A World Without Words

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Chapter 7

Ethan looked into Chloe’s beautiful chocolate eyes and she looked away not wanting him to notice her blush at the way he had been looking at her but he noticed. A small smile appeared on his lips as he kept his eyes on her and she looked at him once more but didn’t smile. He missed her smile, she hadn’t smiled in only two days but Ethan already missed it. He suspected that she hadn’t been smiling because he had been avoiding her, and his feelings for her, for two days. But he had decided that he wouldn’t avoid her anymore, and he wouldn’t avoid his growing feelings for her either. She deserved better than a man not wanting to admit that he cared.

“Here, it’s the address of the doctor,” Emma said shoving a paper into Ethan’s face and interrupting his thoughts. “He’ll ask about her panic attacks and that kind of things,” She warned him.

“All right,” Ethan said nodding.

“Tell him she still has panic attacks but not often, tell him about the one she had the first day you met. You can also tell him that she smiles more often now but she still doesn’t talk, he’ll see it on his own though,” Emma explained, she was about to continue when Ethan stopped her, talking first.

“I got it Emma,” Ethan said dismissively. “If he wants to know something I don’t know, Chloe will answer, she can write. She’s an adult. Stop treating her like a child.”

Chloe looked up at Ethan with wide eyes. Thanks God someone was finally saying out loud what she wanted to scream every damn time they treated her like a child. But, because yes there was a but, maybe it wasn’t a good idea for Ethan to say that to Emma, she was going to be mad.

“What?” Emma asked bewildered, trying to control her anger. “If Chloe has a problem with the way I treat her she can tell me, at least write me. You have nothing to say about the way I treat her, you’re the brother of the husband of her best friend, you’re nothing to her. Who do you think you are to tell me how to treat my best friend?” She exclaimed angrily, failing at her attempts to keep her anger in check. “Do you want me to snap at her and annoy her every time I see her, like you? That’s what you call treating her like an adult?”

“And who do you think you are to talk to me in that way? You are nothing to me, my brother loves you but I couldn’t give a damn about you,” Ethan said angrily as well. “Let me tell you something, and listen closely because I won’t say it again. Maybe I’m nothing to Chloe but she is something to me,” he said completely forgetting that Chloe was in the room. “And I treat her like I would treat anyone else, and guess what? I snap at everyone and annoy everyone.”

“Oh, I think you should go and now, Ethan. First, because you’re gonna be late to Chloe’s appointment, and second, because if you stay one more second I will hurt you, badly,” Emma said her features contorted in anger. “And maybe you should think about spending the night somewhere else tonight.”

“My pleasure,” Ethan growled before walking out of the house angrily.

Chloe looked at Emma for a few seconds not letting any emotion show on her face before trying a small smile that wasn’t genuine at all and turning around to leave the house as well. Once outside she looked at Ethan’s car to see that he was already in the driver seat waiting for her, he seemed furious. A genuine smile appeared on her lips when she remembered what he had said, she was something to him. She started to walk toward the car, trying to ignore her beating heart that was hitting her ribcage.

When she reached the car she hesitantly opened the door and cautiously sat on the passenger seat, next to Ethan. She closed the door and put her seat belt. Once she was ready she looked in front of her thinking he would start the engine but he didn’t and waited in silence. Chloe looked outside her window uncomfortable. What was he waiting for?

“What are you doing to me, woman,” Ethan whispered more to himself than to Chloe but she turned abruptly toward him taken aback. Ethan slowly turned his head toward her, he seemed calm now, and he smiled.

“I don’t think you’ll fool the doctor with your clothes, your make-up and your perfectly curled hair,” Ethan said bringing his hand toward Chloe to play with one of her curls and she had to restrain herself from furrowing her brows at the gesture.

“I wanted to apologize,” Ethan said and Chloe thought he was talking about the fight he had just had with Emma but then he went on and she understood. “I’ve been avoiding you for the last two days.”

He wanted to tell her that it wasn’t really her but his feelings for her that he had wanted to avoid but he couldn’t so he looked at his watch and changed the subject before it became too awkward.

“We should go, we’re going to be late,” he said clearing his throat. Chloe nodded so he turned back toward the road and started the engine before going forward.

They arrived at the doctor ten minutes later. The ride had been silent but not awkward, just quiet. Of course if Chloe would have still been talking she wouldn’t have let the ride be quiet, she used to hate silence. They both climbed out of the car and started to walk toward the cabinet of the doctor.

