Chapter 55: Explanation
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After the initial shock Sam immediately runs over to me and creates a barrier between me and our friends.
“Is this…real?” Hailey is pinching her own cheek while her friend is still staring at me with her mouth open. In the meantime Max crosses her arms and looks pensively at the two of us.
Anxiety is starting to get to me as my legs start trembling. “S-Sam, I might faint…” I warn my girlfriend who luckily manages to catch me in time before I truly sink through my legs.
“Here, Ami. Sit on this bench for a while.” She helps me over to a nearby bench and sits me down, completely ignoring the others. “It’ll be okay.” Sam reassures me before turning back around to face any potential threats.
Max slowly approaches us but quickly gets matched by Sam.
“Relax Sam, I’m not going to hurt her. You know me better than that don’t you?” Max tries to defuse the situation.
“I-it’s okay Sam…”
Sam looks over to me and I give her a nod, letting Max pass.
“It’s just…” Sam tries to explain to her friends.
“People have tried to hurt me before. That’s why she’s being so protective…” I continue her sentence.
Max nods. “Makes sense, it’s Sam we are talking about after all. Nobody ain’t gonna be talking shit about people she cares for and get away with it. If only she would stand up for herself like that…” she sighs. “I mean, you saw what happened at our last game.”
“Mhmm…”
Max nonchalantly sits down next to me on the bench and starts watching Hailey and Carol.
“Is that why you left uni yesterday?” Hailey shyly approaches us too. “Because someone tried to hurt you?”
I silently nod.
“Poor thing…” Hailey starts tearing up and runs towards me. Even Sam saw there was no malicious intent in her and let her pass. She immediately gives me a hug.
Last but not least there was Carol, who clearly has a bigger issue processing the entire situation.
“I-I-I’m sorry… This is Amis…” She stutters and offers my choker to Sam.
Sam looks over Carol for a second before she also finally lets her pass. “You can give it to her yourself, if you want.”
Carol nods and also walks over to me, even though she was hard to see while being hugged by Hailey.
“I don’t really understand what is happening right now…” She continues. “Uhm… yeah…”
She hands over the choker back to me. “But you might want to…  you might want to put this back on before anyone else sees you like this…”
“T-thanks.”
Hailey stops hugging me for a second so I can put my choker back on. When I close the lock I hear her and Carol both gasping. Weirdly enough Max just kept silent.
“So are your, uh, catlike features completely gone now?” Max asks.
I shake my head. “No, they are still there…” I brush the tip of my tail against her face.
Max starts blushing and quickly touches her cheek. “That tickled…”
I can see Sam is a little bit jealous because of that, her pouting is giving it away like a shiny beacon in the middle of the night.
“H-how are you like this?” It’s Carol’s time to ask a question. “If you don’t mind me asking of course.”
I rub the back of my head. “It’s a bit of a long story…”
“We’ve got plenty of time if you want to tell us.” Hailey walks over to the fence next to the bench and leans against it. Leaving open a place so Sam can sit next to me, which my jealous honeybun immediately does. Max even invites Carol to sit on her lap for the time being, an opportunity she didn’t let escape her either.  

“...so please keep this a secret for everyone else…” I finish my story.
“Of course.” Max nods, Carol is still sitting on her lap.
“Thank you for telling us.” Hailey says from my left.
“Letting it go without an explanation would’ve been wrong… I think.”
Sam pats my head. “You did well.”
“But to think magic and everything is real.” Max continues. “That’s some pretty amazing stuff if you ask me.”
“Can you use magic to do your homework?” Carol breaks her silence in a very Carol kind of way.
I laugh when I can hear Hailey sighing. “If I could I would, but sadly I can’t. I still need to do it the old-fashioned way.”
“Awh. That’s a shame.”
“How is your anxiety doing now, babe?” Sam rubs me behind my hidden ears.
“A lot better now.” I almost start purring. “But you know what I think is pretty strange?”
“Hmm?” Sam tilts her head.
“That everyone always stays so calm after I practically ruin their entire world view.
“Oh yeah! You’ve got a point there!” Hailey replies.
“There’s so many unexplainable things around us every day.” Max holds on to Carol like she’s a big teddy bear. “So an extra thingy or two, who gives a tosh right?”
“In a way magic can also explain a lot of those previously unexplainable things, just like science!” Carol remarks.
“Ho ho ho, Carol says something intelligent for once!” Hailey jokes.
“Shut up you. I do have my moments.”
“At least we now know the real reason why your girlfriend called you Kitten.” Hailey dismisses Carol’s protests and giggles on.
“Oh no, did you hear that?” Sam blushes.
“You weren’t quiet enough.” I clarify.
“I’m so sorry sweety.”
“It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”
“But I got to say, Sam.” Max takes the word again.
“Hmm?” My girlfriend looks at her.
“I’m pretty jealous you’ve got an actual catgirl as a girlfriend.” She looks over to me and then gives a smirk to Carol, who also promptly starts blushing.
“Wh-what?”
“I wonder how you’d look with some cat-ears and a tail… perhaps even a collar.” Max winks.
Carol’s face completely flushes red. “I...I... N-not on the first date…”
“The second then?” Max insists.
“M-maybe…”
“Hey, hey. Too much information alright?” Hailey puts her hands over her ears. “Ami, tell me when they finish their stuff ok?”
“Haha, will do.” The entire group starts laughing until Max straightens out her face again.
“I was serious though.” Giving her soon to be girlfriend a big hug. 

