220K 6.6K 5.2K

It was just my dad and me—and Loraine, his wife

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

It was just my dad and me—and Loraine, his wife. My mother had passed away during my birth and for most of my life it was just my father and me. Occasionally my father's sisters would come around, but for the most part we were pretty much a duo.

         By day my father was a carpenter, and by night he would be all about me—at least that was how things used to be before Loraine. He met her when he was building a new section for the elementary school she worked at. Friendly conversation turned into a date, which turned into a relationship, and that eventually turned into marriage.

I was just fifteen when I lost my father to Loraine. I knew it was wrong of me to feel the way that I felt, but it was like my father was all about Loraine. No more did he attempt to teach me about fixing cars, no more did he tell me these stories about his day.

But I suppose my actions didn't help either. I stayed away from home a lot while he was courting Loraine. My aunt Louise ran a ballet studio and I spent a lot of summers learning to dance from her, though my style was more contemporary. With Loraine in the picture, I danced nearly every day, perfecting my craft. My father didn't want me being a professional dancer, so it wasn't something I was seriously pursuing.

I'd gotten a job at Henry's, the local grocery store, to help around the house and to have some extra cash of my own. It also helped avoid my father and Loraine.

As I stood at work after school, Henry's was the last place I wanted to be.

I worked in the prepared foods section in the large grocery store, and cooking food and dealing with the public was the last thing I wanted to do after failing to get my run-in with DeAndre Parker out of my head.

Though I wasn't completely humiliated, I was indeed embarrassed.

Troiann had done her best to distract me from the situation during the rest of the school day, but there was no forgetting the words exchanged with DeAndre. I still couldn't get over how he'd one-upped me with his verbal bitch slap.

I was doing my best to make the most of my work day as I ran around preparing for the dinner rush, when I looked up and noticed the last person I needed to see standing in front of our hot case.

As if the universe hated me, DeAndre of all people came and stood right in front of me. He looked up at our menu, but his stance read more of a model's pose for me. Nola, my co-worker, instantly stopped telling me some story about her and her boyfriend when she noticed one of Moorehead High's top dogs standing in our grace.

When her jaw metaphorically hit the ground at the sight of DeAndre's beauty, I knew she'd be a goner if he laid some charm on her.

DeAndre tore his gaze from the menu and slid it over to me, tilting his head momentarily as he took me in.

"Chicken?" he said, sounding bored.

I nodded. His question was an odd one, the smell of fried chicken permeated throughout the entire area.

Playin' HardWhere stories live. Discover now