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The Gift Summer Gave Me

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Spending the entire summer holidays at San Francisco with the man that abandoned her mum and her, seems like a death sentence to Cassidy Stewart. She is so sure that her first summer holidays as a first year student of University of California, Berkeley has been ruined, thanks to her mum's decision. In her words,'He is trying to make up for those times he wasn't there'. Seeing that her soft hearted mother has already booked her flights, even before she came back from school. She has no choice but to get on that plane all the way to San Francisco, give the old man the opportunity to make up for being an *ss and go back to Berkeley. To Cassidy this holiday is the worst holiday. There in San Francisco, the city she regrets coming to, she meets Kristen Jordan, the very soul that ignites the fire and passion she never believed existed in her, making her want to explore the gay side of her which she has long hidden. Wishing her holiday can be extended so she can be with this lovely woman who is more handsome than gorgeous. The summer holiday in San Francisco, which was hitherto a dead sentence, became the best thing to happen to her. Kristen Jordan, a famous fashion model whose heart has been toyed with and severely broken by the only woman she has ever fallen for, and has resolved never to love again, she resorted to hook ups instead. Closing her heart to love and attachments was pretty easy for three years, until she met Cassidy Stewart, the brown puppy eyes that captured her heart like a charm. Her smiles which catapulted her to the world of ecstasy, leaving her powerless and yearning for her. Will she be able to resist?

Chapter 1

Cassidy slowly opened her eyes to the morning rays that washed through her face from the window adjacent to her king-size bed and the birds chirping endlessly as they jumped from tree to tree. Cassidy smiled a contented smile. How she had missed this. How she had missed her room.

She had arrived home yesterday afternoon from the University of California, Berkeley for her summer holidays. After an early dinner with her mum, she had gone straight to bed, tired from the flight back home. Waking up now, she felt light and ready to start her first summer holiday as a first-year University student.

She had to admit, waking up at home was very different from waking up at Berkeley. At Berkeley, there were no morning rays to kiss her face, no birds chirping, and worst of all, she had to wake up pretty early to prepare for class. Here she was enjoying the morning sun kissing her face in the comfort of her room which she had deserted earlier.

She looked around the room, checking if there was any of her stuff that was out of place or missing. She was too tired yesterday to do anything.

Her mum was fond of snooping around her room, looking for stuff that she thought she had outgrown or no longer needed. Like she needed any help. Her reading desk beside her window was just as she kept it. She nodded. Her television and sound systems which were kept at the center of the room weren't tampered with.

She moved to her closet for her last supervision. Her footwears were in order. "Check."

She moved to her clothes, they didn't seem as though someone touched them.

"It seems Mrs. Stewart has turned a new leaf." She chuckled as she found her way to the bathroom to brush her teeth and wash her face. Soon she was heading to her mum's room whom she bet was already preparing for work.

"Good morning Mrs. Stewart." She greeted, as soon as she entered her room.

Mrs. Jenn Stewart who was standing in front of her dressing mirror adjusting her gown turned to her daughter with a smile. "Good morning my angel. Hope you had a lovely night's rest?"

"As lovely as ever mum. It feels so good to reunite with my bed again." She replied as she twirled around the room to her mother's amusement.

"I figured you were tired after yesterday's flight so I let you rest. How are you feeling now?"

"I'm so in the mood for some swimming and hanging out."

Jenn chuckled. "Swimming and hanging out huh?"

Cassidy nodded with a smile. "Can you ever be separated from the waters?" Cassidy shook her head vigorously and her mother laughed.

"What's for breakfast mum? I am famished."

"You are still carrying your bedhead and I bet you haven't even brushed, or have you?"

Cassidy rolled her eyes. "Mum! For the love of God, of course, I have brushed my teeth!" She half yelled and her mum burst into laughter.

"Just kidding love. Breakfast is already served, let's head to the dining. I also have something to show you."

Cassidy threw her mum a questioning look. "What could that be?"

"You'll see." Her mum replied as they walked out of the room.

As soon as they got to the dining table, Cassidy flew to the covered ceramic plate to unmask its content.

"Omelette and Cheese!! How I have missed you."

Jenn looked on with a smile as her daughter dived into the meal with a great appetite.

She knew what she was about to say would make Cassidy lose her appetite. She decided to leave it after breakfast.

Cassidy stopped to take a sip of her tea and found her mum staring at her.

"Mum, come sit, aren't you hungry?" She asked with a mouthful of omelet and her mum laughed.

"It seems you are enjoying the meal so much so I decided to leave mine for you to feast on, how 'bout that," Jenn asked as she sat down close to Cassidy.

"Nice thought, Mum." Cassidy gave her a mock thumbs-up. "You know Mum, it didn't appear as though you snooped around my room this time, what changed." She asked, staring at her mum.

Jenn smiled at her daughter's remarks.

"Well, I decided to give you some privacy. You are an adult and should know what you need or don't."

"Aww, that's so cute Mum." Cassidy gave her mum her sweetest smile which she returned.

The duo went back to their meal in silence, with Jenn making a mental calculation on how she was going to break the news to her daughter. She would go haywire.

After eating and clearing the dining, Cassidy sat on a couch in the living room fiddling with her phone.

Jenn came out ready to go to work. She handed her a ticket and looked away. "That's what I wanted to show you."

