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Loving Aretta

By rodmat1509 All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Erotica

Chapter 1: Passionate Beginnings

up! and get inside” she said closing the door quickly. “Did you

“Hurryhide your moped under the stairs?”
“Yeah” said Matt all excited and glad to be there.
“Mama said she’ll be getting home at 10 o’clock so we’ll have some time
together before you have to go” said Aretta leading him into the living room
and onto the couch. Matt followed her, hardly listening to a thing she said but
instead was overjoyed to be there. He could only hear the beating of his heart in
his ears as he looked at her. He loved her deeply and she knew it.
Matt breathed in deep as she curled up on his lap. The scent of her was
intoxicating and made his pulse race. She snuggled closer to him and looked up
at him. Matt felt as if he was daydreaming as he relished and took in her beauty.
Her deep auburn eyes, that semi crooked smile and the neat and protective way
she braided her hair to the crown of her head. Her creamy soft skin and caramel
complexion was like a drug to him. She looked so angelic and sweet cradled in
his arms this way.
She had the body and shape of a figure skater. She was somewhat slim
but with subtle yet noticeable graceful curves. Aretta had modest breasts,
somewhat small in comparison to other girls but yet satisfactory as far as Matt
was concerned. She was quite a few inches shorter than Matt but was still in his
opinion just the right height.
“Lori, what are you doing in there?” yelled Retta, startled by the clamor of
a plastic cup bouncing all over the kitchen floor.

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R.W. MATHIS

“I’m getting something to drink!” she yelled back.
“Well don’t drink all the “kool-aid” because you know how momma gets
when she doesn’t have anything to drink with her dinner.”
“Okay.”
“Man she can be such a hog at times! She just got finished eating before you
got here” fussed Aretta getting comfortable once again.
Matt just sat there smiling down at her.
“What?” she asked looking at him curiously.
“What do you mean . . . what?”
“I mean why are you staring at me like that?”
“Don’t you know?” he said drawing her closer and tightening his arms
around her.
“No . . . Not really” said Retta meeting his advance.
“I love you baby!”
“Oh, I knew that already” she said nuzzling his cheek with hers and gently
kissing his neck. “Then how come you said you didn’t know?”
“I just love to hear you say it” she said looking up and smiling at him
sweetly.
“And I love you too Puddin” she said squeezing him tighter.
They sat quietly kissing, caressing and holding each other in the darkened
living room. The only light was from the moon and it was glowing bright and
full tonight. The iridescent glow it cast through the window gave the room an
enchanting and sultry atmosphere. A small oscillating fan on the television in
front of them brought in the crisp night air as it hummed quietly to and fro.
“Retta when are you gonna tell your mother about us?” “It’s been almost a year
and a half now.”
“I know” sighed Retta, leaning closer to him as if she were afraid of him
slipping away.
Anxiety began to course through her as she thought of all the amount of
time that she had let pass and had not told her mother about her and Matt’s
relationship. It was no big thing in the large scheme of things as relationships
go when you stop to think about it. Retta was 15 and a half and Matt was 17,
which is thought to be a proper age split between girls and boys dating in the
early 1980’s.
Unfortunately, the thing that made Retta and Matt’s situation so vicarious
and somewhat difficult was her mother was a jealous woman and did not want
anybody pawing all over her girls.
“Are you ashamed of me?” he asked with a slight croak in his voice, thinking
maybe he shouldn’t have said that.
“No! How could you ever think that when you know how much you mean
to me!” she said sitting up almost shouting. “Matt I’ve never loved anyone the

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LovING ARETTA

way I love you” (come to think of it, I haven’t loved anybody at all) she thought
in passing almost about to smile in spite of herself but thought better of it.
Matt thought he saw something in her eyes but just dismissed it as paranoia
and nodded in agreement with her platitude.
For a minute or so, he just sat quietly and picked at the lint on her sweater
as if it was the most important thing on his mind but it wasn’t. Matt started
to say something but she touched a delicate finger to his lips and shook her
head slowly then embraced him and kissed him deeply with total abandon as if
knowing what he would say and gave him the answer.
“Ooh! I’m tellin!” sang Lori from just around the corner. This was Retta’s
8 year old little sister. Lori stood there half way between the kitchen and the
living room holding her cup to her cherry stained lips snickering and grinning
from ear to ear.
“So, I don’t care!” “Why don’t you just go on in the room and play with your
dolls or something!” hissed Retta.
“I don’t have to, this is my house too!” she protested pouting and stomping
off into her mother’s room in a dignified and defiant posture as if to say, “I can
go anywhere I want to.”
“Come on Matt, let’s go in my room, then we can have some privacy from
little miss busy body!” she said springing from the couch and pulling a surprised
Matt with her.
Matt was all for it and in fact was just about to suggest that very same
thing but held off not wanting to appear too eager or one-track minded. Retta
led him hurriedly into her room with a flourish bred of pure defiance and the
justification that comes of being an older sister. Matt glanced back one last time
before closing the door and saw Lori peering devilishly around the corner at
him and grinning. She looked somewhat like a little woodland elf with her blue
and pink footy pajamas and her round and rotund little tummy that always
seemed to be hungry.
As they sat on her bed, Retta casually reached over to her nightstand
and lightly flipped on her little boom box. The song that was playing just
happened to be their favorite song, “Open Arms.” From the moment it began
to play something sweet, familiar began to fill them both, and they just stared
at each other with slow building passion and anticipation. Matt stood up taking
her hands and pulled her to him. His hands were shaky and trembling with
anxious anticipation as he held her close. The sweet smell of her hair and the
unbelievable softness of her body were getting to him and he began to tremble
in spite of himself. Retta noticed and smiled to herself and felt secure within that
she could still make her man fall apart at the touch of her hand or the closeness
of her warm body.
Matt was in rapture and felt ecstatic.

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R.W. MATHIS

“Retta?”
“Yes Matt?”
“Do you think it will always be like this?” she raised her head from his chest
and looked up at him with confident love swept eyes and just stared into his for
a moment. She didn’t say anything but then again she didn’t have to because
at that moment Matt knew all he needed to know. Retta would be his and he
would be hers forever. As the song began to fade away, they just stood and
relished the closeness and warmth of each other’s embrace.
Random thoughts and feelings of desire and lovemaking began to flood
Matt’s mind. He could see the two of them in his mind eye standing there
nude and inter-twined as electric highlights danced around their bodies. This
stimulated Matt even more. Retta’s breathing was getting shallow and faint as
her own mind and body caught fire as well. She didn’t look at Matt but just
slowly parted from him and led him back to the bed again.
Matt was excited now and the thoughts of what were about to happen
scorched him like hot steam. He wanted her, needed her every fiber and muscle
strained against him to be inside of her. “Come to me lover” she said in a whisper
as she eased herself further onto the bed.
Matt followed her like a bull led by a nose ring and never took his eyes
off her for a second. Retta lay sensuously with her arms behind her head like
a Greek goddess. Nothing more was said, instead they became acutely aware
of each other and the room as it spun and expanded further away the closer
they drew to each other. He could see the passion building in her eyes as her
breathing came harder and slower making her breasts rise and fall much deeper
now. Retta’s silk blouse was threatening to burst open as the pressure from her
firm and full breasts pushed against it. She slowly began unbuttoning it, taking
her time, and watching Matt’s response to the slow process.
Retta undid each button painstakingly slow as Matt squirmed and hovered
in painful silence not wanting to break the spell but wishing she would get to the
last one so he could feast on what she’d been hiding there.
“Do you want me Matt?” she asked coyly once she’d undid the last button.
Matt’s only thought before tearing off his own shirt was, “Are you kidding
me or what?” He was glad he’d worn a pullover as he tossed it on the floor, and
then began clumsily working off his pants and totally forgetting his shoes. Retta
just grinned at how his eagerness had made him so clumsy and forgetful. But
then again she quickly became animated herself when she saw the bulge of his
penis in his shorts.
“Oh Shit!” she thought then quickly unbuttoned and scooted out of her
pants but not as haphazardly as Matt. Retta slid them down quickly, revealing
to Matt’s unwavering eyes, her radiant flesh. Matt moved in quickly to help her
take them off being the gentleman that he was. After accomplishing this, he
reached back again to help her remove her lacy panties.

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“DAAAMN!” his mind screamed as he could finally see what he had been
hoping to get closer to than just grinding for the majority of the time they had
been together. He was still a little tender from their last interlude and could
swear he’d left the imprint of the zipper of his jeans on his member. He still
couldn’t believe that she was actually going to finally make love with him!
Retta notice his hesitance and sudden shock at finally gaining access to her
most prized possession, her virtue. She felt a little guilty about making him wait
for so long knowing how much he truly did love her but she had to be sure.
She didn’t want to wind up like so many of the girls she knew or heard about at
school. Now recalling the reason for her perceived ill treatment of Matt for so
long it reinforced her resolve and made what she was about to do all the more
profound and right. Not to mention her own hormones were at their wits end to
and she had an itch she was definitely going to scratch this night.
Matt, now just about naked couldn’t take his eyes off of her long enough to
complete the task. The sight and fullness of her sensual pubic mound was such
a shock to his system it immediately filled him with such unbridled lust that
he could swear that his penis had grown another two inches beyond max. His
hands were a little shaky as he moved to touch her. The excitement he felt was
almost too much to bear as he beheld Retta’s beauty and vibrancy. He was so
caught up in his own emotions and what he was feeling that he almost didn’t
hear her calling to him.
“Make love to me Matt” she whispered seeing how much he truly wanted
her.
Retta positioned herself so she could receive him completely. Matt got into
bed beside her after shedding his last piece of clothing. Instead of mounting her
directly, for some reason he himself couldn’t figure except to say he was taking
his time and wasn’t about to rush this special moment. As bad as he wanted her
he still had to put on a jimmy and began rifling through his pants to find one
he’d placed there earlier in the hopes that tonight would be the night.
“Damn!” he muttered to himself when he couldn’t find it.
“What’s the matter baby?” asked Retta feeling a little concerned and annoyed
that he might not have a condom.
“I don’t have a condom baby” he said in the most distraught way.
“I thought I did but I guess I left it at home” he said in a defeated but hopeful
tone, hopeful that she would still let him play without one, but the look in her
eye told him different and sent an involuntary chill down his spine and made
him quiver.
Retta sat with her legs and arms folded in a most forbidding way like a
checkpoint on the East Berlin wall. She was getting anxious and feeling a little
embarrassed at the same time. Anxious because she wanted what he wanted . . .
probably even more but at the same time she felt embarrassed at the thought that
she too had prepared for this night and thought it un-lady-like to have done so.

