Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 19

It’s Saturday, and time for their first date. Diego makes a funny noise after he kisses her, and he decides it was a purr of contentment.

He shrugged, chuckling. “Yeah, well…. You make me content, happy….”

He didn’t add that she also filled him with lust, unmatched by any other he’d ever felt. He wanted to be with her more than any other girl he’d dated. It wasn’t that she was any prettier, or any sexier, it was that he loved her.

It took a moment for his mind to find its way back to the mundane. He’d been falling deeper into lust mode, and had to climb out again. He hoped she didn’t notice that his pants were now extra tight across the front. He wished now he’d worn loose fitting jeans. Mentally kicking himself, he opened her car door and helped her get settled.

They parked behind the theatre in the employee parking lot and walked around the front. The girl at the ticket counter didn’t charge them for the tickets she gave them. They were able to walk right in and head to the concession stand for popcorn and drinks. The girl there charged only half price.

“Oh, the perks of dating a man who works at the movies,” Janet murmured as they walked into the theatre.

“It’s part of the job,” he said. “Really, she should have charged me for your ticket, but we’re buddies.”

“Is she one of your old girlfriends?” Janet turned somewhat chilly.

Diego took her chin, turning her face to his. “No. She’s a friend. We never dated. She’s with a buddy of mine, and has been for six years. Just so we’re clear, I haven’t dated anyone here. Feel better now?”

She smiled, kissing him playfully on the nose. “Yes.”

“Good. Where do you want to sit?”

“I’ll let you choose. You’ve been here more than me.”

“Would you be willing to sit in the balcony?”

“Depends on where. I’m not good with heights.”

“I won’t let you fall,” he promised, holding her close. “Balcony has the best view.”

“Okay, I’ll take your word for it.”

They walked up to the balcony and he led her to a pair of seats about halfway up, in the center. Janet’s head spun a little. She closed her eyes when she sat down.

“You okay?” Diego asked.

“Yeah. This will take a little getting used to.”

“Maybe I can help.” He set their food and drinks down.

Next thing she knew, he kissed her. The strength of his embrace made her forget everything else. Now, the dizziness was from desire, not fear. That dissipated too, leaving her feeling content.

The house lights went down and the cartoon started. They sat close, watching and laughing. The previews came next and Diego told her about things he wanted to see. He was a real movie buff, just like she was, and they had the same taste in movies.

“We’ll see that when it comes out,” he told her after each of them.

“I’d like that.”

“Cool.” He gave her a quick kiss.

The movie started. They watched for some time, munching popcorn and sipping their drinks. About thirty minutes in, Diego set his refreshments aside. He took Janet’s, setting them down too. The theatre was dark, nearly deserted. There was only one other person in the balcony and he was asleep. It was as close to alone as they were likely to get.

Diego’s eyes sparkled in the light from the movie as he moved closer. Janet wasn’t quite sure what he wanted until he smiled and touched her cheek. Smiling back, she leaned toward him. His lips met hers, his fingers drifted from her cheek to her neck. He played with her hair, winding his fingers in it.

His kiss was electrifying. Janet felt a tingle from her lips spreading all over her body. It lodged low in her belly, waking feelings she’d never had before. She understood now what her mother meant. It would be awfully hard to tell him no, if he wanted to take this further than just kissing. Her body betrayed her, giving in to his touch.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 15

Janet and Diego are kissing at her house, when Sookie arrives. Mrs. Thompson tells her that Lonnie is sick, and might not be in school Monday.

Mrs. Thompson ruffled Sookie’s hair. “Can’t leave my best travel buddy stranded.”

“If there’s ever a problem, please call me at school. I can make arrangements….”

“Sweetie, it’ll be a cold day in hell when I can’t do a favor for a neighbor. Your mom works wicked hours, and you can’t drive yet. I don’t mind. I know you’d do the same for me.”

“I sure would. If you ever need to drop Lonnie here after school, let me know.”

“Thanks, honey. I’ll let your mom know about Monday. You might have to pick her up, if your mom can’t make other arrangements.”

“Okay. Thanks.”

“You gonna introduce me to your young man?”

Janet blushed. “I’m sorry. I thought you knew each other. This is my boyfriend, Diego Hernandez. This is my neighbor, Mrs. Thompson.”

“Nice to meet you,” they said in chorus, shaking hands.

“I hope Lonnie feels better soon,” Janet said.

Janet closed the door, leaning against it. “God, I hope she doesn’t get sick. I’m the one who has to stay with her, if she does. Mom can’t take the time off.”

“We’ll figure out something. I bet Mom would watch her.”

“I can’t ask your mother to do that for me….”

“Yeah, you can. You’ve been Mona’s friend forever. And you’re the woman I….”

“Shh,” Janet cautioned. “Little ears,” she whispered.

“Sorry,” he replied just as quietly. “Don’t forget. Tomorrow….”

