Silence, p.45

Silence, page 45

 part  #1 of  Silence Series

 

Silence



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The summer had passed so bloody quickly, and school started again on Monday. I had just two more days off. At least this was my last year at Sixth Form, and then I could concentrate on University. Now Uni was something I couldn’t wait for, I’d be studying for something that interested me – structural engineering. I wanted to be the one figuring out how big, fuck-off buildings wouldn’t fall on top of people.

  “Cole, will you hurry up! You take longer to get ready than my sister,” Jasper screamed. I winced as his high-pitched, pretending-to-be-a-girl voice cut right through me.

  “Jesus, Jasper! I’m standing right next to you! I’m ready.”

  I grabbed my wallet, slipping it into my pocket and sprayed some aftershave on my neck. It was Oakley’s favourite, and the one she bought me for Christmas for the last few years.

  I loved it.

  Tonight, I was going out with Jasper and Ben. Oakley was having a girl’s night in with Sarah, Mia, my mum and Kerry. She seemed pretty excited to spend the evening pampering herself with that muddy-looking crap you put on your face. That I had once put on my face.

  Never again.

  “Cole,” Jasper whined. “What’s taking you so long?”

  “I was in the shower five minutes ago, man, it’s not like I’ve been getting ready for an hour.”

  “And why were you in the shower just five minutes ago?”

  Damn. That’d be because I’d been with Oakley.

  He saw my expression and laughed. “You’re so whipped. But I’m glad you are. She’s going to really need you one day.”

  “What’s that mean?”

  He tilted his head, looking at me like I’d just asked something dumb. “You know what that means. Whatever made her quit talkin’ to us is bound to catch up with her. I’ve been prepared to drop everything since it happened, but she won’t want me now.”

  “I’ll do anything to help her. You know that.”

  “I do, bro, and that’s why your area is still intact. Now, hurry up, you’re wasting valuable drinking time.”

  I was distracted by his words. He was right. One day she’d have to face whatever went down. I had absolutely no idea what that was, but I knew it terrified me. I also knew there was nothing that could scare me away from her, no matter how hard things got, not matter how much it hurt.

  “Cole!”

  “Yeah, I’m coming!”

  Jasper chuckled. “I thought you looked a bit funny.” I shoved past him, rolling my eyes.

  Don’t stress about what could happen now. Whatever’s going on you’ll fix it for her.

  The past few weeks had been perfect. Oakley’s parents were doing their best to accept that we were together and to be happy for us. We weren’t allowed to sleep over each other’s anymore, as anticipated, but that didn’t bother me. It really didn’t help that Jasper was always around to offer another teen pregnancy statistic. He knew entirely too much on the subject.

  “Alright, man, I’m gonna bet you right now that I get more phone numbers tonight,” he said, slapping me on the back as we walked out to wait for the taxi. We already know this.

  “I’m not getting any phone numbers tonight. I’m with your sister, remember?”

  “So you fold? I win?”

  I sighed in defeat. “Yes, Jasper, you win.”

  The black taxi pulled up outside my house. Jasper stopped and looked at his reflection in the window, messing his hair up. “Do I look okay?”

  “What are you, a woman?”

  “Hey, I have insecurities the same as everyone else. I may be so close to perfect it’s scary but—”

  “You look fine, Jasper!” I said, cutting him off. It was generally much easier to agree with him and just go along with it.

  “Yeah? You don’t think I should have gone with the blue shirt?”

  I shook my head, taking a deep breath. “Are we really doing this?”

  He nodded, looking deadly serious. This is going to be a very long night. “No, you shouldn’t have gone with the blue shirt.” I shoved him in the back of the taxi. “What you’re wearing looks good. So does your hair.”

  He laughed and scooted over so I could get in. I gave the driver Ben’s address, and we went to pick him up. “I’m flattered, man, I really am. But you’re with my sister, and if I’m honest, man bits just don’t do it for me.”

  Why didn’t I drink before I left the house? A whole evening with Jasper. I must be mad.

  Ben was waiting by his front door as we pulled up. He looked like a kid on Christmas morning. Since he’d got together with Kerry his nights out had dwindled.

  “Hey.” He greeted us with an excited smile as he got in the front. “Ready to get shit-faced?”

  I laughed. “Oh yeah!”

  It had been a while since I’d had a night out with the lads, and I was looking forward to it. Most of my time was spent with Oakley now. I was more than happy with that, but it was good to do separate things, too. We both needed time with our mates.

  The queue into the club was short, and we barely had to wait two minutes before making it to the front. That probably means inside is shit. The built-to-hell bouncer shot his muscular arm out, stopping us just as we were about to go in. He must eat ten pounds of steak and raw eggs every day. Or he was on steroids. The veins in his neck poked through his skin, and the material of his black top was stretched around his bulky shape.

  “ID,” he demanded of Jasper.

