Gender: Male Age: 36 Location: Washington State
|Introduction: This is a short story I wrote as my entry for the CAW 12.|
The heat waves shimmered in the distance, inexorably rising off the sand in an unmerciful display of Mother Nature’s authority. My dog was nowhere to be found. Off to the left, the sounds of children splashing in the water could be heard, the day was the first really hot day of the year so far signaling the beginning of what looked like another beautiful summer vacation.
It was the summer of '69. It was the summer of my first love. I would never have a summer like the one I had that year, as you only ever have one first love. More than that it was the summer I learned what it was to become a man, not just defined by gender, but a man as defined by his actions.
I was a fairly independent 14 year old boy, the man of the house since my father had died a couple years earlier. I’d gotten up on that warm Monday morning excited about vacation, mom had already left for work so I fixed myself some breakfast and took a quick shower. I spent most of the day sitting near the fan trying to make the snow go away from the TV until I had to go to work.
Money was something we didn’t have to spare so I had an afterschool paper route to earn my own money. My route was torcher that day as the heat bore down on me, making me so hot and thirsty I came home and drank about half the carton of orange juice we had in our fridge. I walked to the couch and sat down by the fan, but I decided take my dog, Rigby, to the local dog beach so we could play.
Despite the heat it was a very nice day out and I didn’t want to sit inside. It wasn’t a long walk to the beach only about twenty minutes or so, but on a day like today walking in the heat made it seem like hours. I was happy to have some pocket cash as I bought an ice cream sandwich on the way.
As soon as we arrived I unclipped Rigby’s leash and let him run around. I was slowly following in the direction he had run off in when I ran into a group of my friends. I stopped to talk to them for a few minutes and to check out the girls on the beach. It didn’t take long to lose track of time as we made jokes and looked at all the bikini clad girls running past us.
It wasn’t long before I realized I should go and find out where Rigby had run off to as I could hear him barking in the distance. He was a good dog but his energy often got him in trouble as a lot of people thought he was to hyper. I was running down the beach to find out what Rigby was barking at, when I tripped on some one half buried in the sand. I fell hitting the sand face first dropping down next to the person I had caught my foot on.
“I’m so sorry,” I said hoping I hadn’t hurt the person.
“It’s ok, are you alright Tommy?” Asked the sweetest voice. It was only then I realized that it was Cassie I had tripped on.
“I’m fine,” I said trying to regain some of my dignity, “I didn’t know you had come home yet,” I told her trying to act cool and as if my face didn’t sting a little.
“I only got back a couple days ago,” she told me sitting up slightly.
“I’m really surprised your mom let you come down here alone.” I said scanning the beach.
“I was too, but mom was really busy and my brother left about eight months ago,” she reminded me.
“How is your family?” I asked.
“Not great,” she started looking at her feet, “Robert got sent to Vietnam after boot camp. Mom is so worried about him and dad doesn’t want to talk about it. Mom said that Dad’s just worried that Robert will end up like…………..”
“My Dad,” I finished for her when she paused, “its ok we never really talk about it at my house either.”
Cassie smiled at me as she sat up all the way now, the sand falling away from her body as she did so. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing she had breasts now and I couldn’t look away; the little girl who had left me last September had really changed, I noticed the heat forming in my cheeks as I looked at her newly developed body.
“Well I’m glad your back,” I told her hearing my voice crack a little. What was going on with me? This is Cassie the same little brat I had known all my life, why was she making me nervous now? It was at that moment Rigby came running back to me breaking up the tension that was growing in me.
“OOOh I missed him so much,” Cassie said picking Rigby up and hugging him. Rigby wiggled out of her arms and ran down the beach to the edge of the water splashing around but not going in. My dog had always loved to splash and get wet but had always been scared of going in the water past his legs and swimming.
“I’ll be right back,” Cassie said standing up, “I want to jump in really quick.” With that she followed Rigby down the beach and swam out into the ocean. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her in that swim suit, it was the first time I had seen her that close to naked and I was mesmerized by her beauty.
I sat and thought about Cassie as I watched her swim, I had known her all my life, she was a year younger than me and had always lived in the apartment next door. For as long as I could remember she had followed me around, somehow knowing where I was and showing up uninvited to my dismay. My friends had always made fun of me about her and jokingly called her my girlfriend; I had always thought of her more as a bratty little sister.
Our fathers had been childhood friends all growing up in the same neighborhood, when they were young they were inseparable, the best of friends. All through school my father had always protected Greg, Cassie’s father, who was more into books then sports and had been harassed a lot. When they graduated high school Greg went to work with his father at a saw mill and my dad having nothing better lined up had gone into the military.
That is why we lived next door to Cassie and her family, Dad worried about mom and me during the times he wasn’t able to come home. With his best friend next door in case of emergencies dad felt safe being overseas knowing that Greg would look after us. I loved Uncle Greg (as I called him) but it was hard for me having Cassie living next door, between school and home it felt like she never gave me a moment’s peace.
Then that all changed a couple years ago when my dad died, Greg had always liked to drink but now his drinking had become something worse. The man had gone from one of the nicest men I had known to being drunk almost every night. I had been devastated at the news of my father’s death as I loved and looked up to him so much but what no one could have imagined was that it would be Greg who took things the hardest.
It wasn’t long after my father had died that Greg stopped hanging around with our family, I talked to my mom about it one night and she simply told me that we all greave in our own ways and that Greg would figure it out in his own time.
Within weeks of my dad’s death Greg decided that he didn’t want Cassie and I to not be left alone together anymore. That is when the constant chaperoning started with her mom and brother. For some reason he thought we would get in trouble if left alone together. At the time I was only twelve and couldn’t understand what kind of trouble he thought we might get into.
It was the beginning of the next school year Greg decided that Cassie needed to be pulled out of public school, so the arrangements were made and he sent her to an all-girl boarding school. I don’t know where her family found the money for that but she had been sent away.
That first year she was away I felt weird as I had actually gotten used to having her around. To my surprise I found myself actually missing my little shadow, I hadn’t realized until that moment how much I had grown to care for her. It was kind of strange going to the movies or sitting at school during lunch without her being at my side.
She came back from school the summer of 68, twelve years old all freckled and adorable. She went right back to following me around everywhere, instead of trying to chase her away that summer I began to talk to her, and we became real friends for the first time. The only difference to that summer was that where ever we were her big brother or her mom wasn’t that far in the distance.
Cassie’s brother, having just graduated had a lot of free time and only being a few years older than us would often join in on whatever we were doing, I really didn’t mind as Justin was like a cool older brother to me. But when Cassie’s mom was watching she would hang back far enough to make sure we all knew she was there but also far enough away that we could talk and joke without having to be worried about being overheard.
Summer of 68 had been really fun and I found I liked having a girl-friend I could confide things in. We talked about everything, and I found she wasn’t embarrassed to answer confusing questions I had about girls. She would giggle and do her best to explain whatever I had just asked, and then she would ask me all kinds of questions about boys. I had never talked to a girl about the things we discussed, often I was way more embarrassed then she was.
I found I was really saddened again when the summer ended and she was sent back to school, I stood in my apartment at my window and watched her dad drive her off on the last day of summer vacation and I felt something new inside me, something I didn’t understand. It was sadness mixed with a need to be around her, kind of hard to explain but It almost made me tear up to see her leave.
Rigby came running up the beach again breaking me out of my flashback and I tried to clip his leash on him but he took off again. I followed him up the beach to a small nook in the rock wall on the south side of the beach. I finally managed to get his leash on him and I tied it to a large rock so he couldn’t run off again. I looked up and continued to watch Cassie swimming again and I could feel myself turning red in the face.
Cassie came out of the water and looked around I called to her so she could see where we had gone and I sat down. The sand was now washed off her body she was glistening in the light and I could feel my jeans tightening. I had never thought of Cassie and gotten an erection before but looking at her in that bathing suit was too much. Her body had really changed this year; she had developed into a very beautiful 13 year old girl.
Cassie gathered up her things and sat down next to me and I was happy to have found a little spot where we were somewhat alone to talk. She began to tell me about her year at school, I don’t think I heard more than three or four words I was so taken with her I couldn’t think straight. Her nipples were hard and visible through her swim top and my erection was getting harder as I tried not to stare at her body.
The strange feelings I felt as she drove away last summer were filling my body making me shaky and tingle. I still didn’t know what it was I was feeling but I was feeling flushed and I could feel myself pressed hard against my zipper, begging to explore these new desires.
I sat fidgeting for about twenty minutes as she talked away, I was happy just to sit, I was dreading the moment she wanted to leave as it would mean standing up and giving away the fact I was hard for her. It would be embarrassing and I didn’t want her to think I was a pervert and make fun of me.
I was sitting there freaking out in my own head when without I kissed her. I don’t know where I found the nerve or what went through my mind but I kissed her with more passion then I knew I had for her. This was the first time I had kissed a girl and it was amazing, my head was spinning as I felt her lips, they were so soft and tasted like cherry lip balm.
