For disclaimers see chapter 1
"Oh, it smells nice in here," Emma greeted Kyra when she walked into the kitchen after Simon had opened the door and let her in.
Kyra looked up from cutting vegetables and shot her guest a welcoming smile. Emma looked nice, her brain quickly registered. She must have gone home and changed. The teacher was wearing a pair of dark green slacks and a cream colored top. She looked freshly scrubbed and even with the enticing scents wafting up from the stove, Kyra could detect a hint of perfume that reminded her of a warm, summer evening.
"I hope youll like it," she said, turning her attention back to the cutting board. "Its nothing really special. Just a stew with chicken, potatoes and a lot of different spices."
"Mmm... I can smell garlic, oregano... curry and, is that cumin? Emma sniffed with appreciation.
"Yes, it is," Kyra laughed delightedly, seeing the genuine interest in her friends face. "You have a good nose."
"Thats what my mom used to say," Emma grinned. "I could smell her freshly baked apple pie a mile away. Always made me rush home."
"Im a sucker for apple pie," Kyra confessed, expertly slicing some potatoes. "Especially when it comes with vanilla ice cream."
"Oh, yeah," Emma groaned and they both laughed.
"Can I help?" the school teacher asked, putting a bottle of wine on the kitchen counter.
"No, Im about done here, but thanks. You shouldnt have done that, Emma," Kyra remarked, eyeing the bottle of wine. "I said you didnt have to bring anything."
"But I wanted to," Emma simply explained.
"Thank you," Kyra smiled. "In that case, there is an opener in the top drawer on your right. You could open the bottle now. Oh, Italian Chardonnay, a 1999 Bussiador, good choice," she commented, concentrating on the sharp knife in her hand, missing the startled look from Emma.
"I guess you know your wines," the teacher dryly remarked, pulling open the drawer and finding the opener.
Kyra chuckled and dumped the sliced potatoes into the fragrant stew, quickly putting the lid back on to keep the moisture inside the pan.
"I guess I havent told you yet, but... um... my dad is a chef. Right now hes not really working in the kitchen anymore, but he did teach Jasper and me a thing or two about cooking and wine."
"I bet," Emma answered, uncorking the bottle with a sophisticated plop and looking at Kyra with a raised eyebrow.
"Behind you," Kyra smirked, understanding the unspoken question.
Emma turned around to find a cupboard that held a variety of glasses, she grabbed two long stemmed wine glasses and started to pour the chilled wine. She offered Kyra one and silently raised her glass.
"To... friendship," she softly spoke.
For a moment Kyra looked startled, but then her dark green eyes started sparkling and she raised her own glass.
"To friendship," she repeated in a happy voice, before taking a sip and humming in delight.
"Nice and fruity," she remarked. "Thank you Emma."
"Youre most welcome," Emma graciously replied. "Hows the headache?"
"A lot better, thanks. Today was... draining, but knowing the weekend was just around the corner made it a lot better."
And knowing I would see you tonight made it just great.
"Im glad to hear that, Emma replied, leaning against the kitchen counter and studying her friends face. Kyra was still looking tired and pale, but at least the sparkle had returned to those beautiful eyes, making her look a lot more lively than she did that morning.
Involuntarily Emmas thoughts went back to the conversation she had with her sister and she could still hear Hesters sincere voice echoing in the back of her mind.
"I know its still a few weeks away, but if you want to ask your friend to come to our party, she and her son are most welcome."
Blue eyes regarded the curly haired woman with a wistful, pensive expression and Emma just wished she knew how to invite her new friend to her sisters anniversary party, without coming across like she was being too bold or pushy.
She let out a deep sigh and decided to see how their friendship would develop in the hours to come. She could still ask Kyra later. Besides, after getting to know each other better, Kyra might not even be interested in a party hosted by Emmas sister. Right?
Like the first time, dinner was comfortable and relaxed. Simon was chattering away, obviously thoroughly enjoying the attention he got from both his mother and his favorite teacher. When it was time for him to finally go to bed, he did pout for a moment, but a stern look from Kyra made him change his mind.
He sheepishly said goodnight and disappeared to his bedroom, after his mother had promised him to come up in a few minutes, tuck him in and read a little story.
Kyra emptied her second glass of wine and shot Emma an apologetic look before pushing back her chair and getting to her feet.
