Basic Reality – Chapter 1

Basic Reality; by Boakyewaa Glover; Chapter 1

Click link above for downloadable PDF version. See below for full chapter.

School was out! And it felt good, no, it felt like heaven! Shauna let out an excited whoop as she dropped onto her soft bouncy bed.

“Let my life begin!” she yelled and closed her eyes, drinking in the sounds of home. And noisy as it was, it was still music to her ears. Her little brother was downstairs playing nintendo with his friends; her older brother was playing hip-hop music in his room across the hall and her twin sister had already began arguing with their oldest brother. Shauna shook her head and got up from the bed. Shanice was so difficult and yet Shan was older than her by five minutes. A few moments later, Shan entered their room, a frown on her dark face.

“Can you believe it? Lamond was responsible for us coming home in that truck!” she said angrily. Shauna shrugged and changed from her school outing dress into something more comfortable and homier.

“You don’t care? It was horrible! Our friends probably laughed at us,” a look of pure shock crossed Shan’s face. She dropped onto her own bed and stared glumly at the ceiling.

“It’s sad to be poor,” she murmured and rolled onto her stomach.

Shauna rolled her eyes and stared at her sister.

“We’re not poor. So fine, dad isn’t filthy rich but we all go to good schools and we have a roof over our heads,” she countered as she ran disapproving fingers through her afro. Shan stopped complaining and went to stand by her sister infront of the mirror.

“We’ve got to do something about our hair fast. Then we have to plan how to spend our eight beautiful weeks,” Shan said purposefully. Shauna smiled and draped an arm around Shan’s shoulders.

It was going to be a wild summer!

Shanice and Shauna Tate were sixteen-year-old twins. Their father was Jamaican, and a Real Estate developer and their mother was half Ghanaian, half American. The twins had lived in Ghana all their lives. Before the twins were born, their parents lived in the US and only moved to Ghana because their mother inherited some property and their father decided the family could remain and grow their real estate portfolio. When the twins were just six years old, their mother left them and no one had no idea where she was or could be. They all suspected that Ghana was too hard for her. She was born in the US and lived there all her life so moving to Ghana was a challenge for her. The twins didn’t remember much from that time, but their older brothers remembered the constant complaints and the fights. Their mom was never happy, and a few years after the last baby was born, she simply left, likely back to the US but none of their family and friends there knew where she was. Her dad filed a missing persons report after a few years but nothing came of it.

Aiden Tate remained in Ghana with his five children, and never remarried. His entire priority was the kids and work. Shanice often said that their dad never remarried because he couldn’t afford it. That wasn’t true because he did pretty well for himself and there was nothing they lacked. Despite their mother’s absence, the kids were pretty well-adjusted.

Lamond Tate was the oldest.  He was twenty years old and in his first year at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST). Damon was eighteen and about to begin upper six at G.I.S. Damon was known as the hot one, the model, the likely to be a star. He was incredibly good-looking, very hip and cool, and girls loved him, and he loved them back. Lamond was more studious and driven, with big plans, and already working to achieve them.  The twins were next.  Shanice and Shauna were identical twins, with very slight differences. Shauna was thin and Shanice was slightly curvy.

Character-wise there were significant differences though.  Shanice was pretty daring, demanding and often in the limelight. She was a girly-girl through and through. Shauna was a tom-boy and highly introverted. She was shy, quiet and secretive.  Despite their differences, they were best friends and in their first year at Wesley Girls’ High School.

Ray rounded up the Tate gang, he was fourteen, and naughty but completely adored by everyone.  The girls thought their father had done well to raise them on his own, but felt he missed the mark with Damon. The pompous rat was unbearable!

The very next day the twins went to get their hair done. Shanice permed her thick afro and cut it into a bob style. Shauna refused to have any type of chemicals in her hair, so she got thick, long braids that she regretted the minute it was done. It too hot and humid to be carrying all that hair! Watching the breeze sweep through Shan’s hair made Shauna want to pick up scissors and cut off every braid. But it was done, and it cost too much and took too long to get it done to simply chop it off. The girls dumped their trunks and boxes into the garage and spent the whole of Sunday rummaging through their closet for suitable future party-wear. Shanice already planned to con her dad into taking them shopping.

“Do you girls intend coming down to eat?”

Ray popped his mischievous head into the girls’ doorway.

Shauna looked up from the Word-Up magazine she was reading, feeling hungry all of a sudden.

“What is it?” she inquired.

Ray stepped inside and eyed the messy room critically. It was obvious his sisters hadn’t changed one bit. They were the same messy girls as before, and yet boarding schools were supposed to make people neat. That was obviously a lie.

“It’s boiled yam; and Damon and I cooked the stew.”

Shauna sat upright and burst into laughter. Jumping up from the bed she pounded her fists on the internal bathroom door.

“Shan! Get out of there.”

The door opened and an angry looking Shanice stepped out. “What? Did Dad buy the Sportage? Are we going to have a decent ride this summer?” she asked tiredly.

“Come on, get real. Damon cooked dinner! Can you imagine that? Damon cooking?” Shauna sang out cheerfully.

Ray shook his head fiercely.

“No, I said…”

He was cut off abruptly as the twins raced past him down the stairs and into the kitchen. Damon stood there stirring corned beef stew in a pan. Shauna winked at Shanice and smiled at her brother.

“Smells delicious. Can I have a taste?”

He beamed and handed her the wooden spoon. Shauna tasted it carefully and then again and again.

“This is delicious. Wow!” she exclaimed.

Damon’ s smile looked as if it was going to stretch across the room. Shanice laughed and took the spoon from her sister.

“It is good, Damon. Your wife is going to love you,” she added to her sister’ s compliments.

“I know,” he said.

Just then Ray entered, yelling at the top of his voice.

“He didn’t cook it! He just helped me by washing the veggies! “

Shanice slid the spoon slowly back into the stew and shook her head at her older brother. Shauna simply laughed and nudged him.

“And you stood while we showered compliments on you,” Shauna laughed.

Damon shrugged,” It was great whilst it lasted. Hey, I’m going to listen to some tapes.”

Shauna rinsed her hands and said,” I’m coming with you.”

The two went into the bedroom he shared with Ray. Damon complained day and night about wanting to have his own room. They all knew it was because Ray had interrupted a steamy necking session before. Yet it was a pretty cool large room. Damon had posters of basketball stars all over his side of the room, and he had wallpapered the entire room himself. Shauna got onto Ray’s bed as Damon slipped a cassette into the player. Hip-hop music filled the whole room and Damon lay back on his bed drumming his fingers on a table. He stared at his sister across the room but Shauna’s eyes were closed and her lips were forming the words of the New Edition’s song. He smiled and increased the volume. They both had the same taste in music.

“So, Shauna, any girl I can go out with from your school?”

She laughed but kept her eyes closed.

“Oh yeah, but I thought you weren’t interested in dating anyone?”

“Past tense. I want a girl now, maybe settle down, go steady.”

Shauna’s eyes flew open and she turned on her side to look at him.

“Are you serious? Actually go steady?” she asked, surprised.

Damon laughed and threw a pillow at her.

“Am I that bad? Come on, let’s go eat, we’ll talk some more later.”

They didn’t talk later because Shanice and Shauna spent hours on the phone talking to friends and planning outings for the week. Shauna went to bed that night, dreaming of the guy who was going to turn her head and make her fall in love, and she was certain she would meet him this summer.