I was really shaking as I placed my arms around her back, I could feel her bare skin under my fingertips. I could feel myself leaking into my boxer shorts, and my embarrassment only grew, but this was the best moment of my life and if she noticed the wet spot on my jeans later I didn’t care this was worth it.
Cassie opened her mouth slightly and I tentatively began to slide my tongue along her lips nervously beginning to explore. She moaned as I did this and shot her tongue inside my mouth deeply and with a great urgency, and I grew bolder doing the same to her. We were now laying on the sand kissing so passionately, blissfully unaware of the world around us.
Our whole lives had led to this kiss and it felt more right than anything ever had in my young life, I wanted her so bad, needed her, I loved her. That thought hit me so hard and scared me so much I pulled away from her. I moved my face away without our eyes ever breaking away from the locked gaze we had on each other.
Had I really just thought to myself that I loved her? Was love really that the strange feeling that I had begun to get around her? Was it possible that I really was in love with little Cassie? The girl who I had spent the bulk of my life trying to get away from? Kissing her had felt so good, so perfect, was that love too? I was too young to really understand all the emotions running through me.
Cassie put a stop to my wondering mind; I was staring into those wonderful blue eyes, our souls melting together when she moved in and began to kiss me again. We lay back into the sand again with her lying on top of me, she brought her knee up and I could feel her body jump slightly as it made contact with my erection.
I was more embarrassed than ever for a moment, I really wanted to touch her newly grown breasts but I was too scared to try so I wrapped my arms around her back again rubbing her bare skin gently. I couldn’t believe the need I felt for her, or the passion, it was like we were two separate pools of water flowing together into one. I was in heaven and scared out of my mind all wrapped in one moment, so when we broke apart I was both disappointed and relieved.
“WOW,” Cassie breathed out, “That was so real……….. I mean………..”
“I know……… I ………..” was all I could reply.
“I mean I wanted to……………. But I was scared that you……….. Wouldn’t……….. Want me,” she said both catching her breath and looking down. She had a definite tone of sadness to the last two words.
“I…………. I like you……….. I just don’t know…………….. How to put it…….. I’m scared, you know what I mean?”
“Yeah,” she says simply and smiles at me. We sit without words for a few moments and I take her hand and hold it making her smile again. I’ve never had a girlfriend before and I don’t know if what we just did makes us a couple or what this makes us at all.
We sit through more silence just holding hands as time passes along, Rigby is jumping around restlessly and I really want to say something to Cassie but I don’t know what. I was working on an emotional level I had never felt, but I thought if I was brave enough to kiss her then I should be brave enough to ask her what was on my mind.
“Cassie Lynn Tuner,” I finally manage, I wanted to use her whole name for what I was about to say, “Do you want to………. Be…… my…….. Girlfriend?” I say more nervous with each word. She looks at me smiling, her blue eyes sparkling and she kisses my cheek.
“You’re so silly,” she says to me softly smiling ear to ear, “I’ve always been your girlfriend.” I realize how stupid I’ve been all these years as its only at that moment I realize that was the reason she has spent her whole life at my side, she had been patiently waiting for today. Waiting for me to catch up and acknowledge the fact we were really meant to be. More silent hand holding followed as we didn’t know what to say, we just sat and watched people walk by swimming and playing.
We finally began kissing again sometime later, we were enjoying ourselves and our new found closeness so much that we lost track of time. It was beginning to get dark before I looked at my watch; it was almost 9:00. I freaked out as it was well after my curfew.
“We have to go, I was supposed to be home an hour ago,” I told her untying Rigby and taking his leash. Cassie picked up her clothes and put on her shorts and her tank top over her now dried swimsuit, before walking with me down the beach.
We were running really late and both knew we would get in trouble by our parents when we got home, so we walked slow and held hands the whole way home. I almost tripped four times along the way because I couldn’t take my eyes off her, she looked like a beautiful angel to me that night and I couldn’t figure out why I had never seen it before.
Once arriving at our building we kissed in the elevator until we reached our floor. We walked to our doors and I tip toed as quietly as I could, turned the knob opening the door slowly but as I should have expected my mom was sitting in the chair by the door when I got home.
“What do you have to say for yourself?” she asked, “Your more than an hour late.” She had a stern look on her face but I knew her well enough to know that she was just happy I was home safe.
“Rigby took off down the beach and I had a hard time finding him,” I lied, “Then when I did he took off again before I could get the leash on him.”
“Really?” she asked with a cracked smile, “It had nothing to do with the fact that I saw you holding hands with Cassie as you walked up just now?” I knew she had caught me but I knew how to think fast.
“Well as I was walking home and I tripped on Cassie because she was buried in the sand sleeping.” I hoped mom believed me as most of what I said was true just out of context, but I had learned years ago that when you lie put as much truth as possible in it.
“And you only did the gentlemanly thing and walked her home, right?” She said fully smiling now and I knew I was off the hook for being late.
“Well I couldn’t let a young lady walk home alone,” I joked as I walked into the kitchen. I opened the fridge to see what we had to eat, as now that I was home I realized it had been since breakfast since I had something to eat besides ice cream.
“Just try to get home earlier the next time you two kids are………… out,” Mom said following me into the kitchen and giving me a knowing look, “So your holding hands with Cassie now?”
“Mom,” I said softly, “It’s no big deal.”
“Do we need to have a talk about being responsible?” She asked me grinning.
“MOM!” I cried out, “It’s not like that.”
“Ok just be careful Tommy young girls hearts break easy,” she said tenderly walking back into the living room.
I fixed myself a sandwich and walked into my room, I was about to turn on my radio when I heard the sound of crying coming through the wall. I placed my plate on my dresser and put my ear to the wall. I couldn’t hear the conversation well enough to repeat it word for word but I understood enough to know Greg was yelling at Cassie for coming home so late.
Cassie’s room was right on the other side of my bedroom wall and I could always hear her dad yelling when she was in trouble. I always felt bad when I heard Greg screaming at her, as it seemed like he was angry at her all the time for anything. It made me realize how great my mom really was as she rarely got mad at me.
Cassie was crying and I couldn’t understand her at all, Greg was so drunk and often slurred his words so bad that I couldn’t understand half of them. From what I could tell he was telling her that she wasn’t to leave the house un-chaperoned anymore. Then he yelled something at Cassie’s mom about letting Cassie out of her sight.
I could hear Cassie’s mom, Grace, crying out about how sorry she was but Cassie was 13 now and should be given some space. Then I heard what sounded like a loud pop, most likely a slap and more crying from Grace now. Cassie screamed out, “Stop it DADDY.”
Greg turned his attention back to Cassie as he began to yell at her again, saying something almost intangible about boys and getting in trouble, he said he wasn’t going to take care of some bastard child if she got pregnant. From there I couldn’t understand anything else he said.
I felt worse than ever tonight, this time it was my fault her dad was yelling at her. I wished I could jump in and help but I didn’t know what I would do anyway, I was only a kid. I missed my Uncle the way he had been when my dad was alive. He never used to yell like that before, I felt like if my dad was still here he could do something, he could talk to his friend or step in and stop the yelling and hitting.
The drunken temper tantrum went on for about another ten minutes before I heard a door slam. I knew her bed was against the connecting wall and I could hear her sobbing softly, I listened to her cry trying to think of what to do.
I wished I could hold her and tell her it was going to be ok. I just stood there for a few minutes listening to her and I don’t know why but I knocked on the wall softly, in a rhythmic way to let her know I was here for her. I heard her go quiet and I knocked again slightly louder and this time I think she understood. It was only seconds later I could hear soft knocking from her side. I smiled and knocked a third time and she responded again. After a couple minutes of knocking back and forth I picked up my sandwich and switching on the radio, it was playing “Bad Moon Rising” by CCR which seemed oddly fitting at that moment.
I sat on the bed and ate my dinner thinking about how the day went, I had really kissed a girl and her knee had briefly touched my dick. I got hard again thinking about kissing Cassie, I really wanted to do more kissing but if I heard things right then her parents wouldn’t be giving us the opportunity. I really hoped her dad would calm down by the end of summer so we could be alone together.
I hoped we didn’t have to wait a long time as just the thought made me so horny. I put my plate on the floor and scooted back in my bed. I switched off my bedroom light and slowly began to unzip my pants and dropping them to the floor as well. I paused to listen for a minute to make sure my mom wasn’t walking around, I didn’t want to get caught, when I heard light snoring coming from the living room I knew I was ok.
My eyes closed as my hand found its way inside my boxers, I began to relive the kissing and touching Cassie’s bare skin, and the memories pushed me over the edge quickly tonight as I had needed a release all afternoon. I reached into my dresser drawer a moment before I was done and pulled out an old shirt and used it to clean myself up. It had only taken minutes for me to give myself the hardest orgasm I had ever felt before. I lay on my bed exhausted and trying to calm my breathing folding up the now sticky old shirt and stuffing it back into my drawer.
