Family Affairs Ch. 32byD.C. Roi©
Dianna awoke after a restless night's sleep, feeling funny. She stretched, sat up, and was immediately overwhelmed by a feeling of nausea. She grabbed her bathrobe, ran to the bathroom, and threw up.
"Now that's a terrific way to start a day," she thought. She showered, went back to her room, dressed, then went down to the kitchen.
"Morning, honey, want some breakfast? " her mother asked.
Another wave of nausea swept the slim young girl. "No thanks, Mom," she said. "I'm...I'm not hungry."
"Honey, you have to eat something," her mother said. "You're nothing but skin and bones as it is."
"Mom, I'm just not hungry," Dianna insisted. She decided she needed to talk with somebody, and Matt was the only person she was pretty sure she could talk to. She got up, went back to her bedroom, and looked at the clock. It was ten o'clock. Matt ought to be up by now. She looked up the Forrester number and dialed.
"Hello?" An older woman's voice answered.
"Ah, Mrs. Forrester, this, ah, this is Dianna Hillman. Is Matt there?"
"Yes he is," Mary replied. "Just a minute, I'll get him."
Mary watched as Matt took the phone and started to talk. From the tone of his voice, she could tell he liked the girl he was talking to, and she found herself experiencing a twinge of jealousy and fear. What would happen if he found a girl his own age he really liked? Was Dianna that girl, the one she dreaded would someday come into Matt's life and take him away from her? The idea scared her.
"Mary?" Matt said. He was holding his hand over the phone. "Dianna sounds really upset about something. Maybe I ought to go over and talk to her."
"Why don't you invite her over here?" Mary suggested. Somehow, if she saw the two of them together, she might be able to discern if there was anything for her to worry about.
"You won't mind?" Matt asked.
Mary shook her head. "You two can talk privately, I'll make lunch for us," she said.
"OK." Matt put the phone to his ear. "I'll be over in a bit," he said and put the phone down. "You sure you don't mind?" he asked Mary.
"Of course not," Mary said.
"I'm sorry about this," Matt said. He walked over and put his arms around her. "This was supposed to be our weekend alone together. But Dianna's kind of neat, and she really sounds like she needs a friend."
"She won't be staying all weekend, will she?" Mary asked, hoping it sounded as if she was kidding.
Matt grinned back at her and said, "No, of course not."
"Well, then, what's the problem?" Mary replied.
He kissed her, went up to his room, showered, and dressed. While he was in his room dressing, he heard Mary in the bathroom and went in.
"You know, I was planning to go over to my house later and develop some pictures," he said.
"Pictures?" Mary asked. She'd been thinking about Dianna and had forgotten the nude pictures Matt had taken of her. "What pictures?" She thought a minute, then realized which pictures he was talking about and felt herself growing red. "You...you mean those pictures?"
Matt nodded and smiled. Then he kissed her and left.
Dianna stood waiting for him in front of her house, and didn't even wait for him to get out and hold the door for her.
"I'm glad you could come over," she said after she'd climbed in the truck. "My mom was driving me nuts."
Matt put the truck in gear and started off. "You sounded pretty upset when you called," he remarked.
"It's...it's just that my life seems to be such a mess,"Dianna said, and started to cry.
Crying women always made Matt nervous. He was never sure what to do or say around them. He kept quiet and drove.
Finally, Dianna pulled herself together. "I'm sorry," she said, sniffling a little, "It's just...I don't know..."
Matt pulled into the driveway of the Forrester house, stopped and shut off the truck.
"Are you sure Mrs. Forrester doesn't mind my coming over?" Dianna asked.
"Not at all," Matt said. "She's a super lady. Come on, let's go in. You'll se."
Mary was working in the kitchen when they walked in. She looked at the slim girl and smiled. "Hi, you must be Dianna." She offered the teenager her hand. "I'm Mary."
"Hi," Dianna replied, shaking hands with the older woman. She hadn't realized how pretty Mrs. Forrester was. Mary had on a man's shirt, with the sleeves rolled up, over a pair of snug-fitting jeans. Dianna wasn't sure, but it looked like the older woman wasn't wearing a bra.
"Why don't you kids go into the den?" Mary suggested. "I'm getting lunch together."
"She really seems nice," Dianna said when she and Matt got in the den. "I didn't realize how pretty she was."
"Yeah, she's gorgeous, isn't she?" Matt agreed. He sat down on the sofa next to Dianna. "So what's up?"
"Well..." Dianna said. She took a deep breath. "It...it's my life...I'm...I'm all screwed up." She began telling him things and found he was easy to talk to. Things just seemed to come out once she began. She told him about Ricky, and how she felt about him, and she even found the courage to tell him what had happened with Miss Conklin, too. When she finished, she noticed that Matt looked angry. It scared her a little. Was he angry with her?
"Those bastards!" he snapped, "How can people treat other people like that?"
Dianna was relieved to discover that Matt wasn't angry with her. Telling him had made her fell a bit better, even though she was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to do anything about it.
"We could go to the principal about Miss Conklin," he said. "I mean, that stuff could get her fired. I really think you ought to do that."
Dianna didn't think she had the strength to weather the problems that would happen if she went to the principal about Miss Conklin. "No," she said quickly, "I...I don't want to make a fuss. I..."
"But what if she tries to come on to you again?" Matt asked, clearly concerned.
"I'll...I'll refuse, just like I did today," Dianna said. The fact that Matt seemed to value her made it easier for her to value herself and she knew that the next time Miss Conklin asked her, if she did, she wouldn't have any problem declining the coach's offer.
"You kids want lunch?" Mary yelled from the kitchen.
Matt looked at Dianna. She nodded, and hoped lunch wouldn't nauseate her the way the thought of breakfast did.
Matt stood up and said, "Let's go eat."
Mary had made a wonderful lunch and Dianna discovered she could eat without feeling sick. In fact, she ate quite a lot.
"You're a senior, too, aren't you, Dianna?" Mary asked.
"Yes," the slim girl replied.
"Are you planning to go to college?" Mary asked.
Dianna shook her head. "My folks can't afford to send me to college," she replied. "I'm in secretarial. I'm hoping I can find a job somewhere around here after I graduate."
They chatted, and Mary found she liked the slim, shy girl. She could tell Matt liked her, too, and found she wasn't at all jealous.
"I wish Ricky would settle down with a nice girl like Dianna," Mary thought. "He's dated her a few times, maybe he'll finally settle down with her. That would be nice."
After lunch, Dianna helped with the dishes and found she was drawn to the friendly, older woman. Matt was right, Mrs. Forrester was a super lady.
"I really should get home," Dianna said after the dishes were finished. "I should help Mom clean the house."
"I'll take you home," Matt said. He turned and winked at Mary. "When I get back, we can go over and develop those pictures."
"Uh...OK," Mary replied. She again felt her face get hot.
"Mrs. Forrester really is nice," Dianna commented as they drove toward her house.
"Yeah, she sure is," Matt agreed. He braked to a stop in front of her house.
"Thank you for being my friend," Dianna said. She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, then slid out of the truck.
"I'll stop by Monday and pick you up for school," he said.
Dianna smiled. "I'd like that." She turned and walked up the walk to her house.
Matt put the truck in gear and headed back for Mary's house, filled with excitement about the pictures they'd be developing.