I replayed those words in my head over and over.
So what did the picture mean and why did Reece lie to me?
I retired early from the party games because I needed to seriously think over Liams words. He’s never given me any reason to mistrust him, but the picture was so clear about what was happening and so was his body language. If I chose to believe him, what did this mean for us?
Get the Keys. Lola x
I rolled my eyes at my text message, Lola was not going to give up about these stupid keys. But maybe tonight was the best night to get them. I felt like I had made progress with Liam in some way and if he caught me stealing the keys we would just laugh about it. So I waited until the muffled laughter and loud conversations quieted down and everyone retired to their own beds. I gave them all a chance to fall asleep before I made my move.
I tiptoed down the hall, dodging all of the creaky floorboards and hovered outside Liams door. It only occurred to me now that I was about to get the visual and I didn’t know if I could handle that. I took a deep breath and turned the door knob, forcing myself to be brave.
The room was in complete darkness and it took me a few moments of blinking for my eyes to adjust. Heavy breathing came from the bed but I tried not to look that way, instead I just scanned the room for any shadow that could be his jacket. I felt around with my hands but nothing felt familiar so I looked towards the bed.
Reece lay starfished in the middle, her chocolate brown hair fanned out all over the place and her mouth was open slightly to allow for the heavy breathing. Liam wasn’t here.
I left the room wondering if he had returned to the waterfall. I tiptoed down the hall and checked in the spare bedrooms, most of them were unoccupied except one.
The room was in darkness but the en-suite door was open allowing in the bathroom light. It gave me just enough vision to see Liam sleeping soundly in the bed. My brows furrowed at the sight, why was he sleeping alone?
I glanced around the room spotting his leather jacket draped over the chair in the far corner. Sheepishly I edged into the room, closing the door behind me and letting my socks glide against the floorboards so I didn’t have to constantly lift my feet. I kept checking if he was asleep even though I didn’t need to because the cute snoring told me he was, I just wanted to look at him.
He was here, he was safe.
My fingers found the jacket, I forgot how heavy it was. I dipped my hand into each pocket searching for his keys. Pills, a condom, his phone, loose change and the friendship bracelet baggie was in there. But no keys.
He still kept the friendship bracelet on him.
I lay the jacket back down and glanced around the room, looking to see where the keys could possibly be. He had one hand resting under his pillow and the other tucked under the blanket and I knew instantly where the keys were.
I slid over to the bed and really carefully patted my hand under his pillow, careful not to disturb him in any way. I couldn’t feel them, so I pushed my hand further in until it was resting dangerously below his head. I couldn’t move it and I couldn’t feel the keys.
So I used my other hand to slip in under his blanket and pat around his mattress, I hit his naked chest a few times and he grumbled but I froze immediately and thankfully it didn’t wake him up. Gingerly I tried to yank my hand out from under his head but I was just disturbing him more.
I had one last try of pushing my hand further under the blanket, desperately patting down the material under my palm for any trace of jangle.
Two silver eyes shot open widely, he flew backwards on the bed just to get away from me allowing me the free space to stand up straight and retreat my hands back. He was completely lost to the darkness, battling something major in his own head. His body visibly shook and the fear in his face was too far gone to pull back.
“Liam?” I questioned quietly.
His pupils dilated, sucking all of his soul into a black pit of bleakness and his rib caged bounced up and down through the sheet as he struggled to breathe.
“Liam, it’s okay. It’s me.” I said softly, reaching my hand out to touch him.
His eyes widened and he threw himself backwards to get away from me, resulting in him falling off the bed and shuffling backwards in a messy heap of bed sheets on the floor. The sheet dropped from his body revealing the bruises he showed me nights ago and his lungs sunk in deeply as he clawed at all of the oxygen in the air.
The stench of fear and panic fell thick in the room and through his broken gaze I found my own reflection, the monster in his horror story. Slowly I made my way towards him and knelt down on the floor beside him, careful not to get too close or touch him in anyway.
“Liam?” I whispered.
He looked smaller and child like crouched down on the floor and trembling. I looked down his body, it would be flawless without with all of the self inflicted marks. He brought his knees up to his chest, obviously feeling self conscious of me staring and then his arms clung around his knees.
Stupidly my hand traced over the ink on his bicep and he pulled away immediately, scooting himself even further away from me like a helpless, frightened animal.
Liam was spiraling deeper and deeper into a fit of panic and I knew I needed to do something to help him right now before the fear overwhelmed him and he blacked out.
