Author's Note: I am so sorry. Time got away from me, and before I knew it 9 months had already passed. It wasn't like I wasn't working on it. I had about 770 words written before I decided to take a break (which lasted longer than I expected). So, to make up for that, I'll be writing chapter nine as soon as I finish this one.

Disclaimer: Anything you recognize isn't mine.

Chapter Eight

She was doing better. She realized that vocal communication was helping her a lot, and tried to speak as much as she could around Chad, despite the fact that he had told her many times not to stress out her voice. Her mother was thrilled that her only daughter was finally using her voice again after not speaking for more than two years, but still advised her to regularly attend her therapeutic sessions as normal. Teachers and students were shocked speechless when they first heard her answer a question with her own voice.

"So, I will be reading Robert Frost's 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' to you. Listen closely, and I will ask one of you to analyze it," Joy Bitterman, the Advanced Placement English Literature teacher, announced.

"Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay."

The classroom remained silent after the reading, not a breath could be heard. Her steely, blue eyes scanned the room for an unsuspecting victim. They met the head of a brunette who had been writing furiously in a notebook.

"Sonny Munroe, would you do the honors of telling us of what Frost meant in this particular piece?" Expecting the girl to hand her notebook over to the blond boy next to her, Joy watched as the girl had snapped her head up from her sheet of paper.

"Oh, yes, of course."

…was she hearing correctly, or did the mute just talk?

"Well, Frost was describing the different stages of life, relating the cycle of nature to the cycle of human life. 'Nature's first green is gold,' simply means that humans start off as young and fresh and innocent, but when that 'hour' passes, 'leaf subsides to leaf' and 'Eden [sinks] to grief,' which relates to how when we grow older, we're exposed to such harsh conditions and situations that harden our personas and change us. We are no longer young and innocent, but we are wiser. 'Nothing gold can stay.'"

Sonny looked around as soon as she finished her analyzation, and was met with the gaping jaws of almost every person, except one, in the classroom alone.

"You can talk?" someone in the room asked rudely, the voice sounding much incredulous.

Chad stood up angrily, his eyebrows knitting up together. "Of course she can talk! It's not as if someone cut out her tongue! It's called selective mutism, jackass."

To their extreme fortune, the end-of-day bell rang and alerted the entire campus to go home. As soon as Sonny had gathered her belongings, he grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the classroom to the parking lot. He dodged his way through the hallway, sidestepping around couples locked in passionate embraces and bullied underclassman. He could feel the occasional tug of her hand, but didn't let go. No, wouldn't let go. Chad didn't want to lose her in the throng of hormonal teenagers, and continued to pull her along.

"Ch-Chad!" she panted from behind him. "Slow the hell down!"

He realized then that he had much longer legs than she did, and felt a little guilty about having to make her jog through the crowds. Chad cut his stride length in half, already allowing Ms. Glowing-Ball-of-Sunshine to catch up with him.

"Hey, hey, hey," Sonny said, after a moment to catch her breath, "What's up? What was that? Back in class?"

He rolled his eyes before replying, "Fucking Ed Waltman's a douche. He had no right to be so rude. Yeah, you can talk. That's awesome, it's great, it's fan-fucking-tastic! He still did not need to sound so condescending and obnoxious. It just makes me so an—"

"Chad, please," she interrupted and placed a hand on his chest to grab ahold of his attention, "Yes, I get it. Ed's choice of words was unreasonable, but I really think you should calm down before you get an aneurysm."

She was seriously worried that he would hurt himself. His face began to turn pink from anger, and it was scaring her. She had only seen that look on his face twice: the first time being when she got pushed into that mud puddle in the fifth grade and the second time being when their old friends abandoned them.

He nodded, closing his eyes to calm himself down and took a few deep breaths to stop the blood from rushing to his face.

"Can we," he started, his breathing still erratic, "C-Can we go somewhere, please? I really need to calm myself down right now, and I don't think going home is going to help at all."

Sonny only nodded in understanding, a worried frown etched upon her porcelain face. She wrapped an arm around his waist, leading him outside of the school building. They walked through the front lawn, the grass damp from the sprinklers. Her sandaled feet were getting wet, but she didn't mind. She was truly worried for her best friend, and needed to lead him away from the overbearing school walls.

He was experiencing severe inner turmoil. That poem hit a little too close to home, regarding the situation with Sonny. Don't get him wrong. He couldn't be any happier that she was seemed fine, but she was still the same Sonny who would shut down at unexpected times. She was still the same Sonny who was afraid to show any sort of strong emotion around him for over two years. She was still the same Sonny who needed psychiatric help. She was still the same Sonny who refused to talk to anyone since January of two years ago

He wanted, no needed to heal her and he couldn't do that if she continued to pretend that nothing was wrong just because she was talking. He needed to make her see that she didn't need to feel like she should hide herself from him. They were best friends through thick and thin, no matter what happened. She's seen him at his worse, and he believed it was about time he's seen her at hers.

Chad just hoped for the best for Sonny, and he would do anything to make it possible.