“I can’t forget something that special. Our first real date.”

He gave her a last kiss before leaving. “I’ll call later.”

“How late can you stay out?” she asked abruptly.

“Tonight? Eleven.”

“Me too. Want to come by after the Hell Spawn goes to bed?”

“I shouldn’t….”

“Why not?” She couldn’t hide her disappointment.

“Cause, nighttime, a nearly empty house, beds…. I’m gonna get all the wrong ideas,” he whispered, tracing the line of her breast with one fingertip.

Janet swallowed her disappointment. “I didn’t think of that. Sorry.”

“No, I am. I’m a guy, that’s how we think. I’m so hot for you I can hardly stand it. I’d turn into a caveman and fornicate your brains out.” Diego nipped her lower lip.

“I’d just keep telling you no.” Janet tried to play tough, knowing it was an act.

“Only so long that works. When the primal takes over, that’s it. I’m unstoppable—and you won’t want to stop me anyway.”

“Sure of your charms.” She shoved him playfully away.

Diego took a step back, grinning. “You have no idea. Some women have found me particularly charming.”

“How many women?” She withdrew slightly, pouting.

He blinked. “Mona asked me that too. What’s the deal? So I’ve dated a few girls, got some experience. Is that a crime?”

“No. It’s just that girls talk, D. They talk a lot….”

“Ten,” he said quietly. “Only ten. I’ve dated more than that, but I swear, I haven’t been to bed with them all.”

“That seems like a lot,” she said, rather hurt by his honesty.

“That’s only five girls a year,” he complained. “That’s not that many.”

“I suppose not.” She still wasn’t convinced.

“Do we have to argue about this?”

She shook her head.

“Good, cause I don’t want to argue. I do need to get going,” he said. He gave her one last, quick kiss. “Carlos is visiting. I promised to spend some time with him.”

“Tell him I said hi.”

“I’ll do that.” He kissed her hand and left.

She closed the door behind him with a sigh.

“So, are you dating him now?” Sookie asked loudly from the hallway.

“What if I am?”

“Does Mom know?”

Janet didn’t answer.

“I bet she doesn’t. I bet she has no clue he’s kissing you in the living room.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 14

At lunch the next day, Diego announces that he and Janet are a couple. Tossing her head, Trina accidentally gets her hair in Raul’s mouth.

Raul laughed louder, leaning over to nibble on her neck. He mumbled something that Janet didn’t hear. Trina elbowed his ribs, blushing.

“Ready for class?” she asked Janet.

“Yeah.” Janet hopped up.

Diego joined them. “I’ll head that way.”

“Okay, we’ll let you,” Trina said with a sly grin.

She left them behind, heading into the auditorium. Diego caught the door, slipping in after her, dragging Janet with him. He pulled the door shut behind them, surprising her with a kiss.

“I’ve been dying to do that all day. I can’t stay long, or I’m gonna be late.” He took one more quick kiss before pulling her back into the hallway.

Laughing, Janet jogged to her class. Diego took off at a dead run for his. She had the feeling he was going to be very late, but she knew he didn’t care. They met up in chorus and she asked him.

“I was, but no big deal. It’s not like I’m gonna flunk if I’m late. We’ll just have to leave lunch a little earlier Monday so I can get my fix.”

“You make it sound like a drug.”

“Better than a drug, and I’m totally addicted.”

He wouldn’t kiss her in front of all these people, but Janet knew that he wanted too. They could wait, they’d have to.

After school, Bunny and Ramona told Diego they intended to ride with Betty, to Bunny’s house.

“You sure? Cause I can drop you.”

“No, Janet needs to go by the store. We’ll head to Bunny’s. She’s going to show me her new terrarium.”

Diego frowned, pursing his lips. “Okay…. What’s that?”

“It’s for plants,” Bunny replied.

“If you’re sure.”

“See you later, big brother.” Ramona waved to Janet.

“They set us up,” Janet said, laughing. “That was sweet.”

“I don’t know if I should be grateful or very, very afraid,” Diego said as they walked to his car with their arms around one another. “Did you need to go to the store?”

“No. It can wait until Sunday.”

“Cool….” He drove rapidly to her house and pulled up in the driveway.

“Want a cold drink?”

He nodded. “No. But I do want to come in.”


The second the door was closed behind them, he kissed her. Cupping her face in his hands, he teased her lips apart, probing her mouth gently but adamantly. Somewhat taken aback by the strength of his desire, she took a step away from him.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to scare you. I know you’re not experienced. I know you’re not ready…. But I really—am being an asshole. I’m sorry.” He stepped away from her.

“I’m not experienced. And I’m not ready yet…. But I will be. And when I am, I want it to be you.” She took his face in her hands, pulling him to her.

He laughingly complied. “God, I love you, Janet. I’ve loved you since we were kids. Only I never thought….”

