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.

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2. The Moment

 

 

21:39

Saturday

17th October 2020

The Moment

 

James had always hated hospitals. The clinical hallways that were always cold and the eerie iridescence of the bright, white, lights, made him shudder. Whirring and beeping echoed everywhere as it suspended life inches from death. It brought memories to him that were better left buried deep in his soul..

 

To passing staff, James looked remarkably calm but if you looked closer, he was anything but. He was unmoving, staring at the pale wall across from him as though it held the answer to some infinitely important question. In his lap, his hands were clenched so tight his knuckles were white with the strain. Hair and clothes had all been subject to the frantic rush to the hospital earlier and were now creased and rumpled. The real pain, however, was in his eyes, red-rimmed, his pupils reduced to their smallest as he stared ahead.

 

“James!”

 

He looked up as Sonny came rushing to where the man was sat. From his appearance, James guessed that he was fresh out of bed, his brown hair was rumpled and his eyes were still bright from sleep. Almost falling as he ran at James, he asked “What happened?”

 

Running a hand through his hair, in an attempt to wipe the old demons from his mind, he sighed “It was icy and she lost control of the car, by the looks of things, they haven't really told me much.”

 

“Oh, sweet God,” Sonny bit his lip dropping into the chair next to James. Suddenly, James didn't feel so alone, Sonny was not only Cassie's brother but her oldest friend. If anyone would understand the way he felt right now, it was Sonny. Still, James didn't want to open up his heart, he was too scared it would break.

 

Desperate to talk about anything but Cassie, James asked “Where's Peter?”

 

“At home,” Sonny shrugged, with a sad sort of smile “I left him a note to call me when he wakes up.”

 

With a fond half-smile in return, he swallowed the memory of Cassie sleeping “Couldn't bare to wake him up, when he looks so peaceful?”

 

“How did you know?” Sonny smiled at his brother-in-law.

 

As tears burnt the back of his throat, James took a deep breath and tried to be strong “I love watching Cassie sleep, and now all I can think is... what if she never wakes up, ever again?” His own words shook him to the core, making him want to curl up on himself forever with the pain that had his heart pressing on his throat.

 

“She's going to be all right,” Sonny said with shaky certainty “Cassie's always been a fighter.”

 

James might have said something else but a tall woman with a clipboard was approaching. Her black hair shimmered blue under the florescent hospital lights as she called “Cassie Henley's family?”

 

Side by side, the two men stood but James was shaky on his feet so the smaller man took his arm supportingly. For a few moments, the woman glanced between them until he introduced them “I'm Sonny Andrews, her brother and this is James Henley, her husband.”

 

“Well, she's out of surgery but she's suffered severe head trauma and the next twenty-four hours are crucial,” she spoke plainly, adjusting her glasses over her blue eyes “She's still unconscious and.... to be frank, we're not sure when she's going to wake up.” It almost sounded too cliché and unreal to James as he gripped Sonny's arm, barely registering the information as it rattled around his head.

 

Stumbling slightly as it finally hit him and leaning more heavily on Sonny, James choked “She's in a coma.”

 

“It's possible,” she replied “I suggest going in to talk to her, familiar voices are proven to help in bringing people out of unconsciousness.”

 

With a nervous smile, Sonny asked “Can we see her?”

 

“Yes, yes you can,” she smiled cautiously back, gesturing for them to follow as she led them down the corridor. Unphazed, Sonny linked his arm with James's and steered him quietly into the sterile hospital room.

 

The room which had been provided for Cassie was mute in so many ways. It was so opposing to her entity and James could hardly bear seeing her so cold. Her golden hair was spread over the egg-shell pillow and her forest green eyes were closed painfully. Everywhere were blues and whites with only sound or colour the red beeping of the heart monitor. Various tubes were protruding from her arms, taped firm so they wouldn't move – James resisted the urge to pull them all free and take her in his arms.

 

He fumbled for a chair as Sonny discussed something with the doctor.

 

Then, taking her hand, James leant closer to his Cassie and whispered “You would go and get yourself here wouldn't you, couldn't just come home like most girls. My Cassie, always has to be different.”

 

“James,” Sonny began, glancing awkwardly at his sleeping sister “I'm going to call Lissy and Sara...”

 

“Already done it,” James interrupted, his eyes never leaving the slow rise and fall of her chest “And Darren and both of your parents and her work and my work... If you can think to call anyone else though, feel free.”

 

With a start, Sonny said “You had time to ring all those people.”

 

“I had some time, when I was waiting for you, and what else was I meant to do?” James shrugged as the first tears rushed down his face, lingering for a moment on his high cheek bones before sliding to the sharp angle of his jaw.

 

For a moment, Sonny hesitated, almost wondering if he ought to give the couple some privacy but, eventually, he dropped into a chair beside his brother-in-law “In all the years I've known you James Henley, I've never seen you cry.”

 

“I've never been scared like this before,” he choked, holding her hand to his mouth just to feel her warmth again “I can't lose her Sonny, I just can't.”

 

A seriousness, so unusual for Sonny, took over the boy's face “You won't lose her, there is no way Cassie would ever leave you.”

 

“You don't know what you're talking about,” James choked, closing his eyes in a futile attempt to stop the tears.

