Cadenza refused to hug both her Mother or Father as they stood awkwardly on the gritty gravel. She rolled a large stone underneath her foot, moving it over the other little pebbles. The crunch that it made was oddly satisfying.
"Caddy, you'll be okay won't you?" Her Dad took a step forward, placing one hand on her shoulder, a kind smile rising on his face. His eyes shone with anxiety but his mouth glowed with hope.
"Yeah," she muttered, kicking the stone away, watching it bounce and rest amongst other pebbles. Her eyes refused to look away from the floor in hope to avoid the disappointed gaze of her Mother. The only thing she was looking forward to about the place was getting away from her. Constant moans, tiny issues, miniscule problems, would all soon disappear. Only for sixty days, but that was enough.
"Do you have your IPhone 5S White Cover?" Cadenza tapped her pocket, knocking sharply on the cover of her phone, letting her nail create a sort of hollow effect.
"You don't have to say the full name Mum."
"I want to remind you how expensive it was. You should be grateful, but all you seem to be is moody. I work hard for that young lady!" Lifting her eyes, Cadenza met her piercing glare. Her Mother's eyes were the same hazel as Oakley's, expect hers were somehow stricter and more menacing. They seemed to dig past her flaws, past her sadness, and burrow down to her anger. The fuel for the fire that burnt Cadenza's heart with fury and a slight smoke of guilt.
"I know, I know." She tried to dismiss the anger, tip water over the fire, quench the flames. But all she did was let the fire blaze brighter and higher.
"For goodness sake Cadenza! We're not going to see you for sixty whole days and you won't give us a hug let alone a kiss. You're dismissing all conversation! What is wrong with you?" Her voice broke with a frightening snap and a slight waterfall begun to gather on the edge of Cadenza's eyes.
"You wanna know what's wrong, huh? Huh? I'm messed up Mum!"
"You're not messed up, you're-"
"Slightly damaged. Yeah, yeah, I get it. The thing is Mum, it's exactly the same thing. I bet on the inside, you're messed up too. Oakley's gone and we can't get him back. We've all lost puzzle pieces and we won't ever find that piece again. Ever." It pained Cadenza to say that, like a punch of hurt and guilt. But to her Mother it seems a full blow.
"You know what, go. Go to this place and try to fix yourself. I don't want you to come back to the house until you're my old daughter. I'm sick and tired of you acting like this and blaming yourself. Grow up, get better and then maybe when you aren't so, in your words, messed up, then I'll see you again. This isn't my daughter anymore, this is some crazy Cadenza that I don't like." Her face was bitter and filled with a mix of hatred and love. Two contrasting things yet they seemed so alike.
"Caddy-" Her Dad started, stepping forward, hand outstretched to pull her into a hug. Cadenza stepped back, toe to heel, further away from her parents. She was scared of the fire from her Mother and the gentleness from her Dad.
"Cadenza, before you go, you should know that it wasn't your fault. What happened to Oakley could have happened to anyone."
"But it happened to him Mum."
"I get that. I get that."
"No you don't!" screeched Cadenza, head tipped back, voice ripping through the air. Her pitch shot higher and she jammed her eyes shut, trying to stop the waterfall falling. No one understood anything at all.
"Let's just go," whispered her Dad, turning her Mother away from Cadenza, and walked away to the large, silver Landrover parked on the other side. Cadenza watched her parents go, Dad's arm round her Mother's, heads ducked in low whisper. Her hands slowly curled into fists, tight balls, and her eyes shut again. But this barrier didn't seem to work again, and a single tear slid down her cheek. One small, clear drop.
An engine started in front of her, the familiar roar she heard every morning. The roar she wouldn't hear again for another sixty days. In that car with the roar, were her parents, who she wouldn't see for sixty days. Sixty days. In that moment, eyes opened again, watching the car go, Cadenza wished she would have hugged her parents.