Breaking Cassie Williams
Chelsea N. Grooms
"Ok, maybe it's my fault...But then again, maybe it's not. Honestly, should I be the one blamed for my 'addiction', as you refer to it? Is it really my fault that I get all the attention? Is it my fault that guys are constantly fighting one another for me? And is it seriously wrong, that I play into it? Well, ya wanna know what I think...? HELL NO! As far as I'm concerned, I am the victim! I can't help it if all the guys want me."
While crossing her legs and folding her arms, Cassie sat back in the forest green chair. She watched intensely for Mrs. Bill's reaction. Sighing, Mrs. Bill began tapping her pen on a pad of paper. She looked up at Cassie, straight into her eyes and nodded.
"Well, Miss Williams, I can understand where you're coming from. I myself cannot lie, you are a beautiful young lady but," she lowered her voiced and leaned across her desk, "This isn't the first time this has happened Cassie."
Cassie sat back into the chair and rolled her eyes.
Mrs. Bill eyes widened. "So? So, Miss Williams, Derrick Morrison has been sent to the emergency room, because Anthony Bellows almost beat him to death in the locker room!"
"And? Your point, Mrs. Bill?"
"My point, Cassie, is that he's in a coma! These boys were best friends. Best friends! Anthony would have never hurt Derrick if you had not written him that fake 'love' letter!"
Mrs. Bill's face fell as a low giggle escaped Cassie's lips. She couldn't help herself. The look on Derrick's face when she slipped him that sweet scented pink paper was ever so amusing. But no, not as priceless as the expression of enrage on Anthony. Again, she couldn't help herself. Her and Anthony's relationship was boring, she thought flirting with his best friend would 'spice it up' a bit. She couldn't be blamed for Anthony's bad temper.
Mrs. Bill ran her wrinkled hand over her face and into her salty gray hair. "A month's detention."
Cassie jumped up from her chair, mouth agape. "Oh, hold on now Mrs. Bill! A month? Has your wrinkly ass gone crazy?"
"WATCH YOUR TONGUE AND SIT DOWN THIS INSTANCE MISS WILLIAMS!" bellowed Mrs. Bill. For a moment Cassie kept standing, staring her down... Then she hiked up her nose, sat, and adverted her eyes to the window.
"I have had it up to here with your attitude! You know, you're so lucky, because I should suspend you!"
"Then why don't you?"
"Why? Why? Cassie, my job is to help you! Help you get a future! Sending you home so you can relax for a few weeks is not helping you. It'll only damage your permanent record and put you behind on your grades."
Cassie rolled her eyes and huffed.
"You are a senior and too old for this! Why, you have the highest GPA in this whole entire school! You aresmart. I don't understand why you would want to waste all that on all these silly shenanigans you keep playing on all the guys?"
Cassie continued to look out the window.
"Miss Williams, you can't play these games forever. Hurting people emotionally for your amusement is not healthy. So, in addition to your month detention, I want to have regular meetings with you. Maybe together we can help you solve this problem, okay?"
Cassie sighed, "Whatever."
Smiling, Mrs. Bill motioned her to the door.
"I believe in you Cassie. And whatever it is that could be causing you to do this, I want to help you fix it. I'll see you next week."
Cassie stood up and walked towards the door. She watched Mrs. Bill place her records back into the filing cabinet. Before leaving, Cassie flicked off Mrs. Bill behind her back. Stupid bitch, she thought and left the guidance counselor's office.
Before leaving the main office, she straightened out her overly tight jean skirt and patted down her Guess tee. With two fingers, she slicked her bangs to the side. Flipping her mirror open she checked her face to make sure her makeup was still in place. She smiled; no signs of food in her teeth. Perfect.
Swinging her Louis Vuitton bag over her shoulder; she sauntered down the halls of Erwin Mills High. Her heels echoed in her ears. It's was towards the end of sixth period, and any second the halls would be swarming with people. Her eyes glanced up at the clock. Five…Four…Three...Two…One…Ring, ring, ring! Like a blur, Bape jackets, flays, and tons and tons of hair weave came blazing by. It was here that Cassie put on her model strut, waving to everyone who called her name. The senior hall of Erwin Mills was one gigantic bee hive, and Cassie was the queen bee.
