Silence, p.10

Silence, page 10

 part  #1 of  Silence Series


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Jasper woke me up by knocking on my door and screaming my name.

  “Oakley! Get up, we’re going to Cole’s for lunch,” he yelled, much louder than necessary. Going to Cole’s for lunch? No.

  And how long had I slept for?

  I got out of bed, ran to the door and pulled it open, frowning at Jasper for an explanation.

  “We’re booking the holiday today, remember, so we’re all going over there for a barbecue lunch.” Barbecue again? “Get dressed. We’re leaving in half an hour.”

  My heart sank. I half-smiled at my brother and slammed the door shut behind him. Lunch at Cole’s. That was going to be awkward.

  There was no way I could get out of it though, not without letting my parents know something was wrong.

  I didn’t bother with a shower as I didn’t have the energy to rush getting ready. Putting on shorts and a plain t-shirt, I brushed my hair and then I was done. I looked about as plain as I felt. Five minutes later, when I was ready, I sat on my bed and waited for someone to call me down.

  After twenty minutes, the inevitable happened – Mum shouted my name.

  My heart dropped a little more. I was so nervous to see Cole again. He was mad at me, probably still would be, and I wasn’t sure how to fix it. Or if he even wanted to.

  “You look nice, honey,” Mum complimented with a smile. I really didn’t.

  Slipping on my yellow pumps I followed my family to Cole’s.

  Jasper knocked eagerly at their front door, and within seconds, Jenna greeted us with a hug and then ushered us through their perfectly kept house to the back garden. I took every step slowly, delaying the inevitable.

  When I got out in the garden my eyes immediately seek Cole out. He was sat at the end of the wooden table, staring into his glass of Coke. He looked sad, really, really sad. As we approached the table, he looked up and said a quick hello.

  Where do I sit now? Next to him, in my usual seat, seemed too awkward now. I sat next to Mia, forcing Jasper to sit near Cole. It felt wrong but I picked up the Italy travel brochure that was in front of me to make it look like I just sat here to look at that. I hated having to calculate things in order for everything to look as normal as possible.

  Nothing was bloody normal here.

  Mia looked over my shoulder at the hotel we were staying in. Wow, was all I could think. It looked amazing. The hotel was a beautiful white building, halfway up a mountain. It didn’t look too busy but seemed to have enough to keep everyone entertained. According to the brochure, the harbour was a two-minute walk away and the beach a little further, approximately twenty minutes.

  The nightlife was good, apparently. There were a few bars and clubs nearby. Mia and Jasper would want to go out, no doubt. Perhaps I would be allowed to go. I was almost sixteen and if I was with Cole they’d let me go. Maybe.

  I felt Cole’s eyes on me the entire time. I squirmed at the attention, glanced to the side and gave him an apologetic smile. He smiled back, eyes full of regret. Was he forgiving me? Just as I thought he was about to talk to me, David placed a plate of charred chicken kebabs down on the table, which Cole immediately grabbed and started to eat.

  Please, talk to me.

  Throughout lunch, Cole and I exchanged glances but he never uttered one word. Of course it wasn’t long before Mum noticed something was wrong between us. She looked at me, then Cole, and then back to me. I prayed that she wouldn’t say anything. Faking sickness and going home sounded like a very good idea right now.

  “Oakley?” Cole said as he stood up. He nodded, gesturing for me to follow him. I got up immediately and followed him inside. He had made the first move, so there was no way I was passing up the chance to make things right again. The walk up to his room was completely silent. Cole said nothing. I hoped that he would talk when we were safely inside his room and out of the way of everyone else.

  Sitting on the end of his bed, I hugged my legs and rested my chin on my knees. He sighed and sat down, facing me. The sun reflected off his face, lightening his deep blue eyes. The smell of his aftershave wrapped around me, and I relaxed. In that moment, I knew I one hundred per cent that couldn’t be without him. I had to make up for our fallout and get my best friend back.

  Not having Cole in my life wasn’t an option.

  He groaned as he stared into my eyes, making me feel weightless. It was like he could see right through me; see the terrified, broken little girl lurking inside. I never, ever wanted him to see that.

  “Look, I’m sorry about yesterday. I shouldn’t have shouted at you, but you should’ve text me to let me know you’re okay.” I nodded and looked down at the bed cover. I wish I could. “Oakley,” he whispered, gently lifting my chin so I faced him. His fingers lingered on my chin, making my heart race. The feeling of his skin on mine felt so right it stole my breath.

  My eyes filled with tears and I smiled. I had him back. Grabbing his hand, I squeezed gently in way of an apology. What happened yesterday wasn’t his fault at all. Cole had nothing to apologise for. His face lit up as he smiled.

  “It’s okay,” he told me, knowing exactly what that gesture meant. Suddenly, he pulled my hand, making me fall forward. I tried to move back, but he pulled me into a tight hug. It was a little awkward as I was sitting on his lap. It was too intimate, and I wasn’t used to intimacy feeling natural and safe.

  I wanted to run, but at the same time, I never wanted to leave.

  Winding my arms around his neck, I ignored the tense knot in my stomach. With every passing second, I felt more and more at home. Cole would never hurt me. I knew that.

  We stayed in each other’s arms for a few minutes, and I loved it. His fingertips gently tickled up and down my back. Eventually, we both pulled away and he seemed as reluctant as I was to let go.

  My feelings for him grew at an alarming rate every day.