"I usually read him a story," she smiled ruefully. "I should be back within fifteen minutes or so. Why dont you make yourself comfortable on the couch or something?"
"Nope," Emma decided, pushing back her own chair and jumping up. "Ill clear the table and clean up the kitchen. I could even make you some tea," she suggested with an impish smile.
"Emma! You dont have to do that. Youre my guest and I... ."
"You cooked, and Ill clean up," Emma interrupted with a look that was close to unyielding and Kyra grinned.
"Okay, okay," she said, holding up both her hands in surrender. "Knock yourself out and yes, I would like some tea."
"Great, Im glad we understand one another," Emma gently teased. "Now, go read your son a story. By the time youll be back, Ill be done."
Kyra smiled and walked towards the hallway, not able to resist poking out her tongue at the teacher, who of course noted that rebellious gesture and playfully shook her finger.
"Careful, Kyra Hartman," she warned with a twinkle in her eye. "Or Ill have to make you stay after school."
Kyra shook her head and just laughed, but before she disappeared from the room, Emmas melodious voice stopped her.
"Yeah?" she responded, peering around the door and casting Emma an inquisitive look.
"Thanks for dinner," Emma smiled. "That was wonderful."
"Anytime," Kyra softly answered, feeling her heart skip a beat.
She hid her blush by making a hasty retreat and quickly walked up the stairs to Simons bedroom.
"Im positively stuffed," Emma groaned, shifting in the huge couch to make herself more comfortable. "That was one of the best stews I ever had. You will need to write down the recipe, so I can try and make it myself one day... .or have my Mom make it," she added with a chuckle.
"Its easy," Kyra answered, sipping her tea. "But Ill write it down for you. Do you have an email address?"
"As a matter of fact, I do," Emma answered. "My nieces and nephews have been pestering me about that before I left and somehow forced me into opening an email account at Yahoo."
"Dont tell me you are a computer illiterate," Kyra joked. "Somehow you dont seem to be the type."
"Oh, Im not," Emma answered with a smile. "I know enough about computers to work with them and of course I had an email addy at work, its just that... I used to live close to my family and there wasnt really a need to email each other." Emma took a swallow of her tea and shrugged her shoulders. "I guess its different now."
Kyra studied the face of the teacher and detected a shadow of hurt in the expressive blue eyes.
"You miss them," she calmly concluded.
For a split second the blue eyes widened, but then Emma cast down her eyes and sighed.
"I do," she admitted. "Its not easy to... start over, far away from my family. But Im sure Ill manage and besides, I have found a friend in you... and Simon," she added with a smile, not wanting to leave the little boy out. "Im grateful for that."
"So am I," Kyra softly answered, catching Emmas eyes and holding them for a breathless moment, before glancing down at the fragrant steam that was rising up from her mug of tea.
Okay, go for it, Em. Its now or never.
"Um... I... um... wanted to ask you something," Emma started, rubbing the back of her neck in nervous gesture. "The day before Easter, my sister, Hester and her husband David will throw a party. Its their wedding anniversary, twelve and a half years," she added with a slightly nervous chuckle. "Anyway, it will be Easter, so the school will be closed for two weeks and... um... I was wondering if... if... Hester said I could bring a friend and I think Simon would really like it on my dads farm, so... if you want to come... I... um... you know, maybe for a few days or so."
Emma! Idiot! Can you act any more like an incoherent, stuttering adolescent? Geez, woman, you face rowdy groups of kids for a living, heck, you grew up in a rowdy family. Get a grip and act your age, before Kyra thinks you need speech lessons.
At first Kyra had listened to her friend while a tiny frown creased her forehead, but then a smile had crept up her face and her eyes twinkled when she looked at the obviously uncomfortable Emma.
"So, youre asking me if you can take Simon with you?" Kyra deadpanned, seeing the startled blue eyes widen.
"No! Yes! I mean... no, not just Simon, the both of you," Emma hurried to explain, oblivious to the mischievous look in a pair of dark green eyes.
A little vacation, up North, on a farm? With Emma? Kyra determinedly pushed away all the questions and doubts that rang all sorts of warning bells in the back of her mind and decided to take a chance on something potentially good. And interesting. Very interesting.
"Wed love to," she answered with a warm smile, seeing the insecurity on Emmas face melt away and be replaced by something that could only described as relief.
