Broken silence, p.4

Broken Silence, page 4

 part  #2 of  Silence Series


Broken Silence

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  “She’ll be back soon. She’s just taken Fifi to Fun to Play. ”

  Oakley turned, following Mum as she moved to the fridge. She frowned. “Taken who to what?”

  I laughed and stepped forwards, just a little bit closer. She turned around and took a deep breath.

  “Leona. She’s taken Leona to one of those indoor soft play centres,” I replied. Oakley nodded, biting her bottom lip. Her beautiful blue eyes were glazed over slightly from crying.

  “I don’t think they’ll be long. Are you staying to wait for her?” Mum asked.

  I watched Oakley’s reaction carefully; she looked so torn.

  Sarah touched Mum’s arm and smiled. “We have time. I’d love to see Mia again, and meet Leona. ” I could have kissed her.

  Oakley smiled at her mum, that fake little smile that didn’t reach her eyes. She doesn’t want to stay. Not that I could be surprised after our conversation. She had to know that she was wrong, and I was never better off without her in my life.

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  What she said about not being good enough for me was just ridiculous. I hated that she felt that way about herself. I should have killed Max and Frank when I had the chance. They deserved to rot in prison for what they did.

  “Dude, your hair looked better before,” Jasper said, staring at my head.

  “Thanks, Jasper. Missed you too. ”

  Jasper’s eyes flicked to his sister; they looked like they were having some weird silent conversation. Finally, she nodded and rolled her eyes. And that means what? Four years ago, it was me and Oakley that could have a conversation without words.

  “Oh my God! I’m so glad you’re staying for a bit. We’re gonna watch a movie, so come sit,” Kerry said, pulling Oakley and Jasper towards the sofas. Over the past four years, the only thing that changed about Kerry was the length of her hair. She was still the same, slightly crazy, over-talking, hyperactive girl.

  I sat beside Oakley without thinking about it. It still felt natural to be close to her. She sat awkwardly; her body was tense. It was like she was nervous. My leg was almost touched hers, and I could feel the heat radiating from her.

  “What’s the movie?” Jasper asked Kerry, blatantly staring at her cleavage. He hadn’t changed a bit!

  ‘Piranha. ’

  Oakley’s head snapped to Jasper, and he smirked, about to say something. “Beach party,” she said quickly. His mouth closed, and he looked back at the screen.

  “Okay, what happened at this party?” I asked. It must be good if Jasper stopped taking the piss out of someone because of it.

  “Nothing, Cole. Shut up, Oakley,” he snapped and frowned at his sister. Oh, I was going to be asking her later. Maybe that could be some sort of ice breaker? We needed to talk more, but I didn’t want it to end in an argument again. Everything had just spilled out at once.

  She laughed quietly, making me smile. That was the first time I’d heard her laugh properly in fifteen years. I couldn’t help smiling like an idiot.

  “You won’t be laughing when you’re screaming like a girl in the middle of the night ’cause you’re dreaming the little fish are eating you!” Jasper replied.

  “Jasper performed a striptease to ‘Poker Face’ at a beach party,” Oakley announced, folding her arms over her chest and raising her eyebrows at Jasper.

  “A striptease?” I repeated.

  “It wasn’t a striptease! What the hell is wrong with you, Oakley?”

  “It was a striptease. Although I don’t know if he actually went all the way. I left when his hands reached the top of his boxers. ” She shuddered in disgust. “He sang and everything though. ” Jasper mumbled a string of swear words under his breath.

  “Repeat performance, please?” Kerry asked.

  “I don’t think so, puddin’. ”

  “Did you just call me puddin’?”

  Oakley shook her head. “You know nothing about women, Jasper. ”

  “I know enough to get what I want. ”

  “Pig,” Kerry scoffed.

  The movie started and everyone shut up. I was suddenly really aware that my arm was almost touching hers and that I could smell her hair – it smelled of raspberries. My heart was going to explode! Be cool. Don’t make yourself look like a dick!

  She glanced at me out of the corner of her eye. I smiled, and she smiled back. It was almost too intense. The atmosphere around us felt like… I didn’t even know how to explain it. Everything just felt on fire. The inch or so of air between us was too much.

