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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Unfaithfully Yours Part III


When Drea and her mother finally made it home to Elmore, South Carolina, she couldn’t help but think that after a year in Atlanta, she was in store for a summer that would consist of watching grass grow. After dropping her bags in her room, which now seemed smaller than ever, Drea stripped down to a pair of cut-off shorts and pulled on a faded purple tee shirt with Prince’s face plastered across the her chest. Today, she’d just lounge around and do nothing. It was hard to party and maintain good grades. She’d done pretty well for a freshman experiencing freedom for the first time. While she’d made two good friends at school, Shannon Kelly and Zahra Brown, she couldn’t wait to see Yashira McIntyre and Tracy Davenport, her best friends since middle school. They’d decided to go to school in South Carolina, Yashira at Claflin in Orangeburg and Tracy at Wofford in Spartanburg. Drea had wanted to get away from what she was familiar with. After all, as a journalist, she’d be traveling the world and meeting new people every day. Tomorrow, she and her girls would probably hit the lake; go shopping in Columbia or job hunting. But today, she wanted to be . . . “Drea!” Aretha called out. “I hope you don’t think you’re just going to lay around here and watch me do your laundry.”
Fantasy over. “I’m coming,” she replied as she slipped on a pair of pink socks.
Walking into the laundry room, she smiled at her mother, who’d already dropped a load in the washing machine.
“Thanks, Ma.”
“You’re welcome, lazy. What do you want for dinner,” Aretha asked, and then gave her daughter a slow once over. “Have you been eating at school?”
“Yes, but I do a lot of walking and I started kick boxing.”
“You definitely look like you need to eat a sandwich or two,” Aretha joked. “I guess I just have to accept my chubby baby is gone.”
Drea shook her head. “Yes, she’s gone.” Weight had been a struggle for Drea and it wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she saw changes in her body. It helped that she gave up her addiction to Whoppers and other red meat. So, when Zahra suggested that they go vegetarian, Drea was with it. Although, she secretly ate chicken occasionally.
“Yashira called here for you yesterday,” Aretha said as Drea sorted another load of laundry.
“I didn’t know she was back yet.”
“I’ve seen a lot of your old classmates. Do you remember Shun Lucas?”
“I know Shun Watkins, but not a Shun Lucas.”
“Yes, that’s his name. He’s in the military, I ran into his mother at Winn-Dixie.”
Drea shrugged. Shun had been one of those forgettable guys in high school. They’d shared a few classes and we cordial, but that was it. “Okay,” she said.
“He’s coming home this summer before he goes to Russia or some where, she was telling me. I think she wants to have a party for him and she said you should come.”
“I don’t know him like that,” Drea said. “But that’s probably the most exciting thing I’ll do this summer, so if it happens, I guess I’ll go.”
Aretha popped her daughter on the thigh with a towel. “Oh, you think you’re grown now, huh? If you want something to do, there is plenty around here you can do. Starting with the garden in the back yard. It needs weeding, Hotlanta girl.”
“Aww, man!”
“Get busy, shorty. That’s how they say it, right?” Drea smirked at her mother then padded outside to weed the vegetable and flower garden she and her mother planted shortly after her father’s death.

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