"Great! Youll like it, Im sure. My parents have this little two bedroom house on their property, just behind the main building, my grandparents used to live there after they retired. And Ive lived there myself for a while. You and Simon can stay there if youd like, so you will have your privacy and can retreat when my family becomes too much to handle," she added with a chuckle.
"Oh, right, the family," Kyra repeated while her heart suddenly fluttered. "Um... can you tell me a little bit about them? Id like to come prepared," she joked.
Emma sipped her tea and stared at her friend over the rim of the tea cup. Kyras hair was cascading down her shoulders and now and then she impatiently pushed back some rebellious curls to keep them out of her face. She still looked drained and tired, Emma decided, but there was something else as well, a light in those deep green eyes that lit up her face in a happy glow.
Emma swallowed and quickly cast down her eyes when she realized she was staring and saw the green depths she had been studying looking back at her with barely veiled curiosity.
"Um... Hester is my eldest sister," she started, her voice a little husky and she quickly cleared her throat. "Shes married to David Jansen and they have three children: Christian, who is eleven, Marianne, who is nine and Peter, who is seven. Everybody always says that Hester and I look so much alike, we could have been twins." Emma chuckled and her blue eyes sparkled with amusement. "Of course Hester loves it when people say things like that, because shes ten years my senior. Ive to admit though, we do look alike, even though Hesters hair is long and mine is short."
"She must be a beautiful woman then," Kyra impulsively spoke, seeing the surprise in Emmas eyes.
I cant believe I said that, Kyra inwardly groaned.
"Thank you," Emma softly answered, looking slightly bewildered, but then her sense of humor kicked back in and she laughed.
"You should have seen your face. You surprised yourself by saying that, didnt you?"
Kyra shrugged her shoulders and sheepishly grinned.
"I did," she admitted. "But its the truth though. You are very... good-looking and the color of your hair is really gorgeous. So, its just an observation I made," she ended, chuckling when she saw Emma blush.
Emma rubbed her cheeks and had to laugh about her own embarrassment. She never really paid much attention to her appearance. Of course she liked to wear nice clothes and she always made sure she looked as neat as possible, but she never really considered if other people found her attractive. But Kyras honest remark about her looks had made her heart skip a few beats and she had to admit to herself she really liked the fact that her friend thought she was good-looking.
"Youre pretty straightforward, arent you?" Emma finally replied, when her cheeks had returned to their usual color.
"I can be," Kyra admitted. "In my line of work I deal with a lot of people who often need a lot of my time, so in order to keep my sanity I usually have to cut the chase and get to the point. Things work out better that way, and a lot faster," she dryly stated.
"But thats work," Emma pensively answered. "I... of course I dont want to pretend I really know you, but I sometimes detect some... insecurities and I cant help wondering why a woman like you, who looks so sophisticated and sure of herself, can also be so much like a little girl, afraid of being punished."
Emmas words had been spoken gently and with a lot of empathy, but they still hit Kyra unexpectedly and she involuntarily sucked in a breath and tightened the grip around her tea cup.
Her heart hammered in her chest and for a moment she felt like jumping up and running out of the door, away from those kind blue eyes that seemed to look straight into her soul.
But Kyra did not move. She just sat in her big recliner, looking at her hands while a deep crease was edged into her forehead. Finally, after a long silence in which only the ticking of the clock could be heard, she raised her eyes to meet Emmas, who looked at her with a mixture of sadness, curiosity and... tenderness?
"Maybe because part of me still is that little girl," Kyra confessed, her voice hoarse with emotion.
"Did your mother hurt you that bad?" Emma softly asked, accurately pinpointing the core of the problem.
The teacher had to control the anger she felt rising within her chest when she saw her friend cringe and slowly nod her head. She did not understand how a parent could hurt a child so much that it inflicted such deep wounds.
Im so blessed with my mom and dad, Emma realized with a feeling of deep gratitude. There has always been so much love, comfort and acceptance in my family and Ive almost taken it for granted.
"I told you we have a difficult relationship," Kyra softly spoke, referring to the conversation they had on the first day they had met. "My mother is not a nice person," she continued with a sigh. "I know thats not a friendly thing to say, especially about ones mother, but its the truth."
Kyra leaned forward in her chair to place her empty cup on the coffee table and sent Emma a shy smile.
