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?


6. Truth Telling.


I can’t believe it. It’s unreal. Me and Liam. Liam and me? I skipped my way back to my room, all light headed and for one of the first times since arriving at Willow, I could feel happy. I danced my way into my PJ’s enjoying every minute. I giggled lightly, as I clambered into my bed. I switched off the new lamp I had unpacked and pulled the covers up to my chin. I let my mind wander as I slept. But I couldn’t sleep; I tossed and turned all night. I gave up on sleeping and pulled the covers back. I rubbed my eyes and peered into the darkness. I tapped around and found the light switch. I was blinded by the lights glow but I couldn’t wait around for my eyes to adjust. Instead I tiptoed out of my room and down the stairs. I went to the kitchen and made myself a warm cup of tea. Just what I needed. But I wasn’t the only one. I cupped the warm cup in my hands and came to sit down when I saw little Charley sat there. I nearly dropped my tea. “Oh, Charley, you scared me!” I placed the tea down and came to sit with him. He looked like he’d been crying; he clung to Freddy for all he’s worth. “What’s wrong little guy?” I ruffled his hair and he leaned on me. “I had a nightmare.” I hugged him like he was my brother and whispered softly to him. “It’s alright Charley, it’s not real. Nothing and no one’s ever going to hurt you. I promise.” This was a promise I was going to keep. He sniffled. “Let’s get you back to bed little Mr.” I took his frail little hand and left my tea on the table. I took him up the stairs and walked him all the way to his room. I tucked him in. And I had the weirdest feeling of being a mum. I wiped a tear away as thoughts of mum flowed back. We all had problems with family here. We were all the same. I kissed his head lightly as he closed his eyes to sleep and I tiptoed once again down the stairs.

I sighed as I came back into the kitchen and I actual started to feel tired. Damn body, always opposites. I sat down and this time Ash was sat there cupping my tea. I was going to have a heart attack if anyone else appeared. “Can’t sleep?” I asked him. He nodded and passed me my tea. “I’m guessing this is yours?” I smiled and sipped it, if I was a cat I’d be purring. I remembered I was in my PJ’s and I instinctively pulled down my shorts. He laughed. “Always cautious of how you look. You look fine Cassie. No need to impress, its midnight, and no one cares.” I sighed and passed him what was left of my tea. “You care.” He smiled and sipped the tea. “I don’t care how you look, you’re amazing either way.” My smile faltered. “As a friend...” He put the tea down and his smile matched mine. Faltered. “Just friends? Is that all you want to be?” He looked me in the eyes and I had to look away. I couldn’t hurt him, he was bruised enough. I had to avoid this one way or another. Fortunately someone was coming into the kitchen and conversation was going to change. Unfortunately, it was Liam.

He came in and stopped halfway to the kettle. “Making a tea?” I asked, yawning as I did so. “I’ll do it.” I continued. I got up and stretched rather unattractively, then headed to the kettle, going through the motions of tea making. I was waiting for the kettle to boil when I felt Liam behind me. He had his hands on the worktop and trapping me between his arms. He whispered in my ear and his breath made the hairs on my neck stand on end. “I do know how to make a cup of tea.” I finished the tea off and handed it to him allowing my escape. “Yeah, but I do it better.” I went back to sit with Ash, but he was already leaving. I didn’t try and stop him, I was too tired. I looked at the clock on the wall, and decided I needed a few more hours before another day of school. I looked over at Liam and then walked away, leaving him to it. I literally fell into my bed and also fell into a deep sleep. Perfect.

I slapped the alarm on my phone off and groaned. School is such a chore. I dressed myself in the uniform from yesterday and came out of my room hoping there was a large, fatty breakfast waiting me. I know I’m disgusting. I sat down next to Liam and piled almost everything onto my plate, and began eating with my eyes half closed. It’s no wonder I didn’t end up with my face in my food. I felt a hand take mine, once again, hidden under the table. I looked up at Liam and found him smiling down at me. I’d give anything to just let him hold me and let me fall sleep. But this is real life, no fantasy. And in real life, everything is against you. Just one day is a war to fight against the world. I wiped my chops and got up forgetting about Liam’s hand, which pulled me back accidently. Thank God Molly had already left. I wiggled my hand out of Liam’s and took my plate to the sink. No one saw, I don’t think. Well maybe Charley, who was smiling happily up at me. “See you later Charley. Is Freddy alright?” He nodded and made Freddy nod too. I smiled and headed back up stairs and went through the routine of getting my makeup on. My short, bob styled hair always looked back combed with its sticking up bits. I styled them anxious of time and skipped back down stairs. Molly barged past me. “Move, move, coming through!” She was such a pain. She smiled at Liam as if to say she was ready. “What? Aren’t you going to school Molly?” He was being sarcastic with her; I’m guessing the poor soul had to walk with her normally. She pulled the most unattractive faces and shimmied off. I came up to Liam slowly, giving Molly some distance and finally we set off for school. I looked back and saw Ash come out. He made a small smile at me. But I worried about him, he was all alone. Just like I had been.

