1 Chapter 01

This is it Noah.

You can do this.

You are strong.

I let out a breath and started walking to what I assumed was the right direction to the reception. I stopped when my cane hit the desk. A voice that was feeble and shuddering which I thought to be of an old woman hit my eardrum.

"How may I help you?" A voice that automatically put a smile on my face.

"Uhmm… I’m new. My name is Noah Carter and I… I don’t know where to go" I stuttered out, completely a mess of nerves.

This was the first time I was interacting with someone who wasn’t my mom, my step-dad or my sister. A completely new world for me, completely new experience for me.

"Hello Noah. I'm Linda. Don’t worry, I’m here to assist you. Please wait while I check your name in the list." she spoke, in her ever so gentle and sweet voice. I gave her a nervous smile and a nod.

“Your name is in the list.” She said as I heard some other shuffling noises and tapping on the keyboard.

"Let me help you" Now the voice was coming from my right side before I felt a tender touch on my arm. I licked my lips and took a deep breath.

"Umm thank you"

She led me to my first class and gave me some sheet saying it was the school map, well what use it was to me? I actually acknowledged it. I asked her to record the directions to my other classes on my recorder and thankfully she did. She inquired as to whether she could do whatever else for me however I just shook my head. I heard the compassion in her voice and I could tell she was feeling frustrated about me and I loathed it.

I never preferred compassion in any structure since I was not sorry for my condition. I lost my visual perception yet it wasn't my shortcoming. There was not something to be upset for on the grounds that I was still a lot of typical like some other person.

"This is your sociology class. Teacher will be here soon. Mr. Bright is teaching sociology this semester. Do you want me to get you something?" I shook my head and sat on the seat.

All the compassion she was appearing, it was irritating me. I realized she intended no mischief and was simply attempting to be courteous yet I was unable to endure it any longer.

"I really appreciate you but can you not do this?" I toned down my annoyance as much as I could and asked her in my most polite tone.

"Do what?" I could hear the frown in her voice.

"Please, I would appreciate if you treat me like other students without feeling sorry for me.” I tried to be polite but now my annoyance was showing in my tone and I myself, could hear it very clearly. I’m not very good at controlling my mood swings.

"No problem, son." she said, without being offended and patted my back. All things considered, at that point I felt somewhat terrible for demonstrating my temper yet I'm lacking in temper it wasn't my shortcoming totally.

"Thank you" I smiled at her, brightly, aware that my dimples would be on display.

It’s not like I had seen my dimples but I had been told that I had these two adorable dimples on both sides of my cheek that make an appearance on my cheeks every time I talk or smile.

"I have to go now. Take care. " She said before I heard her heels making a rhythmic sound against the marbled floor, it faded away soon.

I was quite early. Consider it my mom's concerns or what since she was the person who was more anxious for my first day and woke me up at 5 AM. I could tell the hallways were unfilled when I showed up as I heard no strides or chitter-prattle of understudies. I was basically alone in the study hall too, I could hear an absolute hush in the room.

I laid my head on the desk and closed my eyes. As soon as my eyes were closed the soreness reduced. The longer my eyes stayed open the more they hurt, because they were highly sensitive to sunlight or light in general.

Not long but rather 15 minutes after the fact, I heard the strides and uproarious voices of understudies who were prepared to begin one more day of school and sounded particularly invigorated. The voices got stronger and I could tell the room was completely gotten together with understudies and unexpectedly there were quieted voice, trailed by rearranging commotion and quietness.

"Good morning class. Welcome back to school. I'm John Bright and I'll be teaching you sociology this year." A deep voice echoed in the class. He sounded excited for the first day of school.

“We’ve got a new arrival.” Mr. Bright said. There were murmurs in the class and I wondered why.

"Would you like to introduce yourself, young man?" he spoke. Every one quietened down. I was waiting for someone to speak but no one did.

"I’m sorry. I'm talking to you, boy" he sounded closer to me and then I felt a hand on my shoulder. I stood up but he gently pushed me back on my seat.

