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Pen Your Pride

Sweet as Southern Sweet Tea

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     "Who's that," I question as mom pulls in the long dust driveway after getting me from my last day of school.

       "That's Rhyder. Your father hired him for the summer. He just moved here. He starts at Central next year."

       I smile. The boy is smokin'. He has auburn waves swept into a small quiff. He has bright blue eyes that I can see from here. This is going to be a long, hot summer.

       "Why don't you go change and bring them some sweet tea, hon," my mom smiles.

       "Okay," I say. I go in and throw on my charcoal gray long sleeve basketball tee and shove the sleeves up. I throw on some cutoffs and slip into my Sperry's.

      I walk downstairs and pour two glasses of sweet tea, place a lemon slice in each, and walk out the screen door. I smile as I see daddy look up from work. I walk over and hug him tight.

      "Hi, daddy!" I smile brightly. I see Rhyder walk up, wiping his hands on an old towel. I hand him his glass and he downs half of it in one gulp.

       "Hi, I'm Strait. You're Rhyder, right?" I smile brightly at him.

        "Strait like George Strait," he asks curiously.

        "Uh, Yeah. You like him," I question.

"Who doesn't?" He smiles like a movie star.

"I've got to go to basketball practice. It was really nice meeting you though." I run to the

house and pull on some basketball shorts and have mom drive me to school.

After basketball practice, I have a friend drop me off. Going inside, I discover my parents are gone. They'll be gone until Sunday morning. Oh, right. They always go out on Friday nights, I think.

I go upstairs and pull out my ponytail. My slightly moist hair falls messily. Then, I hear a noise. It sounds like footsteps. I grab a trophy off my desk and cautiously proceed downstairs.

I peek around the wall and see a shadow in the kitchen. I jump out, wielding the volleyball trophy in my left hand.

"Oh, Rhyder. Hi," I smile. He laughs a silky smooth laugh.

"Did your parents not tell you? I'm staying with you for the summer."

"Oh, okay. Let me go take a shower. Then I'll come back and we can order something."

"Okay," he smiles.

I walk to my bathroom. I grab a sports bra, panties, black spandex, and a coral tank top. I get in the cold shower and lather, shave, and condition. I get out of the shower and finger comb my hair and put on my lotion. I tug on my clothes and jog downstairs.

Rhyder smiles at me through a mouthful of pizza. "Someone was hungry."

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