Stuck Chapter 16
I stared at Freddie and Lillian, unsure of what to say.
“Somebody was following them and I sent them packing.” Said Finn, proudly, I jumped not realizing he was behind me.
I gritted my teeth together. I hated how Finn was so cool with being part of the madness. Whilst I tried not to drown within it, he swam strongly darting through the depths like a fish. I had a feeling he was a people watcher, he was smart in the way her worked things out, I'd give him that.
"Ill see you later Finn." I said motioning for him to leave. All the while i could feel Freddie's eyes on my back, watching my every move and action. I hated it. I turned to face him expecting him to look away like he had been caught but he just stared his eyebrows furrowed in question. Finn moved through us and the door shut. Lillian moved back into the cafe muttering words under her breath again.
"Why didn't you call the police?"
"What good would that do?"said Vespa dryly. I rolled my eyes.
"We thought it best not to get them involved. He's harmless anyway."
Freddie cocked his head to the side. "If you guys were ready to leave over him. He can't be that harmless."
I trotted down the stairs and gave him a hug. "We'll he's gone." I turned to stare at Vespa and Noah. "So we are not going anywhere." Noah looked at the floor guiltily “Come on, don't we have a cake to bake, for Elle' birthday?”Noah continued to eye me up and down. I guess he was checking for something. I stared at him and he lowered his gaze. Vespa strode upstairs the progress we had made completely gone. She had once again returned to moody teenager with an anger problem. I sighed and looked to Freddie. He stared at me. Noah scuttled upstairs. I rolled my eyes and walked into the kitchen. Freddie followed, still staring as if I was going to breakdown at any minute. I pulled out a large cookbook, ignoring Freddie's looks. I flicked through the pages. “Which one shall we bake?” I asked trying to fill the silence. Freddie didn't speak. I turned to him.
“Why do you always lie to me.”
I blinked. “Huh?”
Freddie walked closer, tearing the book away from me. He faced me dead on. “I can see it in your eyes.”
“I can see it in your smile.” I laughed, trying to distract. I hated the way he looked at me, pity set deep in his eyes. It was the same look some of the nurses gave me. The look Spencer gave me when he said he couldn't let me go.
“I'm not joking Cassie. I can it, you're eyes go glassy whenever you talk to me. I don't even know your last name, I barely even know where you came from.”
I stared at him. “It doesn't matter, what matters is now.” I said, my voice cracking.
“Do you not trust me or something.”
“No... it's not that I’d just rather keep my past in the past.”
“What are you ashamed of.... Nothing can make me love you as much as I already do.” He touched my face. I jerked away. I couldn't give him what he wanted.
He touched my cheek, daring me to look at him. I knew that if I did it would be so easy to tell him everything. It crossed my mind whether he would still love me knowing that I might be the girl described in Katie's story, if that didn't put him off surely the fact that I had lied would. How I could I hurt him so after all he had done for me. I wondered, he deserved the truth for his kindness and I knew I could trust him but the fear of Noah and Vespa being affected and angered by my actions made me bite my tongue.
I shrugged away from Freddie and pulled the book from his hands. He grabbed from my fingers and slammed it on the table. It made a clattering sound and I jumped away from Freddie. I had never seen him angry. His hair flopped over his eye.
"I'm not joking Cassie. This is serious, how can I be with you if I don't know anything about you."
"That didn't stop you from kissing me did it." I snapped. He grabbed my wrist lightly in his hand an held it against his cheek.
"I kissed you because I like you." He muttered. I pulled my hand away.
"If I could I would tell you but I can't." I murmured.
"You can trust me." Freddie said spinning me to face him.
I laughed nervously. "It's not you that I don't trust."
"Cassie?" Pleaded Freddie.
"Why do you keep pushing for an answer you won't get?"
Freddie's face dropped. "You had no problem sharing it with Flynn." He countered, his voice riddled with annoyance and jealousy.
"What are you insinuating Freddie?" I said, my voice in the point of breaking.
"Nothing.. It's just."
"I'm always in the dark, with you, Noah and Vespa."
I stared at him, he looked at the floor guiltily.
"I can't tell because its not my secret. I'll tell you when Vespa and Noah leave at the end of summer." I promised. Freddie looked up at me with sad eyes. I gave him a sad smile and kissed his lips softly. He wrapped his arms around my waist and held me close to him. I nestled into him. We fitted like a puzzle piece.
"Please don't leave." He whispered into my ear.
"I won't." I promised.
Freddie and I walked hand in hand down the street being annoyingly in love, not wanting to leave each other for a single moment. He pushed open the door to Elle's mother's shop, he motioned for me to walk in, I published flashing him a smile.
"Hey." I said to Elle relieved to find her at the counter.