It didn’t take me long to fall asleep that night, as my mind was still running through the day. As I was drifting away Rigby came running through the doggy door I had installed at the bottom of my bedroom door, he jumped up on the bed and started walking around in circles until he found his spot at my feet and laid down to sleep.
I woke up the next morning and took a shower before fixing something to eat. I was about to get dressed so I could take Rigby for his morning walk, still only wearing my boxer shorts and a t-shirt when I heard a knock at the door.
“Cassie, what’s up?” I asked answering the door. I looked down the hallway left and right to see if her mom was standing near her.
“Dad just left for work and Mom’s in the shower,” she told me, “I only have a minute, but I wanted………….. To thank you for yesterday,” she said wrapping her arms around me. I held hugged her back and she put her head on my shoulder.
“Sorry I got you in trouble,” I told her not letting go of her.
“It’s ok, was your mom mad?”
“No, she saw us, and she wasn’t mad.”
“You’re so lucky, my dad saw too and he was,” she said and I could hear her voice faultier. She sounded like she might cry again, “So you heard last night?”
“Yeah…………… I’m……………” I started.
“It wasn’t your fault, dad’s been………… angry for a long time now,” she said and she now was softly crying, “It made me feel good to know you were there last night………….. When you knocked I felt like you understood and really cared.”
“I………… just wanted you to know I was there and that I …………. I…………… I ………… love you Cassie,” I told her. She lifted her face in surprise and to be honest she probably saw the same look of surprise on mine. Despite the fact that I had just said it I was scared by it, I had been feeling it but I never meant to say it.
“Oh Tommy,” she squealed wiping the tears away from her eyes, “I’ve always loved you.” With that she pulled my head down to hers and kissed me with a new intensity we hadn’t had yesterday. I could feel myself growing in my shorts and her body was pressing against it.
Cassie pulled away suddenly, “I’m not allowed to see you anymore,” she informed me, her eyes drifting to the tent in my shorts.
“I heard some of that,” I replied, “But …………”
“Don’t worry, he’s just trying to protect me from……………” she paused, “Well from that,” she continued tilting her head down indicating my hard on and I was so embarrassed, “But he will get over it. Dad really does like you he’s just worried and DRUNK, it will be ok, we just have to be secret for now.”
“Ok,” I said simply then an idea hit me, “Just knock on the wall when you’re thinking of me, and I will knock back when I think of you too,” I said trying to calm myself down and she smiled at me.
“Like secret messages? I like that,” she said pressing against me and giving me a quick kiss.
“I have to go,” Cassie said giving me a little wink, “Mom should be out of the shower soon.” I leaned over and gave her one last kiss before she walked away again, and I closed my door. I had gotten so excited kissing her that I sat down and waited until I cooled off again before I got dressed and took Rigby outside.
The day moved slowly as I tried to watch TV and again couldn’t get the rabbit ears to get a clear channel. Star Trek had just that month gone off the air to my disappointment but channel 10 ran re-runs of the show during the day. I was determined to get the TV tuned so I could watch. After the show would have been well over I finally gave up and decided to tell mom we needed to buy foil for the antenna.
I made lunch and turned on the radio only to fight with the antenna on the stereo for about ten minutes to get a decent station. I sat on the couch and ate my lunch slowly; the radio began to play “Get Back” by the Beatles which was the most popular song that month and currently one of my favorite songs in general. I stretched out on my couch and closed my eyes listening to the song thinking about Cassie, there had to be a way to see her, touch her, talk to her, and be together but how could we do it?
I took Rigby out for a walk in the early afternoon, as I was walking away from the complex I could see Cassie sitting at her window but she didn’t see me when I waved. What had come over me? I asked myself suddenly. Only a couple days ago I hadn’t known she was home and now I was in love and staring at her, I decided that being 14 was very confusing.
I walked Rigby for about an hour until I was board; I looked at my watch to see it was still only 2 in the afternoon. When I got to my door my papers had arrived at the house and I got my papers ready and stuffed into my delivery bag and walked my paper route which always took me about an hour or so.
It was just after 3:30 when I got home again it was sad that I actually wanted my mom to come home just so I had someone to talk to, I had never before been so board that I wished to give up my alone time at home. I would just have to find something else to do this afternoon until 6 when she got home.
After I got home I wondered around aimlessly for about ten minutes then decided to rearrange my room. I shifted everything clockwise which now placed my bed on the dividing wall like Cassie’s on the other side. I liked the idea that we were kind of laying together despite the fact there was a wall between us.
Once done with my room it still was only about 4:30 so I decided to get back to the book I had been trying to read for some time now, it was a story written in the fifty’s about a ring and some little people trying to save middle earth.
Mom came home that night with a bag of groceries in hand. I had fallen asleep on the couch my book had fallen to the floor and Rigby was sleeping at my feet.
“Soooooo how was your day?” Mom asked with a grin. She walked into the kitchen and began to put the groceries away.
“Ok, I guess,” I said with a shrug, “Kind of boring.”
“Really? didn’t you see Cassie today?”
“Not really,” I said looking at my feet. Mom’s grin turned and she looked at me questionably.
“Did something happen? Did you decide not to see her anymore?” I loved my mom but she was also nosey at times. I didn’t know what to say to her.
“No, were ok, it’s Greg,” I paused for a minute trying to figure out how to put this, “He doesn’t want us to spend time together, he thinks we will get into trouble.”
“Oh,” Mom said as she began dinner, “I can understand what he’s worried about, but you’re a good boy, I’ll talk to him.”
“Thanks mom,” I said still looking at my feet.
Mom cooked up some spaghetti that night to cheer me up and it worked a little I wanted her to go over right now and talk to Greg but I didn’t want to push her if she was willing to help. After dinner we watched “I Dream of Jennie” then “The Debby Reynolds Show”. I went to bed that night after “The Red Skelton Hour”, I never understood why the reception was always better at night but at least mom and I could watch TV together. I remembered to ask her for some foil for the antenna the next time she was at the store.
I went to my room and lay on my bed; I was staring up at the ceiling for about a half an hour when I heard a light tapping on the wall. I began to tap back placing the palm of my other hand flat on the wall and waited until I could hear her knock again. We knocked back and forth for about ten minutes when I heard yelling from the other side of the wall.
I put my ear to the wall and listened, I couldn’t make out what was said but it was obvious that Greg was drunk and screaming about something. I heard Cassie yell that she wasn’t doing anything and to get out. This brought an eruption of angry undistinguishable words from Greg for a few minutes then another door slam.
I felt guilty for the second night in a row I had gotten her in trouble. How could I have not realized that the knocking could be heard by more than just us? I knocked lightly again to say that I understood and I was still there and she knocked only twice quickly in acknowledgement. I laid there facing the wall hoping she was doing the same, wanting to reach out to her. Four inches separated us, only four inches, it was so small a gap and such and yet such an impassable distance.
June ended without any improvement, mom tried to talk to Greg one night when she saw him coming home from work, from what I heard hiding behind the door of our apartment it didn’t go well.
“I think it would be best if we kept our distance from him for a while,” she said softly walking into our apartment. I’m sure she could see the disappointment in my eyes.
“I don’t understand what happened, weren’t we all friends?” I asked mom. She bent down and looked me in the eyes and paused for a minute trying to pick her words.
“Greg has troubles that can only get worse if he doesn’t get help,” she said with a lot of caring in her voice, “We should just give them space until he can work some of that out.” I wasn’t sure I understood what she was saying. From what I could see was that the man was always drunk, but if alcohol was what was causing his problems couldn’t he just stop drinking? I really didn’t understand so I asked mom about it.
“Oh sweetheart, if life was so simple,” she said patting my shoulder, “The problem isn’t the drinking, the problem is the reasons he feels the need to drink.”
“Dad?” I asked tentatively.
“That is part of it, but I would say more over he can’t let go.”
“What does that mean?” I was more confused than ever.
“Ok sweetie it’s like what’s happening with you and Cassie,” she began, “He can’t face the fact that his baby girl is growing up. He still sees little girl when he looks at her.”
“I still don’t understand,” I was trying hard but I had been a sheltered kid and as book smart as I was I didn’t quite see what mom’s point was.
“Look what it comes down to is some people don’t cope well with change. Greg wants things to be like they were not as they are. He still can’t accept your father died so he doesn’t talk to us anymore. He doesn’t acknowledge that his baby is growing like you kids are so he wants her to stay in her room and be his little girl and not talk to boys,” she explained and I finally got what she was saying.
“I get it, thanks mom, you’re the best,” I told her and she smiled big at me.
“Now I wish I could hear THAT every day,” she replied walking over and giving me a big hug. I meant it today, I wondered what I would do if I had parents like Cassie’s. I think I would run away and never come back.
