The Loudest Silence

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Isabella

I let the wind dance over my face as strands of my hair swirled in the air. Branches of trees cluttered with heaps of leaves brushed against one another as pieces of leaves slowly descended to the ground. I felt the crunches of the fallen leaves beneath my shoes as I slowly wandered around the campus. I had always wanted to roam the world freely, without the burden of anything on my shoulders.

I wanted to be free.

But what I ached for the most was to find my peace.

It had felt like a lifetime had passed since I had actually been overcome with a feeling of serenity. Each day brought a new burden, and new obstacle and I felt as if I was constantly on a battlefield.

Fighting a war between a fantasy I had always dreamt about, and a cold reality.

The library stood at a lengthy distance from my dorm, but I didn’t mind the walk there. It gave me a chance to clear my mind and appreciate the outside world. My steps were slow and paced and my head was in the clouds. My mind kept drifting to all the possible sceaniors that could unfold on this campus.

How long would I be attending?

Would Rick be visting everyday?

Would I have the chance to even experience a fragment of the life I had always dreamt of?

My hand tightened around my book bag that was slung over my shoulder as I tried to ease my anxiety.

Live in the moment Isabella, you’ve already wasted too much time worrying.

I inhaled a deep breath of the air as my fizzled thoughts disappeared one at a time.

As I approached the large library that was filled with intricate designs, voices accompanied with laughter reached my ears. I stared ahead where masses of students rushed through the center of the campus. Hugs, smiles, and squeals, erupted past me as I quietly observed everyone.

“Watch out!” A frantic voice hollered, diverting my attention towards a lanky teenage boy who was wobbling on a skateboard. His eyes were wide with fear as he tried to regain his balance on the board as it continued downward. My eyes widened in alarm as he approached me at an inhumane speed and I quickly jerked to my left to avoid being trampled. He zipped past me a few seconds later causing me to release squeak of fear. I placed a hand over my chest where my heart was beating uncontrollably as I tried to calm myself. I could still hear the boy hollering as he continued his descent downward towards the large masses of students.

I shook my head as I heard screams and yells from behind as the boy continued screaming. Ignoring the sounds behind me, I began smoothing down my wrinkled shirt before turning on my heels to continue my walk towards the library. Before I took a step further, I came into constant with a something hard and went flying onto the rough ground.

“Ow!” I groaned painfully as pieces of tiny pebbles embedded into my skin. My unruly hair curtained over my face as I sat there on the floor recovering from the rough fall.

As if you haven’t endured worse. I bitterly reminded myself.

Scoffing quietly, I scraped the excess pieces of rocks off, completely oblivious to the towering presence in front of me.

“I’m sorry.” A deep husky voice uttered from above me. Brushing my raven locks out of my eyes, I diverted my attention upward where a man stood staring down at me. A sea of green eyes stared at me, a look of curiosity flashing though them. A self conscious feeling enveloped over me as I diverted my eyes elsewhere. His gaze was too strong, as if he was peering into the depths of my soul, trying to unravel every little secret of mine.

“Here.” I heard him say before a large calloused hand was stuck in front of my face. Peering up at him through my lashes, I reluctantly took his hand and was hoisted up by him. Avoiding his eyes that were burning holes into my head, I began brushing off pieces of non existent dirt from my jeans.

I heard him clear his throat before I took a deep breath and turned to look at him. I had to crane my neck to actually take a look at him because he stood at a height that towered over my tiny figure. My eyes soon began rooming over the mans face as all noises from the outside dimmed. Brown tousled hair laid atop his head messily, as if he had run his hand through his hair multiple times. A five o’clock shadow loomed over his chiseled face, causing him to look older than he actually seemed. He was dressed clad in a pair of dark jeans along with a simple t-shirt which was similar to the outfits of many students here.

“Are you alright?” He asked as his eyebrows furrowed. His full lips were pulled into a frown as he awaited my response.

I silently scolded myself for blatantly staring at the man who still continued to stare at me with an unknown look in his eyes.

“I’m fine.” I answered before pushing a few stray strand out of my face. I had no doubt that my hair resembled that of a rats nest and it only made me feel more self conscious around this man who looked as if he had just walked out of a catalogue.

A terse silence towered over us before I clutched my bag in my hand and stepped forward to find refuge in the library.

“Excuse me.” I meekly said before stepping around him and walking towards the building.

I unknowingly increased my pace to increase the distance between the mysterious man and I however, a hand on my shoulder brought me to an abrupt stop. I squeezed my eyes shut as his palm came in contact with a healing bruise that was hidden beneath my clothes and withheld a flinch that threatened to appear. Brushing off the grimace on my face, I turned to face the man once again, a questioning look plastered upon my face.

“I believe this belongs to you.” He stated, a mischievous look in his eyes. Confused, I followed his gaze to where he held a book in his hand. A blush erupted on my face as my eyes caught onto the cover of the book.

A half naked and a shirtless man, both in a compromising position.

I silently cursed myself for being oblivious to the book that Isla had handed me and absentmindedly shoving it into my book bag without even taking a look at it.

“Erotica?” He asked, feigning seriousness, but miserably failing due to the pure look of amusement that was painted across his face.

I looked up at him with flushed cheeks and quickly took the book from his outstretched hand and shoved it into my bag.

“That isn’t mine!” I blubbered as he let out a small chuckle and stuffed his hands into the front pocket of his jeans.

“Alright.” He nodded chuckling before he gently brushed past me and made his way up the the hill.

I stood there for a couple of seconds, trying to wrap my head around what had happened before hitching my bag up my shoulder and making my way towards the library.

As I aimlessly walked around the massive library crowded with shelves of books and buzzing students, my thoughts wandered back to the strange man. The look of his eyes was embedded into my mind, serving as a constant reminder of his piercing gaze. His eyes held an unknown secret, as if he knew something you didn’t.

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