We arrived at school just before the bell and I hurried my way to Art. The teacher was still off but they’d finally solved a substitute for her. Art seemed to fly by, and we didn’t actually get to do any practical work, but I wasn’t focusing I was staring into space. Ash was sat beside me and he seemed quieter than usual, much quieter. Molly had ended up managing to get to this lesson and had got a seat next to Liam. My Liam. I still wasn’t used to that. With the second period bell ringing in my ears I walked my way to science with Liam and Ash, Molly was tagging along unfortunately, meaning I couldn’t do or say anything with her eyes and ears in close range. We made it to S6 and sat in the same seats; Ash seemed happier to sit there and was flirting with the plastic sat there. It made me jealous. Wait, What? I’m with Liam why should I be jealous. He caught me looking over at him and he reframed from flirting with her. Now I just felt like a total jerk. Liam was sat really close and I could feel his leg against mine. It made me smile how he had his ways of doing just that. Making me smile. I hadn’t smiled in a while, and it felt good. Again we did a practical with rocks as I had disrupted the one yesterday. Molly had no intentions of hurting me with acid today. That was good. Liam kept sneaking little touches and hand holds where he could. But he was holding back. That’s my fault. I didn’t want anyone to know. Not just yet anyway.

After science we had a break, and I welcomed it with open arms. I found an empty seat in the newly discovered dinner hall and Liam came in next to me. He slid his arm around my waist and pulled me closer than the chair would allow. I let my head fall onto his chest.  I listened absently to his breathing as he caressed my hair gently. It felt good to lay there and recharge my defueled body. It sounds pathetic movie girl, but I needed him. If I hadn’t had Liam I would have collapsed and died ages ago. But this haven was all too short. Soon the bell rang and we had our next lesson which I didn’t even know. I searched my blazer pocket and dug out my timetable. P.E. Oh no.

I left Liam and Ash and headed for the lower gym, where I was doing cross country not good. Unfortunately, I had not come prepared and had to borrow spare kit. Urgh, other girls had sweated in this. I shook my head and stripped my itchy tights off, hurrying to get dressed. Okay, I didn’t hate my body but it wasn’t as nice as some other girls’ flat bellies so I didn’t really enjoy getting unchanged in front of them. I tied the overly baggy and unattractive P.E top with a bobble and rubbed my cold arms. We were shown the course and shoed outside. Then we were off. I sprinted, sort of, off the line and onto the mud track; I peered at the ground ahead and checked for dog poop. No sooner had I come off the mud track and onto the public path had I become out of breath. I looked over the other side of the road to see the boys taking a different path. I smiled at the fact how they had to do double the miles we had to do. As I jogged on I saw ever so perfect Molly and her plastic friends in front. I kept my distance. Knowing Molly, she’d push me onto the road and get me run over, or something insane like that. We rounded the corner and I saw a massive hill waiting. I jogged up it and lost sight of the plastics. It seemed like forever till I saw the school and the entrance to the mud track. Then I was through the gates and up to the last sprint. Molly and her gang weren’t even trying. I ran down the grass and sped past them, claiming first place. And oh God did it feel good. Molly was not pleased, but she didn’t say a word, nor did she hit me in anyway shape or form. I walked my way into the changing rooms and got myself changed, whilst trying to slow my breathing down. My chest hurt but it wasn’t as bad as before. Once I was dressed, I decided to sort my hair out. I occupied the only mirror and that was too much for Molly.


“Get out of the mirror freak.” I had just finished styling my already messy hair, when Molly had found me at the mirror. I sprayed my hair with my hairspray and squirted some at her face as I left the mirror. She was shouting and cursing the whole time, but I had no interest in her babble. I shoved the strap of my bag over my shoulder and left the girls changing rooms as fast as I could. The bell rang and I nearly went to forth period, then I remembered the run for year 11’s. Their dinner was after third period. So I changed my course and headed for the dinner hall.

I found Ash, Liam and Teresa all sat at a large table in the centre of the dining hall. I guessed Corey was too young to share our year’s dinner. I uncomfortably slid my way in next to Liam and smiled up at him. My face was stilled flushed and I could almost feel the sweat waiting to fall. Err. Liam secretively wrapped his arm around my waist and I relaxed at his touch. But I was tired of hiding. Yeah I’d probably end up with shit from Molly, but who cared? I loved Liam and he seemed to love me, I linked my hand with his and pulled them up onto the table, still holding on to each other. He relaxed his hand instinctively, but I held on and carried on as if nothing was different. I looked at the size of the queue, and found I wouldn’t be able to pull a quick escape, unless I wanted to be trapped in an hour wasting line. When I turned my attention back to the rest of the table, our whole group was silent, staring out our hands. Liam shifted nervously, and awaited the chain of questions to come. I was sick and tired of being afraid of what others might say, so I sat up, strong and prompted them with my eyes. Teresa looked like she was going to explode. “You two? What? How? When? You are dead.” I wasn’t expecting that. I sucked in a deep breath. “Just recently, but it’s kinda none of your business.” I tightened my clutch and Liam squeezed back. Ash looked like he was going to be sick, or even cry. He had gone the ghastly white pale colour. Without a word, he stood up and left the table. I looked after him, but he wasn’t going to come back. Teresa crossed her arms and looked anywhere but at us. Great, I’d ruined everything. Once again.

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