The Writers Voice
In Her Eyes - Part Three
Nicole Starleigh Yeager
The house was quiet... almost too quiet, Cassie thought. Jesse helped her pack a few things into her bag, but warned her not to speak. She didn't dare question him. Jesse knew what he was doing, she trusted him enough for that. She knew she would get instructions later.
She grabbed her purse and all the cash she had in her room, two clean outfits, pajamas and enough undergarments for a week. She snuck into the bathroom and grabbed her toothbrush, contact solution and the tube of toothpaste. She swiped the extra bottle of shampoo and conditioner her mom had in the closet and a bar of soap from the medicine cabinet. They agreed she should pack light and could buy more clothes later.
Cassie wondered if they'd be able to track her down if she used her checkbook and ATM card, but figured that Jesse had an answer for that, too. In a moment of deja vu, Cassie and Jesse opened up the old window in Cassie's bedroom and escaped into the night. Cassie climbed back into the room after realizing she forgot some of the most important things. She grabbed the polaroid that she'd fallen asleep looking at, her cell phone, and her address book. She could hear Rusty making a ruckus from his cage in the kitchen, but hoped it wouldn't wake anyone up.
"I'll come back for you," she whispered toward him as she climbed back out the window, grabbing a sweatshirt from her bedpost by the window. They shut the window and moved around the side of the house.
"Go to the park the same way we went last summer," Jesse whispered. "I don't want anyone to see us both getting into my car, or we won't get very far."
Cassie nodded and headed around the back of the house. She could hear Jesse start the car and pull out of the driveway, then drive down the street. He'd be waiting for her when she got there. By the time she reached the park, Jesse was nearly falling asleep on the hood of his car. She startled him when she placed her hand on his arm to wake him.
"What took you so long?" he asked. "Did anybody see you?"
"Almost," she answered. "It was close, but they didn't actually see me. It was the Murphy's dog that did it. They must have had him out to go to the bathroom.
"Ok. Let's go. We're gonna crash at my house and get some sleep. It's almost two in the morning. My mom's going to get up for work soon, and she won't be home 'til this afternoon. I think John's at his friend's house. Nobody will know we're there."
"Where are we going?" she asked.
"I don't know, I thought we could figure it out when we get there." He slid down off the hood of his car and stood in front of her. "I'm not going to let anything happen to you. I promised you I'd take care of you, no matter what. If this is what it takes, then that's what I have to do."
A tear slid down Cassie's cheek. He had done so much for her just within the last year alone. It was so hard for her to be stuck in Ridge Pointe while he was away at school...
"I'm just scared, that's all. I never thought this would happen."
"Why didn't you tell me what's been going on at school?" he asked.
She answered, "Because I didn't think it was that important to bother you with. I wanted you to concentrate on your grades."
"Nothing's more important to me than you. C'mere," he said, reaching out and hugging her. He kissed her forehead. "Get in the car. We have to go."
When they arrived at Jesse's house, they snuck in the back so the neighbors wouldn't see. Without turning any lights on, they made their way up the stairs and into Jesse's room. "Tomorrow, I'll go run some errands for my mom. She never comes in here, so you can hide here. Just sleep all day, maybe. You look like you need some rest anyway."
"When are you doing all that? When will you come back? Jess, I don't want to be alone tomorrow," she said, and he took her bags and placed them in his closet.
"I know," he answered, "But things have to seem as normal as possible. I was thinking I can call your mom tomorrow and ask to talk to you, to throw her off. We'll leave tomorrow night; I'll just leave a note so my mom will think I went back to school early. It's gonna be alright."
"Your classes! Jess, I can't make you miss your classes!" she whispered.
"I told you, you're more important to me than anything, even my classes."
"Well, can't you just get me to the bus station tomorrow?"
"And leave you alone? No, I don't think so."
"I can take care of myself."
"Not with these city doctors looking for you. They'll most likely notify the police, which means... you won't be able to use your checkbook or ATM card after a few days. We have to get as far away as possible. We can never stay in the same place you use either of those."
"But... This isn't high school, Jess, this is college. You're paying for these classes."
"I don't care."
"Why don't you just take me back there with you? What do you have, two, three weeks left?"
"Actually, I was going to surprise you - this is finals week. College always gets done before high school. I was going to come home next week and... take you on vacation for the weekend with me, and then..."
"And then what?"
"Um, just tell you that... I was done with school, you know."
"So, I can stay with you for a week. We'll be gone by the time anyone thinks to look there. When's your last final?"
"I can help you study... and we'll leave Thursday night."
"But, Cass, the dorm policies... we can't have girls stay in our rooms."
"Well... I don't know what else to do... I want you to at least finish this semester out..."
He sighed, then a light bulb went off in his head. "I have a few friends in some of the girls' dorms. You can stay with one of them."
"Yes, Cass, friends. They all know about you, so don't worry."
"Well, do you trust them?"
"What are you going to tell them? I mean, they're going to wonder why I'm hiding out at your school. We can't tell them why, they don't know me, and it will probably freak them out."
"I know. We'll worry about it when we get there. You can stay with me all day Sunday at the dorm and Sunday night, even, cause my roommate won't care, he's really cool. You'll like him."
"I know, you tell me that all the time. Too bad I didn't meet him before all of this, though."
"Are you sure you want to wait that long?"
"What do you mean?"
"At my school, you sure you want to risk hanging around there that long?"
"Yes. I told you, I want you to finish the semester. I don't want you to drop out. Not like me."
The sympathy struck him at that moment. He realized then what Cassie was giving up in this escape... her starring role in the senior class play, her diploma... It was suddenly ironic to him that this amazing gift responsible for saving the people of Ridge Pointe (and possibly the world) from an indescribable evil would strip Cassie of all the things she worked for in her life...
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