Before she stepped outside, she slid on her Dolce and Gabana sunshades and flipped back her naturally long hair. She made her way to the parking lot. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see groups of guys checking her out. They rubbed their hands and lips together as she fiddled with her keys. As if scripted, she dropped her keys on the ground. "Oops!" Slowly she bent over to pick them up, and then gave the staggering boys a small wave. A group of nearby girls gave her a nasty look and turned away.
"Well, if that ain't a hoe, I don't know what is," said a familiar voice. Cassie lowered her shades to see her best friend walking towards her.
"Hey girl!" They gave each other European kisses and hopped in the car. Cassie pulled on her seatbelt and adjusted her rearview mirror.
"So, how was your day?" asked Denise, also pulling on her seatbelt.
"Girl, you will not believe what happened in Mrs. Bill's office today," said Cassie driving out to the main road.
"Mrs. Bills? She's still living? I know she's got to be pushing one hundred."
Cassie laughed. "Fo' real! Anyway, she gave me a month of detention-"
"For that stuff I pulled with Anthony and Derrick! She thinks I should be punished for their mess," Denise raised her eyebrow, "And to top it all off, I got to attend 'regular' meetings with her too."
Denise shook her head. "What a trick."
Cassie braced her head in one hand, "I know, right?"
Cassie pulled up into Denise's driveway. She waved goodbye and waited until Denise was in her house before leaving. She couldn't believe how Mrs. Bill was ruining her life. If Cassie wanted to stay on top of the game, she needed her weekends to appear at parties, plus the mall. There was no way she could do that, do her homework, and visit her Dad. It was way too much.
Cassie frowned when she pulled up next to her house. There was a burgundy Mercedes parked in her spot. She stopped her car beside it, and then hopped out. Tipping down her shades she looked in through the windows. The car was definitely neat and tidy…So, it must not have belonged to one of her relatives.
Confused, she walked up to her house and unlocked the door. "Hello? Mama?" There was no answer. Looking around her living room, she grimaced. Hundreds of empty vodka bottles lay spilled out all over the floor and counters. The house smelled like pure alcohol. Cassie let out a low growl. "Rosalinda? Rosalinda, where are you?"
She marched into the kitchen to find her housekeeper watching a Spanish soap opera. Rosalinda wildly laughed at the TV screen. Cassie placed her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side.
Rosalinda looked up from the counter.
"Ay, Miss Williams! Buenos Tardes! How was school?"
"Never mind that, um, Rosalinda maybe you could explain to me why there is vodka everywhere?" Cassie practically shoved a bottle into Rosalinda's face. Rosalinda raised her eyebrow, and then returned her attention back to the television.
"Oh, Miss Williams, no es importante. It's just your mother and her new man friend."
Man Friend? Blinking rapidly, Cassie slowly shook her head.
"No, no Rosalinda, if my mama had a new boyfriend, she would have told me about him and plus, my mama has been sober for almost six years—"
Before Rosalinda could answer, Ms. Williams stumbled into the kitchen. She almost tripped over heels, but a very tall, very handsome, and very dark man grabbed her by the waist. Giggling uncontrollably, Ms. Williams placed a sloppy kiss on his cheek. She swung herself around and gave Cassie a crooked grin.
"Ah, Cassie baby – hiccup- it's about time you got home -- hiccup."
Cassie grimaced at the sight of her mother. Her skirt was hiked up her thigh; while her blouse, unbuttoned, swung off her shoulder, exposing her black lace bra. Her hair was like a wild and untrimmed bush. The deep red lipstick that once filled her lips was now smudged across her caramel cheek. The bitter smell of alcohol traveled from her mouth to Cassie's nose. She winced.
