Silence, p.11

Silence, page 11

 part  #1 of  Silence Series


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“Cinderella, you shall go to the ball,” Cole announced, doing a little bow from his doorway. I jumped up in excitement, making Cole laugh. “I’ll change quickly then we can drop by yours so you can get ready.” He pulled his top over his head.

  What the… My head prickled with heat and I was sure my cheeks were red.

  Cole didn’t even seem to notice my discomfort. He continued to change as if I was one of the guys. I didn’t know where to look. What were the rules? I mean, I’d seen him at the beach and swimming pool, but this was much more intimate than that.

  Oh bugger, get a grip!

  I gulped when I heard something heavier than a t-shirt dropping to the floor. His denim shorts? Was he only in his boxers right now? I felt like I should leave, but Cole was between the door and me.

  I focused on the floor and kept perfectly still, reminding myself to bloody breathe.

  When I heard him pick up his keys, I decided it must be safe to look up.

  “Ready then?” He asked, swinging his keys on his finger. I didn’t acknowledge the question; I just walked past him. That was awkward…for me at least.

  We made our way downstairs and found our parents in the kitchen, drinking coffee around the island. “We’re going now,” Cole told them.

  “Okay. You both have a good time. Cole, please look after her and make sure she’s home by eleven,” Dad said, kissing my forehead. Eleven? I usually had to be home a lot earlier than that. What had gotten into him?

  I looked up with my mouth hanging open. He chuckled deeply and ruffled my hair. “School holidays now. I guess I have to face up to the fact that you’re not my little girl anymore.”

  His frown deepened towards the end of his little speech. It made me feel uncomfortable, and I wrapped my arms around myself.

  “You stay with Cole the whole time and absolutely no alcohol.” Dad’s voice was stern, intimidating. I quickly nodded in agreement and pulled on Cole’s arm to get him to leave.

  Just as we reached the front door, Jasper’s hand flew out in front of us. “And where do you think you’re going?” He questioned, raising his eyebrows challengingly.

  “We’re eloping to Mexico,” Cole muttered sarcastically, making me grin in amusement.

  Jasper glared at Cole blankly. “If you get her pregnant I will kill you!”

  What! Where on earth did that come from?

  Cole laughed and shook his head while I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole.

  “What’s wrong with you, Jasper? Of course, I’m not gonna knock her up!”

  “You’d better not,” Jasper grumbled. “Look, if you two wanna start with the kissing and naked time, I get it and I support you, just don’t hurt her.”

  I pushed past my idiot brother and jogged to Cole’s car. Going to a party was the last thing I wanted to do now. Jasper had made me feel horrible and Cole’s reaction, as if having a child with me was the most disgusting idea, didn’t help. Obviously I didn’t want a baby now, or ever actually, but it still stung.

  “Good. Now…don’t have her out too late, and for God’s sake, wear a condom!” I heard Jasper yell after Cole.

  Closing my eyes, I wished the ground to open up and swallow me whole. I couldn’t stay around while they joked about that stuff. I got in Cole’s car and waited for him.

  Cole hopped in the car and started the engine.

  “Are you okay? Ignore your brother, he’s an idiot.”

  I knew he was – everyone knew Jasper was a man-child – but I wished he wouldn’t joke about things like that. I nodded, smiled and let it go. Tonight I was going to a party and I was determined to enjoy it.

  Cole drove forward and stopped at my house. Smirking at how lazy he was for driving one house over, I opened my door. We really could have walked. He waited in the car while I legged it inside and took the wooden stairs two at a time. Potentially dangerous if I’d been wearing socks.

  As soon as I was in my room, I stripped out of my clothes and grabbed a pair of jeans and a nice top. I wondered that since Dad had accepted I was growing up if he would let me wear make-up. I wanted to wear it, to look older, or at least my own age. I didn’t want to be seen as a child ever again.

  “Oakley,” Cole shouted up the stairs, making me jump. Seriously, I’d only been two minutes. I grabbed a light jacket in case it got cold later and dashed back downstairs.

  I raised my eyebrows at him and he grinned. “Got bored,” he explained. I’d changed quicker than he did, or maybe it only felt like that because he’d been undressing in front of me.

