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“Shauna! Phone call!”
Shauna groaned and got up from bed, dragging herself to her father’s bedroom. Shan was there, on their father’s bed, holding the receiver and smiling.
“Who is it?” Shauna asked sleepily.
“Some guy! There’s actually a guy on the phone for you!” Shan said excitedly.
Shauna took the receiver and dropped onto the bed beside her sister. It was past eleven p.m. and when their father was late from work, Shan hang out in his room, making phone calls. They had phones only in their father’s bedroom and the main living room.
“Hello,” she murmured drowsily.
Shauna sat upright at the sound of the voice. It was Nii Ayi.
“Hi,” she said coolly.
“Did I wake you up or something?” he asked.
When was he going to stop asking questions, she thought.
“Well, yeah, sort of. It’s kind of late.”
“I know, I know. I just wanted to say goodnight. Tough to get access to a phone at my place.”
Shauna’s eyes flew open, sleep disappearing from them. He wanted to what? Gee, boys, did they have to be so corny?
“That’s sweet, Nii,” she said letting her guard down for a while. It was super corny, but also sweet.
“Okay, uhh, so goodnight, sweet dreams and I’ll call you sometime tomorrow. Bye”
Shauna was confused. That was it? He actually called just to say goodnight? She hesitated, what was she supposed to say?
“Same to you. Bye.”
She hung up and lay back on the bed, still confused.
“Come on, who was that?” Shan asked.
“Kafui’s ex-boyfriend? The guy you just met today? Wow. That is fast.”
Shauna nodded and gave her sister a wry smile.
“I like him.”
“Wow!” Shan exclaimed.
Shauna laughed and placed her hand over Shan’s mouth.
“Relax, calm down. It’s not that kind of like. I just want to be around him, for now. He has this thing, made me feel like touching him.”
Shan pried her sister’s hand away from her mouth.
What?!” Shan exclaimed again and pretended to throw up.
“My sister actually wants a guy for his body! You’re supposed to be the level-headed one,” she added.
When Shauna remained silent, Shan kept talking.
“Honestly, sis, what’s up? I’m the one who plays with boys, and you’re the one who goes steady with them,” Shan continued.
“I don’t want to go steady with anyone anymore, Shan. My last relationship was a disaster, you know that. Actually, all my relationships have been flops. These guys just lie to me, they play me all the time. I want it to be different now. I’ll do the playing, they won’t know. I might let them think they have me.”
“That doesn’t sound like you, Shauna, and honestly I don’t think you can pull it off.”
Shauna cocked her head to one side, “Oh watch me, just watch me. Okay, enough about me and my evil plans, tell me about the guy you met today.”
Shauna stretched out on the bed and looked pensively at Shanice.
Shan’s face brightened up, “His name is Nana Osei. He’s at Presec, SS3, and he’s really cool. He looks serious though. The guy was in a shirt and trousers but he still looked fine! I mean fine with a capital F. I couldn’t stop looking at him.”
Shauna laughed,” Are you serious? He was wearing a shirt and trousers and you still liked him?”
“Yep, and this time, I’m doing the chasing. He’s so mature, so different, not like the rough loud guys I normally date.”
“That doesn’t sound like you, Shan,” Shauna said, mimicking her sister’s tone and comments a few moments earlier.
Shan laughed, “I guess we switched tastes!”
Shauna smiled, “I’m definitely going to have a fling with Nii Ayi.”
And they both knew they were going to get what they wanted!
Shauna woke up close to eleven a.m. the next day. She and Shan talked deep into the night and they both slept around four a.m. Shauna wouldn’t have woken up if Keshia hadn’t phoned. She had planned to sleep in all day. Keshia wanted to have lunch at lunch at Paloma, but Shauna declined. There was no way she was going to get up and leave the house within an hour, but she did accept Keshia’s offer of a shopping spree. It was a good thing Keshia was loaded. They hang up a few minutes later and Shauna went to have her bath. She got dressed up, in her usual tomboy outfits, Gap jeans, Gap t-shirt and Shan’s caterpillar boots.
Shan was still lying curled up on her bed when Shauna finished dressing up.
