Silence, p.20

Silence, page 20

 part  #1 of  Silence Series



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“Hey?” Cole greeted me with a questioning look on his face. He stepped aside so I could walk in his front door. “I’d ask how it went, but I think I can guess…”

  He nodded towards the stairs, gesturing for me to follow him up to his room. There was nowhere else I wanted to be. I practically flew upstairs and into his bedroom.

  “So,” he prompted as I crawled onto his bed.

  Shaking my head, I felt tears sting me eyes again. Stop all the bloody crying! I screamed silently at myself.

  “That bad?” He climbed over me and pulled me into his arms. As he stroked my hair, I let the tears flow. Why couldn’t everyone just leave it? I was trying to forget and move on, but it was impossible to do when Mum was constantly trying to fix everything.

  No amount of doctors, specialists or appointments could ever fix what’d happen. When you were damaged like me that was it forever. Something so dirty would never be clean.

  Cole held me until I calmed down. When I was ready I pulled my head away from his chest and smiled at him apologetically.

  “You okay now?”

  I shook my head and sat up, wiping my face with my sleeve.

  “Did you go in?”

  I nodded slowly and looked up to see his reaction – which was surprise. Last time Mum had tried to get me to go to see a doctor about my ‘condition’ I didn’t even make it out of our front door.

  “Did he examine you?”

  I shook my head. Never.

  “But you got into the room.”

  He smiled, looking hopeful. I could tell what he was thinking. I made it into the room so maybe next I would allow them to do an examination.

  “Are you supposed to go back?”

  I nodded, grimacing. I could feel myself start to sweat at the possibility Mum pleading with me to go again.

  “I could come with you if you want?” he offered, speaking gently.

  How important was this to him? Did our being together properly depend upon me talking again? No matter how much I was falling for him I couldn’t do that. I wrapped my arms around myself. The thought of losing Cole was like having my chest cut open.

  “Don’t do that.” He pulled my arms apart and kept hold of my hands to prevent me closing up again. “Oakley, it doesn’t matter to me if you never speak again. I’ve told you that a million times, so please believe me. I know you better than anyone else does. I know what every little facial expression means and how you’ll react to a situation before it’s even happened. All I want is for you to be happy.”

  My eyes filled with tears again. Good ones this time. See, idiot, he does like you for who you are.

  “I mean it. If you’re happy as you are then that’s all that matters to me. Are you happy?”

  Happy, I repeated in my head, testing the word. No, not happy, not with myself anyway. Scared, confused, broken, dirty, and lost – they all seemed to fit better. I nodded, telling him the biggest lie I had ever told.

  He smiled. Wow, he bought it. Was I getting better at lying or did he just want to believe I was happy so much that he missed it? “Okay, I’ll help you tell your mum to back off then.”

  That was it? I had just basically told him there was no chance I would ever talk again and he breezed past it like I’d said I wanted to trim my hair. I bit my bottom lip and smiled.

  Someone knocked on Cole’s door. I wiped my eyes again, even though they were dry now and smiled. “Yeah?” Cole shouted and flicked the TV on with the remote.

  Jenna pushed the door open and walked in, with a worried smile on her face. Mum had obviously told her about the doctor. “Do you want to stay for dinner, sweetie? We’re having tacos,” she offered, brushing her blonde hair behind her ear. I nodded eagerly. Mexican night at Cole’s was the best. There wouldn’t just be tacos, there would be wedges, salad, tortilla chips, salsa dips and nachos too. There was also the chilli challenge between Cole and his dad. They would both try to eat the most and see who ‘pussied’ out first.

  “Great. Chris is coming, too,” she said and frowned. Jenna wasn’t a fan of Chris either. What are you doing, Mia? I hoped that one day she would realise she could do so much better than him. Cole mumbled something under his breath. I couldn’t quite make it out, but I could pretty much guess what it was.

  “You,” she pointed to Cole, “had better be on your best behaviour, for your sister’s sake.”

  “I would be if he wasn’t such a fuc—” I jabbed my elbow into his side before he finished his sentence. “Why’d I get hit for that one? It’s true!” he exclaimed, frowning at me.

  Jenna looked like she was trying not to laugh. “So…” she said with a wide smile and sat on the end of the bed. “You two okay?”

  I looked at Cole uncomfortably, and he rolled his eyes at his mum.

  “Not really. I just can’t get rid of her,” he said sarcastically, tensing his body as if he was waiting to be slapped. I decided not to as he was expecting it. Instead, I shrugged and stood up to leave. He grabbed my wrist and pulled me back on the bed, making me fall onto the mattress.

  “I’m joking!”

  Jenna made an ‘aww’ sound, which made me want to run away. It was embarrassing.

  “So are you two… you know?”

  “Mum!” Cole groaned and pointed to the door.

  Jenna giggled like a teenage girl and started to leave. “I’m going, I’m going. I think it’s great. Not that we couldn’t all see it coming or anything.”

  “Mum!” Cole snapped again. Jenna closed the door. Her laughter rang through his room, even though she was on the other side of the wall.

  I looked at the wall, praying that my face hadn’t turned too pink. It would be though, of course. Cole chuckled and brushed his fingers across my cheek. “Just ignore her,” he said and flopped down on his back. “Let me know when to stop,” he instructed as he flicked through the TV channels.

  We lay on his bed all afternoon watching television, messing around and kissing each other. Lots of kissing each other, actually. It was the perfect afternoon.

  “Wanna go swimming tomorrow?” Cole asked casually, breaking the long, comfortable silence. I nodded and pressed my back into his chest, so I was even closer to him. His fingers brushed over my hipbone. Everywhere he touched felt as if it was on fire. I closed my eyes.

  It’s okay to feel good. It’s Cole’s touch.

  Half an hour later, Jenna called us down for dinner. As we walked downstairs, I wondered if my parents had been invited too. I hoped not. Holding my breath, I peered into the kitchen to see. Only David and Jenna were there. I blew out a sigh of relief and sat down in my usual seat.

  “Where is he?” I heard Cole ask his mum, referring to Chris, no doubt.

  “Mia’s room.”

  Cole glared in anger.

  “Please, don’t start, Cole. She’ll realise she deserves better in her own time. If you push her now, you’ll only push her further into his arms.”

  He grumbled something that his mum probably shouldn’t hear from his mouth and slumped into the seat next to me.

  When Mia and Chris walked in, the room fell silent. The atmosphere became tense, but I would still rather be here than at my house. I smiled at the two of them. It couldn’t be easy for Mia knowing that her family hated her boyfriend. Their reason for hating him was valid, but Jenna was right, Mia had to get over him and move on in her own time.

  Everyone sat down, and I saw the challenging look between Cole and David. I couldn’t stop grinning as they both reached for a green chilli from the bowl.

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