“I know,” she whispered. “Me too.”

They kissed until they heard a car pull up. It was Mrs. Thompson dropping off Sookie. Instead of just letting her out, she came up to the house with her. Janet dashed to the door, opening it wide.

“Hi, is there a problem?”

“No, it’s fine. It’s just I’m not sure that Lonnie’s going to be in school on Monday. He’s not feeling too well. I picked him up at noon.”

“Thanks so much for getting Sookie anyway. That was really nice of you.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 13

Brand New Day coverDiego and Janet kiss for the first time. Ramona, who is waiting in the car, warns them when Sookie gets home. Later, Diego calls her.

Janet took the phone, sitting at the kitchen counter. Sookie wandered into her room, but Janet suspected she was eavesdropping.


“Hey, it’s me,” Diego said. “Sookie’s got a real phone presence.”

“I know. She could work for the phone company.”

There was a longish pause. Janet thought maybe he’d hung up.


“I’m here. Sorry. I thought maybe you’d keep talking.” He laughed at himself. “I didn’t really call with a reason—except I wanted to hear your voice. That makes me sound like an idiot. Forget I said that.”

“No, it’s sweet. Thank you. Do you really want to be my boyfriend?” She said very quietly.

“Yeah, of course I do. I wouldn’t have asked you otherwise. I really like you, Janet. I didn’t realize until yesterday, just how much.”

“I like you too,” she said softly. “More than I ever thought.”

“I’m glad, cause I’d feel like a real goob if you didn’t.”

“You’re still a goob,” Janet teased.

“Oh, thanks!” He laughed.

Janet heard a muffled man’s voice in the background.

“Dammit, sorry. My brother needs the phone. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Bye, Diego.”

“Bye, Janet.”

He wanted badly to tell her he loved her, but that wouldn’t be his best move. Instead, he hung up and gave the phone to his brother.

Carlos apologized. “I forgot to call my girl today. I heard you talking to Janet and remembered. She’s gonna be freaking.”

“No, it’s okay. So, a new girl, huh?” He punched is brother as he dialed the phone.

“Ow! Yeah, she’s pretty cool. You’d like her. I think I’m gonna…. Hey, baby. It’s me….”

Diego wandered outside. His father sat on the front porch smoking a cigarette.

“So, you and Janet, huh?” He smiled, nodding. “I’m proud of you, son.”

“Really? What for?”

“For making a commitment.”

“We’re just dating, Dad. We’re not getting married.”

His father chuckled. “I know. But this is the one. This is the girl you’ll end up with.”

“I hope so. She’s really special to me.”

His father clapped him on the back. “You need to head to bed, son. It’s getting late.”

Diego nodded. “Night, Dad.”

His father nodded and smiled, taking a long drag on his cigarette.

Janet sat by the phone a long time before deciding to go to bed. When she lay down, she could feel Diego’s lips on hers, caressing them. The touch of his hands sent thrills down her spine, making her shiver with delight.

Her dreams were highly erotic, though vague. She knew the mechanics of sex, but nothing more than she’d learned in health class. She was aware of the need for birth control, and that the girl was supposed to keep saying no until she was married, but she also knew she had no intention of saying no forever. She cared about Diego and he made her feel special. His tender kisses warmed her heart, filling in the cold, empty places that riddled it when her father left.

“If he wants to…. If he asks me, I’m not gonna say no.”

The next morning, Ramona and Diego arrived at 7:30 as planned. They picked up Bunny and headed to school. Diego gave Janet a quick kiss before they went into the building and he walked her to class, holding her hand.

At lunch, they sat together with their friends around them. In their own little world, they hardly noticed anyone else. Trina burst into their private bubble.

“So, are you two officially dating now?” She leaned forward, arms on the table.

Diego laughed. “Yes, Trina. We’re a couple. Got a problem with that?”

“Not at all, I was just dying to know. I’m glad to have that decided. Now I can quit wondering, and get on with my life.” She tossed her hair, catching Raul in the face.

He laughed, spitting her hair out. “Baby, if you want my attention, there’s other things you can do.”

“I thought you needed a mouthful, babe. Sorry.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 12

Brand New Day coverDiego asks Janet to the movies. She isn’t sure it’s a date, but everyone else assures her it is. At her house, after school, Diego tells her he wants to kiss her.

Not waiting for an answer, he pulled her close, taking her waist as he lowered his mouth to hers. Janet wasn’t sure what to do. She closed her eyes and raised her chin.

Diego smiled. He knew she was inexperienced, but it didn’t matter. He loved her, and he’d teach her everything she needed to know. His lips touched hers, sending a spark from his lips to hers. Janet jumped back with a little eep of surprise. Laughing, he tugged her close once more.

“Sorry. Static.” He tried again, this time without the power surge.

