With five new guys in school practically drooling over her, Queen Bee Cassidy has her pick. But will it be more of a challenge than she expected it to be? And will getting closer to these guys reveal secrets about Cassidy that nobody else had a clue about, not even best friend Kim?


3. Remember

[Three Years Earlier]


The clock ticked by slowly, every single second dragging on for an uncomfortable eternity. The sound of ticking echoed around the quiet room, creating an eerie and uneasy feeling, it was as though someone was screaming in a library; the sound was disrupting the equilibrium that usually shrouded and engulfed the room. The ticking of the clock bounced off of every stained white wall and reverberated round and round repeatedly.


Across the room a man, perhaps in his early eighties, was crouched on the floor in a corner while clinging onto his knees as though clinging onto the last hope of life. His eyes, once a vivid green colour, were now bloodshot and sore looking from oceans of tears cried silently at the evil creatures that haunted his everyday living. In his eyes shadows flitted across walls, trying to trick him into believing that they were friendly, while in reality they were just closing in; ready for the kill. Grotesque monsters of enormous proportions skulked in a corner, growling menacingly and bearing discoloured teeth. They were savaging the bodies of his once beloved friends that had passed away a long time ago, and advancing on all of the people in the room, snarling and grinning as their black eyes glinted with greed. Family members he had once known came close to him, whispering their loving words in his ears, which gave the elder some salvation in his black pit of despair, but as the words in his ear continued they became derogatory and harsh as the demons cackled wickedly at the joy of deceiving him for long enough to get his hopes up and then bring them crashing back down. The old man trembled in fear, his eyes flitting around the room desperately, looking for salvation. But none came.


Some people twitched because of the noise; others merely glanced around in a daze. An elderly lady sitting next to a chess board was frowning intently at her game, it was as if she expected someone on the other side to make a move any time soon but there was no one there. Her skin sagged off of her frail body like it was made for someone three times as large; it covered the possible beauty that she once might have possessed. The startlingly blue eyes were fixated upon the white and black squares before her, although she seemed to be looking straight through the board to another planet altogether. The creases and lines on her face seemed to depict every hardship in her life, every struggle, and if this was true then she had faced many troubles in her long lifetime- almost too much for one human to bear. The woman’s legs were twitching and trembling violently as her imaginary board game partner was yet to respond, it was almost enough to drive a person mad just by looking at it. The woman was humming to herself quietly, an old lullaby from years ago; perhaps sang to children that had long since abandoned her for fear of seeing their mother, once so sprightly and young, growing worse in her old age. A lullaby that had comforted soothed and protected, now just a sad tune that was the only normality that had been left to cling on to. A broken melody to fit the desperation of a broken heart.


A separate man stood beside a wide window, looking out into the lush green garden space outside the front entrance, a desperate longing in his eyes. The bend of spine forced him to crouch forwards, leaning on a decayed wooden walking stick for support.  Just a little longer and she would be here. A few more moments. He knew that she had been so ill recently, not wanting to rise from her bed and barely eating more than a mouthful, or sometimes two, every few hours. Love was a strange thing. It could drive you insane and tear you apart from the ones you were closest to when problems reared their ugly heads, or it could bond you closer to that special person that you held dearest.


Just then the door of the room was opened cautiously by a red headed teenager. She entered the room with a flamboyant nature, but that stopped short after a few steps into the room, making sure not to disturb anyone as she weaved her way through the small gatherings of people. The girl looked as though she was a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car. She began shaking nervously although she forced a smile, which brought some happiness to her otherwise concerned expression and body language.  As the vibrant green eyes fixed on the man by the window, a wave of relief spread across her face. Appearing to gain composure, her smile became bigger but it did not quite reach her eyes as she approached the man, placing the cup of tea in her shaking hands down on the window ledge in front of him.


The man smiled appreciatively as he turned to thank the kind soul who had brought him this refreshment. His eyes clouded with confused as he began to look the girl up and down, before breaking into a shout that ordered her away, that he did not know who she was. The young girl burst into tears as the man ranted and raved at her, his face so close to his that she could feel his hot breath on her skin and she was showered with his spit. Slowly the red head sank onto her knees on the floor in exhaustion and anguish, as the man’s screaming subsided he looked up at his furrowed brow and expression of rage. Through her heartbroken cry the girl sobbed a sentence she never thought that she would have to say.

“Don’t you remember me, Daddy?”

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