C H A P T E R     F O U R T E E N

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      Isaac successfully dropped off Cassandra’s car. The main window to the house was right where he had to park the car but he triumphantly parked it and walked away with the keys. It was quite a walk to his house. The sun beat down on his broad shoulders and back as his feet mapped their way to his house.

      As he thought to himself he laughed out loud. People that were hanging out in their front yard looked at him weird. He noticed that he was having his own unvoiced conversation. He quickly carried on smiling to himself. His mind rummaged through a few more issues and his face became a scrawl.

      He kicked a few pebbles that were scattered across the sidewalk, letting his aggressions out before they piled up and he did something that he would regret. He was on the verge. One more push and he would lose it.

      Isaac noticed that his mother’s car was in the drive way. She was already home. “What time is it?” He wondered. He forgot to put on his watch that morning.

      He trugged up to his front door. Sweat dripped from the side of his face and forehead. He pulled his shirt up at the bottom and wiped it off. He opened the door quietly and slowly made his way in on tiptoes. So far he was doing a good job of not getting his fathers attention. He went straight to the kitchen to get a cool drink.

      “Oh, hey mom.” He spotted her at the sink washing off a plate.


      He reached for a glass in the cupboard and waited for Mr. Hanson to finish with the sink. “Did Mr. Stone. Cassandra’s father, come in today?”

      “Yep, same time, same spot.”

      Isaac filled up his cup and headed to his room. Pulling out his key, opening his door, and closing it behind him. He turned around and stopped dead in his tracks. There in his bed was Cassandra curled up in his blankets. Her eyes were closed, she was fast asleep.

      Isaac set his glass on the desk and crept up to Cassandra. He bent down to face her. There beside her on the floor was her back pack stuffed to the seams. Isaac suspected it held her next days clothes.

      He looked at her. Her beautiful olive skin and rounded face. Her almost perfect face having one scar under her lower lip from a collision with a coffee table and a poc mark above her right eye. She had a few beauty marks on her jaw line, one of them growing little peach fuzz. Her nose was quite small. Her lips were full and cherry red.

      Isaac cautiously stroked her cheek and brushed away the few hairs that obstructed her pretty face.

      “How did you get in here.” He whispered eyeing the room and stopping at the window. He noticed the window was closed but the screen was missing. “Aha.”

      He didn’t want to wake her. She looked so peaceful and innocent. Dale must have done something horrible yet again and Isaac wanted to know what but he didn’t dare wake her. He walked back over to his desk and sat down in his chair. Taking a swig from his glass he pushed his chair in with his legs. He grabbed a pencil and tapped out a beat on his desk. His head started bobbing with it and soon he was humming quietly. He heard a rustle behind him and stopped with his ditty and turned around. Cassandra was sitting up in bed watching him.

      “Don’t stop, I like it.”

      “Sorry, did I wake you?” Isaac spun his chair around.


      “I thought you were going to stay home today?” Isaac asked.

      “I changed my mind. And anyway I said I would try, and I tried.”

      “So what happened?”

      “He was totally spent. The moment I opened the car he went off on me doing it with John or something. Then when we got home he was bent because I wasn’t there in the morning.”

      “You doing it with John?” Isaac laughed.

      “Yes, me doing it with John. You know sealing the deal? The horizontal dance?”

      Isaac began to laugh harder. “I know what it means, Cass. I just found it funny. And sealing the deal? What’s with that?”

      “Anyway.” Cassandra giggled a little. “I grabbed my stuff before anything violent happened.” She lied. She was a terrible liar, especially to people she knew. She wouldn’t look the person in the eye and her face revealed the truth. She hoped Isaac wouldn’t see through her.

      “Well, that’s good. I see you used the main entrance.” Isaac pointed to the window.

      “Oh yeah, I had a heck of a time getting the screen off and then I couldn’t get it back on so its out there leaning against the house.”

      “No prob.”

      “Did you get my car all right?” Cassandra inquired.

      “Oh yeah, I did but remind me never to get a ride from John when his sister April comes.” Isaac warned.


      “That girl is so annoying. She like has the hots for me or something. She wouldn’t leave me alone.”

      It was Cassandra’s turn to laugh now. She tried to keep a straight face but she burst with laughter.

      “No, I’m serious she kept touching my hair and asking question after question.”

      “See what you do to us girls?” Cassandra murmured.

      “I know, I drive you crazy.” Isaac jumped from his chair and onto the bed on his knees. “You know you want me.” He smirked raising an eyebrow.

