The Loudest Silence

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The sound of shuffling and banging greeted me early in the morning as I sat up on my confined bed. I ran a tired hand through my hair before looking ahead to see Fletcher rapidly making his way around the room.

He was oblivious to my presence seeing as he was quietly mumbling to himself while frantically searching all over his side of the room.

“What are you looking for?” I questioned as he jolted up from surprise. He quickly turned with wide eyes and stared at me to which I responded with a raised eyebrow.

“I can’t seem to locate my watch. I know you’re rarely in here but have you seen it by any chance?” He warily questioned as he pushed his glasses up his nose. He was once again dressed in khaki pants and a button up shirt and held the appearance of someone who was ready to attend a high profile interview.

“No, I haven’t.” I briskly responded as my eyes scanned the room. Just as I was about to turn to face him once again, my eyes zeroed in on the reflection of a familiar watch I had seen on Fletcher’s wrist on numerous occasions.

Lifting my finger in the direction of the watch, I watched as he quickly turned around and made his way towards his dresser where his watch laid.

He quickly clasped it onto his wrist before smoothing down his shirt. “Thanks. I can be so oblivious at times.” He muttered as he sat down on his bed and began putting on his shoes.

“Where are you headed?” I questioned, furrowing my eyebrows as my eyes glanced over at the clock that read 8:32 a.m. It was Saturday morning and as far as I was concerned, there were no classes today.

“I’m meeting my friends Isabella and Isla for breakfast.” Fletcher happily announced as he continued tying his shoes. His smile was radiant and the excitement of going out with his friends was oozing off him in waves.

I immediately sat up upon hearing Isabellas name knowing very well that I needed to take advantage of every moment I got with her. The sooner I get close to her, the quicker I’ll take down Rick and his army of goons.

“Mind if I join?” I questioned as Fletcher stared at me with surprised eyes.

“Really?” He questioned in disbelief to which I slowly nodded.

“Yeah sure, as long as you’ll be ready in 10 minutes.” He answered after a short silence.

“Not a problem.” I said as I grabbed my towel and made my way into the bathroom.

True to my word, I was dressed and ready in no time and began making my way towards the cafeteria with Fletcher. Despite my usual urge to remain silent as he insistently talked, this time I actually took the time to listen to what he said and even made the effort to mutter a response here and there.

As much as he annoyed me, he was just a harmless kid who simply enjoyed talking a lot.

The walk to the cafeteria was short and we soon were making our way inside towards the seating area. I followed closely behind Fletcher who stopped to scan the room, most likely looking for Isabella and her friend. As I looked around, my eyes locked onto the figure of a girl who sat at a table in the middle of the room waving her hand in the air.

“There they are.” Fletcher stated before making his way across the cafeteria towards their table. As I got closer, my eyes locked onto Isabella who sat with her head down low. A book was laid out in front of her and she was staring down at it intently while slowly nibbling on an apple.

I took a seat on the side opposite to her and flashed a quick smile towards her blue haired friend who curiously stared at me.

“Who’s this?” she questioned as she continued to stare me down. Her eyes were welcoming and she appeared to be the type of girl who was always cheerful and friends with everyone.

“Hey, I’m Mason.” I introduced while holding my hand out for her to shake. Upon speaking, Isabella’s head shot up as she stared at me with wide eyes, her book now forgotten. I flashed her a warm smile while she continued staring at me with blank eyes. I could tell she was now deep in thought as I watched her furrow her brows and stare ahead at nothing in specific.

“Hey, I’m Isla.” The blue haired girl said as she took my hand and shook it.

After the introductions, a steady conversation began to flow around the table with mostly Fletcher and Isla speaking. Isabella had now closed her book and quietly sat on her corner of the table attentively listening to Fletcher and her roommate bicker back and forth about random topics.

“I still think the world is flat.” Isla stated, holding her hands in the air before standing up and announcing that she was going to get a drink.

“Impossible.” Fletcher said as he furiously shook his head and followed after her, most likely with the intent to debunk her theory.

Shaking my head at their ridiculous argument, I turned back to Isabella who was already staring at me with her vivid brown orbs. Her dark hair fell softly around her face and her full lips were slightly parted as she observed me.

There was no doubt that Isabella had a unique essence of beauty around her, but I had to mentally remind myself exactly what I was here. Isabella was the worst person to develop any attraction for because not only was she the subject of my latest mission, but because she was also a suspected asset to a group of criminals.

“Hi.” I simply said as she snapped out of the daze she was in. She quickly diverted her gaze elsewhere as she curtained her hair over her face to conceal the deep red color that clouded her cheeks.

“Hello.” She softy said as she grazed her finger against the cover of her book.

“I was wondering when you wanted to get started on that project. I like to do things ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to worry later on.” I said as I forced myself not to internally cringe. That was a complete and utter lie. When I was in both college and high school I never did my assignments until the night before they were due or the day of. Despite that, I kept up my persona of a ‘responsible’ college student.

“How about tomorrow at the library?” She questioned as she looked up from her book. I watched as she nervously fiddled with her fingers while slowly scanning the room with wide eyes.

I squinted my eyes at her behavior but brushed it off quickly before she could see. Plastering a fake smile on my face, I responded, “Sounds good to me.”

She quickly nodded her head before turning to her left where Isla suddenly plopped down into her seat.

For the duration of the breakfast, Isabella avoided my eyes as she listened in on both Isla and Fletchers conversation, occasionally cracking a tiny smile at their comments here and there. I quietly observed her for the rest of the time we were there before excusing myself and making my way towards the dorms to investigate new cases that had been sent to me

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