  I watched with a smile as Jasper’s face fell and he pulled his driving licence out of his wallet. The bouncer studied it for a second and handed it back, nodding for us to go inside. We made our way through the crowd of barely dressed girls to the bar.

  “I’m fucking older than you!” Jasper exclaimed, waving his hand in mine and Ben’s direction.

  “Well, clearly you don’t look it.” Or act it.

  He grumbled something under his breath and walked to the bar to get the drinks in. Jasper turned to get the bartender’s attention but as she got to us, Jasper turned away.

  Here we go.

  “Well, hello, ladies,” he purred.

  Since he was now otherwise engaged, I ordered three JD and cokes and three shots of tequila. Ben and I sat down on a stool and got comfortable, ready to watch Jasper make a twat out of himself all night.

  “You wanna dance?” He smirked at blonde and scooted a little close to her.

  Give her some personal space, Jasper. Watching him chat up women was like watching a car crash.

  “I have a boyfriend,” she responded, raising her eyebrows but not actually looking too bothered about the fact. Without saying a word, Jasper turned away from her like she didn’t exist anymore.

  “Wanna dance?” He asked another girl, who was standing right next to her friend. Ben laughed, and I watched open-mouthed. Why would he not try another group of girls? The blonde’s friend snorted. “Are you serious? Do I look like a backup or something?” Jasper’s face turned thoughtful.

  He was taking far too long to say a simple no.

  Shrugging unapologetically, he replied, “Sorry, she’s hot and I saw her first.”

  I choked on my drink, my eyes widening in shock. Did he really just say that? The girl’s face reddened. She slapped his cheek, and the sound made me flinch. That had to hurt. It didn’t seem to faze Jasper, and I had a feeling that wasn’t the first time he’d been slapped.

  “No need to be all touchy, love. I was only being honest! I thought women liked that?” He shouted after her as she stormed off with her friends.

  “We’ve only been in here five minutes, and you’ve been slapped already. That must be some sort of a record,” Ben praised, slapping him on the back. Jasper smiled proudly and downed his shot.

  Halfway through the night, Jasper ditched us for a group of Thai girls, here for a holiday. He was in his own little idea of heaven. I sat back at the bar with Ben, downing drinks.

  “Never? It’s never awkward or anything?” Ben questioned about Oakley.
>
  “Nope.” Shaking my head, I explained, “I know what she’s thinking pretty much all of the time. I don’t really need her to say it.”

  He nodded along. “Wow. I have no idea what Kerry thinks, and she doesn’t shut up!” They were different ends of the extreme, one never talking, and one always talking. They balanced each other out perfectly.

  “But do you ever wish she would talk? I mean, doesn’t it bother you that you’ll never hear her say she loves you? And what about the future? When you get married? She won’t be able to say the vows and shit. How would that work?”

  That was something I had thought about, but surely we could get married without her actually saying the words? I’d not looked into it but there was sign language and probably other options for her. But Ben was getting way ahead of us. We didn’t need to worry about that for years yet.

  “Yeah, I wish she would talk. Of course. But it won’t change anything if she doesn’t. And she does say she loves me, she just doesn’t say it.”

  Ben’s black eyebrows knitted together in confusion. I couldn’t help laughing at him. “Never mind, it works, okay. I’ll get the next round,” I said, pulling a tenner out of my wallet.

  Jasper appeared back at the bar, not to talk to me and Ben, but for the redhead standing just along from us. “This should be good,” Ben muttered. I moved slightly closer.

  “Hotel room,” I heard Jasper say. Wow, he got straight to the point. A song with a lot of bass started playing, making it harder to hear. The next thing out of his mouth was, “Hitler.”

  I looked at Ben in horror. What the hell was he doing? Why was he talking about Hitler? The girl frowned and started to look a little scared. What possible reason would you have to bring up Hitler to someone you were trying to chat up?

  “Some good ideas. I love blondes…” I wanted to make a quick exit, but there was something about the train wreck that I just couldn’t look away from. The girl – hilariously not a blonde – glared.

  Sure enough, she threw her drink in his face, and then slapped his cheek before storming off. I stood frozen. He raised his hands in celebration, looking around the club. It was a game. Between him and who?

  Please don’t see me, please.

  “Damn it,” I muttered as he turned around and grinned in our direction.

  “Cole! Man, did you see that?” He asked, still grinning as he walked over to us. The front of his shirt was soaking wet. I shook my head at him. “Right in my face,” he exclaimed proudly, wiping the strong smelling wine from his chin.

  I shook my head and asked the million-dollar question, “Why were you talking about Hitler?”

  He shrugged and leant on the bar. “Worked, didn’t it? I tried everything else, so I thought I’d bring a little dictator into the mix and bam, drink all over me!” He pulled at his soaking shirt for emphasis.

  What could he have possibly tried for that to be his last option? I stopped myself before I asked, deciding it was probably best just not to know.

  Laughing, I punched his arm and ordered eight more shots.

  I’d need ‘em.

  29

  Oakley

 
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