Gerard becomes fascinated with the mute new kid at school, Patrick..
My mother is driving me to school, so that she can explain to the principal and my teachers that I can’t speak. I frown as my blue marker begins to fade. I’ll need to tell mom about that. She walks out of the office and I show her my message.
“I miss Pete.” is all I wrote.
She sighs and pulls me into a hug, “I know you miss him... but you’ll find a friend here too.”
I shake my head and look at my schedule before heading to my first class, scribbling away at my white board. I walk into the class, feeling all eyes on me as I walk to the teacher’s desk. I hand her my schedule and white board.
“Hello, I’m Patrick Stumph. (pronounced stump) I am unable to speak, so I use this white board to communicate.”
She nods and gives me a sad smile before standing and putting her hand on my shoulder, “Class, this is Patrick Stumph. He moved here from...?” she looks to me.
I blush and write on the white board, “Chicago.”
“Chicago. Alright Patrick just take a seat beside Frank over there, Frank raise your hand, and we’re about to review last night’s homework, so just pay attention.” she smiles.
I sit beside the boy with his hand lazily raised into the air. Frank is shorter than even me, with black hair and a lip ring. The guy sitting behind him is very, very pale with shoulder-length black hair, black clothes, and red converse. He raises his eyebrow, looking me over. I look down and wipe the white board clean.
He gently taps my shoulder, “Psst!”
I raise an eyebrow at him.
“You need a new marker.” he points to mine, “That one’s going out.”
Frank nudges the boy behind him, “Shut up Gee, you’ll get us in trouble.”
‘Gee’ rolls his eyes and smiles at me, “I’m Gerard. So I guess you can’t talk, huh?”
I shake my head and scribble, “I never have. Not a word.”
“That sounds awful, Patrick!” Gerard frowns.
I nod before turning to the front of the class. I dislike pity as much as teasing. I’m just fine with my fading marker and white board, and I don’t need Gerard’s help. I don’t need his pity either. In the class before lunch, my marker went out. I scribble desperately, but nothing. My only means of communication is gone, within the first half of my first day at this school. I sit alone at lunch, taking my lunch out of my bag.
“Gerard leave the boy alone!” Frank’s voice gets closer as I eat my sandwich.
Gerard sits beside me and smiles, setting a three pack of markers on my white board. One of them is blue, one red, and the other is black. I look up at him, confused.
“I went to our school’s supply store, near the office? They have a lot of school stuff. So, I bought you some markers.” he smiles, “It was only three dollars, so don’t worry about paying me back or anything, I don’t mind. And I know I didn’t have to, but I wanted to.”
My eyes widen. He’s talking to me...like Pete does. How can he possibly understand me when we met a few hours ago?
“That’s a secret.” he whispers, “One I’ll gladly tell you, but not at school.”
I quickly open the package and scribble, “No I need an answer now.”
“How about a hint instead, yeah?” he leans close and speaks softly, “I knew what you where going to write, before you wrote it.”
As he walks away, my mind is racing with questions. The main one being: How in the hell could be possibly know? I look over at Gerard and Frank, sitting with two other boys and shake my head before eating my lunch. It has to be coincidence.