Writer Notes: It’s been a long wait. I know. I’ve been really busy in real life. Just hadn’t had the time to work on extensive story stuff. Hope you like the chapter! Any comments, questions, frustrations, and/or concerns are appreciated 🙂
Warnings: appearing out of nowhere furniture, inner thoughts, guilt, lies, jealousy, arguing, reminiscing, flashback, and one seriously cute John Mole, seriously.
“All right everyone,” Sharon Wirth tried not to laugh. “Freestyle time!”
She was a jazzercise instructor. Although she liked her job, it wasn’t her dream. She just took the job to get financially independent; however, she didn’t realize she only got paid if her clients showed up. Things weren’t going too well. She’d lost a couple of clients that week. It had been beyond stressful. Isaac, her brother-in-law, wanted his rent. She needed a break and quick.
“I’m so happy to see you!”
“What are you doing here?” she had to ask.
“I wanted to…”
“Miss Wirth!” someone bellowed.
“How long do you want us to do this?” Wanda Tinker asked.
“Why don’t we take a five minute break.” Sharon offered.
“I’m sorry.” Sharon cringed. “I’m actually glad you stopped by. I still owe you some simoleons.”
He shook his head. “Don’t worry about it.” he said. “Consider it a gift.”
“So why are you here?” she asked.
“I thought maybe you would like to get dinner tonight?”
“How about seven-thirty?” he asked.
“It’s a date, Mr. Mole!”
“Cassandra, what’s wrong?” Nina Caliente felt nervous. She had dreaded seeing Cassandra since that night at Don’s. She had went too far and she knew it.
“Have you seen Don?” Cassandra asked. “He hasn’t called or texted me in a couple of days. He didn’t go to work today and…he wasn’t home.”
“No, I haven’t seen him.” Nina replied. “I’m sure he’s fine. He probably went out for a run or something.”
“Maybe,” she sighed. “I just feel like something’s happened to him. Something’s changed.”
“Let’s sit down,” Nina offered. “Would you like some water?”
Cassandra shook her head.
“Do you think he’s getting cold feet about the wedding?” Cassandra asked. “I know you two were together once. Maybe you can help me figure him out?”
“Men don’t think.” Nina said. “I don’t think he’s getting cold feet” she felt nauseous.
“What else could it be?” Cassandra sighed.
“Don is…” Nina tried to think of something quick. “When we were together, we weren’t exactly exclusive. We agreed that it wouldn’t be a right fit for either of us, but he’d get so mad when I went on a date with someone. He acted like it was all right for him to date people, but not me.”
“That’s such a double standard.” Cassandra smirked. “Men can date as many women as they please and they’re a hero, but if women date multiple men, they’re socially unacceptable.”
“I know right.” Nina laughed. “Women are naturally more apathetic. I think I heard that one a show once. But men feel they’ve done something wrong even before they know what the problem is. That’s why they apologize constantly.”
“Do you think Don has done something to make himself feel guilty?” Cassandra asked.
“No, no, no, I wouldn’t think that.” Nina cringed. “Don loves you. I’ve never seen him SO happy. He’s just being a guy: completely unaware of how he’s making his girl feel.”
“And I guess I’m being a girl, thinking something is wrong when nothing is.” Cassandra laughed.
“Thanks Nina.” Cassandra said. “I feel much better now.”
“Any time.” Nina hugged her.
Kaylynn, Kaylynn, Kaylynn, what have you done? She sighed. Nina was right. She knew Don was engaged and she still slept with him. What had she been thinking? He was Don, right? But he wasn’t the same Don from college. He was in a committed relationship. If she felt guilty now, how would she feel when the news surfaced?
It would. She knew Don. He couldn’t keep this inside. And neither could Nina. She would get mad at Don and blackmail him. It would happen. They would destroy each other and ultimately Kaylynn too. Why did she ever go to his house that night?
“Kaylynn, are you ok?” Daniel Pleasant asked. “You seem really distracted today.”
“Oh, sorry, sir.” she bit her lip. “I’ll try to concentrate on my work.”
“No, no, I’m not worried about the house.” He tilted his head. “Just, are you ok?”
“I’m fine. Thank you.”
“So I see they finally gave you girls new uniforms.” he smirked. “I still miss the old ones.”
“The shoes were definitely more comfortable.” she snickered.
“Oh, I wanted to thank you for working the engagement party.” he said. “I know it was a lot to handle by yourself, but we appreciate it. I’ll make sure Mary-Sue gives you a big bonus this week.”
“Thank you,” Kaylynn’s voice cracked. The party. If she hadn’t worked that night, Nina wouldn’t have offered her a ride home. She would have never went to Don’s house.
“What did I say?”
“There, there, girl, everything’s going to be ok.”
“And what’s going on in here?” Mary-Sue asked.
“Uh, nothing.” Daniel answered. “Kaylynn was just finishing up the kitchen and…”
“Act like I’m blind and can’t see a thing you two are doing.” Mary-Sue scoffed.
“No, no, nothing’s going on. I was just telling Kaylynn about…”
“Stop it, Daniel!” she growled. “Tell me the truth!”
“What are you talking about?”
Not again. Kaylynn shook her head.
Why was she destroying people’s lives? She couldn’t live like that. And nothing had happened between her and Daniel. He was just being human.