      Cassandra roared in laughter. “Oh, do I?” He came closer and kissed her. “Okay so maybe I do.” She kissed him. They continued on with their game of kiss tag.


      “So, how much is my parking ticket for?” Cassandra questioned Isaac.

      Isaac sat on the edge of his bed with his feet dangling to the floor. “Oh, I didn’t even look.” Isaac dug in his pant pocket and pulled out a yellow creased paper. “Its for fifty dollars.” he read it out. “I hope you have some money left over from buying me all those groceries.” He laughed.

      “Oh yeah, don’t worry about it.” Cassandra rubbed his shoulder.

      It was already dark outside. The silver moon hung above the town shinning through the cool night air. They could barely hear the crickets sing through the tightly closed, screenless, window.

      “I’ll be right back. I have to go pee.” Isaac stood up from the soft mattress.

      “Thanks for informing me.” Cassandra made a weird face at him.

      “I thought that’s what you wanted, to be informed?”

      “So I do.” Cassandra nodded. “I can stay here tonight right, I mean for sure, there’s no problem at all, no siree-bob?” Cassandra could have went on but Isaac placed his hand over her mouth. She mumbled though it.

      “No, Siree-bob.” Isaac unhanded her and ran out of the room before she could say another word.

      “Alrighty, I’ll just get dressed while you’re peeing.” Cassandra talked to herself and grabbed her night shirt out of her bag.

      She unfolded the oversized tee shirt, laying it on the bed nicely. She then walked over to the window and closed the curtains just in case there were any peeping toms. She tugged on her long sleeve top. Long sleeve shirts are what she was becoming used to, to hide the bruises from the night of the party and her fathers strong grip. She finally pulled off her top when the door flew open. She quickly turned away from the door.

      “Oh, sorry. I didn’t know you were-” Isaac stopped as he watched her dive into her night shirt.

      “Its okay.” Cassandra didn’t turn around. “I didn’t tell you I was going to change. Its my fault.” She shifted uncomfortably. It wasn’t because she was half-naked in front of him but because of what might have been showing up on her body.

      Isaac eyed her, he didn’t know what to say. “Cassandra, you wouldn’t be lying to me about today with your father, would you?” He asked.

      “What do you mean?” Cassandra cringed as she spoke keeping her back to him.

      “What I mean is..is that..where..where did all those bruises come from if you left before things got violent, Cassandra?” Isaac closed his bedroom door.

      She hated that he kept saying her name. It made her feel like he had control over her. “I’m fine.” Cassandra demanded. Her voice was full of power. She didn’t want to talk about it and she didn’t want him to know about it.

      “You can’t do this Cassandra.” Isaac snapped. “You can’t let him do this to you. He’s going to really hurt you. I can’t watch that.”

      “Then, then I’ll go somewhere else.” Cassandra grabbed her shirt and shoved it into her back pack.

      “That’s not what I meant, Cassandra.” He walked over to her. “Please stay, that’s not what I meant.” He begged. Cassandra dropped her bag on the bed. “Thank you.” He ran his hand over her head and through her hair. “I don’t like to see you like this.” He kissed the top of her head.

      Cassandra didn’t dare talk. She knew the tears would crack her voice. She knew that if she turned around and looked into Isaac’s shinning brown eyes that she would go weak and it would all show in tears. She just stood there as Isaac stood behind her eventually wrapping his arms around her and hugged her.

      After gathering herself she mumbled something Isaac didn’t understand. “What was that?” Isaac turned her around.

      Cassandra looked at her hands. “I said I’m tired. I want to go to sleep.” She sat down on the bed.

      “All right, we can do that.” Isaac threw the blanket he used the other night onto the floor with a pillow.

      Cassandra was becoming relaxed, but she knew a question was going to be thrown her way. She despised it just like she despised her fathers drunken behavior. She leaned back in Isaac’s bed as he sat on the floor.

      “What happened?” Isaac queried

      There it was, the dreaded question of the day. “I don’t feel like talking about it.” Cassandra covered herself with the thickness of the blankets.

      “So, what you really mean is that you don’t trust me with the knowledge?” Isaac became miffed. “Fine don’t tell me.” He stood up and turned off the light.

      “I trust you, Isaac. More than you’ll ever know.” She whispered.


      “I just don’t want to go through it all right now. Okay?” Cassandra tried to look at him through the dark.

      “Yeah, all right. Now get to sleep.” He walked over to her and bent down laying a kiss on her cheek.


      “Good night.”

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[Green Eggs And Hanson]

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© 1999 Alana Gustafson