“So, will I have to wait for you in the waiting room?” Ethan asked looking at Chloe next to him and she shook her head. “All right, then I’ll accompany you,” Ethan concluded.

The problem was that he didn’t know if he would be able to keep his calm, it depended on the doctor. Emma had said the doctor pressured Chloe a lot and he wouldn’t like to see Chloe pressured.

Chloe and Ethan walked inside the cabinet and quietly sat in the waiting room after Ethan announced their arrival to the secretary who, might Chloe add, had looked at Ethan for way too long, not even bothering to look at her. A small smile had appeared on Chloe’s lips when the secretary had looked disappointed when Ethan had put his hand on Chloe’s lower back to lead her into the waiting room. They were now both in the waiting room and no one else was there, it was just the two of them.

“I saw the look you gave to the secretary,” Ethan said amused and Chloe looked at him frowning, making it sure he would understand she had no idea what he was talking about.

“Your ‘jealous’ face is exactly how I imagined it to be,” Ethan explained with a smile and Chloe raised an eyebrow before huffing quietly and looking away.

“I know you were jealous. You’re such a bad liar,” Ethan continued. Chloe kept looking away ignoring him on purpose. She hated the fact that he could read her so well and that she didn’t even need to talk. But she also loved it, the way he understood her so well, the way she could have a conversation with him without even talking.

“You’re in bad sheets, young lady. I’ll have to tell the doctor you are in denial,” Ethan said but Chloe continued to ignore him.

“Denial is really bad. And you have to add that to neurotic and control freak. I don’t know if we can still save you,” he said trying not to laugh but when Chloe turned toward him with an annoyed and angry look before hitting him on the arm he started to laugh.

“And now she is violent and has anger issues. You are scaring me, Chloe,” Ethan said still laughing. Chloe hit him once more and just at that moment they heard someone clearing their throat. Ethan stopped laughing and looked up with a serious look back on his face. Chloe became as emotionless as an object and a fake smile appeared on her lips. She nodded at the man who was looking at them smiling as well.

“Miss Pierce, it’s your turn. It seems you are doing better, that’s good, I’ll adapt our session then,” The doctor, who was an old man with gray hair, said seriously. Chloe stood up followed by Ethan who looked at the doctor up and down, he didn’t seem bad.

“Hello, doctor, I am Ethan King,” Ethan introduced himself extending his hand toward the doctor when he reached him. Chloe walked inside his office.

“Doctor Arnold Blue,” the doctor introduced himself shaking Ethan’s hand. They entered the office and joined Chloe who was already seated in a chair facing the doctor’s desk. Ethan sat next to her and the doctor circled the desk before sitting on his chair as well.

“So, who are you to Chloe? A new boyfriend maybe?” The doctor asked wanting to make them comfortable. Chloe shook her head and the doctor nodded understandingly.

“Yet,” Ethan added with a smile knowing it would annoy Chloe and the doctor laughed as well when Chloe kicked Ethan, making sure the doctor wouldn’t see it, but he did see Ethan’s reaction to it when he yelped in pain.

“I see.” The doctor nodded regaining seriousness. “I can see you dressed up to visit me today, Chloe. I will write that down, this is the first time I see you dressed up since the incident.”

Chloe nodded before turning toward Ethan to see that he was looking at her as well. He smiled reassuringly when he noticed what seemed like nervousness in her eyes. Chloe was always nervous when she was going to the doctor.

“And I saw you playing with Mr. King when I entered the waiting room. But you are not talking yet,” The doctor continued to say out loud as he wrote everything down. Chloe nodded, maybe she wouldn’t have to come so often anymore. The doctor finished to write on his piece of paper and looked back up at Chloe.

“Did you have panic attacks since your last visit?” The doctor asked looking straight at Chloe. Chloe looked down for a few seconds, considering her answer, she could lie but if she did and then Ethan said the truth the doctor would know she was trying to fool him into thinking she was doing much better when in reality she was only doing a little better. So she looked up and nodded hesitantly and the doctor nodded as well.

“How many?” He asked writing on his paper once more and not looking at Chloe so she turned toward Ethan expectantly.

“One, she had one,” Ethan answered looking toward the doctor who looked up and nodded.

“What happened?” He asked looking back down at his paper to write the circumstances of Chloe’s panic attack. Of course, Ethan had lied, she had had two, almost three panic attacks, at least since he knew her.