Cassie continued to sneak over a couple times a week throughout the rest of June in the mornings when her mom was in the shower for some quick kissing. We talked about the wall knocking and decided we could only do a couple taps at a time to say hi. Her dad had come in yelling about her banging on the wall for attention. He hadn’t realized it was both of us or that we were communicating, he thought she had done all the banging herself out of anger and boredom from being grounded to her room.
During most of my days I had the same routine, fighting with the TV, as I tried often to add foil and coat hangers to make it work better. In afternoons I walked my paper route and usually took Rigby with me as his afternoon walk, and then I would come home and read my book. All of which I found more and more boring but I had nothing better to do.
In desperate need to get out of the house I went to the movies a couple times, rode my bike around town, went to the ice cream stand, hung out at the comic book shop and went back to the beach a few times.
At the beach I usually just hung out with whatever friends were there during the day. I would let Rigby run wild as he loved to do so much and I would sit with my friends as they ogled girls and talked about what it would be like to kiss them. I thought about kissing too, I knew what it was like to kiss a girl but I didn’t talk about it with them.
I didn’t tell my friends that Cassie was my girlfriend, she was special to me and I didn’t want to hear any jokes from them about it. My friends Allen and Mike were at the beach often and they wondered why I had all of a sudden stopped looking at the girls. I just shrugged and said that they were cute but I didn’t see one I really liked. They all made jokes at me and asked if I didn’t like girls anymore, I got tired of those jokes quickly. By the end of June I had enough of looking at random girls and I’d had more than enough of my friends jokes so I stopped going to the beach.
At night we began to knock only twice at 10:00 just to let the other one know that we were there and thinking about each other. I was living every day now looking forward to our morning hugs and kisses on the days she snuck over and I spent the rest of the days yearning for something as simple as a soft tapping through a wall.
It was the first of July and I was returning home from my paper route, walking Rigby and as I walked towards the building I looked up at Cassie’s window but I didn’t see her there. I looked down at my dog as we walked to the elevator when a folded piece of paper hit me in the side of the head. I looked up but didn’t see anyone, I picked up the paper and unfolded it; it was a note from Cassie;
I saw you leave with Rigby and I wanted to tell you what happened this morning. My mom found me at the door when she got out of the shower, she guessed I was about to sneak out and she got mad at me. She said that when my dad gets home we all need to have a talk.
In the last few weeks I’ve been home I’ve noticed that dad’s drinking has gotten so much worse than it was when I left last year. He goes out every night after work and drinks with his coworkers and comes home so dunk that mom is scared of him now. If she tries to talk to him about his drinking, the bills or how he’s keeping me locked in the house he hits her and he yells at me.
I think part of it has to do with my brother, getting transferred to Vietnam. Dad thinks Robert should have come to work with him at the mill, settled down with a girl and started a family instead. But now dad is so sure that Robert is just going to die like your dad, he’s so convinced that we can’t even bring up Roberts name now without an angry outburst.
I don’t know what to do, when I try to talk to him about you and us he gets madder because he thinks that you’re trying to molest me or something. Then I tell him I love you and he gets somehow even worse. He thinks keeping me in the apartment is the only way to protect me from you, he really thinks you’re going to hurt me somehow. He doesn’t realize how much I love you. I know you wouldn’t hurt me.
I can’t come over in the morning anymore, I’m scared that if he hits mom then he will hit me too. If I get caught again I’m worried that he will beat me or worse hurt YOU for touching me. I promise to wait for you until we find a way out and dad gets better again.
Please don’t hate me, I love you so much and I really miss not being able to go to the movies or the beach with you anymore like we used to. The happiest times of my life have been at your side; Please don’t be mad at me for being scared of my dad. I’ll make things all better somehow.
I walked back to where I could see her window again and looked up. Cassie was back again and I waved, she smiled and waved back at me I held up the note then smiled and touched the note to my heart and gave her the OK sign with my hand. She smiled down on me and nodded and I knew she knew we were ok.
I re-read the note all day as I was more upset with our situation than ever. I felt bad for her and how much she had to live through with her dad, I wished there was some way to help her or get Uncle Greg the help he needed to not hit and scream anymore. I was upset that now our morning kissing would be taken away from us. I felt selfish with all that she was going through that I was upset about not being able to kiss her. It was only five minutes every couple days but at least it had been something and now it was gone.
I was lying on my bed with all these conflicting thoughts and emotions going through my mind. This whole situation was way above what I was old enough to really understand and deal with. When my mom got home that night I didn’t get up I just laid there not wanting to talk to anyone.
“Tommy?” she called walking in the door, “Are you home?” I didn’t say anything I just rolled over and looked at the wall. I folded the note up and slid it into my pocket; I didn’t want my mom to find it.
“Tommy?” she called again and I could hear footsteps down the hall, “There you are, get up and help me with dinner.”
“I don’t want to,” I said quietly not looking at her.
“I wasn’t asking, come help with dinner and we can talk.”
I got up a minute later and followed her out to the kitchen. Mom was making my favorite, Mac and Cheese with tuna in it, and I knew she had something up her sleeve if she was making my favorite.
“You still upset over not seeing Cassie?” Mom asked and I just nodded.
“You care for her a lot huh?” I just nodded again.
“I know it’s hard but this won’t be forever,” she said kindly, “Did you know your father and I loved each other when we were your age?” I shook my head; I had never really thought about how they had gotten together, and mom didn’t talk about dad much since his death.
“Your grandfather didn’t like your dad because he thought………… well let’s say your grandfather thought like Greg does now, but I always loved your dad,” she explained, “After Thomas joined the Air Force your grandfather consented to let me get married to him.”
“Oh, what did you do for all those years?” I asked genuinely interested.
“Well we had faith, and found ways to be together, we believed what we felt was worth waiting for.”
“Oh, so what should I do if she’s grounded to the house until she goes back to school?” I asked. I was really happy mom understood and could maybe help.
“I don’t know sweetie, but if you really love each other you will find a way to be together until you’re old enough to be together,” she said looking at me and smiling, “I can’t tell you who to love sweetie or how to see each other but you will find a way.”
“Thanks mom, I…………… love you mom,” I told her and she gave me a big hug.
“Now on to this weekend, I talked to your grandmother and you’re going to spend some time with her starting this Friday.”
“Grandma?!” I questioned and now I knew the reason for the mac and cheese tonight, “Why do I have to go to grandma’s house?” My grandmother was the most evil woman I had ever met; she loved to start fights between my mom and her sisters. She would cause problems and sit back and giggle while people got into real fights.
“Well for one I thought a change of scenery would do you some good, second since Friday is the Fourth of July, we are going over there for dinner and fireworks then you’re going to stay there with your cousins this week.”
“Well at least I don’t have to stay there with just her, which cousins are coming?” I asked.
“I’m not sure who’s all staying all week as grandma wants as many of you kids as she can get to stay this time. But everyone is supposed to be there for dinner on Friday.”
“Wait!” I exclaimed, “What about my job? I can’t be gone for a week.”
“Don’t worry I called and they said they will have a fill in for you, you’re going to grandma’s no arguments young man.”
I didn’t ask any more from mom right then, I didn’t want to stay all week but I thought that it would be nice to see the whole family. I was the one person in my family that didn’t like fireworks but I knew dinner would be great and there would be lots of it.
It was two days later on the third of July, I had just gotten home in the afternoon from walking Rigby and I only had an hour before my route when there was a knock at the door. I opened the door to find Cassie standing there; she was wearing a light colored sun dress and looking very pretty.
“What are you doing here?” I asked pulling her into a hug.
“Mom went to the store, she said she would trust me alone for an hour,” she said smiling. I pulled her into the apartment and led her down the hall to my room. We sat down on my bed and begin kissing.
“I’ve missed you so much,” she told me kissing my neck, “We don’t have much time.”
“I love you so much,” I moaned out as she kissed me. I ran my hands up her back and began to rub her gently. Cassie moaned and began to run her hands through my hair, as she dug her face into my neck kissing me harder. I slid down on my back as she kissed me; she moved in on top of me like she had the day at the beach and brought her knee up to my crotch, rubbing me through my jeans with her thigh.
We had been kissing for about ten minutes when I got brave and reached between us and felt her breasts through her dress, they were still somewhat small yet so soft. Her lips came back to mine as I began to caress her hard nipples and we kissed desperately. With her lower thigh on my dick and my hands touching her breasts it didn’t take me long before I felt myself explode into my boxer shorts.
I seized up as I came and Cassie clamped both of her knees over my leg and froze up for a moment having her own orgasm before she collapsed on me.
“Wow,” I moaned out, “That was the best thing ever, in my whole life.”
“Me too,” she said kissing my ear. I wrapped my arms around her and she pulled away, “I have to go home. My mom will be back and if I’m not in my room then my dad will find out and…………… he won’t be happy.” She got up and I didn’t move, I stayed on the bed still looking at her wanting so much to hold her all afternoon. I felt so good right now and I loved her so much I had to find a way to be with her like mom said.
