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?

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4. First Day Blues.

 

Waking up with the blind up for the second day in a row was quite an annoyance. I reached over and found my phone lying lonely on the side. I looked at the date. Monday. Oh crap. I got dressed in some jeans and the closest top I could find, and ran down to find Mark serving breakfast. I remembered also that I had had no dinner or tea yesterday and I am really hungry. But that wasn’t important right now. Every other kid apart from little cutie Charley were dressed in a black and white uniform. I went up to Mark. “Hey, what am I doing about school today?” He pointed in a huff to a pile of dark clothes that were neatly folded on my chair next to Liam. I grabbed them and nicked a piece of toast on my way out of the kitchen and up to my room. I spread the clothes out on my bed and found that I was being made to wear one of those short all too revealing miniskirts, tights, white blouse, yellow tie and black ladies blazer. Urgh. All in black, except from the blouse. Reluctantly I redressed myself and styled my raven black hair, whilst slapping foundation over my tired face. I grabbed my shoulder bag and headed back down the stairs. There I found Ash waiting for me. Liam was nowhere in sight, which was expected. Me and Ash opened the wooden doors of Willow House and walked over the pebbly drive. I had no idea, where or what I was going to, all I knew is I should have Ash by my side.

I walked up onto a high school grounds. It was dreary and big, but I only had my 11th year to do. Ash lead me to the most refurbished area of the school and put his feet up on the table. There sat some ever trendy converse, so how did he get away with them, whilst I have to wear so un-cool flats? No sooner had we sat down did the bell ring, kick starting the day. Ash sighed, picked up his bag and lead me once again to the office so I could pick up my timetable. I scanned the paper and followed Ash to first period. Art. Not so bad, right?

 

The art block held three separate rooms filled with art tools, pastels paints, traditional blackboards, the whole deal. I took a seat next to Ash and watched as our teacher entered the classroom. She was old and looked really unwell. She coughed and sniffled as she sat at her desk. She motioned for us to continue the work we had started before the weekend; however, I had no work to work on. I fidgeted in my seat and was about to ask the teacher what to do when she started having a real bad coughing fit. A teacher from the other class looked in and escorted the lady out and told us exactly the same. Carry on your work. But with no teacher there, who could stop the trouble. I pulled out my notebook and began doodling. But behind me on the other desks, boys were clattering around. I looked back and saw a skin head boy chuck a paint pot at an unsuspecting girl half way across the room. She screamed of course as it hit her pristine outfit. Then the war broke out, everyone was chucking things, staining clothing and being total brats. These were year 11’s! Liam was having a scrap with the skin head boy from before. Only, Liam wasn’t winning, which seemed wrong somehow. The other boy had him pinned down to a messy desk in the middle of the battle. I strode up, but Ash’s hand pulled me back. “No, Cassie, don’t get involved, he can fight his own fights.” I plucked his hand from my shoulder. “Yeah, and I can fight my own. Don’t worry Ash, I’m tough as nails.” I smirked at my own comment as I carried on my stride to the table where the commotion was going on. The skin head boy looked me over as I approached. “Yeah, what?” He sounded like a total idiot. I pulled a face, a lot like Molly’s last night and smacked him full on in the face busting his nose. God I was violent. He pulled back and ran off with his groupies following him. I offered my hand to Liam and he took it, sending another shiver of sparks flying up my body. “Cassie Brooks! Get yourself to BM right now!” I turned and found the bloody faced skin head and a grumpy teacher with her hands on her hips glaring at me. I lost my spark and sent myself to BM, wherever that was. “You too Liam Davenport! And don’t think you can weasel your way out of this one Ash Grangefield, you’re usually the wing man in all this.” Who would know I’d learn surnames this way.

“This way, and through those double doors at the end.” Liam directed us to BM, which apparently stands for Behaviour Management. Ash just hung his head and followed us, trailing behind. As we neared BM I slowed down to his speed. “Ash, what’s up?” He looked up at me, and I hoped he saw the concern on my face. “I’m just sick of people thinking I’m always linked to him, I’m always in trouble when I’m not.” Liam seemed to overhear. “Well I’m sorry if we were connected as mates, I’m sorry for having the best time of my life! God Ash, we were in it together and now it seems like it’s just me against the world, well I might have Cassie with me.” He winked at me and I smiled instinctively. Ash hung his head lower and murmured; “I told you, part of the gang...” I sped up slightly as we passed through the doors of BM. A gruff looking man in his 70’s sent us through into a small room with a large oval shaped table in the middle and a teacher who was as worn out as he looked. The older man followed us in and I was beginning to get nervous. We all sat together, but Ash kept his distance from Liam, unfortunately I was in the middle of them all.