  Across the room, I saw Chelsea looking at Oakley. It was like she was trying to figure her out and occasionally clenched her jaw. I really hoped Oakley wouldn’t notice. I knew it would make her feel awkward if she did, and I didn’t ever want her to feel awkward being at my house.

  I didn’t know what to do about Chelsea: we weren’t together, and I had never led her to believe we ever would be. She didn’t really have the right to act like a jealous girlfriend.

  I sat uncomfortably and forced myself to look at the screen. I should have sat somewhere else. I couldn’t concentrate on anything but the beautiful little blonde beside me. Suddenly never having another relationship didn’t seem that pathetic. Being a sad twat for four years was worth it.

  Kerry waved the empty bowl of popcorn at me and raised her eyebrows. “Your turn, Cole. ”

  Sighing, I grabbed the bowl and made my way into the kitchen. I was actually glad to leave that room for a minute. I needed some time to pull myself together. How could she still affect me so much?

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  Grabbing the popcorn bag, I turned around and almost slammed into Jasper. He was just standing still behind me like a psycho. “What the hell, man?”

  He smirked and cocked his head to the side. “Sorry, dude, did I scare you?” The sarcastic bastard. I glared for a second but then shook my head. There was no point in even trying with him.

  His face suddenly turned serious, losing that cocky edge. He took a step closer to me and was uncomfortably close, but I think that was the point.

  “What happened? What did you do to her? She’s been crying, and I don’t like it when she’s upset. ”

  “I didn’t do anything to her,” I replied, frowning. How the hell could he think I did something, anything, to her? “We talked. There were things that needed to be said. ”

  “Couldn’t it have waited?” he asked, folding his arms over his chest. “She’s my sister, don’t upset her okay?”

  “She’s my…” I trailed off, managing to stop myself before I said ‘girlfriend’. She wasn’t my girlfriend, and she hadn’t been for a long time. So why did I still think of her as mine?

  Jasper smirked. “Your…?” he prompted.

  I gritted my teeth. “Nothing. ” Shaking my head, I threw the popcorn bag in the microwave roughly and punched the start button. “If you keep giving me that look I’m gonna punch you, Jasper. ”

  “What’s the deal with the new chick? If you’re screwing her? Tell me now so I can make sure Oakley’s not around to see it,” he said bluntly.

  “Not that it has anything to do with you, but I’m not screwing her. Even if I was it would be Oakley’s fault. She left me. She moved ten thousand, five hundred and fifty-five miles away!”

  “Right, because she really wanted to!”

  “She still did it!”

  He sighed loudly. “Just don’t hurt her. ”

  What? Was he really saying all that shit to me? “Me hurt her?”

  “Yes. Don’t, or I’ll cut your balls off. ” He looked at me with hard serious eyes. I stared at him in disbelief, and he shrugged. “Well, big brother bit over. How’ve you been?”

  “Jasper, has anyone ever diagnosed you with anything? Personality disorder or…”

  He rolled his eyes but grinned too. “Not you too. ”

  “I think if more than one
person comments on it you should make an appointment. ”

  He grin widened. “There’s nothing wrong with my personalities. They’re all awesome”

  “So you all grown up and settled down yet?”

  He looked at me as if I’d grown a second head. “You’re kidding, right? Have you seen how hot the girls are in Oz? And we live near the beach. Bikinis baby! I’m never settling down, ever. ”

  “Okay then. ”

  “You got over my sister?” I glared. Jasper had no boundaries. “That’ll be a no then. So what is new around here?”

  “I can’t keep up with you!” One minute he was the protective big brother ready to rip my head off, then he was back to ‘normal’, if Jasper could ever be described as that.

  He shrugged. “Women have that problem too. ”

  Raising my hands, I started to walk out of the room. Screw the popcorn.

  “She’s been miserable you know,” he said.

  I stopped and turned around. I needed to hear that she missed me too, and not just from her. “What?”

  “I thought she’d be okay after a while but she never stopped looking sad. I hate seeing her that unhappy every single day. Just do me a favour, don’t give her too much of a hard time. She didn’t want to leave. She was going through a lot of… stuff. ” He frowned.

