A common interest.

However, it wasn’t long before the pressure of the party began to press in on her mind. It started with the loud oppressive music deafening her senses, and pulsing through the floor, she felt as if she were suspended in a thick sea of jelly fish. Then she became aware of the all the hot, moist bodies and how many times someone bumped her or stepped on her. The mingled stench of sweat, bad cologne and intoxicatingly annoying fruity Dove deodorant filled her nostrils, mouth and toyed with her gag reflex. That is when the panic began, either from being unable to see or hear properly or maybe from the feeling of being held hostage by a smelly cluster of dancing strangers. She tried to clam herself and not freak out or freak this poor guy out. She looked for an exit a place of a quick escape. Was it just her or did this room just become a void of anything door-ish?!

There!

She spotted a glass door opening on to a patio. She needed to get there. Rather then dash across the room, stiff arming anyone who got in her way, and leap over the couch to freedom she did what a civilized person would. She faked a phone call.

Jackie reached into her pocket and pulled out her phone she held it up so Josh could not see the screen.

“It’s my mom, I got to answer this.” She said apologetically, pretending to answer her call.

Josh nodded understandingly.

“Hey, mom!” She answered putting her phone to her ear. “Hang on I can’t hear a word you’re saying!!” She made her escape.

“Phew.” Jackie sighed, closing the patio door behind her. “That was close.”  She found a cozy looking lounge chair and tried to decide how long she could drag this phone call gig on.

“Are you actually even talking to anyone?”

“What?” Jackie gasped, spinning around on her chair to look at who’d spoken. Thankfully it wasn’t Josh.

“Dean, what are you doing here?” Jackie demanded.

“Getting my party on!  How about you? Other than phoning the silence.”

“Breathing.” Jackie replied irritably, pocketing her phone.

“I thought you were going to home.” She said.

“Turns out coffee is not a good sleeping aid, who knew right.” He shrugged. “My girl invited me so I came.”

Jackie glanced around the patio.

“Where’d she go?” she asked.

“Bathroom.”

“Mmmm.” Jackie muttered. This hiding spot was not working out. “Right I’m going leave.”  

“Not on my account, I hope.” Dean said.

“Nah.” It was on account of the fact that he wasn’t leaving and soon his girlfriend would be joining him and couples made her uncomfortable. “Josh is waiting for me.” She explained.

 Dean nodded understandingly.

“Take care of yourself Jack.” He said.

“Um.” Jackie said taken aback, he sounded so sincere about it. “Sure thing. Enjoy your night.” 

She came out of the patio to find Josh waiting by the glass door texting on his phone.

“Got tired of dancing?” Jackie asked.

He looked up from his phone startled.

“Got tired of this party is more like it.” He said stowing his phone is in his pocket. “You wanna ditch?” He asked.

Yes, she did! But something in his voice suggested he wanted her to ditch with him.

“I came with Nina she’ll get worried if I leave her.” Jackie said.

“You can text her.” Josh offered.

Why couldn’t she just say no dammit?!

“Oooh.” She sighed.

“I know place that plays non-stop Chinese action-flicks.” Josh offered.

Jackie snorted.

“You’re such a nerd.”

He gave a helpless shrug.

“I don’t believe such a place exists.” Jackie said, if one did exist she would’ve found it. If there was one thing she loved more then Korean pop it was Chinese hung-fu movies.

“It does.” Josh said an excited boyish smile lit his face.

“Fine, I’m down.” Jackie said whipping out her phone and texting Nina she was leaving.

She followed Josh across the room, more or less elbowing and being elbowed on the way.  He led her across the littered lawn to his car, which he was fortunate enough to park in front of the house.

“It’s a great theater.” He insisted pulling out his car keys and pressing the unlock button. The car didn’t beep.

“That’s odd.” He muttered.

But in fact it wasn’t odd per say. It was a warning.

The diver’s side door opened and a man wearing a hoodie over his face stepped out.

Jackie took an involuntary step back. Josh stepped forward.

“What are you doing in my car man?” he demanded.

The man stepped around the car a large bundle of fraying multicolored wires in one hand and a Swiss army knife in the other.

“Your car had a problem, it was fully capable of starting but I’ve fixed that for you.” He dropped the bundle of wires on the grass and shook the hoodie from his face.

“Dean?!” Jackie gasped.

“Detrex!” Josh spat, balling his hands in to fits.

The End

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