“Can I ask you something?” Whether my answer was yes or no, Ebony was gonna ask anyway. “No.” I had to at least try to get the girl to let me sleep. She’d insisted on spending the night because of my condition after the public split with Winston, and was now lying beside me in bed, being annoying. “Bet. What did you ever see in Winston?” She asked anyway. “Did you not just hear me say no?” I whined. “Yeah, but I know you meant yes, so, answer the question.” She rolled over on her side, and propped her head on her fists, silky black bundles flowing down her forearm. “Eb, can this wait til the morning, or next year? I’m tired.” She bucked her eyes like she hadn’t heard a word I’d said, still waiting for me to answer her question. “Fine. Jesus!” I sighed, rolling over and propping my head on my fist. This was our preferred position when communicating about things we were disclosing for the first time. We’d read in some magazine when we were teenagers that it helped promote openness, and we’d been doing it ever since. “You gotta promise me something first.” I said, looking directly into her eyes. “I’ll think about it.” She smirked. “Eb?” I whined. “Fine!” She agreed. “Don’t judge me. You’re gonna want to, but don’t. It seemed totally logical at the time, and I had no idea it was gonna get this messy.” “Girl, would you spill it already? I can only lean on these damn knuckles for so long.” I stuck out my tongue and wagged it from side to side, hoping she’d get where I was going. “What, he’s a dog?” Her lips curved. “We just established that. I don’t—” “Why the hell would I find a dog appealing, Ebony?” I cut her off. “Seriously, think.” I popped her upside the head. “Well, I wouldn’t have to think if you’d just speak plain English.” “His tongue, stupid. Lame ass Winston had a Master’s in eating pussy. Had me walking around blind to the fact that we weren’t even close to being compatible, and all because he ate the box like Mardi Gras pasta.” “IVORY!!!” She sat straight up and yelled. “Of all the shit to let a light-skinned nigga hook you with, it was his tongue? I’m gonna throw up!” She hopped off the bed and ran into my bathroom, always over-exaggerating. She really got on my nerves. “And why’d it take you so long to disclose this gross information?” She returned from the bathroom moments later with a warm washcloth across her forehead. “This is why, fool!” I fanned a hand out in her direction. “Any time I so much as mention the man’s name, you start making vomiting noises. And it’s childish as fuck, by the way.” “What’s childish is wasting an entire year with a man just because he had a magical tongue. Wait…” She paused, palm up and out. “When you say he ate the box like day-old Mardi Gras pasta, was said pasta warmed or straight out the frig?” “Straight out the frig, bitch!” Ebony took a minute to ponder the idea of having her pussy eaten by a magical tongue, and I knew it because those cinnamon brown eyes had rolled up to the top of her head before slowly closing. “See!” I exclaimed. “I know you’re pondering, and trust me, you would’ve done the same thing.” “Nah, not with him. My gag reflexes ain’t that strong.” She fell back on the bed, holding the towel in position like she really needed it. “And his Mama. Was it worth dealing with her?” I’d asked myself that many times; sometimes while Winston’s head was between my legs. I even wondered if his mother was the reason we never had actual intercourse, not wanting to take the chance of impregnating a dark-skinned girl and producing dark-skinned grandbabies. That woman would rather die than have their blood line tainted with melanin. It was a damned shame how ignorant some folks could be. As if it wasn’t enough to have to deal with it in my own family, I had to deal with it in my love-life too. Well, used to. “Apparently, it was.” I replied in all honesty, resuming my position in bed beside my sister, who loved me as much as she annoyed me. “But not anymore.” I turned to face her, finding her eyes right there waiting. “Thank you for showing up again.” I said, puckering my lips. “I shall never leave nor forsake you, wombie.” She puckered right back, before swiping a finger down my lips and ducking back when I grabbed it. “That is unless I find a brother blacker than eleven fifty-nine pm to eat my box with as much vigor as Winston ate yours!” With her hand still in my grasp, I pulled the pillow from under my head and challenged her to a pillow fight, which ended all of five minutes later when we passed out, wrapped in a twinly embrace.