Status: Finished, yo

Not a Sound

Dillon's Flight

On Monday, Ozzy meets me before school, trumpet in hand, orange sweatshirt draping around his shoulders like it usually is. I'll drop off my trumpet later, he says. Ready?

I'm not. We went over this almost a thousand times before we got here, but I'm still shaking. My palms sweat. Though I nod anyway and he loops his arm around mine and takes me to the front office.

I've never been in this part of the school for a long time. I never need anything from here so there's no use going. I feel like I've stepped in forbidden territory. Ozzy calmly guides me through the door and tells the front desk woman something I don't see. She only gestures with a nod to a closed office in the back. My heart thuds in my throat.

It'll be fine, Ozzy signs. His hands have grown more fluid with the letters.

I don't reply and Ozzy knocks on the door. After a second, he opens it and I see Melissa's father inside. I'm so scared I almost forget why I'm here.

Hello, he says. He pushes up his thick glasses. What do you need?

Ozzy unloops his arm from mine and nudges me forward. I pull out a folder that I held under my arm with my trembling hands. I'm deaf. I say this aloud, even though I'm terrified of what my voice sounds like. I've never spoken aloud to anybody but my mom. I wrote down what I need help on. It's personal for you and me.

The principal's brow furrows. I wonder if I make any sense and if my words are even legible. Ozzy's hand rests on my back comfortingly and the principal says, Well, let me see it then. Please sit down.

My heart speeds up as I lay the papers on the desk in front of him, and I nearly trip into the chair in front of him. Ozzy takes a seat next to me and slips his hand into mine under the desk. His hand is saving me from falling off the edge; it's my only lifeline. The principal seems to take forever reading through my typed notes.

I squeeze Ozzy's hand hard enough I'm afraid I'm hurting him, but I can't stop.

This is.... distressing, the principal says finally. It's taken you this long to come to me?

I barely manage to nod.

I know what he's read. He's read a long list of what Melissa has done to me and how I've felt and I know this isn't going to go over well. Well, I'm not going to say I don't believe you, he says. He rearranges my notes out of order and back into order. As a father, I don't want to believe this because I know my child is absolutely wonderful, but also as a father, I know how bad Melissa has felt from the loss of her mother. After all these years I know that she is still hurting; I've seen it in our household. But I never thought it would come to this. Oswald, are you here to back up her case?

I look at him. Yes, sir, he says. I was with her twice when she was being harassed.

The principal looks pained and rubs his forehead. I feel bad for him. This must be terrible, terrible for him to understand. I wish I could help him somehow, but I feel like saying something would make it worse. Somehow I knew this would happen, he says. And you say none of these things have happened on campus except verbal harassment?

I nod. I stated in the notes that I knew there was nothing that he could do as a principal to punish her. Ozzy sits forward a little. All we're asking is you to talk to her, he says.

I will do that much, the principal promises. Suddenly I feel a massive relief and it's almost dizzying. If she continues to bother you, let me know and I'll bring her in for you to talk to. You're a very brave girl, he says to me.

I almost feel like I'm going to faint. I bob my head up and down and sign a thank you. She says "thanks" Ozzy says.

The principal smiles. I know, he says. My wife was deaf.
♠ ♠ ♠
Happy ending???

There's still more, so bear with me. I'll post them in a couple seconds.

(I actually didn't intend for Melissa's mom to be deaf; it kind of just happened and shocked me as much as Aria.)