"You can sit at the back with Mike, not that you have a choice since it's the only free seat. I'll come and talk to you about your work in a minute," I nod and smile at my new English teacher, she seems nice. I make a bee-line for the back just so that people would no longer have an excuse to look at me. Nosey gits. Yeah okay I'm new and all, but still.
That Mike dude seems to have frozen, I guess it didn't occur to him that the new kid would have to sit next to him. Ah well.
I plonk myself rather unceremoniously down next to him and offer him a smile, which he actually returns. He seems nervous. Hmm. He'll get over it. You can't be around me and be nervous. Unless I scare you. Which I probably will…
His smile is nice. In fact, he's nice full stop. Messy black hair and nice green eyes. Thank you teacher, I'll quite happily sit here!
"Hey, I'm Nicole." He offers me a weak little wave and not five seconds later the guy that's sat directly in front of him slickly passes a note back for him which he reads. He doesn't reply to it, just rather harshly kicks the back of the other dudes chair whilst smiling.
I laugh softly and Mike passes me a note of my own.
His writing is neat, I'm jealous because mines awful. Seriously awful. Like, 'why did you let your dog do your homework?' bad.
Where you from?
About an hour away. Had to move schools when we moved houses because I'm allergic to buses. Is this class alright?
Yeah it's good. This is our coursework lesson. Miss lets us get on with it and helps those of us that don't waste the time. She's a pretty cool teacher.
Oooh so that'll be what all this note passing is about then, obviously they don't want the teacher thinking they're wasters.
Do you know anyone here? I shake my head. Wanna eat with me and my mate Ste?
Sure! Dinners after this period yeah? He nods. Excellent I'm chuffing starving.
So…tell me about you then…?
I take the pen and begin to write but the teacher makes an appearance and speaks to me for the rest of the lesson about what work I did in my old school and to see how my coursework's going, she reads through it for me and gave me some help and when she'd finished the lesson was over.
Mike was waiting for me outside the classroom and I walked towards him, he lead the way outside and I answered the question that I couldn't earlier. I was just rambling on about myself and my old friends but he seemed happy enough to listen. I'm assuming he'd have told me to shut the hell up otherwise and if not, that's where being polite gets you. I was just happy enough to have found someone who looked like they were going to be able to put up with me on my first day.
He lead me to the school field - which I didn't mind because eating outdoors beats whatever the hell cafeteria they have in this school and we sit down on the top of a small hill. I take in my surroundings whilst Mike fannies around getting out lunch and a notepad and pen from his bag.
Hmm. Before I could ask about the notepad a voice cuts in. I take this guy to be Ste who Mike mentioned earlier, he's taller than Mike and has blonde hair. He's good looking but not as nice as Mike.
I opened my mouth to introduce myself, only to snap it shut (for once) in surprise because Mike signed the answer back to him. I looked towards the notepad and pen that he had had gotten out moments before, between his hands and back at his friend again and something in the depths of my mind clicked. I took Mike's notebook and wrote on it, Hi, I'm Nicole, new here today and Mike said I could eat with you both, is that okay? I handed it to him and smiled.
"Okay cool." He nodded. "So are you mute too?" What the hell? I stared at him, mouth slightly opened, his eyebrows were knitted together and he was looking at me waiting for some kind of answer, I think he's serious. I looked at Mike who had gone slightly pink and was shaking his head, answering for me. "So why are you writing everything?"
"I, I thought you were deaf!"
"Why would you think that?"
"Because Mike was signing to you and got a notebook out to write -" I was interrupted by a loud bark of laughter, I stood there confused and watched Ste clutch his stomach for a couple of minutes before he recovered when Mike shoved a note in my face.
I thought you knew.
Ste chipped in, "How could you not know? Jesus."
Mike signed something to him and he repeated aloud, "So you were writing notes in class, presumably she didn't think anything of it because she thought you were avoiding being heard and she was talking until I got here?" Mike nodded. Ste started to howl with laughter again.
And then, finally, the retardedness lifted and I realised, with horror, my mistake.
I am such a moron. I could feel the heat rising to my cheeks.
"Oh my god I'm so sorry!"
"To summarise." Mike cut in, laughter lacing his voice, "You've been writing notes to him all day because you're an idiot. He's been writing back because he has no other choice and for the record, I'm not deaf."
I nod like one of those funny little dogs you get in the back of cars, "He's mute, you can hear me perfectly and I'm a retard. Got it." And then I started to laugh. And I couldn't stop. Eventually, when I had tears in my eyes and felt so short of breath I thought I was going to puke, the laughter died and I fell to the grass.