 

Rolling his eyes, Sonny snapped, fire glittering behind his gaze “Yes, I do because me and Cass told each other everything. I know things weren't easy for you two lately but she could never leave you, you're too much a part of her. You're one entity, you two have been for the last ten years.”

 

“But we haven't always been like that,” James looked up to meet Sonny's gaze and all he could think about was that day in high school all those years ago.

 

 

 

 

15:24

Friday

10th September 2010

 

Last thing on a Friday was RE, which was just about the worst thing you could have at the end of the week. The class were completely uncontrollable, so the teacher practically gave up. Cassie wouldn't mind so much if she hadn't known she could get a high grade in this subject.

 

“I spy with my little eye,” Leah sighed “Something beginning with i.”

 

Laboriously, Cassie shrugged “Incompetent teacher?”

 

“Invisible something?” Annabel added.

 

These two were Cassie's best friends, aside from Sonny of course. She was glad to have them as sisters in arms for this tenuous lesson but their current occupation was decidedly dull. Now the rush of conversation provided by six weeks of little communication had deteriorated into a comfortable back-to-school boredom.

 

“Interactive whiteboard,” Cassie ventured.

 

The tall brunette nodded “Yep.”

 

“Okay great, er I spy with my little eye...”

 

The teacher checked his watch and stood, awkwardly “Get your stuff together, the bell's about to go.”

 

“Thank God!” Annabel leapt to her feet, sweeping her stuff into her bag.

 

With a sigh, Cassie announced “I said I'd meet Sonny at the bus.” Both girls looked at her semi-empathetically.

 

“We're sorry we can't walk with you Cass, but we're going in the opposite direction,” Leah apologized awkwardly. Nevertheless, both girls were out of the door in moments, desperate to get home.

 

Quietly, she wished Sonny was in this class and wandered out onto the playground that separated upper and lower school.

 

Looking up at the grey sky, Cassie took a deep breath of the cool fresh air. All she had to do was make it to the bus and she would have got through the first week back. The playground was glistening with a thin film of rain water as the contrast of the black clouds and bright sunlight filled the sky.

 

“Hey Andrews, nice shoes.” That was Steven Fellon, one of the populars, Cassie dutifully ignored him. He was a freckled idiot, barely a human being in her opinion. Plus, the populars often targeted her, it was nothing new and it was certainly nothing that she couldn't deal with.

 

Jesse Middleton was next to take a shot “How's your puff of a brother?” Though her grip tightened angrily on the strap of her bag, she still kept walking forward. If the stuff they came out with about Sonny's sexuality didn't bother him, she sure as hell wouldn't let it bother her.

 

“Hey swat, where's your dad?” Colin Philips called out. Not long ago, Colin had been quite happily a geek with them, but that all changed when Sonny came out. He backed off like it was a contagious disease, told half the school and reverted to the normals through an old connection with James. That meant he knew her the best of the little group and was perfectly willing to use that advantage to best get at her. So he knew that it would be that comment that got her.

 

Spinning to face the five boys, she shouted “What is your problem?” By the smug expressions on their faces she knew she should have continued to ignore them. Not that she was going to back down now.

 

“You and your granny clothes, why don't you just take it from me,” James sniggered, swinging a friendly arm around Steven's shoulders to lean on his best friend. They were the core of the group, James the leader and Steven his deputy. It was rare to see either of them on their own though the full group was often seen without James.

 

Easily, Cassie cocked her hip, meeting his gaze steadily “Because I take fashion advice from a guy who wears his trousers round his knees.” She could deal with James, she took some comfort in her ability to counter his comments. It was easy and calmed her slight fear at facing down the boys on her own.

 

“Maybe you should,” James quipped back “Wouldn't mind seeing your arse, Andrews.”

 

This was a nice place to leave it, she decided, she could easily count herself victorious from here. With a roll of her green eyes, Cassie retorted, making a move to leave “Dream on.”

 

“Where's twinkle toes?” Zachary Ingrams butted in his blonde head from the edge of the group. That caught her attention with the jolt of her defensive nature deep inside her.

 

Anger flashing across her face, as clear as her rising blush, Cassie jabbed a finger at them “You leave Sonny out of this.” Instantly, she regretted her impulsiveness. All five of them laughed at her maliciously.

 

“Look at you getting all riled up,” Jesse smirked as Cassie turned as red as a tomato. Her head was screaming at her to get out of there, they outnumbered her, she wasn't going to win this one.

 

She almost looked defeated for a moment but then Colin jibed “Just because your sister's also your daughter!” That was a cheap shot, and not a good one either, the sensible side of her protested. Nevertheless, digs at her family hurt her deeper than any of them could understand. With a growl of anger, she shoved Collin's weedy form backwards into James. Irritated by her outburst, Steven and Zachary shoved her in return.

 

Their over-bearing strength won over Cassie's and she went flying. Panic was written across her features as her feet slid from under her and she flailed her arms in a desperate attempt to regain balance. Rushes of colour streaked past her sight in slow motion until he fell into the bench with a sickening crack.

 

Somewhere in her subconscious, Cassie heard her brother's voice over the deafening thud of blood roaring in her ears. A rush of footsteps was the last thing she remembered as the world faded to black.

 

For James, all the world froze.

 

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