Nixon was sitting down in front of a couple lockers when I exited the classroom. "Ready to go?" I nodded as he struggled to get up. He took my hand when I offered it. "Is it weird for you, too, holding the hand of somebody that could pass as your twin?"
Another nod, I let go of his hand once he was up and started to follow him down the hall.
"Surely it's not just us, but the teacher didn't say anything. Nobody else did, either."
I shrugged, wondering if Nixon was in ASL because of somebody in his family was deaf. Not many people are just mute.
"So, did you have a good first day otherwise?"
"You don't talk much do you?" We exited the building through the double doors near the front office located near the cafeteria. There were several glass cases, recognizing students over the past few years and the Longhorn, which was their mascot. Black, white, and red decorated the cases as well, the school colors.
My silence was deafening. The sound of our footsteps changed as the material went from tile to cement. They now clunked against the stone, nobody was in this section of the front of the building. The other side was packed with kids waiting to take a seat on their bus. My bus was probably here too.
"My name is Nixon, by the way, if you didn't catch it earlier. What was yours again?"
I clammed up. This had been coming. I knew I'd have to show my true nature at some point. Gulping hard, I signed, 'Noah.'
"What? Dude, we're not in class anymore. We're allowed to talk."
Heat boiled in my blood, causing both anger and embarrasment. My cheeks burned. I couldn't ask my interpreter to talk for me now. She was only there for me first through seventh periods, excluding lunch. They thought I'd be fine in ASL, seeing as how the teacher is another interpreter, not for the school though. After that, I was on my own. I tried again, spelling it out. Maybe he could figure it out that way. 'N-O-A-H.'
"N-O-A-H. Oh, Noah, that's right. Why are you using sign?" He asked, confused.
I hung my head, ashamed. My hand made its way to my throat, touching my scar. My eyes pierced his and I moved my lips. 'I can't,' but no noise came out. It was hopeless, it just sounded like a click once my tongue flicked the roof of my mouth.
"You...you can't talk?"