Lovely Silence (YuriAnnin) (Yuria’s POV)
My name is Yuria. I’m living in Tokyo with my mother. I’m a High School student but I’m really bad at studying. Whatever, I put all my effort in dance. Today was another boring day, I was at school.
“Yuria! We’ll have a new student.” Renacchi yelled next to me.
“Eh? In our class?” I asked my friends.
In the middle of the year? It will be hard for her to find friends. I wondered how they knew about that.
“Yes. I saw her, she’s pretty.” Juri answered me.
Well, a lot of boy will try to hit on her. As usual when a new pretty girl come in a school.
The bell rang and we sat in our usual seats. I was sitting next to Rena while Juri and Naachan were behind us. Our teacher, Yokoyama-sensei, came in with a new figure next to her. It was the new student and Juri didn’t lie, she looked pretty.
“Good morning. It’s Iriyama Anna. She moves from Chiba. She’s mute but not deaf. So, I hope you will take care of her.” Yokoyama-sensei explained at the class. “Well, you can take the seat behind Oshima-san.” The teacher said while the young girl nodded.
Mute? Oh. I hope she could make friends, I knew people could be stupid because she is a bit different.
Anna took place and the class started. It was so boring, really. I didn’t listen to the teacher, I was in my mind.
“Do you want to go out today?” Renacchi asked us when we packed our bags.
“Yes.” Juri and Naachan said at the same time.
“Aaah… Sorry, I’ll go to the gymnasium.” I apologized.
“Again?!” Renacchi pouted and crossed her arms.
“Yes, yes.” I giggled at her reaction and left them.
I liked to spend my time here. I danced for a long time. I thought about nothing else than dance. It was a perfect time. My friends never came to see me. I wanted to be alone.
I put my bag down and turned the music on before placing myself in front of the mirror. I started dancing, my body followed the fast music. After few songs I paused myself again. I took my bottle and drank the cold water. I cast a quick glance toward the door. A figure was standing here. I spat the water, shocked. Why was she here, staring at me? The girl in front of me started giggling… without any sounds. Then, she slowly moved her hands in front of me. I immediately recognized the new student, Iriyama Anna.
“I’m sorry… That… was funny…” I said, following her hands. “That wasn’t!” I said while she looked at me, surprised.
[Can you understand me?] She looked completely stunned.
I was glad to be able to talk to her. I wasn’t good at school but I could learn sign language. I was just curious about it and I finally learned it little by little.
“Do I startle you? I learned sign language.” I answered with a light smile. “By the way, my name is Yuria.”
[Nice to meet you. You’re a great dancer.]
I wasn’t used to hear this. But it made me glad anyway.
“Ah… T-Thank you.” I mumbled, embarrassed.
[Maybe, do I disturb you?]
“Not at all. What are you doing here?”
[I just passed by.]
I cast a quick glance at the clock. I should have left since a long time.
“I see. I need to go, it’s already late. You should go home too.” I said, taking my bag.
[You’re right. See you tomorrow.]
Then, she left me and I reached my home. I hoped she didn’t think she was bothering me as I quickly left her.
The next day, I was sitting with my friends, around a table. It was the lunch time. The students in the cafeteria were noisy. I didn’t like it.
“Yuria, stop daydreaming.” Juri said, pushing my shoulder.
I looked at her until I distinguished a familiar figure passing in front of us. I stared at her for several seconds and decide to call the girl.
“Anna!” I called out and my friends looked at me, surprised.
The mute girl reached us. I didn’t want her to stay alone.
[Hello.] She smiled softly.
“Do you want to eat with us?” I asked kindly.
[I don’t want to bother you.]
“It’s fine. Please.” I begged her while her smile grew up.
[Thanks.] She finally sat next to me.
“Here, Renacchi, Juri and Naachan.” I said and pointed out my friends who waved at Anna.
I did the translation. But I didn’t care, Anna seemed happy. She was smiling. I didn’t know why I had a sudden interest in the girl but I wanted to be her friend. She spent a lot of times with us. Well, we became her friends. My three friends weren’t bothered because she couldn’t speak.
