Saturday, April 23, 2011

Snapple Apple 450 Week 48: Come Home

SnappleApple 450

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Come Home

“Nick, I swear to god you better not have thrown up in my backseat.”

“I’ll pay you back, I swear.” She heard his weak voice cough.

Cassie rolled her eyes and pulled the milk out of her backpack, drinking from the carton.

Nick sat up and looked at it. “You’ve been keeping milk in your backpack? Gross.”

She put the lid on and tossed it to Nick. “No, while you were passed out this morning I went to the store.”

He drank from it too. “Really, with what money?”

She held up her backpack and smiled slyly. “They were having a sale. Anything you need free, bring your own backpack.”

Nick crawled into the front, pulling his shirt on. “I underestimated you, Cassie.”

“Damn right you did. Now how do you plan to clean my cars interior?” She rolled the windows down so the barf smell wouldn’t linger.

He pulled out a bag of quarters. “I got these from one of the parking toll things.”

Cassie laughed. “And it looks like I underestimated you!” She turned her car on and zoomed off to a car cleaner.

Nick and Cassie sat in the waiting room for their car to be detailed and finished. They had a couple quarters and used them to get some snacks and drinks from the machine. Nick lounged across three seats, watching a boring golf channel on the small tv. Cassie sat quietly, looking out the window.

“So Cassie, what’s going on?”

She looked up from her name being called. “What?”

“What are your future plans?” Nick got bored watching tv and watched her instead.

She folded her arms across her chest and shrugged. “I dunno. I haven’t thought about it. Have you?”

He shook his head. “No…”

“Did you even tell your parents?” She whispered, wishing he’d look into her eyes, but he refused to.

“Did you?” Was all he replied, going to check on the car.

She sighed, looking at the 30 missed calls on her phone. “No…”

Last week, she found out she was pregnant, and guess who the father was? The idiot druggie she hooked up with for a night. She had been out partying and smoking, and he looked cute when she saw him, so they went back to his place for a secret party of their own. His parents were gone for the weekend, so they had it all to themselves. When Cassie went home it wasn’t long before she started to feel sick every morning. She missed her period and that’s when she started getting suspicious and bought a pregnancy test. Positive. She couldn’t tell her parents, they didn’t even know she was sexually active, let alone drinking and smoking weed. They would freak out so it was better to just run away than to tell them. Nick offered to go with her. He promised to stick around and be the father of the child. Cassie was afraid he’d ignore her and deny it was his, but he didn’t.

Now here they were, on the road to who knows where, blowing their cash on alcohol, weed, and other things they couldn’t just steal. What did the unborn child do to deserve this life it was going to be thrust into? Staring at her phone, it started to buzz again. She missed the sound of her mother’s voice, but what would she say to her? How would she explain what she was doing?

She pushed the ignore button and shoved her phone in her pocket, wiping a tear away. First thing she’d teach her child was that sex was bad. End of discussion.

“They’re finished with your car,” she heard Nick.

She stood up and walked over to him. They hadn’t really talked about what they were planning on doing yet. Cassie wanted to talk to him, but she barely knew him. She didn’t know if she said too much it might scare him away. She needed him to help her take care of the baby. She sighed and hugged him. He wrapped his arms around her and walked her to the front desk to pay.

They got the newly smelling car and were back on the road. Cassie took this opportunity to say what was on her mind. “Nick?”

He was listening to the radio, banging his head to the tune. “Yeah, what is it?”

She turned the radio down till it was background music. “What are we doing?”

He looked out the window not answering so she continued.

“We’re both not even out of high school yet and here we are running away.”

He looked over at her. “I dropped out of high school last year.”

She didn’t show any emotion as she drove. “Okay, well, it looks like I just dropped out, too. I mean we’re going to have a baby for god’s sake! We are the worst parents ever!”

“You don’t know that,” he defended.

“That’s exactly my point! We don’t know each other! We hooked up!” She yelled, trying to end it with a laugh.

He stared at her. “I didn’t have to come with you, Cassie. I could have been a douche and said ‘good luck’ and not done anything.”

Cassie’s hands tightened around the wheel. “The only reason you said you’d come is because I was leaving that small town. Everyone knows you were looking for the first way out and as soon as you heard I was taking off, you jumped aboard!”

His eyebrows knitted together. “You don’t think I did it because I have a responsibility now? We’re having a child, Cassie! A human being! It’s my fault we—“

“Whoa, what do you mean fault?! You say it like the child is a problem!” She got defensive.