  Ben lived a few miles from us so we arrived at his house in five minutes. Loud music blasted from what I assumed were huge speakers inside. Outside looked like a car park for extremely bad drivers. Not one car was straight. Dad would make some joke and call them all ‘imbeciles’. Cole parked as best he could, adding to the abandoned feel of Ben’s massive driveway.

  “Ready?” Cole asked, sensing my hesitation.

  Most teens don’t think twice about going out all the time and attending every party they could. To me, it was a huge deal. I felt like my nerves were choking me.

  Gulping the worry away, I turned to Cole and smiled.

  “Alright, let’s go, beautiful,” he said, giving me a wink, which made me swoon.

  Walking side-by-side towards the door, Cole slung his arm over my shoulder. There were so many people crammed into the house; most of them were drinking in the lounge. Empty plastic cups and crumbled pieces of food were already scattered all over the floor. His parents were going to freak.

  Cole pulled me through the crowd, saying hello as we walked past some of his friends, and into the kitchen. No one really gave me a second look. I loved that. Being accepted didn’t bother me, I didn’t crave being liked, but I did want to live my life without people being twats.

  “Coleeee,” Ben shouted, throwing his hands up in the air. “Hey, Oakley, you came, too.” Ben almost stumbled on the spot but managed to grab onto the worktop to stop himself from falling. Looks like he got a head start on the drinking. “Get yourselves some punch or beer or punch and I think there’s some JD left. I think I drank it, though. I dunno,” he rambled, shrugging his shoulders and chuckling.

  “Okay, man.” Cole laughed at his highly intoxicated friend, tightened his arm around me and guided me to the fridge. He grabbed two Cokes and handed me one. He wasn’t going to have a beer? Before the fridge door closed, I pointed to the bottles of Becks at the bottom. He shook his head.

  “I have something very special to chauffeur home later.”

  I rolled my eyes at him. That was plain cheesy, and I couldn’t deny that I loved it a lot. He winked and turned his attention to his friends as they’d started to talk to him. Sipping my coke, I watched Cole joking and messing around with his friends. It was really nice seeing him play fight with Ben and tease Kerry about her awful luck with men.

  However, as I watched Cole wrap his arm around Ben’s neck, I couldn’t help feeling a little burn of envy. We’d never be able to have the fun banter they did. That’d been taken away from me and it made me burn with anger I could never show.

  “Want to dance?” He asked casually, once he had gotten back to his feet after wrestling Ben to the beer-stained floor. Yuk.

  As if I’d ever say no to that.

  We had danced together plenty of times before so I didn’t overanalyse the gesture. Well, I did but not as much as usual. Throwing my empty can in the bin, which was much more than everyone else was bothering to do, I tilted my head towards the makeshift dance floor in the living room.

  I held onto Cole’s hand tightly and pressed myself into his back as we pushed our way through the crowd. How did Ben even know this many people? He must have just put an open invitation on Facebook because there must be more people here than in the entire bloody school.

  No one seemed to even notice that Cole’s mute, freak friend had come along with him, or they didn’t care. Good. Tonight I really was normal
. Cole, the party, the lack of bitchiness made me dizzy in the best possible way. I’d never felt so…light before.

  Cole finally stopped in a tiny bit of space near one of the speakers. I don’t think he could have found a worse spot to dance. There was barely room for one person and it was so loud. But none of that mattered when he pulled me close. I mean, he didn’t have much choice since there was only about enough room here for a toddler, but I’d take it. My chest was pressed flat against his, but I still felt comfortable. With my confidence soaring for the first time in forever, I wrapped my arms around his neck, and when he didn’t push me away, I smiled.

  The song changed to Beyoncé’s Halo. It was one of my favourite songs and reminded me so much of my relationship with Cole. At lot of songs did actually but Halo was beautiful and said everything I wanted to say to him for me. If it wasn’t for Cole, I honestly didn’t know what I would be like or how I would’ve coped. Without him even knowing it, he kept my world from crumbling apart.

  Slowly, he bent his head and pressed his forehead to mine. Like every clichéd romance movie, everyone but us seemed to disappear. I wanted him to kiss me so much I thought it’d drive me insane. All my insecurities of not being good enough for him vanished as his lips parted, just inches from mine.

