The Loudest Silence

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“Isabella.” A faint voice called. I could feel someone shaking my body, but I couldn’t open my eyes. My body felt stiff, my fingertips were numb, and it felt as if I had lost all control of my body. “Isabella.” The voice called again, louder this time. I could hear someone pacing around me before they knelt down beside me and placed their hand on my shoulder.

“Bella, come on.” The voice softly said. I could feel a ringing sound in the back of my head, and the pain in my head intensified as I attempted to force my eyes open. I still couldn’t recognize that voice, but the nickname kept ringing in my head.

It was the nickname my mother and brother gave me.

Were they here right now?

Had they finally found me, and come to save me from Rick’s wrath?

It was as if that name invoked something in my body, as I used whatever strength I had left to open my eyes. I felt my body take in a gust of air, before my eyes finally opened. The bright light coming from the window immediately pierced my eyes, forcing me to shut them. Taking a deep breath, I slowly lifted my hand, ignoring the resounding ache on my shoulder as I covered my eyes from the sunlight. Slowly blinking, I could feel my vision clearing, as the blurry figure in front of me morphed into a familiar face. I felt a mixture of both relief and disappointment as I locked eyes with a concerned Roman. Though I was relieved to see that it was Roman waking me up, and not one of Rick’s men, I couldn’t help but feel stinging pain knowing that it wasn’t my mother or bother.

Roman, who was crouched down on the floor, let out a sigh of relief as he stood up. It was only then that I realized that I was no longer laying on the hardwood floor. I wasn’t even in the warehouse anymore. Before I could scan my surroundings, Roman’s face hovered over mine, blocking my eyesight. His eyes were squinted as he assessed my face for injuries, before letting out a string of curses. Before I could say anything, Roman lifted his hands, and instinctively, I cowered in fear as my hands shot out to protect my face.

“Please.” I weakly said as Roman’s hand dropped. I could feel his piercing stare on me, yet I kept my face covered. For all I knew, Rick had ordered Roman to bring me here to finish where he left off last night.

I could hear Roman let out a labored breath, as the bed dipped from his weight. I could feel his body beside my legs, as I shifted to the back corner of the bed. “Bella.” Roman gently said as he placed his hand on the bottom of my leg. My eyes were still tightly shut, but I felt a glimmer of comfort at Roman’s gentle tone. “I’m not going to hurt you.” He continued as he moved over to where he could see my face. Slowly opening my eyes, I stared at his concerned eyes as he nodded his head at me. I could see the guilt lining his features as I cautiously sat up on the bed. There was still a considerable distance between us, but I felt more at ease knowing that Roman wasn’t going to hurt me.

“I’m going to grab you some medication and ice, okay? Just stay put and try not to move so much.” Roman advised as he stood up from the bed. He was dressed in one of his usual dark hoodies, except this time his hood wasn’t up and I could actually see his face clearly. Dark circles lined the bottom of his pupils, and it looked as if he hadn’t slept all night.

Nodding my head in response, I watched as Roman stepped out of the room before I finally examined my surroundings. I was seated on a bed in the corner of what looked like someone’s bedroom. The room was practically empty, aside from the bed and a bedside table perched next to the foot of the bed. The paint on the walls were chipped, and the only thing that indicated whose room it was, were the pile of clothes thrown in the corner of the room.

This was Roman’s bedroom.

To an outsider, it would be nearly impossible to identify whether or not somebody even lived here. It was clear that this room was only used for sleeping, and that the lack of decoration was done on purpose. It was as if Roman had purposely given the illusion that this room didn’t actually belong to anyone. As I waited for Roman to return, my eyes traced the perimeter of the room, before landing on a tiny picture frame hidden beside the bedside table. It was the only piece of decoration in the whole room, and I was curious to know what the photograph inside it was.

Before I could even think about looking at the frame, the door creaked open as Roman stepped in. In one hand, he held a towel with what appeared to be ice, and in the other hand, I could see a gauze along with alcohol wipes. Setting the items down on the bed, Roman returned to his seat beside my legs as handed the ice to me. Taking it from him, I whispered a small thank you before lifting the towel to my temples. Ever since I had woken up, I could feel intense throbbing in my head, and I knew it was a result of Rick repeatedly kicking my head last night. I winced as the cold towel came in contact with my skin, and I cringed at the thought of even looking at my bruised face in the mirror. There was no doubt that the old bruises that had finally begun to fade, had now been replaced with last night’s injuries.

