Silence, p.9

Silence, page 9

 part  #1 of  Silence Series


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At least if Cole stayed away, he wouldn’t get any more comments about him babysitting the ‘mute freak’. He had never cared what people thought of him, at least that’s what he told me, but it must have gotten to him occasionally.

  He was done.

  I shouldn’t have ever let myself like him as anything more than a friend. We were never going to be anything more. How could we? I couldn’t even talk to him! There were times when he would give me a lingering look that I thought he might like me a little bit. I was sure I wasn’t imagining it, but it was hard for me to believe he’d want me.

  For the rest of the day, I did nothing but sit inside the shack at the park and stare into space. After a while, I didn’t even think about anything, I just existed. As I saw and heard students walk past the park on their way home from school though, I knew I needed to pull myself together and get home.

  Walking slowly, I headed home, looking down at the ground to protect my eyes from the sun. Would Mum and Dad still be there? They were attending a charity dinner and had to travel just over a hundred miles, so they were leaving sometime in the afternoon. I prayed that they would have already left.

  Sighing in relief as I noticed Dad’s car wasn’t in the driveway, I walked to the front door feeling a little lighter. At least I wouldn’t have their freak out to deal with.

  When I pushed the door open, I saw my lazy brother sitting on the sofa playing the PlayStation. His University had finished for summer earlier than my high school, so his summer holiday started weeks ago. One day he would have to grow up and get a house and job, but it was hard to imagine it after seeing him slob around here all the time.

  “Hey,” he grunted with a little nod of his head, not even looking up from the screen. I flopped down on the sofa beside him. School was over for six weeks, but I couldn’t even feel that happy about it. All I could think of was the fight with Cole and that look on his face.

  Jasper took a double take of my face and paused his game.

  “What happened?”

  I smiled and shook my head.

  “Where’s Cole?” Jasper’s face hardened, his jaw clenched and eyes narrowed. “What did he do?” He demanded. Again, I shook my head and tried to make out he was reacting over nothing.

  “So, if Cole’s not the reason you’re upset, who is?” Jasper asked, frowning doubtfully. Cole was the reason, but it wasn’t his fault. “That idiot at school? The one I beat up last year?” He growled, referring to Julian. Jasper was usually as soft as a pussycat but not when it came to me. He was overprotective and quick to lash out at anyone he thought was giving me a hard time.

  I remembered the incident Jasper was referring to. How could I not? Jasper was still in Sixth Form. He had caught Julian saying some stuff about me. I still didn’t know what, but it made Jasper punch him a few times. He was suspended from Sixth Form for a week and then given a week of lunchtime detentions for refusing to apologise to Julian.

  It would seem Cole had fully taken over his role… as a brother? Did Cole see me as a little sister? I ached with disappointment.

  I shook my head in answer to Jasper’s question, and he got up and walked into the kitchen. There was no way he had dropped it just like that. I followed him, waiting at the door as he got his phone and started dialling. Oh, no! I knew what he was doing. As he raised the phone to his ear, I leapt forward and grabbed it out of his hand. He’d started ringing Cole, but the call hadn’t started going through, thankfully.

  He narrowed his eyes. “Okay, I’m gonna ask you one more time. Was. It. Cole?”

  I sighed in frustration and shook my head for what seemed like the fifteenth time.

  “Good. You’re not gonna tell me what it’s about, are you?”

  I raised an eyebrow and let out an exasperated noise.

  “Yeah, didn’t think so, you’re too damn stubborn for your own good! You’re okay though, right?”

  I nodded and smiled. Settling on changing the subject and getting my annoying and crazy brother back, I opened the fridge and grabbed two cans of Coke and threw one at him.

  “Thanks,” he mumbled, aware that I was trying to end the conversation and opened the can very carefully in case it exploded all over him. It did not, unfortunately.

  “Mum and Dad left for that thing already. You’ll need to cook tonight.” He looked away, downing probably half the can at once. I knew exactly what that meant. Mum told him to cook and he was trying to get out of it.

  “What’re you making?” Jasper asked casually, glancing at the oven. I rolled my eyes, picked out two Hawaiian pizzas from the freezer, and threw them at him before walking upstairs.

  “Oakley?” He shouted after me, but I kept on walking, smiling to myself. He was so lazy. Christ, all he had to do was stick them in the oven for eighteen minutes.

  As soon as I closed my bedroom door, I practically ripped off my school uniform and chucked it in my washing basket angrily. I hated school, I hated Julian, but most of all, I hated myself.

  From our fight earlier, it was clear Cole and I were not going to go out for ice cream, so I got into my most comfortable pyjamas and prepared for a night of boring TV. I should practice gymnastics, but I couldn’t be bothered to do anything. I was just going to embrace the mood I was in and sulk.

  Marcus, my gym coach, would not be happy if I hadn’t perfected the routine by next practice. I didn’t care, though. I hated the thought of moving and going out to the garden. I had been going to gymnastics since I was seven and I loved it. Whenever I was there it took me away from reality. I didn’t think about anything or anyone. It was as if all of my problems disappeared.

  I was just Oakley. I was normal.

  Lying back on my bed, I absentmindedly flicked through the TV channels and settled on watching yesterday’s Hollyoaks. Twenty minutes later, I heard Jasper stomping up the stairs. He pushed my door open.

  “Dinner! Come and get it, I’m not waiting on your arse!”

  I followed him downstairs to get my, probably burnt, pizza.

  “Ta da,” he said, gesturing to dinner. He hadn’t done too badly. Only the crust was a little darker than it should have been. I did turn my nose up as Jasper squirted mayonnaise all over his food, though. The only thing that belonged with pizza was ketchup.

  “I spoke to Cole,” he muttered, chewing his food and giving me a good view of the mashed up pizza in his mouth. Nice. I looked down at the table and just nodded in response. “You left school because of Julian, didn’t you?”

  That made me look up at him. Was he just guessing or had Cole said that? Did Cole confront Julian? Oh no.

  “Just tell me,” he demanded, sounding frustrated. “Was it Julian, Oakley?”

  I nodded, feeling defeated. He was going to find out anyway. Jasper jumped up, balling his hands into fists. “Little twat faced bastard. I’m gonna kill him!”

  Dropping my pizza, I grabbed his arm and shook my head. What was it with the killing Julian thing? Cole and Jasper were both acting like they were in an action movie.

  Jasper sighed and sat back down when he saw how worried I was. I’d had enough of it all. It was the holidays anyway, so it didn’t matter any more.

  “Fine. But I swear if he comes near you again I will kill him.”

  I ignored that, it wasn’t worth arguing over.

  “So…is Cole coming over tonight?” He asked, trying to act casual. I could tell he was dying to know what had happened between us.

  I stood up and grabbed my plate, deciding to eat in my room since Dad wasn’t here. I didn’t want to have the Cole conversation with Jasper. Or anyone for that matter. After eating, I snuck downstairs, put my plate in the dishwasher and snuck back upstairs.

  Half past eight was too early to go to bed, but I didn’t want to go downstairs again and risk Jasper’s questions, so I put on a film and curled up under the covers. Cole popped into my mind about every three bloody seconds, making it hard to concentrate on anything.

  I should g
o over there, get on my knees and plead with him to forgive me, but I was too stubborn and too scared. Cole deserved so much better and I was selfish to keep him from finding new people that he could have a normal friendship with. Letting him go seemed impossible. I didn’t know how to.

  Half an hour later, I was finally feeling tired. It was still relatively early, but emotionally, I was done. It didn’t take long for me to fall into a restless sleep.



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