Janet didn’t know what to expect, but it wasn’t this. His lips were warm, full, soft and tantalizing. It wasn’t a long kiss, but it left her wanting more.

Diego held Janet around the waist, his lips barely touching hers. He kissed her twice more before letting go. Taking a step back, he opened his eyes. Janet lowered her chin, licking her lips as she opened her eyes.

“I’ll be by around seven thirty, is that a good time?” Diego said self-consciously.

“Yes. Perfect. Thanks.”

“What are boyfriends for?”

Janet squeaked excitedly, indulging in a bounce. Biting her lower lip, she tried to stop a giggle, but couldn’t. About that time, she saw Ramona standing in the hallway. Her friend rushed her, taking her hands. They squealed, hopping a little in their excitement.

“Why do girls do that? Seriously? You’re like little kids,” Diego fussed.

“We’re happy,” Ramona said “Deal with it, big brother.”

Diego laughed loudly. “Sure. If it means I get another kiss.”

“I’m gonna go wait in the car,” Ramona said with a sly grin. “I’ll honk when Sookie arrives.”

Her brother and friend weren’t fully listening. He was all ready taking advantage of the fact his sister was leaving. Before kissing Janet again, he pulled her close.

“Try something for me,” he whispered.


“Open your mouth—just a little.”

Puzzled, she nodded. She closed her eyes, opening her mouth a bit. His tongue flickering into her mouth, shocked her. She tried to pull away, but he held her close, kissing her much more emphatically. After the initial surprise, she relaxed against him, experimentally slipping her tongue into his mouth.

The horn honked outside. Diego let her go. Sookie had arrived. If she caught them kissing, Janet would hear about it the rest of her life. She combed her fingers through her hair and dashed to the kitchen. She poured Diego a glass of water, handing it to him. Very loudly, he thanked her as Sookie slammed the front door.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” Diego said as he walked out of the narrow kitchen.

“Yeah. Thanks for the ride.”

“Thanks for the water. Dang hiccups.” He forced a burp, striking his chest with his fist. His dark eyes twinkled and he winked at Janet when Sookie wasn’t looking.

Janet walked him to the door. He knew he didn’t dare kiss her again, but he squeezed her fingers as he headed out the door.

“What’s for supper?” Sookie asked.


Sookie turned up her nose, stalking to her room. She was a picky eater and hated leftovers. However, the food budget made that necessary. Janet paid for her own clothing, she refused to spend the rest of her money on food. She had a little savings account that she added to every week. It wasn’t much, but it was her escape fund. As soon as she graduated, she was leaving. She could handle three more years of her mother and Sookie, but that was her limit.

About an hour later, the phone rang. Janet was just finishing her homework. Sookie got to the phone before she did.

“Who’s this?” Sookie said when she answered.

“We don’t answer the phone like that,” Janet reprimanded.

“It’s for you,” Sookie said, handing her the phone.

“Who is it?”

“Some boy.” She shrugged.©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 11

Brand New Day coverAt lunch, Diego has Janet sit next to him, and buys her a cinnamon roll to go with her lunch.

He handed her the plate. “They’re fantastic. Here. I all ready ate one. I don’t need two. Trying to keep in shape.” He patted his firm, flat abdomen.

“Thanks.” Janet blushed, ducking her head as she accepted his gift.

She ate the roll after she finished her sandwich. It was one of the best tasting things she’d ever eaten and she swore she’d learn how to make them just for Diego. Trina walked her to class again. They stopped by the auditorium which was right by the drama room.

“So, are you and Diego dating?”

Janet shrugged, shaking her head. “He asked me to a movie Saturday. It’s not like a date or anything….”

Trina smirked, her dark green eyes twinkling. “Yeah, right, sugar. And the Pope’s Jewish.”

Janet blinked and her mouth dropped open. Trina walked away, waving. Again, Janet was almost late for class, sliding in the door just as Mrs. Frost came over to close it.

“Sorry,” she said as she neatly avoided a collision with the petite, blonde haired woman.

“What’s with you today?” One of her classmates from Mr. Whitmore’s class asked her. “That’s twice in one day.”

“I’ve got to learn when to shut up,” she said, folding her hands in front of her.

The boy nodded, grinning. He’d seen her at lunch with Diego. After class, he walked with her, stopping at the chorus room.

“So, you dating Diego?”

“Scotty, no. I mean, we’re going out Saturday….”

He nodded, a knowing smile on his lips. “Well, good luck with that.”

“What’s wrong with everyone today? Diego asked me to a movie. It’s not a date!”

“Um, I’m pretty sure he thinks it’s a date.”

Janet didn’t have a chance to talk to Diego until after school. He walked her to her locker, offering her a ride home with him, Ramona and Bunny.

“I’d love one. I hate riding the bus.”

“Cool. I need to stop at my locker. I’ll meet you back here in a few minutes.”

