randi said by way of explanation as to what she was doing wandering round someone else's house; “The front door was open…. I heard voices,” while looking at the scene with undisguised horror.
It turned out Liam had a bad case of ‘Brandi avoidance’. It hadn’t been Brandi who had pulled out of the date on Saturday it had been Liam. When he stopped responding to her text messages she had come to see him before they went into work to try and avoid an uncomfortable atmosphere in the workplace.
“It’s not what you think…” Cass began.
“You don’t know what I think it is,” Brandi said defensively. Cass was the big boss and could fire her at will. She wasn’t about to go accusing her of doing anything untoward. Liam asked Brandi what she thought it was. Brandi looked incredibly uncomfortable when she said, “Your mum taking your temperature?”
“Then yes, it is what you think it is…” Cass said.
“Except she’s not my mother,” Liam snorted. It hit Cass like a slap in the face. She thought lately they had been getting along better. Cass was clearly hurt, got up and left the room.
“I have to go after her…” Liam said. Brandi nodded.
He found Cass crying in the kitchen, he put his arms around her, “I simply meant… the time for you being my mother has gone, Cass…”
Cass apologised for her foolishness, trying to regain her composure. He was clearly sorry he had upset her. Right now she was really concerned about getting Brandi’s silence on what she had come across and begged him to go and talk to her. He asked her to wait a moment while he dealt with Brandi. He returned a few minutes later to confirm Cass was alright. Cass had brightened, his problem with Brandi had been cleared up; he could go get ready and they could leave for work. He wanted to talk; Cass clearly didn’t; everything was fine, she knew her place.
After work and they were settled with a glass of wine while Cass cooked food, she asked why Liam had called the date with Brandi off. “Not trying to be your mother… trying to be your friend,” she said defensively.
“I’m not ready,” he said, then after a pause continued, “I was going to date Brandi rather than be alone. Inevitably that wasn’t fair on Brandi as all she would be was a substitute for loneliness.” Cass smiled, it was a very grown up decision for him to make and showed great forethought and consideration of another person’s feelings.
Summer turned to autumn. Liam had managed to get a lot of his debts paid, and had stayed away from gambling. The jokes however didn’t let up. One night just as Cass lay down to sleep her bed vibrated momentarily. Her eyes shot open; it had stopped, thinking she must have imagined it she closed her eyes and again the same thing happened. This time it kept going and fearing she was being haunted she practically fell out of bed in her underwear.