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“Do you think we’re a little early? Maybe we shouldn’t have asked dad to drop us,” Shauna said uncertainly, shifting her knapsack from one shoulder to another. She looked cool and casual in a wine crop top, white Guess jeans and wine-colored timberlands. Her braids were let loose on her shoulder.
Shanice wore a black and white stretch dress and her feet were hidden in black thick soled shoes. They crossed the street and entered a bungalow on the other side. A cheery girl lay stretched on a deck chair on the porch.
“Shan! Shauna! You’re so early!” she exclaimed getting up.
Shauna gave her sister an “I told you so” look and then gave the girl on the porch a big hug.
“It’s great to see you, Nana. Wow, it’s only been a few days and your waist is trimmer.”
The girl laughed and glanced down at her figure. She was curvy and on a perpetual diet so the twins liked to acknowledge her efforts and progress. The three of them had known each other since kindergarten, so she was one of their closest friends. As soon as they got home from boarding school, Nana said she was having a little luncheon. They were expecting four other friends, people they’d known since junior secondary school but hadn’t seen in a while. Shanice dropped into a chair and crossed her legs. Looking at Shanice’s perfectly formed legs made Shauna wistful, she had thin lanky legs and she felt she could never pull off dresses the way Shan did. Shanice also carried herself in a feminine way that Shauna simply couldn’t. The three girls eventually went inside and just hang around for a while, listening to music and making phone calls. Shauna buried herself in a pile of FRESH, WORD UP and SEVENTEEN magazines, trying to update her knowledge of the music world and searching for posters.
“Shauna, hey, get up, they’re here. I think they’re all here. I think they came together,” called Shan, her inquiring eyes peeping through a window. Shauna hoisted herself up and went to join her sister. Four teenagers were walking towards the house, talking and laughing.
“Is that Kwesi? Gee, he looks fine!” exclaimed Shauna.
“A year ago, they were just nerdy, boring guys in our class,” added Nana.
It was true, every mate of theirs had changed. Whether it was for the better or not, the twins couldn’t tell. The four newcomers entered the room and a whole lot of laughing and shouting went on. Nana thanked her stars that she was home alone.
Kwesi and Paa Kow (P.K.) were both at Achimota and Nicky was at Mfantsipimn. Of the three, Kwesi had changed the most. What the twins remembered of him was a thin shy boy who wore shorts that could fit two people. Now he was much bigger and taller, wearing a Nautica t-shirt and CK deep blue jeans. P.K and Nicky looked very much the same, except that it was the first time they had seen P.K in anything but shorts. The girl with them was Serwa, another mate of theirs. And she was the one who turned heads at that moment. In school, Serwa was a teacher’s pet who wore her hair in pigtails all the time and wore boring black sandals every day. Now the girl had a low curly crop with a strand of hair stuck to each side of her face. She wore a stripped long dress and Doc Martin shoes.
“Hi, Shan, Shauna. I can’t believe it’s almost a year since I last saw you.”
Shauna rolled her eyes at Serwa’s remark. She had never liked the girl, and the most annoying thing was she was clinging to Kwesi. It was a fun reunion all the same. Hugs were exchanged and they all sat in Nana’s room, talking and catching up on news. Kwesi and Serwa were officially ‘seeing’ each other as they put it.
“But she’s immature,” Shauna whispered to Shanice.
“Trust me, so is he,” Shan replied in a low tone.
“I bet all they do is hold hands,” Shauna whispered again.
Shan giggled and nudged her sister to shut up.
“Hey, guys, Keshia’s here!” Nana announced from the hallway.
Shauna scrambled to her feet and raced out. Next to Shanice, Keshia was her best friend. Surprisingly, they had still remained friends even after Keshia transferred from their junior secondary school to G.I.S. in form two. Keshia Carmen was mixed, although she looked completely white. Her father was half Italian, half American and her mother was Ghanaian. Keshia was leaning casually against the front door, running her fingers through her jet black hair. And as usual she looked incredibly fly. She was wearing a brown suede midriff top, brown leather skirt and brown thick soled shoes which added two inches to her height.
“Shauna, hey, I love your braids,” she said smiling.
“You look great too,” Shauna said giving her a big hug.
Nana left them and went to her room. Keshia slid into a chair and slung one slender leg over the another.
“Seems boring here,” she said dryly.
“Yeah, kinda. Kwesi and Serwa are going out.”
“I heard about it. Can you imagine those two making out?” Keshia said laughing.
Shauna sat in the sofa and laid her head back, smiling. She lifted her head and looked at Keshia.
“Let’s get out of here. Go somewhere,” Shauna said.