  After what felt like years, his lips brushed lightly against mine. They were soft and firm and set my body on fire. It was the most incredible and almost overwhelming feeling that had my fingers curl around his hair. His lips moved perfectly with mine, pulling, teasing.

  He groaned and gripped my hips, holding me against him tightly. Then he was suddenly gone. He ripped back as if I’d burned him. Had I done something wrong? I followed where he was looking. A crowd had gathered around the stereo, which was now silent. Okay, the music was off.

  Biting my lip, I forced myself to be brave and look up at Cole. He was glaring at the stereo as if he wanted to murder it, which made me feel a whole lot better about the abrupt end to the kiss.

  “Wanna go outside for a bit?” He asked, nodding his head towards the door. His jaw was tight and his voice full of grit. I started following since he didn’t wait for me to agree.

  Okay, act normal. This is Cole.

  Ben’s front garden was trashed, too. The grass was littered with crisp packets, bottles, cans of alcohol and plastic cups. It looked like a rubbish tip. Spotting about the only clean space on the floor, I sat down cross-legged and waited for whatever was to come next. Cole lay on his side in front of me, with his head perched on his hand. He didn’t say a single thing. Usually that would be fine, but this was a different kind of silence.

  I picked at the blades of grass to have something else to focus on. The awkwardness that fell over us was unbearable. The kiss meant so much to me, but it wasn’t as important as having him in my life.

  Recently, it seemed like every now and then he wanted more, and other times like he was happy to be friends. I didn’t understand why so many girls gushed about liking someone; it was plain hard work. Lying down beside him, I bit my lip.

  “Oakley?” He whispered softly and reached over to stroke my hair. His fingertips then brushed over my cheek and travelled down along my jaw. I held my breath the entire time. “I can’t wait to go on holiday with you.”

  I couldn’t wait for that either. I’d started counting down the days. The direction Cole had taken the conversation in confused me. I thought he was going to talk about what just happened. Or were you not supposed to do that? Internally, I screamed in frustration. Why was all of this stuff such a mess?

  “You’re sitting with me on the plane, by the way. I’m stealing you every day.”

  He wasn’t getting any arguments from me. Spending the whole two weeks with him would be perfect.

  “You want to go back inside and get another drink?” He asked, after a few more minutes. Things between us were completely back to normal, although the kiss conversation seemed to be a do-not-go-there topic. I nodded and stood up. I’d come for a high school party experience so I should get in and enjoy it.

  “Cole!” Ben shrieked, stumbling towards us as we walked back inside. He must have sobered up slightly because he was steadier on his feet, but the lopsided smile and glazed over eyes showed he should give driving a miss tomorrow. “Wanna do shots, guys?”

  I really don’t. I’d only ever had a little wine before with dinner so I’d probably be off my face on one shot. If I went home like that my dad would never let me out again. I couldn’t be locked inside the house.

  “I told you I wasn’t drinking,” Cole responded, playfully punching Ben’s arm.

  “Pussy,” Ben muttered, laughing as he dodged another swing from Cole.

  We followed Ben back to the kitchen and Cole got all three of us a Coke, saying Ben needed to sober up, ready to clean before his parents arrived home. A red can flew towards me and I only just managed to catch it before it hit my stomach.

  Rolling my eyes at Cole, I held the can upright and gave it a few minutes before opening it. I didn’t need the embarrassment of having Coke explode in my face. Cole chuckled and shook his head. Suddenly, he grabbed me around my waist and turned me so he could rest his chin on my shoulder.

  After only a few seconds of having Cole’s arms wrapped around me, one of his friends pulled me away. What’s her problem?

  “I’m Kerry,” she announced. “I’ve been waiting for Cole to introduce us, but he’s clearly trying to keep you all to himself.”

  She held her hand out and we shook. I instantly liked her because she was accepting and seemed non judgemental.

  I smiled at her, and that was it. Kerry launched into telling me stories of Cole and Ben doing stupid dares at school and we were insta-friends.

  Kerry was a lot of fun. She had a happy personality was infectious. It was impossible not to like her. She spoke to me as if we had been friends for years. There were never any awkward questions about why I didn’t talk and she didn’t try to find out what was wrong. She just accepted who I was and got on with it.

