Tales from the Flipside (2)
Published Oct 1, 2010

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Tales from the Flipside (2: Fallout)

Tales from the Flipside (2: Fallout) The Pennylane Institution of Psychiatric Services (PIPS) Jonothan Simanski has been silent long enough that Dr. Elfman is about to concede that this therapy session is at an end. Even so, the 45 minutes the patient spent speaking before falling silent has marked significant progress. Dr. Elfman now knows how and when the patient was first intimate with the young woman who would later become his wife. Among the many things she still does not know is why, at the point of admission a week ago, the patient’s emergency contact and power of attorney were listed as his twin brother, Jesse Simanski, and not his wife, Danielle. Moments from rising to her feet, Dr. Elfman is surprised when, unprompted, the patient starts to speak again. He seems to pick up exactly where he left off, but now he speaks more to the window than he does to her, as though no longer aware she is even in the room. “I fell asleep.” Jono awoke to his brother’s voice, low and insistent. “Jono. Come on, man. Wake up. The party’s over and we’d better head out—before her parents catch you in here?” “You don’t want any of that kind of trouble, brother.”
Jesse tossed clothes at Jono in a rush, as it was apparent that it might take Jono the rest of the night to find them himself.
Jono managed to dress, more or less, and glanced back at the bed. Dani hadn’t stirred. He would have stood there longer, just looking at her, if Jesse hadn’t ushered him out in a hurry. Back at home, Jono fell half-dressed onto his bed and was asleep immediately, leaving Jesse to work his head around what had obviously just happened. Danielle Marquis? Really? Jesse shook his head to clear the visuals. There was no way Jono had gotten that fire lit on his own. ‘Normal’ brothers might be doing the high-fives over this. But Jono wasn’t normal. And worrying about his twin had become Jesse’s other full-time job over the last two years.
Jesse had seen Dani talking to Jono at the party, had even considered checking that out in fact, as his protective warning bells had gone off. But drink had dulled any urgency to those bells, and Peggy Sue Primrose had been bent on distracting him in a big way. It was only after Jesse had firmly turned Peg down (he’d had no intentions of hooking up for real at the party, not with Jono in tow), that Peg had mentioned, in an offhand, like-I-care way, that Dani would be pleased. Dani had always had a crush on Jesse, Peg had said. But by then Jesse had realized that Jono was nowhere to be seen, and since the last place Jesse thought to look was Dani’s bedroom, it took him the final near-frantic hour of the party to find him. If what Peg had said was true, then why…? Well, he knew why. Jesse wasn’t born the genius Jono was, but he was a sharp wit in his own right, particularly in retrospect.
He hadn’t been paying Dani much attention. Maybe he would have focused on her more if Peg hadn’t been trying so hard to monopolize his interest.
Had the two former cheerleaders been competing? Now that he thought about it, he was pretty sure that had been the game. Jesse hated that kind of game. But he hadn’t been sober, and he’d missed it. And so Dani—failing to get his attention—had gone after Jono, because Jono was Jesse’s brother. His identical twin brother. Had Dani been standing in front of him at the precise moment he concluded this, Jesse would have slapped her across the face. Felt awfully guilty about it afterward, but dealt her a good one just the same. She didn’t get Jono. None of them did, and none of them had ever cared to. Jesse silently thanked his parents’ ghosts that high school was over. There was no reason to think that there would be any fallout from this, short of Jono having to deal with the experience. When Jono finally crawled out of bed in the morning, he didn’t say much about the party. He did say he would never drink like that again for the rest of his life, and that he couldn’t understand why anyone else would, making Jesse laugh at the observation. Jesse only asked if Jono was okay. Jono said he supposed he would be, seeing as how hangovers were rarely terminal. He also said he’d called Dani, and left a message. He said little else about it after that. Unknown to Jesse, Jono tried to call Dani several times over the week following the graduation party. But Dani failed to pick up, or respond to his three messages. Jono was no stalker. But initially he just couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t at least return a call. One possible explanation finally compelled Jono to use Jesse’s cell phone. He dialed Dani. Second ring, she picked up. Jono listened long enough to hear her say “Hello” before ending the call and putting the phone back where his brother had left it. That answered that question. Jono never tried to call her again. Two months later Jono answered the doorbell to find Danielle Marquis standing on the Simanski doorstep. He took one look at her and said coldly:
“What are you doing here?”
Then Jono attempted to end the conversation before it actually became one.
“My brother isn’t here, he’s at work. Try his cell. Pretty sure you have the number.”
He started to shut the door.
Something in the way she said it stopped him. Desperation? And were those tears in her eyes?
Uneasy curiosity replaced the former chill in his voice.
“I… I’m pregnant.” Jono stared at her, uncomprehending. At the time he simply could not make the connection as to why she might be saying this to him. The silence lengthened until Dani ended it.
“Look, the baby is yours, I’m totally certain of that, so don’t even ask me, okay?”
Comprehension now hit him so hard he felt like he’d been kicked in the head. “Could you… could you just let me in, Jono? Please?” He flashed back to two months ago and heard her say again: “Come inside with me, will you, Jono? Please?” “Yeah… Okay.” Jono stepped back from the doorway and allowed Dani to walk inside. The next four weeks of Dani’s stay in the Simanski household were unpleasant for all involved. Although both Jesse and Jono put effort into setting up their parents’ bedroom (unused by either twin since their parents’ deaths) for Dani, that and adequate meals were about as far as the hospitality went. Jesse hated Dani during those earliest weeks of her stay. He was certain she was experienced enough to have known better than to rely on a (virgin) guy for birth control, but more to the point, she should never have gone after Jono in the first place. And true to his impulse-control issues, Jesse had no problem sharing his opinion right in her face. Jono didn’t blame Dani for the pregnancy. He blamed himself. Virginity and foolishness certainly didn’t let him off the hook for knowing where babies came from. But that business with the cell phones… that had hurt. So he avoided her like the plague. As for Dani, the culture shock alone was severe. She was used to living in a home so large guests had been known to get lost in it. In stark contrast, the Simanski house had six rooms, and two of those had been inexpertly added around the time Jesse and Jono were learning to walk. The Marquis family had also employed a live-in housekeeper for Dani’s entire life, thus she had no domestic skills of any kind. Household appliances mystified her. And tended to catch fire around her. But no matter how uncomfortable things were for all three, Jono and Jesse still had each other. Dani, apparently, had no one. Upon her arrival, Dani had told them that her parents would be of no help, and that she had nowhere else to go. But she’d offered no explanation as to why, and neither Jono nor Jesse had made any attempt to find out. Eventually Jono couldn’t help but acknowledge how isolated Dani was. She was clearly miserable, she never left the house, and she never called anyone. Where were all those friends she’d seemed to have as few as three months ago? Why weren’t her rich parents taking care of their only daughter? “Dani, why don’t you call any of your friends?” “I can’t call anyone. All my ‘friends’ would tell my parents where I am.” “Your parents don’t know? You didn’t tell them?” “My parents think I’m on holiday in China for the summer.” “But you hate it here, Dani. Why are you—“ “I hate it THERE!” She was suddenly on her feet, hysterical, and talking almost too fast to follow:
“I’m engaged to the son of my father’s business partner—I’m supposed to marry him in the fall—it’s all been prearranged for years—just like everything else in my life—if I told my parents I was pregnant they’d move the wedding up—make me pass the baby off as his—that’s why I came here—I knew if I stayed there I’d do whatever they told me to do—I didn’t want to do that, Jono!”
She broke off into sobs. Jono swallowed and stared. The very idea of what she’d just said made him feel physically sick. Family was extremely important to both Jono and Jesse, and as of two years ago, they’d had none in the world but each other. The first chance to change that was inside this girl, now sobbing in the Simanski living room. And she could easily have given that chance to someone else and never told him the truth. “Dani… I’m glad you didn’t.” She hugged him just for saying so. The sudden contact freaked him out a little, but he didn’t pull away. He didn’t really want to pull away. Gradually he hugged her back, and the right things came out of his mouth, no thought or previous experience with girls required. “You can stay here as long as you want. We’ll work it out. It’s going to be okay.” "..." “I don’t want to talk about this anymore. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters.” “Why doesn’t it matter, Jonothan?” “Because I broke that promise! I made her leave! She’s gone—she’s on the OUTSIDE now!” ((Special thanks to…