“It was my fault. I wanted to scare Emma, Chloe’s friend, with a water gun and when I entered the kitchen with it it was Chloe that I scared instead of Emma. She thought I was aiming at her with a real gun and she panicked,” Ethan explained not going into details. Why had he accepted to come already? Doctors were really not his thing. Oh yes, he had accepted to come for Chloe, because she needed him and even though she wouldn’t admit it he knew it, and he would always be there for her if she needed him.

“That wasn’t really smart,” the doctor commented writing on his paper. Didn’t this guy know about computers anyway? It would be faster. Ethan didn’t really like when people told him that what he did wasn’t really smart, he hated it, so this man better keep his comments to himself from now on.

“So, Chloe, can you tell me something you never told anyone else about the night of your incident,” he asked and Chloe looked at the paper and the pen he put in front of her as he looked at her expectantly but she shook her head.

“I already explained to you that talking about what happened that night would help you, Chloe, please try,” the doctor insisted. “You seem better, it should be easier for you now. I know that last time we tried you had a severe panic attack and you ended up in a hospital but we both know you need to free yourself of those awful memories that are keeping you prisoner.”

Chloe looked at him and didn’t make a move to take the pen or anything of the sort. She turned toward Ethan at some point. She wouldn’t admit it but she was searching for comfort and she knew she could find it with him.

“Do you want Mr. King to leave the room for this?” The doctor asked misunderstanding Chloe’s gesture. She turned her head toward him quickly and shook her head, the last thing she wanted was for Ethan to leave the room.

“Chloe...we know for sure that you are not mute. You choose not to talk and that is a psychiatric problem, you need to understand that if you don’t try, you will end up in a special center for people like you. For people who lost their mind after living a trauma,” the doctor explained and Ethan frowned feeling anger rising in him.

“She didn’t lose her mind,” Ethan exclaimed angrily.

“Mr. King, please calm down or I will have to ask you to leave this room,” The doctor said slightly raising his voice.

“I don’t think you are allowed to tell your patients that they lost their mind, especially when it’s not true. Chloe didn’t lose her mind, Chloe went through a trauma and for some reason what she feels is guilt,” Ethan explained angrily.

“And how did you arrive to that conclusion?” The doctor asked intrigued.

“I saw the guilt in her eyes, more than once,” Ethan said and the old man was about to talk but he stopped when at his surprise Chloe pushed the paper toward him, something was written on it.

“I wouldn’t stop screaming,” he read out loud confused. Ethan turned toward Chloe intrigued, surely this must be something important or she wouldn’t have chosen that thing to say about that night. It must be important since she didn’t talk anymore.

“Chloe, it’s not something we didn’t know yet, per say. We supposed you had screamed,” the doctor pointed out and Chloe swallowed as she felt the pain in her chest as the memories of that night came back. “Anyone would have screamed in your position. I would like to talk about what Mr. King said, you feel guilty, can you tell me anything about this?”

Chloe shook her head, she wasn’t going to tell him about her guilt, she wasn’t ready. But she knew it wouldn’t be that easy, now that Ethan had said she felt guilty, the doctor would praise on that new aspect and she knew it.

“Why do you feel guilty?” The doctor asked and Chloe looked at Ethan as her breathing became heavier, “Does your guilt concern your brother? William?” Chloe felt the tears filling her eyelids and she shook her head, lying. She couldn’t cry, she hadn’t cried once since the incident, she couldn’t break.

“It’s okay to let go, Chloe,” the man commented seeing the tears appearing in her eyes. “You haven’t cried once, let go, Chloe. It only proves that you are doing better.” Chloe looked up at him horrified, how could he say that crying meant she was feeling better? She felt awful and she couldn’t let herself cry. No, she wouldn’t let go, and just like that Chloe’s face became once more emotionless. The doctor sighed in disappointment.

Chloe turned once more toward Ethan to see that he was looking at her intently. Probably trying to figure her out, little did she know that it was in fact quite easy for him to figure her out.

“Do you remember what happened that night, Chloe?” The doctor asked and Chloe nodded, she knew exactly what night he was talking about and she remembered everything about it. He opened a file and took a picture out of it. Chloe frowned, it was unusual, she supposed it was what he had meant when he had said he would adapt their session now that she was doing a little better, he was taking it to a whole new level. He put the picture on the desk, just in front of Chloe. Chloe looked down and was met by a blank picture, she frowned even more.

“Take it and turn it around when you are ready to discover what is on the picture, Chloe,” he commanded and Chloe looked up at him to see that he was analyzing her. She knew what he was doing, he was trying to see if she really was doing better. Chloe had no idea what was on the picture and she didn’t want to know because she had a feeling she didn’t want to see what was on it but if taking it would convince the doctor that she was doing better then she would take it.

