My Name Is Layla

A story by Isabelle Scott, age 13, Dublin

My name is Layla. I cannot speak. I am silent. No one else in Our House is silent. Except JoJo. JoJo is silent. JoJo is also what I think is called a baby. I like JoJo. JoJo understands. Maybe all babies understand. Or maybe just JoJo. JoJo won’t be silent forever, though. JoJo does something called babbling. She also screams. Hopefully JoJo will still understand when she is no longer silent. I know I am not a baby even though I am silent. I am something called twelve. Another thing about JoJo and me is we can’t walk very well. Man and Woman say I should be able to walk. I do not walk. I crawl on my hands and knees. Or hands and feet. I should also be able to speak and not be silent. I can do a sort of babbling like JoJo, though. I stop and start when I babble, though. Man and Woman say I am silent because of someone called Trauma. I think Trauma is one of the Bad People. I do not like the Bad People. I lived with them before I lived with Man and Woman. Man says the Bad People are revolting. Revolting is disgusting. Disgusting is like rotting because rotting is icky and that’s what disgusting is. I know this because Miss Suzie told me. Miss Suzie says the Bad People are In Prison. In Prison means in a metal box because that’s what prison is. I don’t know If I like Miss Suzie or not. Sometimes she gives me sweeties. Other times she forgets Man and Woman are called Man and Woman and tries to get me to call them Mummy and Daddy. Only JoJo can call Man and Woman Mummy and Daddy. Sometimes Man and Woman think I am JoJo and try to get me to call them Mummy and Daddy. They always remember I am Layla eventually. Something about Miss Suzie is she makes me use The Ipad. I hate The Ipad. It talks for me, but the voice is wrong. Today I threw The Ipad at the wall. Miss Suzie made a face and I couldn’t tell if it was Surprised or Angry. She tried to touch me so I screamed and pushed at her until Man and Woman came. They gave me you, Mouse Stuffie. I like you. You listened well. You understand what Man and Woman call “Layla Language.” I am done talking now.