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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 1

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Oliver's POV

Silence.

Silence has been the only sound I've ever heard; except for the weird screeching "noises" my hearing aids made whenever there was a loud noise. I was born deaf, profoundly deaf, without my hearing aids I wouldn't even be able to hear a single thing; with them however I could hear loud noises like fire alarms or police cars.

I was woken up by a small paw being pressed against my face; opening an eye I scratched Snowflake, my cat, under her chin while I looked across the bedroom to the empty bed, my brother Tommy was already out of bed. I pressed the top bunk of the bunk bed I slept in, I slept on the bottom bunk, the mattress on the top bunk came up easily so Henry was up also.

I was the "youngest" of triplets, Tommy was the oldest and Henry was the middle child; we had no idea what actual order we were born in since our parents said that they didn't keep track. When my brothers and I were younger though, we decided who was the oldest, middle and youngest to answer the questions people always asked. I was the only one born deaf though.

I waved to Tommy as he walked into our room with only a towel around his waist and water dripping from his hair "Henry just went inside the shower" he signed lazily with one hand, still not fully awake. I nodded and Tommy dropped his towel before walking to his dresser and putting on some boxer briefs. My brothers and I have spent our entire lives together, sleeping in the same room since we were born, so there really wasn't such a thing as privacy...for better or worse.

I sat up on my bed as Papa popped in his head "Everyone awake? Your father and I are leaving so don't be late ok?" he signed and spoke at the same time, all my family signed for my benefit.

My parents were Louis and Harry Tomlinson; we called Louis Papa and Harry Dad, or at least my other two brothers did. We usually referred to our parents via their name-signs; name signs were special signs given to a person, like a nickname, that was unique to them. Dad's name sign was the letter H over the head for his long hair while Pop's was the letter L at the corner of his mouth since he was always smiling.

Tommy looked at Pops but didn't say anything, he was definitely not a morning person even if it was past nine in the morning. Papa flashed me a smile and left right before Henry walked out of the shower, "Your turn Ollie" he signed to me.

When I got out of the shower both of my brothers were dressed, Tommy had his trademark form fitting button down, collared shirt with skinny pants and suspenders; Henry had similar pants and shirt but he wore a dress, tuxedo, dinner jacket with a fake flower pinned over his chest.

Tommy and Henry were always mistaken for each other so one day they decided that they needed to dress differently: Tommy would wear suspenders and Henry would wear the fake flower so people can tell them apart. I never really had that problem since I always wore hearing aids, so people knew who I was without needing hints. Other than looking identical that was as far as the similarities went between my brothers and I.

Tommy was loud, funny and a total player; having lost his virginity at fifteen, he now spent most of his time chasing after people looking for some "fun". He excelled in every sport he'd ever tried from track to soccer to water polo. Tommy was loved at school since he helped our school win several different tournaments, but he didn't really have any close friends; he hung out with the jocks at school but never made close friends since he never just stuck to one sport. Jocks would usually only hang out with their teammates at school and wouldn't mingle with the other teams so with Tommy, while accepted everywhere, wasn't really a part of any group.

Henry was far more reserved and shy than I or Tommy but, strangely, wanted to make a career out of music which involved performing in front of people. Henry could play a large variety of instruments but preferred the piano and guitar although he could also play the violin, drums, bass guitar and ukulele. Henry was the quiet kid in class but one of most popular kids in school; even though Henry has never been in a serious relationship, girls swooned over him, calling him "romantic", "sensitive", and "adorable" in reality though Henry was just awkward. Whenever a school event happened where you needed a partner like a dance or something, Henry was the one being asked out by the girls as well as the guys. Because of Henry's awkwardness though he didn't have any close friends either

I was somewhere in my middle of my brothers in terms of outgoingness, I wasn't as bold as Tommy but not as shy as Henry either. My gift was art, drawing, painting, photography; Dad takes credit for my art gift, saying that he thought about being a photographer when he was younger. My skills were pretty ok, whenever I wanted extra cash I would actually sell my art to flea markets and fairs and make like twenty bucks per piece and ten bucks for my photos plus a little bit more once my art finally sold. I didn't have many close friends either since I was the only deaf person at my school and most people didn't have the patience to write notes to me or text me; I wasn't lonely though, I had my brothers and they had me, we were very close to each other.

Henry adjusted the flower on his chest before being satisfied with how he looked "I'll do you a favor and go feed Salt and Pepper" he said to Tommy before walking out of our bedroom; I understood what Henry said to Tommy since I could read lips but it was an exhausting process after a while because it needed so much concentration. "Island view", "I love you", "Elephant doo", "Olive juice" and "Elephant shoes" all look nearly identical while reading lips; "Salad" and "Talent", "Stupid" and "Show me" also looked the same, just to name a few examples.

A moment later my brother's two dalmatians came bounding into the bedroom as I got dressed. Pepper was Tommy's, she had so many spots that she actually looked black with white spots. Salt was Henry's and only had seven spots on her entire body. Pepper ran right to my bed and shoved her nose into Snowflake's face who swatted away the dog's face with her paw and hissed. Henry laughed and grabbed both of the dogs by the collars to take them to the backyard where they stay when no one was home.

Snowflake was deaf like I was, as are most white cats with blue eyes are. Once Snowflake attacked Salt because the dog snuck up on her while she was sleeping and she freaked out; the poor dog's face was covered in scratches, ever since then the dogs were kept in the backyard when no one was home to watch them. Since that day Salt always gave Snowflake lots of room.

"Ready?" Tommy asked as Henry came back, when my brother nodded I put on my hearing aids that were on my nightstand and followed them out of the house into the garage as Tommy grabbed his bike while Henry put on his roller blades while I got my skateboard out from under my bed; Henry took a backpack with him that had his shoes inside.

We made our way to work, arriving there in under fifteen minutes; we worked at our Dad's little cafe "Baking with Styles". The cafe was owned and operated by our parents and we were the only employees. My brothers were the waiters, I cooked, my Dad baked and prepared pastries while Papa helped with the cleaning up and actually running the cafe, like paying the bills and such.

We've been helping out at the cafe since we were little when our "uncle" Niall owned it, but he sold it to my parents a few years ago when his wife became pregnant since he couldn't put in the time to run the cafe any longer. The name of the cafe was actually a play on words; when my parents met, Dad used to be a baker and his last name was Styles, the name was Pop's idea.

Tommy chained up his bike to the light pole outside of the cafe and followed Henry and I inside; as Henry was changing into his shoes, Tommy tapped me on my shoulder "Are you going swimming later today?"

"Maybe, why?" I replied. "Because I think that the cute lifeguard works today, so let me join you; you know I'm a sucker for a six pack" Tommy said with a grin. "You and Henry always go for a run though; if you like a six packs so much just stare at yours" I teased. Tommy chuckled and patted his stomach with one hand as he signed with the other "I do have a hot bod don't I? But going back to the run: I love my brother but if I have a chance for some fun I'm taking it" Tommy signed with a wink.

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