  She spoke a lot, but that was actually perfect. We balanced each other out, and I really hoped that she wasn’t just being polite to me because having a girl friend was lovely.

  About every five seconds, Kerry’s eyes would flick to Ben, and when she saw some girl called Mary on his lap, she frowned so slightly that I almost missed it. Over the years, I had gotten used to reading people’s expressions more than most.

  Once Kerry’s attention was back on me, I raised my eyebrow. She blushed, knowing that I’d caught her staring. She definitely liked Ben and from the hungry way he watched her when she wasn’t looking he clearly liked her.

  “I’ll get us another drink,” she muttered, turning and rushing towards the fridge. I didn’t expect her to be shy about something like that. The girl was outgoing to the point I envied her. She was beautiful with long, chocolate hair and very dark green eyes and she had the best personality. What did she have to be shy about?

  I caught Cole’s attention, looked between Kerry and Ben and grinned wickedly.

  “You want to play cupid?” He pulled me back into his arms where, as dramatic as it sounded, I wanted to die. “Good luck with that. You’ve got to get Mary off him first, and she’s like a fucking praying mantis.”

  “Wanna go for a walk, Oakley?” Kerry asked, already grabbing my hand and pulling me away from Cole. Seriously, again?

  I followed her out to the back garden and we sat down on a bench. No one else was out the back. It was quite big but full of children’s ride-on bikes, games, and toys. It looked like Toys R Us had been dumped in the garden.

  At first I sat a little stiffly, playing with my fingers because I felt awkward being completely alone with her for the first time. I didn’t trust easily and I only trusted three people. “Okay, so I really, really like Ben. He’s just so…” she trailed off, sighing. “So sweet, funny, amazing, caring, generous and so gorgeous. I mean, that dark skin, those black eyes, full lips, wash
board abs…”

  Her dark eyes lit up as she spoke about him. It was probably how I looked whenever I thought about Cole.

  “I know I should tell him but I can’t. I mean, what if he’s not interested? It would be so unbelievably embarrassing if he turned me down. We’re friends. I don’t want to mess that up but damn it, I want more. I should just do it though, right? Oh, maybe I can down a few shots and kiss him! That way if he pushes me off I can just blame it on the drink.”

  That didn’t sound like a winning plan to me but I was hardly qualified in the boy area.

  Kerry obviously didn’t share my reservations because she was all toothy smiles and bouncing up and down. I couldn’t imagine Ben not being interested in her but she was probably going about it in the wrong way.

  “Okay, so before we go back inside and I can get started on Operation Kiss Ben, we should talk about you and Cole. I can never tell, you seem like you are but he’s never admitted it... Are you two together?”

  My cheeks burned as I shook my head. We really did not need to talk about me and Cole.

  “But you want to be. I can see how you two look at each other. Seriously, Oakley, he talks about you all the time. It’s so cute. You want to be with him, right?”

  He talked about me all the time? All the time? That must mean he liked me a little bit. You didn’t think about just anyone all the time.

  “Oakley?” Kerry looked at me expectantly, waiting for an answer. I gave a little nod of my head, confirming that, of course, I did like Cole.

  She squealed and grabbed my hand, pulling me up. “Come on then! Let’s go get our men.”

  I cringed. That was absolutely not happening. I guess admitting it to her wasn’t a good idea after all. Who knows what she had planned. There was no way I was getting drunk and kissing Cole. I would rather wait and let things happen naturally, if anything was going to happen at all. I didn’t think she would say anything to him.

  On the way back into the house, Kerry spoke constantly, and I couldn’t have been happier to listen to her gushing about Ben’s abs. Having a girl friend that wasn’t bitchy was something that I definitely wanted. Hanging out with Kerry, even for such a short period of time, made me realise what I’d been missing. Cole was great but there were certain things I needed a girl for.

  “I’m nervous.” She smiled, gritting her teeth as she ruthlessly pushed our way through the crowd that had gathered by the door.

  Cole was still in the same place, leaning against the kitchen counter. I took a deep breath as we approached them. My heart went wild as his eyes landed on mine, as always.

  Looking at him was like falling. It was perfect.



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