"I know Im good at what I do at work," she continued. "I know my stuff and I feel confident and in total control. But when it comes to... personal relationships and emotions, its a totally different ball game. My mother always made sure to wreck any friendships I had, unless she approved of my friends, of course," she added with a touch of bitterness. "So, in the end I never bothered anymore. I mean, what was the use?"
"I stayed at home a lot and just focused on my school. I lived for the vacations, because Jazz and I visited our dad then. Those were the highlights of my youth, I guess. My dad always made us feel loved and wanted, while mother, well, she never failed to remind us we were a huge burden to her frail emotional state. I look a lot like my dad and that frustrated her as well, I think. Anyway, I could never do anything right. I never got complimented on my academic achievements. She constantly put me down. Nothing I did was right and when I tried to argue with her she immediately made sure to complain about her being the victim of a nasty divorce, always reminding me of how unfair my dad had treated her and how much she had to suffer."
Emma was silent for a moment and looked at the pensive eyes of her friend. She had briefly met Vivian LeJeune that Wednesday when she had picked up Simon from school and she had to admit her first impression of the woman was not a good one. Kyras mother seemed to be very distant, cold and almost arrogant. Her cool gray eyes had studied Emma for a moment or two and with a subtle raise of her eyebrows she had dismissed the teacher.
"I dont want to pry, Kyra," Emma carefully worded. "But what was it your dad did that was so terrible that she made you pay for it? Because it sounds to me like she did."
"My dads parents were friends of my mothers parents, so they practically grew up together," Kyra answered. "They were good friends and everybody just assumed that when the time was right, they would marry each other. And they did."
Kyra took the teapot from the holder on the table and filled Emmas and her cup with the steaming liquid again.
"They were both still young, in their early twenties. My grandfather owned a hotel in Amsterdam and my dad worked in the kitchen as a chef, like his father had done before him. When my mother was pregnant with me, he met Albert Mendez, a young Aruban who came to work in the hotel as a dancer. They became friends. Good friends," Kyra added with a smile. "Albert was gay and I dont think he even knew what a closet was, he was so out. Anyway, he confused the heck out of my dad and as the years passed, well, my dad could not longer fight his own orientation and finally, after about seven years of struggling, he admitted to himself he was gay."
Kyras eyes stared at a point at the coffee table and again she relived that moment when she and Jasper had come home from school, to find their father crying, while their mother had stood near the window, staring outside, her shoulders squared and her back rigid. A suitcase had been standing near the door.
As soon as they had entered the room her mother had coolly ordered their father to say goodbye to his children and leave. Kyra had never been so scared in her life. The man who had always been her best friend and hero was crying uncontrollably and holding his son and daughter like it would be the last time ever.
His red rimmed green eyes, so much like Kyras had looked at them pleadingly and in a broken voice he had asked his children to be good, to look after their mother and each other. And to forgive him.
Kyra could still remember how badly her father had been shaking. He had hugged them one more time and then he had jumped up, grabbed the suitcase and left the house, leaving two crying children behind.
As soon as he had left, their mother had turned around and ordered them to go up to their room and stay there until they were called.
Kyra had not understood. She had run towards her mother, looking for a pair of comforting arms, but she was briskly pushed aside and told to immediately go to her room.
Kyra let out a shuddering breath and when her eyes slowly traveled to Emmas face, she saw the teacher looking at her with compassionate, moist eyes.
"What?" she softly asked.
Emma mustered up a small smile and slowly shook her head in disbelief.
"Youre crying and youre not even aware of that?" she gently asked.
Only then Kyra became conscious of the moist tracks on her cheeks and impatiently she wiped them dry with the back of her hand.
"Duh," she breathed with a quivering voice. "Sorry."
Emma could no longer control the urge to comfort the other woman. She stood up from the couch and stepped towards Kyras chair, kneeling next to it and putting a comforting hand on the dark haired womans knee.
"Please, Kyra, dont ever apologize for crying. Theres no need to do that."
"I... I dont think I have ever cried in front of anyone else anymore, not after dad left that day," Kyra confessed, instinctively reaching out and grabbing Emmas hand in a silent request for reassurance, which was wholeheartedly granted when Emma covered the clammy hand with her own and gently squeezed it.
"The pictures I see on the bookshelf tell me he did not disappear out of your life though," Emma remarked, seeing a tentative smile on Kyras face.
"No, he didnt," she answered. "Mother filed for a divorce and was given custody. We saw our dad every other weekend and during the school vacations. That kept me sane."