“I’ll be here. I have to wait for Ramona and Bunny anyway.”

“Okay. See you.” He grinned, blowing her a kiss.

Janet blushed when people in the hall whistled and cheered. She got her things from her locker as she waited for her friends.

“Where were you?” Janet asked when they walked up.

“Giving you time to talk to Diego,” Bunny replied. “He looked intent upon getting you alone.”

“Oh, you guys are crazy. It’s not like that.”

“No? Oookay.” Bunny grinned, tossing her hair. She raised an eyebrow.

Diego rushed up moments later. “Ready to go?”

“Baby, I was born ready,” Bunny said, winking saucily at him.

Diego laughed. “Great, a comedian.” He put his arm around Janet’s shoulders, but not around Bunny’s as he often did.

They walked to the parking lot and spotted Diego’s car. It was a white Barracuda with dark blue stripes on the hood and roof. He and his father were gradually restoring it. Ramona and Bunny got in the back, leaving Janet up front with Diego.

The powerful motor roared to life and he headed to Bunny’s house. She clamored out of the back seat and waved as they pulled out of her driveway.

“Need to go by the store?” Diego asked Janet.

“No. Probably tomorrow, but we’re good until then.”

“Okay. Anytime you need to stop, tell me. It’s not a big deal.”


“What are friends for?” He flashed his winning smile at her, dark eyes sparkling.

He stopped the car in her driveway, turning it off. He was trying to find some excuse either to get in the house, or get his sister out of the car, but he couldn’t think of a thing. Ramona solved the problem.

“Janet, I need to pee.”

“Oh, sure. Come on.” She hopped out and unlocked the door. “Coming?” She asked Diego.

He followed quickly. Ramona smiled, winking at him as she shut the bathroom door. Diego took a step toward Janet.

“I’m really looking forward to Saturday,” he said, taking her hand.

“Me too.”

“Our first official date,” he continued, taking another step.

Janet faltered, unsure how to respond. He saw the confusion in her eyes.

“Is there a problem?”

“No. No, I didn’t think it was a date—date.”

“What did you think it was?” He took another step. He was now about six inches from her.

Janet’s heart pounded in her chest and she felt a little dizzy. Any second, Sookie would be home. She was confused by Diego’s attention.

“I really like you, Janet. It took me forever, to figure it out. But, I’d like to be your boyfriend.”

“I’d—I’d like that too,” she stammered, hardly able to meet his intense gaze.

“And I’d really like to kiss you,” he continued, taking both her hands.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 10

Brand New Day coverRamona and Diego’s older brother is home from college, for a visit. Carlos and Diego have a talk about Janet.

“Get your school first,” Carlos said firmly. “I’ve got friends trying to go to school, who are married, maybe have a baby on the way. It’s hard to keep up with marriage, school, and kids.”

Diego nodded, blinking back tears. “She’s got nothin’,” he whispered. “Her mom’s a bitch. Her little sister’s obnoxious. She’s got us. We’re her family. Is it wrong for me to want to take her away from that?”

“No, brother. It’s cool. But marriage wouldn’t be the best thing for you two right now. Think how much harder it would be for her to be married in high school? You’ve got some married friends, don’t you?”

“Yeah. Shotgun weddings.”

Carlos nodded. “I know you love her. I can see it all over you. But don’t make that mistake, man. You will seriously limit your life.”

He was right and Diego knew it. He nodded, accepting Carlos’ opinion. Diego couldn’t think of a time his older brother had been wrong.

“So, how’s school been?”

“Good. Hard to believe I’m starting my third year. Then I start looking at medical schools. If I can get the money….”

“There’s scholarships,” Diego said. “I been looking. I applied for a bunch already. I go in the counselor’s office and apply for anything I can find. They got things for college, and medical schools too. I’ll find you some addresses. Or you could go talk to Mrs. Chambers. I know she’d help.”

“If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be in college,” Carlos agreed. “I’ll do that.”

“It’s good to have you home, blood.”

“I’ve missed you, squirt.”

Diego laughed loudly. Carlos was three inches shorter and wasn’t nearly as broad in the shoulders as his younger, more athletic brother.

“I’ve missed you, too.”

Diego met the girls at the bus loop again, giving them a hand as they stepped off.

“I’m rethinking my carpool buddies,” he said as Janet lost her balance and fell into his arms. “Yup. You girls are a lot prettier than the bozo twins.” He jerked his head at Raul and their friend Tony.

“You’d throw me over for a chick?” Raul asked.

“In a heartbeat,” Diego replied.

Raul laughed, tapping his friend’s knuckles. “I feel ya, my brother. If you decide to throw us out, let me know. I’ll find another ride, no biggie.”

“What about me?” Tony asked.

“I’ll find you a ride too,” Raul said. “Whiner.”


