Oak Island Chapter 9: Escape

Oak Island Chapter 9: Escape

A Chapter by SweetNutmeg



Chapter Nine

When I pulled my phone out of my purse there were three messages from Aunt Pam. 

“Aunt Pam, I'm sorry. I had the ringer off. I hope you weren't too worried.”

“Cassie, I am just glad to hear from you. After that conversation with your mother, I was concerned.”

“Oh, don't worry about me, it's all par for the course. I'm used to being talked to like that.”

“That was... normal?” 

“Actually not the worst. She didn't start screaming. I guess because she can't catch her breath. Makes it hard to scream.” I was feeling quite detached now. “She must not have realized you were in the room. She always saved her best for when we were alone.”

“I wanted to see if you were alright,  but I also wanted to update you. Your mother might pull through. She's started responding to the antibiotics.”

“I see.” Great, she's dragging this out. I honestly wanted her to die just to get this over with. It's typical she would drag us around like this, teetering on the verge of death. I bet she just ate up the attention. “Well, if you don't mind, could you keep me updated? I won't be seeing her again.”

“I'll call you in the morning to let you know how the night went, whether they will be letting her go home again.”

“Thanks, Aunt Pam.”


I was busy with preparing dinner when Ezra got home. I called to him from the kitchen, “Working late today?”

“Yeah, but I also wanted to get you this.” He produced a mixed bouquet, lovely purple and yellow flowers. He laid the flowers down and came to my side for a kiss. This was one of the things I loved about Ezra. He gave me things, just because, with no strings attached. He was a genuinely generous person. He could have given me anything, a wild flower plucked from the roadside, or a single Ghiradelli square. Just to be given something so freely and happily was still a novelty to me. 

He put the flowers in a vase as I cooked. The linguine carbonara was almost done. 

“Choose the wine, Ezra. Something nice tonight.” I felt I deserved it after this afternoon.


I woke up to darkness. I looked at the clock. 4:23 AM. I had been dreaming, my same nightmare of being pushed into a corner, this time by wolves. I felt oppressive dread, the ball pulsing near the surface. I got up. Lying in bed would lead to nothing good. I went to the sun room, wrapped myself in a throw and turned on the TV. House was on, the one about the autistic boy who couldn't tell House what was wrong. Losing interest I muted the TV and let my thoughts wander. Yesterday afternoon was brutal. Enduring my mother's tongue lashing after being free for so long doubled the impact. I had gotten used to being with people who were at least somewhat rational and who didn't hate and resent me. The memory of our conversation replayed, and I was left with a question that had no answer. Why? Why did my mother blame me for things that weren't my fault? And if she resented me so much, why didn't she have an abortion? I was glad to be alive now that I was out from under her roof, but my childhood had been constant torture and I desired to un-be, to disappear, to no longer exist from a very young age. 

There was no answer to the question Why? I couldn't imagine treating anyone as badly as my mother treated me, especially not a child. I couldn't let go of the question, though. Some part of me believed there was an answer, and that the answer had to be Because you deserved it. Which led to the next question, What was wrong with me? 

I tried to shake off this circular argument, but the irrational question bored into me. I sat with my head in my hands, silently crying. It all hurt so much. 

The hall light came on and Ezra appeared in the doorway. He came to my side and said, “Cassie, why are you crying?” 

I tried to think how to explain it and I just shook my head. He sat down and put his arm around me. I leaned into his care and warmth. I couldn't help it, I started crying harder, the question filling me. Why?

Ezra squeezed my shoulders. “What's wrong? You can tell me.” 

“Why does she hate me so much?” My voice cracked.

“Who? Who hates you?” 

“My mother, why does she hate me so much?”

Ezra pulled away a little bit and said, “She doesn't hate you. She's your mother.” 

“You don't know her, Ezra. She just told me I ruined her life by existing.” 

“But she didn't mean it, did she? She couldn't have. I'm sure she loves you.”

“How do you know? Being my mother doesn't automatically make her love me.”

“C'mon, Cassie, you must have misunderstood her.” 

I sat up, filling with fury. “I did not misunderstand her. She said if I hadn't come, her lover wouldn't have left her, it was my fault.” 

Ezra looked taken aback. 

“Biological connection doesn't create love instantly. She hates me. I wish she would hurry up and die.”

“You can't mean that, Cassie.” 

I could feel my rage making my hair stand up. I felt like I was swelling with it. “She did nothing but torture me for 18 years. I wish she would die so I could get on with my life. I don't need her hanging on like this.” 

