LMM 8: What Wasn't Expected [PART 1]

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Five days had passed since the Battle of the Bands event last Saturday and end of semester finals were trying everything they could think of to dampen our good moods.

After Steve had received my text telling him that Cassie was fine with it, he called Tico and arranged to meet Friday after school to discuss the possibility of a recording contract for WashOut.

The excitment and anticipation continued to increase substantially as each day drew me closer to accomplishing my dream. It was probably because I was so absorbed with my own thoughts that I didn't notice Cassie standing next to me until after I had shut my locker door. I jumped back in surprise.

"So what's up Cas?" I said nonchalantly, as if I had known all along that she had been standing there. Cassie failed to respond and I took a good look at her instead.

Cassie was dressed in a pair of olive capris with the high-rise black converse she wore during Battle of the Bands. Her shirt was a red baseball-style raglan shirt with a large seventy-nine printed on the front in the same color. It had tattered ends that revealed a small portion of her skin. Black bracelets around her wrists clanged against one another when she moved. The whole outfit screamed that Naomi had taken it upon herself to dress Cassie again this morning, as she had every day this week.

She was leaning up against the locker next to mine and had a distraught look on her face, which prompted me to ask, "Did something happen?"

Her frown deepened even more. She sighed heavily before answering. "Naomi decided she wanted to go out and celebrate tonight, just us girls."

"Well, what's the problem?"

"She wants to go to a club."

"Oh."

I still didn't see what the issue was but it was obvious that Cassie wasn't comfortable with the idea of going clubbing. Since WashOut had preformed mostly in various clubs around the city and nearby towns, going to a club seemed far from intimidating to me. Why the thought upset Cassie so much was beyond me.

"Did you tell her you didn't want to go? Why doesn't she take Adam? I'm sure he'd go." I tried suggesting. Cassie shook her head.

"I asked her that and all she said was "I love the guy, sure, but if I ask Adam he'll bring Steve and if Steve comes all the fun will be sucked out of the room. Thus, he is a Fun Sponge. Get it?" I wasn't about to argue with her."

I burst out laughing and found myself nodding my agreement. My opinion of Naomi in that instant increased a ten-fold. Never before had I heard Steve described more accurately than that.

Then, out of nowhere, Cassie asks, "Will you come with?"

My mind blanked as I stared wide-eyed at Cassie. Go with? To a club? Cassie?

"I thought you said she wanted it to be 'just us girls'." I gestured with a sweeping motion my torso and below. "I'm sorta missing part of that criteria."

"Well, yeah, but still..." She hesitated and grew silent. After a minute I asked, "Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why do you want me to come with?"

Cassie looked away and started rubbing her arm as a nervous gesture. She hesitated before answering. "Cause Naomi is kind of...intense."

I raised an eyebrow at her. "Well, sure, but that word describes your family perfectly. How is Naomi different?"

With a set look on her face, she stated firmly, "That's different."

I decided right then to drop it.

Sighing heavily, I said, "I guess I can go. I got nothing better to do anyway, right?"

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