The Loudest Silence

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Mason

I stepped out of the steaming bathroom with a soft towel securely wrapped around my waist. My wet hair clung to my forehead as droplets of water rolled down my face. Grabbing a pair of jeans along with a black T-Shirt from the dresser situated at the corner of the room, I made my way to the bed and set it down.

I glanced at the bags sitting on the foot of the bed, unpacked from when I returned last night and let out a deep sigh. I grabbed the bags from the bed and placed them near the dresser as a reminder to unpack later. I suddenly felt a stinging pain erupt on my knuckles and looked down to see the source of the pain. I glanced at my knuckles to see fresh bloody wounds and scratches marring the ripped skin. I examined the wounds quietly and let out a slight hiss as I grazed my hand over the wounds.

I silently made my way to the bathroom once again and opened the cabinet near the mirror that was pinned on the wall. I rummaged through the cabinet, searching for a gauze to wrap around the tender wounds.

“Where the hell is it.” I lightly growled to myself as I knocked down items in the cabinet.

Annoyed at my failed attempts to find the gauze, I crossed over to the other side of my room and made my way to the lounge room which was connected to the kitchen. An empty pizza box littered the counter along with a few stray cans of soda. Ignoring the mess, I looked through the kitchen cabinets and continued searching for the first aid kit. After looking through a few cabinets, I finally found the box and took the gauze out. I quickly wrapped the white material around my knuckles a few times before securing it tightly.

“Is there a reason why you’re standing in the middle of our kitchen in just a towel? I don’t swing that way if you’re planning to seduce me.” An obnoxiously familiar voice said from behind me.

I rolled my eyes before turning around to face my roommate who unfortunately, was also my best friend.

“You never know when to shut up.” I replied in an irritated tone as I tossed the gauze in the box and placed it back in the same cabinet.

“I wouldn’t be Tyler Williams if I did.” He responded cheekily before grabbing the trash from the counter and began throwing it away.

I let out a small chuckle before I made my way back to my bedroom to get dressed. I slipped on the clothes I had placed on the bed earlier and ran a towel through my hair before making my way out of the room and into the lounge. I took a seat next to Tyler who sat in front of the TV eating a bag of chips.

“What time did you get back last night?” He questioned as soon as I sat down. His eyes remained glued to the television as he continued watching the random TV show that was playing.

“Around midnight.” I answered as I sat back on the couch and stared at the TV screen.

“How was it.” He questioned quietly as he muted the TV and turned to face me.He held a grim expression as he stared at me expectedly.

He didn’t need to specify what he was talking about for me to understand.

“The same as it is every year.” I muttered back as I stared straight ahead at the wall in front of us. I tried my best to block out the countless thoughts that were etching their way to me as I stayed silent.

“It’ll be the same unless you do something to change that. You’ll never move on if you don’t face the reality of it first.” He advised as I rubbed my hand over my forehead.

He wasn’t wrong but he would never understand the pain I felt everyday and I guilt I would carry for the rest of my life.

“One day.” I replied before quickly grabbing the remote from his hands and un-muting the television to avoid the subject. He let out a defeated sigh before he turned his attention back to the TV. We sat in a comfortable silence for a while, just watching TV before his phone buzzed with a text. He quickly read the message and began rubbing his temples with his fingers as he tossed his phone on the table in front of us.

“My sister will be the death of me.” He muttered with an irritated expression as I chuckled.

“What does she need this time.” I asked as I flipped through numerous channels before I reached ESPN and began watching.

“Hey Tylie, I need you to take my friends and I to the mall. Be here by 3, thanks.” He said in the girliest voice he could muster as he read the text out loud.

“You better get going then Tylie.” I mocked as I emphasized on the nickname his sister gave him before pointing to the clock that read 2:30.

“Don’t make me punch you Masey.” He threatened causing a scowl to emerge on my face at the mention of the nickname his sister had also given me years ago. The thought of his sister reminded me of my own sister which instantly dropped my mood. I shook off the thoughts threatening to pester me and returned my attention to the TV.

He hurriedly stood up and stretched before he grabbed his keys that were perched on the side table next to the front door. He was halfway out the door when he suddenly turned back around to face me.

“I almost forgot to tell you. Boss said vacation time is over and that he’ll be contacting you to meet sometime this week.” He informed before making his way out and slamming the door dramatically before I could even respond.

I let out a deep sigh and sat back against the couch. My eyes wandered around the well sized apartment that I had shared wth Tyler for the past three years. Although I chose to keep my interactions and conversations with most people limited, Tyler was the one person I spoke to regularly. As hard as I tried in the beginning to push him away as I did to the others, he was relentless and eventually got through me. To this day he remained the one person I trusted the most.

I laid around and continued to watch TV even though my thoughts were elsewhere. The peaceful silence was soon interrupted by a loud buzz that came from my pocket. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my phone to see a text from my boss.

Come in tomorrow around 9. I have to discuss something with you.

I replied back with an ‘Okay’ before switching off my phone and tossing it onto the table in front of me.

I laid down on the couch and slung my arm over my head as I stared at the bland ceiling above me. As I laid there, I allowed various thoughts to cloud my brain, despite my attempts to simply fall asleep. The numerous thoughts briskly consumed me for a while before I was whisked into a dreamless slumber.

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