Chapter 1: First Impressions
Sid was more than somewhat shy. He also felt that he was expected to live up to the 'moral code' suggested to him and observed by his parents. This was at least, in part, why he, almost alone amongst his peers, had no regular girlfriend. True, he was on very friendly, even affectionate, terms with Michelle. The problem was that she was Tony's regular girlfriend. Tony and Michelle were on more than affectionate terms, in fact, they were intimate with each other. Making things more complicated, Tony was also Sid's closest friend.
Tony, understandably, was not all that happy with this situation as he felt that he was becoming one corner of a 'love triangle'. he also felt that his best friend, Sid, should at least, by now, have been intimate with a girl. After all, he was nearly sixteen, and Tony felt that this was the age by which he should be having carnal knowledge of a woman. Because of his 'moral code', Sid didn't see it this way. He was of the opinion that he should remain a virgin at least until he was in a steady relationship with a girl he trusted. This was proving difficult, if not impossible, as he was not on any kind of terms with any girl except Michelle, his best friend's girlfriend. As this relationship, although intense and loving, was purely platonic, he felt that he was going to remain a virgin for the foreseeable future, and probably quite a bit longer. He did, of course, pleasure himself with images of naked girls in magazines, and his own imagination, which often included visualising Michelle's naked body in his mind.
One morning, Tony decided to take steps to change this situation. After all, he told Sid, he found it embarrassing to have a sixteen-year-old best friend, who was still a virgin, and hadn't actually shagged a girl. Once he was up, dressed and breakfasted, he went out. On his way to Roundview sixth form college, he called all his close friends, including Sid. After drawing a blank with most of them, he arranged to meet Sid and his girlfriend, Michelle in a local café. Over a second (fried) breakfast, Tony hatched a plan to get a girl so drugged up that she would not mind Sid having sex with her, so some drugs would have to be obtained. The question was then asked "Who was 'stupid' enough to fuck Sid?". The suggestion was then made that the only girl 'stupid' enough to fuck Sid was Cassie, who had recently been discharged from hospital following an apparent suicide attempt. In support of the first plan, Sid was dispatched to obtain an ounce of Cannabis from a dealer, known to Tony, in a remote area of Bristol.
Cassie was generally known as an 'anorexic headcase', with little or no sense of self-worth, and frequent depressive episodes, often leading to suicidal thoughts. She was also assumed to be sexually promiscuous. As already stated, she was also thought to be 'stupid' enough to be tricked into having sex with the more than somewhat inhibited Sid.
The venue for the set-up was to be at an all-night party at the house of one of Tony's posh friends, Abigail Stock, who attended the private girls' school over the green from Roundview. Tony was to bring Sid to the party, while Michelle would bring Cassie.
Michelle arranged to meet Cassie on College green at four in the afternoon. She got the time wrong and didn't turn up until five. Surprisingly, she was only too happy to let Sid shag her at that evening's party. This meant that the cannabis would not, after all, be needed.
The evening arrived. Tony waited with Sid for Michelle and Cassie to arrive before they went in to the party. After a while, Michelle turned up. On her arm was Cassie. Sid's eyes lit up when he caught sight of her. Far from being the rather drab, depressed looking, washed out looking girl he was expecting (Carrie in the Stephen King film comes to mind.), There was this bright, beautiful young lady with lively brown eyes, cascades of wavy blonde hair and a smile dazzling enough to light up any room she entered. She was wearing a black long-sleeved cardigan. Her reaction to being introduced to Sid was unexpected, but welcome.
"Yeah, wow, lovely No. But I like that you're funny-Iooking." she said when Tony introduced her to Sid.
Sid was enchanted by her gentle musical voice and her smile. He began, at last, to feel relaxed, after being on edge for most of the preceding day. They went in to Abigail's house. As they entered, Abigail requested that they remove their shoes, as the carpets were imported and expensive. Cassie asked where the kitchen was, and disappeared towards it. A short time after the dancing started, Sid followed her, and found her rearranging all the cans and jars of food in the pantry.
