James and Cassie

James Henley met Cassie Andrews when they first started primary school as children. For years the two of them made it their mission to make each other's lives hell until they were cast opposite each other in their school production. Suddenly, from having to tolerate each other, they found a romance.
Ten years later a fight spiralled out of control and Cassie storms out of their house. Hours pass before James recieves any news of his wife. She's been in a car crash. When she wakes up after the acident she has amnesia. All she can remember of James is the boy who made her life a misery.
Can James convince her to love him again?
Follow the story of how they fell in love and how they respond to the accident that could tear them apart forever.


1. Fights and Phone Calls




17th October 2020

Fights and Phone Calls


“They're jerks, James!” Cassie cried, not looking him in the eye as she bent over the washing up. Her blonde hair fell over her flushed cheeks as she avoided her husband's eyes, under the dim florescent kitchen light.


Indignantly, James looked up and rolled his brown eyes “They're my friends, sure they're a bit boisterous sometimes but...”


Boisterous,” she laughed without humour “That's one way of putting it.” She plunged her hands violently amongst the suds, splashing bubbles everywhere.


With a frown, he picked up a damp plate from the draining board and began to dry it with firm abrupt strokes of the towel “What's that supposed to mean.”


“It's humiliating,” she spat, dropping a plate back into the sink so the deep water splashed up the sides of the sink “The crude remarks, the way they treat me like some sort of servant, Jesse's the only one who has a drop of sense, the rest of them just sit there leering at me!”


James just sniggered and cast the tea towel aside “You're taking it too personally, they're just men being men.”


“I'm not a piece of meat!” she retorted hotly. Finally she dared to meet his gaze and instantly regretted it, finding herself melting in his liquid-chocolate eyes. Nevertheless, she turned irritably away, to stare out at their overgrown garden.


Running a hand through his hair, he responded slowly as though she was a bomb on the brink of explosion “I never said you were.”


“It's how I feel when I'm around those Neanderthals!” she hissed, obviously flustered, but determined to hold her own “It's worse than school.”


As she swept past him, his own temper flared with the arrival of their old familiar argument. Exasperation and irritation dripped into his voice and he paced after her “Oh, here we go.”


“Don't take that tone with me,” she turned fast, finding herself nose to nose with her husband. Her eyes fluttered wide in surprise as she tried to brace herself against him.


To stop her falling, he caught her wrists and pulled her closer, searching her green eyes as he did so. Unconsciously, he also moved them round, putting himself between her and the door. Their heartbeats merged into one accelerating drum-roll. “Every time we fight you pull out the school card.”


Well it was just a comparison that came to mind,” she mumbled, trying not to think about the lips inches from hers or the heartbeat she could feel through his sud-splashed shirt “Since I am being faced with bullies.”


With a groan, he dropped her wrists and threw his head back “Let it go, will you?”


“Maybe I could if you'd let go of those horrific friends of yours!” Cassie shoved him back a step so she could get past. She could feel fiery anger blazing in her stomach. The flames licked up and stopped her from seeing straight as she marched down the hall.


His eyes followed her as she headed towards the front door, pulling on her dark green coat as she went. Fear flickered alight in his stomach, burning away the searing fighting spirit with an ice-cold flame “Where are you going Cassie?”


“Work, they're having an emergency and I said I'd be there as soon as possible,” she sighed, grabbing her mobile and keys from the phone-table.


A kind of darkness came over James, as his gut twisted with distrust “You're lying to me.”


“Maybe I am,” she eyed him, irritably, opening the front door “Why don't you talk to your friends about it?” With the slam of a door, she was gone and the hinges still shuddered with the force of her anger. The sound vibrating in his chest as clear as the words echoing in his head.


Eyes lit up with love and hate, he turned and slammed his fist into the wall. He knew she was hiding something. Over the last ten years, he had developed a way of reading her emotions. So, as easily as he could feel his own heart beating, he knew she was unhappy. They were both overworked and they were both tired and they were both struggling with it all.


Even though somewhere inside his very soul he knew she was right about his friends, – he hated the way they treated her – to satisfy his own conscience, he passed it off as some feminine deceit on her part. They were his guy-friends and somehow he couldn't bare to let go of them. They were as much a part of him as Cassie was, she had no right to ask him to get rid of them. Even the gits that were Steven and Colin meant something to him, he just couldn't take letting them go.


Irritably, he strolled back through the kitchen to the living room. It was a small room, with touches of Cassie all over it. The velveteen settees and matching armchair were all her, not to mention the silver framed photographs on the walls. Classy but cosy, that was the idea and it really worked. In that moment though, James could have smashed it all. It was all Cassie, every bit of it making him want to reach out for her.


He couldn't understand it, him and Cassie loved each other. It was written over every wall of their house. Every picture was them smiling, every card addressed to both of them, every song he wrote was about her. There was no-one in the world he knew better and yet, lately, he felt like he barely knew her at all. The silence blared in his ears and he didn't want to think about what he wasn't hearing.


Sitting down on the larger of the two settees, James closed his eyes and remembered how things used to be. When all that mattered was the two of them and there were no jobs to get in the way. There had always been differences and rifts between them but they'd got used to it years ago. They'd had ten years to learn how to just feel each other. Ten years and they had never fought like they had lately, not so consistently and angrily, it scared him.


Eventually though, all of the memories faded to a sleep riddled with dreams of the past.





