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Old 05-09-2020, 07:11 AM
orangetengu orangetengu is offline
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Default Homecoming - Aftermath
This is part 2, setting up what I hope to be a super exciting finale.

Homecoming - Aftermath

The fiasco at the homecoming after party definitely struck a wedge between Jim and Dani. Times when Jim would walk around the corner to Dani's, or vice versa seemed to be over for now anyway. They had never really had a bad fight before, and Jim was afraid his friendship with Dani might be over. Giving her the cold shoulder wasn't the smartest idea, but he was really upset about her reaction, and, truth be told also about her behavior. He knew he couldn't expect her to live some sort of loud sound celibate life, but never in a million years did he think she was the type to actually like sudden loud sounds. It just baffled him. Some of the shame he always felt was based on the idea that guys are supposed to like making big noise, and girls are supposed to roll their eyes or be scared too. He felt like a sissy a lot, but Dani always would remind him that teasing from his childhood friends caused that.

At best, Dani smiled at him in the halls, and they still liked each other's social media posts, but for the most part, they weren't speaking. Two weeks after the big bang, Jim was trying to decide if he should apologize, even if he didn't mean it, just so he could have his friend back. When she texted him out of the blue and asked him if he would meet at the playground they would sometimes hang out at after the little kids had left to chat, he was happy.

Jim didn't know what to expect, so he threw on some running pants, wet his chestnut hair and pulled a plain black tee over his not scrawny but not muscular frame. He felt nervous for the first time ever with regards to meeting Dani somewhere. Even the night of the homecoming dance he didn't feel this nervous. "What would she say" and "What would she do?" and "What if she wants to try and 'fix' me" crossed his mind. It didn't help that he couldn't shake his subconscious from dwelling on that fateful night. Frequently he would close his eyes, and see in his mind's eye the pure look of elation on her face as she turned to look at him holding that giant balloon. It was as if he could feel those blue nails on his skin, hard and smooth but not all that sharp. The sound was deafening in his memory -- instead of the whipsnap muffled pop of reality, it was like a hydrogen bomb detonating right in his face. He shuddered, and pushed the thought away, wondering all the while why he continually found himself getting hard whenever he thought about it. He pushed these thoughts out of his head and left his house.

Not wanting to be late, and risk missing her, he set out way earlier than the ten minutes he needed to be on time. He arrived at the playground and surveyed it. He had it mostly to himself as the sun was going down earlier now, so he found a swing and sat on it -- resisting the urge to push on it and actually swing. Lost in thoughts of that night and what Dani was going to say. He didn't hear Dani approach and was visibly startled when she sat abruptly in the swing next to him.

"Hey Dani"
"Looks like I scared you again" she said looking slightly crestfallen, but also, a little amused.

Jim played it off with a cool shrug and smiled "You're like a ninja now!" he said with a smile.
"I like that!" she said mimicking karate chops. Jim noticed she kept her fake nails, only now instead of deep blue, that were an autumn-y dark red.
"Whoa, you got your nails done again?"
"Yeah! Do you like them? I never got my nails done before the dance but I love they way they look, and a lot of girls at school have them" she said apologetically.
"Dani, they look great" Jim said with a warm smile
"Look Jimmie, I was way out of line with what I said that night. The beer, the nitrous..."she paused "I...I was in rare form".
Jimmie wasn't expecting this. Dani looked mortified. He looked at his shoes and then made eye contact with her.
"What got into you anyway? It was like you forgot I existed".
"Well, before you came back Randy Stevens did the last nitrous balloon, and then blew the balloon up until it popped." Now it was her turn to look at her shoes. "I kind of had a thing for him, so...I thought if I did it too he would notice me".
"Ahh" was all Jimmie could muster. He hadn't considered the company in the room with her that night. He knew Dani had a thing for Randy, so at least he could settle in on her motives.
"Then you stormed in, at absolutely the worst time, my balloon exploded and I followed you" She emphasized exploded with a latent satisfaction that gave him goose bumps. He was never this close with anyone who seemed to really enjoy the obnoxiously loud sounds balloons make when they pop. She continued with a look a of a person who has had to deal with some hard to swallow truth.
"Now he's banging Samantha"
"Wait, what?" Jim said clearly taken back, amused and possibly a little bit too happy.
"Story goes, she gave him a lap dance while making her balloon and probably something else explode for Randy - they're a thing now, and I've...well, I've been trying to deal with my bff hooking up with my number one crush"

