Ramona and Diego have a very candid conversation about his sex life. She’s worried about him dating Janet. He admits he’s had sex with 10 of his girlfriends.
“The others are lying. Who are you going to believe? Me, or a bunch of silly girls?”
“You’re not above lying.”
“If I were gonna lie, wouldn’t I make the number bigger?”
She sighed. “I don’t want Janet hurt. You don’t know what her mother is like, Diego. She’s not like Mama. She’s blames Janet for her dad leaving them. She’s a mean woman and don’t even get me started on Sookie!”
“All the more reason for her to date me,” he said with a proud smile. “Mona, I treat my ladies right. I’m not just on the prowl, cruising for virgin pussy. She could do a lot worse than me. I’d take care of her. I could make her happy.”
“I’ll allow this on two conditions.”
“Wait, you’ll allow me?”
“I don’t stutter. First, you don’t push her to have sex.”
He started to protest. She shut him up with a look.
“Second, if she agrees to it, you behave like a gentleman, you treat her with respect, and you don’t dump her right after. Or I promise you, there will be so much pain…!”
“Okay,” he said petulantly. “Can you believe me when I say that I really like her? I didn’t realize until I heard her sing. I didn’t know she could…. Mona, can I tell you this without you saying anything?”
“Sure, mi hermano. we tell each other secrets all the time.”
“You can’t tell her. And you can’t laugh at me.”
They did their special handshake that they’d made up when she was five. It was their secret, and sealed their pact of silence. Diego pulled up in the driveway, turning off the car before he spoke.
“I heard her sing today, and I realized I’m in love with her. I didn’t even know…. I don’t know when it happened…. No, I do.” He smiled, remembering. “New Year’s Eve.”
“When you two kissed at midnight?”
He nodded slowly, smiling. “I’m in love with your best friend. Is that weird?”
“I think it’s terrific,” she said quietly. “Cause she could do a whole lot worse than you, Diego. But I don’t think she could do better.” She swallowed hard before kissing his cheek. “You treat my friend right, or I’ll break your legs.”
He laughed, nodding. “I promise.”
They got in the house and saw their parents watching TV with their older brother and two younger sisters. Their brother turned down the TV since it was on a commercial.
“Hey, baby brother! Mona!” He hopped up.
“Carlos!” They greeted him with a hug.
“What are you doing here? You didn’t tell me he was coming, Mama!” Ramona said.
“We didn’t know. He walked in right before dinner.”
“You should have called us at Janet’s.”
Their mother gave them a tight lipped shake of her head. “She needed you there. That mother of hers! And that sister!” She made a disgusted noise. “She needs a little joy. And he’ll be here a week.”
“How’d you manage that?” Diego asked his brother.
“Got a week’s vacation from work, and school’s on a break. So here I am!”
“Too bad school’s started,” Diego said with a frown. “We could hang out.”
“We can do that this weekend.”
“Sunday,” Diego said. “We can go to the lake.”
“Not Saturday?” Carlos sounded disappointed.
“He can’t, he has a date,” Ramona said with a toss of her head.
“So, reschedule,” his mother said.
“With Janet,” Ramona continued with a sly wink. She grabbed a handful of popcorn from a bowl in her sister’s lap.
“Oh, really?” Their mother looked interested.
In fact, all eyes in the room were on Diego, ignoring the TV program.
“Yeah. So? It’s just a movie.”
“Not at the drive-in?” his mother said with a frown.
“No, Mama. At the theatre.”
“So, a date….” His mother looked smug.
“It’s just a movie…. Why’s everyone making such a big deal?”
“No reason,” their mother said with a satisfied smirk. “Oh, the show’s back on.” She turned it up.
Annoyed, Diego went to his room. His brother’s suitcase was on his old bed. Diego flopped on his own, arms folded under his head. The door opened and Carlos came in.
“Mama shouldn’t tease,” he said quietly, sitting on the end of Diego’s bed. “So, you finally admit you like her. Good for you.”
“Bro, I saw the kiss at New Year’s.”
“I think I’m in love with her, Carlos. Is that crazy?”
“No, man. It’s cool that you do.”
“I wish she was my age,” Diego murmured. “I’d marry her in a heartbeat.”
©2020 Dellani Oakes