by Kate Sandford
Concentrating on blotting her tears before they could trickle down her face, Cassie tripped onto the escalator leading to the train to her new boarding school. Regaining her balance, she mumbled, “One door closes, another opens,” although recently it seemed more like ‘One door closes, another shuts’.
Her best friend’s mum had kindly organized a leaving party, but she’d felt she was looking back at her friends carrying on the life she loved – without her.
Cassie had taken loads of photos at home; they’d help her remember. She’d snapped the rose garden, where she’d fallen off her bike and acquired her first scar; the tree swing where she’d gone to escape the arguing; the gap in the hedge where she first kissed Johnny-next-door. Then she’d photographed every aspect of her bedroom for a lasting image.
Just before leaving, she’d thrown her arms around her black labrador. “Bye, Jet, I’ll miss you so much. You be good in your new home, won’t you?” His dark eyes looked up as if he understood, but his tail remained lifeless.
Damn her horrible mother. Cassie had wondered why Dad’s friend Steve had been coming round so often.
They’d told her on a wet summer’s day; she’d watched raindrops run down the windowpanes while they explained. Her whole world had been upended. Determined not to let her mother’s actions ruin her life, she’d managed just one sentence, “I’ll go to Dad’s flat in the holidays.”
Smiling, she stepped off the escalator into the unknown.