Willow House (First of a Saga)

Cassie Brooks, a girl with a background. No one wants her, no one needs her. So when she joins Willow House, what will the inmates think of their new member?


10. Conversation.


The alarm sounded. I woke in my bed. Comfy. Warm. And alongside Ash who was asleep next to me. His arm was wrapped over my waist loosely. I inched my way out of his arms and turned off my phone alarm. I dressed in my ever so itchy tights, mini skirt and other uniform. And then tiptoed out to sort my makeup and hair. For once I looked decent. I strode back into my room and found Ash coming out to get his uniform. “Hello beautiful.” He stopped and kissed me unexpectedly. I pushed him away and made my bed, because I was in that helpful sort of mood. I skipped down the stairs to be the first one awake. I helped Mark and Eleanor set the table for breakfast and sat down for my own breakfast. A ruffled and if I may say sexy looking Ash came in and sat next to me for a change. I ate quickly and bypassed the rest of the house sitting with me. I packed my bag and straightened my uniform out. In my even more broken mirror. People saw that as bad luck. I hoped I would have no more to be honest. Ash came back in and packed some sort of joggers into his bag. “Hey, we don’t have P.E today.” I grabbed his hand. He smirked. “No but we have Dance.” I looked around and found some attractive set of joggers and a loose black top, stuffed them in my bag and followed Ash downstairs.

I walked out onto the pebbly drive of Willow House and looked up at its majestic white face. I looked back to eye height and saw Ash running at me. He hit me in a real rugby tackle way. I fell to the ground. “Ow!” He was laughing his head off and I was frowning mine off. “That actually hurt!” I pulled my skirt down as I realized everyone could probably see my lovely bright red pants. He offered me his hand and I took it to get myself up, however, he didn’t let go. I tried to get out of his grasp but it took a Liam to get out. Liam strode right between us making Ash let go of my hand. “Thanks.” I muttered. I remembered my first day at Willow as we made our way along Willow Road. “Ash...” He had his hands in his pockets looking cool. “Yeah?” I made a face again. “Are you a dancer? Y’know, like... Yeah.” He shushed me. “Kinda, yes, I am. But don’t tell anyone okay?” I smiled “I knew it!” I picked up the pace as I looked at my phone screen and found we’d be late. 


Luckily, we made just before the bell. Ash directed me my way to the dance studio and he left me at the girls dance changing rooms. I reluctantly made my way into the crowded room. As you would expect, Molly and her plastics took the best hangers and anyone close was in the danger zone. I got as far away as I could from Molly and changed quickly, not letting anyone a chance to see me half naked. I walked out before any other girl and met Ash outside. He looked good in his joggers. My dance teacher stood before me. She was thin, pretty and had long flowing auburn hair. “Cassie Brooks! Welcome to year 11 dance! I’m your teacher, Miss Avian.” Miss Avian was the only teacher who had actually welcomed me since I’d arrived. I listed her as one of the nicer ones. Once all of our class were out of the changing rooms, we headed for the dance rooms. The one we went in was large and roomy, with mirrors along one wall along with a bar, I recognized from ballet films. “Right class, select a partner and warm up, then I want you to incorporate two different dance styles into one routine; this piece will be assessed as part of your final mark.” I knew I’d be partners with Ash, but I still looked around for Liam. As if reading my mind Ash replied: “Liam’s not in this class, unfortunately Molly is.” I looked to where Ash was pointing to see an over confident Molly kicking her legs in the air and doing splits completely to the ground. I had no idea how flexible she was. Now I had nothing to show for.


Ash showed me a few of his moves (with a little persuasion) and he was great. He could isolate parts of his body, body wave and dance! I don’t even know why he was so ashamed. I warmed up by doing a few stretches and practising my own splits. They weren’t as good as Molly’s but they weren’t bad. I held my hands out as I found myself stuck in the splits. “Help?” Ash looked down at me and started laughing. Really loud. I slapped his leg and he helped me up. Now everyone was looking at me. “What was that? Looks more like a beached whale than a girl doing the splits.” Molly snorted and her friends laughed along with her. I let my anger slip away, I wasn’t in the mood to hit her. But she’d get it. One day or another.


