Chapter One

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Silently Falling

I stretch my sore limbs and let out a groan of sorts from the rewarding popping of my muscles. I yawn and smack my lips, cringing at the revolting after taste that takes over. My eyes lazily trail to my phone that's blaring out its usual alarm, and I silence it with sleep lidded eyes, my hair sprawled all over my face. 

My legs swing over the side of my bed and I stand up with another deep yawn that sounds more like a menstruating walrus. Walking towards my mirror, I cringe when my eyes fall upon my awful bed head.

I look like death.

No, I look like Medusa. Maybe even Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

It's all the same. Identical to the image staring back at me in the mirror. My dark, tangled hair curls and floats up in random places, and my attempt to brush through it is futile. 

Every morning.

Once I get my hair dealt with- parted on the side and brushed completely out with no random spots sticking up- I go back to my dresser and delicately pick up my mother's necklace. With gentle hands, I lift the small pendant and hook it around my neck, feeling the cool touch of the diamond heart hitting the skin of my chest.

A smile graces my lips as I look myself over, eyes lingering on my necklace. My hand comes up to fiddle with the small charm, and my smile falters a little. I sigh as I twirl the little heart around my fingers, feeling just a little closer to my mother with it on.

I check the clock back at my bedside and frown; my brother still isn't up, per usual. I exit my room and pad down the hallway, ending up at Toby's room. My fist lifts to his door and I start knocking, getting no response after a few inpatient moments of wait.

I grumble and push the door open, cringing at the two naked bodies I see on his bed. One belongs to my brother, and luckily most everything but the top of his chest is covered up, while the other belongs to some girl that found herself in his bed last night.

I love my brother, but he has no shame.

I roll my eyes and go back to my room, fishing around on my desk for the air horn I keep handy for moments like this. It's not like I can crawl over the naked girl to shake my brother awake, and I can't exactly yell for them to wake up either.

I haven't spoken since my first year of high school. I'm a junior now. It's been three long years since I've uttered a single word. Three grueling years since that one fateful night that stole my voice, stole my pride, stole my innocence.

Instead, I've had to learn sign language to communicate. 

I don't choose not to speak. If I could talk I would do so in a heartbeat. There's a mental block that is restricting my voice. It's nothing physical, but everything mental. Something that happened during that night is keeping me in solitude.

I was at my first party. My brother, Toby, has always been with the 'it' crowd, and even as a sophomore he was being invited to the senior parties. I begged and whined until he agreed to let me and my best friend, Alyse, tag along with him and his best friend, Warren.

Warren was a part of the reason I wanted to go so badly. He was my brother's best friend, and I wanted the cliche love story where I got to fall for him and him for me. I hadn't planned on drinking much. I was only there for the experience, not to get wasted. 

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