Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 8

Brand New Day coverJanet invites Ramona and Diego over for dinner, and to work on their music project.

While they waited for dinner to cook, they sipped root beer and talked about the song. Diego showed the girls what Mr. Carter meant about writing their parts in tab. It was a way of showing the music without notes.

“See, not everyone is good at writing out music, but they can show their work this way and still make it clear,” Diego explained.

They continued talking about it over dinner. Sookie didn’t even complain about it, she was interested too. After dinner, they cleared the table and Diego volunteered to help Sookie clean up.

“I do it at home all the time. Mom or my sisters cook, my brother and I clean up. Kind of our way of saying thank you to the cook.” He glanced at Janet, smiling, his dark eyes twinkling. “Thank you,” he said quietly. “It was delicious.”

“Janet’s a great cook,” Ramona said. “She came up with that idea all by herself.”

“Really? Wow, that’s cool! Makes it that much more special.”

“It’s just food,” Sookie said. “What’s the big deal?”

“Because she fixed it with imagination and love,” Diego replied. “Anybody can throw food together and call it a meal. Janet thought about it, and made something up. So it’s cool.”

Sookie considered a moment. Nodding, she went back to washing dishes. Janet was stunned. That was the closest she’d come to a compliment from her sister that she’d ever gotten.

At 9:00, Diego and Ramona headed home. Sookie was in bed, so Janet walked them out to the car.

“That was fun,” she said. “I’m so glad you came by. I’m pretty limited what I can do, since I have to watch fussy pants every night, but Saturday and Sunday.”

“You’re not working this weekend, are you?”

“I work Saturday during the day, but I’m off by three.”

“There’s a Woody Allen movie playing the matinee at four, would you like to go?”

“Oh, I love Woody Allen! That’s Love and Death, right?”

“Yeah. It came out a couple months ago. It’s really funny.”

“You’ve seen it?” She sounded disappointed.

“I work at the theatre in the projection booth. I haven’t seen it in the actual theatre,” he said with a grin.

“Yeah, I’d like to go. Is Ramona going too?”

He looked a little embarrassed. “I thought maybe just you and me…. That’s if you’d like…. If….”

Janet giggled, putting her hand on his arm. “Don’t look so worried, silly. I’d love to go.”

“Cool. Should I pick you up at the drive-in?”

“Yeah, that would work.”

“Great. See you tomorrow, Janet.”

He leaned toward her as if he were going to kiss her. Janet wasn’t sure what vibe she was picking up. It was puzzling. Ramona tapped the horn, making them both jump. Diego cursed at her in Spanish. Janet, who was nearly as fluent as they were, laughed at him.

“I’m sorry….” She giggled. “The expression on your face…. Priceless.”

Fuming, he pressed his lips shut so he wouldn’t say the wrong thing. Pointing at his sister, his jaw worked. Finally, he decided to laugh with the girls.

“Yeah, laugh at me. It’s my lot in life,” he complained.

“See you tomorrow, Diego. Bye, Ramona. Call me later!”

Her friend nodded, giving a sidelong glance at her brother as he got in the car.

“What was that?” she asked as they headed home.

“What was what?”

“You asked Janet out.”


“On a date.”

He glared at her. “Your point?”

“The point is—a date? For real? Diego, what are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking I never realized how much we have in common. She’s a nice girl. What’s the big deal?”

“Are you cruising for a virgin?”


“You heard me. I don’t stutter.”

He shrugged. “I didn’t know she was. No. Like I said, she’s a nice girl.”

“You’re not exactly the nicest guy around, Diego.”

“Mona, come on! Don’t bust my chops! I’m a good guy. I treat my ladies well.”

“But so many? Diego, I can’t even count the number of girlfriends you’ve had. And how many of them have you slept with?”

“Not a lot of sleeping involved, Ramona. If it’s any of your business, not as many as you might think.”

“Girls talk. You think I haven’t heard them discussing you? How many of them I’ve overheard, telling their friends how sexy you are? I’ve heard more about what you can do with your tongue….”

“Enough! Ten. Are you happy?”

“Only ten? You’ve dated almost twice that many.”

“And I’ve had sex with ten of them.”

“Not what they say.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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