Hey guys! This is your author! I have written more of this story, but I won't post them yet because I really want to know you you guys think of this one first! So please read and review! Also, this idea has been in my head for quite some time, but only recently have I written it down. It was one of those spur of the moment type things, so I was up until 4am writing the most part of this fanfic up.

So, from the great words of Sarah Dessen.

Happy reading!

This silence is overpowering

Chapter 1

I was sitting in Teresa Armstrong's kitchen, drinking a cup of tea and sobbing into her shoulder. It had been a week since me and Owen had officially talked, and the silence was killing me. A few weeks ago things had begun to go A-wall again in my life, and just like before, I shut myself out. I hadn't set out to ignore Owen at first; I even wrote a mental letter so when I did see him I could spill the beans. But as the days went by and I kept my silence, the idea seemed much better than the truth. Yes, I'm a liar. Yes, judge me. But when I feel everyone slipping away from me, it's the only good thing I know how to do-well, not exactly good. More like I-can't-think-of-anything-to-do-so-I'll-shut-myself-out-for-the-better type of thing. Once again though, I am proved wrong, and this time the silence may have cost me more than some friends. In the days that followed our tiff Owen had spent more time with Rolly and hardly ever looked at me, let alone speak. I had tried on the few occasions to talk to him, but since he was already pissed with me he hadn't wanted to hear it. I hadn't broken down throughout the silence, though. No, that came later when I felt I could no longer manage any more pain that what I was bearing. So here I am, on a Saturday afternoon, crying my eyes out and confessing everything to Teresa. I hadn't actually cut to the chase, though, now when I look back; the cause of our fall-out seems childish. It is childish.

"Shh Annabel, I'm sure what you have done isn't as bad as you think. Owen is an angry person, he always has been. The whole situation is probably just blown out of proportion" she was saying, as her hand subconsciously stroked down the locks of my blonde hair. I sobbed harder at her consoling words, soaking her sweater with my salty-and guilty- tears.

"He hates me!" I wailed into her chest as her hand yet again fell down my head and onto the strands that lay on my shoulders. "I'm sure he doesn't, sweetie" She replied back to my statement, which probably sounded more like it had come out of a mad-man's mouth, rather than Annabel Greene's.

"No, no. You don't understand, Teresa" I began, rubbing my eyes frantically with the back of my left hand. "I've ruined everything! It's just like last time, only I can't climb back out of the hole I've built!" Another wave of sobs washed over me.

She just stood next to the stool I was parked on, and hugged me like I was her own. Like she didn't just have Mallory as a daughter. Like I had, at some point, become part of the Armstrong family. Through my years, I looked down at the gorgeous ring perched on my left hand, fourth finger, and began to calm the tears bawling from my eyes. We've been together for four years! I thought to myself, we can't just be over. Slowly, I lifted my head and wiped my eyes with my sleeve. Maybe it was time to talk, maybe it was just the hormones talking and my silence really wasn't necessary. Before I had chance to spill the rest of my troubles to Teresa, though, the front door swung open and a twinge hit my stomach. Oh no, Owen's here! What do I do? I thought as the footsteps neared the kitchen. When I sneaked a peak, relief filled my body. It was just Mallory. I breathed a little, and fixed my hair discretely. Trying to hide the fact that I'd been crying.

"Hey" she said, her eyes filled with worry as she looked at me.

"Hi" I mumbled back, looking down at my dolly shoes. I could hear her footsteps again, and then her hand pat against my upper back. The Armstrong girls really do like to console me, I thought as she did this.

"Are you okay, Annabel?" she asked when I hadn't looked up at her. I thought about replying with the usually "Yeah, I'm fine" scenario, but what good would that do? I've already made one person angry with me for my silence, what good would it do block everyone in the dark? I should just come clean now before the spark ignites into a forest fire. So, this time I did look up at Mallory, and when her eyes shifted from worried to worried and curious, I shook my head. I saw Teresa notice that form the corner of my eye, and her mouth forming the question Mallory was also about to ask.

"What is it, Annabel?" They asked in unison. I took a deep breath, filling my lungs with fresh clean air-to go with my fresh mind that has formed just as quickly as the former. I felt Mallory clamp her hand around mine, squeezing it tightly. It probably sounds corny, but this helped me start. And I knew once I'd begin that they'd just listen.

"It happened a couple weeks ago, mine and Owen's fall-out I mean. I hadn't intentionally meant to keep silent, but I'm just so used to doing that after so long. Especially with all that had happened with Will Cash. I'm prone to the silence..." I trailed off as their mouths hung open slightly as I mentioned Will Cash. I had almost forgotten that I had not actually spoken about my incident with either of them. It was something I kept private- spoken only with Owen, Clarke and my family. I took another deep breath, now I've started there was no point stopping.

