I groaned and rolled over, pulling the covers with me. I was in no way shape or form waking up.
Opening one eye, I was met with Nate’s big blue eyes gazing into my own. I screamed and jumped back, hitting the wall in surprise.
“Do you mind?” I yelled. He winced, but his bright smile stayed plastered to his features, shiny white teeth on full display.
“Sorry babe. Your Aunty let me in and told me I could wake you up…” His eyes wandered over my body and I pulled up the covers in defence. “I didn’t think it would be this crazy.” He pulled his gaze back to my eyes.
“I came here to, uh, apologize.” I studied him closely, last nights events coming to the front of my mind. His left eye was swollen, his knuckles bruised. When I said nothing in reply he cleared his throat and continued.
“About last night I mean. I was severely in the wrong to yell at you like that. I was just so scared he would hurt you.” I internally rolled my eyes and bit my tongue. I could take care of myself.
“I’ll stay away from him. I’d rather you than him anyway.” I fake smiled at him, hoping he didn’t notice. Although I was telling the truth – I wouldn’t want to lose Nate for anything – I didn’t feel like seeing him. And the other thing? The jerk woke me up and wanted to seriously talk with me straight away. I can’t be held responsible for anything I say before I eat breakfast.
“Do you want to grab something to eat?” he questioned. I shook my head.
“We have school next week… I need to spend some time with my Aunty. Tomorrow okay?”
“Alright then. See you tomorrow.” He gave me a light peck on the cheek and walked out of my room.
Thank-god. Sleep time for me.
“Cassidy! Get in the shower, we’re going shopping!” Aunty Steph’s voice echoed through the doorway. I groaned and walked into the bathroom. Why was it so freaking hard to have one day of rest?
I let the burning water run all over my body as I sighed in relief. Showers always helped me clear my thoughts. I thought back to all the time that I had spent with Nate. It was, of course, nothing short of amazing. The time I spent with Justin was nothing compared to the time I spent with Nate.
Now you have to actually go and tell Justin. He poured his secrets out to you last night and now you’re going to forget it for Nate? What secrets has Nate told you?
I ignored these pessimistic thoughts. Maybe Nate didn’t have any secrets. I pushed the ideas deep, deep down. Those voices meant nothing, it was the devil tempting me to make bad choices. Justin was literally the devil, literally a bad choice labeled and packaged up, gorgeously mind you. I could hear Aunt Steph yelling at me to hurry up, so I stepped out of the shower and crept into my room. I hurried to get dressed, pulling on the nicest thing I could find (overalls; not my best decision) and fixed my hair. I walked quickly to the living room only to be stopped by Aunty Steph.
“Oh good, you’re here Cassie. There’s someone here to see you.” Her tone was stiff, her smile fake. I frowned. Who could be here?
I looked over her shoulder to see the last person on my mind.
“Mom?” I was frozen in my place as a warm smile spread over my mother’s features.
“Cassidy, darling. It’s been so long, you look so different!” She walked over to me and engulfed me in a tight, bony hug. I made no attempt to hug her back, staying rigid in her arms. She stepped back, and I could have sworn I saw some hurt there. I wanted to feel bad for her, I truly did. But there was no way I was going to be able to act like nothing ever happened.
“A long time can change what I look like I suppose.”
She hesitated before speaking again, her smile almost faltering.
“Lets sit down and talk. We need to catch up.”
I glared at her. “You weren’t so interested in my life before, why start now?” I crossed my arms over my chest in an attempt to look angry before realizing that was pretty childish.
“How about we all sit down and take a breath. I’m going to make tea, behave Cassie.” I rolled my eyes but sat down anyway.
“You’re not her mother.” My mom muttered.
“She’s a better mother to me than you ever were.” I shot back.
I saw her take a deep breath before meeting my eyes.
“You’ve always been like your father, especially temper wise. However, you’re right.”
“Don’t bring him into this.”
“He misses you, Cassidy. I miss you.”
Tears begun to burn my eyes and my throat began to close up. I took a deep breathe before continuing.
“I have seen Dad since I ran away. You never made any move to see me again.”