“Yuria, you’ll be fine for the test next week?” Renacchi asked a bit worried.
“Aaaaah, I hope so.” I showed a sad smile.
I wasn’t. I didn’t study and I couldn’t understand. I tried to work but it seemed that I couldn’t. I felt a soft hand patting my shoulder. Then, I turned around and see Anna who was trying to speak with me.
[Do you want some help?]
I only stare at her, stunned. Help? Will she help me?
[For the test, I can help you.]
“Eh? Really? I mean, is it okay for you?”
I hoped it was. I liked to spend time with her. Even though it was to study.
[It is. Are you free after the class?]
[I am. Thank you.] I answered via sign language.
“Hey, we can’t understand you.” Naachan said while I giggled.
I knew my friends couldn’t understand but I didn’t care.
“Well, you don’t need to know.” I teased her who looked at me surprised.
Anna seemed a bit stunned by my answer. She will only give me some help. It was not something special after all.
[Can we go?]
“Yes.” I answered, bringing my bag with me.
Then, we walked together to her house. I didn’t talk, I didn’t dare. I felt embarrassed. I didn’t know why. We finally reached Anna’s house and I broke this awkward silence.
“Are we alone?” I managed to say when we passed the door.
[Yes. Is it bothering you?] She smiled at me.
Did it bother her to be alone with me?
“No, it’s fine.”
We sat in her room and started working. I didn’t like it but for Anna, I made an effort. I tried to understand. I did my best while she helped me kindly.
I’m walking in a dark street. Alone. I’m not afraid, I have the impression that it’s usual. I feel a warm hand grabbing mine gently. I look toward the figure, my dad. I hear a ball bouncing on a road. The time is slow. Dad’s hand leaves me, slowly. I see him running after the red ball. A flash dazzles me. I close my eyes before opening it a few seconds later. My dad, on the floor, his red blood covers him. I’m feeling dizzy. Something shakes my shoulder…
I opened my eyes and looked around me, dumbfounded. My tears were flowing on my cheeks. Why was I crying? The girl in front of me extended her arm to wipe them with a soft smile. Anna? I surely felt asleep and the nightmare made me cry. I didn’t want to explain why I was crying, so I just apologized.
“I-I’m sorry…” I mumbled.
[It’s fine. You seemed tired, so I let you sleep.]
“Thank you…” I answered and lowered my head.
[Are you all right?] She seemed worried.
“Just a nightmare.” I smiled before talking again. “I will go back home. Thanks and see you tomorrow Anna.”
The silent girl waved her hand slowly while I left her. I let out a sigh. Why my heart turned wild when she asked me if everything was okay? I liked it, the way she was worried for me… but why?
“I was worried.” My mother said when I passed the door.
“I was with a friend.” I looked the old picture put on a table, remaining me the old memories.
“Are you okay, sweetie?” My mother asked me, with a worried look.
“Yes.” I smiled sadly and left to my room.
I put my bag down and sit on my bed, turning on the music on my ears. I thought about the nightmare, Anna, the test, my friends. I missed something. Closing my eyes, I fell asleep.
“You need to go!” Naachan told me while all my friends approved.
“Eh? Why? I won’t!” I said but Anna shook my arms.
Why did she tell them? I didn’t like to dance in front of the people.
[You need to go to this contest! You will win for sure, your dance is the best.]
“I don’t know what Anna says, but she is surely right!” Juri added.
Of course, Anna is always right.
“Well…” I looked at my friend. “Fine.”
I gave up. I’ll do it.
“Yosha!” Juri shouted aloud.
[Why did you tell them?] I asked Anna.
[I needed their help to convince you.] She answered with an amused smile. [We will support you.]
She didn’t need to do it. But it seemed that made her glad.
[Thanks.] I smiled but my friends looked at us, annoyed.
“Hey, we can’t understand.” Renacchi grumbled.