“Close your eyes” I said softly, his whole body heaved sharply with his frantic breathing and he searched my face like he was looking at a stranger. He didn’t close his eyes because losing his sight would leave him even more vulnerable and he knew that.
“It’s okay, I’m not going to touch you. Trust me. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of my voice.” He hesitated for a few scary moments but then his eyelids peeled to a close, shutting away all of the fear that lay behind them.
“You are safe.” My voice was calm and clear in the mists of his turmoil.
“It’s just us, we are alone. Just you and me.” He breathed rapidly but kept his eyes tightly closed.
“Nobody is going to hurt you.”
“Nobody is going to touch you.”
I repeated my words over and over until his breathing started to regulate slightly but he was still clearly shaken.
“He’s not here.”
“He’s not here.” He whispered back, repeating my words in a barely audible way.
“Just me and you. Olivia and Liam.”
“He’s not here.” He told himself again, not sounding anymore sure this time.
“Open your eyes.”
“He’s not here.” He spoke again.
He dragged his eyelids up like they were the heaviest thing in the world, not wanting to see whatever darkness lay behind of them. His eyes shined against the dim light that poured in from the bathroom, they were silver, broken and somewhere lying beneath them Liam was lost.
“Olivia.” Liam stammered out quietly as he focused in on my face, seeing me for the first time since I caused this mess.
“Yes, just me and you.” I reassured.
He exhaled deeply and threw his head down on his quivering knees, letting out loud sobs that echoed through the quiet and forced his body to jolt with each one. I didn’t know if it was safe to comfort him now so I just sat beside him, feeling useless and quietly listening to him cry. Eventually he pulled his bloodshot eyes up to face me and my heart broke at the upsetting sight.
“What are you doing in here?” he asked through sniffles and sobs.
“Uh... I...” I bit down on my lower lip, trying to think of a reasonable explanation but the reality is that I didn’t have one. I selfishly caused him to have a panic attack because I wanted to steal the keys to his bike so my friend could go on a joy ride. “Um... I didn’t mean to wake you... I just wanted to ... um... get something from your room.” I was a mumbling mess, I felt so guilty.
“wha-” He started to ask but then a look of realization dawned on him and I lowered my head in shame. “My keys.” He said quietly.
He stood up and brushed past me aggressively and I watched him helplessly. I could feel the impact of his sour mood, it echoed throughout the whole room in powerful waves. He searched through the pillows on his bed and then pulled out a small bunch of keys.
“You want them so fucking bad, here.” He said menacingly, throwing it underarm in my direction. On instinct I caught them.
“Liam...” I stood up and walked slowly over to him but he took a step backwards. “It was only meant to be a little bit of fun.” I offered as my poor explanation.
“Fun?!” The volume of his voice increased and I looked away, successfully intimidated by his cold and calculating glare. “You think sneaking into my bedroom when I’m sleeping and touching me under the covers is fun?”
“After everything you know about me, you thought that would be fun for me?”
“Liam I’m sorry. I didn’t think.” I pleaded.
“Get out.” He waved his arm toward the door.
“Liam please” I pleaded.
“Enjoy your ride Liv, I hope it was worth it for you.” He turned his back on me and I had no choice but to leave the room at his request.
I closed the door behind me and let myself breath out in the hallway, tears formed behind my eyes and I heavily regretted my stupid decision. Why didn’t I think things through. A loud bang from inside Liams room startled me and I knew he had just punched something. More loud crashes, smashes and bangs came from behind Liams door and I winced at each one.
Jordan's bedroom door opened and he peeked his head out, looking up and down the hallway until his eyes met mine and widened at the sight.
“What is it?” Tias voice spoke behind him.
Jordan didn’t take his dark eyes off me when he uttered the word “Liv” back to her. Perplexity was written all over my face and when she popped her head out of the door wearing only a bra the pair of them looked like I had just figured out their dirty little secret.
“Should I go talk to him?” Jordan asked me, not acknowledging the sight in front of me.
I shook my head. I think Liam needed space right now, I just hope Jordan didn’t have anything sentimental in that room because it was sure to get trashed.
“What’s wrong with him?” Tia asked dumbfounded.
Jordan and I looked at each other, secretly acknowledging we knew that Liam came with a huge array of problems but neither one of us wanting to betray Liams trust by telling Tia what they were.
“We had an argument.” I said vaguely.
I walked past them both and closed myself off in the bedroom. Throwing my phone down on the desk and slipping the keys under my pillow I lay back and thought about Liam being upset and alone.