Silence, page 32part #1 of Silence Series
I woke up in the morning, and my head was pounding from crying the night before.
There’s no point in crying; it won’t change the past or the future.
You’re stuck forever.
Rubbing my eyes vigorously to clear the thoughts that kept me awake at night, I took deep breaths. I might be locked in silence forever, but I’d be okay.
I checked the time on my alarm clock. It was 9:52am. I’d slept in late, but I needed the extra sleep. Flopping back down, I covered my eyes with my forearm. In the darkness, I heard Cole’s laugh. Jumping, I scrambled up on the bed.
What the hell is wrong with him?
“And here I was thinking you’d be ready by now,” he said, grinning in amusement and cocking his eyebrow. I had no clue how he could be so…awake after a full on two-week holiday and late night. “You alright? You look tired.”
That’s because I’m tired.
He came and sat on my bed. I’d never quite get used to the way he looked at me. Cole reached his hand out tucked my hair behind my ear, and then he ran his thumb under my eye. “Have you been crying? Oakley, what’s going on? Are you okay?”
I nodded, and he pulled me close to him. Right now, in his arms, I was okay, but since we’d got together I’d been thinking too much. “Do you still want to go out? We don’t have to. We can hang around here if you want?”
I jumped up and shook my head. That was the last thing I wanted. Dad was taking today off before he locked himself in his office again, so I wanted to be out of the house.
“You sure?” he asked. I was beyond sure. I grabbed some clothes out of my drawer and held a finger up at Cole, telling him to give me a minute. “Yeah, like you’ll actually be ready in one minute,” he called after me as I ran to the bathroom to shower and get dressed.
Right, I was slowing down because of that. Cole laughed as I slowed my pace on my way out. “I knew you were going to do that!”
Smiling, I locked myself in the bathroom and stripped. I turned the temperature up too high and got in. After stressing out about my past last night, I felt like I had to scrub my body again to get it clean.
You can scrub until your skin peels off; you’ll never be clean.
I scrunched my eyes shut, gripping the rough sponge as I scraped it over my legs. I cried for everything I’d gone through and everything I would continue to lose. My tears mixed with the water and ran down the drain. Crying didn’t change anything, but it released some of the pressure that constantly built inside my chest.
Get it together; you’re stronger than this.
Cole would have to wait because as hard as I tried, I couldn’t pull myself together. Sliding down the tiled wall of the shower, I curled my body into a ball.
The floor is where you belong. If Cole saw you like this he’d think you’re pathetic. If he knew he’d be disgusted. He’d hate you for letting him have sex with you. Who wants used goods?
I gripped my hair, I sobbed.
Shut up. Shut up. Shut up!
I hated that I couldn’t stop those thoughts. No matter how hard I tried to forget what happened, it was always there, lurking in the background, waiting for a glimmer of weakness so it could take hold of my mind.
I’m stronger than this. Stand up.
Cole was waiting in my bedroom for me, and here I was having a meltdown on the shower floor. I’m a survivor. I’m not a victim.
It took every ounce of strength I had, but I pushed myself to my feet, clawing at the tiles for support. I won’t stay down. Once on my feet, I put my face under the spray of water and washed it. I quickly shampooed my hair and got out.
My face was probably going to look blotchy, so I might need to borrow some of Mum’s concealer for my under eyes. Cole couldn’t know that I’d been crying again.
I really needed to get stop that.
After getting dressed and drying my hair upside down, I dared to take a look in the mirror. My eyes were slightly red, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t touch up and conceal.
Digging in her make-up bag, I found what I needed and dabbed a little under my eyes. Thankfully, we had the same light skin tone, so I didn’t look ridiculous. My hair sat halfway down my back and a nightmare in the heat, so I tied it up and went back to my room.
Opening the door, I almost ran into Cole. Gripping my thumping heart, I scowled at him. Who just stands outside a room like that?
He laughed, tilting his head to the side, causing his brown hair to flop across his forehead and almost into his eyes. “I’d apologise, but that was funny.” I glared at him and folded my arms over my chest. “I love you,” he whispered.
Every time he said that I felt like I was going to burst apart.
“Come on,” he said, grinning at me as he spoke. “We need to leave. It’ll take a while to get there.”
A while to get where?
Grabbing his muscular forearm, I raised an eyebrow. He’d know what I was asking. He almost always did.
“London,” he said.
I blinked hard. London? London as in the capital of the Country? The one that’s hours away from where we lived. Had he lost his mind? We couldn’t just bugger off to London. My Dad would freak.
I stared at him, waiting for an explanation as my chest burned with anxiety.
Cole shrugged. “Come on, you’ve always wanted to go to that creepy Madame Tussauds place…and on the London Eye. You love that tourist shit.”
Yes, but we still couldn’t just take off to bloody London! Could we?
