Diego and Janet kiss for the first time. Ramona, who is waiting in the car, warns them when Sookie gets home. Later, Diego calls her.
Janet took the phone, sitting at the kitchen counter. Sookie wandered into her room, but Janet suspected she was eavesdropping.
“Hey, it’s me,” Diego said. “Sookie’s got a real phone presence.”
“I know. She could work for the phone company.”
There was a longish pause. Janet thought maybe he’d hung up.
“I’m here. Sorry. I thought maybe you’d keep talking.” He laughed at himself. “I didn’t really call with a reason—except I wanted to hear your voice. That makes me sound like an idiot. Forget I said that.”
“No, it’s sweet. Thank you. Do you really want to be my boyfriend?” She said very quietly.
“Yeah, of course I do. I wouldn’t have asked you otherwise. I really like you, Janet. I didn’t realize until yesterday, just how much.”
“I like you too,” she said softly. “More than I ever thought.”
“I’m glad, cause I’d feel like a real goob if you didn’t.”
“You’re still a goob,” Janet teased.
“Oh, thanks!” He laughed.
Janet heard a muffled man’s voice in the background.
“Dammit, sorry. My brother needs the phone. I’ll see you in the morning.”
He wanted badly to tell her he loved her, but that wouldn’t be his best move. Instead, he hung up and gave the phone to his brother.
Carlos apologized. “I forgot to call my girl today. I heard you talking to Janet and remembered. She’s gonna be freaking.”
“No, it’s okay. So, a new girl, huh?” He punched is brother as he dialed the phone.
“Ow! Yeah, she’s pretty cool. You’d like her. I think I’m gonna…. Hey, baby. It’s me….”
Diego wandered outside. His father sat on the front porch smoking a cigarette.
“So, you and Janet, huh?” He smiled, nodding. “I’m proud of you, son.”
“Really? What for?”
“For making a commitment.”
“We’re just dating, Dad. We’re not getting married.”
His father chuckled. “I know. But this is the one. This is the girl you’ll end up with.”
“I hope so. She’s really special to me.”
His father clapped him on the back. “You need to head to bed, son. It’s getting late.”
Diego nodded. “Night, Dad.”
His father nodded and smiled, taking a long drag on his cigarette.
Janet sat by the phone a long time before deciding to go to bed. When she lay down, she could feel Diego’s lips on hers, caressing them. The touch of his hands sent thrills down her spine, making her shiver with delight.
Her dreams were highly erotic, though vague. She knew the mechanics of sex, but nothing more than she’d learned in health class. She was aware of the need for birth control, and that the girl was supposed to keep saying no until she was married, but she also knew she had no intention of saying no forever. She cared about Diego and he made her feel special. His tender kisses warmed her heart, filling in the cold, empty places that riddled it when her father left.
“If he wants to…. If he asks me, I’m not gonna say no.”
The next morning, Ramona and Diego arrived at 7:30 as planned. They picked up Bunny and headed to school. Diego gave Janet a quick kiss before they went into the building and he walked her to class, holding her hand.
At lunch, they sat together with their friends around them. In their own little world, they hardly noticed anyone else. Trina burst into their private bubble.
“So, are you two officially dating now?” She leaned forward, arms on the table.
Diego laughed. “Yes, Trina. We’re a couple. Got a problem with that?”
“Not at all, I was just dying to know. I’m glad to have that decided. Now I can quit wondering, and get on with my life.” She tossed her hair, catching Raul in the face.
He laughed, spitting her hair out. “Baby, if you want my attention, there’s other things you can do.”
“I thought you needed a mouthful, babe. Sorry.”
©2020 Dellani Oakes