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R.W. MATHIS

So there they were two sexually frustrated teenagers with a problem and
Retta was getting all the more anxious with every moment and the thought of
Matt forgetting his condom was downright criminal!. Matt felt like a chest x-ray,
as Retta just silently sat and burned his soul with those intense auburn eyes.
He sighed deep, shrugged in resignation and mentally prepared to retrieve his
clothes.
Retta scowled at him a moment longer, flashing him with those eyes he’d
come to love and fear when she was angry. Suddenly they began to soften, she
gave him a most pleasing smile then reached into the headboard of her bed
and produced a little round compact filled with little white, and pink pills, Matt
raised an eyebrow at the funny looking things but said nothing.
“You’re lucky I prepare for other peoples failures lover” she said wiggling
the packet in front of his face then quickly putting them away. Matt felt a little
embarrassed that his girl had to cover his bets and on a night that was most
important. Matt figured that the odds in getting laid now was slim because she
didn’t appear to be too turned on anymore but instead just kind of lounged with
her hands behind her head and her legs crossed most languidly.
“Damn! How am I gonna get her fired up again?” he thought. He didn’t
want her to lose any of the fire she had been recently smoldering him. He finally
thought of a way, he leaned over placing a leg between hers slightly bent so he
could feel the rich warmth of the body against him and to give himself a minute
to calm down. Matt then began lightly kissing his way down her tummy going
lower and lower until he reached her pubic mound.
“You’re not gonna get me that easy “Mr. Man” in fact you better not stop if
you know what’s “SSSS!” good for you.” She thought to herself as she began to
swoon at his new maneuver and just looked at him and spread her legs a little
to accommodate him and wondering just how far he would go being he’d never
done this before.
Matt looked up briefly without disengaging to see how much his attempt
to jump start her was affecting her. He saw that her face was awash with an
exquisite pleasure he’s never seen on her face. She bit her lip and began to suck
her index finger. Matt raised an eyebrow and would have grinned if his mouth
weren’t currently tied up into other things. He let the tip of his tongue glide
ever so slowly down the inside of her thigh and up to the very tip of her vaginal
lips then waited as he could feel her tremble beneath him. Retta’s mind was set
ablaze with flashes of light, color and feelings that threatened to wrench her
body like a washcloth.
“God what is this man doing to me!” SSSS . . . MMM . . . sigh! Oh shoot! She
whispered as Matt’s tongue penetrated her and teased her from top to bottom.
Retta couldn’t decide whether to hold his head to stop him or the bed, to keep
from coming off it; as wave after wave of pleasure laced lightning shot through
her entire body threatening to tear her apart. Retta decided to just give up on

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LovING ARETTA

resistance and spread herself wide open to give him maximum access to her. She
could feel herself twitching with desire as her juices ran free while Matt’s tongue
slowly, expertly, yet viciously parted her, entered her and traveled up and down
her clitoris and then deeper.
“MATT! MATT!” she whispered, almost yelled. Retta was bucking like a
horse and calling, begging, pleading for him to stop but not to stop all at the same
time. For a minute, he thought she was going to pass out. Matt decided to raise
the temperature one last degree and began to suckle her clitoris, the response was
instantaneous, and Retta grabbed his head by the ears and pulled like she was in a
tug-o-war and thrust her hips into his face at the same time as if she was trying to
recycle him. At that moment, she let go, grabbed her pillow, and screamed into it
like a banshee as her legs locked around Matt’s head and she just convulsed and
convulsed again and again, her back arched like a bow to the point of breaking.
She gave into the feeling totally with a harlots abandon and zero shame.
She had never felt anything so powerful and erotic in her life and it drove her
wild. She could feel it from the deepest place in her body all the way to her toes
and back. The whole episode all 5 minutes of it made for a really neurotic and
surrealistic scene and threatened to consume the both of them. Matt releasing
her and withdrawing slowly, was feeling hornier than he ever had. He kissed
his way to her dry and hungry mouth and kissed her. They kissed slowly at first
then it grew feverish and they groped, felt and caressed each other from head to
toe not leaving any areas unmolested or unexplored on each other’s body. Matt
could see how much he had drained her with his new trick and as much as he
wanted to explore her depths, he felt it only right to give her a chance to catch
her breath.
Retta still on fire rolled over putting Matt on his back. As she did this her
crotch brushed passed his thigh and came to rest atop his swollen member
as she straddled him. Matt sucked in hard as his penis rose to the occasion to
meet her. He was so eager not wanting to take her too fast and then blow it
without satisfying her or himself properly. He decided to try talking to her and
whispered endearments to her. She grabbed Matt kissing him even hungrier and
harder than before.
“Oh! Hell, she wants it as bad as I do, so maybe it won’t be too bad if I blow it
sooner than later” he thought. Matt could feel her lust for him in her movements
as she sucked his neck and probed his ears with her tongue driving him nuts.
For added effect she glided up and down the length of his shaft not letting him
penetrate her just yet wanting to maximize the moment and also return the
favor for what he’d done to her only moments ago. Retta’s movements became
even more urgent and demanding as she ground her crotch into his and enticed
Matt to enter her.
“Now! Matt!” “Please, now baby! Sss yes . . . now!” Matt could smell her
musky dampness and feel his own desires building beyond his control at the

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R.W. MATHIS

scent of her. His penis begged and yearned to be inside of her so bad it hurt. Matt
rolled her over on her back once more. She parted her legs willingly inviting him
to take full control of her. She reached for him and guided him into the center
of her wetness. Matt felt himself jerk viciously when he slipped into the center
of the silky fluids and creamy soft flesh deeper still.
“Damn!” he muttered to himself at climaxed too soon.
“Oh well, so I won’t get a full blast but what she don’t know won’t hurt” and
with that he plunged deeper into her.
“Oh Matt!” she moaned breathlessly with pleasure at his command of
her. Retta, being a virgin, the pain was sharp and unexpected but lasted only a
moment as wave after wave of rapture took its place.
“Yes, baby, take me now!” she begged and urged as the two of them churned
and gyrated into each other viciously. Retta begged for more as he held her hips
and controlled her with each pelvic thrust. She just held on tight and marveled
at how expertly and rhythmically he drove into her again and again.
“I love you Matt” she breathed then joined him in his drive to ecstasy.
Matt tried hard to slow his actions so he wouldn’t come again too quickly
and really mess things up. Matt surmised from her momentum she still had
some mileage to go before she got hers. He pulled out slowly and worked the
tip of his penis up and down between her swollen vaginal lips teasing her and
preparing to lunge long and deep once more . . .
“Retta! Its 9:30” yelled Lori through the door. The shock of her voice was
so sudden that it made Matt miss his mark and inadvertently deflected upwards
ejecting his load all over Retta’s tummy as it recoiled again and again. Matt
grabbed the wayward thing and tried to strangle it but that only made it worse
and he found himself helping it along to the shock and amazement of Retta who
just kind of bridged on her elbows and stared humorously at the strained but
dedicated look on Matt’s face while he emptied himself all over her.
“Lori go away!” she yelled, now angry and disheartened at Matt’s premature
explosion. It felt all warm and silky on her skin but only served to make her
angrier as she’d wanted to feel it inside of her not on her.
“But momma will be home soon!” she protested outside the door.
“And what are y’all doing in there anyway? It’s too quiet” She said with
muffled lips to the door.
“None of your business!” yelled Retta.
“Damn! She makes me sick sometimes, I can’t stand her little butt. Matt, I’m
sorry baby” she said cradling his face in her hands.
“Maybe next time, okay?” Matt just nodded half-heartedly and smiled as the
words rang in his ears like a school bell. He could feel himself deflating mentally
and physically from the loss of sexual pressure that now covered them both.
“Damn baby!” he pleaded.

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LovING ARETTA

“Can’t we do it just a little longer? I mean . . . we hardly got started” “Are
you sure about that lover?” said Retta arching an eyebrow and smiling sweetly
at him with a hand held up that clearly showed the glistening evidence of their
efforts and his poor aim.
“Sigh! I guess your right on that point” he said feeling more stupid than he
could remember.
“But can’t we still get in a little quickie anyway?” he urged further. Retta just
looked at him sideways and gave him a most peculiar expression. This told him
her answer in a New York minute.
“No, I guess not” he relented with a sheepish grin then shied away from her
uncomfortable stare as he got out of bed.
“Matt, I love you honey with all my heart, and I don’t ever want it to be that
way with us . . . ever. I want you all to myself and alone the way we want it to
be, not in a hurried up meaningless hump fest!”
“I know Retta, but” . . . he started to say but never finished. She gently put a
finger over his lips and shook her head.
“Another time my love, another time” Soon they had gotten dressed and
left the room. It was now 9:45 and he had precious little time before her mother
would get home.
“Lori I’ll be right back, I’m going to walk Matt down to the corner.” Lori just
flashed a cold stare at them from the table and shoved another bite of pie into
her upturned little mouth.
“Shh! We have to be quiet leaving cause the old lady down stairs always tells
on everything we do around here” said Retta taking Matt’s hand and leading
him out the back door and down the metal staircase.
The night air was cool and balmy thought Matt. It was spring and it hadn’t
quite gotten warm yet but was still a little chilly with a light breeze. They crept
down the stairs trying hard not to upset any of the many flower pots and dog
dish that covered the lower three steps. As they reached the bottom, Matt turned
her around and kissed her deeply. Their tongues played a sensual game of tag in
each other’s mouths as hands blindly searched out and found already enflamed
body parts all over again. They did this selfishly coveting and wanting what they
each could not have. Slowly Retta parted from him.
“Matt, you better go puddin before we get started again and really get into
trouble.”
“Okay baby” he said not really wanting to stop or understand.
It took a little effort to get his moped off the old woman’s porch without
being heard. They ducked down and ran between the apartment buildings trying
to avoid the drainage ditch that separated the upper side of the complex on the
hill from the lower.
“When can I come over again?”

