Chasing What Could Be.

“Jump, Cassandra. I’ll catch you. I promise.” – Reese Parker.

Cassandra Barlow was tired of being thrown around like a ragdoll. So, her crazy solution? Suicide. But, when her suicide mission fails, she falls apart. She has to move to her grandmother’s with her mom and her odd little sister, Josey. she’s back in her old town, where no one knows what happened to her. She gets to start over. She reunites with her old best friends, but they’re not the same as they used to be. And then there’s Reese Parker. Her old crush, and old childhood playmate. Except this time, its not just a teasing game. He hates her. Lost in the past, Cassandra has to find a way to let go. But it’s easier said than done.

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2. One.

I sealed the last box with tape, setting it on the floor next to my purse. My room that was filled with joyous pictures, memories I couldn't bear to lose, and small trinkets I would never get rid off. All the reasons that my mom called me a hoarder. I wasn't a hoarder. I just wasn't able to let go.    

"Cassandra?" I turned away from looking out the window to see my mom standing nevously in the middle of the doorway. She was staring down at the floor, not able to look me in the eyes. Her dark brown hair was dull, and I spotted a few gray hairs. Her eyes were expressionless, unlike her usual hypnotic green. Bags drooped under her eyes, showing her lack of sleep and stress. She was losing weight quickly too, and didn't eat often anymore. I did all of this to her. She was worse then I was. Physically and emotionally. I held back tears as I responded to her. 

"Yeah?"     

"We need to get going. Dr. Leon wants to see you one last time before we leave, and I want to get to your grandmother's before dark." She said rather softly, before letting out a small sigh as she left the room. I slung my bag over my shoulder, and held the box in my weak arms as I stumbled down the staircase. I sat the box in the U-Haul that was attached to our car, and my mom came up behind me, pulling down the gate and locking it. "Would you mind getting Josey? She's still up in her room." I nodded, walking back into our house. I missed the hominess and comfort of my home. Now it was just empty. Empty and just bare. It wasn't my home anymore. Soon it would be somebody elses, hopefully someone who would appreciate it and love it, just like I did.   

The top stair creaked, vaguely reminding me of that night, a few weeks ago. How the ladder creaked when I came up it, and when Connor did. I shook my head, trying to forget the whole ordeal. Josey was sitting on the window seat, staring intently out the window, as if something was there that I couldn't see. Josey was odd for an eleven year old. She spent most of her time by herself, alone in her room, and sitting on that windowseat and drawing. She wouldn't let mom take her to get a haircut, so her hair was long and hung in her face most of the time. She didn't speak to anyone except for me. She spoke to mom occasionally, but mostly it was just a few words to me. Mom thought something was wrong with her, and took Josey to the doctors a few years back. They performed dozens of tests on her, only for everything to come back negative. Josey was perfectly fine. She just wasn't much of a talker.   

"Hey, Jo?" Josey whipped her head around to look at me, her blonde hair flying away from her face. Her blue eyes were wide as she examined me, as if I was a science experiment and she was some mad scientist.    

"Hi." she whispered softly, so softly I barely heard what she said.   

"Mom said we need to go. Okay?" Josey blinked at me, before turning back to look out the window. I heard her heave a small sigh before standing up silently and brushing past me. I knew Josey didn't want to leave her home she's known for so long. I didn't either. But it wasn't my choice.  

A few minutes later we pulled up to the old, chipped block building, with it's peeling paint and unattractive structure that didn't seem homey. You'd think with it being a therapy center it'd be a little more welcoming. But it wasn't, not even on the inside. 

Mom and Josey walked me inside, the cold atmosphere engulfing me immediately as chill bumps rose up on my skin. I had left my jacket in the car. Big mistake. The walls were a bare gray color, with meaningless paintings hung up on the wall and it's surroundings either black or white or some type of dull color that no one liked. Mrs. Kane was sitting behind the same old mahogany front desk, her being the only splash of color in the room. Her bright red hair was in crazy curls today, and she wore purple glasses today, along with her bright orange business suit. I smiled faintly, knowing this would be the last time I'd ever see Mrs. Kane. She brought light to the room. She made me laugh for the first time in awhile. And now all of that was going to disappear. And it was my fault. 

"Hello, Cassandra." Mrs. Kane smiled warmly up at me from her computer screen. She always called me by my full first name. She didn't believe in nicknames. She always said it was like concealing who you were. She said you should be proud of your name. And I was, thanks to her. 

"Hi, Mrs. Kane." I replied back, and  her smile faltered. 

"It's your last day, isn't it?" she frowned slightly, but fought to keep the smile on her face. I nodded, sighing as I stared down at the floor. It was hardwood until you reached the offices. Then it was carpet. I never understood that. Why not just make it all hardwood? 

