Need a little advice

Heather drove to the middle school in the pouring rain, the windshield wipers going only slightly faster than her hammering heart.

At this very moment, Adrian Crawford was naked…naked…in the mudroom shower at her house. And unfortunately, she’d seen enough of him uncovered to imagine exactly what (or mostly exactly what) that would look like.

She didn’t know what to do with that thought, so she called Reva.

Reva’s breathless “Hello, hey, Heather. What’s up?” couldn’t compare to Heather’s inability to catch enough oxygen to answer.

“H-h-hey, Reva.” She might have been close to hyperventilating. “I’m on my way to get the kids.”

“What’s wrong? Do you need help?”

“Not help,” she clarified. “Just advice. I need to know what to do next.”

“Okay, shoot.”

“Adrian is naked…probably, I think…in my shower…at this moment.”

Reva made a laughing/choking sound. “And yet you’re on your way to pick up your kids? Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have me pick them up instead and bring them to my house? I’ll be happy to do that, just saying. You could turn the car around and go back right now.”

“No, no.” Heather felt herself blushing, all alone in her car with her fingers clutching the steering wheel and her foot on the gas pedal. “I just need to talk it through with you about what to do once the kids and I get back home.”

Reva laughed. “I don’t know, honey. Unless you want to bring the kids here to spend the night, I’m not sure what to tell you.”

“I’m not bringing my kids to spend the night with you. I invited Adrian to have dinner with us. But…I haven’t done that since…” She felt an unwelcome surge of self-­pitying tears crowd behind her eyeballs like a mob of protesters pushing against a chain-­link barrier. “I don’t know how to act around a man anymore. What am I supposed to do?”

Reva sighed. “Baby girl, all I can tell you is to be yourself. Either he’ll love and accept you the way you are, or he’s not worthy of you. Either way, being yourself, without restraint or apology, will give you the only answer you need.”

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