Silence, p.7

Silence, page 7

 part  #1 of  Silence Series

 

Silence



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  ***

 

  We parked outside the Sixth Form building as usual. It hadn’t taken long to get to school. Unfortunately.

  “Look, if anyone says anything to you today just come and find me. You know what lessons I have, and if I have a free one I’ll be in the Sixth Form block.”

  The only reason I knew what lessons he had was because he constantly shoved his timetable in my face so I would know where to find him. It was sweet but completely unnecessary. I would never go running into his lesson to get him.

  “You could even text me, you know. I’d come and find you straight away,” he added quietly, staring out of the window as he parked the car.

  I dropped my gaze to my lap. That couldn’t happen, ever. Cole sighed and flopped back into his seat. “Okay, just come and find me then.”

  I felt so horrible that I just kept staring at the floor. I hated disappointing him.

  “It’s okay,” he said reassuringly. “I’ll see you later, yeah?”

  Finally looking up, I nodded and smiled appreciatively. We both got out of the car and waved to each other as we went our separate ways. As always, I hugged myself and walked quickly towards my form room. One more day, that was all.

  My hope for an uneventful day was nearly crushed when I saw Julian standing just ahead of me, in the middle of the corridor. He was messing around with his friends, pushing and punching each other. Thankfully, there was another way I could go so I wouldn’t have to bump into him – yet. Julian’s lip looked a little swollen and bruised, but I couldn’t see properly from standing so far away, and I certainly wasn’t going to get a closer look.

  “Hi,” Hannah said from behind me, making me jump slightly. I half expected it to be Laura or one of her pathetic little friends. I smiled at Hannah, relaxing my shoulders, and we walked into registration together.

  Luckily, the teacher was early today, so no one had a chance to say anything to me. The morning was going well so far, but I wasn’t naïve enough to think it would continue that way all day.

  The morning went by without incident and my music teacher let us go five minutes early for lunch. I packed everything in my bag slowly so I would be the last one to leave.

  “You coming to the canteen?” Hannah asked as she grabbed her bag and swung it over her shoulder. I shook my head and smiled, grateful that she had at least asked.

  “Okay, see you later.” She waved over her shoulder as she walked out with her friends.

  I made my way quickly along the corridor. After lunch, I only had two lessons to get through. The back corridor was deserted; everyone had already gone to the canteen or outside. Someone grabbed me from behind. I gasped, panic rose inside me. Before I even had the chance to struggle, I was pushed into a classroom.

  My lungs stung where I’d held my breath. I felt like a scared little girl again. “Hey, Oakley.” I recognised his voice instantly. Julian.

  I felt only a tiny bit of relief that it wasn’t him, but I still needed to get away.

  Gulping, I stepped back. My hands shook with fear and my heart pounded painfully. What did he want?

  “I was hoping to find you on your own,” he smirked.

  I felt sick and dirty. My skin crawled. It was like a thousand bugs were running around all over my body. “Come on, don’t look so scared. I’m not gonna hurt ya.” His breath smelt so strongly of tobacco it almost made me gag.

  Julian leant towards me, and I recoiled in horror. Was he trying to kiss me? “I just want to talk,” he whispered, tucking my hair behind my ear. Don’t be a victim again. Don’t ever be a victim again.

  I used every ounce of anger I had built up inside and shoved his chest so hard my arms ached. He stumbled backwards and swung his arm out to steady himself. I felt like screaming, like my blood was going to boil, and my teeth would snap under the pressure of gritting them so hard.

  “Why do you have to be such a little bitch, Oakley? What the hell makes you better than anyone else, huh?” He bellowed and punched the wall.

  I jumped back, my eyes widening in shock. What was that? Julian looked almost out of it. His eyes were dilated, and he was breathing heavily. It wasn’t just tobacco he’d been smoking. He had to be on something else, too.

  “Who the fuck do you think you are?” His lips curled, baring his teeth.

