Chapter 9:

It's Quiet Here

School For The Mediums


As soon as we were safely inside, Shizuko snatched me up into a hug. I almost toppled over as she threw herself on me.

“Oh, we were so worried about you!” She snuggled into my chest, crying and sniffling. “I thought we were going to lose like how we lost Aoko! I got so scared! I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t do anything! That’s how worried I was!”

Her arms wrapped tighter around me, so tight, in fact, I was struggling to breathe. “Shizuko,” I whispered, her arms were squeezing

“She’s lying she did eat.” Hiroto was leaning against the shoe wall with a smile.

She pulled away from me. “Shut up, Takahashi!” She wacked him with her arm, before she glued herself back to me.

Her arms clenched me even tighter as she blubbered and whined. “Oh Hadi-chan! I missed you! We tried to visit you but they wouldn’t let us in! They said they wanted to make sure nothing would start up the allergic reaction again while they were running tests! And we would have been at the hospital when you were getting discharged but stupid Ichiro-sensei tried to stop us from skipping school and tried to scold us on---.”

“---Shizuko.” I interrupted, patting her shoulder. “You’re kinda---.” I stopped to catch my breath. “--Smothering me.”

Her hug was unyielding and constrictive. I was nearly sure she was going to crack or dislocate one of my spine bones.

“Oh, sorry!” She bounced back with a sniffle. “I just was really worried.”

As soon as Shizuko backed away, Hiroto gave me a little hug. “We both were really worried.”

Luckily, his hug wasn’t as breath snatching as Shizuko’s.

“We thought you were…you know.” Shizuko wiped tears from her eyes.

“Correction, she---.” He pointed to Shizuko and she glared. “--Thought you were. I know you’re a cool tough cookie.” He smiled.

I rubbed my neck and gave both of them a light smile. “Well, I’m alive. Alive and…?” I couldn’t finish.

I should say I’m alive, and I feel great to be living. That I’m so, so, excited to have an incredible support system like my friends and my family.

That’s what people should say in situations like mines. They should be grateful and happy.

They’re not supposed to be an emotional wreck, or…be hearing things.

On instinct, I tensed.

And right about now I should be hearing something strange, shouldn’t I?

I swallowed, preparing my mind for a yell, a scream, a mutter, a whisper, or just plain gibberish.

But nothing.

It’s just me. In my thoughts. Me. I’m talking to myself.

Me? Just me?

What’s going on? Why is it so quiet?


“Huh?” Shizuko’s voice pulled me from my thoughts.

She tapped her head. “You’re spacing out.”

I blinked. “Sorry.”

My head is quiet.

No, way.

It’s actually quiet right now.

I’m not hearing the voices right now. Is this really happening? Normally they come in out like a tunning radio, but now…?

Swallowing the air, I waited.

It’s like they really did shut up when I told them to shut up.

No way.

I blinked again.

I don’t know why I can’t hear them right now. But honestly, why should I care why or how when I can’t hear them anymore? If it’s quiet then that’s alright for me because it means I’m not crazy!

A surge of happiness rushed into me as I faced Shizuko and Hiroto.

“Uh, sorry again, for spacing. It’s probably the whole ‘heart stopped for 3 minutes.’ Makes me absentminded I think.”

A smile was starting on my face. “In fact, maybe it did more than that. Messed up my brain for a second. But now?” I shrugged, smiling giddy, I’m sure. “I think I’m suddenly feeling better!”

“You are?” Hiroto and Shizuko said in unison. They both sent looks to each other.

Confused, I’m absolutely sure they were. I’ve gone from shouting shut up to news, crying and frowning, and now smiling like the world’s biggest fool.

I probably seem so strange right now. I know it. But what can I say?

It’s so quiet in here.

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