"It's okay, just introduce yourself, sitting right there."

I gave a gesture, licking my lips and attempting to take full breaths to quiet myself down on the grounds that talking noisily to an entire class, well I never encountered that. As I said I never addressed anybody yet my family.

"My name is Noah Carter. I’m seventeen. I’m from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire. We moved to London when I was 5. I have been home schooled before. This is my first time to attend any school.” I had to stop myself.

Indeed, the thing is… I don't talk a lot yet once I'm agreeable it's extremely difficult to shush me down. For what reason am I like that? I have no thought.

"We are happy to have you here, Mr. Carter. I hope you find this journey enjoyable." Mr. Bright spoke, with too much grace in his voice. I radiated at him and gave him an appreciative gesture for causing me to make some noise before the class since it encouraged me acquire the certainty.

Soon, Mr. Bright started the first lecture and I noted everything down with the help of the braille typewriter I carried all the way to the school with me. The lecture was interesting. We discussed the definition and the “Big-Three” theories of sociology. It was an alternate encounter to sit in a class with different understudies while an instructor is giving you a talk and including you in the conversation. It was energizing and I making the most of my first class.

When the class was over, I gathered my things and put them back in my bag. I listened to the directions Linda gave me and walked to my next class.

I could hear little mumbles and quieted voices of learners as I strolled past them and I realized this planned to happen on the grounds that a visually impaired learner in the school where the wide range of various learners considered themselves being better than me since I lost my one sense, was considered abnormal. This was the lone thing I was generally stressed over and how should I not be, at whatever point I went to any family meals where my cousins and relatives would be available, I was dealt with like some peculiar individual who never dealt with like an ordinary person. It is possible that it was compassion or quieted voice, mumbling about my visual deficiency.

Quite soon I was finished with half of the classes and practically delighted in the entirety of my classes and my own camaraderie since I didn't attempt to speak with anybody. Indeed, who am I joking? No one attempted to converse with me, not simply a straightforward 'hi'.

I quit giving a lot of time to the possibility that perhaps I could never discover a companion to experience this long term of school excursion and contemplated all the educators and classes I had taken up until now.

There was this one class that stood out for me, not because it was only exciting but the teacher was so kind and friendly. Mr. Brown. A man with a raspy voice and deep voice, accent so think that sometime it was hard to understand, a bit like Yorkshire accent.

He didn't deal with me like I was not the same as others. He didn't feel for me which was what made him my number one educator up until this point. He wasn't excessively sweet, nor was he inconsiderate. He didn't phony the generosity and what I closed after his group was that generally learners loved him since he knew when the time had come to joke and when the time had come to be not kidding.

So, yes, Literature with Mr. Brown was my favorite class so far.

With that idea, I entered in the cafeteria. I strolled around in the bistro not for a really long time before I found a spot with was less uproarious and I could tell there was no understudy on the seat I sat down. I set my sack alongside me and let out a breath which I didn't realize I was holding since pack with a typewriter and PC wasn't not difficult to haul around. I inclined my stick against the table and removed my lunch box from my pack. As I opened the top, fragrance of my mum's sandwich filled my nostrils and my appetite amplified.

Exactly when I began chomping on the chicken sandwich, I felt somebody's presence around me. It didn't seem like only one individual, with the snickers and mumbles I could advise it was a gathering. I quit eating and turned my head around to the bearing of the sound.

Be that as it may, before I could find the opportunity to ask, I felt something being poured on my head and afterward leaking down my head to my shirt, splashing it. A giggling followed as the entire bistro lit up with its sound. I felt so humiliated. I hung my head low as tears began to shape in my eyes yet I vowed myself that I wouldn't allow them to fall.

"Nice little cane, fag.” I heard a voice say. I didn’t lift my face, just held in embarrassment because this was other thing that I was worried about attending the school. Bullying.

“Omg what a freak he is.” Another voice came and I curled myself in a ball.

