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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Unfaithfully Yours, Part V


Aretha smiled slightly as Shun and Drea walked into the kitchen. She’d seen that kiss and wasn’t happy about it. Aretha knew two things about military men, they’d break your heart or they were loyal but would still break your heart with loneliness. She didn’t want Drea to latch on to Shun, a guy she just hours ago couldn’t remember, and get her heart broken. Her daughter had dealt with enough sadness and heartbreak. Losing Quincy McClain had been so hard on Drea and Aretha. He had been a man who loved his wife and daughter. He’d been near perfect in Aretha’s eyes and a hero to his young daughter. A training exercise at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina changed their lives forever. Quincy, an instructor with the 82nd Airborne Division had taught thousands of privates to jump, but on June 14, 1994, something went terribly wrong and Quincy’s chute malfunctioned. Drea had been inconsolable and spent most of that summer in and out of the hospital. She had to be home schooled for half of her senior year, refusing to be around people or to answer the dreaded, how are you?
Aretha had seen positive changes in her daughter, but she was still worried – as any mother would be.
            “Good to see you, Shun,” Aretha said. “Would you like some lemonade?”
            “Oh, no ma’am. I just stopped by to say hello and I’m going to head back to my mother’s place. She’s having a barbecue and I’m supposed to be bring the potato chips.”
            “That’s nice, you should always be helpful to your mother. Please tell her I said hello,” Aretha said.
            He nodded, “Yes, ma’am. Drea, I’ll see you later?”
            “Yes. Don’t the movies here still start at seven and nine?” she asked with a laugh.
            “Yep. So, you want to go to the nine o clock show? I can pick you up at eight and we can eat at the bar. . .”
            “I’ll eat here,” she said, “then we can just go straight to the movies.”
            “All right,” he said as he turned toward the door. “See you then.”
Drea smiled and waved to him as he exited the house. Once he was gone, Aretha swatted her daughter on the behind with the dishtowel.
            “I hope you know I saw you two out there playing tonsil hockey. I have a good mind to tag along with you two to make sure you actually go to the movies.”
            “I’m sorry, Ma,” Drea said. “I didn’t mean any disrespect, but . . .”
            Aretha threw her hands up. “I’m not that liberated of a mother, yet. You are grown and like I said, you make good decisions. Be careful.”
            “I will, it’s just a movie and it was only a kiss,” she replied. Aretha swatted her again.
            “Drea, this wall you have protecting your heart. You’re going to have to tear it down one day. Maybe you should go to his mother’s barbecue,” Aretha suggested.
            Drea shook her head. “And get pounded with questions? No, thank you. That’s been my favorite part of college. The only questions I’m asked are ones I care to address.”
            “Are you ever going to talk about it? I know you still miss him. I miss him everyday, but I speak it. You keep it bottled up and I don’t. . .”
            Drea hugged her mother, mainly to shut her up. “I’m fine, Ma. I’m fine.” She released her mother and shrugged. “Now, I have to take a shower and call Yashira so that we can go shoe shopping.”
            Aretha shook her head, noticing that her daughter has become skilled at shifting the subject away from her when she deemed it necessary. That girl should be a damned lawyer.

            Drea curled up on her bed and dialed her friend’s number. She couldn’t believe that Shun looked that good. Though she wouldn’t dare to admit it, it was the fact that he wore a uniform and those dog tags that had clinched it for her. Those and his strong arms and the way they felt around her when he hugged her.
            “What’s up, stranger?” Yashira said when she answered.
            “Nothing much,” Drea replied. “You will not believe who just left here.”
            “Shun? He was over here and I told him that you were back in town and he said he was going to stop by and see you. Doesn’t he look different?”
            “Totally. He doesn’t look anything like the guy we went to high school with at all,” Drea said.
            “He doesn’t, but he’s still pretty goofy.”
            “Well, we’re going to the movies tonight,” Drea said.
            “What? He must have really made an impression on you,” she replied. The kiss flashed in Drea’s mind. She could almost feel his lips on top of hers and taste the sweetness of his tongue.
            “He sure did. So, you have to come with me to find a pair of shoes for tonight.”
            “All right, I’ll be over there in about twenty minutes,” Yashira said. When the two friends hung up, Drea hopped into the shower.

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