“Stop it!” Kaylynn cried. “Don’t throw everything away because you’re too stubborn to listen!”
“Please, nothing’s happened. Nothing is going to happen. I love you Mary-Sue.”
“I don’t want to hear lies.” Mary-Sue shook her head. “I know what I see. The way you two gaze at each other, the slipped smiles while he watches you work. Something is going on!”
“There’s nothing wrong with being friendly to people.” Kaylynn scowled. “When was smiling and talking made a crime?”
“Don’t you dare patronize me!”
“Stop it! Stop it!” Daniel jumped up and down, trying to get her attention.
She didn’t hear him. “How can you come into someone’s house, see they’re perfect lives and think: I’m going to ruin it?”
“Mary-Sue stop.” Daniel growled.
“This is my family! This is my house. You cannot come into my world and tear it down!”
“Get off me you oaf!”
“You are being ridiculous.” Daniel laughed.
“No one could ever replace you in this family, in this house, to me.” He smiled. “I’m always going to love you, silly.”
“How can I believe you?” she asked.
“I didn’t marry you to later betray you.” he shook his head. “I married you because you were the one person I wanted to spend with the rest of my life. That hasn’t changed even twenty years later and it’s not going to in the future.”
“Oh Daniel.” she sighed. “I’ve turned into that old jealousy woman I feared when we got engaged. Do you remember that reporter whom obviously made her intentions clear with me standing there! I don’t think I ever got over that. I’m sorry.”
He nodded. “I also remember being jealous of you and a couple of girls at our high school.”
“That was fun.” she giggled. “When I introduced you to my ex, you really hadn’t expected her.”
“You know, I’m surprised by you.” Daniel chuckled. “I didn’t hire Kaylynn for me.”
“I thought you would like her.”
“I’m sorry I came here.” Don began.
“You’re at Dina and…Nina‘s. So you might understand why I’m coming to you here.”
“I’m a mess. Every time I get something good, I destroy it.”
“Like that radio you gave me, do you remember that?”
“But this is much more serious than a radio.”
“I betrayed Cassandra. I love her more than anything in the world, yet I could betray her.”
“I don’t know what to do. I can’t even look at her without feeling so guilty. I’m a coward, I know, but what am I going to do?”
“I wish you were here.” he cried. “You would kick my ass for hurting Cassandra and that might make me feel better. But you’re not here. What am I going to do?”
“I’m sorry Mike. She’s your niece and here I’m telling you I’ve cheated on her. I’m such a jerk. You’re supposed to be resting in peace.”
“I think I’ll let you alone now. Thanks Mike. You were always the best listener, the best friend I ever had.”
“Why are you all spiffy?” Natasha Una asked.
“If you must know, I’m going out on a date.”
“Really? Like a real date? With a real girl?”
“Yes, a real date with a real girl.” He rolled his eyes. “What do you want?”
“Just to visit my best friend in the world. Is that so terrible?”
“Can I ask who you are going out with?”
“Come on, John. Who is it!”
“No wait.” she squinted at him. “Don’t tell me I know who it is.”
“Sharon Wirth.” she frowned. “I’m right, am I not?”
“I thought we went through this already?” Natasha asked. “She’s not someone you should be dating. She just wants your money.”
He shrugged. “I like her.” he said. “So I asked her out.”
“John!” Natasha was trying very hard to remain calm.
“Can’t you just be happy for me?” he asked. “Almost every day you’ve told me: John, you need to get out there. You need to find that special person. You can’t do that from a computer or the telescope, especially the telescope.”
“And I’m finally doing that. I finally found someone I like and now you are upset with me.”
He was right. She knew it, but she couldn’t back down.
“You don’t have to be happy about my choice.” he said. “But at least let me make my own mistakes, if Sharon is one or not.”
She followed him out the front door and sighed. “I guess pickers can’t be choosers.” she said. “I hope you have a good night. Just…be careful.”
“I always am.” he replied. “Have a good night too, Nat. Eat some grilled cheese and paint something. You’ll forget about me.”
No, John. I’d never forget you.
“That was an awesome dinner.” Sharon smiled. “Thank you.”
“My pleasure.” He smirked.
“But really, this night is just a…bridge.” he said. “I wanted to butter you up because I wanted to ask if you’d like to go to my class reunion with me.”
“Desiderata Valley High?” she asked. “It would be really cool to see everyone again!”
“Well, I guess I can’t expect you to remember.”
“We went to school together.” she began. “I was only there for a couple of weeks before my parents put me and Hannah in private school.”
“I think the only class I had with you was Mrs. Oldie’s class.”
“I sat behind you.”
“Huh.” he shook his head. “The only thing I remember about high school was the jerks that picked on me.”
“I…” she blushed. “I had a crush on you.”
“But I was too shy to tell you.”
“I’m sorry that I didn’t remember.”
“No, no, it’s fine.” she shrugged. “That was a long time ago.”
“Maybe we can make up for lost time.” she smiled. “I’d love to go with you to the reunion.”
He nodded. “Let’s get out of there.”
Additional: In each chapter, I will try to feature a career that Pat Newbie is working on to keep with the Bustin’ Out theme. In this chapter her featured career was Jock. You can find information about Bustin’ Out and the main story’s careers HERE.