"Hi." She said excitedly.
"We are here to talk cake, when's the party?"
"Tomorrow, it's going to be so awesome." Gushed Elle. "My mum booked me the theme park on the pier and every bodies invited. It's fancy dress as well."
"Sounds great." Said Freddie. "Any preference on cake."
"I've always wanted to try red velvet."
I flashed her a smile and began looking through the clothes as Elle and Freddie discussed decorations. I had been meaning to go clothes shopping. My dwindling wardrobe had begun to get boring and after wearing a white hospital gown for most of my life wearing something new was a thrill.
"What are you wearing?" I asked, interrupting Freddie mid cake filled speech.
Elle squealed, causing Freddie to jump and look around for an attacker of some sort. "It just arrived." She ducked under the counter and pulled a dress into view. It was surprisingly beautiful. The bodice was cream and the skirt ballerina like and the color of summer berries.
"It's lovely." I said enviously, picking out a half decent green lace dress.
"Will this do." I said placing it to my body.
"It's nice but one of friends came in and a bought it earlier." I bit my lip. None of the other dressed really suited me. Elle squealed again and Freddie jumped, as she ran into the back of the shop, he turned to me a gave me a look as if to say 'girls'. I met his look with a laugh.
"Mum said I should have a back up dress in case the real one didn't arrive. It's a one off piece so no one else will be wearing it." Said Elle from the back room, her voice muffled as if she was wrestling the clothes hidden there. She emerged with a black velvet pinafore dress. I looked at it skeptically. Elle checked it at me and ran round the store. She grabbed a white blouse and flung that at me too. It fell to the floor and Freddie and I both bent down to pick it up our heads colliding. We both looked at each other with pained expressions. Elle laughed and dashed behind the counter again. She was like an excited baby deer. I looked at Freddie and he nodded. Some girls walked into the shop and Elle tended to them as I got changed.
Freddie gave a whistle as I walked out. The girls looked my way before returning to their shopping.
"Perfect, you're all set." I got changed into my normal clothes quickly. I held the clothes out to Elle.
"I'll be back in a sec I just have to get the money."
"I've got it." Said Freddie handing Elle some notes.
"Freddie?" I said gleefully.
"You're helping me with the cake." He said taking the bag off Elle and touching my nose. I blushed and followed him out the shop. I turned to Elle and she winks at me. I went even redder.
When we got back we busied ourselves making the cake that would be enough for around fifty people. Elle wanted a red velvet cake with plain icing. The cake required so much work that even Vespa and Noah came to help whilst Lillian managed the shop. Vespa still looked annoyed but she wasn't as angry as she had been. I even caught her smiling at one point. Freddie turned up the radio and the four of us danced whilst making the various components of the cake.
With the cake sections in the oven we all sat down with a cup of tea.
Vespa took the time to look at my outfit. "I'm going to have to go shopping later." She said with a devious smile. "Is there a hairdressers round here?"
"It's not far, why?" Said Freddie, dipping a biscuit into his tea.
Vespa pulled at the ends of her long hair, "I fancy a change." She said nonchalantly.
When the cakes were baked the four of us walked to the next town, Vespa and I to the hairdressers and Noah and Freddie to buy outfits and decorations for the cake. The smell of condition and hair hit me like a bric was as we walked into the hairdressers. A girl with a plaster over her nose looked up from the leather sofa. It was Katie, her eyes still bruised from the fight. She narrowed her eyes and walked out, hitting Vespa in the shoulder.
"Give us a sec honey, just take a seat." Said one of the ladies, a comb between her teeth.
I dropped down into the seat and picked up a hair magazine. I flicked through the pages not really liking any of the styles.
"Hey girls what can we do for you." Said a lady from behind the counter her ginger hair piled into a massive ball on her head, as she spoke she shook her bangs from her face.
"Um. Whatever needs doing I suppose." I said shrugging. Vespa pushed past me to the counter.
"Can I have a cut and dye please?"
The lady smiled. "Um, ok ill put you," she pointed at me. "You can go with Amy she'll give you a trim because your ends are looking tired. And you," she pointed to Vespa, " what color." Vespa looked to me then the hairdresser, she smiled mischievously. The lady smiled too.
"Ok." She said. I lady with blue hair handed me a gown which I was told to put on backwards. She lead me too a chair and pulled my hair from underneath the gown.
"Is it your first time here?" She said combing the knots from my curls.
"Yeah." I nodded, cringing when she pulled especially hard on one area.
"We'll there's nothing to be afraid of. I'm Amelia Rose." I liked her name. Amelia seemed to roll of the tongue.