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“I don’t know Matt, Mamma’s work schedule just got changed and I’m not
sure how it goes yet, but I’ll see you this weekend okay?”
Matt wasn’t crazy about having to wait so long to see her again but said
okay anyway. He reached to take her in his arms once more and kiss her one
last time then started his bike. He stayed a bit longer to see her safely back to
her door as she ran quickly into the night. All the while brooding and fantasizing
over the moments they had shared a short time ago.
“Man! I feel so warm all over and so alive!” he thought to himself.
For the first time in his life he had the woman he had always wanted and
she was all his. She broke his revelry by whispering loudly, “I love you Matt!”
“I love you too Retta!” he half whispered half shouted in return then waved
at her until she was gone inside.
The ride home was quiet except for the light putter of his mopeds engine.
He gunned it more to get up the hill past the entrance to Crystal Lake. Once
he’d past that point the rest of the ride was smooth sailing till he got home.
“Boy! What a night!”

It’s Friday morning and time to get up. Matt’s dad was up already and
getting set to leave for work. Matt yawned, stretched, and crawled out of bed.
As he was heading to the bathroom, his dad called to him.
“Rodney!”
“Yes sir?”
“You up?”
“Yes sir”!
“Well when you get home from school today, do me a favor and clean up
the yard a bit and wash up the truck a little OK?”
“A little?” he thought mumbling to himself remembering the recent trip to
the land fill and how nasty and smelly it left the truck while driving through all
those filthy mounds of smelly garbage and construction waste.
“Alright” he answered finally.
Matt thought about heading into the bathroom at that point but thought
better of it knowing his dad would have more to say.
“And tell your brother to keep his friends outside while I’m not at home!”
“Yes sir”
“Do you have any lunch money?”
“No sir”
“Well here’s a ten, bring me back my change wouldja”
“Yes sir” said Matt standing in the doorway to the kitchen in his underwear,
arms folded and watching his dad pour coffee from the pot into his thermos.
“You stayed out pretty late last night didn’t you?” he said with a bit of a grin.
It actually looked more like a smirk than anything else.

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“No sir, not too late” said Matt shuffling his feet a little. “I was at Aretta’s
house”.
“That’s your new girlfriend isn’t it?”
“Yes sir.”
“So when do I get to meet her?”
“Umm, probably this weekend” he blurted out not really knowing, seeing as
how Retta wasn’t quite sure herself.
“Where does she live?”
“On the West side in Bloomfield”
“Oh” he said not looking up from what he was doing.
“Well I’ll see you this evening. Have a good day in school, okay?”
“Yes sir” he said to the retreating back of his father as he went down the
steps out the back door.
“Well there he goes” Matt said to no one in particular then scratched his
head and breathed, feeling as if a weight had fallen from him he didn’t know
he was carrying. Matt’s dad was a tall stately man of about six feet with a
distinguished and dignified appearance. It was just him, Matt, and Matt’s oldest
brother Jr. His other brothers were Kevin and Tony who lived with his mother
in another state.
As Matt returned to his room he flung himself on his bed and lay there
belaboring the obvious of why he stayed out so long last night. He was feeling
a little too tired to get up for school but knew he had to anyway. Just about
then, his friend George or “Ant” as he was called came dashing into the room
and pounced on him. He landed on top of him hard, firmly planting his butt on
Matt’s face. With great disgust and surprise, Matt shoved him off and onto the
floor then regrouped for his own attack.
“Wake up butt head!” yelled Ant from the floor laughing.
“Okay ass wipe, you got me, but you know what they say about “payback”.
“Yeah, but you won’t get the chance chump” he said getting up again.
“Alright scare crow” said Matt pointing at him and nodding as if to say “it’s
on now sucka.”
Matt started getting dressed. he put on his ROTC uniform pants and shirt.
“Hey stupid, what are you doing?” asked Ant in a curious tone.
“Getting dressed, what’s it look like I’m doing Moron?” he retorted.
“Take a good look at what you have on and think about what day it is then,
let’s see who’s the moron.” Matt looked at his clothes and looked up with a
surprised look and felt embarrassed when be remembered that ROTC was on
Monday’s. Now feeling a warm flush go through him he tried to save face.
“Oh, I forgot NUMBSKULL.”
“Are you going to the game tonight?” asked Ant changing the subject.
“I don’t know, I might what about you?”

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“Yeah I’m going; I’m supposed to be taking Michele.”
“I thought you stopped seeing her when you got busted in her bedroom by
her dad?” Ant just laughed and fell on the bed hysterically.
“Man let me tell you . . . when he came in the room I was trying to get
my pants on. He saw me and just reached over and grabbed a hand full of my
chest and threw me against the wall. Michele was just sitting on the bed with a
terrified look on her face. For a minute I thought I was gonna have to fight his
big ass but then he just yelled at me”.
“Get the hell out of my house now before I kill your ass”.
“Man I stumbled across the bed pants still hanging around my ankles and
got up and hauled ass outta there!”
By then Matt was rolling around on the floor laughing at what he imagined
was a hell of an episode. Ant finished and just shook his head and grinned,
thinking to himself, “Yeah you laugh now, but my ass was lucky to get away with just
a bruised ego instead of worse.”
Matt got up shaking his head and grinning but in full agreement it could
have been much worse.
Ant was a tall skinny guy with mocha skin, soft eyes and a smooth way
about him. He was the kind of guy who could make you laugh at yourself even
if you didn’t want to. He was a good basketball player too and sometimes they
would shoot some hoops during R.O.T.C class before formation.
“What about Aretta, what are you two gonna do tonight?”
“I don’t know, I was over there last night”. Ant shot him that sinister grin
he sometimes offers up when there are games a foot or somebody is doing the
nasty, and then started chanting his favorite cynicism, which never really made
sense. Ant chanted, pointed, and danced around the room in a goofy singsong
manner then started laughing at Matt as if he should be ashamed of himself.
“I was nice man, we got busy for awhile but her little sister Lori was in the
way and her mother was coming home soon, so we didn’t get to spend much
time”.
“Too bad” he said in mock sympathy.
“Oh, well no matter, we are gonna get together this weekend.”
“Has she told her mother about you yet?”
“No” said Matt feeling uneasy again.
“Well don’t worry about it, she will”.
“I guess so” said Matt not really believing it himself being that so much time
had passed already. “Well we better hurry up and go man or we’ll be late and
you know you don’t want to get detention on Friday!”
“Shit no!” said Matt stripping out of his uniform and quickly jumping into
some jeans and a shirt.
Soon he and Ant were on their way. It didn’t take long to get to school
because he lived just over the railroad tracks and across a large field next to the

22
LovING ARETTA

cotton mill which is right behind the schools parking lot, soon they were in the
building and down the hall through the pockets of students clustered together
in small groups by their lockers.
“Oh by the way Ant, did you do your English homework?”
“Yeah, I finished it yesterday when I went to my grandmother’s house, how
about you?”
“Naw, man I got side tracked doing something for dad and only finished
half of it”.
“Well you’ll have sometime in home room to do it” well I’ll see ya later man
in the wind my friend” he said shouting over the noise in the hallway, turning
to dash to his own class.
“Alright man” said Matt as he ducked and shot by people who seemed to
come out of nowhere.
Soon He made it to his homeroom just before the bell rang.
“Whew! I just made it” he thought to himself as he eyed the teachers turned
back and headed for his seat.
“One more late slip and I get a free tour of detention!”
“Alright class, let’s get our seats” said Mrs. Pratt his home room teacher.
She began giving out the days announcements but Matt wasn’t really listening,
he was busy trying to finish his already late homework assignment. But even
that was becoming difficult as thoughts of Aretta kept drifting into his mind. He
stopped writing and looked out the window remembering when he and Retta
first met.
He had no idea he’d ever grow to love anyone so much. It was in the
spring when he had been transferred from Central Jr. High to Southwest Ballard
Hudson. He was totally against the move but the new zoning change had found
him to be in their district and not Central’s. This didn’t make much sense to
him at all. Central was just down the road and Southwest was clear across town.
That’s when his dad bought him a moped so he could get to school being he
was outside the bus route and he could not take him to school because he left
much earlier than Matt.
Matt thought that was cool riding himself to school. His first day was a little
strange and precarious, he wore his colors and didn’t care what anyone thought
however, the indignant stares of contempt he got from just about everyone he
passed showed him that there were no Mends to be made here.
Central and Southwest had always been harsh rivals thought Matt, but until
he got on their turf, he had no idea that it was that bad. Yeah he’d heard stories
of school buses getting stoned or shaken up a bit on days their teams played on
their side of town and vice versa, but these kids that were looking at him now
literally had blood in their eyes.
Matt was glad when he finally got to the office to check in. As he sat down in
the administrator’s office, several people entered and left, most of them students

23
R.W. MATHIS

looking for late passes or getting something for their teachers. Others just looked
his way with surprise and dismay that he was there in the first place and had the
balls to wear his colors too! Matt began to sink into himself much like a rock
sinking into a mud puddle. He could feel his face wax warm as the desk clerk
an elderly black lady in her late 50’s who looked as though her false teeth were
in backwards and her underwear didn’t fit right, stared at his letterman’s jacket
with all his achievements emblazoned on it for all the world to see.
Usually Matt would be proud to have someone look upon him that way but
not today, right now all he could think of was peeling it off and putting it as far
from him as possible before it caught fire due to so many laser like stares. Finally
the tension broke.
“Rodney Mathis?” some unseen voice called out of nowhere. He stood up
quickly looking for the voice. It was the principal.
“Would you come this way please?” Matt followed her amused by the
irony of the situation (to be saved by the very person he spent most of his time
dodging) and at the same time glad to be out of the lime light. As they sat down
in her office, she smiled.
“So . . . how are you this morning?”
“Fine” he said lying.
“I understand that you’re from Central Jr. High”.
“Yes ma’am” he said thinking, “how’d you guess!” she went on telling him
about the school and its policies, soon after he was given his class assignments.
Matt walked down the hall admiring the murals and plaques. A girl passed
by carrying a load of papers and books.
“Hi” he said surprised at his boldness so soon.
“Hello yourself!” she said smiling at him.
“Are you new here?” she asked smiling guardedly at him.
“Yes, I just got here today from Central” he said a little prouder than
before.
“Oh really” she commented with mock sarcasm allowing her eyes to roam
over his jacket, driving home the point that she already knew that.
“What’s your name?” she asked.
“Rodney, but my friends call me Mathis or Matt for short.”
She was stunning he thought and had the most alluring eyes he’s ever seen!
She also had a confident and firm yet pleasant demeanor about herself he’d
found a little intimidating but not to the point he was ready to run yet. The girl
noticed that he’d assessed her body and persona as quickly as she’d done him
and was a little amazed that he wasn’t intimidated by her like most boys were.
“My name is Aretta, Aretta Davis” she said adjusting the pile to shake hands
with him.
“Nice to meet you” she said.

