Janet has a very frank conversation with her mother, talking about her relationship with Diego, and her mother and father’s marriage.
“Would you have married him, if you’d known at the time what he was?”
Her mother shrugged, shaking her head. “I don’t know. But there’s never been a man who has loved me like Evander.”
“But would you?”
Her mother smiled, tears running down her face. “In a heartbeat! You take that love you’ve got and hold on tight with both hands, Janet May. That boy loves you and you love him, I can see it when you say his name. But you take it slow, and you make him work hard to win you. Don’t give up easy. And don’t you sleep around. You stick with one man, and your life will be a lot happier.”
Janet nodded. This wasn’t the conversation she’d expected from her mother. Mama was much more prone to hateful words, and cold shoulders. While her mother was in this mellow mood, Janet asked a question that burned in her heart.
“Mama, why do you hate me so?”
Her mother burst into tears, grabbing her daughter in her arms. “Janet May, I don’t hate you! I just look at you and I see your daddy, and all I lost. I see the mean way I’ve been, and I can’t make it stop. I’m broke, and I’m tired, and I know if I’d stayed with your daddy, my life wouldn’t be so harsh. But I made up my mind, and I did what I did. I can’t take it back.”
“But what if you could? What if he’d take us back?”
Her mother smiled. “Can’t live your life on what if, baby.” Sniffing loudly, she wiped her eyes with her fingers.
Janet got her some toilet paper from the tiny bathroom so she could wipe her eyes and blow her nose.
“Now, we need to find something to carry up so your sister won’t have a snit wondering what we left her out of.” She looked around and found an ugly Hawaiian doll that danced if you touched it. “Think she’d like that for her room?”
“That’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. She’ll love it.”
Laughing, they walked upstairs and presented Sookie with the doll. She took it to her room and stayed there all evening long.
Saturday, Janet got through her shift at the drive-in on automatic. Her mind was completely occupied with thoughts of Diego. Even thinking his name made her heart flutter. By the time her shift ended, she was anxious to see him.
At 3:02, she changed from her uniform into a new outfit. She slid on her new Levi’s straight leg, button up jeans and pulled a lime green T-shirt over her head. She switched her work shoes for a pair of leather sandals and put on a pair of plastic hoops that matched her shirt. A quick brush up on her makeup, and she was ready.
Diego walked in just as she returned to the restaurant. He took her hands, smiling.
“Is it okay if I kiss you?”
She glanced at her boss. He didn’t look like he was in a very lenient mood. There weren’t any rules about kissing someone when she was off duty, but why make him mad? She shook her head slightly. They walked out to Diego’s car. Before opening the door, he pressed his long, muscular body against hers, placing his hands on either side. The kiss, when it came, was nothing like any he’d given her before. It was full of desire, love and animalistic power. It was frightening and titillating all at once.
Janet sighed, relaxing against the car as her hands went around his waist. He made a noise in his throat that sounded like a growl. Janet tried not to laugh, but she was nervous all ready. His behavior made her more so. The laughter bubbled out, forcing them apart. He gazed down at her with a slightly glazed expression.
“What?” he mumbled.
“What was that noise?”
“That one you made just now?” She imitated it.
“I did that?” He laughed, putting his arm around her shoulders, as he flopped against the car. “I have no idea. Maybe I was purring.”
She giggled, meeting his penetrating gaze. “Purring? Like a cat?”
“Why not? They purr when they’re content. Why can’t a man?”
“That’s pretty weird, Diego.”
©2020 Dellani Oakes