Business as Usual

(I’m actually not so pleased with how this one panned out, but it’s Thursday therefore there will be an update.)

December 31st, 2008

The party was going to be held at Icarus’s house. His father and Virgil were going to be at business party, so the gang would have the house all to themselves.

Cassandra secured her scarf and zipped up her jacket. It was windy. She didn’t feel like having the scarf flop around and smack her in the face every minute.

She grabbed her bag, which contained a toothbrush, underwear, a new pair of socks and her writing tools. If she did actually get a chance to brush her teeth, Icarus would lend her his toothpaste.

Cassandra went down to the kitchen and gathered what she promised to bring–homemade brownies and fudge. She checked all the windows and doors and once sure they were locked, left the house with some of the lights on. Her family would likely be home after midnight, but it was best to be on the safe side.

It was cold for the afternoon, even this late in December. That was possibly the one saving grace for the day.

Cassandra arrived outside of Icarus’s door just as Seth was approaching. She noticed he was holding something in his hands and cocked her head to the side.

Seth shrugged. “Found an extra thing of paper plates when I was helping Grandpa clean up.”

“How’s that going?”

“Eh.” Seth let her go up the steps first. He knocked reached over her shoulder and knocked on the door.

It swung open, Icarus and Miro grinning, wearing cheesy paper hats and ‘2009’ glasses.

“Awesome! Now we’re just waiting on John!” Icarus jumped aside to let them in.

Cassandra kept the plastic grin. She glanced at Seth who kept his usual, cool, unreadable expression. Though these days it wasn’t exactly unreadable. In fact, it hadn’t been since September. There was always a touch of permanent irritation in his features.

Miro shut the door behind them. “You can just go put the stuff on the table if you want, Cass.”

Cassandra marched to the table and set the food down. Seth joined her in setting the plates down.

“Where’s everyone else?” Seth asked, looking around.

Icarus pointed outside.

Liridon was lounging in the hammock, and Nao and Zelde were in the hot tub.

Seth frowned. “Where’s Raphael?”

“Oh, probably in the bathroom,” Icarus said with a shrug. He gestured to the TV. “We got games. DDR’ll get set up once John’s here. Help yourself to the food!” Icarus grinned before heading outside and Miro right after him.

Cassandra looked down at the table. It was stuffed with food ranging from appetizers to dinner to dessert. She had been completely unaware to where she set the food down–fortunately it was secure on the table and didn’t crush anything.

Seth handed her a plate.

“We may as well,” He glanced outside. “I think most of them’ve forgotten about it.”

Cassandra bit her lip. Well, if Seth was going to eat then she wouldn’t be the only one. She looked back down at the food. He was right–it had barely been touched. Maybe Zelde’s wedding cookies, but not much else.

Seth went for Raphael’s carne asada and enchiladas, siding them with the potato salad Nao had brought, along with some chow mein. Cassandra shrugged and went for similar, though she opted out of the chow mein and went for less food in general. How Seth could eat so much and stay so thin worried her.

It worried everyone.

Cassandra followed him outside and took a seat on the cold pavement.

Four bites in and Cassandra felt off. She paused in mid chew and looked around.

Everything looked fine. Nao and Zelde were laughing about something, enjoying their time in the bubbling hot tub. Liridon seemed totally at peace. His eyes were shut as he swayed to the light wind in the hammock. Miro and Icarus were playing some clapping game Cassandra had taught them in elementary school.

She looked at Seth.

He felt it too.

Cassandra didn’t know how she knew. She didn’t even know why it was a mystery she knew. They had been friends for over five years now, so it made sense that she’d pick up on the little things. But he was always so hard to read. Yet here he was now, sitting right next to her, glaring at something. He still chewed his food since he was one to never waste anything, but the motions were stiff and mechanic.

She looked back down at her food.

Cassandra stood up. She went into the kitchen and grabbed the saran wrap from the counter. She heard footsteps.

“I’m not hungry either,” Seth said, setting his plate down. He leaned against the counter to wait for his turn with the saran wrap.

Cassandra said nothing. She handed the wrap when she was done. Seth put both of their plates in the fridge.

She couldn’t take it anymore. Cassandra stormed out of the kitchen, through the living room and to the outside. She’d be back, of course, and nobody was going to chase after her since she had left her stuff there.

One way or the other, Cassandra found herself at the park.

The sky had darkened and the wind had picked up.

Good.

She unzipped her jacket and let her scarf flap about in the wind. It didn’t hit her in the face as she stalked about the damp grass.

Cassandra stopped at the oak tee. The same one they had sat at together less than a week ago.

She heard crunching grass.

“I couldn’t take it either,” Seth said. He stood next to her, staring at the tree.

Cassandra huffed. “I’m pissed off.”

Seth leaned forward to get a better look at her. “Damn. You are. That’s a face I haven’t seen you wear in a while.”

Cassandra continued to glare at the tree.

Seth put a hand on her shoulder.

Her eyes widened.

“I was gonna say, a moment ago, I’m as pissed as you, but I think that might not be the case. Just know you aren’t the only one fed up with what’s happening. I want answers too.”

“I wish they didn’t act like nothing happened…”

Seth huffed. “You and me both.”

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One thought on “Business as Usual

  1. Awww, man! I didn’t understand why they were upset at all until the end, and now I am like AWWWW MAAAAN!!!! And want to give them hugs. (x_x)

    Also, I liked ‘plastic smile’ and that Cassandra taught them the game in elementary school.

    Liked by 1 person

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