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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11. Pain and Angst.

 

“Exactly. There, I’ll be out of your way now.” He had intended it to be sarcastic and mean, but it really was just a sob. “No! You can’t.” I felt my eyes burn as the tears prickled over my face. Liam looked short for words. His mouth opened and closed again. I heard Ash coming up behind us and Liam had too. He suddenly sprinted. I sprinted after him, not caring if my skirt was too short. He turned towards the park, I followed him. “Liam!” I was running close behind him. He was laughing, making him slow down. I tackled him to the ground like a pro rugby player. We were both laughing at the top of our lungs. I calmed myself, and he did too. I couldn’t look away from him. I knew I still loved him, but did he love me? “Liam.” He sat up whilst I adjusted my skirt. “Yeah?” He seemed more himself now. Cocky none the less but still more relaxed. “I don’t want you... Out of the way.” We were sat opposite each other. “Of course you do! You and Ash obviously need more space; you two will have a great time with me gone.” His cocky tone enhanced how much I wasn’t proud that Ash had taken to me like ducks to water. “But... I don’t love Ash.” I looked up at him. He came closer and I felt myself hoping. “I-I’m...” He was close enough to kiss me. I felt my heart race. He pulled away and got up to leave. I got up with him. “Wait! Liam!” He turned to me. “You coming home?” I nodded and followed him. I wanted to hold his hand. I wanted him to hold me and tell me everything’s alright. But he wouldn’t. Because he didn’t love me no more.

 

I walked up the driveway of Willow House, reading though my mental to do list. It was only when I saw Ash leaning on the front door that I remembered I had to ask him something. “Where you two been?” He crossed his arms and looked me up and down. “Nowhere, alright?” Liam barged past and slammed the door behind him. “Ash, we need to talk.” He bounced off of the door and grabbed my wrist. “Yeah. We do.” He yanked me into the house and up the stairs, bashed open my door and basically flung me onto my bed. “Hey!” Ash pinned me to my bed by my wrists. “What the hell where you thinking? Where did you go?!” I tried to get my wrists free but Ash held me tight. “Ash! Let me go! It hurts!” He just tightened his grip. “Tell me!” I was trying to force my way free when Liam appeared at my doorway. “We went to the park, is that so bad Ash?” Ash looked around surprised and found Liam waiting casually there. Ash let go and got off the bed heading towards Liam. I felt my freedom and without myself knowing I swung up and punched Ash square in the face. He cradled his face and fell to his knees. I didn’t know how I’d done it, but I had. “Oh my God, I’m so sorry! Ash?” I knelt next to him. Liam was laughing his head off. “Well done girl! Haha!” Ash groaned as he rolled over to look at me. I made my shaky hands touch his face and stroked his reddening cheek. Ash sat up looking really angry. “Ash! I didn’t mean to! I didn’t know I was going to! I am so sorry!” Ash didn’t speak; he just grabbed my throat and pulled me to my feet. He slammed me against the wall hitting all the air out of me. “A-sh.” I touched his sore face and tried to breathe. I couldn’t.  Ash came up to me, so close to kiss. His lips brushed mine gently. He laughed into me. “Let her breathe Ash, else you won’t have her no more. Simple logic.” I felt Ash’s free hand trail down my body, slowly so Liam could see and tuck it into my skirt. I tried to kick him but he held me strong. His face never left mine.

 

I looked away from Ash to Liam, pleading him with my eyes.  Ash followed my gaze. “Oh, am I not good enough for Cassie? Liam’s far more isn’t he?” I could almost feel the sarcasm in his voice. He used his hand to tip my head up, whilst still choking me. I had to look at Ash now. Yet from the corner of my eye I saw Liam plod his way towards us. “Let her go.” He said it loud enough for us both to hear. I struggled, but Ash just brought his whole body closer. “Pl-ease, A-sh.” I couldn’t speak properly with his hand round my throat. Liam pushed him, but it didn’t do much good. Ash let me go and pushed Liam to the ground. I breathed and got away from the wall. “It’s about time, I ran this place.” Ash kicked Liam in his side and made him curl in on his self. Then Ash strode out of my room, and gave me a wink as he left. I nearly threw up. I rushed to Liam and made him un-curl himself. “This is all my fault! I’m so sorry Liam. I’m sorry.” He sat up again, with a little effort and I hugged him. Tight. I felt the sparks fly up my body again as he returned the hug.