“I should go,” she said leaning over and kissing my cheek. I grabbed her and pulled her to me.
“I love you,” I told her.
“I know and I you,” She said kissing me again.
“I’m leaving for a week, to my grandmother’s house.”
“Oh, ok,” she said looking down.
“When I get back I promise I will find a way to do more than knock on the wall,” I told her.
“Ok, I have to go. Have fun at your grandmothers.”
Cassie left my room and I still didn’t move, I heard her knock on the wall a few minutes later and I knocked back. It wasn’t long after my papers arrived and I had to leave to walk my route for the day.
I was in a conflicted mood that afternoon. It had felt really good to kiss her deeply like that and I couldn’t believe that I had been brave enough to actually touch her chest. I couldn’t believe that we had gone that far and she had rubbed my dick through my pants, which had felt so good until I came and it all got sticky. I was struck with a sudden embarrassment that I came so quickly and that she may have felt the wetness on her leg.
At the same time I was feeling really sad and all this only made my yearning for her worse. I was sad that in the three weeks since we had become boyfriend and girlfriend today had been the most time we had spent together and would most likely be all the time we get all summer unless something changed.
Mom and I went to the family dinner on the Fourth of July, and there was lots of food and fireworks late into the night. All around me my cousins and other family were having fun but I just sat off in the distance by myself and thought about my problem.
Over the next week my cousins ran around my grandma’s farm playing and having a fun week. I found my place under a large tree far off from the house and that’s where I spent my days. It was Tuesday then my closest in age cousin Travis came to talk to me.
“It’s a girl huh?” he asked me. I simply shrugged and didn’t give him a real answer, “Do you want to talk about it?” He asked and I knew he meant well but I didn’t want to talk to him about girls so I just shook my head and he walked away without another word.
“Hi cousin,” said a pleasant voice behind me about ten minutes after Travis walked away. I looked over and found Travis’ older sister Brenda standing there.
“Can I sit down?” She asked sweetly and I nodded. I had always liked Brenda, she was three years older than me and she was so pretty that in the past I had, had a hard time looking her in the eyes without blushing.
“So girl trouble?” she asked and I again shrugged.
We sat there in silence for a while before she started talking to me about her life and how exciting it had been to graduate last month and how excited she was that her boyfriend asked her to marry her.
It took her a good hour before she got me to open up and tell her what was going on with me. It was so nice to finally open up and talk about what was going on that once I started I couldn’t hold back and I told her everything. Brenda smiled at me the whole time and listened without many questions; she just nodded and said she understood.
We sat there for another hour trying to figure out a solution to my situation but Brenda said the only thing we could do was if we really loved each other then we had no choice but to wait until we were old enough, we only really had just over 4 years until we could get married. Four years I wined at her, and she simply patted my hand and said really it wasn’t that long and if what we felt was real it would be worth the wait.
At dinner time Brenda got up and kissed my cheek, and told me that I was a real sweetie and that she wished more boys cared as much about their girlfriends as I did. She told me she had dated a bunch of boys who didn’t show half the love to her that I did for my girlfriend. With that she walked away for dinner that night, I didn’t go anywhere I simply sat under the tree and continued to work on my problem.
The next Friday mom picked me up from grandma’s house after work. She asked me how I was and I told her I was upset with myself because I still hadn’t found any kind of solution to seeing Cassie. I was mad because I had promised her an answer, but there was nothing. Mom patted me on the shoulder and said not to worry. I don’t know what she was thinking I always over worry about everything.
We had a late dinner after we got home that night and both of us retired to our rooms to go to bed. It was almost 10 but I was excited to be home so I knocked on my wall as soon as I closed my door and hopped on my bed. It was only moments later that I could hear her knock back, so I knocked my second time.
Her second knock came a few seconds later, lower on the wall. I smiled and laid down on the bed thinking we were done with our knocking when she knocked again lower almost to the floor. I sat up and wondered what was up because we never did more than twice. After a couple moments came another knock near the floor again, so I knocked a response on the wall to let her know I heard her.
A heavier and quicker knock came from the lower wall again and I don’t know why but I got off my bed and slowly crawled under it. It was then that I saw what Cassie was getting at, as she had found the solution I had been searching for all week.
Two feet to the right of where the legs to my headboard sat on the floor I found a hole the size of a fist cut into the bottom of the wall, it resembled a badly cut mouse hole from “Tom and Jerry” cartoons. I found a note sitting just inside of my side of the hole.
I backed out from under my bed and snuck down the hall to our junk drawer in the kitchen, and took out our flashlight then I returned under my bed and unrolled the note Cassie had left me.
I missed you so much this week, who knew that such a little thing like a sound at night could mean so much to me. I’m so happy your back and I hope that what I did is ok; this was the only thing I could think of so we could talk. I thought if the hole was under the bed our parents wouldn’t find out I hope you like this idea.
I don’t want to take any chances and we should only write notes. If my dad hears me talking then finds out what we’ve done he will be mad and may hurt me or my mom. His anger is out of control lately and he’s been coming home later and more drunk this week, I’m so really scared of him now. I don’t know what to do.
I love you so much
I folded up the paper and crawled out from under the bed again and took my note book off the dresser and grabbed a pen, and then I went back under the bed again. I shined the flashlight threw the hole to let her know I was there, and then I began to write her a return note. Moments later a light shined through the hole from her side and I smiled as I continued to write.
I told her how happy I was that she had come up with this idea and how I had tried so hard but come up with nothing. I told her how much I missed her and wanted to be with her. My note ended up being 6 pages by the time I was done. I had no idea when I started writing I had that much to say. I pushed the note to her side and waited as she read it.
It was about ten minutes later when her hand came through the hole and I took it in mine, I loved the feeling of our fingers intertwined and I was so happy to just hold her in some way. We held hands for about an hour that night before she pulled her arm back.
She wrote me a quick note that said that she should get back in bed because she didn’t want her mom to find her under the bed in the morning if she fell asleep. I wrote her back that I understood and I would be there tomorrow at the same time as tonight.
The next morning I woke up happier then I had in the last few weeks. I felt like we had won a victory, a small one be it as it may but a victory none the less. It was Saturday and Mom was actually home today, she often house cleaned on Saturdays for extra money so it was nice to see her have two whole days off this week.
I was hanging out in my room hoping to talk to Cassie but mom was pestering me about getting out of the house. She said the usual parent stuff about it being a nice day and getting out with my dog. By noon I had enough and left for the beach to walk Rigby.
It was in the nineties at least that day and the sweat was dripping from me as I walked the distance to the beach. I stopped and bought an ice cream and a cold soda along the way, both tasting so good and cold. When I made my way down to the off leash dog area I ran into my friend Allen, he was there with his family and our dogs ran off together playing.
I somehow managed to put all my issues aside that day and I had a really fun day at the beach with my friend and his family. Allen’s older sister Karen was home from collage for the summer and she was looking really good. I felt guilty about the fact that I couldn’t take my eyes off of her, but I was only a 14 year old boy after all.
Allen’s other sister, Bev, who was about to turn 16 was there too, she was cute and looked good like her older sister. Bev had always liked me and I thought she was very pretty, but I had never really given much thought about going out with her. Throughout the afternoon she kept sitting next to me trying to hold my hand and talk to me but I kept moving away from her, I was trying to find a way to show her I wasn’t interested without hurting her feelings.
It had cooled down some by the time I walked home, it was early evening and I was getting hungry. As I walked up to the building I could hear shouting, I don’t know why but I circled around to see who it was, I looked down and saw the hair on Rigby’s back rising up and he began to bark.
“I SAID GET BACK IN THE HOUSE!” I recognized it now as Greg’s voice. I continued walking trying to see what was going on.
“NNN………..nnno,” was the response through sobbing coming from Cassie’s mom, “I ………… Can’t live like this…………. I’m going to my mothers.”
“NO YOUR NOT, GET OUT OF THE FUCKING CAR!” I could see them now; Greg was so drunk I was surprised he could stand up. He reached over and grabbed his wife by the arm and pulled her out of the car kicking the door closed. Half dragging her he pulled her along in the direction of the elevator.
“I’m sorry…………… Greg, I’m sorry,” she sobbed with a level of fear, “I just wanted to see mmmmy mmmmom.” With that she gave a little struggle and Greg slapped her hard across the face. I was a good distance away but I could hear the slap as if they were next to me. I lunged towards them not knowing what I would do, Rigby was barking furiously as I ran at Greg. As luck would have it the elevator was faster than me, Greg was so involved with his wife he never saw me coming he pushed his wife onto the elevator and the doors closed in my face as I got there.
I really don’t know what I would have done if I had been faster, I was a small teenage boy and Greg was a large man, but I was so angry. I had been raised that hitting women was the lowest form of being a creep you could be, I know Cassie had talked about it but seeing it happen before my eyes made me more mad then I had been in my entire life.