"After the days of silence, Owen began to give me the cold shoulder. I hadn't realised how much I had affected him with it. I thought I could maybe fix it in time, but we just kept falling apart. Falling deeper into this abyss, and I knew from then that I'd ruined everything!" I stopped to breathe, realising then that I has rushed through my speech. Before I began to speak again, Teresa had begun to open her mouth. She was rubbing my back again, too.

"What was with all the silence, sweetie?" She asked in her sweet motherly tone, and I knew that I had to spill the rest, right here in front of them. I braced myself for their reactions, for their speeches of how stupid I am. But if I didn't speak now, I never would. Silence just seems to live inside me.

"I wasn't feeling too good one night three weeks ago. I mean, at first it was just nausea, but then it built from there. I kept getting mood swings and always feeling weak and hungry. At first it hadn't dawned on me, but then I went to my doctor and she suggested me taking a pregnancy test. I had all the signs for it, after all" I stopped again, seeing their reactions. It was sort of funny in a way. I doubt the expected me to say that I was pregnant. I sucked more air in and began again.

"So after my appointment, I did just that. I drove to the drug store and bought three pregnancy tests-you know, to make it a fair test. Owen wasn't in so it was safe for me to take them, and when I did it proved her theory" I stopped, taking in another breath before my next part.

"I'm pregnant" I finally concluded as I watched their faces turn from confused to understanding. Mallory gasped, and I was positive she'd go into one of those 'omg' fits and start frantically hugging me, but she didn't. I think they really knew all I wanted was for them to listen.

"At first, I was overwhelmed. I mean, I've always wanted kids. Me and Owen even talked about it. But when it got to the real deal, I don't really know what I felt. I think it was the hormones for the most part; I was all ready gone about two weeks, after all. So here I was, staring at all three positive tests and bawling. And I mean one of those massive sob fests that last forever. Like the one I just had" I motioned to Teresa, who nodded back in understanding. Maybe she went through something like that in her pregnancies?

"Then I become extremely hungry, so I ran down stairs and grabbed chicken out of the refrigerator. Once I was done, my mood changed to happiness. I was happy that I was pregnant, happy that the child was Owen's, and happy that we were engaged. Mostly glad that we have stayed together" I breathed again "But when he came home from work, he was in a bad mood and the time didn't feel right to tell him. So I left it, and I guess I left it too long to speak because that's when it really went downhill. When he realised that I wasn't speaking much to him- or to anyone- he started asking questions, which irritated me so much. I mean, I was going to tell him, all I wanted was the right time. But he made it sound like I was fully avoiding him, and after that it actually seemed that way. So I kept the silence, rather than filling it. Which I thought was the best thing at the time, but now I look back and see how stupid I was. I mean, I'm here pregnant with Owen's child and we're not even talking" I signed, shifting my feet slightly "It's my fault"

As soon as I said these words, I felt Teresa's arms embrace me with so much force I could barely breathe. It was not what I was expecting to get after confessing everything to them. I thought they'd both turn to me; telling me how stupid I was for not telling him that I was pregnant right away, therefore avoiding our current situation. But that never happened. In the time that passed, all they did was console me with so much love it was overwhelming. Now all that was left was Owen. Once Teresa was done with her hug, she came to look at me right in the eye. I braced myself for some motherly advice I was sure was coming:

"Now you listen to me, Annabel" She began, a serious look upon her face "None of this your fault. It is quite understandable for a pregnant woman to feel so much emotion at one time. Truth me, I've been there twice. And as for the silence, from what happened to you in High School, even with training and time, you will never completely be able to stop the silence. In times of trouble it is the escape route you find easiest to take, without any difficult questions" She stopped, this time going back to stroking the locks of my hair subconsciously again. It felt nice, to have someone who related so well to my situation, without asking difficult questions. But most of all, it felt nice for someone else to do all the talking. "But eventually the silence catches up with you and one day you crack. Just like you have right now, and when that silence does break, everything comes crashing down. So, from a mothers point of view, and from someone who has been through similar experiences as you. I advise you to tell Owen. But not just about the pregnancy, but everything else you have just told us, too." The serious expression was no longer hanging over her face, instead an apprehensive look stood there. And that's when I knew I had truly become part of the Armstrong family. I gave her a small smile back, and nodded my head.

"Thank you, Teresa" I said, as I wiped my eyes. She just nodded knowing there was no need for me to go any further. "Now," She said enthusiastically, throwing her hands up in the air. "I think congratulations are in order. My beautiful soon-to-be-daughter-in-law is pregnant!" She beamed as another hug was planted on me. I grinned at the words, but not completely at ease knowing that I still needed to tell Owen...that's when I heard his footsteps.