Dance passed too quickly and I found myself hurrying to get changed again. I walked out all happy then my good mood was gone. We had science. I grumbled my way out of the changing rooms on my way to the science block when I got outside and found it was raining. Great. Then Ash surprised me by ending up behind me. “Need help again?” He smiled and I could feel one coming on myself. Ash took off his coat and passed it to me. I covered my head gratefully. I was once again in a good mood to be let down, when I entered the classroom I handed Ash his coat back and I let my smile slip right off my face. I had to sit next to Liam.


I settled into my seat but didn’t look at him. I looked over at Ash instead who was still flirting with the plastic he sat next to. I sat up straight and copied the date and title into my book. I watched as Liam tapped me on the arm as I wrote. “Err, can I borrow a pen?” I looked at him then and he looked really sad, tired and sorry. I passed him the only spare I had. “Don’t let Ash get to you. I know. You and me... But don’t let him. Please?” I was going to cry. “So we’re definitely... Over.” He didn’t reply. I ferociously wiped away the tears that tried to fall. Liam started tapping his pen, getting faster and faster. He grabbed my arm. “Promise me!” I tried to pull out of his grasp, but he held me there. “Promise me Cassie! I mean it!” I tugged at my arm but he wasn’t going to let go. “Cassie! Liam! Out!” Our science teacher pointed to the door. “But-” I started to protest. “No buts, out!” I hung my head and walked out, Liam close on my heels. “Promise me Cassie Brooks. Promise to at least if not stay away from Ash, then to be careful, don’t let him take over you like that.” I kept my head hung. “It makes me sick. Seeing you with him. I hate the fact that we broke up, I hate it. And I know you do too. He’s taking advantage of the innocent girl inside of you.” I pulled a face through the cover of my hair. “If you hate it then why the hell did you leave me? Eh? I thought you loved me! I was so wrong. Just because Molly found something, that by the way isn’t true, you lost all love for me!” I was in front of him. His back to the wall. “Why can’t you see that?” I knew he could see my tears, but I didn’t care. He needed to know how I actually feel.


 It seemed like forever had passed before the bell rang for break. Subconsciously I headed for our centre table in the dining hall. I stood at the edge of the table, seeing my seat took up by none other than Molly. “Hey, what the hell she, doing here?! Get gone you skank!”  I turned on my heels and headed for another chair in the dining hall. Ash did exactly the same, went to our table, got turned away and soon enough found me. He sat in next to me. “Hey, just got rejected.” It wasn’t a question but I answered it anyway. “Sames.” I sighed. Ash was really close to me again. I’m sure I felt his hand touch my leg. “What happened with Liam?” He tried to get me to promise to never see you again... No I couldn’t say that. “Oh nothing...” Ash got even closer to me. Our whole bodies were almost completely touching. I shuffled over him, bag in tow and got out. He grabbed my arm. Softer than Liam had and came with me. I tugged my hand away but he was persistent. Liam came between us. “Please Cassie. Promise me.” He broke mine and Ash’s hold and stood in front of Ash. I looked down guilty. Liam was gone and Ash was back in view, “idiot.” I shuffled my way to the stairs and plodded up until I reached M2. Maths. My whole legs ached from just climbing the stairs and I gratefully accepted a seat. I unfortunately found that I was going to have some work with division today. Bummer. I was embarrassingly bad at Maths in general, but division was even worse. I opened up my new red book and copied the questions down; this was going to take a while.


Maths had taken too long. Of course I was the last to finish, but I didn’t care. All I wanted to do was go back to bed. I smiled a full on grin when I realized it was dinner. I dumped my bag on a table in the corner (far away from the centre table) and went to get some food. I picked up the largest slice of chocolate cake and a sandwich. I dipped in the cutlery and picked out a spoon, paid and plonked myself down in the chair next to my bag. I chewed my sandwich absently until Ash came and sat with me. He had no food, but found it ok to dip his finger in my cake. I pulled my only energy source away from his fingers. “I need that!” I finished my sandwich and twisted the spoon in my fingers. Then I acted like a total slob and wolfed down the cake. I licked my lips and pushed the plate away. “Greedy. What about me?” Ash sat back in his chair. I just rested my head against my bag and contemplated sleep. Unfortunately school had other ideas. The bell echoed in my ears, making me groan.


