Status: Updates weekly-ish.

S/he Screams in Silence


“Honey, can you drop Michael off at school this morning?” her mom crooned in the seconds before she released the blinds and light exploded into the room.

Emily simply rolled to face the opposite direction, pressing her head into her pillow so that it softly filled in her eye sockets. With it came the welcome darkness she had been enjoying until then.


“Rrmphh,” she grumbled in response, which in English approximated roughly to “Go fuck yourself, I’m having a moment with my bed.”

A minute later, when it was clear that no matter how desperately she clung to her sheets her mother would always pull harder, Emily gave up and prepared to start her day. She brushed her teeth groggily, made an effort to greet her kid brother (“Rrmorning…”), crammed a piece of toast down her throat, and finally opened her eyes all the way once she’d crawled into the driver’s seat of her shitty car, still in her pajamas.

“When you getting your license, huh, squirt?” She looked Michael up and down, lingering on his chubby thirteen-year-old face which she knew would soon be a thing of the past, something only recallable in photographs. Absentmindedly, she wondered what she would look like a year from now as she turned the key in the ignition. Probably not much different, she suspected.

“Dude, will you cut it out? I fuckin’ hate when you do that.” A miffed boy with bleach-blonde hair who looked to still be in his teens but had recently entered his twenties wiped spit off his cheek with the back of his hand. Billie Joe shot a look of disgust at Tré, who merely shrugged unabashedly beside him on the couch.

Mike Dirnt, who had spent the last ten minutes pacing furiously in front of said couch, stopped to reprimand not only Tré but Billie Joe as well. “Look, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do over here while you scumbags are licking each other’s cheeks. It’s time to get serious and quit the cute act otherwise I’m kicking both of you out of the band.” Mike folded his arms before Billie Joe had the chance to protest that it wasn’t him, it was that green-haired fiend that he somehow called a boyfriend.

“So what’s the plan, man?” Tré asked, his goofy grin transitioning into a neutral expression he hoped would convey earnestness. It only made him look suspicious.

Billie Joe cut in with a sudden change in body posture. He leaned forward eagerly onto his knees and rested his chin on his fists. But it was the mischievous glint alight in his eyes that convinced the others he was worth listening to.

“I mean…even if we don’t go through with it we still get a free meal, right?”

Emily was trying her God’s honest best to keep her mouth closed while she yawned silently through her sociology lecture. Despite her good intentions, however, a particularly wide one slipped out right as she met her professor’s steady gaze. She hastily threw up a hand to cover the gaping hole in her face that was refusing to close in a timely manner, but even this corrective measure couldn’t stop the blush from creeping up into her cheeks.

She heard snickering coming from beside her and resolutely avoided acknowledging her best friend Lucia’s laughter. And, truthfully, the sickeningly sweet smile of the guy who sat to her left unnerved her much more, although she could barely see it in her peripheral. That was the drawback about going to community college, she thought: you have to contend with a lot more creepers there. Or so she imagined.

By the time the three-hour class was over, Emily needed to stretch. She reached upwards, imagining herself grabbing the lights in the ceiling, much to Lucia’s continued amusement. “Did you sleep at all last night, chica?”

“Eh,” Emily brushed off Lucia’s concern as she gathered up her books and keys. “Just had dreams, that’s all.”

Both girls turned around, startled, when the guy to the left hijacked their conversation for his own purposes. “I have the craziest dreams…they’re like…acid trips,” he remarked nonchalantly, as if he hadn’t just disrupted the girls’ interaction. Perhaps realizing that his forced entrance had yielded more of an awkward flavor than he had intended, he stuck out his hand. “Hi, I’m Paul,” he said specifically to Emily. “I’ve sat next to you the past two classes.”

Lucia snorted somewhat obviously, clearly taken aback by his audacity to be so boring. She knew from experience that Emily was a lot harder to win over than with a rude attempt at flirting. Unable to resist, Lucia spoke for her friend, whom she also knew struggled to navigate uncomfortable social situations. “She knows. She’s not blind.”

Not quite succeeding in hiding her smirk, Emily dropped a curt “Nice to meet you” and began to walk away, Lucia by her side.


Intrigued, the two stopped to listen to whatever inanity would tumble out of Paul’s mouth.

“I just wanted to tell you that you’re really pretty,” he blurted.

“Thanks,” Emily replied icily.

Driving Lucia back to her house for lunch, Emily cast dark eyes upon the road. “Why does it always fucking boil down to that?” she practically yelled, partly at Paul, who wasn’t there, and partly at the slow driver in front of her.

Lucia gripped her armrest a little harder, all too familiar with Emily’s reckless driving while in the grip of one of her diatribes. She had mentally steeled herself for exactly this the very moment the word pretty had left Paul’s lips, but even having survived several of Emily’s rants, she couldn’t understand perfectly what it was about the word that unleashed so much hatred in her.

“Asshole!” Emily cursed at a car that switched lanes without using its blinker. “Don’t they get it?” she continued, not one to lose her train of thought when it involved anger. “I fucking look like a boy, where is the pretty?” She rubbed her buzzed brown hair roughly to accent what she perceived to be the problem.

“Boys can be pretty,” Lucia offered, hoping not to get backhanded and hedging her bets on the fact that Emily’s hands were at least supposed to be on the steering wheel. It seemed she hadn’t needed to worry, after all.

The car slowed to a halt at the red light ahead, and Emily huffed. “I get that, it’s just… I want someone who doesn’t have that fucking word in their vocabulary. I want someone who sees my body and doesn’t automatically think ‘girl.’ I don’t want to be a girl.”

Lucia frowned, something finally clicking in her head that hadn’t dared snap into place before.

“Em, you’re not a girl.”
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