Feeling on top of the world, Darren went around the house making sure everything was perfect for this afternoon. Darren quietly giggled to himself when Dirk sat down in front of the TV and began working out before he left for school. He suspected it was for a girl, it was after all barely the start of spring, so there wasn’t any logical reason for Dirk to be toning his body, unless he was planning on using his allowance to go on holiday. But Darren knew that even if he did lose his mind and agree, Dirk would not have enough money.
Dirk’s time at school went by quickly and Darren looked at the clock, tapping his fingers on the phone receiver impatiently. “Hello!” Cassandra finally answered.
“Hi, it’s me! Why aren’t you here yet?” Darren asked, hearing the school bus pull up to the house.
“I got into a heated discussion with the sitter about last night, so I’m running a bit behind, but I’m on my way right now!”
“Well okay then,” Darren said, a little depressed, “See you soon.” Darren hung-up and resumed cooking the meal he was serving for the three of them. It looked like he was going to have to handle the hard part alone.
Dirk quietly came into the kitchen and watched Darren cook. “Who’s the meal for?” He asked.
“Erm, I invited someone over. I figured the three of us could eat it while we talked about…”
“About what? How you’re a cheating bastard?” Dirk said calmly, sitting down. Darren dropped what he was holding and turned to face his son with a shocked look on his face.
“I’m sorry, did you just call me…”
“Well that’s what you are right, a cheater? Looks like your secret’s out.” Dirk said, avoiding eye contact with his dad. Darren brought his hands up to his face… Dirk had found out already.
“You should know better than anyone that secrets don’t stay secret for very long in this neighbourhood.”
“I was going to tell you this afternoon, I really didn’t want you to find out from anyone else.”
“Oh, well it’s a bit late for that!” Dirk began to shout. “Maybe you should have made sure your girlfriend kept her trap shut before you started making plans.”
“We were going to tell you together.”
“Is she here?” Dirk asked with a look of fire in his eyes. “Has she been here, with you?” Darren could only look at the floor, which was as good as an answer. But he stopped and faced his son, he didn’t see why he should be made to feel ashamed about something so natural. He wasn’t cheating, despite what Dirk thought. Before Darren could honestly answer his son the doorbell rang. The Dreamer’s both turned to look at who was at the door, but Darren knew it was Cassandra. He gave Dirk a ‘please just give me a second alone‘ look but Dirk shot back with a look that could have burned a hole through Darren’s head. Leaving Dirk in the kitchen, Darren went outside to greet Cassandra.
“Hey, you!” Cassandra said, greeting him with a kiss, but Darren only kissed her for a second before pulling back.
“He found out.” Darren told her.
“How?” Cassandra said in disbelief.
“I don’t know, I guess someone knew. He seemed to think you’d told someone.”
“Not a soul… unless,” Cassandra turned away to avoid Darren’s ashamed look. “I may have mentioned something to Nina when I was leaving the engagement party about how I didn’t plan on going home. But I swear that’s all I said. I suppose the rest she figured out on her own.” This time Cassandra looked at her shoes, feeling terrible for causing a fight between Darren and Dirk. But Darren touched her chin and gently kissed her.
“It’s okay! You should not feel bad about people finding out about us. It’s just going to make things with Dirk a little tough is all. But trust me, once you get on his good side he’s a really loving person.” Darren said, just as Dirk came out onto the porch.
“Can you give me and Cassandra a second, dad.” Dirk said, not really asking so much, as telling Darren to leave. Darren looked at Cassandra, who nodded.
“I’ll be in the kitchen.” Darren said, leaving his son alone with Cassandra.
“So who told you?” Cassandra said, eager to find out if it really was Nina who had been spreading the news about her and Darren.
“Oh I think you know him. Goes by the name of Don Lothario!” Dirk joked, knowing full well about her past with Don.
“Don knows!” Cassandra said alarmed, until she realised that Don would of course know. He was involved with Nina after all.
“Yeah, he came out onto the field this afternoon at practice. He’s usually only there to offer first aid if anybody needs it but was very insistent I give you a message.” Cassandra rolled her eyes, this was typical Don, always disregarding other people’s feelings.
“What’s the message?” Dirk put his finger to his head.
“Let me get this right. His exact words were ‘Tell that bitch… Bitch? Bitch, bitch… What was the rest of it?” Dirk thought to himself.
But he had done what he intended, as he saw the angry look on Cassandra’s face. “What’s wrong, you aren’t mad at me are you? I’m simply passing along a message. Is there anything you want me to tell him.” Cassandra bit her tongue. “No? Alright! Well, since we’re done with him I’ll leave you with what I wanted to tell you. You’re a dog, you’re whole family are dogs! The only thing that makes you happy is stealing people’s leftovers. Your dad stole Dina, You stole Don and now you’re stealing Darren.” Dirk said disgusted.
“I stole Don!” Cassandra laughed at the thought. “What has that idiot been filling your head with? I’ll tell you, Dirk, it’s lies. It’s all lies from him, even when he was with me he was constantly lying. But me, Dirk, I am telling you the truth when I say that I love your father and I apologise if you think I’m stealing him from Darleen.”
“Shut up! You don’t get to say her name. Don’t you ever say her name.” Dirk yelled, his eyes welling up with tears.
Before she could see him cry Dirk bolted through the house and out of the back door, passing his dad who looked clueless.
And he was clueless, Dirk thought, he didn’t have a clue who the real Cassandra Goth was. Dirk ran far away from his house, he kept on running until he was out of breath. He bent over in pain and gushed in the air, all the working out he’d done had made his muscles ache. As he stretched, he realised where he had unknowingly stopped. He immediately saw her amongst all the other ones and went straight over to be with her.
He felt like he wanted to pour his heart out, but the words wouldn’t come out. Instead he silently prayed in his head, hoping that somehow his mother could hear his thoughts.