Sounds of Silence

The clock ticked as the students all sat in silence, waiting for the teacher to hand out the exam papers. The buzz of the lights hummed through my ears. Behind me, the boy with an abundance of freckles tapped his foot against his desk rapidly, keeping a dubstep beat. It reminded me of the MUSIC I blasted when I got home after a long, hard day at work or school, when my walls seemed to shake with the beat, and the windows were on the verge of cracking. It reminded me of how my parents would come up to my room, bang-bang-banging on the door, TURN IT DOWN! the sound of their voices strikes through my heart like it does when they fight in the kitchen and they holler, and my father throws plates, but no one screams OPA! Instead, I hear my mother’s tears of rage and her footsteps out the door, phone in hand, calling god-knows-who.

She’s probably talking to my grandmother, who doesn’t think I’m a lady, and I never will be, or maybe to our friends who call in every other day, with news that their sons and daughters are receiving acceptance letters into university – every ring on the phone sliming my own chances of getting in and the green monster inside eating at my body, crunching the bones beneath its strong, sharp teeth while the devil screams at me, chanting: you’ll never be good enough. There’s crunching, screaming, yelling, dictating, ringing, buzzing, criticizing, shattering plates along granite floors and counter tops, banging, tapping, humming, all happening at once during this period of silence as we all wait for our papers to be places in front of us. I wish the teachers would hurry up, and the test could be over – I hate the sounds of silence.

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