The Loudest Silence

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I tightly clutched the steering wheel as I kept my eyes focused on the road ahead. I could feel my heart rapidly beating, and it didn’t feel like it would be stopping soon. It was my mother’s birthday, and after much convincing from Tyler, and my own guilty conscience I decided to pay her a visit.

My mother and I had never been extremely close growing up, but we never had a bad relationship either. Most of her time was occupied with work, but she never failed to be there for her kids. After Nick had passed away, it was like a flip had switched in her. There was a certain light in her eyes that was gone, and a void in her heart that nobody but Nick could fill.

Seeing my mother morph into someone so broken after my brothers passing had completely changed me too. I couldn’t live with the fact that Nick’s death could have been avoided if I had simply been around more. My mother had no choice to work since she needed to bring in money to the household, but I could have done more.

Things could have been different if I had just done more.

Nick’s death weighed on me for years, and the bitterness and urge for revenge grew. I had made it my lifelong goal to see Nick’s murders go down, and if that meant distancing myself from my family, then so be it.

Putting my car into park, I pulled my keys out of the ignition. Clutching the bouquet of flowers in my hands, I glanced over at the house that had been filled with so many memories. The same yard that had been filled with Nick’s skateboard, and my sister’s bike was now empty. As I sat there in my car, I felt the overwhelming urge to leave, but I fought against it as I pushed my door open and stepped out. Taking slow steps to the front door, I could hear faint voices from inside the house.

Although I had a key, I decided against using it, and rang the doorbell. A couple seconds passed by before loud footsteps headed my way. I held my breath as the door swung open, Adelyn’s face staring back at me. I could see the shock on her face as she silently stared at me.

“Hey Addie.” I quietly said as I looked at my little sister who wasn’t so little anymore. Before I could get another word out, I felt her body collide with mine as she wrapped her arms around me. I stood there in shock for a few seconds before returning her embrace. Squeezing her tightly, I pulled back to see her wiping her eyes.

“I’ve missed you.” She whispered before pulling me into the house. I could feel the memories threatening to rush back into my mind as I glanced around the same home I had grown up in. Memories existed in every corner, yet I didn’t have the heart to remember what life had been like before everything changed so drastically.

“Addie honey, who was at the door?” My mother’s voice sounded from the kitchen as my heart lurched in my chest. Even though Adelyn had been welcoming, I didn’t know how my mother would react. I rarely visited anymore, and phonecalls between us were practically nonexistent since I had begun using my work phone more.

“Happy birthday, mom.” I said, stepping into the kitchen, where my mother was seated on the barstool. Her head quickly snapped over to the doorway as she stared at me. She looked as if she had seen a ghost as she stood up from her seat. Holding out the bouquet of flowers for her, I watched she she set them aside on the table before gently pulling me towards her. I felt myself let out a silent sigh of relief as I retuned my mother’s hug. I could tell that she was surprised at my visit, but she didn’t ask any questions as she pulled back and stared at me.

“Thank you.” She softly said before stepping back. “Come have dinner with us, you made it just in time.” She said as I nodded and followed her to the dinner table that was filled with food. Taking a seat beside Adelyn, I listened in as she filled me in on everything that had happened in her life. She was beaming as she told me about the new sports she was involved in, and upcoming plans she had for the year.

I couldn’t help but smile as I saw the joy on her face. I was happy that Adelyn was living her life without the past holding her back. She deserved to have everything she ever wanted.

“How’s work going, Mason?” My mother asked after Adelyn had finished telling me all her stories. Wiping my mouth, I cleared my throat before answering her.

“Work is great, there’s nothing special that really happens there.” I said with a fake smile on my face as my mother nodded in response before asking Adelyn a random question about school. Neither my mother, nor my sister knew what I truly did for work. They assumed that I worked for a technological company, and I intended on keeping it that way. My mother would disapprove of my work choices, and fear for my safety. I didn’t want to burden her with anything else.

For the remainder of the dinner, my mother, Adelyn, and I made small conversation. It felt natural, as if nothing had really changed, except the empty seat across from us. Everyone avoided the topic of Nick for the dinner, and I was grateful for that. I didn’t want any wounds to reopen tonight, especially after coming to visit for so long.

The remainder of the dinner went smoothly, with my mother filling me in on how work was going. She appeared to be better than she had been the last time I had seen her, and I was happy to see that.