“Go back to the hole from where you’ve crept out. You don't belong here." This voice made me turn my head up to the direction it was coming from, a Yorkshire accent but the voice was a little squeaky.

"Look at his eyes. They are red. What are you creep? A demon?" he laughed again and I couldn’t take it. I knew my eyes become deep shade of red when I cry and that was the reason, I wasn’t looking up at all.

I put my hands on the table and searched for my stuff so that I could leave but then another hand grabbed my wrist and stopped me. I tried to free my hand but the grip tightened.

"Looking for something?" He said and they all burst into laughter again.

"Let me go!" I freed my arm and reached for my bag but it wasn’t there.

I heard not many commotions as things were tumbling down and that is the point at which I comprehended that they tossed all the stuff from my pack on the floor. A tear got away from my eye, breaking the oath I made with myself.

"Look mommy’s boy is crying.” They mocked me, laughing.

One hand pushed me and I lost my balance, taken off guard. I fell on my back and they threw my sandwich and my lunchbox on me before leaving, laughing as if they had accomplished something big.

I cleaned the tears that have double-crossed me and began gathering my things. I didn't anticipate that anybody should help me and nobody even did. I stuffed them back in my pack, got my stick before I rushed off to the restroom, knocking in things to a great extent due to my newness to the spot yet was prevailing with regards to advancing out of the boisterous bistro into the passageway.

I smelled of strawberries because that’s what they’ve poured on me. Strawberry smoothie. I needed to clean this mess up before going to home because then mum would make a fuss about it.

I bumped into someone as I was in my own thoughts and then being blind didn’t help as well. I could tell whoever they were, they had very firm shoulder. It felt like my nose would bleed but it didn’t.

"Sorry, my fault." I mumbled. I didn’t wait for their reply because I wasn’t in the mood for chat. I walked away from them, towards the bathrooms.

Just a few steps further, I felt like someone was following me. I could hear subtle footsteps and very low sound of breaths. I stopped at once and turned around. Though I couldn’t see but I could tell someone was standing there.

"Why are you following me?" I asked, politely not trying to be rude if they weren’t following me and I was just being paranoid but I got no answer. I swished my cane and it hit someone’s leg, I instantly pulled it back, mumbling a sorry.

"Please, don’t follow me. I’ve already had enough for today." I pleaded, really not in the mood to being chased by someone, plus, why were they even following me?

I turned around on my heels, before tapping on recorder to hear Linda’s instructions to the bathroom and followed them to the bathroom.

I entered the restroom, at last and looked for the sink. It didn't take long. I rested my sack over the sink-rack and opened the tap. I sprinkled water all over and went after my sack to get the tissue papers from it yet somebody got my arm and I got shitless terrified for my life.

"Please don't hurt me" No response but the person put my hand on my bag, which was in the other direction to where I was reaching for earlier. I smiled at them and grabbed my bag to take out the tissue papers.

"Thank you" I said, putting my bag back on the shelf and wiping my face dry.

"Who are you?" I asked looking at the direction where I thought the person was standing. As I expected, no voice spoke but a pair od hands cupped my face and they were so soft and gentle that I could feel hairs raising on my body.

A thumb stumbled into my cheek and touched it, delicately. It made me lost in the touch. I really wanted to grin a little and shut my eyes, living in my own musings, not caring who the individual was on the grounds that I was never been held that delicately, aside from my mum.

Abruptly, those hands withdrew and I could hear them take a full breath prior to venturing back. I heard the strides and afterward an uproarious slamming of entryway before everything went calm once more. Whoever that was, left me alone in the restroom however for what reason did that individual hold my face that way? What was the explanation?

I just disregarded it. I pivoted to wash my hair and shirt and afterward evaporated them with the towel my mum left in my sack. I realized I was at that point late for the following class so I didn't put forth an attempt to surge it.

The remainder of the day, all I pondered was what occurred in the cafeteria since I could hear individuals snickering and laughing at whatever point I strolled past them and it was humiliating.