24
LovING ARETTA

“It’s good to meet you too” said Matt admiring her strong yet subtle grip. He
began to feel easier about the relocation each minute he stood there with her.
“Well I gotta go, I have to get this stuff to the office for my homeroom
teacher” she said withdrawing her hand slowly.
“Maybe I’ll see you later” Matt said eagerly, maybe a little more eagerly than
he had wanted to appear on their first meeting.
“That would be nice” she said turning and shuffling away.
It took Matt a few seconds to recover from her presence, he did a mental
tally on what he’d seen and noticed that she was about 5′6 inches tall, about one
hundred and ten or fifteen pounds, light brown or bronze naturally curly hair
and light brown or caramel colored buttery soft skin to match. Her hair was
braided around the sides of her head in a crown, she sported the most beautiful
smile, and her eyes were a warm burgundy color almost auburn by the way, light
danced about them. She wore a red I-zod button-down collar shirt and a pair
of Lee jeans that fit her quite well and showed off her well-shaped athletic legs.
She looked athletic and firm but Matt wasn’t quite sure if she was a jock or not.
Either way he couldn’t wait to see her again and find out.
“Young man!” barked a bowel chilling voice behind him breaking his revelry.
He turned to see it was a sour looking, old black lady who looked to be in
her late fifties with an upturned little nose and a large chest. It was too large in
fact for her small frame. Matt thought that she might topple over any minute
but her big feet that she incessantly kept taping the toe of told him she would
stay put with no problem.
“Do you know where you’re supposed to be?” she snapped noticing
how the young man had so brazenly perused her body with his eyes before
acknowledging her authority, in a way it amused and somewhat elated her that
she had this affect on younger men and was even more pleased when they were
intimidated by it later.
“No ma’am!” chirped Matt when he’d come to his senses.
“Do you have a hall pass?”
“No ma’am, I just got here” he offered quickly then rummaged through his
jacket to find his schedule.
The teacher took the paper from him in a most unsavory manner then
tipped her half lens glasses to scrutinize the document.
“You have Mrs. Spivey’s class right now and that’s down this hall, third door
on your left, I suggest you get there!” she said putting emphasis on the word
GET.
“Yes ma’am!” he said and quickly reclaiming his schedule, thanking her and
leaving quick, fast and in a hurry.
“Man this is going to be a real blast I can see that right now . . . thanks!
“Zoning Board.”

25
R.W. MATHIS

Soon class was over and it was first half lunch period. Matt thought this
was a real strange concept, one that definitely was not part of the curriculum or
management process at Central. However, he was glad to be in a section that
was first to go. The morning abuses had weighed heavily on him and his appetite
was just about to get the best of him. Now he just had to find the lunchroom.
“Hey dude?” he said calling to a little white kid.
“Where’s the lunchroom?” The kid pointed down the hall.
“Take a left at the corner then follow your nose.” He said grinning disarmingly
not wanting to send the wrong message to the much larger and powerfully built
upper classman who had stopped him.
Matt chuckled lightly and smirked at the kid accepting his attempt at
diplomacy.
“You’re a funny kid, is everybody here as amusing as you?” asked Matt
turning and walking in the direction, he was given not waiting for a reply.
Matt made a stop by his locker to put away his jacket since it was on the
way he didn’t earlier do to being sent to classes all over the building. Besides the
looks he’d got from his fellow classmates, didn’t reassure him of his safety this
day should a fight break out.
Finally, he headed down the hall to the chow hall. His stomach was growling
by now and needed a rest. He’d run out of jelly beans an hour ago and the taste
of them had long ago passed away. As he got to the main hall, he could see a
long line of people to his left and right. He decided to take the left side of the
hall, it seemed shorter, and after a short wait, he was inside and through the line
with his lunch in hand. He sat down at a table that was near the outside wall
near the exit. He dove into his lunch without fanfare. The food was good he
noticed, a little better than that swill he sometimes got at Central. He noticed
that the lunchroom was enormous with salad bars, several dessert counters, and
even an ice cream churn. “They sure know how to live in this place” he thought
to himself as he looked around. There were several tables of kids around him
and for the most part, he sat alone. Matt thought it best until he knew his way
around better and could determine who was and was not his enemy.
“Hello! Again” chirped a happy and encouragingly familiar voice. Matt
looked up from his tray and saw that it was Aretta, the girl he’d met in the hall
earlier this morning.
“Hi” he mumbled through a too full mouth.
“So how do you like it here so far?” she asked going on without
encouragement.
“It’s okay, if you don’t mind being a specimen” said Matt rolling his eyes.
“You don’t know about it then do you?”
“Know about what?”
“That you’re a celebrity around here, word got out the day before you got
here that you were coming”.

26
LovING ARETTA

“Really?” he said swallowing a gob of burger in disbelief.
“How could I be so well known so soon, I’m nobody special”.
(Oh I wouldn’t say that handsome, I think your very special), thought Aretta.
“The grapevine sweetie” she said notably pleased with her knowledge of
current affairs.
“All of us office runners got a look at the transfer list last week and your
name was at the top of the list. Of course we didn’t know it was going to be you
per se’ but we knew someone was coming today and when you came prancing
up sporting your colors, well that just blew the whistle on you.”
“I see” said Matt feeling quite bare and exposed.
“Look around you” said Aretta pointing over her shoulder. Matt looked
about sheepishly and saw that just about every other eye in the joint was trained
on them or at least on him.
“You said celebrity, are you sure you didn’t mean sacrificial lamb instead?”
Aretta laughed easily and the sound of it was light and sweet like the melody
of a love song.
“Do you mind if I join you?” she said finally, standing there holding her tray.
“Sure, but are you sure you should be seen with me under the circumstances?”
he said casually tipping his head referencing the crowd around them. Aretta just
snorted lightly and smiled waving them off.
“Don’t worry about me, I’m nobody special so they don’t really care about
me sitting with you” she said with her voice dying off notably and her head
drooping slightly.
“I’ll be damned if that’s so, you could have fooled me” thought Matt as
he silently marveled at how a girl that looked and acted like her could feel she
didn’t matter.
“So what’s it like at Central?” she said breaking the awkward silence as well
as reminding herself of her own peculiar existence.
“Not bad I guess” he said thinking how far away it seemed right now.
“Do you live near here?” she asked suddenly wishing she hadn’t asked that
and wishing she could retract it. (What kind of girl asks a total stranger where do
you live?) Matt noticed her bite her lip in sudden distress and smiled to himself
at her clumsy revelation of unintended interest in him.
“No, I live on the West side of town on Vineville Avenue”.
“That’s a long way from here, did you ride the school bus?”
“No, the school board doesn’t have anything that comes from there to here
so I rode my moped”. “You have a moped?”
“Yeah, it’s the only way I could get here” said Matt taking another bite of his
lunch, but not really tasting it.
“Do you know how to find your classes yet?” asked Aretta trying to keep the
conversation going, seeing how Matt wouldn’t be there much longer the way he
was devouring his lunch.

27
R.W. MATHIS

“No, not really, these last two somebody had to help me”.
“Here let me see your schedule” she said reaching for it as he fished it out of
his shirt pocket. “Here you go” he said passing it to her.
As he did this, her hand lightly touched his. She was very soft he noticed
and soon found himself day dreaming about her while sitting there. Retta was or
appeared to be something of an organizer of sorts by the way she took charge
of things and yet still remained a quiet beauty much like the maidens of the old
English countryside.
“I can help you find the rest of these if you like” she offered eagerly.
“That’d be nice, are you sure you can spare the time?” said Matt returning
his schedule to his pocket.
“Yeah, it’s no problem; I have a free period this hour anyway”.
“A free period?” said Matt taken back by this new term.
“Sure! I’m an honor student, and during this period I can study, tutor
someone, or help the teachers . . .”
“Like this morning?” he cut in.
“Yeah like that.”
“Are you done eating?” she asked looking at his mostly empty tray.
“Yeah I’m through”.
“Good then, we can go now if you like”?
“Sure” said Matt not really feeling sure of himself yet and whether or not he
should wait on the bell to ring.
Retta sensed his thoughts in his reluctance to get up.
“Don’t worry, people come and go as they please and nobody says anything
about it”.
“Damn! Central was never like this” thought Matt.
“This place has got it going on!”
They dumped their trays and left winding their way pass the tables and
chairs. On the way they picked up a few stares from the other students, some
were guys but most of them were nosey females.
“We can go this way” she said pointing to a side door exit.
“It’s quicker than going around to the main hall” or translated, she meant it
was quicker and less painful than running the gauntlet of vicious looks she was
getting from the elite of the bunch and the fact that she was breaking in the new
guy instead of them.
She led Matt outdoors and past the dumpsters near the lunchroom. The
smell of old milk and ice cream had a sickening aroma and was being raided by a
million of hungry flies. The sun was warm this afternoon and gave a good feeling
after having been cooped up in a windowless icebox all morning long. They
walked by several students on a nearby wall. Some were smoking and talking
while others were off to themselves hugging and kissing.

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LovING ARETTA

“You guys have a lot of freedoms here don’t you?” asked Matt pointing over
his shoulder at the couple kissing themselves into a coma.
“Oh that” she said looking then quickly turning away.
“People do pretty much whatever they want around here”.
“Even smoking dope?”
“Yeah that too” she said leading him away from the area that had just
become uninhabitable when someone struck up a marijuana joint.
“The white kids do it on the sly behind the gym and the black kids hang out
on the bleachers on the track field to do their thing”.
What about you?” asked Matt slowing and looking at her with an emotionless
stare.
Retta squared off on him slowly as if in a ring and setting up her prey for a
haymaker, but instead just looking at him and feeling a little hurt that he would
ask such a question feeling that the answer should be as obvious as the pounding
of her heart for what she was beginning to feel for him.
“No” she said flat and toneless.
“Heck no!” she said now motivated by some unseen power that urged her
to attack.
“Do I look stupid?” she said getting in Matt’s face so close he could smell
her essence in her breath and it was like that of a puppy’s breath or in terms of
pheromones, quite intoxicating and alluring.
“No, I’m sorry” Matt said backing slowly from her an arms reach now seeing
the fire in those hypnotic eyes.
“I’m sorry Aretta . . . I didn’t mean to imply that you did. I just thought that
since you knew so much . . . I Figured . . . well” he said stammering.
“Well, no I don’t!” she said relaxing a little but not entirely.
“And how about you?” she stabbed at him closing the space once again and
folding her arms across her chest and propping on one foot.
Matt looked her over appraising her posture before he spoke again. He
looked her up and down slowly, then backed up a step and replied evenly,
“No, I never found a good reason to start either” he finished.
Retta thought of how the two of them looked standing there ready to strike
and a small grin crossed her luscious lips and she just giggled at the awkwardness
of it all. Matt caught wind of the visual and joined her no less. As they laughed
at their mutual misunderstanding of each other, Retta began to develop a liking
for Matt, maybe even a mild kindred ship of sorts. Soon they were back in the
building and heading down one of the many long corridors. There was much
silence about the hall and not much to indicate that there was ever a student
body at all much less the 1,500 students he’d heard populated the complex of
Southwest High.
“Man! if a guy didn’t know better he’d swear he was in a cemetery”.

