🌥XVIII

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"I'm dead."

"You're not dead."

"Yes I am," I look away from my food and glare at Diane, "you don't seem to be very concerned about my very serious death."

She raises her eyebrow, dark eyes judging. "Girl, homeboy said he liked you, he didn't propose marriage or anything, you don't need to die over that."

We're at my favorite Mexican restaurant, it's forty five minutes away from town, but it's worth the drive. It's not my mama's cooking good, but, hey, I'll settle for something that's better than my crafty confections and that can be delivered to my table in less than twenty minutes. Banda music is playing through the loudspeaker and Diane has moved her shoulders to the beat, even though all of the Spanish she knows can be boiled down to three phrases: "Me llamo Diane", "Tengo Hambre" and "Chinga tu Madre", the last two I taught to her, thank you very much.

I sigh, scooping some of the refried beans from my plate and into my mouth. I got a platter with a tamale, a tostada, and a chile relleno, which comes with complementary rice and beans because we're extra like that- and while I understand that that is a lot of food I've never been one to hold back from my eating habits. Which is why when my mom told me that at my age she weighted like thirty pounds less than what I currently weight I nearly had a heart attack, but I mean, whatever, I bike a lot and sometimes, not as often as I should, but sometimes I go to the gym with Carlos so I'm not sedentary, besides I haven't hated my body since like, high school, so I see that as a plus.

Besides, Ethan is pretty fit, not like I want him to be able to scoop me up or anything, just you know, press me against the wall while we make out.

I let out a giggle, and I mean a giggle.

"What are you thinking about?" Diane asks she ordered a tostada platter, minus chicken or meat or cream, so you know, a salad on top of a tostada, because veganism and stuff.

"Oh nothing." I shrug it off, totally not replaying the thought I just had back on my mind and messing around with it a bit, "it's just, I like the guy, like a lot, but sometimes I feel like I overreact a lot and I'm scared that I'll mess it up, that I'll say or do something and he'll just change right in front of me and stop liking me, you know?"

"Well sister, you can't know that, but if he did then he wouldn't be worth it, you feel? If he were to change his mind so easily would he really be that worth to stick around to?"

I'm about to tell her that she's probably right, even though I know for a fact Ethan isn't like that, but then my phone starts vibrating and I have to look down at it, my heart jumping at my throat thinking it might be the stupid boy I'm gushing about, but turns out to be my Dad. My dad is more of a call person, he's the last person in our family of three to get a smartphone because he didn't think it important, and even though he does text me every now and then, he sounds super serious all the time for his seldom use of emojis.

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