Janae groaned. “Oh, no. I hate shopping with you.”
Karen laughed. “Eat up, missy. You’re going to need your strength. Lucky for you, tomorrow is Saturday. We have all day.”
* * *
Janae was still unsure about going to the party with Terrence and said as much to Karen the next day as they shopped.
“I don’t know why. You said yourself that he’s a nice guy. Here’s a cute dress.” Karen held it up.
“What dress? I’m not wearing anything like this. There’s not enough material to cover anything.” Janae snatched the dress and shoved it back on the rack. “This is not working. I think I should just decline.”
Karen grabbed her by the arm and dragged her over to another rack. “You aren’t declining that invitation. Now let’s find you something to knock Terrence’s eyeballs out.”
Janae slowly went through the dresses on the rack, but nothing seemed to catch her eye.
“I got it,” Karen said excitedly, holding up a black banded, formfitting dress with a sweetheart neckline and open back. “And before you reject it, although the back is out, it’s still high enough for you to wear a strapless bra.” She thrust the dress at her. “Go try it on.”
Heaving a deep sigh, she took the dress, went into one of the dressing rooms and put it on. She hesitantly walked back to where Karen waited outside the dressing room and held out her arms. “Well?”
“Girl, Terrence isn’t going to know what hit him when he sees you in that dress,” Karen whispered in awe.
A guy walking by with a woman stared so hard he tripped. Janae and Karen shared a smile.
“I rest my case. People would never believe what a killer body you have under those loose-fitting clothes you always wear. What do you think?”
Janae turned one way, then another. “It’s not that bad. I like it.”
“Before you ask, no, it’s not too short. It’s hard for anything to be too short for you, with your little five-foot self.”
“Shut up.” The dress stopped about four inches above her knees. “The dress is fine, but I don’t have any shoes to go with it.”
“Did I say we were done shopping?”
“We’ve been shopping for over three hours. I’m tired, my feet hurt and I’m hungry,” she whined.
“Fine. We can go to the food court and get something to eat. Then we’ll find you some shoes and something sexy to wear under that dress.”
After eating, it took them another two hours to find shoes, a purse and undergarments. By the time Janae got home, her body ached so much that she never wanted to see another store in her life. Although she had to admit, the outfit was just sexy enough for her taste. She wondered what Terrence would think.
* * *
Janae had been so busy with end-of-the-year school activities and meetings that she had totally forgotten to call Terrence. Already a week had passed. She said her goodbyes to the other teachers in the lounge and made her way to the parking lot. Once in the car, she pulled out her cell, took a deep breath and sent him a text. “I guess I’m committed now,” she said to herself. She started the car and drove out of the lot.
As soon as she got home, Janae changed her clothes and went into her studio. This thing with Terrence had gotten out of hand, and she needed to think. The telephone interrupted her. She placed her brush on the tray and wiped her hands.
“Well, hello there, my darling daughter.”
“Mom. Hi. How are you?”
Her mother’s soft laughter came through the line. “Great. I finished the last lecture this morning, and I’m a free woman.”
“Well, if you stayed retired, you’d be a free woman all the time.”
“This is true, but I can’t seem to help myself. Your father, on the other hand, has no trouble being retired.”
“How is Daddy?”
“He’s fine. Right now he’s at a meeting. A group of men are working on developing a mentoring program for young men.”
“That’s great. We need something like that here. Oh, before I forget. I saw Mrs. Jenkins at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago. She told me to tell you hi.”
“Did she say how she’s enjoying retirement?”
“I think Mr. Jenkins is underfoot. She said she has to go to the grocery store to get some peace,” Janae responded with amusement.
Her mother laughed. “So what’s going on with you?”
“School will be out next week, so I’ve been busy getting everything finished. This year I decided to do scrapbooks for all the students so their parents can see how they’ve improved over the year. I’m also including a small summer packet so they can continue to work on their skills over the summer.”