29
R.W. MATHIS

“Oh yeah? Well just you wait and see till school gets out, you won’t feel that
way for long!” said Retta grinning at him still.
Matt was glad to have her company, as was the case, it had been a long
time since he’d been with or had a decent conversation with a girl and he found
Retta’s gentle nature and quiet confidence most reassuring and inviting.
“I wonder does she have a boy friend?” he pondered to himself far too afraid and
bashful to ask her much less think about it. “Oh this is stupid; I just met the girl and
hardly know her. And here I am playing “Devil’s Advocate” with her already! Hell I’m
sure she wouldn’t want anything to do with the likes of me anyway”.
“Penny for your thoughts” said Retta most sweetly looking up at him with
hope filled gentle eyes.
“Oh! I’m sorry” he stammered surprised and a little embarrassed for having
been silent for so long. “I hadn’t noticed I was being so quiet”. (That’s okay I’m
used to people not noticing me) she thought to herself as she walked beside him
hands folded behind her.
“What were you thinking about?” she ventured just to keep him there.
“Oh just stuff ” he lied trying to sidetrack her from his true feelings and
thoughts.
“All good I hope?” she said.
Soon the tour was over and Matt knew how to find his remaining classes
and none too soon because just as they past the last room on the schedule,
the bell rang and second lunch was about to begin, this also meant classes for
Matt . . .
“Well here you are” said Retta, her tone a little dampened at having the
quasi date interrupted.
“I better go or I’ll be late for art class”.
“Oh really? You draw too?” asked Matt interested.
“A little”.
“So do I” he said warming to her again and enjoying the fact that they had
something else in common.
“For real” she said getting the gist of the game and following suit.
“Yeah, just a little” they both laughed at this.
“Well maybe I’ll see you later” said Matt turning to leave but not wanting to
go yet. Retta sighed heavily and smiled shrugging her shoulders.
“Maybe you will” she said looking at him for a moment longer as if not
sure she should let him leave or leave herself. Then just as abruptly as she had
come she turned and strode off in the opposite direction, her hands in her back
pockets and head slightly tilted forward.
For some strange reason Matt had the impression that she had said or let
him see something she had not wanted to reveal. He pondered it a moment
then dismissed it as hopeful thinking. “RING!!” and there it was in all its
clamorousness . . . . the bell for first period. Matt had been lost in rapture of his

30
LovING ARETTA

thoughts and daydreaming during the entire homeroom period and hadn’t done
the first page of work on his English assignment.
“Damn” he said pissed at his lack of concentration and inefficiency.
“Now I’ll never get it done, this period I have Science and next is English!”
he spat angrily at himself.
“Oh well maybe I can run a copy and say I left the original at home or
something, man I hate Fridays”.
As the hustle to make it to the next class began, Matt started looking up and
down the hall for Ant. He’d hoped to catch Ant before he left the building so
he could get him to run copies of his notes before going across the road. Now
Matt was caught up in the soup and knew he’d better catch him or all would be
lost. He ran through the crowd in the opposite direction ducking and dodging
as he went.
“Oops! sorry, scuse me, pardon me, pardon me.”
Right about then he slammed into something and bounced off. It turned out
to be Sammy Thomas the school bruiser.
“Watch where you going FOOL!” he shouted going from “0” to asshole in
just under 60 seconds. Matt picked up his book bag and stood up to face him,
he hadn’t seen him coming in the rush and now wished he had, cause Sammy
stood a good six feet three inches tall, had a bouncers physique and weighed in
at about 200 pounds, most of which Matt was sure was muscle.
“Hey man I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to run you down or nothing” he said
attempting to ease tensions. Nevertheless, Sammy had long since established
the fact that he couldn’t be negotiated with once pissed off. He put a stiff arm
into Matt’s chest shoving him backwards a few feet and causing the crowd to
scatter somewhat and surround them. Fights on Fridays were almost a normal
occurrence and just about, everyone loved to see them.
“What’s your problem man?” shouted Matt once he’d gotten his balance
back.
“You! Mutha fucka!” blasted Sammy throwing his book bag to the floor to
punctuate his point and intent as he stepped closer to Matt.
“Hey man, I think you better step off before you get bum rushed!” said
Matt tossing his own bag aside and squaring off on the larger kid seeing now
that there was no way to avoid this. His body was a rush with emotion and
excitement and his pulse was raging and rushed all through him making his
breathing hard and his chest pound.
“This fool must be crazy” he said to himself, not taking his eyes off Sammy
for a minute. Sammy never got enough of harassing Matt every chance he could.
He did this especially when he was with his friend Ernest Miller. He pushed
Matt again.
“If you don’t like it then make a move SUCKA” and Matt did just that and
the fight was on.

31
R.W. MATHIS

Matt swung and caught him in the face with a right cross but being that
he was a little out of his effective reach the punch didn’t pack as much as he’d
intended but however was enough to get Sammy’s attention.
The crowd had gotten loud and drew in closer to give the fighters as little
running or maneuvering room as possible and maximize the contact. There
were oohs and ahh’s coming all around at Matt’s attempt, but no sooner than
his punch recoiled he felt a shattering blow in his chest. Matt felt like his lungs
had exploded. He doubled over gasping for air and was on the rise when Sammy
pumped another shot into his gut sending him to the floor in a crumpled heap.
“KICK HIS ASS SAMMY!” yelled someone.
“YEAH, FUCK HIS SHIT UP MAN, HE AINT SHIT” yelled another.
Pain was all over Matt’s body and the cheering crowd made it hurt even
more. The hall was a crescendo of yelling, rooting, bloodthirsty students. Just
who it was for him or against him he wasn’t sure.
He was beginning to recover some now and started to rise again cautiously
and as he did Sammy was setting up to put his size thirteen’s in Matt’s face to
take him out once and for all. Matt saw it coming and rolled out of the way as
quickly as he could but still caught it on the shoulder instead. Now feeling a little
strength return he rolled upright onto his knees and tried to get in a gut shot but
his punch was low and weak as his head was still a little fuzzy. He wound up
connecting on Sammy’s crotch instead. Sammy was stunned and going down,
Matt seeing this acted quickly and got to his feet, he was in a blood lust now and
more than vengeful as he drove a solid knee into the side of Sammy’s huge head
and felt it rebound off the floor.
“WHOOM!” shouted the crowd as he repeated this again and again raising
even louder and louder cheers. But no matter how many times or how much
force Matt put into it Sammy still would not go out and kept trying to get up!
Aware now that he was becoming tired, as well as concerned that Sammy would
recover and get up and beat the shit out of him; Matt looked around quickly for
a weapon or something to finish him off.
The crowd seeing this offered him large books or book bags and one girl
even offered him a high heel shoe! The crowd was in total bedlam now and
the teachers were doing their best to get through to the two fighters but was
deliberately blocked out until it was finished, meaning when somebody didn’t
get back up or was dead. Matt spied a fire extinguisher on the wall and quickly
snatched the huge bottle from its hook! This really drove the crowd wild now
thinking that they may actually see some blood and somebody was going to
get dealt with! Matt turned and charged back towards Sammy who was now
on one knee and getting up. Matt brought the bottle down with a murderous
thrust towards Sammy’s exposed head. As the bottle came down Sammy saw
the gleam of the shiny metal and immediately coward again in a weak attempt
to ward off the impending blow.

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LovING ARETTA

As Matt’s mouth was sour sweet and he could no longer hear the chants of the
crowd but just a constant buzz. His skin was icy hot and cool salty sweat ran down
his face and stung his eyes. He for a moment felt a pang of remorse for Sammy but
it was a short one. The bottle was inches from contact when a dark shape came
into view and was followed by a shattering blow to his mid-section. Something
had tackled him and sent the bottle flying. Someone had blind-sided him.
“Oh shit!” he thought frantically. It must be Ernest his buddy.
“I’m sure to get fucked up now, how can I fight them both when I’m too
tired to finish this asshole.”
Confusion and despair gripped Matt’s soul as the tall dark figure arose,
quickly getting off him.
Matt was expecting to be stomped to death and got up with equal speed
preparing to fight on both fronts. Then he saw that the person he was about to
punch the shit out of wasn’t Ernest after all but instead his own best friend Ant.
He’d gotten wind of the fight and knew it was one of Matt’s two enemies who
had to be at him because he didn’t have any enemies he knew of other than
Sammy and Ernest.
Ant seeing that Matt had gotten hold of a weapon and where he was going
to place it. Not to mention him being too far away to take it from him, Ant did
the only thing he could do and that was to launch his six foot four inch frame at
him and hope he could at least spoil his aim some. He didn’t want him to hurt
the fool or maybe even kill the son of a bitch!
“Don’t do it Matt!” he said quickly, seeing his friend coming at him with
death in his eyes.
“He ain’t worth it man don’t throw your life away on a piece of shit!” pleaded
Ant winded from the effort.
“You got him back Matt, let it go man . . . let it go” he urged softly getting
between Matt who was still standing with fists ready as he glared at Sammy who
was staring back at him but still on one knee.
The crowd was more than upset at Ants interference and wanted to do him
harm but didn’t because Ant was not one in which to fuck with. His reputation
as a brawler was long since established in his Freshman year when he kicked the
crap out of the Rainy twins, another reason that Sammy didn’t push the fight
any further. Matt slowly dropped his fists and came back to his senses, his legs a
little shaky and quite jittery from the spent and unspent adrenaline still coursing
through his body. The bloodlust was slowly beginning to lose its grip on him as
he looked at Ant and saw the broken spirit and concern in his eyes. He turned
away briefly to see Sammy getting up.
Blood traced down his face from the corner of his right eye and lip where
Matt had recently put his knee to him. Finally, breaking through the crowd, the
BOE (Board of Education) police made it to the center of the problem.