Well they were bound to find out I'm an idiot someday. Better sooner than later I suppose.
"So how long have you been mute?"
"Since birth," Ste answered for him.
"How do you know sign language?" I asked Ste.
"Well we've been friends since primary school, so I've just learnt it over the years."
Mike threw a crisp at Ste to get his attention and started signing something. I pick the crisp up off the grass ignoring the thinly veiled look of disgust Ste throws my way.
"This isn't fair! I want to know what you're saying!"
"You're okay with him being mute aren't you?" Ste's voice was loud, confident and had an edge to it. You can tell that he's blunt and to the point. You can also tell that if my answer to that question was the wrong one, he wouldn't tolerate it likely.
"Yeah…" I said slowly and sarcastically, "of course I am, I was okay with it when I thought you were deaf." He laughed and Mike smiled. "So. Teach me some sign language." Mike shrugged his shoulders in a 'what do you want to know' kind of way, and I blurted out the first word that came to mind. "Turtle." He pulled a face and it was my turn to shrug.
I like turtles. Sue me.
Sat in the middle of a school field after very badly misdiagnosing someone and learning very random bits of sign language…what a great way to make friends…
The three of us had rapidly become good friends. Both were laid back, funny and very good friends. It was fun to be around them and I trusted them highly even though I'd only moved here a couple of months ago.
In that amount of time, I've developed, at the risk of sounding like a twelve year old girl, a crush on Mike. The only trouble is, he acts like a twelve year old girl and either refuses to meet my flirting or is just really, really stupid.
So. I've decided to act.
That's right; cue master plan.
The only trouble is this isn't the kind of master plan you can carry out by yourself. No, I needed help. I could technically learn of the internet but I didn't trust it enough to not know for sure that I was really telling Mike to go and kiss a donkey or something equally hideous in sign language. So, Ste it was.
I ambushed him at dinner while we were waiting for Mike.
"I need your help."
"You need my help, what?"
"Please. You big kid."
"I need you pretty please without a black eye on top to teach me something in sign language without Mike knowing."
He looks me up and down, smirks and blurts out, "You fancy him don't you?"
If there's one thing I know about Ste it's that he's abnormally perceptive so far from being embarrassed or surprised, I took it in my stride. "Yes. So unless you're both in the closet and harbouring undying love for one another, I need your help."
He nodded. "Well he is pretty fit…Break his heart and ill break your leg. Even if you are a girl."
After five long minutes we had to wrap it up and as we watched Mike meander on up to us Ste muttered, "he's such a wimp, he should be doing this himself."
"So you think he'll say yes?"
I was sat in Mike's room, looking around and being nosy whilst he was downstairs getting drinks. I was nervous and yet somewhere deep down I figured that in theory I shouldn't be. I mean, I'm okay with him being mute – hell lets face it, I talk enough for the both of us anyway -, I get on with his best mate, I'm not but ugly, I'm learning sign language for him and I've met his parents who apparently love me. Not to mention, I have assurance from his best friend that he would say yes and I was still nervous.
I was going to ask him out. Of course I'm freaking nervous.
He came back in and handed me a drink which I set down on his bedside table afraid that if I had some I'd spit it out on him. I turned my attention back to him and he slowly started to sign something. I wasn't good enough if he did it fast and I only knew certain phrases, but I was learning.
"What do you want to do?"
He nodded and grinned. Cool, I'm getting good at this.
"I urm, actually wanted to ask you something…" Oh god, I'm gonna puke.
I made sure he was paying attention and my hands shaking slightly, I asked him the question I've been dying to ask for ages, and you know what he did?
He laughed at me!
So I punched him in the arm.
Did you mean to say that? He shoved a piece of paper in my face. It was pink paper. I brought it him because I thought it was funny and he's actually been using it.
Aww man. I must not have done it right. "Why what did I say?"
You kind of just asked me out.
"Well I meant to say that! So will you?"
He just stared at me and I could feel myself blushing, he pulled an 'are-you-serious?' face and I nodded.
"Say banana if your answer's no." This time he punched me. I use that joke a lot to get my own way.
And then he did something wonderful. He kissed me.
This is sign language I can understand.
Yup that's it. It's the first thing I've written in ages so disregarding the feelings I have about it I wanted to post it. Constructive criticism is welcomed, and I hope that somebody liked this. Thank you for reading.