The Weight of Silence by Gregg Olsen Read Online (FREE)
Read The Weight of Silence (Nicole Foster Thriller #2) by Gregg Olsen Full novel online for free here.
We are the bats.
We hang upside down like the undulating colony of flying rodents we observed as kids when our parents took us to Carlsbad Caverns. It was the summer the year before our mom left us for Hollywood. Stacy and I wore Hypercolor T-shirts that turned from pink to purple with the heat of the New Mexican day.
That was a long time ago. A lifetime ago. And yet a happy memory crosses my mind in the space of a tragedy. Or something even darker.
Right now my sister’s blouse is no longer white but red. I twist as much as possible, suspended by the shoulder harness of my seat belt. I can’t see Stacy’s face. I can’t really hear her. My breathing is shallow, and I feel every rib as my battered chest contracts. It is the only thing I can feel. My legs are immobile, and a spike of fear goes through my numbness: Am I paralyzed? Am I dead? The car’s engine grinds as it struggles to keep running, though I know the wheels are spinning in the night air that now hangs over our feet. I manage to turn off the engine, and as it finally dies, I hear the Pacific Ocean striking the coastline like a mallet somewhere below where my Accord skidded to a stop.
“Stacy?” I ask.
“Are you all right?”
Again no answer.
I still can’t see her, but something tells me that she’s alive. The space is small, compacted by the crash, and I can feel my little sister’s presence. Stacy has an aura that is thick and impenetrable, a force field that neither I nor anyone who knows her can deny. Some call it charisma. What Stacy has, I think, is more like the disposition of a vicious pet. It would come at you, sometimes unexpectedly, when she wanted to turn it on. It filled the room and forced out all the air. No one could be a match for that. As this goes through my mind, I think of my mother and how she wanted to be a star. How she’d ladled the love on her favorite daughter, only to turn on her later in life. Mom was jealous of Stacy. Stacy had that thing that celebrities, CEOs, and politicians have. It’s an intrinsic power that can never be manufactured. It just is.
“Stacy,” I repeat. “We’ll get out of this. Hold on. It will be okay.”
Even in that flash, I know that I’ve offered comfort to the devil. And yet I cannot help myself. No matter what Stacy is or what she’s done, I love her. She’s a virus. A disease. I’ve prayed to God all of my adult life that I’d be able to push aside our frayed but tragically elastic bond and just say goodbye to her once and for all. I’d never see her again. I’d lie to myself that there were more good times with her than bad and that I missed her every single day. In time, I might even be able to believe my own deceits. I could tell her daughter that she was a wonderful sister and mother. Emma would live the rest of her life thinking that Stacy Sonntag Chase was as beautiful on the inside as she had been on the outside. Not a hideous orange cream from the second layer of a Whitman’s Sampler but a silky chocolate truffle from Godiva.