“Unplanned would be the word I’m looking for actually! It’s not like I purposefully did it.”

“No it was just an accident you having unprotected sex with me, right?”

“I asked you if you took pills!”

“I was drunk and almost passed out! You took advantage of me!”

“You came home with me! Don’t put this all on my head! I don’t have to be here, you know!” He yelled angrily.

Cassie hit the brakes and glared at him. “You use that card a lot. No, you don’t have to be here. It’s in my stomach, so I’m stuck with it, but you’re free. You’ve done your part and you enjoyed it. Meanwhile I have to deal with the consequences.”

“You don’t have to deal with the consequences though! Think about it, Cassie! Just get an abortion and everything will go to the way it was before.” He tried to reason with her.

“Get out.” She stared straight ahead at the road.

“Cassie, I’m sorry.”

“Get the fuck out of my car,” she said menacingly.

He sighed, opening the car door. They were only in the next town over so he could call one of his friends to pick him up. She drove away, the door slamming shut with the jolt. He flipped her off in her rear-view mirror.
Cassie drove all day until the sun set. Her phone buzzed multiple times, but she ignored it. She just kept on driving. She pulled into an old run down motel and walked inside.

“Do you have any open rooms?” She asked the man at the desk.

“Fifty bucks.”

“But I don’t have that much,” she pulled what little cash she had left.

He stared at her hands and looked back up. “Fifty bucks, take it or take a hike.”

She put the money back in her pocket and walked back out to her car. She’d have to find a parking lot and sleep there instead. Her phone vibrated once more and she looked at it.

Slowly she opened the phone and pushed the green talk button. “H-hello?” she answered.

“Chasity! Oh thank god you’re alive!” Her mother was on the other line. “Where are you, sweetie? We’ve all been worried sick about you! I thought you were dead!” She started to cry, relieved.

Cassie felt tears roll down her face too. “Hi mom,” she whispered.

“Where are you?” She asked again.

Cassie looked around for some sign or road map. “Um…Santa Rosa, I think.”

“Oh my god, she’s in Santa Rosa! Honey, what are you doing there? Were you kidnapped?” Her mom’s voice was panicky.

“No mom, I…ran away. Um…I don’t know how to say this.” Cassie laughed nervously. “I ran away because I was afraid you would hate me…”

“Chasity, I could never hate you.” Her mother tried to explain.

“Well a couple weeks ago while you guys thought I was at a sleepover with some friends from school… I went to a party and hooked up with a guy named Nick and…” She paused, waiting to hear her mother’s voice again. When she didn’t, she finished her sentence. “I’m pregnant.”

Her mother didn’t say anything at all. Cassie started to cry, all the fear she kept inside her overflowed. “I’m sorry mom! I know I shouldn’t have run away, but I was scared and I didn’t want you to be disappointed in me. I’m so scared. I don’t want a child to come into this world the way I am. I’m a bad person and I would be a terrible mother…” she couldn’t stop crying and her mom listened silently.

She continued to cry until all her tears dried up. Finally her mother spoke with a soft tone. “Come home, Chasity.”

She wiped her eyes and listened to her mom.

“I love you. Please, come home.”

Cassie stayed up all night, driving back home. Hearing her mom say that, after knowing what she did. She still loved her and didn’t hate that she was pregnant. It was afternoon by the time Cassie pulled into the driveway of her parents’ house. Her dad was gone to work and her siblings at school. Cassie slowly walked inside and didn’t hear anything. She walked into the kitchen and saw her mom sitting at the counter, sipping a hot chocolate. She slid an extra cup over to Cassie, already made with little marshmallows in them.
“Welcome home.” Her mother said, taking a sip of the chocolate.

Cassie ran over and hugged her mom, crying. “I’m so sorry, mom!”

Her mother soothed her quietly. “Baby, you can’t change it. What’s done is done. That doesn’t mean I love you any less. I’m just glad you’re home safe. Promise you’ll never leave me again.”

Cassie nodded, burying her face in her mother’s clothes. Her mother pulled her away and smiled. “Look at the bright side. I get to be a grandmother at such a young age.”

Cassie wiped her eyes, taking the hot chocolate. “And I get to have a kid that hopefully will be nothing like me.”

Her mother laughed. “Well, you should be so lucky because my daughter gives me a heart attack on a regular basis.”