Sometimes, we talked via sign languages, that was our secret language. I was feeling glad, I was the only one who could understand Anna, I felt special.
Days passed, I finally won the dance contest. Anna and my friends supported me a lot. My mother became more and more worried about me and my bad mood but I kept repeating that I was fine. It was just… like something was missing. I didn’t know what or why.
“Yuria!” Someone shouted, pulling me out from my thoughts.
“Hm?” I said in a sleepy tone.
“Can you come with me, please?” Renacchi asked, like she was in a hurry.
“What happens?” I answered and stoop up slowly.
My friend grabbed my wrist and pulled me until we reach a peaceful part of the playground. Here, I discovered a crying girl, sitting against a tree, her face buried in her knees. She seemed to cry hard but I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t hear her sobs. I sat next to her while Renacchi left us. Wait. Was it Anna?
“Hey?” I said, trying to make her raise her head, just to be sure.
She looked at me slowly, her eyes were red and tired. It hurt me to see her cry.
“Anna?” I mumbled, a bit surprised. “What happens?” I asked kindly.
The silent girl put her head on my shoulder and I wrapped my arms around her. I wanted to stay like that. It could be perfect if she wasn’t crying. She stopped crying after a few minutes. I felt her arms which tried to move, I released a little my grip to let her talk.
[My mum is in the hospital.]
Oh, I understood now. I hoped it wasn’t too serious.
[I don’t know.]
She was worried and sad. I needed to do something.
“Do you wanna see her?” I asked, looking at her.
She simply nodded, avoiding my gaze. I helped her to stand up before speaking again.
“Well, we will see her now.” I said with a soft smile.
[Now?] She seemed stunned.
“Let’s go.” I smiled after wiping the tears from her soft cheeks.
I grabbed her hand and brought the blushing girl with me. I didn’t care about the school. I wanted to Anna see her mom, to stop being worried.
We were standing up in front of the hospital. I looked at it, taking a deep breath. Anna continued walking but I stopped suddenly, making her turn around. I couldn’t. I needed to erase that memory.
[Yuria?] She looked a bit stunned.
“S-Sorry.” I mumbled and we entered into the impressive hospital.
I held her hand tightly. I didn’t want to let her go. I looked at the people around. They were sick, hurt, feeling bad. I hated the strong scent that I could smell. The white and empty walls were oppressive.
“She is sleeping now, you could see her in one or two hours.” A nurse said while Anna sadly looked at her mother, far from us.
I nodded and we sat on an iron bench, in front of the door’s room. I was a bit upset that we couldn’t see her mother right now.
[You don’t seem fine.] My friend looked at me without any smile.
“I don’t like this kind of place.” I answered while I felt her hand squeezing mine gently. “I will wait with you.” I told her and she put her head on my shoulder in response.
It could be better but I was fine with her by my side.
I opened my eyes slowly, looking next to me. She wasn’t her anymore. I shook my head and stood up quickly.
“Are you all right?” A nurse who was passing by, asked me.
“Where is Anna?” I answered, half dizzy and half panicked.
“The girl who was with you? She left toward the roof a few minutes ago.” I quickly thanked her and ran to the high place.
The young girl was standing up, leaned against a gate. I came closer, trying to make no sound. But, she heard me and turned around when I was almost next to her.
[Why are you feeling so bad?] She insisted with the same worried face.
“I told you, I don’t like hospitals.” I tried to reassure her.
Why did she ask me? I didn’t like to talk about it. Yet, I decided to tell her because it was Anna.
“My dad is dead in a hospital. That brings bad memories.” I finally said, looking down.
I didn’t dare to look at Anna again. She was worried about her mother who was in a hospital room and… I just spoke about my dead father. Warm hands which wrapped mine gently, erased my thoughts. I raised my head slowly. Again, my heart was crazy. The silent girl was blushing badly. After a few seconds, I noticed how our faces were close. I wanted to come closer, until our lips touch. I needed it. Anna leaned toward me, looking at my lips. I slowly did the same.
“Iriyama-san, your mother is awake!” A voice yelled.