  “Yeah, I know she was. ” Well, I didn’t know. I would never know what she went through, none of us would.

  Jasper got the popcorn out of the microwave. “Ouch, popcorn bitch!” he hissed as the bag burnt his fingers.

  Grinning, I went back in the lounge. “Your brother hasn’t changed one bit,” I said to Oakley as I sat back down.

  “What did he say?”

  “Something about bikinis. ”

  She laughed. “Yeah, he really likes the beach. ”

  I would have liked it too. Hanging out in the sun with Oakley all day sounds pretty perfect to me.

  “This is getting scary so don’t go anywhere,” she said. I’m not the one that goes anywhere.

  Shortly after the film finished, Mia and Leona pulled up outside. They never usually took so long, but I was grateful they had – at least there’d been time for things to relax a little between me and Oakley. Mia’s jaw dropped as she walked in. She dropped Leona’s bag and ran to Oakley.

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  “Oh my God!”

  There was a lot of hugging after that. Leona took to Oakley straight away and refused to leave her side.

  “We should get to Ali’s now, kids,” Sarah said. “Maybe we can meet up soon though?”

  “Tomorrow?” Mum said and hugged her.

  Oakley smiled. Everyone else had said goodbye. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. Well, I knew what I wanted to do, but it was completely inappropriate in front of an audience. Screw it. I stepped forward and wrapped my arms around her.

  She gripped hold of me and buried her head in the crook of my neck. I felt like I could breathe again. I had missed this so much. She clung onto me as if she was afraid I was going to disappear if she didn’t. I gently pressed my lips to the top of her head and held her tighter.

  I didn’t want to let go, even when her arms loosened around my waist. She had to leave though. Gritting my teeth, I let go. When she took a step back, I felt like I was being kicked in the gut.

  She stared up at me with those sky-blue eyes and said, “See you soon?”

  “Yeah. Tomorrow. ” Twenty-four hours away. Man up, Cole!

  “That sounds good,” she replied and bit her lip nervously, releasing it as she smiled. I groaned internally: she was sexy as hell.

  “Oakley, get your tiny backside in the effing car,” Jasper shouted, breaking our probably not-even-a-moment moment.

  She rolled her eyes. “That’s my cue. Bye, Cole. ”

  I nodded once. “Bye. ”

  Mum closed the door, and Mia turned to me. “Well, well, well. ”

  Holding my hand up, I said, “Don’t say a word. ”

  Chapter Five


  I felt as if I had been in the boxing ring with Mike Tyson. I had been travelling for almost a day, but that wasn’t the exhausting part. At least our first meeting was over, and hopefully the next time we saw each other things would be okay.

  “How did it go?” Mum asked as soon as I was in the car and closed the door.

  “Better than I expected, actually. I thought he would shout and chuck me out. ”

  Jasper turned in the seat. “He was never going to chuck you out. ” Yeah, I knew that really. He had every right to though. “So he still loves you then. ”

  My jaw dropped open. Did Jasper have absolutely no respect for anyone’s privacy. “You listened!”

  “Yeah of course I listened! Well, I tried to. I only heard that bit before I was hit repeatedly by Kerry. You wanna do that girly thing where you over-analyse every little detail? What did it mean that he sat so close to you? Did it mean anything? Was it accidental or—”

  “Shut up, Jasper,” I snapped. “What’s wrong with you?”

  “Isn’t this the kind of shit girls do?”

  “You’re not a girl. ”

  “Yeah but you have no friends, so I thought I’d try cheering you up. ”

  I stared at him blankly, hiding how much I wanted to shove him out of the car. “Thank you, that really helped,” I replied dryly.

  He wasn’t wrong. I didn’t really have friends. There were a few girls at work I spoke to and occasionally went out with, but I wasn’t particularly close to them. I didn’t want to get close to anyone.

  “Enough now, Jasper,” Mum said, shaking her head at him. Jasper was stuck inside a teenage boy’s mind, and I wasn’t ever sure he would grow up.

  “Was it nice to catch up with Jenna?” I asked to change the subject.

