Miranda looked at Andy and saw the worry in her wife's eyes. The situation with Cassidy was starting to bother Andy, and Miranda had to admit, she was worried too.
"Darling, are you alright?" Miranda sat next to Andy and placed a hand on her knee.
"If she would just talk to me, you know? We never had this problem before, we have always been open and honest with each other. I don't know how to fix this, Mira," Andy laid her head on Miranda's shoulder and closed her eyes.
Miranda thought about her daughter's behaviour over the last couple of weeks, she couldn't think of any reason why Cassidy would act so cruelly towards Andy. Miranda and Andy have been married for eight years and the girls loved her wife. Cassidy and Andy were extremely close, they share a love of literature and music and Cassidy usually turned to Andy with her problems. Miranda can remember nights when the two of them would talk, argue and laughed until she had to force them to go to bed. The last few weeks, Cassidy had been acting strangely. She was cold and distant and wouldn't take Andy's calls. She snapped at Andy whenever she was forced to see her.
"Why are you such a bitch to Andy?" Caroline asked her sister.
The twins were home for the weekend and this was their first break in ages since they stared university. Cassidy was packing clothes in a bag.
"I don't want to talk about this." Cassidy grabbed her bag and stormed out her bedroom and down the stairs.
"Cassidy, where do you think you are going?" Miranda asked her daughter.
"I'm staying at Michelle's for the weekend," she hissed.
"Bobsy, we haven't seen you in weeks" Miranda practically begged.
Andy tried to interject "Cas, please don't do this. Stay and talk to us."
"I don't want to talk to you." Cassidy pointed a finger to Andy. Andy was on her feet and getting angrier by the second.
"I don't know what I did too you, but I'm sick and tired of your behavior. You have been acting like a spoiled brat and I'm done! If you can't act like a grown up and talk to me, then leave!"
Miranda tried to interject but Cassidy was already on the war path.
"You are not my mother! You think you are, but you're not. I don't give a shit about what you think. I fucking despise you!"
Miranda gasped and when she looked at Andy, she was shocked by her wife's expression. It was like someone punched Andy in the gut, all of her anger was replaced by extreme grief. With tears running down her eyes, Andy walked past Cassidy and out the door. Miranda and Cassidy were frozen on the spot. They were shocked by Andy's departure and no one breathed a word until Cassidy stared sobbing.
"O god Mom, I didn't mean that!" Cassidy sat down and started weeping.
"What the hell is going on?" Caroline came down the stairs and wrapped her arms around her sister.
"Andrea..." Miranda grabbed her phone and with tears running down her face, she called Roy. "Andrea just left the house, find her".
Andy wiped the tears from her eyes before she headed to the park, she needed to clear her head. She thought about the last couple of weeks but couldn't understand Cassidy's behavior, it didn't make any sense. An hour went by and she decided that it was pointless to try and figure it out on her own, she would have to face Cassidy - even if it killed her. She was not going to loose her family over this, she would give her life for Miranda and the girls. Determined more the ever, she stopped the nearest person and asked if she could send a text from their phone.
Fifteen minutes later, Roy pulled up and opened the door for Andy.
"What the hell happened? I've been fired twice the past hour," Roy smiled weakly.
"Shit, that bad huh?" Andy's smile didn't reach her eyes and that worried Roy, a lot.
"Roy, get me home. I need to put our family back together". Roy did't need to be told twice.
"Cassidy, you will not force me to choose between my wife and my daughter. I would rather die than choose." Miranda held Cassidy's face in her hands. She was feeling a bit better after Roy informed her that Andy was safe and on her way home. She was determined to make her daughter talk. "Tonight, all of this will end. I don't care how you do it, but you need to let us know what's going on". Miranda held her daughters gaze and saw that she understood. "Ok" was all Cassidy could say.
Andy walked into the den and her heart ached for the site before her. Miranda held both girls close, with her head resting on Cassidy's head. They were waiting for her. When they sensed her presence, they tried to get up and Cassidy spoke first
"Andy I'm so so-" but Andy held up her hand.
"I don't want your apology. I need answers. We will not leave this room before we clear this up". Andy didn't recognize her own voice. She sounded cold and distant. Miranda visibly flinched at the sound of Andy's voice. She knew that Andy was hurt and it pained her that their daughter was the cause of that pain.
"Please Bobsy, just tell us." Miranda was begging this time.
"I, I... You lied to me, to us..." Cassidy could't look Andy in the eye.
"What?" Andy was shocked. She made a point to always be up front with her girls. Cassidy decided that she needed to have her say and be done with it. The whole situation was getting her down.
"Last month I went to your office to surprise you with lunch, and in the elevator I heard two people talking about you."
"What did they say, Bobsy" Miranda could't help herself.
"They said that Andy was going to Afghanistan in a few months." Tears ran down Cassidy's face but it felt good to get it off her chest. Miranda gasped and Andy tried to interject, but there was no stopping Cassidy.
"The last time you went to Afghanistan, you almost died, you almost fucking died and I-"
"Cass, let me exp-" Andy tried again.
"No, you wanted to talk, so let's talk! You promised us that you would never go on a dangerous assignment again. You promised me! Do you remember?! I helped you to bed because you were too fucking weak and broken to help yourself!"
Miranda held on to Caroline for dear life and silently wept. All the emotions of that time came flooding back. She couldn't believe Andy was going back. She could feel her sadness turning into anger.
"We hardly recognized you the night you returned! I can't believe your doing this to us again!" Miranda was on her feet and ready for battle.
"Miranda sit down and shut up. All of you, you had your say, now it's my turn."
Miranda didn't need to be told twice. When Andy was angry, she scared the shit out of Miranda and the girls. Andy stood up and sat on the table in front of her girls.
"Cass, look at me. What did the people say exactly. Did they use my name?"
"Yes, they said Andrea. I'm not an idiot."
"Baby, what do you and Caroline call me?"
"Andy" Cassidy could't understand why this mattered.
"Ok, and our friends, our family, the name I use at the paper?"
"They call you Andy and you write under the same name - Andy Sachs, why?"
"The only person that calls you by your real name, is me" Miranda added.
"Yes, your mother is the only person that uses my real name. I don't even think that my colleagues know that I'm Andrea" Andy smiled.
"But why would they talk ab-" Cassidy tried but Andy interrupted.
"Because Andrea Moore, our new photographer at the paper WILL be going to Afghanistan. They asked me to go with her, but I said no. So Andrea and Tom will be going to Afghanistan in a few months and I will be managing our website, safe and sound, until they get back".
They were silent. Cassidy leapt into Andy's arms and cried with relief. After a thousand apologies, tears, hugs and kisses, everyone said good night and went upstairs, the emotional roller coaster they were on, had proved to be too much.
Miranda drew a bath for her and Andy. She needed the warmth and closeness that a hot bath and her wife could provide. She held Andy close and wrapped her legs around her waist, her centre pressing into Andy's back.
"Don't you ever do that to me again. I thought I lost you again today" she bit Andy's shoulder and sucked the flesh between her teeth. She was determined to leave a mark. She cupped her wife's breasts and sucked even harder. Andy moaned and all she could think too say was: "I promise".