By: Hazel Gower

I stopped and frowned at her. “You’re not usually invited?”

“No, my brother is. He is best friends with Stephan and Derick. They don’t want me around.”

“Why do you want to go if they don’t want you?”

Cassie looked around us and lowered her voice. “Because the Silverman brothers are HOT, and I’ve never been before cos I’m Scott’s pesky twin sister.”

“Sure, we’ll go if it means that much to you. We don’t have to do the party though. I’m not interested in the Silvermans. From what I’ve learned this week they sound like snobs.”

Cassie’s eyes became glazed and she looked far away. “Derick seems interested in you. I wish he’d look at me the way he does you.” She laughed and shook her head. “Ha, half the males at school seem into you. I think I got invited to the party because of you. My brother is driving us. He asks a lot about you. I think he likes you.” Cassie didn’t wait for me to answer, she just dragged me to the next class we had together. I only had two classes without her and they were in the afternoon.

I wasn’t sure what I would have said to Cassie. I didn’t want a relationship. I’d seen my mum go through men like toilet paper. I avoided some of those grade A arseholes by the skin of my well placed foot or any object available. Just because my mother put out for anyone with a dick, didn’t mean I did.

I had a plan and it didn’t involve a man or boy. I was going to study and graduate school, go to university and get my diploma in childcare, and then either I was going to become a kindergarten teacher or a group leader at a childcare center. I loved children. No matter what mood or how bad your day was they could always make you smile. My best friend, Jess, at the place I lived with my mother, had a little brother who was six and he was the cutest and funniest kid. He always made me laugh and was so adorable. I’d done some work experience in a childcare center and loved it. I’d come home every day feeling light and happy.

I didn’t see the wanker again. It may be because it was raining and we, Cassie and the girls she’d introduced me to, stayed inside, or because I hid in the library. I wasn’t ready to see the crazy guy again even to give him his jumper back. I kind of liked the jumper and he did give it to me. It was thick and warm.

My last period was a free one, so I told Cassie I would go home and gather some clothes and meet her at her house later. Also, I wanted to make sure grandpa had enough food made up while I was gone. Cassie told me to stay and her brother would take me home so I could get some things, but I was adamant I was fine and would see her later. Cassie was great, but not only hadn’t I told her I was only seventeen, I also didn’t want her to see how I lived. Grandpa had given me a room, but it barely fit the single bed and my clothes were still stored in two garbage bags.

The bus dropped me in front of my grandfather’s pub. There were cars and a couple of motor bikes parked out front. Walking past them, I went to the back and up the stairs to my grandpa’s apartment. Going straight to my room I emptied my school bag on my bed and went to my bags of clothes. I got out two pairs of underwear and bras, three tops, jeans, and an old baggy shirt for a nighty, I shoved them all in my bag, picked up my wallet and my phone and put them in the front pocket. Getting down on the floor I dug into the bags for something to wear, Reed Creek was colder than the city. It got the coastal breeze. I didn’t own many clothes—a couple of pair of jeans, skirts, tights and most of my tops were short sleeves. I wanted to make a good first impression on Cassie’s parents. I had a problem with shirts and blouses, I’m small, but my breasts weren’t, they have been the bane of my existence since I started growing them at twelve. I couldn’t get tops to fit. I always showed way too much cleavage. Sighing, I gave up trying to find a top that didn’t show too much and put it on.

Putting my now packed bag on the end of the bed, I went to the kitchen and rummaged through the cupboards and fridge. My apron hung on a hook at the side of the fridge, I put it on. Gathering what I needed, I started making meals for Grandpa. I knew I didn’t need to do this. He hadn’t had this before I moved in, but I liked to know I wasn’t such a burden on him. I figured if I cooked and cleaned for him, he wouldn’t get mad like my mum had told me he always was, and he might not mind as much I was staying with him until I could leave for university.

After I’d made my grandpa lasagna, a chicken pie, and chocolate slice, I cleaned up making sure I put everything back where I found it. I washed my hands and went back to my room, picking up my bag, and then left the apartment.

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