Diego walked Janet to her first class. His own was just down the hall. Again, he felt the urge to kiss her, but public displays were against the rules, and he could get himself thrown off the swim team if he broke that serious a rule. He talked himself into moving slowly.

“See you at lunch?”

“See you.” Her dark eyes glittered with happiness.

Janet watched him walk down the hall, admiring the way he moved. His snug jeans clung to every muscle in his legs, making the view a very tasty one. She was almost late getting to her seat, scooting in as the bell rang.

Mr. Whitmore looked up expectantly as she clattered into her seat. “Did I miss something? Fire drill or something?”

“No, sir.”

“You okay, Janet?”

“Yes, sir. Sorry. I was talking to someone….”

He nodded. “I won’t dock you this time. Next time, cut it short.”

She blushed, mumbling compliance. He flashed a grin at her. “As long as you’re in the room before the bell, I’m not gonna fuss. Just be more careful, please. I don’t want you to break your neck trying to sit down.”

The time until lunch seemed interminable. Janet couldn’t believe how much she looked forward to seeing Diego. When she walked to the table, he scooted aside, inviting her to sit next to him. Janet wasn’t sure what he was doing, but she sat next to him—not too close. He scooted closer, his thigh and shoulder brushing hers. A little thrill ran through her when he smiled down at her.

“You ever have one of their cinnamon rolls?”

Janet shook her head. She always brought her lunch.

“Man, you need to try one.”

He hopped up and bought her a hot, gooey treat, cutting line to do it. No one complained. Diego was captain of every team he was on, plus he had the well earned reputation of being able to kick the ass of anyone who crossed him. He paid for the cinnamon roll and carried it back to the table. Breaking off a piece, he put it to her lips.

“Try it.” He teased her lips apart with the sweet bread.

Janet took the proffered bite, closing her eyes as the caramel topping melted in her mouth and the burst of cinnamon tickled her tongue.

“Oh, that’s so good! Thank you.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 9

Brand New Day coverRamona and Diego have a very candid conversation about his sex life. She’s worried about him dating Janet. He admits he’s had sex with 10 of his girlfriends.

“The others are lying. Who are you going to believe? Me, or a bunch of silly girls?”

“You’re not above lying.”

“If I were gonna lie, wouldn’t I make the number bigger?”

She sighed. “I don’t want Janet hurt. You don’t know what her mother is like, Diego. She’s not like Mama. She’s blames Janet for her dad leaving them. She’s a mean woman and don’t even get me started on Sookie!”

“All the more reason for her to date me,” he said with a proud smile. “Mona, I treat my ladies right. I’m not just on the prowl, cruising for virgin pussy. She could do a lot worse than me. I’d take care of her. I could make her happy.”

“I’ll allow this on two conditions.”

“Wait, you’ll allow me?”

“I don’t stutter. First, you don’t push her to have sex.”

He started to protest. She shut him up with a look.

“Second, if she agrees to it, you behave like a gentleman, you treat her with respect, and you don’t dump her right after. Or I promise you, there will be so much pain…!”

“Okay,” he said petulantly. “Can you believe me when I say that I really like her? I didn’t realize until I heard her sing. I didn’t know she could…. Mona, can I tell you this without you saying anything?”

“Sure, mi hermano. we tell each other secrets all the time.”

“You can’t tell her. And you can’t laugh at me.”

They did their special handshake that they’d made up when she was five. It was their secret, and sealed their pact of silence. Diego pulled up in the driveway, turning off the car before he spoke.

“I heard her sing today, and I realized I’m in love with her. I didn’t even know…. I don’t know when it happened…. No, I do.” He smiled, remembering. “New Year’s Eve.”

“When you two kissed at midnight?”

He nodded slowly, smiling. “I’m in love with your best friend. Is that weird?”

“I think it’s terrific,” she said quietly. “Cause she could do a whole lot worse than you, Diego. But I don’t think she could do better.” She swallowed hard before kissing his cheek. “You treat my friend right, or I’ll break your legs.”

He laughed, nodding. “I promise.”

They got in the house and saw their parents watching TV with their older brother and two younger sisters. Their brother turned down the TV since it was on a commercial.

“Hey, baby brother! Mona!” He hopped up.

“Carlos!” They greeted him with a hug.

“What are you doing here? You didn’t tell me he was coming, Mama!” Ramona said.

“We didn’t know. He walked in right before dinner.”

“You should have called us at Janet’s.”

Their mother gave them a tight lipped shake of her head. “She needed you there. That mother of hers! And that sister!” She made a disgusted noise. “She needs a little joy. And he’ll be here a week.”

“How’d you manage that?” Diego asked his brother.

“Got a week’s vacation from work, and school’s on a break. So here I am!”

“Too bad school’s started,” Diego said with a frown. “We could hang out.”

“We can do that this weekend.”

