Sweet Vi was a peach. Not a real peach - she knew that - although her cousins' cousins had cousins who had grown up right next to the Freestones, a well-bred Georgia family with good roots. Vi's parents told her she was a peach, and they meant it as a compliment, but she wanted more. Her flesh was whiter than white, and Sweet Vi craved diversity.
Sure, she had self-esteem. Sure, she admired the Freestone girls with their peaches-and-cream complexion and fine, soft fuzz. Their dimples. Still, she knew there was more to a round, firm life than what she saw every day. She'd heard stories. Stories of families, each one redder than the next, their blood orange, not clear. They had good roots,too. Their stock was strong. They were folks people called "fruits," skins taut and warm in the sunshine, and she longed to know them up-close. Her friends told her they were seedy. Warm-weather friends, they'd warned her, but it was always pretty warm in her part of Georgia.
There were others. Those whose clove dared not speak its own name. "They smell funny," Vi's sister had said, without irony. Vi had heard that they were related, way, way back, and she yearned to make a connection with her pungent kin.
And ...those guys from across the border ... Sweet Vi tingled at the thought of them. Her mother warned her - Vidalia, you will get burned! - but she was willing to take that risk. She couldn't be sweet her whole life! There was more to her than that! She had layers that no one could see. Sure, they might all look like the one before, but no one had really gotten beneath her thin, papery skin before.
Maybe it was fate,or maybe just serendipity. With these thoughts of color and variety swirling and twirling in her head she saw The Sign. It was meant to be!
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