Hello. My name is Cynthia, and even though you may think that I am mute, I am actually not. I can speak. I could, at least. Years ago, I was the most talkative child out of the three children my parents had. But one day, something happened. Something bad. Something that made me stop talking for years.
That day was sunny. I was nine years old, and I thought everything in the world was brilliant. I had cereal for breakfast instead of the usual bread and jam, I went to school with my older and younger brother, and school was fun that day. There was a singing competition, and I won the first prize! I was very satisfied. My parents would be very proud of me.
I went home with a feeling very elated, eager to tell my parents of my success, and to hear them praise me, telling me such a great girl I was, and that they loved me. I looked for my parents, but they were nowhere to be seen. I could hear their voice, though. I followed the voice that brought me into the kitchen, and then I saw them. Standing in front of each other. Yelling loudly. Very loudly.
“Mom, Dad! Look what I’ve got!” I cried, waving the homemade first prize certificate my teacher gave me for winning the singing competition. “I won!”
They stopped yelling when they looked at me. My mother came to me, and told me to go to my room. I refused. They had to know what I did that day, I thought, so I told them again, “I won! I won first prize!”
“Please just go to your room,” my mother said. I didn’t understand. Her face didn’t look like she was happy at all. But why? I won! Shouldn’t that have made her feel proud of me? “Dad!” I looked at him. His face was scary. Did I do something wrong? But I won… “Dad, I won the singing competition! I did! I won the first prize! Erica told me that I was—“
“Shut up!” My father suddenly yelled at me, his face looked scarier than before. “Shut up!”
My father suddenly slapped me on my face. It hurt so badly. I cried.
“Shut up and don’t open your mouth until I tell you to!” My father screamed as he went out of the kitchen. I continued to cry in my mother’s embrace. She was crying too. A few moments later, we could hear a very loud crashing sound. It was the sound of my father’s car banging a tree. It was the sound of my father’s death.
He never told me to open my mouth.
I never did.