Cassie | Teen Ink


May 3, 2021
By adamshaheen21, Dalton, Georgia
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adamshaheen21, Dalton, Georgia
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Cassie’s first busted through the jaw like a knife through butter, spilling some blood and breaking some teeth on its journey. She had knocked Alison to the floor, punching and kicking her around, making sure she regretted what she said. Blood sweat and tears filled in the hall as people crowded around the skirmish. Much to their dismay, the fight was broken up by the teachers, who were having great difficulty breaking the girl away from her opponent. Allison’s jaw was already turning black and blue, and she was inhibited from using her most valuable weapon, her mouth. Cassie was immediately dragged to the principal’s office, where she sat down reluctantly. 

“What has gotten into you, young lady? Principal Ralston said. Cassie was more than ready to go off. 

“What do you mean what has gotten into me?! Are you seriously punishing me after what she said to me.”?!?!? Ralston looked at indifference. 

“What she said is neither here nor there, rather I would like to focus on your extreme reaction.” This further exacerbated Cassie’s flaming ire. 

“My reaction was hardly extreme, you don’t even care-- Ralston interrupted her promptly. 

“Now, there’s no need to get in a tizzy, trying to justify your actions will not help your case, we need to discuss the matter at hand, which is your expulsion.

“Expulsion?!?! You’re going to expel me for taking up for myself?!  Ralston was getting very exhausted. 

“Ms. Landrith, we have a zero-tolerance policy for violence at this school and it was your choice to violate it, nobody forced you to hit her, you did it all yourself.”

With this, Cassie finally let loose 

“She insulted my brother for killing himself, she knew exactly what she was doing and I had every reason to do what I did! 

“Ms. Landrith, please calm-

“ I will not calm down, because you clearly don’t care! Nobody here has even attempted to console me in a meaningful way! You send me to the counselor but he doesn't do anything! My brother was the only one I had in this world and he’s dead. I am completely alone in this cold, cruel world.” Mr. Ralston now looked thoroughly annoyed. 

“ I understand what you’ve been through, we have done everything to help you and you refuse to accept it, you frequently cause trouble and now you are assaulting your classmates, we cannot have this!”

“Why don’t you go to hell with your brother”, Cassie uttered

“Excuse me?!

“Why don’t you go to hell with your brother, that’s what she said to me”

Ralston attempted to hide his sorrow, but he was beginning to understand Cassie’s struggle.

“Listen, I get that it’s hard and that was a pretty crappy thing to say, but I have to punish you. Allison’s parents will almost certainly press charges if I don’t”

Ralston felt a drip of anxiety from his slip-up. He wasn’t supposed to have said that.

“Oh, so that’s the reason why huh- just so the school won’t lose any money?! That’s what this all about?!

"Yes, you did!! That’s exactly what you said just said!”

Not knowing what to do, Ralston deployed a fatal hit.

“Young lady I have had it with your disrespectfulness, you are hereby expelled from this school, you have given me no other choice.”

With that, Cassie left the office for the final time in her life. 

What has gotten into you?!?! Mr. and Mrs. Landrith shouted in unison. 

There is no need to make a fuss about it! 

Mr. and Mrs. Landrith was none too pleased with this.

“Oh, I think there’s plenty to make a fuss about! Charles Landrith griped.

“What are we going to do you, this is the third time this year you’ve gotten yourself into trouble! Megan Landrith added. 

“I can’t believe this, said Cassie, you’re all acting like I’m the brat when all I did was take up for Evan! 

“What she said may not have been okay but there was no reason to do what you did, you could’ve killed that girl! Mr. Landrith replied 

I didn’t kill her, but I wished I had! I would’ve done the whole world a favor 

At this, both of her parents gasped. 

“ I cannot believe you would say something so cruel! her mother shouted, go to bed this instant and do not dare come out”.  Cassie got up and slammed the kitchen door with all the usual angst of a teenage girl, leaving both of her parents in shock and dismay. Through the walls she could faintly hear:

“I’m telling you Meg reform school is the best place for her!”

“Send her then, I’m tired of dealing with her. I don't know what to do with her!


 As she lied down in her bed the tears began to pour out of her.  She could begin to process the appalling day she had just had. She could only imagine what was going to happen to her. She remembered life before Evan died. Everything seemed so much brighter. She remembered how he would always invite her to hang out with his friends, how he took care of her when she got sick, and give her advice on boys, and so many other things. Most siblings fought and bickered, but that never happened with Evan. It wasn't until he died that she realized what a spirit of benevolence he was. She still didn’t know what could have made do it. Was he depressed? Was there something he wasn’t telling anyone? The questions ate at her every second of the day.  She was the first one to find him on that fateful day, and as much as she tried, she could never seem to erase the pain that memory brought her. Now he was gone and her life had gone into the gutters. If he were still here she wouldn’t be so angry and upset constantly. But she would never have him back, he was gone forever and she just had to accept that.


The sky was dark and purple. Cassie was standing in her yard staring into the garden. Her brother was in front of her.


He stared back at her. He began to dissolve as the world finished. Cassie opened her eyes to realize it was only a dream. Pain flooded through her as she struggled to get out of bed. Reality had once again bested her. She stared at her wall as she contemplated the state of her life.

“My friends. Gone. My school life. Ruined. My parents are thinking of sending me to reform school. It feels like no matter who I’m around I always disappoint them. Maybe that’s why Evan killed himself. Maybe he was disappointed in having such a lackluster sister. I was never very kind to him, maybe I pushed him over the edge one day. I just wish I could go back. Back to that day, back the second he cut his wrist. I’d have stopped him. I’d have hugged him, kissed him, done anything to stop him. But I can't. There’s nothing I can do about the negativity that is my life anymore. I've waited time and time again for things to get better and they haven’t. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of my stupid school, I’m sick of my stupid life, I’m sick of having a dead brother who haunts me every day. It’s time I escape

With that, Cassie began to pack her bags as fast as she could. It was still pretty early in the morning so her parents wouldn’t notice, but she couldn’t take any chances. She grabbed a duffle bag and began to throw all of her belongings into it.

“Don't think about your parents, they’re sending you away anyway. This is no different.

Tears filled her eyes as she realized this is what her life had come to. As she packs the clothes and toiletries she realized she would never see this place again. The place she was raised in would only be a distant memory. But maybe that was the point.

“All this place has brought is pain, I won’t miss it. (will I?) “

She fought herself to keep packing.

“If I stay here things will only get worse. (will they?)” 

Everything was now packed. Granted not very neatly, but it was there. There was no time to make sure everything was organized, it was almost ten. She carried her bag down the stairs, being careful not to creak. 

“I didn't even leave a note, will they care I’m gone?

While thinking about this, she slipped and crashed down the stairs. 


"Dang, the dogs, mom, and dad are awake now, I better run.”

Cassie rushed out the door as quickly as she could. When she had run far enough out of sight she stopped to take her house one last time. All the pain. All the tears. All the suffering. All would be left behind. She didn't know what would lie beyond her. As she turned away from the house, she left all her problems behind, for better, and for worse. She fled the house, and she never looked back.

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