Diego leaves and Sookie confronts Janet about the relationship.
“Were you spying on me? You little….”
“You gonna have sex with him?”
“Sookie Ann! How dare you! He’s my boyfriend. That doesn’t automatically mean…. and how do you know about that anyway? You’re ten!”
“I’m not stupid. I do watch soap operas.” Sookie rolled her eyes.
“I’m not talking to you. Do your homework.” Janet headed to the kitchen.
Sookie followed her like a pestering little dog. “I’m telling Mom that he kissed you.”
“Go ahead. He’s my boyfriend, he has the right to kiss me.” She didn’t stop what she was doing, her back to her little sister.
“He’s Ramona’s brother, does she know?” She was trying every tactic she could to get under Janet’s skin.
“Mona knows all about it. She’s thrilled.”
“But Mom doesn’t know. I think I’ll tell her. I bet she’d be real interested.”
“Go ahead,” Janet replied. “And I’ll tell her who really broke into the shed and stole her bike. Then, maybe I’ll tell her you take money from her purse all the time, so you can buy a soda at the corner store. And maybe I’ll tell her about the time you….”
“You wouldn’t! You can’t!” Sookie stamped her foot.
Janet turned on her slowly, calmly. “Maybe it’s time Mom knew that you aren’t the perfect little girl she thinks you are. Perhaps I should enlighten her.”
“She won’t believe you! She’ll believe me.”
Janet smiled secretively. “Oh, she’ll believe me, squirt. I can be very persuasive.”
“You can’t! She won’t!”
Janet shrugged, going back to her work.
“I hate you! You’re the meanest sister ever!” Sookie balled up her fist to hit Janet in the back.
Janet saw her sister in the window over the sink. She turned around in a flash, leaning menacingly toward her.
“Go ahead, half pint. Hit me. I dare you. I won’t get you back right away, you misspent, addle brained, pipsqueak….” Janet lowered her voice an octave, dropping into a harsh, croaking whisper. “But you have to sleep sometime…..” She did an evil laugh.
Sookie screamed and ran to her room, slamming the door. She locked it and pulled a piece of furniture across the door. Janet continued to laugh, enjoying the feeling of power she had over her little sister. Of course, she might pay for it later, but for now, she held all the cards.
Janet planned to tell her mother about Diego after dinner. She fixed a roast chicken and all the side dishes her mother liked best. She even baked fresh cornbread, because her mother loved it.
When Ilene Yarkowsky walked in the house, she actually smiled. “It smells wonderful in this house! What’s the occasion?”
“Do we need one to have a nice meal? I got the chicken on sale, so I thought we’d have roast tonight, then use the rest for chicken and dumplings tomorrow. What you think?”
“Oh, good idea. And boil down the bones for broth.”
“Of course! Learned that from you and Nana. Don’t waste a lick!” she said just like her grandmother.
Her mother smiled again, hugging her for the first time in ages. “That’s my Mom! Did you make cornbread?” She asked as the timer dinged. “I’ll get it.” She took the cast iron skillet from the oven, inhaling deeply. “You trying to soften me up?” She asked warily.
“No, what a thing to say. It’s a little celebration. End of the first week. And I got a place on the speech team doing a dramatic reading, and a solo in chorus.”
“Really? How wonderful! You’re gonna go far with that,” her mother said, surprising her further.
“Hiding in her room.”
“Hiding? Whatever for?”
“Who knows? Maybe she watched Dark Shadows again. Or Psycho. That shower scene scared the bejeezus outta me for weeks. I didn’t even want to shower by myself downstairs.” She laughed at her own silly fear.
“Well, serves her right then,” Ilene said, wandering to her bedroom.
©2020 Dellani Oakes