“Sunday,” Diego said. “We can go to the lake.”

“Not Saturday?” Carlos sounded disappointed.

“He can’t, he has a date,” Ramona said with a toss of her head.

“So, reschedule,” his mother said.

“With Janet,” Ramona continued with a sly wink. She grabbed a handful of popcorn from a bowl in her sister’s lap.

“Oh, really?” Their mother looked interested.

In fact, all eyes in the room were on Diego, ignoring the TV program.

“Yeah. So? It’s just a movie.”

“Not at the drive-in?” his mother said with a frown.

“No, Mama. At the theatre.”

“So, a date….” His mother looked smug.

“It’s just a movie…. Why’s everyone making such a big deal?”

“No reason,” their mother said with a satisfied smirk. “Oh, the show’s back on.” She turned it up.

Annoyed, Diego went to his room. His brother’s suitcase was on his old bed. Diego flopped on his own, arms folded under his head. The door opened and Carlos came in.

“Mama shouldn’t tease,” he said quietly, sitting on the end of Diego’s bed. “So, you finally admit you like her. Good for you.”

“You know?”

“Bro, I saw the kiss at New Year’s.”

“I think I’m in love with her, Carlos. Is that crazy?”

“No, man. It’s cool that you do.”

“I wish she was my age,” Diego murmured. “I’d marry her in a heartbeat.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 8

Brand New Day coverJanet invites Ramona and Diego over for dinner, and to work on their music project.

While they waited for dinner to cook, they sipped root beer and talked about the song. Diego showed the girls what Mr. Carter meant about writing their parts in tab. It was a way of showing the music without notes.

“See, not everyone is good at writing out music, but they can show their work this way and still make it clear,” Diego explained.

They continued talking about it over dinner. Sookie didn’t even complain about it, she was interested too. After dinner, they cleared the table and Diego volunteered to help Sookie clean up.

“I do it at home all the time. Mom or my sisters cook, my brother and I clean up. Kind of our way of saying thank you to the cook.” He glanced at Janet, smiling, his dark eyes twinkling. “Thank you,” he said quietly. “It was delicious.”

“Janet’s a great cook,” Ramona said. “She came up with that idea all by herself.”

“Really? Wow, that’s cool! Makes it that much more special.”

“It’s just food,” Sookie said. “What’s the big deal?”

“Because she fixed it with imagination and love,” Diego replied. “Anybody can throw food together and call it a meal. Janet thought about it, and made something up. So it’s cool.”

Sookie considered a moment. Nodding, she went back to washing dishes. Janet was stunned. That was the closest she’d come to a compliment from her sister that she’d ever gotten.

At 9:00, Diego and Ramona headed home. Sookie was in bed, so Janet walked them out to the car.

“That was fun,” she said. “I’m so glad you came by. I’m pretty limited what I can do, since I have to watch fussy pants every night, but Saturday and Sunday.”

“You’re not working this weekend, are you?”

“I work Saturday during the day, but I’m off by three.”

“There’s a Woody Allen movie playing the matinee at four, would you like to go?”

“Oh, I love Woody Allen! That’s Love and Death, right?”

“Yeah. It came out a couple months ago. It’s really funny.”

“You’ve seen it?” She sounded disappointed.

“I work at the theatre in the projection booth. I haven’t seen it in the actual theatre,” he said with a grin.

“Yeah, I’d like to go. Is Ramona going too?”

He looked a little embarrassed. “I thought maybe just you and me…. That’s if you’d like…. If….”

Janet giggled, putting her hand on his arm. “Don’t look so worried, silly. I’d love to go.”

“Cool. Should I pick you up at the drive-in?”

“Yeah, that would work.”

“Great. See you tomorrow, Janet.”

He leaned toward her as if he were going to kiss her. Janet wasn’t sure what vibe she was picking up. It was puzzling. Ramona tapped the horn, making them both jump. Diego cursed at her in Spanish. Janet, who was nearly as fluent as they were, laughed at him.

“I’m sorry….” She giggled. “The expression on your face…. Priceless.”

Fuming, he pressed his lips shut so he wouldn’t say the wrong thing. Pointing at his sister, his jaw worked. Finally, he decided to laugh with the girls.

“Yeah, laugh at me. It’s my lot in life,” he complained.

“See you tomorrow, Diego. Bye, Ramona. Call me later!”

Her friend nodded, giving a sidelong glance at her brother as he got in the car.

“What was that?” she asked as they headed home.

“What was what?”

“You asked Janet out.”


“On a date.”

He glared at her. “Your point?”

“The point is—a date? For real? Diego, what are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking I never realized how much we have in common. She’s a nice girl. What’s the big deal?”

“Are you cruising for a virgin?”


“You heard me. I don’t stutter.”

He shrugged. “I didn’t know she was. No. Like I said, she’s a nice girl.”