A minute or two later, when Hailey finally took her hands off her ears, she turns her attention to me. “Hey, Amicia, you told us how Sam found out right?”
“Yes, what about it?”
“Do you really purr? Like a cat?”
I nod with a small blush on my cheeks. “Mhmm.”
“Can I see?” 

That’s pretty forward from her, I would have expected such a question coming from the other side. 

“Oh yeah! I want to see that too!” Carol adds. 

Ah, there you go. 

“Hmmm. I don’t know…”
“Pleeaaasseee.” Carol starts begging.
“Okay then.” I shyly mumble. Right on queue Sam starts scratching me behind my ear and cuddles up to me for warmth. It doesn’t take long at all for the purring machine to start running, though it does feel a bit forced at first.
“This gives purring like a kitten a completely new meaning.” Max laughs while Carol and Hailey look on in awe.
“Want to give her scritches too?” Sam asks my two friends.
“Can we?” They ask back.
“If Ami doesn’t mind. Her sister and her friends do it pretty often too.”
I nod in agreement and almost immediately they start rubbing behind my ears. They must’ve been paying close attention to where my girlfriend was scratching me before.
“Waaah, this is so cool!” Carol can barely hold her enthusiasm.
Sam nods. “It’s so easy to tell when she’s enjoying something, it’s so cute.”
“I bet.” Hailey smiles.
“Don’t you want to pet her, Max?” Sam looks over to her friend.
She shakes her head. “Nah, I’m fine with this kitty cat.” Max smirks at Carol.
“Are you sure? It might take a while before you get another chance.”
“I’m good, I’m good.” Max smiles.
“More scratchies for us!” My best friends comment in choir. 

A couple of minutes later the scratchies come to an end and I’m finally able to talk again.
“That was nice.”
“Are you always that quiet when you purr, Ami?” Hailey asks.
“Not always, but it’s actually really hard to talk when I’m purring.”
“Oh right! Cats use their vocal cords for that don’t they?”
“Ye, I think so too, although feline biology isn’t my forté.” I laugh.
“Speaking of biology, isn’t it almost time for your next lesson?” Sam pokes my side.
“Eeep!” I yelp. “Saaaam. Don’t do that so suddenly!”
“Sowwy.” She apologizes.
“And don’t uwu-talk to me either -that’s my thing!”
“Aw, alright.” She smirks.
Carol quickly checks her phone. “Yeah, it’s getting close-ish to the next class. So we should probably go now.”
“See you later then, babe.” Sam gives me a kiss which I gladly reciprocate.
“Max, take care of my girlfriend for me in the meantime.”
She gives me a salute, while Carol gets off her lap. “Will do.”
“I’ll text you later about the movie?” Carol asks Max.
“Yep. Sounds good.” And with that our two groups separate and go our own ways. 

“That was a more eventful lunch date than I expected.” Hailey waves the other group goodbye one last time before turning herself back towards our destination.
“Yeah, you don’t have to tell me that.” 
“I guess you could say that the cat is really out of the bag now.” Carol jokes.
“Oh my Goddess, Carol please.” I facepalm.
“Carol is no longer allowed to make jokes.”
“I agree.” I shake hands with Hailey.
“Hey, I thought that joke was plenty good!” 

Carol, please never change. 

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