I looked up at the outside of the building and to Cassie’s window; I could see her there leaning against her windowsill tears visible even at this distance. I waved at her until she noticed me and I held up two fingers to indicate I would be home in a couple minutes, she nodded then pointed the direction of the elevator then shook her head. I took it to mean she didn’t want to get caught under the bed when they were fighting; I nodded my head and decided to take the stairs.
I got home and could hear the yelling in the hall as I made it to my door. I was upset as I walked in and unclipped Rigby, Mom was in the kitchen cooking dinner and I slumped down into a kitchen chair.
“What’s wrong sweetie,” mom asked.
“I wish I wasn’t so small,” I said looking down at the table.
“Where did that come from?”
“I just saw Uncle Greg all drunk, punching Aunt Grace, I …… I wanted to………… I couldn’t help………… I just stood there, then I …….. I don’t know.”
“I know it’s hard knowing what the right thing to do is. What Uncle Greg did was wrong honey, but if you would have confronted him, he would have hurt you,” she said gently, “When men drink they do things they don’t mean to. He would have hurt you too and not realized what he did was wrong.”
“Why does he drink if it makes him do bad things?” I asked confused.
“It’s a cycle sweetie, bad things happen then men drink, then good men do stupid or hurtful things,” She paused for a few seconds thinking about what to say next, “When they sober up they realize what bad things they’ve done then they feel guilty and drink more to not feel so bad about it, but that only makes it worse not better.”
“But if they know what they did was wrong while drinking why drink more?” I asked more confused, “If I did something hurtful I wouldn’t do it again so why don’t they stop?”
“Your such a good boy,” she started, “I hope you stay this way, but men don’t see it that way, they use the alcohol as an excuse for the bad behavior.” She patted me on the head and walked back over to the oven and pulled out the casserole that she had been baking. She set it on the stove top and peeled back the foil letting out all the steam; I just looked at the steam rise thinking for a couple minutes.
“If everyone knows how destructive alcohol can be why don’t they just make it illegal?” I asked thinking that it was so simple.
“They tried that, it was called the prohibition. It didn’t work,” she told me simply, “Now no more of this right now, dinner is ready and I want to hear about the rest of your day, what did you do today.”
I told mom about my day and we talked about happier things through dinner. After dinner and a couple shows on TV I brought up the whole subject of drinking and families again. We had the most serious talk I had ever had in my life to that point that night. I still didn’t understand everything but I tried my best to not question too much.
I went into my room early that night and wrote Cassie a long note. I told her how sorry I was about her dad and how much I wanted to help. I promised her that I would never drink and I would never yell or hit her, I told her how much I loved her and how I would wait for her.
I slid under my bed and pushed my note to her side of the wall and left my arm there waiting for her to find me. I noticed that the way she had cut the hole it was scratchy on my upper arm by the time I reached all the way through, I thought this week I would round it out better for both of us.
I didn’t realize I had fallen asleep when I was woken up to the feeling of Cassie’s fingers wrapping around mine and squeezing them, I flexed back in response. I lay there holding her hand for a long time until she pulled away and placed a note in my hand, I pulled back to read what she had to say.
I was so scared tonight when they started fighting, dad had gone out to help a friend rebuild his car engine and came home with glitter and perfume on him and mom questioned where he had been. He just slapped her and told her to mind her business. I hid in my closet but I could still hear them, she was crying and he was hitting her so hard.
I saw what happened outside and I was so touched that you tried to come to my mom’s rescue. I felt so much love for you that you ran after my dad. It wouldn’t have mattered if you caught him he would’ve hit you too. He doesn’t care anymore and he has no control over what he’s doing.
I loved your note and I love you so much, I’m so happy you’re my boyfriend and not somebody else’s. I’m so glad to find you here tonight; I really needed you to be here now. I don’t know how much worse things can get, I’m already locked into the house and now dad doesn’t want mom going out without him. I feel like we’re in a prison and there’s no end in sight, I just don’t know what to do.
I will understand if you want to find a girlfriend who doesn’t go to boarding school and isn’t a prisoner in her own home. I would miss you so much and be so sad but I would understand. It’s not fair to you to have to live with having a girlfriend you can’t see.
Sorry I’m just upset. Just be honest with me, if you love me or you want to date someone you can see, just tell me and it will be ok. I love you and want you to be happy.
I read the note twice before I began a note back to her. I thought about what she had said and it would be easier to date someone who I could see. There was Allen’s sister for one, but I loved Cassie and I had loved her for a long time I just hadn’t know that’s what it was until this summer.
I wrote her back quickly, I said that we would get through it, I told her what my mom had said about faith and how she had lived it herself. I told her about what my cousin Brenda had told me and how time seemed against us now but would mean nothing in the course of our lives if we held strong to each other.
I gave her my note and she held my hand on her side when I did so. Moments later she kissed my hand and held it against her heart. I was so turned on at the same time because as she held my hand to her heart I could feel her breast at the same time. I felt guilty for being turned on at such a meaningful moment but I couldn’t help it.
An hour later I got a note back with only a few short words. It simply read; Thank you, I love you, Good night. I moved around so I could kiss her hand as I held it on my side. After a couple light kisses her hand disappeared and I went to bed.
I would like to say that things didn’t get any worse after that night but Cassie had been right. Greg was now chaperoning his wife whenever she left the house now and since he didn’t want Cassie leaving he installed a pad lock on the outside of her door, so that when he and her mother left she couldn’t sneak out of her room.
I did enlarge the whole big enough to fit our arms better and we were able to see each other as we passed notes. It was nice to see her smile every night, and we found that we could talk easily when her mom and dad weren’t home. Cassie found a box that she could push in front of the hole so it couldn’t be seen if her parents looked under her bed.
I talked to my mom about what was going on next door as much as I could; I was really hoping she could come up with a way to help. The problem was she kept asking me how I knew so much and I didn’t want to tell her about the wall. I just told her that Cassie had found a way to pass me a note.
Mom said she would talk to some people because she thought it was wrong to keep a child locked up like she was, but she said she couldn’t promise anything. She felt it was better to stay out of others affairs but when it came to children it was important to do what was right for safety.
Summer was fastly coming to a close so fast that it seemed unreal that school was only two weeks away. Cassie said that she was supposed to be leaving again in about a week and she really wanted to return to school. We both were sad about her leaving town again but at least at school she wouldn’t be restricted to one room.
My days never got any better than when the summer had started; I still fought with the TV and tried to come up with anything to fill my time during the day. The nights hadn’t changed either; I sat with mom until bedtime then hid under the bed holding hands and passing notes. Things on Cassie’s side were worse than ever as her dad only let her out to eat and use the bathroom, and she had grown so restless.
In an effort to help her out I spent my money on puzzle books and I often bought her treats to snack on. She was so happy that I stood by her side during this time and that I helped her with things to do. She was worried about getting found with new things so she would hide her books in the wall between our rooms.
We both had our birthdays in August; hers was at the beginning and mine two weeks later in the middle. On Cassie’s 14th birthday I went down to the store and bought her a book she really wanted and a cupcake to pose as a birthday cake. She was really happy with her presents as she got nothing from her parents. Her mom had told her at breakfast that morning that between her school costs and dad’s drinking there was no more money.
For my 15th birthday mom took me out for lunch and got me a new coat and some new shoes, she also bought me a new antenna for the TV. It was a really good day but as much as I loved spending time with mom and the new gifts I was waiting for that night.
Cassie drew me a picture of a cupcake with a lit candle on top; she wrote me a short poem and told me how much she loved me. It was the sweetest birthday I could ever remember, she said she wanted to get me something special but with what was going on she couldn’t. Instead she had me reach though the hole as far as I could and she slid my hand inside her shirt and placed it on her bare breast.
I was so turned on and I couldn’t control it; I reached into my pants and started rubbing myself. It only took a few moments for me to release and my other hand never budging from her bare chest. After a few more minutes she pulled away and I pulled my hand back and looked into the hole, she was there looking back at me.
“Did you um………..”She asked tentatively and very quietly. I noticed her breathing was heavy.
“Yeah……I…….” I said still trying to get my own breathing under control.
“Me too, happy birthday,” she said. It had really been the best birthday present ever. It was so hot and romantic to me at the same time and I was overcome with feelings that night.
I had just climbed under the bed on the last Thursday before Cassie was to leave again, waiting for her when I heard a door slam on her end and minutes later Greg was yelling from their living room. I heard Cassie hop off her bed and go to her door, and then I heard the door squeak and more footsteps.
“GET THE HELL BACK TO YOUR ROOM!” Greg screamed at her and she ran back into her room slamming the door behind her. She appeared under the bed and reached for me.
“He looks crazy,” she cried out to me not caring if she was overheard, “I’ve never seen him look so scary.” Her hand was trembling as she held mine.