“That was your choice entirely, don’t you dare put this on me.”
I looked at her in shock and stood up.
“No, Mom. Don't you put this on me! You never once came for me!” A sob escaped my lips and I cursed myself. I had pictured myself speaking to my mother again a thousand times but nothing could have prepared me for the burning sensation that ran through my veins and the anger ripping and tearing my throat as I screamed. “You didn’t even care while I was around! I tried so hard to please you, but nothing was good enough for you. And now, getting back with Dad after all of this? I can’t believe you.” My voice came out in chocked sobs as I stared at my mother in disgust.
“Oh, grow up Cassidy.”
“No! Don’t speak to me, not about this, not now! You missed every milestone, everything! So don’t you dare tell Aunty Steph she’s not my mother because she was there when I needed her, she was there when I needed you!”
With my vision blurred, I stumbled towards the front door and ripped it open with no intention of coming back until she was gone. I threw myself out the door and felt my head bang into something hard. I looked up to find Justin, gorgeous, dangerous Justin, staring down at me.
“So you’re really not going to tell me?” Justin’s voice floated through my mind, invading my thoughts.
Good god, does he ever shut up?
“I think the bigger question is why were you outside my apartment?” I raised an eyebrow at him. We were in Abby’s apartment as I desperately wanted to get away from my mother.
“I don’t.” He replied cooly.
“Whatever Justin – I can't believe this. I just promised Nate I would stay away from you and now I’m over here. Can’t you just get out of my life?”
I banged my head against the wall as he watched with an amused smirk.
“Sorry cutie. That would be too easy,” He pushed himself off the counter he was leaning on and walked towards me. “and besides, you can't deny you’re obsessed with me. I think I clearly remember that you bumped into me.” I stared at him in shock –was he deluded?
“Because you were standing outside my front door!”
He lifted his arms in the air as if to dismiss my comment.
“You’re in denial. You make your feelings for me quite obvious and you don’t even hide the way you check me out. While I’m very flattered, I can’t exactly say I return your feelings as I think you’re annoying and pretentious –“
“Shut up, Justin.” I snapped. He was so self absorbed and conceited. “You seem to forget that I already have a boyfriend, I don’t need you.”
“Oh trust me, I remember.” He said darkly. Just as I was about to reply rudely, we were interrupted by the front door swinging open.
“What the hell Cassie? An SOS message to make me watch you and Justin flirt?”
“No you dumb ass. She’s back.” I muttered. Abby’s eyes widened to the size of golf balls.
“Who? Who are you talking about?” Justin’s clueless whining was ignored by the both of us.
“No, no way. How…?”
“I don’t know, Abby. She was in my apartment when I got out of the shower and I’m not going back until she’s gone.”
“Is ‘she’ the one who made you cry? Why wouldn’t you tell me?” Justin asked, clenching his fists. Abby eyed him cautiously before turning her attention back to me.
“He’s joking right? You weren’t crying.”
I shot Justin a dirty look, making him shrug innocently.
“Jesus, Cass. You can’t let her get to you.”
“I haven’t seen her in almost 5 years. I was overwhelmed.”
Justin scoffed. "Overwhelmed? You were a mess."
Abby rolled her eyes and sat down at the bench, putting her head in her hands. “Just when I thought we could have a drama free day after last night’s episode, this happens.”
I nodded, agreeing silently. Everything was happening at once.
“For the record, Abs, we were not flirting.” Justin said annoyingly.
I rolled my eyes at him. “For the record, I want to know what you were doing outside my door.”
Abby cackled as Justin’s hand went straight to the back of his head, rubbing his neck nervously.
“Yeah, Justin. Why were you outside her door?” Abby smirked, pretending to look interested.
“I wanted to thank you…and your Aunt.” He mumbled.
“Oh.” I was shocked, once again, at his thoughtfulness.
“Yeah.” He replied awkwardly.
“Its okay.” I said, not knowing what else to say.
Abby rolled her eyes and got up. “So awkward.” She mumbled.
“Cassidy, what happened with your mother?”
I froze at the question that came from Justin. Should I tell him, or will he hate me even more once he knows?