I entered the food technology class and sat on one of the stools after tying an apron around my waist. I felt like some old fashioned house wife. I plonked my tired body on the stool and watched the teacher explain the recipe briefly. I perked up when I found that we were making muffins. She dished out the ingredients to the class and I forced my body to cooperate. I stirred the mixture and poured it into the muffin tins, then putting them in the oven to bake. I stirred another mixture of melted chocolate for the icing. How could anyone resist a taster? I sneaked a finger into the mixture and found heaven once again. I turned round to inspect my muffins and found Liam barging past me. He had some barely equal muffin tins in his hands and was placing them into a baking tray. I backed away, but I had to check my muffins. I pushed past him slightly and pulled the tray out of the oven. Without oven gloves on. I dropped the fully risen muffins on the table and yelped when I felt the heat burn my fingers. I was so sick of being in pain. I rubbed my blistering tips against my apron and looked around sheepishly in case anyone was watching me. I found only one pair of eyes on me. Liam’s. He was watching me like a hawk, only I couldn’t distinguish what emotion played across his face. Edging my way to the sink I stood next to him and bathed my fingers in a fountain of cold water. I took in a sharp inhale of breath as the water rushed over my reddening skin. I aired them out for a while and tried to forget it, but Liam was still watching me. He put his mix into the oven and came to sit near my icing station.


I was getting a knack for swirling the icing, and was admiring my recent attempts. Although the first few hadn’t turned out how I’d wanted them. They make it look so easy on TV. Liam had joined in and I was smiling subconsciously as I watched him smother the buns in chocolate. I heard myself giggle and instantly regretted it. It made him look at me. He started laughing along with me as he looked between mine and his muffins. “What? So I can’t bake, big deal.” He was laughing whilst icing, making his hand jiggle, making the buns look worse. I came and took the piping bag from his hand, swirling the icing like I had done before. I managed to save the last few. Liam was so close to me, in a kind of behind hug, he used to give me when we had been together. I missed that. I pushed my way out of his cage and inspected my muffins. Dry and ready. I bagged them and carefully placed them in my bag, mentally reminding myself to be careful with my bag from now on. Liam was also inspecting his buns, but more my work than his shabby idea of icing. Ash had not bugged me all lesson and I was beginning to wonder if he was still in the lesson. I scanned the room aimlessly and found Ash coming back into the room, looking like he could murder someone. He had his blazer sleeves rolled up and reminded me of some scary biker. Cute, scary biker. I rolled my sleeves up and looked down at my pale arms. Liam was desperately bagging his muffins when the bell rang. I decided to wait for him, as Ash stormed out of the room. I walked with Liam for a change and found myself sensing a touch of déjà-voo. We didn’t talk, didn’t touch. Nothing. But it was better than insults. I’d cry if he called me a murderer again.


I checked my timetable and found myself in Art again. Great, another fun lesson with Connor, maybe I could beat him up again. I needed to do that. After feeling totally deflated all period four and throughout dinner, that chocolate cake had begun to work, hyping me up. I sat in the same seat as before, next to Ash and watched yet another teacher scrawl our hourly tasks do. Finding some plain paper was easy, finding a sketch pencil was harder. Fifteen minutes into the lesson I was finally ready to start drawing. Our ‘task’ this lesson was to draw a sketch from memory. I didn’t know what to sketch and found myself staring blatantly out of the window. But my hand had other ideas. Whilst I day dreamed, my pencil sketched out a dark room, lit by an untamed fire. I looked down at my sheet as I found nearly everyone, along with the teacher was staring at my work. I nearly cried, it was too familiar... “Wow, great use of shading and tone Cassie.” The teacher lifted my paper and inspected it carefully. I was grateful when the bell rang.


I speed walked my way through the sea of pupils to the gate and slowed my pace when I got past the glare of the staff on patrol. Ash jogged up alongside me, and I noticed Liam had managed to get in front of me. Liam had his head hung and it reminded me that I only had a few more days till he was leaving. Wait, how many days? He hadn’t said when he was leaving. I ran up and caught his arm. “What?” He looked at me as if he could shove a stake through my heart. “When you leaving?” I made myself stay strong even when I wanted to cry. He sighed and his eyes watered slightly. “Sunday. Before school starts on Monday.” I just realized it was Thursday. “No, that-that can’t be right, it’s already Thursday!” I bit my bottom lip anxiously; I didn’t want to lose him, I never had.

(A/N: Not sure if to put the rest up... thoughts? You guys enjoying this>? *if so how??* want more????? :) BeyondLawliet <3

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