I Can't Hear You- Merome

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Jerome's P.O.V.

"Mitch?" I questioned, waiting for his reaction which I knew wouldn't come because of everything that I had noticed over the past few years. He didn't look up, he didn't acknowledge me, he didn't even know that I was in the room because he couldn't hear me.

I walked closer, standing behind the couch. He was sitting on the floor in front of it, preoccupied by the painting on the ground that he was working on and the bright colours flew from the brush and onto the canvas, creating the bright world at only he could imagine.

"Hey Mitch?" Again he didn't move, he didn't notice me, he still didn't hear me. I was only a few metres away but the fact that he still couldn't hear me worried me.

I had noticed over a period of years that his hearing was fading, that he was picking up less and less and even since school, which we had been to together, I had noticed his waning hearing. He used to struggle to understand the teachers when we were sitting in the back of the classroom, he couldn't hear the principal when they read the daily announcements of the loudspeaker. It worried me.

I moved around the side of the couch and tapped his shoulder, a bright smile appearing on his face when he saw it was me. He put down his paint brush for a second and motioned for me to sit down beside him, patting the ground.

"Hey Jerome!" I sighed but sat down, watching as he went back to painting, glancing between me and his painting.

It was beautiful, bright colours leaping from the canvas and he had used the pallet knife amazingly, creating what looked like clouds in brilliant colours and he also used it to create texture in the sea. He was almost done with the painting, just adding on the finishing touches.

"It's almost dinner time, there's a pie in the oven." He lit up and stuck his brush in the jar of water, standing up and taking my hand. I took him into the kitchen, where we got our dinner.

I knew it was time to talk to him about the problem, it weighed on my shoulders and I couldn't take it any longer. I had to confront him, I had to ask him if he knew about or even cared about it, had he even noticed the decrease in his hearing? Had he noticed that he was going deaf?

"Mitch, I need to talk to you." He stopped eating, his hand half way to his mouth, and paused before speaking again.

"Can it wait until after dinner?" I considered agreeing but I knew that if I waited I would chicken out, so I shook my head.

"We need to talk now." He sighed and put his fork down, letting me take his hand and lead him over to the couch that was just beside the dining table. It wasn't there for any particular reason for it being there, mostly for convenience.

We both sat down on it, Mitch nestled in my chest with his head resting in the crook of my shoulder. I hugged him close, steeling myself to blurt out everything that I had been keeping inside for far too long and I took in a deep breath, closing my eyes.

"Look Mitch, I've been noticing something over the past few years and I figured it's about time I asked you about it. Even since we were in school I've noticed it. You're losing your hearing." He bit down on his lip and looked away, fidgeting incessantly.

"I know." He mumbled, much to my surprise. "I've known for a long time I think but I've just been choosing to ignore it because I just... I don't want to believe that it's happening. I've just been pretending that it isn't real because I'm so freaking scared."

He started to cry almost at once, ugly sobs falling from his lips. I hugged him close, moving him so he was on his stomach and his head was nested in my neck.

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