Her foot hits the pavement and she almost yelps of happiness. She has done it. Finally, she has done it. After five years away she has finally returned to her hometown and-
"MAX!" She just sees blond hair and a blue feather, when she is scooped up into a big hug. She starts to giggle silently and hugs back. Finally, her best friend since childhood. A faint whisper escaps her mouth.
"Rachel." The blond leans back, holding Max on the shoulders. Both of them grinning at each other one radiant and bright the other shy and timid.
Another hug follows right after.
"So, Max Caulfield, finally back where she belongs in the Bay." The brunette nods eagerly to this statement. Both of them haven´t seen each other almost half a year. That was the last time Rachel came visiting in Seattle. Off course they would skype and text all the time, but it was not the same. Then a bearded Man leaves the car.
"Hello young lady." he also smiles. Rachel lets go of Max and jumps into the arms of Max´s father.
"Uncle Ryan. It´s been too long." Max and Rachel weren´t really related, but Rachel was so often at the Caulfield home, Ryan Caulfield and Vanessa became practically second parents to her.
"It´s been kiddo. So you are here to help Max settle in?" A grin and a nod were his answer.
"Okay girls, grab cartons and of we go. Max, remember, the envelope with your key is in the glove compartment." Rachel grins, grabs Max´s hand and leads her around the car. Time to bring Max Caulfield in.
Walking across the lawn of Blackwell Academy, each having a carton in their hands. They walked back and forth twice already and Ryan four times. He always liked to work at his own pace. So the two girls were walking alone chatting when someone threw her arms around Raches shoulders.
"Hiiii Rachel. Who´s your friend?"
"Dana, this is Max, Max this is my friend Dana."
Max looked up at the pretty girl, about a head taller than her. Brown hair, and just happiness and bubbly can describe her.
"Hi Max, I am Dana, as Rachel already said, duh, dumb of me. You are coming to Blackwell?"
Max casts her eyes down, looking to the side, then to the floor. Knowing her friend, Rachel nudges her. Max's eyes turn up to her, she sees the familiar fear.
"Dana is all right. She will keep it to herself. Shall I?"
A timid nod and then Max´s eyes are again on the floor. Rachel leans forward and keeps her voice down.
"Look, Dana, Max has... well I am certain you have watched Big Bang Theory?"
Dana nods, tilting her head to her side.
"Well, you know how the one guy, the Indian guy can´t talk to women?" Nod again. Then dawns it to the bubbly cheerleader.
"Max has the same issue. But not about women, but people she doesn´t know or is anxious or something like that around. Basically, you have to earn trust first before she graces you with her voice."
Max smiled shyly. Rachel always made it sound like something special, not something to be ashamed of. And Max was ashamed by it. She wished so hard she could just talk to everyone.
"And don´t worry if she doesn´t talk to you, it doesn´t mean she dislikes you. Like...like a small dear you know? Might never come to you, but has no ill feelings for you. That is just how my Max is you know?"
Dana nods smiling.
"Don´t worry, I am not pissed or something. But how do you two know each other?"
Rachel grinned brightly and even Max smiled happily.
"Well, this little rascal was my neighbour when we both grew up. Until five years ago, when her parents and she moved to Seattle. Yet we kept contacts and she now has a scholarship for photography here at Blackwell, so big return you know?"
They kept on walking again, Dana walking along.
"So you two knew each other since childhood?"
"Yeah, since the time we both wore diapers she is my best friend. Keeps me grounded and all."
Dana laughed and a silent chuckle came from MAx.
"You grounded? Damn, Max, you are a wizard. None of us here can keep up with this blond tornado of energy. Maybe Price, but that's it." She then pauses and thinks a moment.
"May I ask a question?"
Max nods shyly, still not looking at the bubbly girl that skips in her steps beside them.
"How do you....talk? I mean, I get you don´t talk but do you write it down or...?"
Max looks at the box at her hands and stops. The other girls stop also. Then Max does a few moves with her hands.
"She does sign- language and in class or something like that, restaurants and all, she uses a computer or smartphone like mute people do."
Dana stares for a moment.
"That is sooooo cool. You know sign language?"
Max nods and signs.
"Yeah, I do Rachel too. That is what she said."
"You know sign language to Rachel?"
Rachel shrugs and nods.
"Yeah. Wanted to learn it so I can translate for my friend here. Come on Max, the boxes don´t move on their own you know?" The grin takes away the edge.
After a few steps, they stop before Dana´s room. She turns to Max.
"This is my room. Need anything, just knock. I am kind of like the mother hen in this chicken circus you know?" Her wink gets rewarded by a little giggle of the timid girl, first sound she did in Dana´s presents.
"She will Dana, she will. Do my one? Don´t tell Jules. I love that girl, but she doesn´t know how to keep her mouth shut and I don´t think Vortex get this."
Dana nods and closes her door.
A small whisper escapes from Max´s lips.
"She seems nice." Smiling the two girls walk down the hall.