Chapter Nine (part 2)
Her parents were understandably upset. Their daughter had put Wolfeman on the spot, and he had nonchalantly fessed up to his minor shenanigans.
“Mister Wolfeman, you're too good to be this petty,” Curi sighed.
Wolfeman shook his head, smirking to himself.
She had ratted him out rightfully so, but she still liked him. She hoped if he got that job she could read his travel stories because the man just wanted to be happy doing what he loved at any expense.
“I mean I got nothing better to do,” he reasoned.
She watched Wolfeman dragged out in silence. Her father held an arm around Wolfeman's neck all but throwing him out the door, and Mom followed them, chewing the troublemaker out. The party had pretty much ended at Wolfeman's departure with only a few drifters left. There would be no more drama this night Curi was sure of it, but she doubted her parents would stay mad at Wolfeman. They had invited the Digis’ back after the peanut jar fiasco after all. She would tell her parents later about Ophelia's involvement.
“You know I had a friend that once said, ‘If you love someone you gotta set them free’ or something along those lines,” Toki said, coming up from behind her.
“Ugh, Toki! I don't like him! He's like twenty-five!” Curi said, exasperated. This night had sapped a lot of energy from her.
“You two, sound so irritating from over here. Gosh, Curi, we don’t need to hear about your unrequited love,” said an approaching Cooleo. He looked calm. The time alone did him some good.
“Hold up, Cooleo! I can say whatever I want to say, and there's no unrequited love! Only Toki made that dumb joke! If I did like someone it would be reciprocated for your information!” she snapped.
Toki have a small laugh.
“I can't use all my laughs tonight, or I won't have any left for tomorrow. You two are always so funny.” The jolly boy explained. “Before your parents wrung his neck, I thought you were gonna say Mister Wolfeman was too good-looking to be petty?”
Curi pulled at her cheeks dramatically. “Hush Toki!”
Toki turned to Cooleo, extending his hand.
“Hey, are we cool?” He asked.
“Yeah, we cool,” Cooleo said, grabbing the boy's hand in a friendly but firm handshake.
Curi blinked. They were back to friends that easily?
The boys noticed her astonishment.
“Gosh, Curi who holds a grudge over dumb junk like tonight anyway,” Toki told her, as if reading her mind.
“Toki's my boy, and I don't even remember why I was mad in the first place,” Cooleo said. She did not quite believe Cooleo had forgotten but was glad he wasn’t upset anymore.
Curi laughed tiredly. “I don't understand you guys.”
The three of them shared a smile, and Curi found herself getting a happy feeling. Everything had worked out.
“It's time I get home!” Toki said goodbye, giving them a salute. “See you guys later!”
He jumped out the front door, laughing that he had stuck his landing. Toki was a bit weird but she liked him and Cooleo did too.
“Be safe,” she called after him and Cooleo waved him off. From the porch, she watched Toki's retreating figure until she could see no more.
A few moments passed before she addressed Cooleo.
“Cooleo, why did you get all weird on us? Did Toki and I embarrass you when that girl was talking?” Curi asked.
Cooleo didn't say anything for a short span of time.
“It's not that! I was for a minute but whatever.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I didn't know you and Toki were going to spend the whole night together!”
Curi's mouth hung open. Had he been jealous the entire time? Him being jealous would have explained his hostile attitude to Toki, and why he had kept avoiding her.
“I mean Toki's cool, he's my dude, but it bugged me that you guys barely separated.”
“Well, he's fairly new, and he's fun to hang out with but I would have never objected if you wanted to join us. You were pretty short with me at the dinner table.” A small part of her still felt upset at his earlier rudeness, as she frowned and rubbed her arm.
Cooleo sighed. “I acted dumb the entire night when I could have hung out with you and Toki. I guess... I don't know it was hard to bring it up.”
“Come on, there will be other times we can all have fun when you're not acting dumb,” she joked, trying to make him feel better. She hadn't known he would admit it so quickly.
He played with the bottom button of his shirt before looking her in the eye. “I know you and Toki had your fun, but do you think you and I could spend some time outside?” The gentleness in his tone came as unexpected as his confession.
“Uhh?” she stalled.
“We are literally outside your house. You think I am going to kidnap you?” Cooleo accused, sounding more like his jerky self.
“No! I just-I should tell my parents that-”
“It will only be for like less than a minute!” He looked visibly embarrassed but recollected his cool. “Don't make such a big deal. Besides, I got to get home. My Moms texted me that she was leaving my behind here if I didn't hurry up.”
“I barely saw your parents. Dang! All the parents left their kids tonight even Toki's!” She remarked.
Cooleo laughed then sat down on the porch, and he patted the spot next to him. Curi felt her heart beat a second quicker, but she reasoned that it stemmed from nervousness. She sat next to him with noticeable distance. They didn't meet eyes but stared straight ahead at the scenery. The sky was a milky black and the chirps of crickets surrounded them.
The arrangement felt awkward, the night hot, but it wasn't terrible. She felt like she would remember this, the night she sat on the porch with Cooleo and looked at the parked cars in her driveway and stars in utter quiet.
Her thoughts betrayed her, and a scene of her kissing his cheek played in her head. Horrified, she abruptly went inside leaving Cooleo both amused and confused.
This is chapter nine of a story I wrote almost two years ago. I am posting each chapter now to get an idea what to edit for. This had been one of my favorite parts to write back then. An embarrassed Cooleo and a shy Curi is fun!