She explained that food wasn't for eating, but had to be arranged properly. This baffled Sid, as he had a more normal attitude to food. Once Cassie had finished her reorganization of the larder, she exchanged a few pleasantries with Sid. He was being gradually won over by the sound of her voice. However, his heart and his mind were in serious conflict. At one point, his heart did momentarily get the upper hand, and he was impelled to move Cassie's golden hair out of the way and kiss her cheek. The gentle smile this action produced would have melted the hardest heart. Sid was just beginning to feel love for this slightly strange, but extraordinarily beautiful girl. It slightly worried Sid that Cassie seemed to know why she was there.
"So, are you going to fuck me later?" asked Cassie.
"Pardon?" said Sid, surprised.
"You know." said Cassie, "Like Michelle said."
"She said that?" asked Sid.
"Oh, yes." said Cassie.
Sid was surprised, but reassured that Cassie was apparently ready for what might be about to happen that evening.
His heart received another boost, when Cassie removed her black cardigan, revealing that her gold striped dress was sleeveless and completely backless. the sight of her slender arms, and the perfect skin of her elegant back gave him a frisson the like of which he had never experienced before. He gasped audibly. "Everything about this girl is so amazingly beautiful!" he mused to himself.
"I think you enjoyed that." said Cassie, smiling broadly and noting Sid's reaction, "I guess you'd like me to go further."
Sid was almost speechless. here was the most beautiful girl he had ever met suggesting that he would like to see the rest of what was under her dress. What Sid did not know was that, apart from her stockings, the dress was the only garment she was wearing.
"I - I - er" was, for the moment, all that Sid could say. He was blushing scarlet.
"Sorry, Sidney," said Cassie, I've obviously embarrassed you. For the time being, I'll let you enjoy what you can see of me.
About this time, the party was disrupted by the arrival of three more of Tony's friends: Anwar, Maxxie and Chris, who had spent the first part of the evening at a gay bar known to Maxxie. Chris took off his shirt, and on being requested to remove his shoes, took down his trousers. He then got very friendly with a Polish girl called Danuta.
During the course of the night, Sid and Cassie would come together and have a number of fairly inconsequential conversations. Sid and Cassie also spent some time in the living room with the rest of the party guests. The whole time, his mind, and his negative thoughts about Cassie were fighting with his heart, which was telling him to 'go for this girl'. What was becoming abundantly clear to Sid was that, far from being 'stupid', Cassie was bright, gentle, intelligent and remarkably perceptive.
Some considerable time after sunrise the next morning, Sid found Cassie bouncing on the garden trampoline, saying "Wow! Oh! Wow. This is lovely, lovely, lovely. Wow Waoo! "
"Cassie?" said Sid, "You OK?"
"Get up here." said Cassie, "You've got to, got to bounce."
He was finding her more and more attractive by the minute. The sheer joy she displayed while she was bouncing made his heart sing. However, he was not yet ready to do to her what Tony had suggested. He felt that he would like to really get to know her as a person, and as a friend, before he made any serious physical moves on her.
Urged on by her enthusiasm, Sid climbed up onto the trampoline, and started jumping up and down. Not being used to trampolines, he fell over after two or three jumps. He nearly fell on top of Cassie. While he was supporting himself on his arms, so as not to actually fall on top of Cassie, she propped herself up on her elbows and kissed him on the lips. He was surprised, but pleased by this gesture. He felt that it was an indication that Cassie was beginning to regard him with something a lot more than mere friendship.
"It's no good though, Sid." said Cassie, "Is it?"
"What?" said Sid, "What is?"
"You fancy me?" said Cassie, placing her forefinger on Sid's nose.
"I Sure." said Sid.
"But you really love Michelle." continued Cassie
"It shows?" said Sid.
"Fucking right it shows." said Cassie, "Anyway, she told me."
"She told you?" responded Sid, "Oh, fuck!"
"She said that Tony doesn't love her properly," said Cassie, "But you do, and it's too fucked up because she totally loves him even though she thinks you're sweet."
"Sweet?" said Sid, sounding disgusted, "She thinks I'm sweet."
