“Alright, Ms. Williams, Sorry about that, he, he, he. Tell little Ronni that we’ll have that get-together some other time, he, he, he,” he said. He put the motorcycle in gear and slowly drove away. I sighed. Suddenly, I felt tired like everything drained out of me. There were hand prints on the back of the couch where I had been gripping it hard as I started to move off. I guess I had been expecting a fight or something. Mama came back inside and looked at me and scowled.
“What did he mean by a get-together?” she asked. I gathered my things and stood.
“Penny suggested that I go over to that motorcycle shop with her and hang out with Angel and Billy. Billy is…he’s someone I’m interested in. We haven’t discussed what we are, exactly,” I said.
“How old is this Billy,” she asked.
“He’s only fifteen,” I said and smiled as sweetly as I could. She nodded and started to turn. She muttered something about puppy love. Then she stopped, like a light bulb clicked on.
“What’s Billy doing at Angel’s motorcycle shop?”
“Billy Carnes is Angel’s cousin,” I said. “He’s not like Angel, he’s nice. I’ll bring him in to meet you, if you want.”
“That’s the first time…well, all you girls are growing up. I suppose it will be okay if he sees you here in the house if I am here to supervise. Wait,” she said and pointed at my body, “he knows?”
I arched my eyebrows and grinned. I nodded, “Full disclosure,” I said. “Actually, Penny outed me to him.”
“And he doesn’t care that you have a…?”
I circled around in front of her and clutched her shoulders. “He’s good with it, Mama. He’s…attracted to me. Oh, Mama! We’re made for each other!”
Mama shook her head and warped her arms around me. We hugged for a minute and then she pulled back and looked me in the eye, “Girl, don’t put all your self-worth into a boy who is attracted to you. If I may speak bluntly, I’m sure he is not the only boy out there attracted to what you have down there. You need to find your own value, stand on your own feet. If that boy leaves, or disappoints you, then where will you be?”
“Those are rock solid words, Mama. I’m listening to them.”
“I know you are, sweetie.” We hugged again.
Mother always told me that half of studying was reading. She would say just read the material and you’ve got the most of it licked. So here I am, it’s growing dark outside, and I’m sitting against the wall on my bunk reading Civics and my eyeballs are about to drop out. There is so much to read and it is dry, desert dust dry. What did that character in that book say? “Dry as a nun’s Cooter!” My brain is going goofy again. Read on, don’t stop. If I stop, I’ll never get going again.
It’s time to get back to reading. Sometime later, I heard the phone ring and someone opened the basement door and yelled, “It’s Billy!” I was Andre.
I threw my book down and scooted off the bed, closed my door, crossed the basement, then up the stairs and around the corner to the right into the kitchen and Andre handed me the phone. He smiled, “Damn, that was fast!”
I smiled back and took the phone, “Hi, Billy,” I said sweetly.
“Do you have a bus pass?”