Archive | November 2020

First Meeting from Jerrika and Delmar ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes

Sometimes, first meetings aren’t face to face. In fact, Jerrika Harper and Delmar Washington connect over the phone, and don’t actually meet face to face for several days.

The phone rang on the other end, sounding tinny in his ear. Staring at his computer screen, which was doing something he knew it shouldn’t be, he waited.

“Tech support, Jerrika speaking, how may I help you?”

“Hi, this is Delmar, Fifth Floor.”

“Hello, Delmar Fifth Floor. What seems to be your trouble?”

Her voice was bright and sparkly, somehow lightening the load he had on his shoulders.

“I’m hoping you can tell me. I’m staring at a black screen. Before you ask, yes, it’s all plugged in, the monitor is on, I’ve turned it off and on again, and it’s still black.”

“Hmm. Is there a cursor blinking?”

“Yeah.”

“So, we know it’s operational. Did you recently download anything?”

“You think it’s a virus?”

“Could be. Did you?”

“Just some files for a client.”

“Via e-mail?”

“Yeah.”

He heard keys clicking rapidly.

“Name?”

“Delmar Washington.”

“Gotcha.”

More keys clicked. Jerrika whistled. “Wow, Delmar. Do you ever clear out your inbox?”

“I thought I did. Why?”

“You’ve got over two thousand old e-mails here, love. Want I should purge this?”

“You can do that?”

“I am an Tech Goddess, I am omnipresent and omnipotent.”

“But are you omniscient? Because that’s my favorite.”

She giggled. “Only on Friday. You’re in luck! This might take a minute.”

He could still hear her breathing, and the sound of keys clicking, so he knew she hadn’t hung up. As he watched, his screen blinked blue, black and came back on.

“Whoa! What did you do?”

“I have solved your problem. The most recent e-mails are in a file marked Recent. The ones which were less than a month old are now in a file marked 30 days or less. I did a quick check of the spam folder, threw it all away, and cleared your deleted files. The rest you’ll have to decide about. I didn’t want to purge anything important.”

“Damn, girl! Will you marry me?”

“That’s just the relief talking.”

“True. But how can I thank you? That was amazing.”

“I’m fond of chocolate chip cookies,” she teased.

“I’ll send you some.”

There was a surprised pause. “You really would, wouldn’t you?”

“You bet. Hey, better yet, I’ll get you a gift card to Lucille’s Bakery on Sixteenth. They make the best chocolate chip cookies in the city. What’s your e-mail?”

“Jerrika Harper. That’s spelled J-E-R-R-I-K-A.” It wasn’t necessary to give the rest, they worked for Crossfire Sporting Goods, which had its own server.

His turn to tap keys.

“Oh, my God, you really did!”

“I was serious about that thank you. You have no idea how much I have to do before I can go home. You’re a life saver.”

“I live but to serve. Anything else I can help you with?”

“I’d love for you to keep talking to me, you have a beautiful voice.”

“Why, thank you. You’ve got a very nice voice, yourself. But if you’re that busy, I’ll distract you.”

“Also true. Much as I’d love to keep chatting, I gotta go. Thanks again.”

“You bet. That’s what I’m here for. Keep your e-mail cleared out,” she admonished playfully.

“Never gonna happen.”

Laughing, they said goodbye and hung up.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 31

Janet tells Ramona about her father arriving. Then, her friend puts a bug in her ear, asking if they will move back to Texas. She’s so upset, she’s late to class.

The bell rang for class. Mrs. Frost wrote her a note and she walked rapidly to the chorus room on the other side of the auditorium.

Diego watched the door anxiously and smiled when she walked in. She had no time to explain before class, but made sure to tell him after.

Ramona and Bunny rode home again with Betty, leaving them alone to talk.

“Where did that idea come from? Your dad?”

“Mona. She asked me this morning.”

He snorted derisively. “Until your folks say it, don’t sweat it.”

They drove to the A&W for a cold drink. Over root beer floats, they talked calmly about what to do if her parents moved.

“You’ve got family here. Stay with them. Or Bunny. Or us.”

“Mom would never let me stay with you.”

He grimaced, nodding. “True. But your aunt and uncle would probably let you stay.”

Diego drove Janet home, then hurried off to work. Janet walked into a house she hardly recognized. Her mother had rearranged the furniture and picked up the clutter.

Her mother’s door was closed. She didn’t go near it, knowing what she’d likely hear. Sookie wasn’t home. The phone rang, making her jump. She answered on the second ring.

“H-hello?”

“Hi, it’s me.” Ramona. “Sookie’s here and wants to stay with the twins. Is that cool?”

“Yeah, that’s fine. Mom and Dad are—busy….”

“Ooh, lucky you.”

“I’m going for a walk.”

“Meet me in the park.”

“On my way.”

As children, they often met in the park after school. It was equidistant between their houses and neutral ground where they could be themselves. They sat on the swings and Janet remembered being there with Diego. She smiled.

“Could it be any more weird?” Ramona asked.

“Not really. He’s like a stranger—but not. Does that make sense?”

“Yeah. I’m sorry—what I said before. I didn’t know it would freak you out so bad. Diego told me. That whole mouth control issue….” She made her fingers look like mouths, opening and closing them as she spoke.

“If I have to, I’ll live with Aunt Martha. It wouldn’t be too bad. But would she let me stay three years?” Janet sniffled.

“Maybe not. But this year…. At least you’d have now. Diego graduates anyway, so this is the important year, Jan.”

The girls walked to the corner market and got sodas, drinking them as they walked to Ramona’s.

“Your mom called,” Carlos told her as they walked in. “I’ll drive you girls home. You might want to mention your visitor before hand.”

“Good idea. Sookie!” Janet called.

Her little sister came out, carrying a Barbie doll. “I hope this is important?” She sounded so disgusted and mature, Janet had to hide a laugh.

“We need to head home, squirt.”

“Must we? Okay.” Sookie groaned, rolling her eyes.

In the car, Janet explained who was visiting.

“Do I call him Dad, too?” Sookie asked angrily.

“Whatever he tells you to call him. I call your dad by his name. He’ll probably do that, too.”

“They scared me, you know,” she said solemnly.

“I know, squirt. You can sleep in with me, if you want.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, we’ll have a pajama party.”

“Cool!” Happier, Sookie jumped out of the car and ran up to the house.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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