Aaron awoke the next morning with pains in his chest. He wanted so badly to forget his feelings for Alice, but he kept replaying their meeting in his head and how beautiful she looked on her porch the night before. He knew it was wrong to feel this way about a married woman, but he couldn’t seem to control it. He resisted the urge to go see her and instead took a trip to San Myshuno. He had read in the papers that there was a festival on. It was called Humour and Hijinks, or something along those lines. He needed to focus on something else because his thoughts were driving him crazy.
When he arrived at the festival, there were two different punch bowls with signs saying ‘Pick a side’. One bowl was for jokesters and the other was for pranksters. Aaron had never been a huge fan of pranks so he grabbed a cup and filled it with the jokesters punch. As he was filling his cup, a hand appeared on the other side of the bowl. He looked up into the eyes of a pretty girl. When she looked back at him, a smile stretched across his face. Her eyes glimmered in the sunlight and her hair was pulled back into a ponytail that flowed down her back. She smiled back at him, turned and walked away. Bewildered, he followed her. She was stunning. And so mysterious. He felt captivated and had to know who she was.
When he reached her, he tapped her on the shoulder. She turned to face him and he froze. She stared for a moment. “Yes?” Her voice was melodic. Aaron stumbled over his words. “Hi. I’m Aaron.” She smiled again and he held out his hand. “Hi, Aaron. I’m Penny.” She took his hand in hers, eyeing his cup. “You better start telling jokes if you want to win.” Aaron looked at her, confused and she laughed. “You must be new to this.” He nodded, unable to find his voice. “Okay, so Jokesters have to tell jokes and Pranksters have to play pranks. Each time you perform a task, you earn a point for your team. At the end, the team with the most points wins.” Aaron looked around. “Well it looks like we are on the same team. We should probably stick together. Help each other out.” Penny smiled. “Sounds like a plan.”
After making their rounds, Aaron and Penny stopped at a food stall and ordered some dinner. “You’re pretty good at this. Do you come here often?” Aaron asked in between bites. “Yeah, my friends and I go to all the festivals. It’s sort of part of my job.” He looked at her. “Wait. You’re not Penny Pizzazz, are you?” She raised her hand. “Guilty.” His eyes widened. “You’re an amazing writer! I love your reviews!” She blushed. “Oh. Wow, thank you. It’s nice to know I have fans.” “Are you kidding? You’re incredible!” Their hands touched and he quickly pulled away. “Sorry.” She put her hand on his arm. “Don’t be.” She smiled. “Come on, the fireworks are about to start.”
As everyone gathered around to watch the fireworks, a man announced the winners. “First of all, I want to congratulate every one of you for taking part in today’s festival. And with a five-point lead, the winners are… the Jokesters!” Everyone cheered and hugged each other before the fireworks lit up the night sky. But even with all the excitement around, Aaron and Penny couldn’t take their eyes off each other. As the fireworks came to an end, Aaron gathered his nerves and looked into Penny’s eyes. “Would you like to have coffee with me sometime?” Penny smiled back at him. “Sure. I’m free Wednesday morning.” Aaron’s eyes lit up. “It’s a date.”