Jim got off his swing, walked over and hugged Dani. She was clearly not prepared for this and she inhaled surprised. Her arms hung at her sides until Jim whispered into her ear "I'm sorry D". She hugged him, and he felt warm tears roll down his shirt. They stood and held each other in silence for a bit before he let her go. She looked up with tears in her eyes and smiled.

"Are we ok now?" she asked, sheepishly. "I missed my buddy".
"We're ok" Jim said, noticing a group of younger teens entering the playground from the opposite end that they entered. Dani tried to start up a different conversation, but Jim was fixated on the 3 kids that just entered the park. They were huddled together all looking at something in one of the kid's hands.
"I need to leave, right now" Jim said suddenly urgent. Dani tracked his gaze and agreed. He was already several steps ahead of her forcing her to have to catch up.
"Jim, don't leave me behind!" Dani said frantically. Jim turned back "I know, it's just that..." over Dani's shoulder he saw an all too familiar orange glow. The kid was lighting something and Jim's nerves were shot. He took off running. "Hey!" Dani said dashing on her own. A few seconds later, there was a very loud whistle followed by a pop that seemed to echo through the trees of the quiet suburban street the park was on.

"Jim, please wait up!" Dani said now sounding a bit irritated. Jim slowed down to a short stepped trot, he was sweating like he just ran a marathon, but in reality had gotten only several hundred feet away.
"It's just a bottle rocket, they aren't that loud and we'll be too far away to really hear anymore of them if those punk asses do any more" she grabbed his hand.
"I'm right here, nothing they do can hurt you" she said tenderly. Jim looked into her caring eyes and flinched hard when a string of crackers suddenly went off startling him. Fear turned to confused annoyance, Dani's excited response of "well, that was a bit bigger than a bottle rocket" didn't help things. He let go of her hand and started walking faster.
"Jim, stop a second" He did as she asked, seemingly to her surprise as she nearly ran into him. Now she hugged him. "It's ok, we're even farther now and..." suddenly there was a flash and a very loud boom. He tried to pull away but she held him hard. His heart was racing, he wanted to run, his legs were weak, but Dani was hugging him. He could feel her rubbing his back with her nails trying to soothe him. In his panic, he didn't realize he was harder than he had ever been. This fact was apparently not lost on Dani as she awkwardly stepped back a bit.
"what's that about Jim" she asked ruefully.
"I...I just need to get out of here, can we go now!" he said more forcefully than he expected.
"Sure, we can go"

They walked home. Once Jim could only hear distant firecrackers exploding, he started small talk with Dani. When he got to her house, she invited him to sleep over the following weekend.

"My parents are going to be away. I was hoping you could stay with me. I have work on Saturday so I am not going to try and have a party, but I'd love to talk to you more, especially about tonight" She said walking away with just the hint of a smile on her face. Jim didn't know which way was up or down, he was still very much so in panic, so he kind of grunted an ok and watched her walk down the stone path to her front door. When she was safely inside, he walked home, still shaking.
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Old 05-09-2020, 10:53 AM
Bubblyzzz Bubblyzzz is offline
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Default Re: Homecoming - Aftermath
Please continue, very nice.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:41 PM
Ballonblazer Ballonblazer is offline
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Default Re: Homecoming - Aftermath
So excited to read more !!!!
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:35 PM
Infl8 Infl8 is offline
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Default Re: Homecoming - Aftermath
This is a really nice story! Thanks for the story! Please continue this.
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