C H A P T E R     T W E N T Y - F I V E

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      Cassandra hadn’t gone back to school yet. Linda and Helen felt it was still too early for her.

      On Thursday Cassandra and her new family sat in the living room watching the early morning cartoons. Helen was busy reading the newspaper when the phone rang. She looked to all the children who were hypnotized to the television and stood up to answer it.


      “Hi, Ms. Tingle?” A man asked.


      “This is detective Wallace. Is Miss Stone around? I would like to ask her a few questions.”

      “Do you really have to disturb her right now? The poor girl just lost her father.” Helen lowered her voice.

      “It will just take a second.”

      “All right.” Helen handed Cassandra the phone. “It’s detective Wallace.”

      “Hello?” Cassandra said into the phone.

      “Hello Miss Stone this is detective Wallace how are you feeling, any better?”

      “Yes, thank you.”

      “I’m sorry to disturb you Miss Stone but I have a few important questions to ask you.”

      “But I already told you everything I know.”

      “Yes, and you were a very big help but I have just a couple more questions. Do you own a white lace gown?”

      “No, oh well, I guess I do. My mothers wedding gown but its not mine until I get married. My father keeps it in the attic packed away.”

      “I see can you describe it for me?”

      “Lets see, I haven’t seen it since I was about eleven. It has beautiful beading around the bodice and puffy long sleeves. My dad said by the time I got married is should fit just right cause I’m just like my mother. But what does-”

      Detective Wallace cut Cassandra off before she finished her question. “The computer in you fathers study, do you know the password to it?”

      Cassandra hesitated. “No.” She lied. She did know the password. She was always courious and figured it out one day when her father was at work. Dale would have been very angry if he found out. Cassandra was just protecting herself.

      “Miss Stone you have been very helpful. I know this hasn’t been easy for you and I will speak to you soon. Thank you for your time.” Wallace hung the phone up before Cassandra had a chance to say anything.

      Cassandra hung up the phone with a look of confusion on her face.

      “Who was that?” Holly asked.

      “Just some detective guy.” Cassandra answered.

      Over the two days Cassandra had been at the Tingle house the children and Helen had become her new best friends.

      “What did he want?” Brandy asked.

      “He just asked if I had a certain dress and if I knew the password to my fathers computer.” Cassandra explained.

      “How come?”

      “I don’t know he hung up before I could ask.”



       Isaac stayed home from school even though Marge told him not to. He would defiantly get in trouble from the school board. He moped in his room laying on his back on the bed. He stared up at the acoustic confetti on the ceiling. He was trying to come up with a way to find Cassandra. The drapes were pulled and the lights were off leaving the room to darkness, just like his emotions. He finally gave up and sat straight. His hands fumbled to his pockets and he pulled out Marges number.

      “Might as well.” He left his room and headed to the phone that was in the living room with his father. He father was the last person in the would he wanted to see but he dragged himself to the table close to his fathers easy chair. He picked up the phone and walked out to the room as far as the cord would let him as he fathers eyes him. Isaac ignored him and dialed the number.

       “Hello?” A man answered the phone.

       “Uh, hi, is Marge there?” Isaac queried.

       “Yes she is, May I ask who’s calling.” The man asked.

       “Its Isaac.”

       “Okay, hold on one moment.”

       Helen picked up the phone. “Isaac! What does your clock say?”

       “Um,” Isaac looked down at his wrist watch. “one thirteen.” Isaac answered.

       “Exactly, so why are you home? Your supposed to be at school.”

       “Oh.” Isaac breathed.

       “I was going to call you when you got home from school because I have some news for you but now I don’t know if I should tell you.” Marge declared.

       “I couldn’t go, sorry.” Isaac sat on the floor bringing His knees to his chest and leaning back on the wall. “What kind of news? Please tell me.”

       “Okay, as long as your sorry.” Marge liked picking on him.

       “Yes, tell me.” Isaac was already becoming impatient.