“Mason, would you please do me a favor and put those towels in the bathroom upstairs?” My mother asked as I helped her put away the dishes she had just washed. Setting the rag down, I nodded my head before picking up the towels and heading up the stair case.

Quickly placing the towels in the cupboard in the bathroom, I hurriedly made my way towards the staircase, not wanting to be upstairs for too long. As I walked past each bedroom, I braced myself for the last room which had belonged to Nick.

Before I could stop myself, I found myself walking in the direction of his bedroom. The door was closed shut, and I unconsciously found myself touching the door knob. As I stood there, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I couldn’t find myself to open the door, fearful that going into Nick’s room would instantly bring me back to that night.

Letting my hand drop, I shoved my hands into my front pocket, and turned to head down the stairs when a soft voice stopped me.

“It’s not as scary as it seems.” Adelyn’s voice said as my head shot up. She was standing at the top step of the stairs, a sad smile marring her face. I didn’t say anything as she took slow steps towards me, “It actually helps to be in his room. Makes it feel like he’s still here.” She continued as she stepped in front of me. I held in my breath as she swung open the door to Nick’s bedroom and walked in. I watched from outside as she took a seat on his bed, before waving me over towards her.

“Come in.” She urged as I stayed still in my spot. For someone who had experienced such a devastating loss at such a young age, Adelyn seemed to be handling her grief well. As I watched her sitting on Nick’s bed, I realized how much she reminded me of Nick. They were polar opposites personality wise, yet they shared strikingly similar facial features. My mother always used to say they were twins born two years apart.

Ignoring the voice in my head that told me it was time to head home, I stepped into Nick’s room. My breath faltered in my mouth as I realized that his room looked exactly the same as it had years ago. Not much had changed except that it wasn’t as messy. Walking farther into his room, I picked up the picture frame sitting on his dresser. It was a photo of Nick, Adelyn, and I in the front yard of our home the day we moved in.

“I used to be angry at the world for taking away two things from me that night.” Adelyn’s voice spoke up as I set the picture frame back down. Furrowing my brows, I took a seat on the bed, as I waited for her to elaborate.

“What was the second?” I asked as she gave me a bitter smile before wiping at her eyes.

“We didn’t just lose Nick that day. We lost you too.” She finally said. I could feel my stomach drop at her words as I watched tears silently fall down her face. I knew that my mother and sister were hurt at my lack of communication with them anymore, but it was for the best. They seemed to be doing fine without me, and as soon as Rick and his men were thrown in prison, I would make more of an effort to present in their lives.

Pulling Adelyn towards me, I wrapped my arms around her. Guilt and shame tugged at me, but I remained silent as I let her cry in my arms.

“I promise you, you haven’t lost me. I’m still here.” I whispered to her as she nodded her head. Adelyn stayed by my side for a while before my mother became curious and began calling us to come down. I watched as she wiped her eyes one last time before heading back downstairs.

Standing up from Nick’s bed, I took one last glance around the room. Though there was still a war ensuing in my mind, sitting in Nick’s room had actually brought me some piece of mind. Something about being back home, and coming into his room made me feel close to him.

Taking one last glance at the picture on the dresser, I began heading out of Nick’s room when a certain book caught my eye. It wasn’t necessarily the book itself that had stopped me, but the piece of paper sticking out of it.

The paper was wrinkled, but I could make out the messy handwriting to be a name along with a phone number and address. Though I couldn’t recognize the name, the address wasn’t too far from campus. Shoving the paper into my pants, I made a mental note to have Tyler look into the name on the paper. Something told me that the name and address was certainly associated with Rick and his men, and I felt the overwhelming urge to finish this assignment and move on with my life.

There was only one way to truly get access to Rick Wright. Her name was Isabella Wright, and I intended on using her to get the answers I needed. No matter the cost that they came at.

Hey guys!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated. Things have been pretty hectic in my life, and I wanted to just take some time off to focus on myself. Writing didn’t feel the same as it once did, and I wanted to work on myself before updating any of my books.

I’m doing much better now, and am ready to get into the writing scene.

I am truly grateful for all of you who have been understanding. I really appreciate you all.

I hope that everyone is staying safe, and having a great summer.

See you all in the next chapter!

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