Seven

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"How was the party?" Loraine asked Sunday as I sat eating leftover pizza while reading Glamour magazine at the island

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"How was the party?" Loraine asked Sunday as I sat eating leftover pizza while reading Glamour magazine at the island.

         I wiped my greasy hands on a paper towel and flipped a page, soon blushing at the sight of an article on "How Size Mattered."

Cringing, I remembered the hallway at school with Troiann and that poster, and my childish inquisition, and DeAndre overhearing. I shuddered to think how I would react when I ever got the opportunity to see a naked man.

Despite pressure from my surrounding peers, I was in no hurry to lose my virginity anyway. So what if it made me a "tired, old virgin," better that than some ho.

"It was," I began, searching for a word to describe the event, "revealing."

Loraine looked at me, lifting a brow. "Say what?"

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes and went back to Glamour. "I saw a lot of things, no body members included, if that's what you're wondering."

Just my best friend's secret life was thrown in my face, if she was my best friend to begin with.

Troiann had called me all weekend and I made an effort to turn my phone off before heading to the dance studio Saturday morning and then after work that evening. I was not in the mood to face Troy, I hadn't any idea how to look at her, let alone speak to her. How could I trust her after what she'd gone and done behind my back?

"Cree?" Loraine was at my side. "Is everything okay?"

I wished my father were home to talk to. I inched away and nodded. "Yeah, it's all good, Lori."

Loraine sighed and placed her hand on her hip. Here we go. "Cree, it's been two years, do you have a time in mind for when you're finally going to cut me some slack?"

Never was marked down boldly on my calendar.

Quickly I lifted and dropped my shoulder in a lazy shrug. "What do you need me for, you've already got my dad."

Loraine shook her head. "Cree we're supposed to be a family here, and I'm not trying to replace your mother if that's what you're thinking."

Her comment was almost comical. She couldn't replace a woman I didn't even know or ever got the chance to love. All I knew of my mother was the fact that she and my father met in college and fell in love, beyond that, my father hadn't spoken much about her, it had been too hard. Loraine had no clue what I felt or thought when it came to my mother.

"That's not what I'm thinking," I replied. I gathered my trash and pitched it in the wastebasket, in an attempt to clean my place before leaving, but Loraine wasn't having that.

"Then what are you thinking? I know what it's like having a stepmom from hell, which is why I've been trying to show you I genuinely care here."

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