  Oh God, what’s he going to do to me? Nothing. He wasn’t going to do anything. I wouldn’t let him hurt me.

  The door swung open, and relief flooded me. Mrs Stains, one of the teaching assistants stood in front of me, blocking the way as I dashed towards safety. “What’s going on in here?” She demanded, frowning in anger.

  Julian straightened up. “Nothing, we were just talking about a project,” he said with a cocky smirk.

  “A project on the last day of school?” Mrs Stains asked, raising her eyebrows in doubt.

  “Not a school one,” Julian shot back.

  She shook her head but knew there was nothing she could do, even though it was clear Julian was lying. It wasn’t like I was going to speak up and tell her Julian was lying. “Out. Both of you.”

  I scurried past her and ran out of the building. It seemed like all I did at school was hide out and run away. I hated myself for that, but I just couldn’t deal with it. So I did what I did best and pushed my legs faster and faster, putting as much distance between me and school as I could.

  As soon as I reached the wooden shelter at the local park, I collapsed to the ground. Wrapping my arms around my legs, I started to sob. My head still hurt and I felt like crap. What the hell did I ever do that was so wrong?

  I squeezed my eyes closed as I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket. It would be Cole. I really didn’t want to see him. Well, I didn’t want him to see me like this. I wished I could have been home-schooled by Mum, but she thought as long as I did well in mainstream school, then that’s where I should be.

  My phone had vibrated at least ten times since I’d been sitting on the ground. A few texts and a load of missed calls. I flipped the phone open and started reading the first of Cole’s messages. ‘Hey where are you? I’m waiting near my car x.’ I sighed and scrolled down to read the next one. ‘Hurry up I’m starving! X.’ The next two were similar, but after that, he must have started to worry. ‘Oakley where are you?’ The final text message was angry as well as concerned. ‘Where the hell are you? Text me back now! I just need to know you’re okay.’

  Switching the phone off, I laid down on the grass. I felt pathetic. I was pathetic. If the teacher hadn’t opened the door when she did, what would Julian have done? I didn’t believe he would physically hurt me, but I didn’t entirely trust him not to either.

  “Oakley?”

  I sat up and wiped my tear-stained face with my hand. How had Cole found me so quickly? I plastered on a fake smile and waited for him to appear around the corner.

  Cole let out a sigh of relief when he saw me, and seeing him made me relax. I relied on him too much. It was selfish of me. My relief soured as his expression turned to anger.

  “What the fuck, Oakley? Do you have any idea how worried I’ve been?” He shouted, his forehead creased in a deep frown. He looked as mad as he had been at Julian. Cole, Mum, and Jasper were the only three people in the world that I trusted entirely. My shoulders sagged.

  After a few seconds of complete silence and just looking at each other, he knelt down beside me.

  “What happened?” He asked softly, his voice was tight, but he was trying to be calm.

  I looked at him and shook my head as I swallowed the lump in my throat. I hurt to hurt him but I didn’t know how to stop.

  “Nothing happened?” He asked doubtfully. Again, I shook my head. “Why didn’t you text back or wait for me before you took off like that? I was really worried about you. You don’t even seem to care!”

  I flinched at his words. I did care. That was the problem. I cared about him far too much.

  Cole scratched the back of his nec
k and groaned. “You should have at least replied. I didn’t know what’d happened to you.”

  I looked away, not wanting to see the disappointment and hurt in his eyes.

  “Oakley! God, you have no idea, do you?”

  His sudden outburst made me jump. We had argued and annoyed each other before, but he had never been this angry. He growled and shook his head.

  “Fine. Don’t worry about it. You obviously don’t give a shit about me, so just forget it. I’m done.” He stood up and quickly walked away.

  I stared at his back as he left. Tears rolled down my face, dripping onto my lap. How could he think I didn’t care about him? My heart ached so much it made me feel sick.

  I can’t lose him.

  7

  Cole

 
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