Emmas heart went out to the young Kyra, who had already been through so much pain, at such a young age. The professional in her was tempted to coax Kyra into sharing more of her story, because she felt it would be a good thing for her friend to talk about it, while the friend in her just wanted to wrap her arms around Kyra, pull her close and chase the demons away.
"Ive never had a friend like you," Kyra timidly confessed, looking down at their clasped hands.
"Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" Emma gently teased, nudging Kyras arm with her shoulder.
"A good thing," Kyra immediately smiled, raising her eyes to meet Emmas, already knowing her heart would skip a beat as soon as she looked into their blue depths.
For a long moment the two women just stared at each other, both lost in the sensation of being granted a look into another persons soul. Kyra felt like she had been lost in a dark, cold forest for a long time, finally reaching a house and peering inside to see only warmth and kindness being reflected to her. It increased her desire to step inside and be part of the affection and gentleness.
"You didnt seem shocked to hear about my dad," she finally whispered, feeling her heart rate pick up again when Emmas smile lit up the blue depths with sparkling lights.
Time for a little revelation, Emma Altena. What do you think she will do? Gracefully retreat or go forward with what we are developing here? Id like to put my money on the latter...
Emma moistened her suddenly dry lips and slowly shook her head.
"Because I wasnt," she truthfully answered. "Of course I could tell you that in my line of work I meet gay parents as well and I do have some notion about the difficulties they face, especially after theyve been married before. But that wouldnt be the main reason why I wasnt shocked."
"It wouldnt?" Kyra whispered, swallowing hard when Emma shook her head and already suspecting what Emma was going to tell her.
"No, Kyra. I wasnt shocked because Im gay as well."
Even though she felt pretty confident that Kyra would not jump up and throw her out of her house, Emma still could not prevent herself from casting down her eyes and practically holding her breath until her friend would respond. The only thing she was aware of was the tightening of Kyras fingers around her own, which of course could have been caused by shock.
She missed the startled look in Kyras eyes, which was soon replaced by a mixture of quiet wonder and amusement.
"Are you now?" Kyra drawled and if Emma had not been slightly nervous all of a sudden, she would have heard the undertone of gentle teasing. "Look at me, Emma."
Emmas eyes slowly traveled from their still clasped hands, up Kyras body, towards her face where they finally met a pair of gentle, dark green eyes.
"I dont care. I like you. A lot. You dont have to be afraid that Im one of those women who think every lesbian they meet is trying to make a pass at them. Unless... " Kyras eyes sparkled. "Are you?"
"What? Am I what?" Emma asked confused.
"Are you coming on to me?"
Emmas eyes widened and she would have pulled away her hands if Kyra would not have held them tight between her own.
"Am I coming on to you?" she repeated.
I just wish...
"No! God, no. I hope I didnt give that impress... "
"Does that mean Im not attractive?" Kyra asked with a little pout and only then Emma noticed the amused sparkle in her friends eyes.
"You little sneak," she breathed, chuckling when Kyra threw back her head and laughed out loud. "I cant believe I fell into that. Goodness, for a moment I thought you were being serious."
Emmas eyes softened when she looked at her friends smile and she decided that a little payback would not hurt her. Besides, Kyra had asked for it, right?
"But, to answer your question," Emma started slowly, enjoying the look of surprise on Kyras face. "I personally think that you are... very... attractive," she said in a low, sexy voice that sent shivers down Kyras spine.
"Now you are blushing," she added with a grin, earning a playful slap across her shoulder.
"Youre mean," Kyra laughed, feeling the heat almost radiating from her face.
"Oh, I am? And youre not?" Emma smirked.
"I have to confess I was a little mean, yes," Kyra grinned, not aware of the fact that the hand she had used to punch Emmas shoulder was still resting on that very spot. "But that just shows were a good match."
"Yes, we are," Emma smiled.
Time will tell HOW well exactly...
Again their eyes locked and Kyras world stopped for a breathless moment when the deep blue of Emmas eyes held her captive. They were so close that she could see the different shades of indigo that enveloped her like a warm blanket.
Emma could feel her heart hammering in her chest and her mouth went dry when she noticed the intensity of those dark green eyes that were speckled with little stars of gold and gray. She had to force herself not to let her gaze drift down to a pair of soft looking lips. It would be so easy to lose herself in the moment, to cross the small distance between them and taste those lips in a searing kiss. But even though a little part of her was positive Kyra would not run screaming, common sense held her hormones in check by telling her that risking their budding friendship would be insane. So Emma just sat there, on her knees next to Kyras chair, losing herself in the sensual warmth of a pair of dark green eyes, that, to her astonishment seemed to come closer and closer.
