Morning After

The morning after the bar brawl, Joanie came down to the kitchen to find her brother sitting at the table, his head in his hands. He was still wearing his clothes from the previous night. She goes to the freezer and takes out an ice pack.

"You look like hell. I'm guessing you don't feel much better."

"Your guess would be dead on," Kyle groaned.

Joanie dumps the ice pack on the top of Kyle's head, he winces and gives her a dirty look. She prepares a bicarbonate of soda and hands it to him.

"Here, drink this. I hope it helps. I'm really sorry that I dragged you into this."

"I'm glad you told us. That awful secret must have been eating you up inside. I think I might have maimed him permanently if I'd been able to get away with it."

"David said that Jeff threw the first punch, so he can't charge you with anything. What do you think he'll do now?"

"It's hard to say. At least he knows that he can't get away with hurting either one of you. He's a coward, he probably won't do anything overtly. He'll most likely just slither under a rock like the snake he is."

Emily came in and put on a pot of coffee to perk, and went to sit across the table from Kyle.

"You look like you were run over by a beer truck, kyle." She said cheerfully.

"Go away Em, I hate cheerful people in the morning, particularly this morning."

When the coffee is ready, Joanie pours three mugs and sets them on the table. A sharp rap on the door makes Kyle groan and hold his head with both of his hands.

"Door's open." Joanie calls from the counter.

Kyle grimaces as David enters the kitchen.

"How's our favourite neighbourhood drunk this morning?" David grins.

" I hate you! I hate all of you! Eat S**t and die!"

Kyle gripes. Everyone laughs at him except Joanie, who has a pensive expression on her face.

"I feel so badly about all of this. It all happened just because I wanted to go to the prom!" Joanie said quietly.

"Oh yeah, about that. Do you still want to go to the prom?" David remarked.

"I..I guess so, but i don't have anyone to go with."

There's a cadet on my shift that went through training with kyle and I. He's remarked at different times how pretty you are, and that he'd like to meet you. His name is Stuart Doyle."

"are you sure it wasn't Emily? We do look alike you know.People always notice her first. She's so open, vibrant. I.. keep my head down."

As if to demonstrate, Joanie blushes in embarrassment and puts her head down.

"I've met Stuart, Joanie, and I'm sure he knows who he's talking about. He's a nice guy, on the shy side, like you."

Emily interjected.

"Stuart is smart, interested in science. He's going into forensic investigation as soon as he's rated as a police officer. You two have a lot in common. I don't know why I never thought of it before." David continued.

"What does all this have to do with the prom?"

Joanie asked, mystified.

"Stuart was on duty last night. He helped break up the brawl at the bar. I asked him if he might be interested in going to the prom with you."

"What? You had no right! I can't imagine what he thinks of a girl who can't get her own date for the prom. He must think I'm undatable!

Joanie cried, mortified.

"Uh... just out of pure curiosity... what did he say?" She asked shyly.

"He said he'd like to go. He even knows how to dance. He knows Kyle's number, so he said that he would call to ask you himself. I didn't know at that time if you still wanted to go or not." David answered.

The phone rings just then, and Emily goes to answer it.

"Hello? Oh, hi Stuart. Yeah, she's right here."

Emily holds the receiver out for Joanie.

"It's for you, Jo Jo."

Joanie takes it and speaks into the phone.

""Hi Stuart. David said that you might call. Kyle? He's seen better days, but I think he'll live."

Joan stretched the cord and took the receiver around the corner to speak privately.

The End

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