“Look at him… He never even talks!” “Some say He’s not even a person, like He’s a different species or something.” “I’m glad I’m not Him and that I don’t have to put up with the things that He does.” “I should feel sorry for Him. But I don’t. He’s too quiet.”
I’ve put up with these comments, and oh so many more, for as long as I can remember. People have given me nicknames. Even my so-called “friends” like to make fun of me. People have given me many names, from Deaf, Dumb, and Blind, to the person that “denies” this life. There’s one I’ve taken a liking to though. The Silent. People can relate to being called names, but no one has lived like I did. You grow up with a certain name, and it sticks. Some people prefer foreign words for their nickname, and some prefer the simple luxury of a completely different name in the same language. But, for me, I grew up being silent, so I am The Silent One.
It started when I was in third grade. I had gotten into many fights, but no one decided to call me out on it. If I had known what was ahead of me, I would’ve stopped. I used to have a name back them, but no one uses it now. And it’s of little importance for me anyway. As for the fights, the majority of them I lost, not that I wanted to pick fights with 5th and 6th graders anyway, but it still happened. I wish someone would have told me something encouraging, or stood up for me. But the lack of respect people have for one another is astounding. I became more and more distant, and even more silent. People gave me the nickname “Silent”. “Hey, Silent, How are you doing? Oh, wait, I forgot you don’t talk to people.” Is a recurring phrase people used for me. I endured it, and it made me happier.
On the inside of course.
I am not very stocky, actually, kind of scrawny, I was also tall and lanky. People made fun of my eyes, saying I could see in the dark with them, and that I could light up a whole room. My eyes were a kind, yet hardened burning Azure coloration, My hair was straight and brown, sometimes it would look black. I endured the torturous remarks from my peers for years, and I devoted myself to studying the Human Race. From the Anatomy of the human body in my science courses, to the human mind in my therapy classes, I never skipped a single thing about the human race. It was all too amazing for me to skip, and pay less attention to it. I studied who is most likely to have stomach ache after certain foods for lunch, to predicting migraines for those who are susceptible to headaches. I went around helping people, preventing them from causing pain to themselves. I even conducted therapy sessions with those with mental stress and pain. I would only speak when I knew only one person would hear me.
But one day was different, While I was scheduling someone for their next therapy session, a girl of about the age of 17 came in to the office a teacher let me use. She had asked me if I would be willing to help her, plus she had told me her name was Emily. I merely nodded in indifference as I was used to girls having harsh breakups and the like, many complaining that they didn’t deserve this. I never agreed or disagreed, as I am not one to judge others. She came in after school, around 4:25 P.M. I motioned for her to lie down and become comfortable. She said she wasn’t sure about this, and she became very stressedld, I merely consoled her that everything was to be alright.
“You have no need to worry or stress when I am here, I am not here to harm or judge. Think of me as a very personal friend, whom you confide in. I am not here to cause you pain, I am a friend, a confidant, nothing more, nothing less. I wish to help, but I cannot help you if you don’t tell me what’s wrong.”
She immediately responded by saying “You… your voice, it’s so quiet. I thought you would be very… loud.” She giggled and it was true, my voice was quiet, to the point where people found it comforting. “I really like this boy, and he doesn’t give any indication about who he likes, or why. Is there anything I could ask to get him to open up?”
I looked around and thought she was talking about me. Get a grip man! How could she possibly like you!? I looked at her and responded, “Don’t ask a question, he’ll get defensive. Merely get to know him and subtly bring up a couple of girls you think he likes, and more often than not, he’ll open right up. Try that.”
She looked at me very intently for a couple minutes, and I could have sworn I saw some form of hesitation in those emerald eyes of hers. Why would she hesitate though? I’m not any threat to anybody. Or am I? Is that what she thinks? I hope not. She continued to look at me, “What’s wrong, Jordan?” Jordan! That brought back so many memories. I didn’t know what to think of it though.
“I’m sorry if I caused you pain, I can call you Silent like all the others do, if you’d like. I just saw a... pain in you. You seem like a great guy and help everyone, I only thought that nothing bothered you. You seem to be in a trance every day. I only wish I could help.” I gave a helpless sigh, and laughed. If I keep this up, she might think I’m insane! But I couldn’t help but laugh at that thought. I finally calmed down to see something…. I couldn’t quite comprehend. She continued looking at me intently with those saddened eyes, “You know, I’ll be here for you, no matter what. You have my promise on this.”
Sympathy, She was sympathizing, but for me or with me? I could only assume it was the latter. I looked at her and said thank you, kind of curtly, and she seemed to recoil from my verbal response. She’s afraid, but why would she be. I can ask her. I can only hope for the best. Before I could say anything she just looked at the ceiling, “You should meet my friend Angellica, she’s a real sweetheart. I think you two would get along.”
“I could say yes to that only to comfort you, but, I can’t give you false hope, I knew her for a while, she isn’t the type of person I would really like to be around,” Is all I could say.
But to my amazement, she persisted, “You should really meet Delly, she is a feisty one. A man would keep her a little more in control.” I decided to let it go at that point. She’s only going to make it worse, Jordan, Remember Hailey, Remember everything you two did. “I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m not looking for any love from anybody. The one I thought was perfect for me, well… I could tell you how she was, what she was like, but I would only hurt myself in the process.” She looked me dead in the eye, until I turned away. She said quietly, there was no mistaking the sympathy and the sadness in her voice, “Tell me about her.”
“Her name was Hailey. She was so…. Understanding of other people. I could legitimately say I loved her. But-“
“I knew Hailey. She never said she had a boyfriend, or that he was as cute as you.” She giggled when she saw my face flush of all color. “She would tell us that he would take her to movies and other fun things no guy would generally consider. She had told us that he loved to talk to her. She also told us that the reason he would give was-“
“‘Who wouldn’t want to talk a beautiful girl like you? Everyone may talk to you, but I know you most of all, and that’s the side I love the most’, Yes I remember what I would tell her. And it was all true, the fact that I could know someone like that was very different for me. She showed me how to love others.” Is all I said to Emily. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off, just thinking of her is painful. It always is.”
She had gotten up by this time and laid a hand on my leg, making me look her in the eyes once more. She said very quietly, and seemed timid, “I may not be Hailey, but I do like you for who you are. Jordan, I am here for you. Always.” I nodded and ushered her home, leaving me with my thoughts. She likes me, but do I dare try again? Yes, for her sake, I will try.
The weeks went by quickly, with me helping people out more often, from depression to medical needs. Everyone still said things behind my back and made fun of me, the only difference now, was that they would break however laid a finger on me, in a bad way of course. I guess I have their grudging respect, not admiration, but I’ll settle for respect.
15 Years LaterEdit
I was sifting through old boxes that we had just moved into our new house. I go by Jordan now, Not Silent. Me and Emily have been wed for 3 years, and have a beautiful 2 year old daughter. We call her Hailey, because she reminds us both of my first friend and relationship. I know that, wherever Hailey is now, she would be smiling with approval, knowing that Emily and I were happy. One thing I noticed today though, was whenever we were talking about Hailey, our daughter would wander into the room. She just smiled as if she knew what we were talking about, which I have no doubt about, and she would giggle and those same hazel eyes would have a knowing sympathy in them, a sympathy a 2 year old wouldn’t understand. Those same hazel eyes that Hailey had… I shrugged off all those contemplations, but I will never forget them.
I love you Hailey. Both of you. I looked from the stars to our house and walked into a new life with my family I love.