Silence, page 55part #1 of Silence Series
The next day I tried calling Oakley again, but it went straight to answerphone. She was spending time with Sarah and Jasper again, and although I knew they had a lot to deal with together, I didn’t like not seeing her.
The need to make sure she was okay was overwhelming.
“Cole, you need to come downstairs right now!” Mia shouted breathlessly.
I jumped off my bed, heart in my stomach, and ran downstairs. What the hell is going on? “What?” I questioned. When I saw Oakley, Sarah and Jasper by the front door, I froze.
They were all crying. So were Mum, Dad and Mia.
“What’s going on?” I asked cautiously, my eyes fixed on Oakley.
She took a deep breath and stepped towards me. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “We’re moving. Now.”
“To my uncle Pete’s.”
“Pete,” I repeated.
Sarah’s brother. The one who lived in Australia.
“I can’t stay here anymore. None of us can.” She shook her head and added, “There are too many bad memories. I love you so much, Cole, and this is killing me, but I have to go.”
She sounded broken and desperate when she told me she had to leave. It was like there was no other option.
“You can’t.” I shook my head, trying to make sense of what she was saying. They were moving halfway across the world.
She’s leaving me.
Pain cut through me. It was like taking a chainsaw to the chest.
“Don’t. Don’t, please.” I closed the distance between us, wrapping my arms around her, and touching my forehead to hers. I didn’t care who was with us. “I love you. You can’t go. You can move in here if you can’t live at yours or we can go somewhere else. We’ll go to a different town. Jesus, Oakley, you can’t just leave. Please,” I begged desperately.
She clung to me as she cried her heart out.
Oh God, she’s really doing this.
“I owe you so much, Cole. You gave me my life back, and I will never stop loving you. If there was a way I could stay I would do it, but there isn’t.”
She pulled back, and I tightened my grip. No, no, no. I could barely breathe. She’s leaving.
“Please. Don’t do this, please. Oakley, don’t,” I rambled, holding her tighter and never wanting to let go. “I’ll come with you, baby.”
“Your life is here.” She pulled away just enough to look me in the eyes and touched my cheek. “You can’t give up your life. Not for me.”
I shook my head, frowning at how stupid she was being. “You are my life.”
She sobbed and closed her eyes. Tears spilled over and poured down her beautiful face. Do something, Cole. Don’t just let her go! Pressing my lips to hers, I kissed her with everything I had.
She kissed me back and whimpered. “I love you,” she whispered and started to pull away.
“No. No, don’t do this,” I pleaded, panicked. Her hands gripped mine and pulled them off her. My vision blurred as I started to cry. Stop fucking crying and make her see sense! “Don’t.”
I had no idea it was so hard for her to be here that she could walk away from me. What the hell was she silently going through?
This is happening too fast.
She walked backwards and mouthed ‘I love you’ before walking out with her mum and brother. Mia gripped my shoulder and helped me stumble to the front door. I stared in horror as she got into the car.
Neither of us looked away from each other as Sarah started the engine. I was vaguely aware of my parents and Mia standing close, but all I could focus on was Oakley curled up on the back seat, crying in pain.
I watched numbly as their car disappeared. My heart broke further with every inch of distance that was put between us. Everything hurt so much it winded me.
She was everything to me, but I wasn’t so selfish that I wouldn’t let her do what she needed. We all owed her that.
It was agony but I watched her leave my life.
I loved her so much.
More than anything in the world.
Enough to let her go.
Cole and Oakley’s story continues in Broken Silence
Four years after Oakley, her mum, and brother fled to Australia, the trial is ready to begin. Oakley makes the decision to return to England and face the people who hurt her in person. Her love for Cole never faded, but how will he react to seeing her again? Will they be able to put everything behind them in order to get their happy ending?
Books by Natasha Preston
The Silence Series
Players, Bumps and Cocktail Sausages
Silent Night (short Christmas story)
The Chance Series
Other author's books:
- Broken SilenceSilenceThe CellarPlayers, Bumps and Cocktail SausagesLie to MeSilent NightReliving Fate
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