“Let me see your arm.” Roman stated as he set the gauze down on his lap. He remained silent as I flipped my arm over. I visibly shuddered as I stared down at my black and yellowing arm. Near my elbow lay an open wound that now had dried blood all over it. I didn’t say anything as Roman brought a cloth covered with alcohol and cleaned the wound. I could feel a stinging sensation where Roman placed, but I ignored it as I stared down at my bruised legs. They served as a bitter reminder that I would always be trapped in this endless cycle.

I could never be free from Rick’s hold, and at the end of the day, I had nobody on my side.I was alone in this dark world. Ignoring the burning sensation in my eyes, I waited patiently as Roman picked up the gauze and wrapped my arm. I had reached a point of numbness, and I had begun to accept my life as it was.

There was silence in the room until finally Roman’s hoarse voice broke the silence.

“I’m sorry.” He stated as he looked up at me. I could see the regret plastered on his face as he finishing wrapping up my arm. Before I could say anything, he continued, “I tried my best to convince him to let it go, but he was relentless.”

As angry I was at my circumstances, I knew that Roman had his hands tied too. Rick had some sort of hold over him too, and it made both of us his prisoners. Hugging my arms to my chest, I let out a small sigh before replying, “Don’t apologize. You had no choice.” I said in a small voice as I flashed Roman my best attempt at a smile. Roman’s stoic expression remained on his face as he stared off into the distance. We were both lost in our own thoughts as a steady silence filled the room. There was a part of me that wanted to know more about Roman, and ask him about his life, yet something in me just told me it wasn’t possible. It was as if Roman had barred anyone from getting to know him, and let his life remain a mystery.

I didn’t know how much time had passed before Roman stood up from the bed and headed over to what appeared to be a closet. It was mostly empty, aside from a few hangers with clothing on it. I watched as he grabbed a towel and a pair of clothes before heading towards his bedroom door.

“I’m going to shower. If you’d like, theres another bathroom down the hall if you want to freshen up. Rick and my uncle are out of town on business so you don’t need to worry about them. I’ll take you back to college once I’m out” He informed as I slowly nodded my head. There was relief in knowing that Rick wasn’t around, but I knew that I wasn’t safe at school either. He would always find a way back to me.

Ignoring the resounding ache in my bones, I stood up from the bed, knowing that I needed to go the the bathroom to assess how bad my face really looked. I didn’t know what I would say to Isla once I was back at school, but I was praying that I’d be able to avoid her until the swelling died down a bit. I took a step forward towards the door of the bedroom, when I suddenly remembered the picture frame from earlier. I knew I shouldn’t snoop through Roman’s stuff, but he was already a walking mystery as it was, and his room barely gave away anything about him. The photograph might not reveal much, but it would at least tell me something about him. Making my way to the bedside table, I slowly pick the picture frame off the corner of the table before flipping it over.

The photograph, which had tears and tape covered in it, was barely holding on by a thread inside the picture frame. The photo itself was blurry, but I could make our Roman’s familiar face. He appeared to be about seven years old in the photograph, and I couldn’t help but let out a smile at the silly face he was making. His arms were wrapped around an older woman, who I was assuming was his grandmother. Although he was missing two teeth, I was shocked at the photograph. I had never seen Roman smile before, and although the photograph was old, it was nice to see an expression other than his usual emotionless front.

Hearing the shower shut off in the other room, I got ready to place the photograph back where I had found it, when my eyes finally latched onto the background of the photo. I could feel my stomach drop as I brought the photograph closer to my eyes.

Behind Roman and the woman, was a street pole with a hauntingly familiar name. Normally, I would have disregarded it, and assumed that the street was in a different city, but I couldn’t force my eyes away from the houses in the background of the photograph.

It had been years since I had seen my childhood home, but there was one thing I was certain of.

The photograph was taken on the same street of my childhood home.

Hey guys.

I hope you are all well and doing safe.

I know it has been a while, and to be quite frank, I don’t even know where to begin. Life changed so fast in a matter of weeks, and I can’t believe everything that’s happened.I know I have been lagging on updates, but I hope you can understand given the circumstances. College shifted online, I began a new job within the healthcare industry, and my assignments and exams began piling up. Life is pretty much kicking me in the butt right now with work and finals, but I intend to update as soon as my semester ends in a few weeks.

Life has been crazy this past month, and everything is very uncertain during these times, but I hope that you are are looking at life with a positive outlook.I hope that this quarantine period has been a time of self care, and appreciating everything we once took for granted.There is not much I can say for the future, but I am praying for everyone’s safety.

I hope you all enjoyed this update, and I look forward to updating more as soon as this semester ends.

Stay safe! I love you all!

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