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R.W. MATHIS

“Okay break it up! Break it up now or I’m taking all your butts to jail!”
“Now what’s going on here” he demanded as he looked over to Matt and
Sammy and what remained of the crowd. Some shuffled and looked away
blankly as most people do in this kind of situation. A few others began to give
their side of what happened. When the short investigation was completed, Matt,
Ant, and Sammy were taken to the principal’s office to see Mrs. Hard Castle.
“You sit over here and you sit over there, and I don’t want any talking out of
either of you . . . understand me?” said Officer Grant.
The boys nodded as they took the seats directed to them. A minute or two
later Mrs. Hard Castle came into the office and was clearly surprised to see three
Board of Education Policemen in her front office and three of her students. She
was over at the boy’s school when the fight had occurred and only just got wind
of it after it ended and quickly headed across the street. Officer Grant gave her
his report and she was not pleased, she looked at Matt and Sammy as if she
would jump on them herself once the officers left. Once the reports and other
formalities were done she nodded and told them thank you and to wait outside
while she investigated further before giving them any more instructions on what
to do with the trio.
Matt was getting nervous and a little anxious as he wrung his hands over
and over while trying to avoid eye contact with Sammy who was rubbing his
bruised temple and doing much the same as he.
“Let’s go you three!” said Mrs. Hard Castle as she pushed back the swinging
gate at the counter to let Matt and Sammy pass through with Ant in tow. Mrs.
Hard Castle was a short black woman of about forty years old. She had short curly
bronze colored hair, a nice figure and the most intense pair of green eyes you ever
saw, you would swear she could see through lead! All this would have been a
nice package if she didn’t have that mean grandmotherly attitude. She sat on the
edge of her desk and eyed the three of them placidly while drumming her french
manicured nails on the desk. “The clickety-clack of her tapping was becoming as
annoying as hell!” thought Ant but he sat quietly and endured it as best he could.
“Mathis, what’s the problem?” she said zeroing in on him first.
Matt didn’t speak right away all be could do is glare at Sammy and hate
him. “Mathis” she snapped getting louder.
“You can either start talking or start walking and I mean towards the officers
who brought you here and into expulsion for disruptive behavior because I don’t
have the time or the patience for this CRAP!” she said pounding her fist on her
desk for emphasis.
“Do you understand me young man?”
“Yes ma’am” he said clearing his throat.
“Well you see it’s like this Mrs. Hard Castle, I was coming out of home room
heading for my first class when all of a sudden THIS FOOL!” he said thumbing
harshly at Sammy.

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LovING ARETTA

“Watch your mouth young man!” she warned cutting him off.
“Sorry, anyway I accidentally bumped into him in the hall. I didn’t see him
coming . . .”
“You shoulda looked where you was going you BLIND FOOL!”
“Sammy Thomas, that’s enough out of you too young man!” shouted Mrs.
Hard Castle.
“You can walk just as fast as Mr. Mathis here so keep it up, now go on with
what you were saying Mathis”.
“Well like I was saying, I bumped into him and then he called me out and
pushed me so I asked him what was his problem and he said “You! Muther-F’er”
then pushed me again”.
“So what did you do then?”
“Well I told him that if he didn’t step off me he was gonna get bum rushed”.
Mrs. Hard Castle just shook her head and clicked her nails together. Matt took
that as a sign that he was sunk because she seemed to be weighing the matter
before he was through.
“Then what?”
“Well he pushed me again and then I cold cocked him across the face!”
“And started a fight in my school!”
“No ma’am! I was just defending myself, he started it!” protested Matt as he
began to feel a trip home was imminent every second.
Sammy just grinned and relished at the reaming that Matt was getting. He
knew he wasn’t going home . . . at least not yet . . . not that way.
“You lower your voice Mr. Mathis; you’re already in enough trouble without
raising your voice to me as well”.
Matt just sunk down in his seat further and shook his head.
“Man this still ain’t right” he mumbled to himself.
“And you, Mr. Thomas, what do you have to say about this?”
“Well like he said Mrs. Hard Castle, he came running down the hall like
some fool!”
“Young man you either lower your voice and watch your tongue or you
are out of here and I mean it!” she said getting up, snapping her fingers at the
office door window to get the attention of the officers that were awaiting her
next move.
They stood and approached the door looking in but did not enter, but
instead just glared at the two boys letting them know they were just outside the
door and waiting for them. Sammy quickly got the hint, changed his tone and
sunk back into his seat, and looked at his shoes.
“Anyway he bumped into me and almost knocked me down and then didn’t
say excuse me or nothing! and when I told him to watch out he said kiss his
“A–” “THOMAS!”
“Scuse me, I mean his butt”.

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R.W. MATHIS

“That’s a damn lie!” shouted Matt and getting to his feet.
“Sit down Mathis or I’ll have you restrained!” she said pointing to the huge
black officer who was just about to enter the office when she waved him off.
“He’s lying Mrs. Hard Castle!”
“Mathis, you have had your say now let Thomas have his!”
“Yeah! and then he took a swing on me and we started fighting”.
Sammy said finishing his statement.
“Okay Williams, you’ve been sitting there all quiet, just what do you have to
do with all of this mess? I’ve never had any trouble with you before”.
Ant, up until now was just slouching in his seat biting at the quick on his
thumbnail and watching the may lay.
“Well it’s like this Mrs. Hard Castle; I was on my way to the boy’s school
for first period when I heard there was a fight between Matt and Sammy. So
naturally I ran back to see because Ernest Holloway and Sammy are always
together and trying to start something with him by the time I got there he had
grabbed a fire bottle off.”
“The wall and was about to bust Sammy in the head with it.”
Remembering this, Sammy adjusted in his seat nervously and looked at
Matt pensively like he couldn’t believe he’d gotten the best of him or would
actually hit him with it.
“When I jumped on him and tackled him to the floor because I didn’t want
him to hurt him and maybe go to jail, and that’s why I’m involved?” he said
finishing.
“Why didn’t you just keep on going on your way to where you were
supposed to be?”
“Taking care of other people’s problems is not your business or why you
come to school Williams.” she chided.
Ant just nodded and bowed his head slightly. “And what if you had found
Ernest there, then it would have been the four of you and God only knows what
kind of a fracas I would be having to deal with.”
There was a long silence after that and it was a long time before Mrs. Hard
Castle spoke again, she just shook her head and walked her eyes over the three
of them then sat down behind her desk looking blankly out the window. When
she finally did speak, it came out slow and flat but with a firm strength to it.
“Mathis, it seems to me I’ve heard something of this private little war
you Sammy and Ernest have going before, and I’m sure I’ve warned you both
countless times about it but it hasn’t seemed to sink in any!”
By now Matt was beginning to feel ill and each word she spoke filled him
further with dread.
“Oh hell, here it comes; I just know I’m going to be suspended now”.
“Williams, you may go” she said waving him off.
“Thomas, you wait outside for a minute I will call you back in shortly”.

36
LovING ARETTA

“That’s it, I know I’m history now” thought Matt as his best friend and
Sammy walked out. “You’d think if she was gonna let us off the hook with an ass
chewing, she’d have gone right to it, not separate us like this”.
“Mathis, I just don’t know what you expect me to do about this! This is way
out of line and boarders on expulsion! Why is it you just can’t behave for any
long period of time young man? Why?” Matt just shrugged.
“And to make matters worse you’re really not a bad student, in fact some of
your teachers say you have your moments of inspiration and creative genius that
seems to help motivate others around you to do better and that’s good!”
“But then you get into things like this and that’s something I can’t tolerate!”
she paused for a moment readjusting in her seat.
“Mathis, were you really going to hit Thomas with that fire extinguisher?”
she said softly almost sadly.
Matt scanned her face to see if it was a question that required an answer.
Matt swallowed hard trying to remember and assess how he really felt at
that time and whether or not to tell her.
“To tell you the truth Mrs. Hard Castle, I really don’t know, when you’re in
the thick of a fight, things get distorted and move around real fast and go from
lick to lick.” “You suddenly become a two dimensional character on a page until
it’s over and then you feel the weight of what just happened and are unable to
do anything about it.”
Mrs. Hard Castle was on the edge of her seat hands folded on her desk and
staring at Matt incredulously.
“How could this little upstart only moments ago who wanted to bash
in another kids skull, give such an authoritative overview of the esoteric and
psychological aspects of a fight!”
“Mathis, go to your next class” she said shaking her head.
“I’ll let you know what I’m going to do later okay?”
“Yes ma’am” he said grateful for the short stay of execution.
“And try to stay out of trouble the rest of the day till then, will you?” she said
almost pleading but at the same time much too over worked and tired mentally
to pursue it further just now.
“Yes ma’am” he said then shuffled out the door.
Aretta was sitting in her desk in art class drawing, doodling and making
formless shapeless squiggles on her paper, daydreaming.
“He is so sweet and I just love the way he smells and makes me feel so light
headed when he kisses me. I love the firmness of his chest and gentle way he
holds me in his arms, I could gaze into those dark limpid pools forever! I wonder
is he thinking of me just now?”

Last night was so wonderful even though we didn’t get to finish what we
started. But just the feel of his hands touching me and caressing my breasts made

37
R.W. MATHIS

my skin burn and tingle! I could feel myself grow weak in his eyes and my body
melting at his hot passionate kisses. It was all I could do to keep from screaming
when his hand touched me between my legs! I wanted him inside me so badly
and to feel the strength of his body all hot and sweaty against mine that I could
just BURST! Not to mention the hardness of his penis pressing into me just
made me crazy all over! Gosh! How I wanted to scream for him to take me, tear
into me! Possess me completely forever never to stop!”
Aretta hadn’t noticed that the bell had rung and the class was slipping away
from around her. She didn’t hear it because she was totally oblivious to all sight
and sound.
“Retta!”
“Huh?”
“Wake up girl, where you been?” asked her best friend Alfreida.
“Ohh . . . no place” she said weekly.
“Girl you should see your FACE! You’re glowing and you don’t even
know it.”
Oh, she knew all right and she smiled somewhat ashamed and bashful for
having been observed so closely. She had an idea long ago that she was probably
radiating something by the steamed moistness she felt between her thighs.
“Come on girl let’s go! The bell rang a few minutes ago!”
“Oh hell” she muttered hustling out of her seat angry with herself for
allowing her mind to wander so callously.
“What period is it, Fifth?”
“No girl its sixth period, where is your mind at today?” said Frieda
re-evaluating her friends fuzzy state of mind.
“You’ve been thinking about Rodney again haven’t you?” she said curtly.
“Yes . . . a little” said Retta blushing more.
“I love him Frieda, I’ve never been with anyone like him before; he makes
me feel warm all over when he looks at me and when he kisses me . . . GIRRL!
let me tell you! Sometimes it’s all I can do to keep from falling down!”
“Yeah he’s fine alright. Do ya’ll get busy much” she asked smiling
capriciously.
Retta blushed and turned away suddenly more embarrassed than she had
ever remembered at Frieda’s question.
“No, not much”.
“Girl what are you saving it for! you don’t let a hottie like him go to waste,
you better get off the ball and get on the STICK!” she said eyeballing her up
and down.
“And you know which way I mean that too!”
Retta just shaded more and didn’t comment but only nodded her head in
agreement.

