Silence, p.54

Silence, page 54

 part  #1 of  Silence Series



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It had been ten days since Oakley spoke up about what’d happened to her and ten days since I had slept properly. I stayed at Oakley’s house and held her while she cried herself to sleep every night. When she fell asleep I watched her until I managing to drift off for a few hours.

  The police had searched the house and taken Max’s PC away. The next morning, Sarah had packed up all of his things and thrown them all out. There wasn’t a trace of Max in the house, everything he owned, everything that reminded Sarah of him was gone, She’d even burned every photo he’d been in.

  Oakley blamed herself whenever she saw her mum or brother upset. I’d told her a million times that none of it was her fault, and I’d tell her a million times more until she believed it.

  She rolled over in bed and snuggled against my chest. Her long blonde hair was fanned out on the pillow behind her. When she slept, she looked so peaceful. It was the only time she did now.

  Every morning I hoped she would sleep just a little bit longer so she wouldn’t have to deal with everything. It was strange that now. When everyone was falling apart, Oakley was the one picking us all up. She was the one who’d endured the worst thing imaginable.

  She was the strongest person I knew.

  For the past few days, she’d been so distant it was like she wasn’t here. We were together most of the time, but her mind was elsewhere. Whenever she looked at me she had goodbye in here eyes.

  I just have to be patient with her.

  “Good morning, beautiful. Are you okay?” I asked as her bright blue eyes fluttered open.

  “Yeah.” She lied.

  I frowned. “Why can’t you look at me, Oakley? Are you angry? I know I should have seen what was going on, I know that, and I’m sor—”

  She pulled back and pressed her finger over my lips. “Don’t ever think that. It’s not your fault.” I knew she wouldn’t ever blame anyone else, but no matter what anyone said, I would always feel guilty.

  We all would.

  I kissed her forehead, my heart jumping at the sound of her voice. It was quiet and husky, and I wasn’t sure if that was because she’d not used it in so long or if that was just how it was. I loved it whatever.

  “Oakley, we slept together…” I trailed off not really knowing exactly how to put it. I needed to know that she wanted to be with me and I hadn’t taken advantage of her.

  She’d said yes, I knew that much. But did she mean yes?

  She stiffened, looking at me in horror. “I know. I’m sorry, Cole. I shouldn’t have let you. It was really selfish.” Her eyes filled with tears.

  Wait, selfish? She didn’t think I would want to after knowing the truth. Hatred for Max and Frank burned deep inside me. “Don’t. Oakley, that’s not what I meant. I hate what happened to you, and I want to kill them for doing it, but it’s not changed how I feel about you. You’re still the most perfect girl to me. I still love you more than anything,” I told her honestly. “You definitely wanted to? I mean, we didn’t have to.”

  “Yes, I wanted to. Being with you was something completely different to Frank. You made me feel safe and loved and special. It wasn’t the same, Cole, it just wasn’t.”

  I breathed out a sigh of relief.

  “It almost feels like it happened in a different life,” she said. “When I was thirteen and Dad said it was over and I shouldn’t think about it anymore, I did. Well, I tried to. It was always at the back of my mind, sometimes the front, but in a way, I did move on. I felt like because it was over I could start being a normal teenager. Or sort of a normal, I still wasn’t allowed to talk. I just couldn’t go back to that place again, Cole. When I saw Frank, I knew what was going to happen. I couldn’t do it.”

  “You shouldn’t have ever had to. Your dad should’ve…” I took a deep breath, seething. “He should’ve done a lot of things, we all know that. I’m just so sorry you couldn’t come to me.”

  “What did I say about blaming yourself,” she scolded with frown.

  You don’t have to be the strong one.

  I kissed the tip of her nose and hugged her tighter. “I still don’t know how you managed to not talk to anyone. I never understood why you didn’t ever text me back...”

  “I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. If I kept quiet everything would be fine. If I started texting you would have asked why I didn’t speak, wouldn’t you?”

  I nodded. I would have. Of course.

  “And I did reply back, every night. I just didn’t send any of them.” She reached across me and grabbed her phone from the bedside table.

  I took the phone and looked at what she was showing me. There was a huge list of text messages in her outbox, all to me. I looked up at her in shock. She replied every night even though she could never send them. Flicking through the newest ones, I saw her declarations of love and her telling me how happy she was.

  “I love you, Cole. For a long time.”

  Closing my eyes, I smiled. I never thought I would get to hear her say that.

  “I love you, too,” I replied, pressing my lips to hers.

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