“You’re not exactly the nicest guy around, Diego.”

“Mona, come on! Don’t bust my chops! I’m a good guy. I treat my ladies well.”

“But so many? Diego, I can’t even count the number of girlfriends you’ve had. And how many of them have you slept with?”

“Not a lot of sleeping involved, Ramona. If it’s any of your business, not as many as you might think.”

“Girls talk. You think I haven’t heard them discussing you? How many of them I’ve overheard, telling their friends how sexy you are? I’ve heard more about what you can do with your tongue….”

“Enough! Ten. Are you happy?”

“Only ten? You’ve dated almost twice that many.”

“And I’ve had sex with ten of them.”

“Not what they say.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 7

In music class, Janet is awarded the lead on their new song. The teacher assigns them to come up with parts for the accompaniment.Brand New Day cover

“This gets better and better! We’re going to blow them away! Tomorrow, have your parts decided and tab written so we can put the pieces together.”

“Tomorrow? Mr. C.!” The students complained.

“Okay, by Friday.”

More groans.

“Okay, Tuesday.”

That got a more enthusiastic response. The bell rang and they headed toward the door. Diego caught up with the girls outside the door.

“I didn’t know you could sing like that,” he said to Janet. “That was so cool.”

“Thanks. I love to sing.”

“Me too. Sets me free,” he said quietly with a shy grin.

Janet swallowed hard, blinking back the sudden flood of tears that overwhelmed her. That was exactly what she thought too.

“You should come over today, and I can show you how to tab your vocals,” Diego told her and Bunny.

“I can’t. I have to watch my little sister,” Janet said. “But you and Ramona can come over for dinner and we can. Trina and Bunny too, if you want.”

“I’m working tonight,” Trina said. “Maybe this weekend?”

“Yeah, we could do that. Bunny?”

“Can’t. Already have homework in algebra, can you believe? It’s gonna take me hours.”

“We can come,” Diego said, raising an eyebrow at Ramona.

“Yeah, if we can take some time so genius girl can help me with my biology homework.”

“Of course. I told you I’d help. Sorry I can’t help with algebra, Bun. Not my thing.”

“I know. I’ll figure it out eventually.”

“What time should we come over?” Ramona asked.

“Six. I have to go to the store and shop for groceries before Sookie gets home.”

“I’ll give you a ride. We can drop by and get groceries on the way home, and just hang out.”

“Really? That would help so much. Thanks.”

Diego’s friends were irritated that they had to hitch rides with others, but took it in good grace, because it was his sister. When they saw Janet, they understood even more clearly. A great many lustful thoughts walked out the door that afternoon.

They made a quick stop at the grocery store and Janet bought the things she needed for the next few days. She’d taken over cooking when she was twelve. Her mother wasn’t a very good cook, her meals often inedible. Janet had a talent for it and enjoyed planning meals. Sookie was forced to clean up, something she hated, but their mother had, for once, sided with Janet.

Sookie rode home with their neighbor who had a son her age. He rode with Janet’s mom in the morning. They were just pulling into the driveway when Janet arrived.

“Hi, Mrs. Thompson. We had to stop at the store.”

“No problem. I picked the kids up and took them for an ice cream. I hope that’s okay.”

“That’s great. Thanks.” She turned to her sister. “Did you remember to thank Mrs. Thompson?”

“Yes, duh!” She smiled at Mrs. Thompson. “Thanks again, Mrs. T. The ice cream was delicious.”

“Bye, Sookie. See you tomorrow, sweetie.” She pulled out of the driveway and headed three doors down.

“Who are you?” Sookie demanded of Diego. “You her boyfriend?”

“I’m Ramona’s brother,” he replied, smiling. He held out his hand to shake hers. “I’ve heard a lot about you, Sookie.”

The little girl eyed his hand distastefully. “Yeah. I bet. She lies a lot.” She tossed her dark braids over her shoulder and went in the house.

“That’s your sister?” Diego couldn’t get over the difference between the two girls.

“Unfortunately. Oh, and I wouldn’t hold out your hand near her again. She bites.”

Diego shoved his hands in his pockets. He went to the trunk of the car and lifted out the groceries. He got all but two bags. The girls took those and followed him in the kitchen.

“What’s for supper?” Ramona asked. “Your fabulous spaghetti? Lasagna?”

“Scarborough Fair Casserole.”

“Yeah! I love that!”

“Why you call it that?” Diego asked.

“I use parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme to season it.”

“Fun.” He smiled as he unpacked the bags. “Can I help?”

“Can you peel potatoes?”

“Give me something hard, huh? Of course I can.”

She handed him a peeler, knife and potatoes. He set about peeling and cutting them setting them up for mashed potatoes. Ramona browned the hamburger meat and Janet combined the other ingredients. When everything was ready, she topped it with mashed potatoes and cheese before popping it in the oven.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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