Cassidy narrowed her eyebrows. "A ticket to San Francisco?" Her mum nodded. "Why do you want to go to San Francisco Mum?"

Jenn shook her head. "It's for you Cass." She swallowed and continued. "Your dad wants to spend some time with you this Summer, he wants to make up for.."

"Hold up right there." Cassidy stood up. The look on her face was murderous. "Whose dad? You mean your husband?"

Jenn came closer and held Cassidy's hands but she shoved them. "I can't believe you want to ruin my first summer holiday Mum!"

"Cass, it's just a summer holiday in San Francisco, not a death sentence."

"It is to me, Mum. I mean of all places to spend my holiday, why hauling me away to meet that man?"

"He's your father." Jenn reminded and Cassidy scoffed.

"And he's sorry."

"What exactly is he sorry for? For abandoning us when we needed him? For being abusive or chasing after other women? Which of them, mum?"

Jenn sighed. This was going to be a tough nut, no doubt. But she decided to press on regardless.

"Baby he's changed now, please allow him to make amends. He was just frustrated after he lost his job, it's not like him."

"Why are you always making excuses for him Mum? You just forgave him just like that?" Cassidy's blood was getting heated. Her mother's soft-hearted nature was always driving her crazy.

"He deserves forgiveness babe." She held Cassidy's cheeks. "He is still your dad no matter what, besides," She chuckled and went on. "He promised to spoil you when you get to San Francisco. Plus, he's applying for a transfer to Oakland immediately after Christmas. We'll be a happy family soon."

Cassidy rolled her eyes. As if she needed to hear any of that. As far as she was concerned that man didn't deserve the second chance that her mum was offering him but trust Mrs. Jenn Stewart, her heart was the softest she had ever seen. She just needed to see a tear whether fake or real, and she would go all in. "You are just too soft, Mother."

She breathed and slumped on the couch.

Jenn sat down beside her. "Cass, it's just a month and some weeks. It can't be that bad?"

"Yeah, that's how much you want to get rid of me, booking a flight even before I come back. For crying out loud, I haven't even spent up to a day in this house Mum! and you are hauling me away! Not fair."

"I feared you wouldn't agree if I had told you before booking a flight."

"You think I can't back out now?"

"I know you can Cass, I am just pleading. Do it for me, baby, please."

Cassidy exhaled deeply. She had no choice but to budge. Her hopes of having a fun-filled summer holiday with her friends just came crashing down at her feet. Her mum was hauling her away to a place she had no idea if it was safe for her at all. The way she had immediately trusted the man that abused them for years, was what she couldn't decipher. Was he worth it? She said he had changed. Well, it was left for her to find out. "On one condition."

"Anything baby," Jenn replied, relief written all over her face.

"I'm going to cut short this Holiday and go back to Berkeley, if he lays his hands on me or if I notice any of his old behaviors. Plus you will never set your eyes on me again, ever." She said, meaning every word of it.

"Deal," Jenn replied with a smile.

"I mean it, Mum."

"I guarantee you nothing of that sort will happen."

"You already know him that well huh?

Jenn laughed and stood up, holding her handbag. "My baby will never stop being funny."

"When am I being hauled away?"

"Baby it's not like that."

"I don't care mum, when?"

"Okay. It's tomorrow morning."

"Great," She stood up and folded her hands across her chest. "You can't wait to get rid of me, I understand."

Jenn cupped her cheeks. "Cupcake no, I will miss you so much. You think I am happily sending you to San Francisco?"

"If you are not, then why is it so soon?"

"He pleaded with me." Cassidy arched a questioning brow. "The only day he would have time to come pick you up is tomorrow morning. The company he works for is organizing a seminar/workshop so from tomorrow he will be busy."

Cassidy shrugged. "It's all good. Good thing I haven't unpacked. I just need to add a few things."

Jenn glanced at her watch and back at Cassidy. "You will be, fine cupcake, I promise. Let me rush off now unless you want me to be queried for being late."

Cassidy shook her head. "No, I don't. Go on."

"I will be back before you know it."

Cassidy nodded and managed a smile. "Have a nice day Mum."

Jenn knew that smile wasn't from her heart but she understood nevertheless, she needed time to process it all and understand that she was just trying to reunite them together after all these years they were apart. "Please walk me out, babe."

Cassidy nodded and followed her mum outside. She opened the gigantic gate as her mum entered the car and turned on the ignition.

Jenn smiled and waved at her daughter as she drove out. Cassidy waved back and closed the gate. She walked back to the house and straight to her room.

Time to make a few calls and break the sad news to her friends, especially her best friend Jessie.

Chapter 2

If someone had woken her up yesterday morning in Berkeley and told her she wouldn't be spending her summer holiday at Oakland as she had expected, that instead she would be bundled up and sent to the man that made her and her mum miserable for years. She would have suggested to her friends that they stay back in Berkeley.

Coming home to meet a plane ticket to hell, what a perfect summer holiday. She remembered tons of bucket lists she and her friends had prepared and the places they had planned to explore.

They would be very disappointed, especially her best friend Jessie. She would want to follow her to San Francisco. Jessie loved her like hell. The rest of their friends had once thought they were dating, because of the way they couldn't let go of each other, especially Jessie. For one, Jessie was gay, everyone knows that but she,

Well, she was bisexual but none of her friends knew that, not even Jessie. Not that she was being intentionally secretive, sh

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