Silence, p.34

Silence, page 34

 part  #1 of  Silence Series

 

Silence
 



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“Oakley?” I frowned and pressed my face into my pillow to ignore Mum calling me. Why couldn’t she let me sleep? “Oakley,” she repeated. I felt like I’d only had three hours. Sighing in defeat, I rolled over and waited for whatever she needed me for at…10:30am…

  Alright, so it wasn’t that early.

  “Morning, honey. Sorry to wake you, but I wanted to let you know that Auntie Ali’s going away for the night, so Lizzie’s staying with us. She’ll be here soon. You need to make some room in your wardrobe for her things, okay. Apparently, she’s packed a lot and wants to hang a few things up.”

  No, this is not okay. Who unpacks clothes for one night? There was only so much she could physically wear in a day. I tried hard not to show the disappointment because Mum loved her niece, but I couldn’t keep a frown from dominating my face.

  “Oh, she’s not that bad! Come on, you, up. Dad’s making pancakes for breakfast.”

  Mum left me to get up. I flopped back in bed. Lizzie for a whole twenty-four hours. Groaning in frustration, I jumped up and stomped around in a mood.

  This is not a good start to the day.

  The second I got downstairs; she walked through the front door. I didn’t even have time to drink a hot chocolate – or force down a coffee – to mentally prepare myself. Jesus, I’d literally just woken up.

  “Oh, I can’t wait for your birthday party, Oakley!” Lizzie gushed, pouting her lips and fluffing her hair. Well, hello, Lizzie. “Your mum’s practically invited your whole year! She’s so cool, you know.”

  No.

  I was suddenly filled with dread. Did that mean Julian had an invite, too? I didn’t want to have to face my classmates until I absolutely had to – on the first day back at school. Not a nanosecond sooner.

  But it’s not like I get a choice in what happens in my life. To my body.

  “Pancakes, girls,” Dad announced, poking his head around the kitchen door with a celebratory smile. Dad was the self-proclaimed pancake king. Everyone raved about them; they got stuck in my throat.

  I followed Lizzie to the kitchen table and sat down.

  Twenty-four hours. I can do that.

  You’ve had worse for a lot longer.

  This will be a walk in the park.

  “Hey, look who I found,” Mum said as she walked into the room. Cole trailed behind her smiling. It faded as his eyes landed on Lizzie.

  “Hi, Cole,” Lizzie purred.

  I rolled my eyes. He frowned and sat beside me. With a nod of his head, he replied a quick, “Hey.”

  “Look what I have, sweetheart.” Mum handed me a folder. An A4 piece of paper was taped to the front with typed letters: OAKLEY’S SWEET 16.

  God. Please say this isn’t happening. What the hell was she planning on having at this party? My skin prickled with unease.

  I flipped the folder open and died a little inside. The first page was a list of guests. I slapped it shut, not wanting to know. It wouldn’t change anything. This was Mum’s desperate way of moulding me into a normal teenager, and I’d let her run with it.

  “I was thinking we could get one of those chocolate fountains, what do you think?” Mum asked, and held up a magazine cut out of a giant white chocolate fountain. I’d been warned about that one. Honestly, I was fine with chocolate, though.

  I nodded along with her idea and dug my fork into my cherry pancakes.

  I wonder if Dad remembers making these after his friend had finished hurting me?

  I remembered.

  I can’t forget.

  “Great,” she said, pulling me out of the tunnel I was about to disappear down. She grabbed a pen and circled the phone number.

  Picking at the pancakes, I glared at them like it was all their fault.

  Why did he make cherry?

  “Ice cream?” Cole offered.

  If no one were around, I would’ve kissed him. But, then, if no one were around we wouldn’t need to escape. Nodding gratefully, I stood up and took our plates to the side. I hadn’t touched breakfast. Dad noticed, but he didn’t say a thing. Not that he would.

  I had no idea if he thought about the past or if he was just better at blocking it out. It didn’t matter either way, I suppose. Nothing could change it.

  “Take Lizzie with you,” Mum ordered.

  I narrowed my eyes at her, and Cole’s expression mirrored mine.

  “Oooh, one minute,” Lizzie sang as she ran off up the stairs, no doubt to change.

  “Tell her we’re in the car, please,” Cole said to my mum.

  Five minutes later, he sighed and slammed his head back on the headrest. “A minute? More like a fucking hour,” he grumbled.

  Well, that was Lizzie.

  Finally, ten minutes later, she strutted out of the house wearing a very short denim dress.

  “Jesus,” he spat. “Where the hell does she think we’re going?”

  Hooters. Nightclub. Church. It didn’t matter with her.

 

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