Callie sighed silently, placed her pen down on the bed beside the journal, which was laying open on a half filled page, and looked up. Silence covered her like a shroud, and the air was thick with thoughts that were unspoken.
She closed the journal and hid it safely inside her pillowcase. Mr Matthews had given her the journal, in the hopes that it would help her to start speaking again. He’d said that he wouldn’t read it or ask for it back, “It’s yours, now, Callie. I don’t know why you won’t talk, or what it is that’s happened to you, but there’s this sadness inside you, that needs to come out somehow… and if you can’t speak about it, then maybe you can get it out some other way” Callie had smiled a small smile and accepted the journal in her usual silence.
He meant well, she knew that, but he just didn’t understand that she couldn’t talk about it. She had been so scared when it had happened, and had been unable to speak about it, and before she’d even realised it, she had become unable to even speak about simple things.
It was driving her mother to distraction, as she continually tried to get her to speak, using a variety of different methods. Her most recent one consisted of hurling a stream of questions at her, in the hope of provoking her into answering one of them, but she had, so far, been completely unsuccessful, causing her to suddenly burst into bouts of hysterical tears, which only served to make Callie feel worse.
She laid down on her bed and looked up at the ceiling. She had been spending an increasing amount of time laying on her bed, gazing at the ceiling. Sometimes, she pretended that she was staring at the open sky, inventing shapes out of different cloud formations. In reality, she was merely making shapes out of the shadows in her Dad’s uneven artexing, but she didn’t care. She liked to imagine, and for even a short while, it was able to transport her away from her own thoughts and torments.
It had all started about a year ago, during her first term in year nine. Up until then, she had been just like any other teenager. Her mother had complained on numerous occasions that she was a chatterbox, and had even asked her if she ever shut up. Those times were long gone, though, and as she stared at the ceiling, she found that she could barely remember back to that time.
The day that had changed her life seemed permanently imprinted on her brain, blocking out, and almost obliterating the time beforehand. She sighed again, and then jumped as she heard the front door open and close. That was her mother, who began her usual routine, which Callie had grown to know all too well by now. “Hello, I’m home” she called out, and she clearly still expected a response, despite the fact that Callie hadn’t responded to this for just under a year now.
She would then do a tour of the house, looking for Callie wasn’t sure what, before walking up the stairs, checking in each room, until coming to a stop outside Callie’s room. Here, she would knock, and then wait for her to answer, then, when no answer came, she would push the door open and peer around before saying, “Oh, so you are there then”
Callie didn’t respond. She didn’t even move. She didn’t mean to be rude, but she knew that she couldn’t give her mother what she wanted, and really couldn’t deal with seeing the look of frustrated disappointment on her face.
Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.