Chapter 12 - The Truth Hurts

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Rose was seated on a traditional, red velvet sofa with Rosa at her side in one of the many large drawing rooms in the Casa palace late that afternoon. Rosa had her feet comfortably up on the couch, as she read one of her romance novels; she seemed deep into the story and oblivious to anything around her. Rose also had a book in her hand but was conscious of everything. It was quiet and cold. The room was filled with antique furniture, bookshelves, all full, lining almost every wall. The colours in the room were mahogany, maroon, and dark peach, down to the large carpet underneath it all. Rose eyed the room with anxiety. She hadn't of been able to stop thinking about Derrick, about what he had asked her. She really wanted to see him, to spend time with him, to get to know him better. Rose didn't know what she was afraid of more—going and the consequences that may follow or not going at all and possibly missing out on something she may be sorry for.

Rose couldn't persuade her brain to not go; her heart and her mind were telling her to go for it—that she would regret it if she didn't. She wanted time with Derrick more than she wanted to obey, and that scared her. That, in itself, should be her reason not to go. But she couldn't help herself thinking otherwise. We can never be anything, so why should I go, just to torment myself! Rose thought painfully, her heart breaking.

"What is it?" Rosa asked her, pulling her out of her profound reverie. She'd noticed the intense stress written on Rose's face.

Rose stayed silent for several seconds, staring at the maroon velvet carpet. She didn't know if she should tell her sister, but she didn't want to lie either. It was time, she decided. Finally, still looking down at the ground, she said, "Derrick Dawson wants me to meet him at Chello's Diner tonight ... I am thinking about whether or not I should go!"

Rosa stared at her sister, completely shocked. She hadn't expected this reply. "What is it that he wants?" Rosa asked her suspiciously after a moment. She did not trust Derrick, and she did not like him. And she definitely didn't want him going out with her sister.

"That is what I am curious to find out; I think he wants to have dinner!" Rose told herself more than she told Rosa, becoming more anxious by the minute. It all felt so real now that she was saying it out loud.

Rosa swallowed heavily. "What if he doesn't just want to have ... dinner?" she asked.

Rose looked up at her confused, and she could now see the worry in her sister's eyes. "What do you mean?" she asked, not quite understanding the question.

"What if he wants ... more than dinner," Rosa added, her tone stern now. She looked deep into Rose's eyes.

"Then he shall have it!" Rose answered quickly, grinning.

Rosa gasped.

But Rose continued, ignoring her. "I am sure there are several choices of deserts at Chello's Diner."

Rosa almost choked, astonished by her sister's lack of understanding as to what she was trying to warn her about. They had been attending a customary school for almost a year now. How could she have not picked up on all the things that were said?

"Rose! What if he wants to have sex? What if that's all this dinner is about?" she said, her voice slightly raised.

Rose huffed, exasperated. "Of course not. That is ridiculous. Why would he practically beg me to go out with him if he wanted to ... ?" Rose paused, breathless; she refused to believe any of this. "No ... that's not what's going on. This is silly. And anyway, I don't even know if I should attend," she added, upset. She desperately wanted her sister to turn around and tell her to go for it.

"What's stopping you?" Rosa asked seriously.

Rose sighed, slumping back in the sofa. "You know why ... It is forbidden!" Rose replied quietly, and her heart hurt when she spoke the word she had been trying to forget.

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