Chapter 1

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Once again, Cassandra found herself lost in thought while rubbing the little bump on her once flat abdomen. A mournful sigh escaped her lips. At least the tears had finally dried up. "Don't you worry little one. Everything's going to be alright. It just has to be."

The creaking sound from the door caused her to turn. "My child, you must stop this worrying and eat something. It's not good for you or the baby." Cassandra tried to give her grandmother a reassuring smile but was sure it fell short of her intention. "This is all my fault." Her words came as no surprise. The lovely gray-haired old woman was always taking on the blame for everyone else's shortcomings.

"There's so much you need to know my child. So much I should have told you years ago." Cassandra frowned in confusion as the old lady sat in the wicker chair. "Do you remember when you were a child Casey? Do you remember the day my daughter took you away from your home? From me?" Cassandra closed her eyes as her mind traveled to the day her life had changed.


Cassandra Michaels had cried herself to sleep for the umpteenth time in her short life that night. All she had asked for was one night. Did she not deserve one night of her mother's undivided attention? The sound of screaming had woken her from sleep. Now here she laid, quiet as could be. It would be the last night her mother and grandmother would fight.

It took several minutes for Cassandra's eyes to adjust after the light was suddenly flicked on. There stood her mother with a large suitcase in tow. Yet Cassandra knew better than to utter a word. She looked on quietly as her mother pulled out one drawer at a time and emptied their contents into the suitcase.

When she finally turned her way, Cassandra lowered her eyes. "You have five minutes to add whatever else you want in here. "Her mothers' hands moved over the suitcase. "We are leaving and never coming back."

Her little heart squeezed at the thought of never seeing her grandmother again. Why had the fight been different this time? Her mother was always getting yelled at by her grandmother. Yet one or the other would cave and all would be normal again. Well, at least until the next fight.

Cassandra flittered around the room looking for all her prized treasures. She collected the first prize ribbon she and her best friend Lucy had won in the science fair. The second thing was under the mattress. After pulling the mattress back, the book was exposed. The cover held only one word, "Diary."

Just as Cassandra was packing her treasures away, a picture fell out of one of the books. A smile spread on her face. There they were. The same two women smiling back at her. It was the only picture she had of her mother smiling. There stood Avery Michaels next to her best friend. Both women looked happy and carefree. "Are you ready?" The scream startled her into moving again.

After tucking the picture back into the book, Cassandra made her way downstairs. "Why are you doing this?" Her grandmother asked in anguish. "You will live to regret what you're about to do. Please think about what you're doing to this poor child." Her mother said nothing as she ran upstairs to grab the suitcase.

"My little Cassandra, I'm so sorry. Just know that I love you. Please take care of her for me." Cassandra tried not to cry as she was engulfed in her grandmother's arms. The embrace didn't last long for she was harshly snatched from her grandmother's embrace.

Cassandras' little heart beat frantically as she entered the car. She was unsure what was happening, but the movement of the car finally lulled her into a restless sleep. Hours later, she was startled awake when a bag of chips hit her chest. Luckily, quick reflexes caught the can of soda that followed. "Where are we going?" Cassandra finally asked.

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