"Well, Dr. Leon is ready for you. His other appointment cancelled, so." she kept the smile pinned on her face, but I could see the sadness stirring in her bright blue eyes. I nodded and left my mom and Josey to sit in the waiting room as I walked down towards the end of the hallway where Dr. Leon's office was. The same brown door with Dr. Leon's name printed on it stared back at me as I took a deep breath, preparing myself to enter. I hesitantly lifted up my hand, before knocking twice. 

"Come in." Dr. Leon's gruff voice called from inside, and I quietly swung the door inward, revealing Dr. Leon with his feet propped up on his desk, as usual. He smiled when he saw me, setting his feet down and leaning on his desk. 

"Ah, Cassandra. How nice to see you, for the last time."

"Wow Richard, I'm hurt. Didn't know you were so quick to get rid of me." I snapped, taking a seat in front of his desk. His smiled faded into a grim line. 

"That's Dr. Leon, Ms. Barlow," He always called me Ms. Barlow when he was upset, "And this is your last session so if you would kindly let us go off on a good note, I'd greatly appreciate it." 

"All right, Richard," I smirked halfheartedly, "What would you like to speak about today?" 

Dr. Leon rubbed his temples, before plastering the fakest smiled I've ever seen on his face. "Cassandra, I don't choose what we talk about. You talk and I listen." I gave him the same look Josey did when she examined people. Dr. Leon had wrinkle after wrinkle covering his forehead, and his hair was grayer than before. He looked old. And I don't even think he was that old. I cocked my head to the side, wondering if that was my doing. If it was my fault that I made him look old. But he had plenty of other clients that could stress him out. Or maybe they weren't reluctant to getting better and healing. Maybe they didn't fight him like I did. I don't know. Maybe I'm just over thinking. 

"I don't want to move." I said, deciding to give the poor guy a break and play along with this charade today. Dr. Leon looked taken aback by my willing to participate in something besides arguing with him. 

"Oh? And why not?" He asked, taking out his notepad, a hopeful look in his eyes. 

"I like it here. Sure, everything's changed, but I don't want to move to somewhere I've already been. At least my mother could've had some common sense and taken me to some place new." 

"What do you mean everything's changed?" Dr. Leon asked, cocking is eyebrows raising. 

"Oh come on, Richard. I know you're not that dumb. It's leaked I tried to commit suicide, and failed, thanks to Connor. My reputation is ruined. I'm a suicidal freak to them. " I scoffed, crossing my arms over my chest. 

"Well, I don't mean to be rude, but isn't it your own fault?" he murmured, his voice wavering as if he were unsure whether to ask me that. 

"I wasn't planning for it to fail. I wasn't expecting to live to see what everyone thought." I smiled grimly, and he frowned, scribbling something in his notepad. 

"But shouldn't you want to move, if they think of you like that?" Dr. Leon asked, his eyebrows furrowing as he struggled to understand. 

"Richard, that's one reason why I don't talk much. No one understands. And there is no way I can make you understand." I sighed, leaning back in my chair. I was done talking to him, and trying to explain and just getting stupid comments back from him. This is why I didn't like therapists. 

"Cassandra, I'm trying to understand. This is probably the most you've opened up to me. I'm trying, I really am." Dr. Leon ran his fingers through his hair, staring down at his notepad. 

"I'm not your client anymore, technically, Richard. You're done with me. I'm being handed off to someone else. You can stop trying to understand me." I ordered, crossing my right leg over my left. 

"Yeah. You're right. I'm just sorry I couldn't help you." Dr. Leon sighed. 

"Don't be so hard on yourself. It was partly my fault. I'm sorry I wasn't easy on you. I just don't like therapists. And this wasn't my idea, so I wanted to rebel as much as I could." I admitted, fidgeting with my hands. This was the most I've ever opened up to Dr. Leon. I bet he was happy, yet disappointed I didn't open up earlier. 

"I understand. I just hope your new therapist can get through to you. But why wait till now to open up? Even if it was just a little bit?" I bit my lip, staring up at the clock above Mr. Leon's head. Our time was up.

"Well, Richard, I figured I'd go easy on you today. Finish off on a good note, like you said. And I believe our time is up." I said, standing up and waiting for him to say I was free to leave. He stood up as well, coming around his desk to face me. 

"Well, Cassandra. At least we finished off well." he held out his hand, and I grasped it firmly, and I felt an aching in my chest. Somewhere deep down, I knew I'd miss Dr. Leon. I'd miss his prying, and his stupidity and lack of common sense. 

"Oh, and Richard?" I paused outside the door as he sat back in his chair behind his desk. 

"Yes?" He asked, his elbows leaning up on his desk. 

"I'd get some cream for those wrinkles." He smiled, and I laughed before shutting the door for the last time. 
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