly know. I doubt I would be able to make a sound even if I wanted to, which I don't! I swear, I don't! 'I hear a single sound from you and I'll do the same to you.' His voice echoes through my mind, words I cannot escape, spoken a long time ago but still clear in my mind, as if they were spoken yesterday. Sometimes I wonder if I still have my voice. Do you lose your voice if you don't use it? Perhaps. I wouldn't know and I'm not about to try and find out.
I blink down at the ground, ignoring the physical pain and the rough hands, allowing my mind to drift away from the here and now. It's a rather useful ability I've managed to learn, an ability I make full use of when I don't want to face reality, when I want to forget. I simply withdraw into darkness, where nothing exists, not sound, not touch, not pain, not thought, not memory… not me.
I feel myself begin to drift away; it's like floating really, subtle but overpowering. The harsh words fade and begin to lose clarity and meaning as I continue to draw away from reality. "Kevin, shove off." I blink in surprise, suddenly jerked back to reality, by a voice? I can't help it, I cannot resist it. I'm drawn to the voice, the smooth baritone that gently glides into my hearing, my mind, and into my awareness. I look up in surprise to see my attacker and defender locked in heated battle, neither speaking nor even moving for that matter. Both are glaring up a storm, each trying to overpower the other. As I've already pointed out, a person's gaze can be miraculously powerful. It's amazing how much can be said in silence alone. I, of all people, know that better than most.
"Back off, Beau. This has nothing to do with you." My attacker, Kevin, if my defender is to be believed, snarls at Beau, apparently my defender. Kevin is your typical jock, muscled, broad shoulders, tall with short blonde hair and light blue eyes. Typical and terribly cliché but here he is, even wearing some kind of football jacket. Beau on the other hand, is a little bit of a contradiction. He has a similar build to Kevin, broad shouldered, obvious muscles and tall, taller than Kevin and definitely considerably taller than me. It's his hair that throws me though. His body, his posture and the way he carries himself, all of it literally screams jock but his hair… No, that screams eccentric. It's three colours! Deep chocolate brown with deep purple and pink streaks running through it. It's cut short but has long strands in the front, reaching his chin. It's these strands that are streaked. Makes sense but why pink of all colours?
Beau snorts. "Not my business? Now you know I'm not going to let you bully the new guy on his first day at school." Beau places himself pointedly between Kevin and me, blocking the jock's access to me. I expected a scene, really I did. I expected Kevin to punch Beau, to mock him, taunt him, swear at him and maybe even make him bleed, something, anything to show his rather petty displeasure. He looks like the type that would do something like that. I was certainly not expecting what is happening. Kevin simply turns and walks away, the conflict suddenly gone, the attention that had been upon us, fading along with it. Beau turns to me, making me wish I could gasp, his eyes a deep clear green, are staring at me, filled with warmth and friendliness.
Remember what I said about meeting someone's gaze? About how it makes someone real? Well Beau is now terribly real to me, invading my mind and my senses. He's a person, a soul, no longer a mere object around which I merely have to manoeuvre and I have no idea what to do about it. "Hi, I'm Beau." He introduces himself, holding his hand out towards me and smiling warmly, completely ignoring the fact that I seem to be gaping at him. "If Kevin gives you any grief, let me know and I'll take care of it." He continues to speak, seemingly oblivious to my obvious lack of reaction.
Ringing echoes through my ears, a high pitched incessant noise of a repetitive nature. At first I think it's my head, perhaps ringing from shock or maybe from some unnoticed blow from Kevin. It's only when Beau's eyes widen, his hand dropping to his side that I realise it's the school bell. "Damn." He mutters giving me an apologetic look. "I'm going to be late. I'll show you around later." He promises, turning and running down that hall, leaving me staring after him, wondering what just happened!