Kyra could not help herself. Her world only seemed to exist of a warm, blue gaze that pulled her closer like a magnet. Not able to heed the alarm bells in the back of her mind, her hand on Emmas shoulder tightened its grip to support her when she leaned closer to those mesmerizing eyes that had taken on a darker shade of blue.
What are you doing, Kyra? Her mind practically yelled at her.
I dont know, but it feels so good, a rebellious voice answered and she moistened her lips, vaguely noticing the hitch in Emmas breathing.
I think I am going to ki...
A piercing sound shattered the silence, violently interrupting a moment of perfect magic. Kyra sucked in some much needed air and reached for the phone, hearing Emma letting out a shuddering breath.
"Kyra Hartman," she breathlessly spoke.
When the person on the other side spoke, Kyra quickly pulled away her hand from Emmas shoulder, pushing back her hair with slightly trembling fingers.
"Hello, Mother," she quietly spoke, not able to look at Emma, who was slowly getting back on her feet to resume her place on the couch.
"You sound like you have been running," Vivian LeJeunes voice sounded disapprovingly.
"I was just... the phone startled me," Kyra softly explained, wondering why she suddenly felt like crying. She cast a look at Emma, who was leaning her head against the back of the couch with her eyes closed. Deep down inside Kyra felt like she had just lost something valuable and she swallowed away the lump in her throat.
Suddenly she became aware of her mothers impatient voice repeating a question she had not heard at all and her grip on the cordless phone tightened.
"Im sorry, what was that?" she asked, wincing when an aggravated sigh was the answer.
"Are you listening to me at all?"
"I was... pre-occupied," Kyra sighed, rubbing her temple where she could feel the beginning of a dull throbbing. "You called at an inconvenient time and Im developing a massive headache, mother."
"Your brother called me this afternoon," Vivian LeJeune continued, completely ignoring her daughters discomfort. "He wants to introduce another girlfriend. Do you know anything about that?"
"Mother," Kyra sighed. "You make it sound like he brings... home... girlfriends all the time. This is the first time Jazz... ."
"His name is Jasper," Vivian LeJeune sharply interrupted. "I dont understand why you always insist on calling him that... that... awful name."
"Its called a nickname, Mother," Kyra explained, seeing a pair of blue eyes open and look at her with a mixture of regret, shame and sadness.
Oh, boy! I need to get rid of my mother and do some damage control.
"But, to answer your question," she continued. "I have not met her yet, but Jazz...Jasper sounds positively happy and to me thats enough."
"Did Jasper tell you where she works?"
"No, he didnt," Kyra sighed. "And frankly, I dont care. My brother is madly in love and I am happy for him. Hell visit Sunday and introduce Elvira and Im sure Ill get to know her better then."
"Her name is Elvira Martina and she works as a counselor in a clinic for drug addicts and alcoholics," Vivian LeJeune spat.
"Mother, you make it sound like she is a chainsaw killer and has little kids for breakfast," Kyra grunted, doing her utmost to remain patient, which was hard, because Emma looked a little lost and for some reason that tugged on Kyras heart. "It sounds to me like she has an interesting job and people who work in that field only deserve the utmost respect and admiration."
"She is from Surinam," Vivian LeJeune spat, throwing her trump card on the table.
"So?" Kyra sighed.
"So?! Kyra! She is black!"
"Mother!!" Kyra answered with a raised voice, feeling the anger rise in her chest. "I dont care if she is black, yellow, green or purple, or even a combination of it all. She is a person. A human being like you and me. I dont want to be subjected to your petty, prejudiced ideas, so if you have nothing constructive to say, Id suggest you put down the damn phone and leave me be!!"
"There is no need to talk to me like that. I am still your mother. I thought I taught you to respect your elders."
"I do. I respect my elders and I respect people who have a different ethnic background than I have. I welcome the diversity. I just wish you would too."
"You cant expect me to lower my standards and... "
"I am hanging up now, Mother," Kyra snapped. "Goodbye."
"Kyra Hartman, dont you dare put down that phone!! I have something to say about that new teacher at school."
To be continued in part 4
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