  I saw her smile in the mirror. “It was. I worried that it would be awkward at first, but it’s like we’ve never been apart. ” See, that was true friendship. I envied Mum a little for having that. But then it was my own fault I didn’t.

  We pulled into Ali’s drive, and nothing about their house had changed from the outside. She was still planting the same flowers and had the little water fountain in the front garden. It was nice to see.

  The front door burst open and Ali came flying out. Mum jumped from the car and ran into her sister’s arms.

  “Great, I forgot how crazy those two are together,” Jasper said, opening the car door. Like he could complain about anyone else being crazy…

  “Oakley, sweetheart,” Ali whispered and pulled me into a hug. “Are you okay?” She pulled back to watch my response.

  I smiled. “I’m fine, just a little tired from all the travelling. ”

  “Oh, come in, come in. ”

  Inside we were hugged by Lizzie, and just as I was hoping to go to bed, Lizzie grabbed my hand. “We have so much to catch up on. ” I shot Jasper a desperate look. It had been a long flight. I was tired and ever-so-slightly emotional from seeing Cole. I did not need to be dealing with Lizzie as well.

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  “Go on,” he said and smiled smugly.

  I mouthed, ‘I hate you’ and turned, letting Lizzie drag me upstairs. I suppose getting it over with now would mean I wouldn’t have to dread her gossip filled conversation tomorrow. I didn’t like gossip.

  The second her bedroom door was closed, she pulled me to her bed, and we sat down. “How was it seeing Cole? Did you have one of those romantic reunions or was he pissed at you?” she questioned.

  How did she even know we’d been at Cole’s house? Unless Mum had called them to explain why we were running late.

  “I’m tired, Lizzie. I don’t want to talk about that right now. ” I got off the bed and flopped on the futon by the wall that I was sleeping on.

  She sighed in frustration. “At least tell me if you still love him?”
  I paused. Oh what the hell. “Yes, I still love him. ”

  “I knew you did! Oh God, this is so romantic. Reunited after years apart,” she gushed, making little squealing noises that made me want to slap her. She wasn’t helping. And it certainly didn’t feel romantic, just draining.

  “Yeah,” I replied sarcastically, burying my head under the pillow and praying that either sleep or suffocation would happen soon, so I wouldn’t hear her anymore. It was getting late, and I just wanted to sleep!

  “Fine I get it. I’ll go see Jas then. ” Wow, don’t let him hear you call him that!

  I woke up to the sound of Lizzie spraying hairspray on her now curly hair. She kept going, holding her finger on the can and spraying it all over her head. Christ that hair was going nowhere, ever. I hope she doesn’t go near a naked flame.

  My mind drifted back to Cole. Would I really see him today? Or at least hear from him? He didn’t have my number so he couldn’t call, even if he wanted to, which he probably didn’t. I sighed. Obsessing wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

  “Hey, you’re awake,” Lizzie chirped, sounding surprised though she had creating all the noise. “So… have you spoke to him yet?” I’d been up for five seconds, and she thinks I could have spoken to Cole already.

  It took everything I had not to reply with some sarcastic comment.

  “Not yet. He doesn’t have my number. ” Why didn’t I give him my number? Because he probably wouldn’t want it? He did say he would see me today though. Obsessing again!

  Something hard hit my leg, making me jump. Jasper was standing by the door smirking at me.

  “What’s wrong with you?!” I protested. Why couldn’t he call my name to get my attention like any other normal person?

  He nodded to whatever it was he threw at me. His mobile phone.

  “It’s Cole. ”

  I sat up, almost giving myself head rush. Oh God! I grabbed the phone and stared at it. Cole’s name was on the screen along with the time ticking by. He had already been on for almost five minutes. Oh God, what had Jasper said to him already?

  I gulped. My throat was dry. “I’d open with hello,” Jasper said sarcastically, winking at me as he walked out of Lizzie’s room.

  Slowly, I raised the phone to my ear. Cole’s quiet laughter made me smile.

  “Cole. ”

  “He told you to open with hello,” he said.

  “Yeah, well, he’s an idiot. ”

  “Agreed. So, do you wanna go get some ice cream?”

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