       “Okay, well-” Marge stopped talking when she heard someone yelling on the other line.

       “ISAAC!” Mr. Hanson yelled.

       “Marge can you hold on?” Isaac asked irritated.


       “What dad?” Isaac yelled back.

       “Who are you calling?” Mr. Hanson asked.

       “A friend!”

       “Well get off and get me a beer!”

       Isaac set the phone down. He went to the kitchen fetched a beer and handed it to his father. “Here.”

       “Now get off the phone.” Mr. Hanson demanded.

       “I can’t I’m talking to Cassandra’s nurse. It’s important.”

       “I don’t care who it is.” Mr. Hanson only liked to cause trouble.

       “Fine, I’ll go to a pay phone.” Isaac bellowed as he walked back to the phone. “I’m sorry Marge, I’ll have to call you back.” Isaac hung up the phone before he heard Marges reply. He stomped out of his house and down the street to the corner seven-eleven.

       “Dang it!” He cursed under his breath. He forgot that he needed change to call from a pay phone.

       “What the heck.” He picked up the phone and pressed zero making a collect call to Marge. He hoped Marge was going to answer instead of the man that did before.

       The operator dialed the number, he could hear their conversation.

       “Hello?” Marge answered.

       “This is a collect call from, please state your name.” Isaac said his name. “Do you accept the charges?” The operator finished.


       “Marge?” Isaac asked making sure they were connected.


       “Sorry I had to call you collect. I’ll pay you back. My dad wouldn’t let me use the phone.”

       “It’s not a problem Isaac.” Marge insisted.

       “Okay, so what were you going to tell me?”

       “I’m not supposed to do this and I could get in major trouble for doing it.” Marge started.

       “What did you do?”

       “Well, I called up Linda, Cassandra’s social worker, and told her I was Cassandra’s nurse and wanted to check up on her.”

       “How is she?” Isaac asked concerned.

       “She’s doing all right Isaac, but that’s not all.”

       “Good. What else?”

       “I got her address.”

       “You know where she is?!?” Isaac bellowed.

       “Yeah, I’m supposed to go and see how she’s doing. I can get in so much trouble for this.”

       “I know Marge. Thank you so very, very much. I don’t know how to thank you. What’s the address?”

       “It’s six-zero-two Dainty Avenue. It’s close to you in Tulsa. Do you know where it is?”

       “Yeah, it’s just across town.”

       “Well, get in your car and go show her your stuff. I’ll be waiting for a call, collect or not. Tell me how it went.”

       “I will, thank you!”

       “Your welcome.” Marge chuckled at his enthusiasm. “Go!”

       “Okay, I’m going.” Isaac hung up the phone implanting the address in his mind. He ran home got Cassandra’s car and headed to her foster home.

       Isaac came up to the Tingle house inspecting the exterior. He got out of the car fast and headed to the door not quit sure what he was going to say or do. Once he got the door he rang the bell with out hesitation. Soon the door was opened.

       Isaac peered down at the little boy, Brad, who stood in the threshold.

       “Um, hi.” Isaac greeted. “Can I see Cassandra?”

       Brad was pushed aside by a taller girl, Brandy. “Brad you not supposed to answer the door with out Helen.” Brandy warned him.

       Isaac stood and watched as a woman walked up behind the children placing her hands on their shoulders.

       “Can I help you?” Helen asked Isaac.

       “Yes, I believe Cassandra Stone is staying her. Can I see her?” Isaac asked politely.

       Helen smiled and nodded. “I’ll go get her for you.” Helen didn’t hear anything about Isaac from Cassandra. She didn’t know about the miss-hap between them.

       Isaac stood outside the door and waited as Helen went and got Cassandra. He become Brad and Brandy’s staring pole.


       “Cassandra, There’s someone here to see you.” Helen stepped inside of Cassandra’s room.

       “There is?” Cassandra couldn’t think of anyone that would be coming to see her.