He chewed on his lip as he waited for me to consider it. I wanted to go, obviously, but I worried about what’d happen if Dad found out. Cole would’ve said straight away that he’d cleared it with my parents if he had, so I knew this was a secret trip.
I dipped my head in an unconvinced nod, and Cole brightened immediately. At least one of us thought it was a good idea.
“Great. Get your arse in the car, Oakley!”
I did as I was told, and Cole lied through his teeth when Dad asked where we were headed on the way out. I felt sick as I listened to him tell Dad we were going into town, bowling and grabbing some food.
We headed to the motorway, towards London, and I got that holiday feeling again. We were completely alone. I lay back on the seat and wished we could stay in London forever. Or anywhere else for that matter.
Cole glanced over, flitting his eyes between the road and me like he had to keep looking at me. I’d never felt so safe before. The feeling was mutual, because I stared at him more than anything else.
The traffic wasn’t too bad, so we made it in just over two hours. Cole parked, and I panicked. We weren’t even in central London. The traffic and craziness of the big city would get a lot worse. Cole smirked as I looked in horror at the road we’d have to cross. He took my hand and probably regretted it when I crushed his bones.
Great, we’re going to die.
People driving we insane, but nothing was as barmy as the people who walked out into the road…while cars were coming at them.
“You need to relax, babe,” Cole said. “I promise I’ll get you home in one piece.”
He shouldn’t make promises he wasn’t sure he could keep.
I’d had plenty of experience with broken promises.
I grimaced and tucked myself into his side. Sod this; I want to go home.
Cole eventually got us to the other side safely and we only had a short underground ride to Madame Tussauds. As soon as we were back up on the normal level I was fine. People still showed a shocking lack of self-preservation, but they were all used to dodging death each day.
In the museum, Cole paid the entry fee and we went inside.
He was right when he said it was creepy. Hundreds of pairs of eyes followed my every move, kind of like when you’re late to class. Cole stared at each wax celebrity like it was some big conspiracy theory and Night at the Museum was going to happen when the lights went off.
“It’s just… Why would you want to make wax people?” he
I covered his mouth and shook my head, grinning. I mean, when you thought about it, it was plain wrong, but that was half the fun. Most of us would never meet these people in real life so paying to see a wax clone was… Yeah, actually, it was just insane.
Cole only let me have an hour at Madame Tussauds because he needed to eat, and then we were going on the London Eye. We stood in line, full on chicken from Nando’s, waiting for our turn.
A man wearing a black puffa jacket and beanie hat flicked his finger, calling or group up as a capsule started to pass. Cole and I walked inside and went to the far wall, making sure we got a good view.
I didn’t even want to think about how high we were going. Cole wrapped his arms around me from behind, and I suddenly didn’t care if we went right up to the bloody moon.
“Hey, look,” Cole said, pointing out Buckingham Palace and then Big Ben.
Wow, I thought, staring in awe. This trip was worth the stomach ulcer I’d probably get through worrying that Dad would find out. I pressed into Cole’s chest and sighed.
“Enjoying it?” he asked when we reached the top. I nodded and interlaced my fingers with his.
We spent the rest of the ride pointing things out to each other.
“That was good, right?” he said. I nodded as we walked off and headed back to the tube. It was time to go home. We’d only been in London about three hours but we still had to drive home and Dad would become suspicious if we were too late back. I didn’t need questions.
“We’ll come again when we’ll have more time. Maybe for a weekend,” Cole said, holding onto the bars of the train above me. Instead of taking the one free seat in the middle of the row, I opted to hold on around Cole’s waist. I could feel every muscle through his t-shirt, and when he stepped closer I could feel his heart flying in his chest.
I loved him so much.
By the time we got back it was already 5pm. With the evening, rush hour traffic it would take a lot longer to get home. Shaking my head, I yanked Cole’s arm, pulling him closer to me as we walked through the car park. Chuckling, he kissed the top of my head.
I’d had an incredible day, even if it wouldn’t last as long as we both wanted it to. The fact that he had whisked me off to London to do two things I wanted was more than enough. He was the sweetest, and I was the luckiest girl on the planet.
It was getting cooler now; the cold wind bit at my face. My coat was kept my body warm, but I could feel my lips turning numb. I couldn’t wait to get into the car and turn the heat on. British summers were so unpredictable.
We got in the car; Cole started the ignition and backed out of the spot. I cranked the heat up, raising my hands to the vents to warm them up.
For the whole journey home, I stared at Cole. It was getting dark and the orange glow from the dashboard lit up his blue eyes. “You’re staring again,” he said with a half-smile.
I nodded, unashamed. I was completely in love with him, and I wasn’t embarrassed by it.
by Natasha Preston / Romance / Thriller have rating 4.1 out of 5 / Based on53 votes