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Unrequited Love


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Diane quickly pulled up her mini skirt and buttoned her blouse as Tracy lay on the bed watching. She went to the mirror and began to comb her hair. Diane’s hair was always neat. She was proud of her full, rich, coal black hair. She wore it in a short bob with a tapered neckline. Diane was 5’9” of dark brown complexion and very thin. Her legs were large for her leanness. She and Tracy had been a hot item for a while in high school. Diane loved Tracy completely. No matter what he did wrong, she excused it. Tracy left her waiting for him many times without calling. He would always excuse himself by saying ‘you’re not my wife, Diane, and don’t forget it!’ He had seen a lot of her off and on until he met Shavon. Diane was hurt but she was far from lonely. She had known many men before and after Tracy. Diane was a firm believer in using a man when she wanted Something, and she always got it, except when she wanted it from Tracy.

Diane walked toward the bed and leaned over and kissed Tracy. She smiled as she looked at him.

“What are you smiling about?” Tracy asked.

“You, Silly.” She began to laugh.

“Oh, yeah. I never thought of myself as funny.”

Diane sat on the bed beside him. “Well, me neither but my sister has been trying to find out who I’ve been spending my nights with and I thought it was kind of funny. Why don’t you want me to satisfy her curiosity?”

“What’s the sense?” he said as he jumped up from the bed.

“I don’t see why we should hide it, Tracy.”

“Okay, Di,” he said as he grabbed her arm, “Now is not the time and it’s none of her business anyway. Let’s just keep it between me and you, okay?”

Diane could see the seriousness in his eyes and knew that she would have to agree to keep him.

“So how much longer do you think you can take things the way they are?”

Tracy looked down. “I don’t know. I just don’t know.”

“Well, how far is she now?”

“Six months and she’s really mean too.”

Diane detected sadness but she felt good knowing he was finally hers. She knew he still loved Shavon deeply but she hoped the baby would shatter that love by the time it was born. She smiled submissively and gave him a hug holding him close.

“Do I make you happy, Tracy?”

Tracy was silent for a moment. Before he responded, he tightened his grip around her waist. “Yes you do, Diane,” he whispered. “Happier than I’ve been in a long time.”


As Dana sat in the living room, she found herself staring at the swan Shavon and Tracy had bought her at Christmas. It’s beautiful, she thought. Those two, what a couple. Dana began to think of how happy they were at Christmas in comparison to their so obvious distance over the past months. She wished Tracy had been more enthusiastic about the baby but she partly understood his position. He’s still young, she thought. A job of such magnitude was beyond his teenage comprehension. She knew that things were hard for them but they had to work it out alone.

Shavon started down the stairs as the phone began to ring.

“Hello. Hi, Mama, how are you? Good. How’s daddy? Oh, I’m fine, Mama.”

Shavon heard more clearly as she came near. “She’s okay. She’s able to do a little more than she could before. Oh, I don’t know. They don’t seem to be as close as they used to be. I don’t think he’s ready to accept the baby yet. Mama, he’s so young and the baby seems to have put a strain on things for them. Shavon’s handling it pretty well, I guess but--.”

Shavon turned and walked back up the stairs. She was hurt by the way things had turned out between her and Tracy but she was determined to hide it from her mother. She knew what her mother felt about Tracy before the baby but now, Shavon felt embarrassed for him. She had begun to think he didn’t love her anymore. She felt fat, ugly and unwanted.

She sat on the bed and thought of how her last conversation with Myah had gone.

‘Look at me, Myah. I’m fat and ugly. No man would want a woman like this.’

She remembered Myah’s argument of how everyone thought she was even more beautiful pregnant and that it was all in her mind. Myah’s argument could not avert her feeling of unattractiveness.

The following month was long for Shavon. She and Tracy had seen less of each other than they ever had. He had begun to cancel plans on a regular basis using his work as an excuse. His 20th birthday was spent at Shavon’s in front of the TV set. He had long since stopped offering to take her out to dinner or anywhere else. Whenever they went  but, it was at Shavon’s request. He never invited her to his house anymore. He had begun to hint about bills he had to pay; her car note, his car note and insurance, rent and  the list went on. Shavon had noticed a complete change in Tracy. She was sure she had lost him. She no longer asked him if he would like to do things. She knew she had been short with him occasionally but she believed that was due to her condition. And that wasn’t enough to change him so drastically.

Dana noticed Shavon had begun to look worried and tired. She often stopped in the middle of a sentence and stared before she remembered what she was trying to say.

Shavon sat near the window at the dining room table playing with her hair.

“I say it’s time for a haircut, young lady,” Dana said with a warm smile.

“I think I’ll keep it this time. I haven’t worn it this long since I met Tracy.” She smiled. “He likes it long.”

The mere mention of his name had begun to hurt. She absently lowered her head. Dana began to braid Shavon’s loose hair.

“You wanna talk about it?”

Shavon remained quiet as Dana continued.

“I want you to know that I’m here for you, Shavon. That’s all.”

Shavon began to tremble. Dana reached for her hand.

“Mama, he’s seeing someone else.” Dana stood and listened as Shavon cried gasping for breath to tell her about Tracy.

“How do you know that, Shavon?”

“He doesn’t come over much anymore. If I tell him I need something, he’ll bring it by and stay for an hour or two and then leave,” she swallowed then continued. “He never says he loves me anymore.”

Dana leaned over and put her hands on Shavon’s shoulders shaking her slightly.

“That doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you anymore, Honey. He’s just confused, that’s all. And it doesn’t mean he’s seeing somebody else. It just means--”

“But he is; I know it.”

“How do you know, Shavon. Did he tell you himself?”

“No, Myah did.”

“How does she know?”

Shavon began to cry again. “She saw him with her.”

“It could be a good friend, someone he can talk to. Especially with the way things are going between you two right now.”

“How many good friends do men take to motels, Mama?”
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