Emmett had his reasons for not speaking. Until Bay came along. Emmett backstory Bay/Emmett
Emmett isn't against talking.
In fact, he's hardly ever quiet.
Can't you let someone else get a word in? His mother signs, annoyed. Emmett rolls his eyes and ignores her, continuing with the joke he heard from Brian at lunch.
Emmett loves talking. He loves stories and jokes and playing the Question Game with Daphne on the floor of his bedroom for hours.
What some people don't realize, is that one can talk without speaking.
Emmett hasn't opened his mouth...and made noise... for eight years.
The last time he'd been eight, walking home from Carlton Elementry, deeply immersed with the ground in front of him. He just loved the colors of the autumn leaves all mixed together. He wished he could take a picture.
He doesn't know what made him glance up that day, but when he did, he froze.
He saw a little redheaded girl was pushed up against a tree, two other girls giggling and pointing at her.
"Aren't you gonna say something? Can't you talk deafie?" One laughed, tugging on the redhead's pigtail.
"You gonna talk? You got something in your throat?" Another girl whined.
The little red-haired girl looked terrified. She was looking wildly from girl to girl, confused and on the verge of tears.
Emmett had no idea what anyone was saying. He didn't even know if this girl was deaf like he thought, or just mute or autistic. But the next thing he knew he's dropped his backpack and sprinted over to Daphne, knocking the other girls out of his way.
"AHHHHHHHHHHH!" He screamed for the first time in his life. The girls stumbled away, looking scared for their lives
"D-Donf...Tooch...hayr..." Emmett struggled to form the words, speaking in a garbled voice. The two little girls eyes widened, they back away. One started crying. The other pointed straight at Emmett and said something he'd never forget.
"He's a freak like her...he sounds like a Monster!"
Emmett felt his arms go limp. He tried to respond, but he found himself just standing there, frozen. It was a nightmare he couldn't wake up from. Swallowing a lump in his throat, he jumped when he felt a warm hand slip into his own. He turned away from the girls and started pulling her along, back to his house. He kept his face passive.
Even after he and Daphne became friends, after weeks and months and years separated them from that day. Emmett never forgot what those little girls had said. The way they'd looked at him.
They were afraid of him.
Afraid of his voice.
Emmett swore that night, he was never going to speak again. People could handle him as a quiet boy in the back of the room. He didn't need them to pity or fret over him, to hear his voice and flinch.
He didn't want to be a monster.
So for eight long years, Emmett kept his mouth shut. He talked to his deaf parents, had a deaf best friend, immersed himself in deaf culture, so he had never had to risk speaking. He thought, if everything went as planned, he never would.
Sixteen-year-old Emmett swallowed hard and wiped his hands on his sweaty jeans. He stood in front of his mirror, his right fingertips on his lips, in other hand clasped on his throat.
"Aye...eye...I..." He felt his vocal cords shake and quiver quite fast. He pulled his hand back, alarmed. Were they supposed to do that?
After a quick confirmation from Wikipedia, he stood in front of the mirror again. He knew what he had to do to get Bay back.
And he would do it. He scribbled in a notebook, he had a whole romantic speech planned out. After all, Emmett loved to talk. He just didn't like to speak. He had most of what he wanted to say done in fifteen minutes.
On the words though, he worked for on four simple words most people could say in an eighth of a second, but he practiced over and over. He fell asleep with a burning throat. The next morning he told his mom he was heading to school, than got on a bus and rode from East Riverside to Kanas City. He got to Buckner Hall just as first period was ending.
He saw Bay a couple hundred yards away. He dark hair was shining in the early morning light. Emmett ran after her, signing furiously.
You're right, it would be easier to find a deaf Bay. His stomach was churning in anticipation of what he was about to do.
But I don't want a deaf Bay. He said. Then Emmett Beldose took a big, shaky breathe.
And he opened his mouth.
Bay's eyes widened in disbelief. Emmett felt a surge if courage and balled his hands into fists.
He was practically shaking from concentrating.
Emmett closed his eyes, titling his head towards the sky. His voice cracked on the last syllable.
There was a moment of silence. Well, for Emmett, a moment of stillness. Then he opened his eyes fearfully.
Bay was standing in front of him, arms limply by her side. Her eyes were shining. She threw her arms around Emmett, sniffling into his shirt. Emmett let out a breath, feeling his own eyes watering. He pulled away, still holding Bay in his arms. She gave him a watery smile.
That was beautiful. She signed. Emmett's eyes widened. He leaned closer to Bay.
You...you don't think I sound awful? He hesitated. Like...Like a monster? He said , feeling his cheeks burn.
Bay looked horrified, holding him tighter.
Emmett felt a heavy weight somewhere in him fall far, far away, leaving him forever.
I think this has been enough talking for today. How about we kiss instead? Bay suggested.
Emmett leaned in and felt her soft lips press against against his own.
Emmett spoke four words that day. He practiced saying them for hours, and when they came out they were mangled and clogged up and ugly.
But he had spoken. And he wasn't a monster.
So Emmett smiled. And kissed his hearing girlfriend.