Our lips were a few inches apart but we quickly pushed away, embarrassed. Our faces looked really red.
“G-Go see to your mother!” I managed to say, avoiding her look.
I stared at her, from behind. If the nurse didn’t come, will we kissed…? Did she love me? Because I did. I admitted it now. I loved her, I wanted to be with her.
After some days, Anna’s mother left the hospital. In fact, I didn’t talk too much with Anna, we tried to avoid each other. Did she regret what almost happen? Finally, I decided to see her. I missed her.
“Hello Yuria, are you here to see Anna?” My friend’s mother said with a warm smile.
“Yes. Are you getting better, Iriyama-san?” I asked, going into the house.
“I am. She prepares her bag in her room.” The woman answered and I left tod Anna’s place.
I knocked at the door which was open a few seconds after. The silent girl showed me a surprised face but let me in. A gray suitcase half full was putting in the room with a few clothes around it. She is… leaving?
“What are you doing?” I asked, stunned by what I saw.
[I’m going to America…]
I stared at her, gasping by the news. No. It was impossible. She passed behind me and closed the door. I felt her arms wrapping my waist while she buried her face in my neck.
“I missed you.” I spoke, squeezing the girl’s hand.
Then, she released her hold, little by little. I turned around without speaking.
[I will be operated. I lost my ability to speak when I was three years old. They can treat it now. It’s my last chance.]
“If it doesn’t work?” I asked, looking at her bitter smile.
[I will stay mute.]
I didn’t know about this. I always thought that she was mute since her birth. I felt glad for her but I was afraid. I didn’t want her to leave.
“Anna… I-” She interrupted, putting her finger on my lips.
She leaned toward me, removing her finger from my lips. This time, I couldn’t let anyone interrupt us. I put my hand on her cheek and pulled her closer until our lips met, Anna’s arms around my waist. Her lips were soft. I enjoyed the kiss for a few seconds until we pulled away. She looked at me with a smile, she moved her hands slowly but, I couldn’t recognize it. What was it? I missed you? No it wasn’t. I couldn’t remember. I never saw it. Maybe when I learned but I couldn’t recognize it.
“I-I don’t understand.” I said, shameful.
She giggled, making fun of me.
[It’s fine, I will tell you when I come back in Japan.]
Every week, I tried to remember her last moves. Trying to understand what it meant. But I couldn’t. I didn’t want to search on the internet. I wanted to find it by myself.
“Yuria! Come over here!” I heard my mother calling me. “Open the door please.” She said without looking at me.
Really? Why didn’t she do it by herself? She was next to it.
“Can’t you do it-” I gasped, seeing the tall figure in front of me with a bright smile on her face. “A-Anna?” I muttered while she hugged me tightly.
I turned the embrace back. I quickly pulled her to my room. I didn’t want to stay with my mother around.
“I’m glad to see you, I miss you a lot.” I said, waiting for my girlfriend to speak.
Did the surgery fail? Why doesn’t she speak?
“Anna? Talk to me.” I lowered my head.
“Yuria?” An unfamiliar voice said my name.
I raised my head quickly, looking at her, stunned. She grinned at me.
“I love you!” She added gladly.
Did she say it? It was… I had no words. I missed her so much. She pulled me into another hug. I looked at her, smiling. She leaned and let a soft kiss upon my lips.
“Yuria…” She spoke in a light tone.
“Oh my god. Your voice is so beautiful.” I told her.
She only laughed at my stupid comment. It was the first time that I heard her laugh. It sounded like a music to my ears. I smiled at her and wrapped my arms around her waist, pulling her for another kiss.
“Did you find what does it mean?” She asked, making the move when we pulled away.
I felt a bit bad, as an idiot. I hoped she will understand.
“I swear, I tried but I didn’t find.” I admitted, a little ashamed.
“‘I love you’ I said.” I finally knew the answer.
So, it was that. She told me ‘I love you’ the first time we kissed. I couldn’t tell her the last time. I never told her.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
It was our lovely silence.