My first day was pretty much spoiled and I didn’t enjoy the rest of the day, classes, teachers, lectures and obnoxious students. As soon as I heard the last bell, I grabbed my things, stuffed them in my bag and left the room to get out of the building as soon as possible and be at home.

"Hey listen, wait!"

But of course, you can’t have anything you want, right? I wanted to be alone but I felt this guy call me and then a hand on the shoulder was confirmation that indeed he was talking to me.

"Listen. You forgot this." He said, in thick Irish accent and very boyish voice. Well, he was a boy but still it sounded like the boy just hit his puberty.

He got my hand and set something on my hand. I felt it and it was my recorder. All things considered, obviously, I failed to remember something in class yet thank sky I got it back in light of the fact that I needed to tune in to the headings over and over during that day so following day I wouldn't require a recorder.

"Thank you." I beamed at him, really grateful.

"Your name is Noah, right?" He asked and I nodded.

"I’m Keith Dawson. I have three classes with you." The boy introduced himself. I really liked his friendly and care-free nature.

"That's great." I replied, a person who never had a conversation with a complete stranger.

"Right. By the way I'm not in the direction you're looking." He chuckled and I could tell he wasn’t taunting or anything.

"I'm not looking anywhere because I can't. I am blind, remember?" I laughed, making a joke about it but when I didn’t hear him laughing, I bit my lip to quieten my laugh.

"Sorry." I mumbled.

"No, it's okay. It's just I felt embarrassed for what I said." He said, sounding embarrassed for real. I shook my head and smiled at him.

"Don't be. It's all good." I assured him. I heard him sigh.

"You really seem like a nice guy, Noah." he spoke sadly. Well, why was he said?!

"Thank you?" It came out as a question because I didn’t exactly know what that poor guy meant.

"I saw what they did there in the cafeteria. I'm sorry." he spoke. Oh, so that’s why he was sad.

"It wasn't your fault, Keith.” I said and felt my phone vibrating in my jeans.

“Listen I gotta go. My mother is waiting outside. If you want, we can chat up tomorrow." I suggested because I really liked his nature. He seemed to be a nice guy.

"Yeah sure. Do you want me to escort you out?" he questioned. Well, sympathy was the one thing that wasn’t in my book.

"No, I'm fine." I responded and bid my goodbye before hurrying out of the school because I knew if I had spent one more minute inside, mum would’ve filed a missing report.

As soon as I was out of the building, approaching the parking area, I was immersed in a bone smashing embrace and vanilla aroma. The aroma that consistently quieted me. I grinned and folded my arms over the body.

"You scared the hell out of me, boy. Where were you?" I heard mum’s a little panicked and a little relieved voice.

"I was talking to someone, mum." I informed her. She nodded and kissed my hair.

"Why do you smell like strawberries? And what's this stain on your shirt?" she questioned, pulling away.

This is why I was telling you that I don't belong in school with kids but you didn't listen. I shook my head to get rid of that thought.

"Nothing, mum. I bumped into someone and they had smoothie in their hands. Can we go home now?" I lied. She sighed, I could tell she saw through my lies but she didn’t ask me question, which I was grateful for.

She drove me to the vehicle and drove us back home. When we arrived at home, I discarded my stick and rushed to my room. I knew the bearings of my home like the rear of my hand. I washed up and lied on my bed in the wake of getting dressed and contemplated all the occasions that had occurred at the school.

I considered the cafeteria occasion and what those fellows said to me. I realized I'd face something to that effect and I had told my mum however she didn't hear me out. She continued saying that I need to grow up at this point. I must be solid for myself and I ought to figure out how to manage the individuals.

I made a decent attempt to act ordinary, to be typical, and to mix in the ordinary individuals. However, wherever I went, possibly they indicated me compassion or I wasn't invited there. It was typical for me. I had heard this a great deal, whatever the chaps said, I had heard everything previously. To be straightforward all that had occurred in the schools bistro wasn't annoying me however much I figure it would.