“It will be ok,” I told her not really having any idea of what to say. I held her hand tight as we heard crashing and banging from the apartment.
“NO DON’T!” We could hear her mom scream, “DON’T YOU………..!” there was a loud thump and her mom’s voice cut out and I couldn’t sit still anymore.
“I’ll be right back,” I told Cassie softly.
“Tommy, where are you going?!”
“Don’t worry I promise I’ll be back.”
I climbed out from under my bed and I ran down the hall to find mom on the phone, she was talking to someone and waiving her arms, but I didn’t stop. I ran out my door and started banging on Greg’s I didn’t know what I was going to do but I just couldn’t sit still.
Greg opened the door looking down at me, “What the hell do you want?” He was drunk for sure but not as much as I would have thought for what had transpired already, there was something else, something l couldn’t place at my age.
“You NEED HELP!” I yelled at him, “You need to stop……….. Or else!” It was a lame threat but I didn’t know what else to say and they said stuff like that on TV all the time.
“OR ELSE WHAT?” he spat at me, “Mind your business BOY.” We both stood there staring each other down, neither moving for at least a full minute.
“That’s what I thought little fucker,” he said and began to slam the door but I caught it with my arm, “MOVE CHILD!” He roared and again I stood my ground.
“NO,” I said defiantly. I looked up at him right in the eyes, I was ready to make my stand and I wouldn’t budge, “You’re not hurting anyone else tonight.”
“I told you to mind your business, I will not ask again,” He told me and I could see the full rage in his eyes.
“NO,” I said firmly again as he tried to push the door closed again, “I will not allow…………………” was as much as I managed to say. I barely saw him move and I had his large fist connect with my jaw. I could taste blood and my face hurt but I didn’t move, I continued to stand my ground as the next hit caught me in the eye.
“Move away from the door,” he told me. I could feel the swelling in my left eye as I lost my vision; the next strike hit me in the nose. I couldn’t tell you how I was still standing as I could feel blood running down my face. I refused to move and held on to the door frame as he hit me again, this time in the chest knocking all my wind out. It was only a moment after the punch to the chest he hit me in the stomach; this hit shot acute pain though me and finally brought me down.
I hit the floor landing in the doorway still managing to block the door from closing. I was bleeding onto the floor, Greg let out a loud roar and pulled his leg back as if to kick me, only to be hit in the head with a lamp by his wife, broken glass exploded everywhere as Greg fell to his knees and Grace ran past him and down the hall.
Greg was up in a flash blood running down the side of his head as he followed her stepping on my leg as he ran out the door. I cried out as his weight crunched my knee, I moved as good as I could but all my injuries shot pain through my body.
“CASSIE,” I tried to call out to her my jaw hurting, “Cassie I’m here.” I could hear screaming in the hallway and mom came out of our apartment. Cassie and mom found me at the same time and both gasped, Cassie started crying and mom began to move my head to get a better look.
“Oh Tommy,” mom said pulling me to her chest; she was trying to hold back the tears herself. Cassie grabbed ahold of my arm held on to me tight.
There was another blood curling scream down the hallway and a series of loud thumps, I saw Rigby dart past me and run down the hall, he was barking uncontrollably. I could hear the footsteps of the other neighbors coming out of their apartments to see what was going on and I could hear the sound of men yelling, moments later I could hear the sound of police sirens.
“Tommy, I’m so sorry,” Cassie sobbed into my shoulder as she held me, “You’re so brave and I’m so sorry.”
“It’s ok, I…………..” with that I passed out.
I woke up a while later, lying in bed with Cassie lying next to me; she was dozing softly and woke when I began to stir.
“Are you awake?” she asked quietly rubbing her eyes.
“Yeah,” I replied, “What happened? Where is everyone?”
“Oh, your mom is at the hospital with my mom,” she told me looking down.
“What happened?” I repeated trying to sit up but pain shot through my face and chest.
“Don’t try to move,” she said placing her hand on my shoulder holding me down.
Cassie began to tell me what happened after I had passed out, from what she knew. Her dad had chased her mom down the hall where they got into a slap fight, her dad was beyond enraged by the fact she had hit him with the lamp. His final blow to her face had knocked her off balance and she had fallen down the stairwell.
Rigby had been making so much noise at that point the neighbors had come out to see what all the commotion was about. Greg was running down the stairs screaming at Grace to get up, when the guys in our building realized what was going on they stepped in and restrained Greg. It wasn’t long after the cops arrived and took him into custody and began talking with everyone to get the full story.
The cops were told about the assault on both Grace and me, and they took statements. From what mom had told Cassie the cops were taking her dad on charges of domestic abuse, assault and battery and assault on a minor.
Mom had carried me home and cleaned me up as much as possible then laid me down on my bed. She told Cassie she was going to the hospital to be with Grace and do what she could there.
“Sorry about your mom and dad,” I told her.
“I’m sorry for mom, but if dad gets help because he’s in jail then I’m not sad he’s there,” she told me.
“Yeah, I just wish it didn’t have to………… I wish he could have got help without hurting your mom.”
She didn’t say anything she just nodded. She moved closer and rested her head on my shoulder, I really liked the closeness of her body and despite the pain I could feel myself getting aroused with her touching me like this.
We had waited all summer for a moment alone like this, we had all night together and here we were in bed. I slipped my arm under her side and around her back and held her body as tight as I could. She looked up at me and smiled as I kissed her forehead. I could feel her breasts against my chest as we held each other and I was getting even more turned on.
I lay still wanting very much to touch her body as she lay on me despite the pain in my face I wanted to kiss her passionately. Even as turned on as I was I held back, she had just been through a big ordeal and I didn’t want to upset her. I was really happy just to have her there with me, holding her and smelling her perfume.
I kissed her forehead again and she scooted up along my body, her leg came across my crotch inadvertently and she felt my erection. She turned her face to mine and kissed me, it hurt but I had longed for this moment for weeks now so I tried to give no sign of pain. After a few minutes however I couldn’t pretend anymore and I pulled away wincing.
“Does it hurt a lot?” she quietly asked.
“Yeah, I want to kiss you so bad, but my jaw……” I started but she kissed me softly to quiet me down.
“I’m so sorry you got hurt, you were so brave to stand up to him. Your my hero Tommy,” she said as she took my free hand and moved it to her stomach, “I love you so much for coming to the rescue,” she continued as she move her shirt up so I could slip my hand under it, “I might not be here now if it wasn’t for you,” she finished and moved my hand to her breast.
“Cassie? Are you………” I started and she kissed me again. She began unhooking her bra and I for the second time in my life could feel bare breast under my touch.
“You made me so happy this summer,” she whispered in my ear, “When I had nothing else I had you here with me,” she said as she kissed my ear and began to rub my stomach, “You risked yourself for me and I will never forget that. Just lay still, you’re not the only one who wants this,” she told me moving her hand lower.
I was so hard I felt like I was going to faint, I had my hand on her breast and her hand had just slid under the waistband of my jeans. I closed my eyes tight in anticipation as I felt her tentatively touch my throbbing member for the first time. She began to gently rub me at first before she softly wrapped her hand around my aching erection. It felt so good and I couldn’t believe it was happening, after only a few moments I couldn’t take it anymore and I let go all over her hand.
Cassie pulled her hand out of my pants and I opened my eyes, she reached past me and wiped her hand off on the bed sheet next to the wall. She was smiling almost as much as I was; I still had one hand on her back and one on her breast. I began to move my hand lower and rub her stomach and she moaned so I took that as a good sign and began to move my hand to the waistband of her pants.
“No,” she whispered grabbing my wrist, “Not tonight.” I paused a little disappointed, I wanted her so bad but I wouldn’t do anything that would upset her, “Don’t be mad, it’s just that………..” She started but it was my turn to stop her with a kiss.
“It’s ok,” I told her and she moved my hand back up to her breast. We held each other and kissed lightly for the next hour until sleep took us both.
It was morning when I woke and Cassie was still in bed with me, my hand had fallen away from her breast in the night but my hand was still inside her shirt. I pulled it out incase my mom came back and found us together, I didn’t want mom to know we had made out while she was gone.
Mom came home about an hour after I had woken up to find Cassie and I still lying in bed. She opened my door looked at us and said to get up we had a busy day ahead. Mom looked me over really good to make sure I was alright then we went with Cassie to her apartment so she could shower and change clothes.
“So I’m going to trust that nothing happened that I should be worried about last night,” mom said to me while Cassie was in the shower.
“MOM!” I exclaimed my cheeks turning red.
“Don’t MOM me, I did find you two in bed this morning,” she said with a smile.
“Mom, we still had our clothes on,” I said and I knew my embarrassment would give me away, “What was I supposed to do? Let the poor girl sleep alone after what happened?”
“I’ll believe you this time but I don’t want this to become a habit, ok honey,” she said softly and I just nodded.