He awoke to the sound of the phone ringing. Jumping up with a start, he shook himself and reached across for it. In one swift movement, he'd drawn it up to his ear and answered “The Henleys, James speaking.”


“Mr Henley?” a woman's voice chimed down the phone, too perky for the middle of the night and yet solemn enough to make James take notice of her.


As he stifled a yawn, he pinched the bridge of his nose and tried to stifle the strange, aching, feeling of dread that was twisting his stomach into knots “That's me.”


“I'm calling about your wife, Cassie Henley, there's been an accident.”







8th September 2010


“I can't believe this!” Cassie groaned as she tore down the corridor, her flats clattering on the blackened red tiles. What she would have given to be wearing anything but a school uniform right then. Her stiff collar was rubbing, her tie was too tight and pinafore dresses were not made for running. Rebelliously, she shot her brother a flaming glance “You made us late on our first day.”


With a chuckle, Sonny replied “Loosen up Cass, live a little.” They were twins and were rarely seen apart. The best of friends and the closest of siblings. As result of their continuous proximity, they often drove each other casually insane.


“I'm going to murder you,” she hissed before swinging open the door to their form room.


It was a pale humanities room with walls lined with displays of famous dictators, kings or generals. Rows of tables were filled with class 11CR, all in their self-allocated social groups. Everyone in the class looked up as they entered. Cassie saw smirks on a few faces while expressions of indifference painted others. In pure spite, however, a boy at the back shouted “Finally decided to join us lesser beings Andrews.”


“Get lost Henley,” she snapped in return, heaving her brother across the room to sit in front of their clueless form tutor, Mr Richards.


Once again, James took the chance for another jibe, in coughing theatrically “Teacher's pet.”


“Ego maniac,” Sonny mimicked him perfectly, sending Cassie into fits of stifled laughter. The arguments stopped then, for the time being, as the class settled, once again, into the back to school blues.


As Cassie saw it, everyone in secondary school fell into specific groups:


For example, the populars at the back of the room, led by Millicent Craven and her boyfriend, James Henley. These were at the very top, they basically controlled everything, who you were allowed to tease, who was a no go area. Though generally, anyone bellow losers in status was a marked target, certain people carried protection. Siblings of the populars, the odd suck-up here or there; people who the populars liked without bringing them into the group.


Just below them in social status were the normals, who resided at the left of the room, led by Sandy Jason. As a general rule these were mainly girls. These kids worked hard in class, got good marks, were nice people and were suckers for school spirit and form unity. They kept high up on the social ladder by being nice to everyone. No-one could bear any ill-will to them because they simply weren't mean. It was like kicking a puppy, it was just wrong.


Then came the losers under Nat Southport, kids who thought they were cool for taking drugs and smoking. They kept to themselves and everyone steered clear of them unless they wanted to get drunk or high. The girls were seen in short skirts and the boys with bloodshot eyes and slack trousers, all of them eyeing you as if you were looking at them funny. They were rarely seen in class as they tended to skip out in favour of a smoke behind the bike sheds.


Goths, geeks, emos and anyone else out of the ordinary were next on the social ladder but they weren't particularly well represented in this class – Cassie and Sonny fell into this category. Anyone who didn't fit the mould was here. Usually they were the ones who got the best marks, didn't follow mainstream fashion, despised the social system that oppressed them. Unlike other social groups, they didn't have a leader in particular, they broke off into little groups of their own. This meant that, though they were the biggest group, they found themselves the weakest through lack of unity. They were the bully's favourite target because they were different.


At the very bottom of the heap were the nerds, summarized as complete no-hopers. A basic collection of, mainly, boys who were neither popular or smart. They found themselves with very little to recommend them to a life outside of school. Often they sucked-up to the popular crowd to save them from the onslaught that came from being at the base of the proverbial ladder. They, perhaps, were the only ones who could let go of their pride long enough to do such a thing.


Social mobility isn't possible when everyone believes that their group is the best. The problem is, anyone below the social status of loser is open to anything that the higher groups throw at them with very little hope of defence.


“Is it just me,” Sonny began, his blue-green eyes glittering as he scanned his class-mates “Or has James Henley got hot over the summer?”


Without bothering to look, Cassie replied “It's just you.”


“Humour me Cass,” her – very gay – brother rolled his eyes “Just look at him.”


So, reluctantly, she did. It was true, James had got 'hot' over the summer. His hair was darker and fell in waves now, rather than a swoop. He'd filled out so he wasn't so gawky and... he was still the same jerk he was last June. As illustrated by the way he targeted Everett – nerd – with insults such as runny-nose and ginger-nut. Six weeks cannot change the way someone was or the way things are.


“Are you staring at me Andrews?” he barked, a smirk lighting his brown eyes.


With a sigh, Cassie smiled oh-so-politely “You and your crap personality, not in this century?”


“The lady doth protest too much,” he responded, draping an arm around his sniggering girlfriend.


Sweetly, she mocked “Oh, you learned Shakespeare, well done!” Since primary school her and James had been at odds with each other. Throughout their education, they'd been at opposite ends of the social scale and they both took pleasure in trying to beat the other in an on-going verbal war.


“Just because you're a witch from Macbeth.”


“Why don't you just write brainless-jerk across your forehead?”


“Because I'm not a liar.”


“Well neither am I.”


“I know.”


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