Silence, p.8

Silence, page 8

 part  #1 of  Silence Series


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I stormed off, gritting my teeth and clenching my fists. She made me so damn angry. No one else could get to me the way she did. Most of the time I liked it, but today it bloody hurt.

  Could she not understand how much I worried about her? I knew she was getting a hard time at school, and it killed me that I couldn’t do much about it. How could she ignore me and push me away when she knew how much it scared me when she took off like that?

  She wasn’t selfish, I knew that, but sometimes it seemed like it. I had to keep reminding myself that there was something bigger going on.

  There was no way I was going back to afternoon classes now. I was too worked up and wouldn’t be able to concentrate. Nothing would be done on the last day anyway; I wouldn’t miss a thing.

  I stomped back to school, breathing heavily through my nose.

  Ben leant against my car, doing something on his phone. He looked up as I got closer and pushed off. “What’s going on, man? You took off without a word.”

  Yeah, that was a mistake. She doesn’t care.

  “Nothin’,” I growled.

  “Whoa,” he said, holding his hands up in surrender. “I was only askin’.”

  “I know. Sorry.”

  “Oakley?” he asked, lifting his jet-black eyebrow. When I didn’t answer, he nodded. “Alright, what happened? Is she okay?”

  “Who knows. She won’t tell me.”

  “You guys have this telepathic things goin’ on, don’t ya?”

  I gave him a look. “What?”

  “You know what I mean. You get her, what she means when she doesn’t talk and all that.”

  “Yeah, but usually I have something to go on. Right now she’s just pushing me away. I hate it, man. I know something happened at school today but she won’t admit it.”

  Sometimes I felt so hopeless when it came to her. She was my best friend and she wasn’t happy. No one wanted to stop talking; no one wanted to have a shit time at school, no one wanted to lock out the people closest to them.

  Why won’t she just tell me what’s wrong?

  I’d told her a million times before that whatever it was I’d be there, help her, but that didn’t change her decision to keep it in.

  Groaning, I closed my eyes.

  Even if it wasn’t a decision, if she physically couldn’t talk, she could at least admit it.

  “It’ll be cool, mate. You’ve fallen out before, right?”

  “Kind of. I’ve never told her I’m done before,” I admitted, wincing.

  What the hell was wrong with me? I’d never be done.

  His eyes widened in surprise. Yeah, the whole time I’d known Ben I’d always been fiercely protective of Oakley, so of course me telling him I was done with her was a shock.

  “You don’t mean that.”

  I scrubbed my eyes. “Yeah, I know that.”

  She might not.

  What the hell have I done?

  “So…maybe you should be off tellin’ her…”

  “I need to go home,” I said, digging in my jeans pocket for my keys.

  “She at yours?”


  “You’re not going to fix it?” He looked at me with judgemental eyes.

  “Don’t, Ben. You’ve got no idea what it’s like so just don’t.”

  “Right,” he said, backing up. “Don’t want to watch you make a huge mistake, but it’s your life to screw up…”

  “Thanks,” I muttered sarcastically.

  “Welcome.” He dipped his head. “Later, man.”

  “Yeah,” I said, getting in my car.

  I drove home the long way so I wouldn’t go past the park. I wasn’t in the mood to see her right now. It killed that she didn’t care if I was worried and out searching for her or not! I’d hate to put her through that.

  No one was in when I got back and they wouldn’t be until after five. I wanted to head straight for my parents’ alcohol cupboard, but I knew booze wasn’t the answer. I didn’t fancy being cut up over Oakley and have a hangover.

  Angrily lobbing my bag on the floor, I gripped my hair and flopped onto the sofa. If I could just figure out what was wrong then we wouldn’t have to do crap like this. She didn’t want me or anyone else to know. I didn’t like that.

  The stuff people covered were usually the worst things about themselves.

  What happened to you?!

  Over the years I’d become a master at getting on with it, at giving Oakley the space she needed to come to me in her own time. Maybe that was wrong. Maybe I’d taken the wrong approach.

  I knew that women were supposed to be inherently complicated, but Oakley put a new definition to the meaning. I rubbed the ache in my chest that she’d created.

  It was only when Mia got home that I stopped moping about. I didn’t have the energy for a full on heart to heart with her. She walked into the kitchen and headed straight for the wine in the fridge.

  Her day was about as good as mine then.

  “What’s up with you?” I asked.

  “Ugh, nothing I want to discuss.”

  That meant Chris-the-dick had done something or someone.

  “What about you? Why do you look like someone’s just kicked your puppy?”

  “It’s nothing I want to discuss.”

  She smirked as she unscrewed the lid. “Touché. Well, how do you feel about drowning our sorrows?”

  “I think Mum and Dad will have something to say about that when they get in.”

  Turning her nose up, she made a disgusted sound. “You’re right, and I really don’t need the third degree from them.” Filling a large glass with white wine, she sat opposite me in the kitchen. “Question for you: Why does life insist on throwing so much at you?”

  I shrugged.

  “There has to be an easier way.”

  “Are we talking about Chris here? The guy is just a bellend, Mia.”

  She froze mid sip and glared. “It’s not just him though, is it?”

  “Are you asking me why you’re not strong enough to walk away?”

  “Before you make me answer that you need to ask yourself why you’re sitting here looking like that over Oakley again.”

  Yeah, it wasn’t the first time Oakley had unintentionally hurt me. Actually, it happened a lot, I just rarely let her know it. She didn’t mean to cause anyone any pain, so I couldn’t blame her for how I felt.

  “It’s not the same,” I said defensively.

  “The situation maybe.”

  Translation: Love sucks.

  Yeah, don’t I know that.

  “Right. I get it,” I said. “What do we do?”

  “You won’t like the answer.”

  “Tell me anyway.”

  “We just get on with it the best we can. We fight to be better people, more understanding, stronger. Ultimately, we’ve just got to ride it out until we’re willing to change, and we’ve got to be okay with not being perfect human beings who’re fully in control of their life…despite what their stupid heart wants.”

  “Yeah, you’re right, I don’t like that.”

  “And that, my little brother, is why they make alcohol.”

  Laughing, I shake my head on the way to the fridge.

  Mia’s right. Beer it is.

  Tomorrow, when I’d cooled down, I’d work on getting my best friend back, but right now I needed to relax and forget my problems with my sister. And alcohol.



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