38
LovING ARETTA

“Frieda you know how it is with mom, she’s so strict on me all the time and
then there’s ole busy body Lori to worry about. I hate living there sometimes. It
feels like I’m a prisoner in my own house!”
“Yeah I know what you mean”.
“And when I’m finally alone with him everything is okay”.
“Yeah I can believe that” said Frieda consoling her.
“Aww! what could you know! you’re an only child!”
“SO, I still get horny sometimes! and my mom gets in my way too”.
“Aw girl your horny ALL! the time” shot Retta smiling at her.
Frieda just shrugged and smiled in acquiescence to her truth.
“So tell me, does Rodney have any cute friends?”
“I don’t know, I can ask him”.
“Okay that’ll work; if he does then we can get together this weekend
and . . .”
“Oh shoot!, I almost forgot we was supposed to be going to my grandma’s
house this weekend. Mom came home last night and told us and Matt wanted
us to get together then too!”
“Now what are you gonna do?”
“I don’t know, I don’t want to go but I don’t have any choice and I just know
Matt’s gonna be upset with me”.
“He might not get mad at you, you said so yourself that he was
understanding”.
“Yeah!”
“Then it will be alright!”
“No it won’t!” she said howling.
“I keep putting off telling mom about him and he thinks I’m ashamed of him
and now this has come up, oh! Frieda he’s gonna quit me! I just know It”.
“Come on girl, get a grip, don’t carry on so, it’ll be fine. If you like I’ll tell
him for you”.
“Naw, that’s okay, I’ll do it.”
“Okay, if you say so”.
“Yeah I’ll do it.”
“Well you better fix your face so we can go, you still have one class to go”.
Retta tried to smile but felt worse than she looked. They ran on to their class
trying to beat the bell. Retta’s class was just down the hall around the corner.
Frieda had a little further to go and hustled on the way. Retta ran in to the gym
just as the bell sounded and went over to drop onto the bleachers. After awhile
and a tiring workout, the bell rang again ending the class and the school week.
“Let’s go Retta! the bus will be here soon” said Frieda running past her in
the hall. Retta was busy adjusting her book bag on her back and redoing her hair
because it was a mess from working out.

39
R.W. MATHIS

“I’m coming! where are my hair barrettes? Darn! I can never find anything
in this purse” she grumbled impatiently.
Soon the bus had arrived and kids were running all over the place glad to
be out of school for the weekend. Aretta got on her bus and went to the rear to
sit by Frieda.
“So, how are you feeling?” asked Frieda moving over so she could sit
down.
“Any better?”
“I’m alright I guess, but not much better”.
“Well when we get home we’ll call him and see what he says, okay?” Retta
just sighed long and nodded settling into her seat.
The bus trip was long and noisy and Aretta lived on the farthest end of the
Bloomfield area, which just happened to be the last drop off of the ride. Soon they
had reached their neighborhood and Retta got off. Frieda was slacking behind
talking and smiling at the bus driver. He was a young man of about nineteen
or twenty, with short curly hair and a nice muscular body. Retta found herself
comparing him to Matt, and smiled devilishly to herself when the stranger didn’t
match up to the one she loved.
“Come on Frieda, let’s go!”
“Oh! okay, wait just a minute!” she said asking for a piece of paper from the
bus driver.
“See you later” she said smiling then jumping off the bus, her over-sized
breasts bouncing and undulating up and down as she went. Retta noticed and
grinned to herself as the shock from the landing shook her whole frame.
Frieda was a large girl of about five foot eleven inches tall. She was tall and
big boned or as a country boy might say, “One corn fed heifer!” Frieda had long
black hair that she wore half loose and half braided. She also sported a massive
pair or breasts that were at least a “D” cup and those added to her generous
shapely hips and that apple bottom, behind. Even at the tender age of sixteen,
she was just about every boys and some men’s wet dream. She topped off her
assets with a dazzling pair of dark brown eyes that always seemed to have a
smile in them. Frieda was a nice enough person and had a quick wit. She lived
just across the parking lot from Retta’s building in the same complex. They had
met many summers ago when she, her little sister and mother had first moved
in, and had been friends ever since.
“Girl you need to curb your hormones” chirped Retta with a defiant grin.
“Listen who’s talking Ms. Hot Box! herself!” She retorted unscathed.
“Well at least I kept my virginity longer than you could” said Retta
proudly.
“Yeah, but you wouldn’t know it the way you’ve been carrying on with
“Rooddney” said Frieda in a sing song.
“Uh oh, I almost forgot, I still have to call him before mom gets home”.

40
LovING ARETTA

“Well you better get on it then, I’ll just see you later” said Frieda waving
goodbye as she hurried to her own flat. Retta said bye and broke into a sprint as
she ran through the parking lot, she ducked into the entrance and dashed up the
stairs. As she got to her door, she stopped and rummaged through her purse for
her key. Just as she was about to insert it into the lock the door suddenly flew
open. It was Lori her eight year old little sister. She stood there pigging out on
a glazed doughnut and smiled.
“Rodney called” she managed to say between bites.
“He did?”
“When?”
“Awhile ago”
“What time?” she pressed eagerly.
Lori just shrugged. “Momma called too”
“How long ago?”
“Before he did”
Retta just sighed and waved her little sister off in exasperation and proceeded
to take off her heavy backpack.
“We might not be going out of town today”
“Oh really?”
“Why”
“Who said”
“Mamma”.
Hearing this, Retta ran to the phone totally ecstatic and renewed at the
possibility of not going away for the weekend.
“Hello?”
“Hello” “May I speak to Rodney please?”
“Who’s calling?” said a male voice.
“Aretta”
“Well hello Aretta, I’m Rodney’s father”.
“Oh hi Mr. Mathis, how are you?”
“Oh, fine and how are you doing these days?”
“Oh I’m okay sir, just getting in from school”.
“Is that right?”. “It’s kind of late to be getting home from school isn’t it?”
“Yes sir, it’s the bus ride that takes so long.”
“I see, well I’m sorry to say that Rodney isn’t home yet, he’s still at school
working off a debt on the track field”.
“Working off a debt you say?”
“Yes, I assume he’s gotten into something today in school and is getting his
reward for it”.
“Oh I see”. Retta deflated considerably. “Well could you please tell him to
call me as soon as he gets home Mr. Mathis? “It’s important”.
“Is everything alright Aretta?”

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R.W. MATHIS

“Oh, yes sir! I just wanted to tell him I may be able to see him this weekend
after all”.
“Okay, I’ll tell him.”
“Thank you Mr. Mathis . . . bye now”.
“Bye bye hon.”
(click)

This was a real drag she thought, and would only hold up her communicating
with him sooner, but still her hope was renewed and she found it hard to contain
herself.
“Lori! I’ll be back I’m going over to Frieda’s house for a minute okay?” Lori
just nodded and sucked the filling out of another doughnut . . . !
Frieda was just coming out of the shower when she heard a loud knocking
at the door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me, Frieda, let me in”.
Frieda opened the door and Retta pushed by her quickly not waiting for her
to fully open the door.
“Durn! girl, what’s up with you?”
Retta was smiling from ear to ear.
“Lori said Mama may not go to the country today!”
“Ooh! Girl that’s good, so what are you gonna do tonight?”
“I don’t know yet”.
“Have you talked to Matt yet?”
“No” she said pacing like an expectant father.
“Rodney wasn’t home yet, his dad said he was at school working off a debt
or something”.
“A debt, what kind of mess is that?”
“Girl I don’t know, that’s what I said too!”
“Well at least you got some good news for him.”
“Yeah, that I do” she said beaming.
“So what about you Frieda, what are you gonna do tonight?”
She just looked at Retta with a smirk on her face as she picked up a small
slip of paper from the table.
“Do you remember the bus driver?”
“Yeah, what about him?”
“Well, while you were home I called him and he said that we could get
together tonight if I wanted to.”
“Girl! are you nuts? he’s too old for you”.
“No, he isn’t, he’s only 20 years old.”
“And YOUR only 16!” Retta finished.
“So . . . Rodney’s 17 isn’t he?”

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LovING ARETTA

“Yeah”
“And your 15 right?”
“So . . . What’s the big deal?”
“The Big Deal” is “I’m 16 and a half!”
“Oh, sure, a really big difference” said Retta flaying her arms in indifference.
Frieda just folded her arms and looked at her precariously.
“So where are you two gonna go?” asked Retta changing the subject.
“He’s gonna stop by at 7:30 and pick me up to go to the movies”.
“That’s a good idea, me and Matt may go ourselves, I don’t know for sure.”
“So why don’t you call him back?” “He may be there by now”.
“Naw, I’ll wait, that’ll give me some time to get cleaned up in case we do go
someplace”. Frieda just nodded.
“So I’ll see you later girlfriend, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do”.
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that” she said letting Retta out.
She leaned against the closed door looking quite smug.
“You mean don’t do anything you! Can’t do, then she went in her room to
take a nap. “Retta, momma said she’ll be home soon” said Lori as Retta came
in the door.
“Is she still going out of town?”
“No, she said it was too late in the day to travel and she’s too tired to do it
anyway”.
“YESSS!” said Retta pumping her fist triumphantly and dancing about. Lori
just stood by staring at her in amazement and curiosity.
“What’s gotten into you?” she asked.
“Love! Little sister . . . just love.”
“Ooh! I’m telling” she crooned giggling wildly.
“You wouldn’t understand “Mrs. Piggy” but one day you will.”
“You really like Rodney don’t you?”
“Nope!, I LOVE HIM!” she corrected loud and astutely.
“Well excuuusse me!” said Lori craning her head from side to side, hands on
her little hips then walked off indignantly leaving her big sister to her thoughts.
Retta was still prancing and humming to herself when her mother came in
about ten minutes later.
“Hi girls” she said sounding tired. “I’m home”.
Retta poked her head out of her bedroom door “Hi Mom.”
“Where’s Lori Retta?”
“I’m here!” said a food clogged voice from the kitchen.
“Hi Ma”.
“Is that child eating again?” asked Retta in mock surprise.
“She just had a sandwich and doughnuts a half hour ago!”
Lori appeared around the corner, her “Not-So-Little” tummy showing
first.

