Diego laughed, his dark eyes catching the last rays of the setting sun. “Not to worry. She doesn’t have to. My old man and my brother help me out. And I’m almost eighteen…. Weird conversation we’re having, Janet.”
“I couldn’t talk to anyone else like this. I’ve known you forever, Diego. You’re a part of me like no one else. This feels right, us being together. Part of me always knew we’d end up this way. And one day, we’ll make love, and it will be the right time. The pieces need to fall into place, that’s all.”
He kissed her almost desperately. “I love you so much, it aches inside. I know I won’t feel right until we’re together,” he whispered.
Diego walked her up to the door, kissing her good night on the porch. They’d been there a few minutes when Sookie turned on the lights, laughing at their consternation. Janet was ready to kill her, but Diego held her waist, kissing her once more.
“I can’t tell you what some younger sisters and brothers have done when I was saying good night. That’s pretty tame. Think what you were like at ten.”
“Yeah, boys were icky.”
He laughed. “I’m glad you got over that.”
“See you tomorrow?”
“Call me after church. I’ve got a solo tomorrow. I’m so nervous.”
“You’ll be great. See you tomorrow.”
He gave her one last kiss. She went in the house and he headed to his car, waving as he drove away.
“Janet’s got a boyfriend! Janet’s got a boyfriend!” Sookie teased when her older sister walked in the house.
“Yes, I do, squirt. And he’s a really nice guy, so don’t mess it up for me.”
“Does Mom know?”
“Yes, Mom knows. And Mom likes him, so be nice to him.”
“You gonna marry him?”
“Maybe one day. Not anytime soon. We’re kids!”
“Are you gonna have sex with him?” Sookie leaned forward, frowning as she challenged her sister.
“Go to your room, Sookie,” their mother said from the dining room table.
The little girl flounced off to her room, slamming the door. Ilene stood, smiling at her daughter.
“Did you have a good time?”
“Yes. We saw the movie and went to Taco Village for dinner. Then we swung on the swings at the park.”
“Sounds like a fun first date.”
“Mom, it was so cool! Diego’s great! I’m so lucky!” She danced in circles while her mother laughed.
“We’d better call the doctor Monday about that pill,” she said with a sigh. “You’re not going to last much longer.”
“Is kissing always that divine?” Janet asked without really listening to her mother. “Like you’re melting inside?”
“If the man knows what he’s doing, it is.” She walked over to Janet. “I never thought I’d see you so happy. I know I haven’t always been—the most considerate. I spoil Sookie and take out my frustration on you, and that’s not right. I’m sorry.” She pulled Janet’s hair into a pony tail, smoothing it off her shoulders. “You deserve a good man and I think you found one. You just be careful. Think before you leap.”
“I will, Mama. I pro….”
“Don’t promise,” her mother said, putting her finger to Janet’s lips.
“Yes, ma’am. I’ve got some stuff to read for Monday,” she said, suddenly remembering. “Night, Mom!” She hugged her mother and went to her room, humming.
Ilene Yarkowsky hugged herself, fighting back the tears. She’d done a lot wrong in her life, starting with the night she walked out on Evander. Despite what she’d told Janet, she had left him because he was black. Maybe she would have married him if she’d known, maybe not. She wasn’t sure. But she’d walked out in anger, and regretted it ever since.
©2020 Dellani Oakes