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Disclaimer: I don't own CATS!
The two didn't let out any words for several minutes. Just… silence. Then, Munkustrap finally opened his mouth to speak.
"I think that right now, you probably need something more than words, not just words… But I don't know what I should do for you…" Munkustrap said to the kitten who was still not letting go of him.
She didn't respond.
"Jem… Then may I ask you one question?"
"Why did you promise Pounce such thing…? If you knew what you wanted and what you didn't… then why…?" he asked, not to calm her down but simply of pure curiosity.
"I… I don't know! It… it… was my mouth that just let it out, 'though I wouldn't have made such a promise if I was in a correct state of mind! I made the promise… 'cause all I was looking at was the few seconds in front of me, not the whole trouble it'll bring forth! Oh, Munk… I'm an asshole… I really am…"
"Jem, your language really got strong these days. Did Macavity kidnap you or something and teach you all these things…?"
She shook her head. "I'm… I'm… sorry… Am I in trouble…?"
"No, you're not. But from now on, make sure your mouth doesn't act with a mind of its own… whether it's about a promise, or profanity, or whatever…" he said, wiping away the tears from the kitten's eyes. "You're a very pure kitten, both in your actions and your heart. But we have to make sure that what you say stays innocent, too…"
"I… I"ll try, Munk… By the way, I'm sorry if I'm crying too much…"
"To cry often may mean that you're weak, but it also means that you're pure. So… be proud of it," he assured.
"But… now, your chest fur is all wet from my tears! It's unpleasant, isn't it?" Jemima asked worriedly, not being able to look up at the tom.
"No, it's like… having a bath, right?" he answered. The two laughed.
"So… what should I do with the promise I made with Pounce? I mean… I can't just not keep it…" Jemima asked, her temporary laugh now completely taken away by the dark clouds of reality.
"Well… I know that you're in a tough position, and there's no way going around. But, from what I've been through… Well… I think the best thing to do is to just keep the promise," Munkustrap sighed.
"But… but Etcy will hate me for that! I won't lose Pounce, but I'll lose Etcy!"
"But, Jem, if you don't keep the promise, you'll keep Etcy but lose Pounce. I won't lie about this, Jem; either way, you're screwed. But for your own honor, and for the sake of honesty, I think you should keep the promise."
"I guess… that's the only choice I have…" Jemima murmured.
"No, you have many choices. However, there is probably only one best choice," Munkustrap corrected.
The kitten sighed. "I can't believe I'm suffering so much for those few minutes I was foolish in!"
"We all have moments like that. Regretting about what happened already, what already passed, something that we can't fix or do anything about… But you see, we are living in the present, not the past. At least, that's what we should be doing. Now, it's your time to act and show how wise you can be. Keep your promise with Pounce, but do the best you can for Etcy. Chances are, one of them will later explode on you, but we never know; a miracle may happen."
"A miracle…?" asked Jemima, rolling her eyes.
"A miracle. I don't guarantee it, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Who knows? Maybe Etcy will change her heart and get to like Pounce," the protector tabby replied.
A miracle…? thought Jemima. She knew that it was impossible, but she couldn't manage to push away a part of her heart which yearned for a miracle to happen.
"Psst. Pounce, come here."
"Hmm?" The young tom looked around confusedly to see who was calling him.
"It's me, Jem. I'm right here," she whispered.
"Oh." He realized that his friend was sitting under a decomposing night table and joined her there.
"Good. Anything exciting going on?" Jemima asked.
"Of course! The promise you made for me! I'm really pumped up about the plan you have for me… and, for Etcy, of course…"
Jemima sighed. Of course he didn't forget…
"Alright, Pounce. So… here's the plan. Listen carefully." She noticed how his ears suddenly perked up.
"Tell me, quick, Jem, before someone comes."
"I will. Alright; here's the deal. Right after this, I'll go to Etcy and persuade her to meet you at your den tonight. There, you two can work together to get rid of the barriers between you two. You should tell her what you feel about her, what she means to you, et cetera…"
Pouncival gave her a lost look. "Wait. It's that simple? Your plan?"
"What did you expect? That's all I have for you, Pounce. The special thing about the plan is that… it totally depends on you. On what you do. If you act and speak wisely in front of her, and keep your senses, then this can be the special night of your life. Okay, never mind. That sounded rather inappropriate. But you know what I mean. Act smart. But, if you decide you'll just lose your senses and act like you're drunk, then she may hate you forever. That's what's both good and bad about this plan. You take total responsibility of what you do, and there are endless possibilities. Let's just hope that tomorrow morning, we meet each other with a smile, with good news to tell each other…"
"I hope. Oh, but I don't know what I should really do in front of her! What should I say? It'll be probably be the most awkward day of my life!" Pouncival cried.
"So… you don't want all this?" Jemima asked.
"No! I don't mean that. It's just… Give me some tips on what I should do," Pouncival said.
"Well… Just be yourself. Don't try too much to look cool or anything. Even I would hate to see a tom do that. Just have humor, be warm, be sweet, ask how she's doing, ask if anything interesting is going on in her life; just do something. Don't just sit there with an awkward look on your face. This is your opportunity, Pounce. Use it. Make sure you don't do something you'll regret later on."
"Go on," Pouncival said, nodding.
"And also, don't get too near her. I mean, be close like friends, but don't get too close. That'll ruin everything that you've worked for. Just talk about things that you both like; just act chill and like friends. Don't let her see that you're panicking or anything. Just… chill. And, when the right time comes, tell her how special she is to you, what she is to you, all those sweet, cheesy stuff. If she purrs or anything, great. If she acts kinda cold, just smile and act like it's okay. She may not want to reveal her emotions at first, so just keep that in your mind."
"Anything else, Jem, that I need to know?" Pouncival asked.
"I think that's it. Remember, Pounce, everything that you did for her, and everything that I did for both you and her… They all depend on you tonight. Don't do anything stupid. Please don't do anything you'll regret. Act like the whole tribe is watching you. Act like I'm there."
"Oh, can't you be there with me? So that things go smoothly and all?" Pouncival said, almost pleading on his knees.
"No! Be a tom, Pounce! If I'm there, she'll realize that I've been helping you all the way so far, and she'll hate me. Then, things will really get bad. End of our friendship. Boom. End of our worlds. So… Pounce, just… act with wisdom. You'll be fine if you do. If you don't… well, you'll be killing yourself, me, and perhaps, Etcy, too."
Pouncival simply nodded. "Alright. I hope I can remember all this. You really gotta go persuade Etcy really well. Just tell her that I want to hang out together with her as friends, you know, just chill. And Jem… I gotta admit, overall, I wouldn't have gotten here without your help!" With that, he hugged his friend with a small kiss on her cheek.
"Oh, you creep!" Jemima joked, laughing. "Just… make sure you hold up my reputation and yours. I know I said this like a thousand times today, but I'll say it one more time: Everything really depends on you tonight. On you."
"On me…" Pouncival said to himself.
"Yes. On you…"
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