 

Liam was back on his feet in no time and I still hadn’t found out what Ash had been taken out of lesson for. But whatever it was had changed his attitude and I certainly was not going to ask him today. Liam left without another word to me. He was muffling something to himself but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. I smelt food from the kitchen and decided to have some food. I sat in my seat and waited for the food to come. It was another large spread of different foods. I tucked in gratefully. Little Charley came down and I smiled as he walked past, Freddy in hand, he came up to me. “Hello Charley how’s Freddy?” Charley looked down at Freddy and made him nod. “Freddy’s fine, but why is your neck red?” I paused and everyone looked at me, even Teresa and Corey had come to sit down and were giving me funny looks. Mark didn’t seem too impressed. I rubbed my sore neck and continued eating. Charley left me and sat in his own seat. Molly strutted in and looked me up and down. “Sun burn Cassie?” I nearly growled at her. Liam was close behind her persuading Eleanor with his charm and cocky personality to give him a larger amount of food. Liam sat in next to me with the most energy I’d seen him with in ages. He leaned in closer to me and I found Molly glowing with jealousy. “You ok?” He asked whilst eying up my neck. “Yeah, I’m fine.” Ash didn’t come down to dinner, or at least he didn’t whilst I was there. I cleaned my plate and dumped it in the sink. I went up to my room and thought of how Liam would leave. Jump out the window, Likely. Big leaving party, unlikely. Leave me alone and crying? Likely. Or was it? I didn’t know what to expect of Liam any more. But, if anything, I knew I still loved him.

 

I pulled down the battered blind and added another hole to the many peeping through. I sighed and changed into my pj’s. There was so much to find out, all over again. And the thought of losing Liam was a large part of my worries. I tucked myself into bed and awaited another day of pain and tears. Then I had a revolutionary idea. Why not miss school? I mean I was good enough at pretending I was ill. It wouldn’t be hard to twist Mark’s arm... But I’d be alone. I got up and pushed the covers back, suddenly feeling full of life. So who could I ask? Ash was in a mood and I couldn’t really ask Liam. Molly was just a no, Corey would have to have Teresa and frankly, Teresa was scary. In her own, possessive way. I sighed and came to my door, thinking over everyone again. I opened the door and found Ash stood there looking more than anxious. He was fiddling with his top and would hardly look me in the eyes. “Can I come in?” I stood aside and let him come in. He sat on my bed, then he looked at me and I could basically read the ‘sorry’ in his eyes.

 

“I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry Cassie.” Ash looked at my neck and nearly winced at the sight of it. I needed to have a look at this thing, seen as it’s such a big deal. “It’s fine.” I sat down on the bed next to him. He kept himself to himself which was a new front for him. “Ash. Don’t worry about it. I’m fine! Really! I’m not angry at you.” I’m just upset that’s all, that the guy I am undeniably in love with is leaving. I didn’t say that. It wouldn’t help matters. Ash seemed to understand. “But I hurt you Cassie. I didn’t want to hurt you. I can’t think straight anymore.” I was on the brink of tears. I shuffled closer to him and hugged him. I felt my whole self fall into him. He hugged me back, a little more than I had expected, knocking me back. I started giggling when I realized I was laying on my back. I was now comfortable and you know now what happens when I’m comfortable. “Fancy ditching a day of school with me tomorrow?” I turned to face him and for once, my uncontrollable babble had got something right. He smiled. “Sure. But how you planning on bunking off a day of school?” My smile widened. “Oh, you know, the original, feeling sick.” I mimicked a tummy ache. He started laughing. “Sounds good...Your upset, because of Liam. Aren’t you?” He stuttered the sentence out at the end. My smile faded. He wasn’t smiling or frowning, sort of a poker face. “Yeah, who isn’t going to be? But Liam’s leaving. No one can do anything about it. So, I gave up trying.” He took my hand and sat up. “Cassie. Don’t try. Just forget about him. He’s not worth it.” I removed my hand. And shooed him out of my room. I then went to sleep, with a sleep filled day ahead.

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