“You want her to die?” It seemed Ezra could not comprehend this. 

“Yes, goddammit. She needs to f**k off this mortal coil and finally leave me alone.” 

“But...” Ezra responded feebly, no other words coming to him. 

“But nothing! She needs to go. And you need to stop this 'she must love you' bullshit. She has never felt anything towards me but resentment.” 

He opened his mouth, shut it, aghast.

“Jesus, f**k this. I'm going out.” I went to the bedroom and pulled some pants on over my pj shorts. Out to the living room, grabbing a jacket, my car keys, my phone and wallet. I stuffed them in my jacket pockets. 


I drove aimlessly and ended up at my favorite park. I turned the radio on low and leaned back my seat, thinking.

Ezra didn't know anything about hardship. He didn't understand abuse. In his world, families were all loving and happy. But expecting anything different was unfair. How could he know? His experience of the world had not brought him into close contact with abuse. I'm sure some of the people he knew had troubled home lives, abuse, neglect, but he didn't see that side of them. He'd never seen the inside of a dysfunctional family. How could he know or understand? 

But he would have to learn. I wasn't going to put up with being contradicted about my feelings and the realities of my situation. He'd have to learn how to be supportive. 

I thought about this for 45 minutes or so, then started the car. 

I opened the door and Ezra hurried to meet me, white faced and still looking shocked. Before he could say anything, I said, “Ezra, I'm sorry I yelled at you. Let's sit down.” I steered him to the sun room. I took one of his hands and started, “I'm sorry I yelled at you, but you need to try to understand me. My life has been very different from yours. There's no way you could know what it was like for me unless I tell you. But you have to listen. Please do not tell me I am wrong about facts and about my feelings. Can you do that?”

He nodded. 

“We don't have time to talk right now, I'm going to be late for work. But later, I will try to help you understand. I love you, Ezra.” I kissed his cheek and headed to the bathroom to begin getting ready for work.


It took a little while, but with the help of a Balvenie, I got Ezra to accept that not all mothers love their daughters and that my life had been miserable up to the day I left home. 

“I'm sorry, Cassie.” He kissed my fingers. “I don't know why anyone would not love you. I love you. I love you so much.”

However obnoxious and rude Ezra could be at times, he loved me without reserve and his love and care were like bandages laid over the hurts my mother caused. At times like these, in the comfort of Ezra's arms, I believed Leo, that I could escape, that things could get better. That I could heal my wounds. 

© 2017 SweetNutmeg

Author's Note

Any and all comments gratefully accepted. Thank you for reading.

My Review

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I still don't trust the guy but the story is confounding and awesomely good or wouldn't keep reading it.

Posted 1 Year Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


1 Year Ago

Thank you.
While I still believe that Cassie needs to run to the nearest EXIT out of her relationship with Ezra, I can more easily see why she stays. He's manipulating and indebting her to him. With that witch of a mother of hers', she sees her escape in Ezra. Nice work. Keep going!

Posted 3 Years Ago

You are killing me with Ezra! *laughs*

It's like you've put in all of these big red flags for those of us who have had controlling exes, and then he turns around and starts being so damned sweet that, even though I can see the pattern, I can't help but sit here and wonder if I wouldn't take that trade off, myself.

If that is what you are going for, you are nailing it.

I do have to admit to being a little bit incredulous over Aunt Pam's bafflement. People that toxic can fool outsiders easily, but rarely close family members. Pam should have known her sister's personality from having grown up with her. Whether she knew about the extent of the abuse or not, the vitriol shouldn't have been a complete shock.

"But he would have to learn. I wasn't going to put up with being contradicted about my feelings and the realities of my situation. He'd have to learn how to be supportive. " - I danced in my chair. As much as I love that sentiment, it's also showing strength of will and drawing a line in the sand whether or not she realizes it.

"It took a little while, but with the help of a Balvenie," - I had to look it up but I adore that kind of detail. And as glad as I am that she's feeling optimistic, I really don't know if I'm glad Ezra is the one making her feel that way. I am dying to see the next chapter.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

This is great! Loved it all, and in regards to Aunt Pam, being baffled about her sisters treatment t.. read more

3 Years Ago

I appreciate your input about Aunt Pam. I'm still wavering about how much she really knows or suspec.. read more

3 Years Ago

Definitely, cannot wait for more

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3 Reviews
Added on May 12, 2017
Last Updated on August 5, 2017



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