Janet chats with Ramona, then goes to her house to collect Sookie. Carlos gives them a ride home.
Janet’s parents waited for them in the living room. Her father introduced himself to Sookie.
“It smells good in here. Did you cook, Mom?”
Evander laughed. “Could be. And it will be ready soon. Go wash up.”
Sookie and Janet went to wash up in the bathroom. When they came out, the parents were kissing.
Sookie groaned. “Oh, please,” she moaned. “First Janet and Diego, now you?”
Evander laughed loudly. “Little Bit, you’ll keep me on my best behavior.”
They had a pleasant dinner. Afterward, the girls cleaned up and Sookie had her bath. She and Janet moved her things downstairs and they both did their homework. Janet had never felt so close to her little sister. Usually, they were at odds, but today, she was very happy.
Sookie fell asleep, curled on her side, facing the yellow bedroom wall. Janet stayed awake until midnight, thinking about the future, making plans. She intended to make it clear she wasn’t leaving—at least not now.
Waking up wasn’t easy, but a wiggling ten year old made it impossible to ignore. Janet dragged herself to the bathroom and had a quick shower. Sookie and Evander were laughing at the breakfast table. They shushed each other, giggling and winking when Janet arrived.
“I smell a secret,” Janet said as she poured coffee.
“Our secret, right, Little Bit?”
“Yup!” Sookie giggled behind her hand.
Janet was ready when Diego arrived. He came up to the door and Evander opened it.
“Nice to see you again,” he said with a wide grin. “You gonna be a fixture?”
“Plan on it,” Diego replied, shaking the proffered hand.
“Good. You make my daughter smile.” He kissed Janet’s cheek. “See you after school?”
“I work right after.”
“Take the day off.”
“Dad, I really can’t.”
“We need time together, Pumpkin. Please?”
“Ask Mom to call. They won’t believe I need the time, otherwise.”
He nodded. “Will do.”
Janet worried all day about talking to her father. Not even lunch and class with Diego, could snap her out of her daze.
He drove her to the park on the way home, stopping the car. “Talk to me.”
“I need to get home….”
“We’ll talk first. I can’t help if you don’t tell me. I know you’re worried.”
“What if he tells me we’re leaving? What if he says I can never be with you again? I would totally die.”
“Janet, it will work out. You have to believe that.” He took her hands in his. “I’d marry you, just to keep you here. But we’re way too young to get married.”
She nodded, tears bursting from her eyes. “I love you so much. I want to be with you forever.”
“If they decide we’re moving…. You have to find a way for us to be together.”
“Does that scare you?” She raised her chin definitely.
“No! Oh, hell no. Just not the circumstances I expected.”
“If I have to leave, I’m not going unless we can be together. I want you to be my first. Swear to me you’ll find a way. Promise.”
“I—promise. But we don’t know for certain….”
“I don’t care. I’ve made up my mind. Even if we don’t move right away. I want to be with you.”
“Okay, babe. I promise.”
He drove her home and her father was waiting. Diego walked her to the porch. He kissed her cheek and left.
“You okay?” Evander asked.
She nodded, then shook her head. “Where’s Sookie.”
“With Mom. We’re going for a ride.”
©2020 Dellani Oakes