       “Who is it?” Cassandra stood up.

       “I don’t know, I didn’t ask. It’s some young man.”

       “Isaac? But I never told him where I was. Tell him I don’t want to see him. That we already discussed this.” Cassandra sat down on the edge of her bed.

       “Okay sweetie.” Helen left to tell Isaac.

       “I’m sorry but she apparently doesn’t want to see you. She said she already discussed this issue with you.” Helen relayed Cassandra’s message.

       “Can you tell her I know, and I need to just tell her something? It’s important.” Isaac asked.

       “I’m sorry but she doesn’t want to see you. You can understand with everything that’s happened over the last week or two that she needs a little time to deal with it.” Helen stated.

       Isaac nodded. “Can you just please ask her once again?” Isaac begged.

       Helen sighed. “Of course.”

       She headed back to Cassandra’s room.

       “Sorry Cassandra but he says its important. He needs to tell you something.” Helen stood at the door waiting for a reply.

       Cassandra looked up at Helen. “I don’t want to see him anymore. Why can’t he just leave me alone?” Cassandra felt about ready to cry.

       “I’m sorry honey. I’ll go get rid of him.” Helen turned around to leave.

       “No wait.” Cassandra stood up. “Let me.” She walked passed Helen and half way to the door where she stopped and peered at Isaac.

       Helen placed her hand on Cassandra’s shoulder to comfort her and give her strength the go on. Cassandra’s stepped forward and continued to the door. Helen pulled the children away leaving the two alone in the door way.

       Isaac had forgotten just how beautiful Cassandra was even with her black eye and bruised face from the accident. He frowned at how much pain she must be going through. The both continued to stare at each other until Cassandra looked down at her hands.

       “I want you to leave. I don’t want to see you.” She spoke.

       “I know you didn’t want to see me again and I’m so sorry for everything that’s happened. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.” Isaac said.

       “Okay, now will you go?”

       “That wasn’t it.”

       Cassandra started to close the door but Isaac stopped it with his hand and foot.

       “Just five minutes. Can’t I talk to you for just five minutes?” Isaac pleaded.

       Cassandra pulled the door back open looking irritated. “All right if thats what it takes to get rid of you. Only five minutes. That’s all you get. The clock begins now.” Cassandra stepped out of the house and closed the door behind her.

       Isaac nodded his head and Cassandra lead him to the side of the yard. They took a seat on the lawn chairs that were set on the grass.

       “So...” Cassandra wondered.

       Isaac jumped right into his purpose for coming. “Cassandra, I think you father was planning on killing you and himself.”

       “What?” Cassandra was bewildered.

       “I went to your house the other day and found a dress laying on your bed with a note Dale wrote.”

       “No, I don’t believe you.” Cassandra started to stand up but Isaac grabbed her holding her lightly but keeping her in place.

       “Listen, your going to believe me. There’s more.”

       “No, you listen to me.” Cassandra pulled herself away from him. “How dare you make these things up about my father. Leave!”

       “Cassandra, I love you!”

       “Leave!” Cassandra repeated.

       “I wouldn’t lie to you.”

       Cassandra shook her head looking into Isaac’s eyes.

       “I love you!” Isaac said one last time before Cassandra took off and walked back to her porch.

       Isaac stood there for a moment. He caught a few tears rolling down his check and whipped them away quickly. He knew he could never get it through to Cassandra. He knew it was over, forever. He ran to Cassandra’s car speeding away.

       Cassandra watched as he drove off. Brandy came through the front door and joined Cassandra.

       “Who was that?” She asked.

       “My ex-boyfriend, Isaac.” Cassandra emphasized the word ex.

       “He must really love you.” Brandy gushed.



       Isaac road recklessly to Cassandra’s old house to drop off her car. He didn’t need it anymore. He felt terrible. Life was nothing without Cassandra. There was nothing to live for anymore...

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[Green Eggs And Hanson]

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© 1999 Alana Gustafson