Dinah wipes her face and smiles, “You know, for an old woman, you’re not half bad at playin’ ball.”
“’For an old woman’? Who you callin’ old? I jus’ whipped yo’ ass!”
Dinah dodges Sheri’s attempt at popping her with a towel, “I know, I know. But it’s only because I took it easy on you.” Sheri puts her hands on her hips and Dinah back tracks, “I mean, don’t get me wrong, you’re good and all. You got some skills, but let’s be honest. I could beat you hands down in a running contest.”
“You mean you could beat me in a contest to get a makeup endorsement. Or maybe beat me in makeup application. Or maybe-”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it.”
Dinah cuts her off. “But still, I could beat you runnin’.”
Sheri steps closer, making the distance between them a very sexually charged 2 inches, “You think so?”
Dinah meets her gaze, “No. I know so.”
Sheri tosses her towel on the nearest chair, “One end to the other, dead run, winner gets….” She turns to the other woman for an acceptable prize.
Dinah smiles a wicked smile, “Winner gets to pick a restaurant and loser gets to pay.”
“You have a deal.” Sheri sticks out her hand to seal the deal. When their hands touch, both women feel what they’ve felt hundreds of times prior, but would never acknowledge…at least, not sober. The electricity could light up a city.
“Deal. I’ll even let you count us off.” Dinah gets into position and focuses on the stretch of court before her. Win or lose, I still win. There’s no losin’ in this race.
Sheri turns her attention to the trek ahead and counts, “One. Two. Three.”
“Wow, that was great. I have never eaten that much in my life. Well, alright, there was this one time at Thanksgiving about 7 years ago. But that doesn’t count because it wasn’t nearly this good.”
Dinah smiles and washes down her last bite with a drink. “I know it. I’m glad you like this place. I do, too. Ugh, I am so full I could do something completely un-ladylike.”
“Like burp really loud. Or unbutton my jeans.” Sheri says, chuckling at herself.
“Try layin’ down in the booth and moaning. Maybe they’ll think you have food poisonin’ and they’ll give us the meal for free.”
Sheri laughs at the idea of her putting on a show and getting food for free. “I think we’ll just have to take the check. I’m not a good actress.”
Dinah’s voice lowers a little, “I didn’t think I was good actress, either. But then I came here.”
Confused, Sheri can’t help but ask, “What do you mean?”
Dinah’s attention shifts quickly to Sheri’s face, studying the woman’s features a moment before answering. She holds Sheri’s eyes captive with her own, “I thought I had myself all figured out. My life was one neat little package. Wrapped up in a bow and decorated with my lipstick. Then I came here…I started playing on this team. I met you. And now, I don’t know myself anymore. The bow’s come undone and the lipstick doesn’t hold as well anymore.”
Sheri, not wanting to read anything into what Dinah’s saying, but eager to get more out of her, shifts in her seat and inches closer, leaning over the table, “So you’re pretending to be something you’re not? Are you pretending that you’re my friend? That you want to be here in Houston?”
She chooses her words carefully, “No, Sheri. There are other things I pretend to be, but being your friend is not one of them. I can’t imagine any other place on the planet I’d want to be right now than right here.”
The waiter approaches with their tab and lays it face down between them. Both pairs of eyes fall onto that little piece of paper. One pair belonging to a woman glad she won the opportunity to be here with the woman she’s secretly fallen in love with. The other not minding that she lost to the woman she secretly loves just because she could be closer to her.
“Me either, D.” Sheri smiles and picks up the check.