"Cassie." I said. Amelia washed my hair quickly massaging the fruity smelling potions into my 'tired' tresses. She set to work snipping and brushing, talking quickly as loudly. I mostly shrugged and nodded not knowing about who or what she was on about, some reality tv show about a bunch of rich people.
"I wish my hair was as long as yours."
She said, playing with the back, she pulled it straight and touched my back where it ended, about three quarters of the way down my back.
"It has t been cut in ten years." I said.
"Wow, that takes dedication, I have to get mine cut every other month. Good thing I work here eh." I laughed. Vespa walked over to us and fell in the chair beside me, the salon was practically empty besides and old lady having her hair permed.
Vespa looked like an astronaut of some kind with silver blobs covering her head.
"What is that?" I laughed.
"They are bleaching my hair." Said Vespa picking at her nails.
"How dirty is it?"
"It's not about it being dirty," Vespa smiled hitting me with a brush she had picked up from the desk in front. Amelia Rose laughed.
"I'm dying it blonde." I turned to her.
"Why the sudden change?"
"Because I'm fed up with who I am, I haven't changed for the last ten years, I don't want to be who I was ..." She paused before whispering " in the hospital."
"And I want a tattoo"
I rolled my eyes, "why do you want someone drawing on you."
Amelia laughed again, her fingers touching the cut in my hairline. I flinched and she apologized. A phone began to ring.
"I want a quote here." She motioned to the inside on her arm.
"What quote." I asked, Amelia apologized and went to answer the ringing phone.
"Something like "the past doesn't define the future'" I smiled
"I like it."
The was a moments silence.
"I've been thinking."
"About?." I turned to Vespa sensing nervousness in her tone.
"About what you said on the beach about the past I've been looking it up and then it was staring me right in..."
"Vespa." I interrupted. "You guys had a go at me for talking about and I told you I'd forget it and now you're bringing it up again."
"But I unders..."
I stared at her grimly, "I don't want to talk about it." I said dismissively turning away from her. She began to speak again but the lady who had been doing her hair called her over.
Amelia Rose came back over, "sounded like a serious conversation."
"Mmh." I mumbled closing my eyes and letting Amelia Rose so her thing. I was too tired to contemplate Vespa's theory. Her mood swings were confusing enough and now she wanted me to discuss our past. She had to know that that wasn't fair on me, especially after I had apologized for it.
The sound of a hair dryer woke me up. I jolted up forgetting for a second where I was. I turned frantically to find Vespa who sat chatting to the lady.. She must have felt me looking because she turned. A smile formed on her lips.
“Hey sleepy head.” She said running over. “What do you think?”
I stared at her. Her hair was much shorter and rested just upon her collar bones. The color was mysterious. It was blonde but much lighter than my tone, so light in fact it almost looked silver in the light. With her large eyes and full lips it worked really well. I looked down at my hair. It wasn't as long and the hairdresser had straightened it. I smiled too. Vespa paid the lady at the desk and after thanking her we both left.
“The boys are in the cafe, I’ll meet ya there in a half hour.” Vespa said, walking off before I had the opportunity to ask what cafe. I walked down the road and pushed open the first cafe I found. I looked around the tables, unsuccessfully. As I turned to walk out, I heard a familiar voice.
“So you've never seen any of them?”
I froze. I had thought he was gone. I spun and ran out the door. I ran and kept running. Scared that he would follow and haul me back to the hospital. I ran until I was at the end of the road, staring at another cafe. The two boys were sat inside. I rested against the wall, panting. Nobody had followed me. Part of me doubted whether he had been there in the first place. I wondered if he was just my imagination. I pushed open the door and fell into a booth with the boys. I sat with my head on the table.
“You're hair looks nice.” Said Freddie.
“Thanks.” I said with a smile, stealing his drink and taking a sip.”
After ten minutes Vespa joined us, her face filled with joy. She sat down next to us and eagerly showed off her tattoo. The word 'runaway' in a simple script across the inside of her arm. It was small but the message was powerful. The boys marveled over her hair and all the changes she had made whilst I sat back quietly, listening to their conversation. I admired Vespa's bravery wanting to change what the hospital had made her. She was strong. As for me I didn't know what to change. I liked having long blonde hair, I was too scared to get a piercing and I didn't really like tattoos. I guess I didn't really mind it, my appearance was the last connection I had to my parents and I didn't really want to go chasing that. I found myself wondering if I should try to find them or tell the police but something always stopped me. I think it was fear that nothing was left for me, if I had murdered my parents or if I hadn't. If I was to tell would I just be hauled back to that hospital, endless days of white walls and horrid food. Doing a 'community service' when I was unaware at the crime I had committed. Part of me was desperate to find out what Vespa had wanted to say but pride bit back my tongue. I thought that maybe I didn't want to know but the desire burnt.