She wanted to look at Ethan to see his reassuring eyes before looking at the picture but she restrained herself and took the picture off the desk as if it was the easiest thing someone had ever told her to do and turned it around. She stopped all of her movements when she saw what was on the picture, it was a picture of the small cage she had been put into. She wanted to look away but she couldn’t. And she was brought back to that night, of course she had been in there for several days but only one night had been her breaking point.

Chloe had been in this small cage for what was probably days. Sometimes they would take her out and hang her to the ceiling to torture her before throwing her back in the cell carelessly. Sometimes they would do the same to Will but he seemed to handle it better than her, the pain. Chloe looked up to see Will in a corner of the room seated on the floor with a bruised face and weakened. Will wasn’t in a cage unlike her and she had no idea why but it wasn’t really what was on her mind right now.

Help!” Chloe screamed grabbing the cage and shaking it with all her strength. “Help, please help! Get us out of here,” she continued to scream.

Chloe, stop screaming please,” Will whispered looking her way.

No Will,” Chloe screamed as tears started to drop down her cheeks. “We need help, we need someone to hear us. Help!”

Chloe, the only people hearing you are the two men who took us,” Will commented. “Haven’t you had enough? Please stop screaming, Chloe. They’ll be angry at you once more and I can’t help you if they come in there they broke both my legs I’m stuck in this corner to watch you suffer.”

Help!” Chloe continued to scream ignoring Will. “We’re here, help us!” The door banged open and two men entered the room with angry looks on their faces, but Chloe didn’t care and she continued to scream. “Help! Why are you doing this? Let us go!”

Shut up!” One of the men growled and Chloe started once more to shake the cage as much as she could while screaming frantically, she must look like a crazy person but she didn’t care. “For God’s sake,” The man whispered before opening the cage and dragging Chloe out of it as she continued to scream.

Make her shut her mouth,” The other man said nonchalantly.

They hung Chloe at the ceiling by the arms and her feet barely touched the dirty ground but she continued to scream even though she knew what was coming.

We are not supposed to hurt her too badly,” one of the men said, the one that had taken her out of the cage.

We need to make her shut up,” the other one said before punching her hard in the stomach. The air left Chloe’s lungs with the force of the hit and she choked but as soon as she recovered she started to scream again.

Stop!” Will screamed trying to stand up and wincing in pain before dropping on the floor once more. “Don’t touch her.”

The men ignored Will and continued to hit Chloe over and over again until she passed out from the pain and was finally silent. Once she was passed out they grabbed her and put her back in the small cage throwing her inside before turning toward Will to see that he was looking away, not able to handle the show. They chuckled and walked toward the door.

Oh, I love silence,” one of them said with a smile and the other chuckled.

Help.” Chloe’s rough voice interrupted them and they turned around to find her on the ground, her eyes barely opened.

Help.” It came out as a rough whisper.

Chloe, please, stop,” Will begged seeing the expression the two other men had on their faces.

It seems hurting her doesn’t work well,” one of the men said angrily. “We’ll have to use other methods.” He turned toward Will and a dark smile appeared on his lips. “But we’ll make her shut up.”

I won’t shut up, you can run in hell,” Chloe whispered before screaming frantically, “Ahhhhhh Help us! Ahhhhh.” Little did she know that she would lose in the end and shut up forever.

Chloe snapped back to reality when someone took the picture out of her hands abruptly. She looked around her confused, she was back in the doctor’s office, she wasn’t in a small cage anymore, but Will wasn’t alive anymore. She looked at the doctor to see that he was looking at her with furrowed brows and she brought her hand to her face to feel that her cheeks were wet. She swallowed closing her eyes to regain control.

She couldn’t blame herself, it wasn’t as if she had cried, she had relived a memory in which she had been crying, that was why her eyes had cried. But she hadn’t cried, she wouldn’t cry.

“That’s enough now,” Ethan said throwing the picture toward the doctor, so he had been the one taking the picture. He stood up.

“Mr. King, please calm down,” the doctor said standing up as well.

“Making her go through this again won’t help her,” Ethan stated. “She needs to get over that part of her life, she needs to move on.”

“I agree, but in order for her to move on she needs to accept what happened,” the doctor explained before adding, “we’re done for today, Chloe. I look forward to our next meeting, it is already scheduled.”

Chloe nodded and stood up drying her cheeks with the back of her hand. She walked toward Ethan but the doctor stopped her when he talked.