* Boxes by Lilliebou at TSR
* Jono’s open shirt (no undershirt) by LadyFrontbum at MTS
* Jono’s long sleeve shirt (accessory) by Claeric at MTS
* Info on additional custom content can be found in the credits of previous episodes (Flipside and Cribts)
* My usual thanks and shamefaced apologies to all those creators I may have failed to credit by name

> A big cheer for all of you, Flipside’s all-the-way-to-the-credits readers: PIPS PIPS HUZZAH!))

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24 Comment(s) so far

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#15snowangel993Oct 3, 2010

Incredible as always I'm REALLY getting into your story, can't wait for the next part!!! \:\)

#16SuziShazamOct 3, 2010

I cannot wait for the next much thought goes into each frame and it really seems like a movie...just fascinating! \:rah\:

#17KadriWrightOct 4, 2010

Aww, man... The suspense is killing me now! But I'm gonna be patient and wait. You never wait too long if you are waiting for something good. Something really good.

#18urm0mOct 4, 2010

Omg this is one of the best stories I have read and it is well written! I am eager to know just what has happened to make him so sad.

#19drewsolteszOct 5, 2010

Great emotions and shots, and suspense, well done!

#20Jennifer_ROct 6, 2010

Fantastic part 2! \:rah\: I'm throughly enjoying finding out the backgrounds of Jono, Jesse and Dani. Wonderful shots as always! I feel for Dani, she has had it so easy in life - a little too easy - and to be forced to be married to someone she doesn't love would be heart wrenching even if she is a selfish rich girl. She hasn't known any better in life. Totally understand Jesse's point of view too. He is only looking out for his brother. And Jono, well, not being experienced with girls he obviously got caught up in the moment. But I say why not. At least he would have experienced happiness for one night. \:\)  

#21MangioOct 7, 2010

Wow, what a wonderful superbly done chapter \;\) What awesome shots you've got \:wub\: The emotions were amazing. I could feel the characters, such a moving story. Can't wait for the next chapter \:wub\:

#22ohgodcaitlynOct 7, 2010

Such a great story so far! I love how you write and what you write. CANNOT wait for more :]

#23jonialOct 19, 2010

Another Wow!\:rah\:

#24flody888Feb 22, 2011

"particularly in retrospect" - LOL!!! \:D This time around I misted at the end. \:\( Your characters are so well-drawn that I feel for them! \:rah\:

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