  “We don’t fight again. Ever again, okay?” he said seriously, holding both my hands and playing with my fingers. I nodded in agreement. That was the easiest thing I had ever agreed to.

  He smiled again, flashing his perfect white teeth.

  “Good. So two weeks in Italy, hey? We have to do some water sports and hire a boat.”

  I raised my eyebrow, making him laugh and shake his head. Hire a boat? Neither of us could sail, and there was no way the first time we tried was going to be alone in a foreign country.

  “I guess you’re gonna go all girly on me and want to sunbathe?” I nodded and smirked. I was pasty white and definitely wanted to get a tan, even an off white would be cool with me!

  “Fine, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll suffer through that if you go diving with me?”

  He had been trying to get me to go diving for years, but I hated the idea of it. I’m not a fan of fish and everything in the sea was all slimy, and the sea itself was full of sewage. I bit my lip, shaking my head and trying not to smile. The deal didn’t matter. He would sunbathe with me anyway. He always did.

  Cole sighed sharply, pretending to be annoyed. “Fine, but two days sunbathing max, and you have to buy the ice creams.” I pursed my lips and nodded. That part also didn’t matter because as soon as we were there he would go all gentlemen and insist on paying.

  He lay down and pulled me with him. I almost landed on top of him but managed to move to the side just in time. As natural as it felt when we were close I was still trying to accept that it was okay to feel like that. We were side-by-side, hand-in-hand, both staring up to the ceiling, and I was right where I needed to be.

  “We have to get your parents to let you go out at night this time,” he said after a couple minutes of comfortable silence. That was another thing I loved about him – he was always on the same page as me.

  I turned my head to face him, chewing my lip as I nodded. The last time we were away, I had to be back at the hotel by nine and hang out there for the rest of the evening. We needed to think of some way of convincing my parents that I was more responsible now that I was almost sixteen.

  Cole sucked in air harshly and his eyes lit on fire. He stared at me like I was something amazing he’d never bloody seen before. Then suddenly, the air in the room thickened to the point that I had a hard time breathing. Cole’s head inched closer to mine. I froze. Oh God, he’s going to kiss me.

  “We’ll talk to them about it later,” he whispered and inched even closer.

  “Cole? Oakley?” Mia shouted up the stairs.

  Cole whipped his head around. “What?” He growled towards the door. I sat up and put some distance between us. That was the second time she had interrupted… something in two days. Mia walked in seconds later and smiled widely. Her blue eyes shone with mischief.

  She tucked her brown hair behind her ears. “We go in two weeks! Oakley, I’m holiday shopping Monday if you wanted to come?”

  I nodded and smiled gratefully. I definitely needed to get some new clothes.

  “I’m comin’,” Cole mumbled, still frowning at his sister. Did he really want to kiss me as much as I wanted to kiss him? It certainly seemed like he did but I never wanted to get my hopes up when it came to him.

  It probably wasn’t a good idea anyway. If we got together it wouldn’t work. It couldn’t. In time, my silence would drive him away.

  Mia’s mouth hung open in shock. “You want to come shopping?”

  “I need to get some stuff, too, but I’m not walking around every damn shop with you two. I’ll go off on my own.”

  I rolled my eyes and sat back against the wall.

  “Alright, but we’re gonna be out all day.”

  He shrugged, “Yeah, whatever.”

  Mia clapped her hands together in excitement, “I need to go and make a list!” She squealed and ran out of the room, slamming the door behind her. Mia was organised. She had lists for absolutely everything and had yet to forget a single thing.

  “How the hell are we related?” He mumbled to himself, shaking his head at the door in disbelief. He really was in a mood. “So you gonna buy a tiny bikini?”

  I frowned. No, definitely not.

  “I was joking!” He laughed, and I smiled at him, trying to make out that his comment hadn’t affected me. There was absolutely no way that I was showing off more than I needed to.

  Cole sat up against the wall next to me. His side pressed against mine as he reached over and grabbed the TV remote. My heart swelled as he pressed play on Hollyoaks. He’d still recorded it after our argument.

  He was, without a doubt, the sweetest guy in the world, and I was so lucky to have him in my life. I laid my head on his shoulder and held onto his hand as we watched the show together.

  “Well, that was shit,” Cole mumbled under his breath as it finished. He quickly changed the channel to some bike racing rubbish, and I smiled to myself. He always said something like that when it finished, although he had spent the whole time staring intently at the TV and commenting on everything.

  To stop the boredom kicking in from the bikes zooming around in a circle, I grabbed Cole’s iPhone and started playing with one of the games I’d downloaded. My phone was old and crappy because I never used it so it didn’t matter. I had never sent a text message or made a call. The only reason I had a phone was because Mum bought it for me and insisted I used it for emergencies.

  Mum got it when I was eleven. The phone had sat in my bag through two years of emergencies before it was over.

  After a few minutes of Cole stealing little glances at me, he turned his attention back to the TV. Something between us was changing and it made me nervous and scared and excited all at the same time.

  “Do you still want to go to Ben’s party?” He asked after a while. “We should leave soon if you do.”

  I’d forgotten all about Ben’s party. I kind of did want to go, but I had to get my parents’ permission first. Biting my lip, I nodded.

  “I’ll go speak to your dad.”

  He leapt off the bed and bounded out of his room. I smiled and lay back, mentally planning what I should wear. Wow, I never thought I’d be one of those girls who planned what to wear at a party.

  Things really had changed. I prayed for it to continue.



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