It was obvious that Sid did not like being regarded as 'sweet' one little bit.
There then followed an intense heart-to-heart discussion during which Sid managed, by chance, to get Cassie to reveal some of the thought processes behind her eating disorder. The more they talked; the more Sid's heart was shouting at him to go for this girl. However, his mind was considering her Anorexia, her tendency towards suicidal depression and her lack of self-worth. He was shutting out the urges from his heart, which were becoming more insistent, the more interaction he had with Cassie. His heart was already in love with her, but his mind was saying "NO!" very emphatically.
Before the party, Cassie had taken a number of, presumably, stimulant pills to help her get through the night, and to suppress her appetite. During this intense heart-to-heart conversation, she was having with Sid, the effects of them were beginning to wear off. She broached the subject of Sid losing his virginity.
"You wanna do it now?" asked Cassie, "Huh? I won't mind. But you'll have to be quick."
"Why?" asked Sid.
"Because I took a shit load of pills." explained Cassie.
"Pills?" asked Sid, "What kind of pills?"
"Oh, you know." said Cassie, "Pills."
At this point in the conversation, Cassie closed her eyes and lost consciousness.
"Cassie? Cassie." said Sid, alarmed, "Oh Oh, fuck."
Sid carried her back to the house using a fireman's lift. She had fallen into a very deep sleep. So profound was this, that Sid dumping her on the lawn like a sack of potatoes didn't even wake her up. Her friends were worried that she was going into a coma. Tony 'borrowed' a car and rushed her to hospital. When they arrived at the A and E department entrance, Cassie woke up, saying what a lovely dream she'd just had. She had only been deeply asleep.
Shortly after this, there was a chance meeting between Sid and Cassie on Brandon Hill. They had another conversation about Cassie's ideas regarding life and travel. She brought up the subject of food. Sid pointed out that he wanted her to be healthy, and didn't like it that she was often starving herself. Before they parted, they visited a 'Subway' café, as Sid wanted a drink and a snack. He persuaded Cassie to eat half of his footlong ham salad sandwich. This was the point at which Cassie realised that this rather ordinary looking boy did genuinely care about her and her well-being.
A couple of weeks later, it was Michelle's turn to host a sleepover party. In its aftermath, Cassie was getting messages via both post-it notes and SMS texts urging her to 'EAT!'. She suspected these were coming from Sid, whose affection for was growing by the day. Each time she received one of these messages, she would delete it. It was not surprising therefore, that there were no 'eat' messages on her phone, when she confronted Sid about the texts. He looked at her phone, found nothing and told her. Her reaction was unexpected and Sid's unthinking response almost unforgiveable.
"I - I thought you liked me." said Cassie, with an expression of disappointment on her sweet face
All Sid found he could say in reply was "What!?"
You can't blame Cassie for running away in tears. By that one unthinking word, 'What!?', Sid had shattered her dreams of a promising relationship with him.
The next few weeks were difficult for Sid, as he realised he had undermined the trust Cassie was beginning to put in him. As a result of his visit to Mad Twatter to obtain some cannabis, he was now being chased by the drug dealer for three hundred pounds. His promising relationship with Cassie was now cooler, in fact, they were almost keeping each other at 'arm's length'. The drug dealer problem was resolved after Ronnie Fazer's musical evening, but not before Mad Twatter had destroyed Jal's precious clarinet, having assumed that Jal was Sid's girlfriend. This incident was probably what got Mad Twatter off Sid's back. Ronnie Fazer was now involved, and Mad Twatter not only had to forego the money Sid owed him, but also had to pay to replace Jal's musical instrument. It was probably fortunate that Cassie wasn't with Sid on that particular evening, as she might have been beaten up and disfigured by Mad Twatter's thugs.
The friendship between Sid and Cassie bumped along at a fairly low level for a while until Chris invited the 'gang' to watch some naughty videos. During an interval in the proceedings, Sid went for a 'call of nature'. Cassie cornered him and asked him for a date. It appeared that things were beginning to look brighter for a change, but having said that, the course of true love rarely runs smoothly.