What irritating me was what occurred in the restroom, subsequently. It never occurred. Nobody ever held my face so delicately or even my hand. The touch resembled the individual feared breaking me like I was made of glass. They stroked my face so softly that I had goosebumps. Nobody could possibly do that to me. Never.

I shut my eyes and contacted my face where that individual contacted me. I scoured my face delicately and a grin crawled all over. It was unpleasant how they just left from that point forward, yet their touch felt right. I let out a moan of gladden and attempted to rest.

****

When the dinner was ready, mum called me down. I left all the things, school work, books scattered on my study table and rushed out of the room. I climbed down the stairs, a little hop in my steps. I know it was childish but it made me happy. I entered the living room as mum asked me to wait another 5 minutes so she could set the table. This always happened, she always used to call me early but I never complaint because then I got the time to have a little chat with my step-dad.

"Hey, son." I heard my step-dad Nick’s voice. I walked in the direction and sat beside him.

"Hello, Nick." I beamed at him. He ruffled my hair in response.

"How was your first day at school?" He questioned and I rolled my eyes at him.

"Typical question. It was good though." I said, shrugging slightly.

"Did you make friends?" He asked and I sighed. Yes, if I could count Keith one.

"No. but there was this one guy who talked to me after the school. His name was uh… Keith." I didn’t want to say the name urgently so, they could be like ask more about him because I myself didn’t know Keith yet.

"Great. You will make friend in no time." He assured me and I smiled at him, placing my head on his shoulder. He cuddled me closer and kissed the mop of my curly hair, which I had been told looked very cute on me.

"Eva called when you were taking a nap. Give her a call back." Mum spoke from the kitchen, in a little high-pitched voice.

"Alright mum." I shouted, only to get a gentle slap on my shoulder from Nick.

We had dinner, almost silently. Well Nick going off about decreasing market rates for his company’s stock and mum whining about not getting enough time to eat in the office, don’t count.

After dinner, I decided to do the homework that was pending. I went back to my room and continued doing my homework on my laptop which had a special keyboard for people like me.

When my admission was in process, mum had asked the principal about typed-in homework because I couldn’t write. The principal agreed with it because he didn’t want to lose a bright student like me, who was even better in studies than those who were not homeschooled.

Exactly when I was finished with the schoolwork, I heard my telephone rang. I looked about the catch to go to the approach my exceptional telephone and Eva, my sister's boisterous and piercing voice talked from the opposite side of the line.

"Hey, baby bro." A smile appeared on my face, as soon as I heard her voice. I missed her so much. She was my only friend but then she had to leave to attend college. She wanted to be cool and live on-campus.

"Hey, Eva." I grinned, making my voice actually sound like a baby because she loved it.

"How are you?" She questioned and I could hear a smile in her voice.

"Good. Just done my homework." I replied.

"Good to hear, bro. How was your first day?" She asked, sounding concerned but I didn’t want her to worry about me.

"It was good, Eva." I answered, excitedly to make her believe it was good because expect mum, nobody could tell if I was lying or not, if I put up my best act.

"Woo! Did you make any friends?" Another question for which I had to act up.

"Nah. But I will." I wasn't sure if I would or not but I didn't want my sister to think of her brother as a lose though I knew she wouldn’t.

"I called earlier on mum's phone. You were sleeping." She said as I heard few voices in the background.

"Yeah, I was about to give you a call after the homework." I answered her, truthfully because I was going to call her.

"Okay. Listen cupcake, I'll talk to you later. I have to go. My study group is here." Eva said and I nodded, though I knew she couldn’t see me.

"Take care, Eva." …and she hung up the call. Well, that was Eva for you. She was always in hurry.

I chose to tune in to music for some time as I connected my earphones to my telephone. I cleared the wreck I realized I would've made in the room, setting everything back in its place. At that point, I laid back in my bed, shutting my eyes, tuning in to the tunes of 80s that never appeared to not astonish me, as the prospect of two hands measuring my cheek, attacked my brain.

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