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R.W. MATHIS

“Girrrl your gonna turn into a hog!” teased Retta.
“Nuh Uh!” she protested and pouted with what looked to be Peanut butter
and mayonnaise on the corners of her mouth.
“Lori Davis!, if you don’t stop eating so much your gonna sit down one day
and not get up!” said her mother.
Aretta made pig faces and giggled, Lori just pouted all the more.
“So what are we gonna do tonight Ma?” asked Retta heading to the
bathroom.
“Well I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going to relax and watch TV, I
may even drink some wine and dance around with no cloths on in the nude!”.
“OOH, I’m tellin” said Retta and Lori simultaneously then all broke up
laughing. Soon after the noise and craziness had died down, Retta thought about
talking to her mother about Matt.
“Uhh, Momma when I finish my bath, can I talk to you about something?”
“Sure, honey is it important?” she yelled back.
“It is to me!”
“Then why wait?”
“Well it’s kinda private” she said, her voice trailing off.
Retta sat covered in bubbles – her knee’s in her chest and a somewhat glum
look on her face, her mother walked in but she didn’t look up but just sat with
her chin on her knees.
“What’s the problem baby?” she said with concern in her voice.
Retta wasn’t quite sure how to answer now that she had her attention and
this only served to alienate her more and make her nervous, so she choked up
and started crying in spite of herself. “OH! baby what’s wrong!” said her mother
now kneeling beside her and holding her gently. “Oh Mamma!, I’m afraid that
if I tell you you’ll reject how I feel and refuse me what I want” She said crying
warm tears of despair.
“Retta you know that there is nothing you can’t tell me or ask that I would
refuse you or get for you . . . within reason”. Retta still cried softly.
“Momma I love him and I want him and he loves me TOO!” she blurted
out.
“Love who? baby, what are you talking about? start from the beginning”.
“Well some time ago last year I met this boy in school named Rodney, he’s
really a nice guy and you would just love him!” she offered enthusiastically.
“He transferred from Central to our school last semester because of the
zone change by the school board and then we met.”
“OH! Mamma I love him so much!” she gushed again still unsure and equally
bereft that what she was leading up to may cost her – her love.
“Retta! calm down honey” soothed her mother holding her close. “It’s
alright! Shhh you can talk to me.”
“Oh, my Lord!” thought Audrey. “Just what did this kid do to my baby!”

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LovING ARETTA

Slowly Retta released her wet grip on her mother and relaxed.
“Let me see if I understand you correctly. You met someone in school last
year and you two fell in love and now you want me to give my blessing and
consent to you seeing each other, is that right?”.
“Yes ma’am” she nodded.
“Okay” she said staring off into space now sitting on the commode.
“Is this the same boy that has been coming around here from time to time
on a yellow motor scooter?”
Aretta was rigid with shock and remained silent.
“How did she know! who could have told her? I thought we were so careful!,
it must have been Lori!
“I’ll fix! her little butt! just wait!” She couldn’t figure it out so she just bowed
her head and fumed about it.
“Aretta” said her mother her tone slightly raised.
“That WITCH!, she’s always meddling in other people’s business!” she
thought.
“I knew it for some time but I just wanted to see if you’d lie to me.”
“So tell me . . . what has been happening between you two while I wasn’t
home?”
“Nothing Ma!”
“Aretta, don’t lie to me!”
“Mom we didn’t do anything, you can even take me to the doctor and see
for yourself!” she said standing up and revealing her youthful nakedness.
“Sit Down! girl! and don’t get cute with me or I’ll bust your little backside!”
Retta eased back into the tub feeling slightly proud of herself for challenging her
mother to a body cavity search, a challenge that could have clearly blown up in
her face had her mother decided to call her hand on it.
“Look baby, I’m not really mad with you not anymore, I mean how could I
when I did some of the same things when was I your age myself!”
“So you do! understand! how I feel!”
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I condone or appreciate you bringing boys into
my house when I’m away either!”
“Now Retta, be truly honest with me you know you can trust me – have you
two had sex yet?” “No mamma” she said lying her naked ass off.
“Has he pushed the idea on you?”
“No Mama”.
“You know how men can be, so are you sure he didn’t – maybe try it a
little?”
“Yes Ma’am!” she protested, tired of this question.
“Well what about you?” “How do you feel honestly?”
“Well, Mamma like I said I truly do love him” she said looking deeply into
her mother’s eyes unflinching.

45
R.W. MATHIS

“I want to be with him in every way”. Her mother blanched at this and drew
back slightly now looking at Aretta in a new light.
She just sighed heavily and shook her head.
“Yes, I do believe you do and would baby, I guess I waited too long to talk
to you about these things. I’m sorry sweet heart”.
“It’s okay mom, I’m still your little girl, I mean it’s not the end of the world
or anything like that I’ve just fallen in love that’s all.”
“Well it’s still no excuse. I guess I was just so busy trying to raise you girls
right all by myself that I forgot to look at the young woman you’ve become. I’m
sorry I failed you baby, can you ever forgive me?”
Retta quickly reached for her mother and hugged her close.
“You didn’t fail me momma you couldn’t possibly watch everything and yes
I’m still your baby. I mean we haven’t done anything yet, just kiss and maybe a
little touching here and there” she said lying further, her voice dropping lower
as if not wanting her mother to hear her. Her mother drew her away slowly
looking at her oddly.
“Then you’ve done far more than I thought or expected.” Retta just blushed
and eased back into the warmth of the tub.
“You go ahead and bathe, we’ll talk about this more when you get out”.
“Yes Ma’am” she murmured.
Just then they could hear the scampering of little feet retreating away from
the door, they looked at each other and smiled shaking their heads.
“I guess Lori will be next” said her mother then left.

“Okay, Mathis, that’s it for today, time to go son”.
“Alright coach” said Matt stacking up the last of the football tackle dummies
in the storage shed.
“Man I’m buttermilk tired!” he sighed thoroughly spent for the day. The
coach signed off on a checklist and detention time sheet on his clipboard and
just laughed to himself at Matt’s statement.
“You know something Mathis you’re a good kid . . . I mean that!”
“So they tell me” he grunted as he closed the huge steel doors to the shed.
“No really! I mean it, your other brothers were too!”
“All of you guys are great athletes and could really go a long way with
training and the right motivation”. Matt leaned against the wall somewhat
curious but indifferent.
“Do you remember those ten laps you ran on the track today?”
“Shoot! how can I forget! My feet still feel like lead”.
“Well that’ll pass, you’re just soft from lack of training that’s all, but did you
know I was also clocking you on the first four laps?”
“No I didn’t.”

46
LovING ARETTA

“Son, you ran a mile in under five minutes . . . five minutes!” He emphasized
gleaming now. “That’s good enough for varsity! son!”
“Oh really?” said Matt suddenly interested.
“Hell yeah! and with that build of yours and some training I’m sure you
could do better and be one hell of a discus thrower too! I mean it!”
“No kiddin?, hmm I never thought of myself as an athlete.”
“Maybe you ought to think about it and joining the track team cause it’s
starting up soon and you can end the year with a few trophies under your belt
and maybe another letter too”.
Matt scratched his head, he’d never thought too much about sports, even
though he played several years of baseball for the city and Jr. High football, but
after seeing he could add to his collection of trophies, it didn’t sound too bad!.
“Okay coach, I’ll think about it.”
“Good, now get the heck! outta here before I have you re-chalking the
football field”.
“I’m outta here!” he said grabbing up his books and jacket.

“What’s up Matt” said a voice behind him, it was his buddy Ant.
“What’s up snake bite?”
“How long you been there?”
“Not too long, I just left the house a minute ago.”
“So whatcha got planned for tonight?”
“Man I don’t know, a shower, maybe stay up watch TV, then bed, I’m
BEAT!”.
“Yeah, I’ll bet you are” said Ant.
“Coach give you a real workout didn’t he?”
“MAN! HECK YEAH!” “He ran my butt into the ground and then had me
do a bunch of other stuff for him too.”
“But that’s okay, I guess I could use the work out and besides, compared to
suspension this wasn’t nuthin!”
“Yeah, I guess your right when you put it that way, but still it’s a shame you
had to do it because of Sammy”.
“What happened to that fool anyway?”
“You mean you didn’t know?” said Ant.
“Naw! man, you know I left shortly after you did”.
“Well Sammy got ten days suspension”.
“Ten days! damn that’s fucked up! but then again he did start that shit.”
“Yeah, I figured that he did; shoot every since school started those two have
been out to get you, what did you do to get them so mad at you?”
“Nothing! I just came to school one morning and they were all sitting on
the steps cracking jokes, him, Ernest, Dabba Doo, CED and John Cotton, when

47
R.W. MATHIS

they saw me coming he tried to be funny and said something about my momma,
so I just said, that’s okay, how’s your mother and the rest of my worthless ass
kids!”
“Oh, no you didn’t Matt?”
“I sure as hell did! and his buddies tripped out on him and he got mad
and said he was gonna get me one day, so I just told him shootcha best shot
ASSHOLE! then left”.
“Now I can see why they want you DEAD – you beat him crackin! and
nobody does that to him or Ernest.”
“You know they think they’re as good as Richard Pryor.”
“Well they can go set themselves on fire like him too! for all I care, I ain’t
backing down for shit! and while I think about it, do you know you scared the
HELL out of me! today?”.
“How?”
“When you dived on me and knocked me down, I thought it was Ernest!”
Ant just laughed hysterically.
“No man! I’m serious! I really did!”.
“Yeah I know, I saw the look in your eyes when you turned around; you
were scared SHITLESS!”
“For real!”
“Yeah but when I saw it was you I relaxed a little.”
They walked on in silence for the next few minutes each pondering the
day’s events and their mutual feelings. “Ant?”
“Yeah Matt?”
“Thanks for saving my bacon man, I really appreciate it.”
“That’s okay man, you know I always gotcha back.”
Then he put his hand on Matt’s shoulder and squeezed him confidently.

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