I didn't tell Mum about the incident with George, she would have only said I told you so and that was something I could do without.
So when I finally got home, after walking across half of town, I ignored my mother's shouts, complaining at my lateness and that I hadn't informed her I wasn't coming straight home, went up the stairs and slammed my bedroom door behind me, shutting out the noise. My bag found its usual spot in the corner of my room and I flopped on my bed.
I didn't realise how tired I was until my eyes snapped open an hour later, when Mum hammered on my door.
'What?!' I sat bolt upright, smoothing my hair back into place.
'Dinner. Now.' I heard her footsteps clunking back down the corridor. So she was in a bad mood with me, that was something I was going to have to deal with. I checked my uniform in the mirror, straightening my skirt as I left my room, slowly following Mum downstairs.
Dinner looked very exciting. Beans on toast. I sat down at the table, realising there was only one place set. 'Are you not eating?' I asked. I noticed Mum was looking nicer than usual, too nice.
'I'm going out this evening. I told you last week, don't you remember?' Oh God! It all came back to me now. Mum had told me about her 'date' with the guy from down the road. It was so embarrassing. He was ten years older than Mum, almost bald, with a beer belly and a mustache. Even my dad must have been better looking than him.
'Are you sure? He's hardly a looker, and probably isn't that exciting or interesting, you could just not turn up-'
'How dare you talk about Steve like that! As it happens, looks aren't everything and I happen to like him. My happiness comes before your 'reputation'.' The doorbell went and Mum went into a fluster. 'He's here!'
She checked herself out in the mirror, making sure everything was perfect. 'My earrings! I knew I'd forgotten something. Cassie, go get them, they're in my jewellery box on the dresser, the diamond ones.'
'Why can't you get them? I'm eating m-'
'Do as I say Cassandra! Now.' I pushed back my chair and walked as slowly as possible up the stairs, towards her bedroom. Her room was starting to look a lot like mine, clothes thrown over every available space and shoes all over the floor. This guy must mean a lot to her.
I found her jewellery box hidden under a shirt on her dresser and opened it, looking for the earrings she wanted. I had emptied most of the box before I found them, right at the bottom. That's was comes from shoving all your jewelery into one box and not seperating it out.
I was about to put it all back in when I spotted something that was different to the rest of Mum's boring pearl necklaces and plain earrings. It was a large heart pendant, slightly gothic looking but not overly so, on a long chain. I had never seen Mum wear it before so picked it out from the pile, holding the heart in the palm of my hand. The metal was warm against my skin as I turned it round, admiring it.
'Now Cassandra!' Mum was getting almost hysterical so I absentminedly pocketed the necklace and went back downstairs.
'Here you go.' I held out the earrings and sat back down to eat my dinner.
'Right then.' Mum put them in and smoothed her dress one last time before heading towards the door. 'Don't wait up for me.'
'Don't worry about that.' I muttered into my beans as the front door slammed.