I don’t talk much. They say I should. They say it is rude. They say I am strange, not right like them.

 

They say they get scared when I don’t speak. I do not say mean things. I do not say at all. But if you talk, they learn who you are. The sounds tell them where you are if you talk. The words tell them what you think. Still is safe. Don’t speak. Don’t move. Hide.

 

Don’t look in their eyes. Eyes are knives. They can pierce your skull to your brain. They can cut out your heart. You can see them, a bit, if you keep your eyes down, but they can’t see you. If they can’t see you, they can’t kill you. Eyes shut. Gone. No one home.

 

Ears are good. You can hear where they are. But their noise is loud, too loud, too much, too close. I wish I could squish down my ears like a cat, to not hear. When they ask too much, when they are too loud, I put my hands on my ears. They don’t like it, they say. It is rude. It is weird. But if they don’t like my hands up, why are they so loud? Why do they ask and ask? Stop. Be still. Hush.

 

I hate it most of all when they touch me. I know when they are there, no need to touch. I breathe their warm air and smell their stink. I do not want their skin on my skin, their damp hands on mine, their smell on me.

 

Do not touch. Do not hold. Do not hug. No arms. Do not force. No, don’t. Let me go. I will hit. I will kick. I will bite. I will scream.

 

No! Don’t! Stop! Help!

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