“I can see you’re making efforts, Chloe. That’s good. And I take into count the fact that you didn’t have a panic attack when you saw the picture even though you still didn’t react well to it,” he commented and Ethan grabbed Chloe’s hand.

“Of course, she didn’t react well, who would have,” Ethan said curtly. “Goodbye, Doctor Blue.” And with that he left the cabinet taking Chloe with him.

Chloe didn’t say anything about the fact that Ethan was holding her hand and she let him lead her toward the parking lot and toward his car. She would have to tell Emma that Ethan wasn’t the right person to accompany her to her doctor appointments, it seemed he wasn’t dealing well with it. Chloe smiled, it seemed he really cared about her and he didn’t like to see the doctor pressuring her.

“That doctor has no idea what he is doing,” Ethan said more to himself than to anyone else and Chloe didn’t say anything in return, obviously. He reached the car and opened the passenger door for Chloe before letting go of her hand to let her climb inside the car. Why was he so protective over her all of a sudden? Not that she hadn’t noticed his protective side before.

Once she was seated Ethan closed the door and circled the car before sitting on the driver’s side.

“I think you shouldn’t see that doctor anymore,” Ethan said turning toward Chloe. She took her phone out of her purse typing on it before showing it to him and he read it out loud. “Where will you stay tonight?” He looked back up at Chloe frowning. “Did you even listen to what I said?”

Chloe started typing on her phone once more before handing it to Ethan and he took it in his hands to read what she had written.

“‘I don’t have a choice, he is my doctor and I have to see him. But, I don’t want you to come with me to my appointments anymore.’ What? You don’t want me to accompany you anymore? What is this supposed to mean?” Ethan asked and Chloe huffed trying to grab her phone once more but Ethan yanked it away.

“Let me put my number into your phone, that way if one day you have troubles call me, or well, since you don’t talk text me I guess.” Ethan continued and once he was done he handed Chloe’s phone back to her. Chloe nodded and took her phone back. And with that Ethan started the engine and drove forward. After a few minutes of silence Ethan talked.

“I guess I’ll stay at Ian’s tonight, while Emma calms down or at least Jason puts a little sense into her,” he said and Chloe nodded thinking he would stop talking but he continued.

“I want to buy a house but since I’m alone it would be too big so I will visit some flats, I already have a few visits scheduled. You could come with me if you want, I have one next week,” Ethan explained and Chloe was taken aback at first but she soon ignored it and nodded seeing him looking at her in the rear viewer. He smiled and she smiled as well, not able to resist. What was this man doing to her heart? She had no idea but every time he was around it would beat faster, it would even be painful sometimes. She felt good around him, she wanted to talk all the time while being with him as well. He always pushed her buttons and she wanted nothing more than to yell at him.

Before she knew it Ethan was pulling the car in front of Emma and Jason’s house. He stopped the engine and turned toward her with a small smile.

“I’m not gonna enter the house, I don’t think Emma would welcome me with open arms,” Ethan said with a little chuckle and Chloe couldn’t help but smile, a genuine smile. Ethan looked past Chloe furrowing his brows before looking back at her. “It seems Emma is waiting for you at the door.” Chloe turned her head to look behind her and silently sighed when she saw that Emma was indeed waiting for her at the door with her arms crossed over her chest and a serious look on her face. She turned back toward Ethan, it was strange, she didn’t really know how to say goodbye, he lived here, just like she did, so he was supposed to come inside with her and she wasn’t supposed to say goodbye.

“Goodbye, Chloe,” Ethan said looking into her eyes intensely. Chloe nodded keeping her gaze into his beautiful eyes. At her surprise he bent down and brought a hand behind her head to push her face toward his. He tenderly placed a small kiss on her cheek, keeping his lips on her skin for a little longer than what would have been a simple goodbye kiss between two friends, especially knowing that they would probably see each other the next day.

Ethan eventually let go of Chloe and she looked at him with a shy smile on her lips and as red as a tomato before hopping out of the car hurriedly. Ethan smiled, amused. Chloe couldn’t control the beating of her heart, it was frantically hitting her ribcage.

Once she closed the car’s door behind her and turned around to see Emma’s glare she wondered for a moment if Ethan had kissed her because he had wanted to or because he had wanted to piss Emma off. Chloe felt disappointed all of a sudden, Ethan had kissed her cheek just after seeing that Emma was there so it was probably why he had done so. Chloe lost her smile and walked toward Emma not even sparing a glance at Ethan even though she knew he was still there.

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