Cassie came out of the bathroom dressed and ready to go about ten minutes later. We drove to the hospital so she could be with her mom, but we only stayed for an hour or so because mom said she could only take the morning off work and had to go. I wanted to stay there with Cassie but mom said they should be alone for a while.
Things moved quickly after that, Cassie went to go live with her cousins while her mom was in the hospital and only came home again to collect some personal belongings. The fall down the stairs had been really bad and Grace was lucky she had survived at all; she would end up spending about six weeks in the hospital.
I started school again during that time and so did Cassie, only she wasn’t sent back to boarding school, because she was living with her cousins she ended up going to school in that district. She wrote me the last week of September to tell me all about what was going on with her new life and school.
Cassie explained that her mom was about to be released but still had a lot of healing to do at home, and that they would soon be moving to her grandmother’s house in another state so her mom would have help getting better. She said she would write me again when they moved with the new address so we could keep in touch but she was really worried we might never see each other again.
Cassie told me how much she really missed our nights at the wall together, she said that she had been in love with me as far back as she could ever remember and our time this summer had meant everything to her. She asked me to never forget her because she would never forget me.
It was a few days after I had gotten her letter a moving van and some trucks showed up. I had just returned home from my paper route and I watched from my window as a number of Cassie's family members climbed out of the vehicles, they had come to move them out of the apartment. I watched only to be disappointed that Cassie wasn’t with them.
I didn’t want her family to find the notes I had given her inside the hole in the wall, I was worried she would get in trouble if her dad ever found out we were using that hole to pass notes. So before they moved out the things in her room I climbed under my bed and pulled her books out and all of the notes I had given her that she saved and put them in my dresser.
In what seemed like no time at all they had the moving van all loaded up and the trucks left one by one until it was only the van left. It was then as I watched the van from my bedroom window that I thought for the first real time I might not ever see her again. I felt a knot form in my stomach as the van now turned a corner out of sight; Cassie was gone, erased from next door like it had never happened. I lay down on my bed and didn’t move all night.
It was mid-October when my mom told me that she was taking another job and we were moving. She said that it was time for a change as we had lived here for almost 15 years and it was just time to move on. We were moving to a small town two hours away and with what mom was going to be making at the new job we would be able to rent a house. Mom thought it would be a great change of pace to get out of the city and not live in apartments anymore. She thought it would be nice to have a yard for Rigby to play in every day too.
I was less than enthusiastic when the time came two weeks later, we had our things packed up and loaded in the van yet I was still hesitant to move. As I took hold of Rigby’s leash and we climbed into the moving truck I knew then at that moment I had been right the day Cassie’s family had moved them out and I would never see her again.
The heat waves shimmered in the distance, inexorably rising off the asphalt in an unmerciful display of Mother Nature’s authority. Off to the left, my exit was coming up fast. Signaling the cars behind me I pulled off the freeway and headed down town. I had made good time and it was only mid-day, I would still have time to relax and go to the beach before I needed to get home and prepare for classes tomorrow.
It was the summer of 74, or more accurately it was the end of summer. The heat was intense, one of the hottest days of the year so far, my air conditioner had broken leaving me with just open windows to cool off my drive. I had just made my way from my mom’s home back to college, it was a three day drive and I was really happy to be done with it.
I took my bags up to my room, changed into my beach shorts, grabbed a towel and went straight to the soda machine and bought three bottles of coke. I drank one in less than a minute, drank the second one on my walk to the beach and saved the third one for later.
I sat down on the sand thinking over my summer, it hadn’t gone at all like I planned. I got home excited to see my mom and Jenny, my high school girlfriend, but my excitement had been cut short as a lot had changed in my year at college and I wasn’t told any of it until I arrived home.
The first piece of news was that my dog had died. He had gotten older and mom said one day he just went into the back yard and refused to come back into the house. Mom set food outside for him and he didn’t eat, he just laid down in the grass until she found him not moving anymore. I was sad at the news that my dog had died, I had loved that dog so much and wished I had spent more time with him.
Mom took me out to dinner that night to cheer me up about Rigby and tell me the next bit of news. She told me she had started seeing a man in town, he was about her age and had twin daughters; apparently he owned the little restaurant we were eating at. From what she said and how she talked about him I guess they were pretty happy. It was weird even at 18 to hear my mom was with someone new but I was happy for her, I was happy she had company because I knew she worried having me so far away. I put aside my awkwardness and decided to be honestly happy for her.
The next day I drove downtown to see my girlfriend; I was worried about her because she hadn’t written or called in a couple months. Jenny and I had met my junior year of high school and she liked me right away, I on the other hand still hadn’t given up on Cassie. Jenny spent the next year slipping notes into my locker and asking me to school functions; I turned her down every time.
I hadn’t heard from Cassie since the letter I had gotten at the old apartment telling me she was moving in with her grandma. Because we both moved we had lost touch and I had done what I could think of to find her new address but I hadn’t found her. I assumed she had done the same and we both were lost to each other. Realistically on some level I knew we probably would never see each other again and she had probably moved on but I hadn’t been ready yet.
By senior year I had given up waiting and my other needs were calling out to me so I broke down and asked Jenny out on a date. We had fun together and I found that when I let go of my past I really liked her, it was the first time I had ever had a real girlfriend I could have a real relationship with and I liked being around her very much.
Jenny and I made love the night I left for college; she wanted to do it once with me before I left. She was a year younger than me and had been worried that I would go off to college and forget all about her. I told her I cared for her to much for that to happen, but she said that she was ready to make love and wanted to remind me what was waiting for me at home.
I had drove to Jenny’s house this summer and it was her who had news for me, she had decided to fall in love with a local boy and they had been dating for some time now, that’s why she had stopped writing me. She cried and said she was sorry but we were broken up now. In the end I wasn’t really that upset by the whole thing. I was more upset that I had given up my virginity to a girl who didn’t seem to care what that meant to me.
I spent the remainder of the summer sitting at home watching TV during the day and reading, Moms new boyfriend, Stan, let me work a few shifts as a dishwasher at the restaurant so I could have some spending money.
I spent my days off at the movies and hanging out with friends from high school who were home from college too. All in all it wasn’t a bad summer it was just really slow and uneventful. I was sad to leave my mom again as I drove back to school but I knew she was going to be fine without me this year.
I sat now on the beach remembering my summer and I shook my head to clear my thoughts. It was over now and I had today left to enjoy myself and relax, I turned my attention to the girls running around on the beach and opened my last soda.
I found I actually missed chasing after Rigby on a day like this; mom had bought me the dog when dad died to help me work through it all and he was like a best friend that you take for granite thinking they would always be there for you. I finished my soda and sat on my towel until sunset just watching the girls as the sun went down.
I walked slowly up the beach my mind wondering, not looking where I was going when I tripped on someone. I landed in the sand face first, embarrassed and feeling stupid.
“You have to quit falling for me, you keep getting hurt,” Joked the sweetest voice I had ever heard. I didn’t look I closed my eyes, it couldn’t be her, it just couldn’t be, “Are you ok Tommy?”
“Cassie?” I asked turning to her, “What are the odds I tripped over you again? How did you find me?” I looked into her eyes and it was unmistakably her.
She moved over and sat down next to me bending her legs over my lap, putting her arm around my neck allowing me to place my arm around her back. We put our foreheads together and just sat there staring into each other’s eyes.
“Well it was my fault that you tripped,” she whispered, “I followed you all the way from campus, I saw you there and I’ve been sitting here on the beach trying to think about how to talk to you. Sorry I was so nervous after four years.”
“I can understand, I’m nervous too,” I replied honestly.
“It was my fault you tripped, I laid down in front of you when I saw you walking,” she giggled, “I thought you would see me and be surprised, I didn’t think you’d trip on me again.”
“I was just thinking about this summer and life and stuff,” I told her.
“Too busy thinking about me to actually see me,” she said joking, “As far as your other question of how I found you, you always said you wanted to go to this college. So last year I managed to get ahold of someone from admissions who confirmed that you were here.”
“Really? I thought they weren’t supposed to give out personal info.” I questioned.
“I made up a story,” she said with a big smile, “Anyway once I knew you were here I applied to this college and I was accepted. My only real fear was that you had a ……….. Girlfriend,” she said the last word quietly.
“Wow, you’re so smart,” I said in awe of what it must have taken to accomplish what she had done, “And no I don’t have a girlfriend,” I informed her and I leaned in and kissed her. We sat there on the beach people walking around us as we kissed. We didn’t care we were lost to everyone except each other.
It was dark by the time we broke our kissing and put our foreheads together again looking in each other’s eyes.
“So what now?” she asked standing up. I stood up and took her hand and we began walking back to campus.
“Anything we want sweetheart,” I said and kissed her cheek. We walked slowly back to the dorms and I couldn’t help but laugh inside on the similarities to the first night we had kissed. We walked hand in hand as much in love already as we had always been.
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