“Connor Davison has been reported with an injury just now and apparently Miss Brooks, it was by your hand.” The worn out man was starting an investigation that would be easily solved. “Yes sir, that is true, but you must take into account the matters of why, I took this action.” Liam smirked, loudly. “Where did that come from?” I smacked him under the table, and shut him up. “You are quite right Miss Brooks. So what did exactly happen?” I took in a deep breath and turned the geek within me on full blast. “Well, we were all in art class, and Miss had to leave because of an extremely bad cough. Whilst we were unsupervised, Connor is it? Yeah Connor started a mess across the whole class, paint and everything flying everywhere. I don’t how it happened but then Liam was pinned down to a table and being threatened by Connor and so I stood in and sorted it out. Ash was not part of it sir. It was my fault not his, or even Liam’s.” I had to sneak in that it wasn’t their fault, because it wasn’t really. Ash smiled at me and I smiled back. It’s all I could do. “Well then, I’m dropping the offences, you can go on your way. All of you.” I felt the weight of guilt shift off my back. Ash got out of BM as quick as he could; I strolled out, extremely tired and hungry. I rubbed my tummy aimlessly as I waited for Liam; he came out and walked me to science as the second period bell rang. “Hey Cassie, thanks for getting us all out of there. Looks like we’re even.” I beamed at him. “No worries, but since when were you keeping count?” He laughed. “It doesn’t matter. But what does matter is Ash. He’s not right with me is he? Tell me Cassie, let me help him.” I stared at him and heard Ash’s words repeating in my head. He must be wrong, Liam is not who Ash thinks he is, he’s nice and thoughtful and perfect. I sighed. “I’ll ask him, he’s sensitive right now. I think we all are.” I couldn’t resist touching his chest as we entered the bustling science block. He must have sensed the thrill I got from the sparks that flew through my body, because he clasped his hand over mine and pulled me to S6, our science classroom. I dropped his hand and found the seats free. Liam and me sat down and readied ourselves for science.

 I scanned the practical room for Ash and found him sat next to an extremely pretty girl and I instantly knew she was one of the popular girls, perfect and plastic. He looked happy. Kind of. I sent him an apologetic look and turned back to the teacher and Liam, who wasn’t paying attention. The teacher explained a practical and the way to do it and sent us off in partners to try it out ourselves. To be totally honest I wasn’t bothered how acid affects rocks, but then there’s no way out of a science lesson. I gathered the stuff and a rock and brought it back to our table, where Liam was waiting. I set up the experiment and dropped the acid on rock and wrote down the results. Liam wasn’t even bothered. “Why are you doing that?” I jumped when he interrupted my routine. “So we don’t look like we’re doing nothing.” I simply couldn’t think of a smart comment. That’s when Molly burst into the science room. She was accepted by the popular girls instantly and I nearly vomited. She stormed over to our table and slammed her arms on it sending acid everywhere, especially onto my hand. She was staring into Liam’s eyes but he wasn’t looking at her, in fact he was more bothered about my burning hand. I curled over on myself and cried silently. “Aw look, she’s upset.” Molly sniggered most unattractively. I fell to the floor and held in a scream. The teacher ran to see what had happened and forced me to a wash basin. She blasted my hand with cold water, but a large burn still remained. I couldn’t stop crying as the pain surged deeper into my hand. I felt someone holding me behind me and moving me out of science and back towards the office.

I zoned out half way there and collapsed onto the cold concrete of the school grounds. I looked up and saw Liam picking me up, holding me close to him as he carried me down to the office. He pushed his way through the office doors and came to a road block. “Young man, what are you doing?” He was stopped in his tracks by the receptionist. And dropped me in the process. I clutched my hand as he pulled me up against him. I showed the woman my hand and she phoned for an ambulance. “You had to make a big thing of it.” Liam laughed and stroked the hair away from my face as he sat me down on the reception seats. I cradled my hand and Liam craftily let his hand slide around my waist and comfort me. His touch made the pain worthwhile. An ambulance pulled into the school car park, as Liam limped me out in the wind. I let him hold my waist. It was the only thing that kept me awake and conscious. Then I was being hauled down the road into the hospital. With Liam holding my well hand and keeping me warm with his sparks of love.

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