"Well, ain't ya gonna give yo' mama a hug?" Ms. Williams reached out her arms and wobbled forward. She hit her thigh on the counter and fell onto the tile floor. A laugh like a hyena erupted from her. The strange man, also laughing, reached down and pulled her up by the arm. Cassie's face grew hot. She clenched her fist. Slow it down, she thought. With slow breathes she counted in her head.She looked up at her mother. This isn't happening.
The day Cassie's dad left was the day Ms. Williams lost herself. For months, she moped around the house drowning herself in bottle after bottle of any alcohol she could get her grubby little hands on. She didn't work, she didn't bathe and she didn't eat. The only thing she did was sit on the edge of her bed and stare long and hard at her reflection in the mirror. Cassie was only ten at the time. Some days, when she was doing her homework, she would hear a shriek from her mother's room and the shatter of a bottle against the wall. At night, Cassie would sleep under her pillow, because the constant sobs from her mother gave her nightmares. In the mornings, if she was lucky, she could catch a glimpse of her pale mother in the kitchen, mumbling to herself. It was then that Cassie realized she lived in a broken home, and she would be damned if she'd let it stay that way. So, for months she worked hard with her mother and enrolled her in an AA program. Then after years of psychological therapy and depression pills her mother was back to her normal self.
Cassie continued to look at her mother. After all of that hard work and suffering, she watched as it lay in vain before her. "Mother, can I talk to you in private please?" Her mother produced another unruly laugh. "Of course we can – hiccup!" Ms. Williams staggered into their living room and plopped down on the chase. Cassie sat across from her on the loveseats.
"Mama…what are you doing," Cassie asked in a low voice. Her mother took a swig from one of the bottle standing on the table.
"Celebrating – hiccup – gurl!"
"Cuz I'm gettin' married baby!" Ms. Williams flashed her hand in the air. A huge diamond rock glistened in the light. Cassie blinked twice. She started counting again. The ring on her mother's finger couldn't be real. She knew for a fact that her mother would never date a man let alone consider engagement without discussing it with her first.
"Who - what?"
"Who are you getting married to?'
Mrs. Williams smiled and motioned to the kitchen. Cassie knew it had to have been that man. She shook her head.
"Mama, who is he?"
Mrs. Williams starred at her daughter baffled.
"Baby, that's Elton! I've been dating him for almost three months- hiccup. I know I've told you about him."
Cassie bolted into the air.
"NO MAMA, YOU HAVEN'T! You haven't told me a thing about him," she started pacing around the room, "Mama, what is wrong with you?"
"What's –hiccup-- wrong baby?
"THIS! ALL OF THESE!" Cassie waved her hand at the masses of vodka bottles.
"Mama, it's been six years! Six years that we worked hard for and you've just killed it all in one day! What is the matter with you! It is one thing that you're drinking…but getting engaged to a man that I've never known about until today?!?! Are you freaking retarded?"
Ms. Williams stood up and slapped Cassie across her face.
"Don't you ever use those words with me, do you hear me? DO YOU HEAR ME?" She pushed Cassie onto the couch and pointed her finger in her face. "This is a happy time and when it's a happy time I do things that make me feel happy! I suffered more than any one could have suffered. You don't understand how it feels to have your husband leave you because he's a faggot! Do you know how I felt? Like shit, because it had to have been my fault he ended up that way. It must have been…I'm marrying Elton, and I don't give a damn about what you think! Now, Elton and I are going to New York on a vacation and to plan for the wedding –"
"Where am I supposed to go?"
"You'll be staying with your father. I've already made arrangements…Now go up stairs and pack your things. We're leaving tomorrow morning."
Ms. William slowly backed from her and stammered back towards the kitchen leaving Cassie dazed in her seat. Her lower lip began to tremble and she franticly began to shake. She absolutely could not believe what just happened. The fact that her mother, who she cared for all these years, just ruined everything in the last thrity minutes was mind blowing. Cassie slowly closed her eyes, inhaled deeply, and then went up stairs to pack.
"If she wants to screw up her life, so be it…I'm tired this," Cassie grumbled and she slammed her door shut.