“Grey’s place. He’ll be home, right?”
Grey Kumi-Amoako was Keshia’s boyfriend and Damon’s mate at G.I.S. Grey and Keshia had been going out for over six months and the two seemed pretty close. Grey was a pretty cool guy but sometimes he was just as arrogant as Damon. Keshia checked her watch and smiled.
“Yeah, sure. I just hope he doesn’t have a whole bunch of friends over,” she murmured pulling herself up.
Shauna followed suit, laughing.
“I hope he does have some friends over!”
They told the others they were leaving and then took a taxi to a gated community at Cantonments. One thing about Grey was that he was rich, at least his parents were. There were several cars in the driveway, one was Grey’s Sportage.
“He does have friends over,” Keshia stated dryly.
“Hey, babe, I’ve missed you,” Grey leaned over and kissed Keshia swiftly on the mouth.
She pulled away and scowled.
“You saw me yesterday,” an irritated look crossed her face and she walked past him into the house. Grey shrugged and forced a smile for Shauna’s sake.
“Hi, Shauna. I love your braids.”
“Thanks,” she punched him playfully on the chest.
Grey and Shauna were good friends and she liked him a lot. Sometimes she didn’t like the way Keshia treated him. Keshia liked to have the upper hand in everything. There were three people in the TV room, two boys and one girl. Two of them were from G.I.S. and one was at Mfantsipim, a boy Shauna knew quite well. Keshia ignored Grey totally and launched into a hearty talk with the girl, Samantha. Grey and the G.I.S. boy, Annor, continued their game of cards and Shauna found herself in the company of the Mfantsipim boy, Nii Ayi.
“Hi. You’re at Gey Hey, right?” he asked, staring at her.
“Yeah. You’ve been visiting Kafui, your girlfriend, right?” she asked a question of her own.
The boy laughed and shifted in the sofa.
“Yes and no. I have been visiting Kafui but she’s my ex-girlfriend.”
Shauna raised an eyebrow, “Oh. What happened?”
He shrugged and toyed with a cushion.
“The usual mistrust thing,” he said indifferently.
He must have wanted a comeback then, Shauna thought, ‘cos he was there every Saturday.
“What’s your name?” he asked, breaking into her thoughts.
“Shauna. Yeah, I know it sounds like sauna, but trust me, I’m not a masseur.”
Nii Ayi laughed and continued staring at her. She stared back, hating the uncomfortable feeling she felt. He wasn’t cute or handsome, just good looking in his own way. He was fair, skinny and had a small mouth. He appeared to be a little less than six feet tall.
All of a sudden, Shauna felt like having a fling with this boy. Nothing serious, harmless, no strings attached. It had been seven months since she last had anything to do with a boy. And she didn’t feel like making friends anymore; she felt like having fun. What was wrong with that? They talked for a long while and Shauna didn’t even notice it when Keshia and Grey excused themselves. It was just Samantha and Annor left in the room with Shauna and Nii Ayi.
Finally, Nii Ayi said he had to go home and asked her to come and see him off. It was nice walking with him but he wasn’t much of a talker. He lived up the road, a bit of a distance but she didn’t mind walking.
“Do you want to come in?” he asked when they got to his gate.
Shauna shook her head,” No, thanks. I really have to get back. I’m supposed to meet my sister for lunch somewhere.”
” Your twin sister,” he said.
Shauna couldn’t tell if it was a question or a statement so she didn’t answer.
“Okay, then I’ll walk you halfway back,” he said.
So they turned and started walking again.
“If you don’t mind me asking, are you seeing anyone?” he broke the silence.
He wasn’t a talker, but he definitely seemed to like asking questions.
“Nobody,” she replied dryly.
“So nobody’s going to hunt me down with a gun if I ask you to go watch a film with me?”
It was her turn to laugh and she looked at him from the corner of her eye. What was he up to?
“It depends,” she said mischievously.
He frowned a little,” On what?”
“You haven’t asked me,” she said flatly.
Nii Ayi grinned and dug his hands into his pockets.
“They’re showing The Fifth Element at Cinemax, would you go with me?”
”No,” she said flatly again.
His grin vanished instantly, and he frowned, then he had on a puzzled look.
”No reasons given?” he inquired. It was the least he could do.
Shauna stopped and turned to face him. She was definitely going to have a fling with him but it would be in her own good time and at her own pace.
“No reasons given. I’ll see you around, Nii Ayi.”
With that she turned around and strode away, hoping she didn’t look clumsy. A few meters away she looked back. He was still standing there and his steady gaze made her stumble. Shauna swore under her breath and Nii Ayi smiled knowingly to himself.