Simon woke to a screeching in his ears. It was all he had been able to hear for the past week. His head ached as he sat up and rubbed his eyes. He yawned, eyed his now useless alarm clock, and realized he had over-slept. Rushing to get dressed, he read the notes his mother had left for him--reminding him to eat breakfast and empty out the dishwasher--before grabbing a poptart and running to school. As he ran, he noticed he was getting a call from Diana. He rejected it and continued his path to Greenburrow High School.
As soon as he arrived at his locker, he felt someone tug at the sleeve of his black hoodie. When he turned, he found a pair of deep blue eyes staring at him, tearing up with concern.
The girl stared into his amber eyes until he…show more content… Simon tried to listen, but the screams in his ears were too loud. He read her lips and managed to gather, “worried about you,” and, “called to check up.”
“Sorry I didn't answer any of your calls,” he said, assuming he read correctly. “It's really hard for me right now.”
She started speaking again and Simon struggled to keep up. “What happened? You were gone for weeks.” Her furrowed brow and reddened face said that her voice was probably shaking when she said that.
He hugged Diana, resting his chin on her shoulder before pulling back. “Nobody told you I was in the hospital?” She shook her head as he continued. “It was stupid, Grayson was flaunting his pilot's license. He wanted to take me out for a ride in a plane he bought, but he,” Simon felt his own voice shake, “he botched the landing. He's still in the hospital, I have to see him after school.”
“I'm so sorry,” he watched Diana say. He wasn't used to making this much eye contact while talking. “That must have been...” He shook his head at his own misreading of the end of her sentence as, “Good…show more content… Severe nerve damage, I think. He may never fly again. Me on the other hand...my hearing is shot, but that's the worst of it.”
“Wait,” she mouthed. “You...”
“Can’t hear a thing.” He tapped his ear. “I’ve been reading your lips.”
“I-I’m sorry, Si’, I didn’t--”
“I don’t think I’m actually deaf, Diana,” he chimed. “Just, there’s crazy loud screeching in my ears. I can’t hear much else.” He shuddered and grabbed his English book. “Even my own voice sounds like it coming from miles away, underwater.”
She pushed him back, taking over at his locker. She pulled his supplies for the following four class periods. He eyed her as a smile crept across her face.
“Well,” she spoke, clearly forcing articulation to help Simon lip read. “Since you can’t hear, and I doubt you’ll be able to lip read everything, all day. I’ll take your notes. Help you make it through the day. Then after school we can go to the hospital to see Grayson together.”
Simon grinned and nodded. She took his arm and pulled him towards their first period. As they sat, for the first time since the accident, he heard