“If you want to play a boy, you have to look provocative,” Shan murmured.
Shauna turned away from the mirror to look at her sister.
“So, you’re up after all. I was just about to check to see if you’re breathing.”
“I am breathing, and I mean what I said. I really hate it when you sag jeans, Shauna.”
Shan jumped off the bed and threw her wardrobe open. She pulled out a white loose top with a low neckline and a black short skirt.
“Try this on. If Nii Ayi sees you in this, he’ll freak out,” said Shan.
Shauna put it on and eyed herself critically in the mirror. She felt so exposed. All the same she kept it on and allowed Shan to do up her hair.
“Ha! This is much better,” Shan declared, a pleased look on her face.
Shauna was skeptical but she managed to mutter thanks. She went downstairs quickly before her sister could take it a step further and paint her face. She had a quick lunch and waited for Keshia to arrive. The doorbell rang and she hurriedly went to open the door.
“Wow, Shauna, what did Shan do to you?” Keshia stood there staring at Shauna in total shock.
Shauna didn’t reply and looked over her friend’s shoulder. Grey and Nii Ayi were in the car. She pulled Keshia inside and slammed the door shut.
“What are they doing here? I thought it would just be us going shopping!” she snapped, shocked to see Nii Ayi.
“Hey, what’s wrong with you? Grey came to pick me to give me a lift here and Nii Ayi was in the car,” Keshia explained, surprised at Shauna’s reaction.
Shauna hadn’t told Keshia of her plans for Nii Ayi and she didn’t feel comfortable enough to see him, not in Shan’s clothes! She wasn’t even prepared to flirt with him. Taking a deep breath, she peered through the window. The boys were still in the car, engaged in a deep conversation. This was bad! She wasn’t ready!
“I’m fine, Keshia, I’ll explain later. Listen, do I look okay? Shan forced me to wear all this and I don’t know. I feel awkward,” she mumbled.
Keshia laughed and shook her head knowingly, “Oh wow, let me guess, you like Nii Ayi,”
Shauna smiled mischievously, “Not quite that.”
“Okay then, you and I really need to talk. But yeah, you look fine, better than fine, better than your usual.”
Shauna gave her friend a hard look. “Seriously? Low blow girl, low blow. Let’s get out of here before I chicken out and go back to bed!”
Her confidence was down to zero when she slipped into the back seat of the Sportage beside Nii Ayi. He gave her a winning smile and she melted.
“Hi,” she said quickly, forcing herself to say something first.
“Hey, I didn’t know you lived here, I’ve been here before.”
Shauna raised an eyebrow and frowned, “Really?”
“Yeah, I dropped my little brother here some time ago, earlier in the year. There was a party going on.”
She nodded, Ray’s birthday party. She wondered what would have happened if she had met him then. Probably nothing. The drive was a mess, Shauna just couldn’t figure out how to flirt with Nii and his composed manner wasn’t helping. He definitely wasn’t going to make the first move and she couldn’t bring herself to do it. It was just painful. Grey dropped the girls at Trinity House and Nii Ayi smiled at Shauna when the car pulled over. He looked really good when he smiled. It got Shauna every single time.
“I guess I’ll see you around, hmm?” he said softly.
His hand lingered on hers for a moment which robbed her of her ability to talk. She merely nodded. Unexpectedly, his head swooped down and claimed her lips. It was short but sweet. As soon as he pulled away, Shauna stumbled out and closed the door, dazed. Nii got out of the backseat as well, to go sit next to Grey. He held her gaze until they drove off and the car disappeared around the corner.
Keshia grabbed Shauna’s arm. “You owe me an explanation, girl.”
Shauna covered her face with her hands, “Yeah, I do.”
The girls decided to shop first and then reserve their much-needed chat for later, over a late afternoon snack. Shauna wasn’t prepared to discuss her plans for Nii Ayi just yet so Keshia decided to go first. It seemed she also had some stuff to share.
“My holiday isn’t turning out to be so great. I’m really getting bored with Grey,” Keshia said.
Shauna almost choked on her coke and she stared at Keshia across the table.
“What? So soon? I thought you were in love.”
Keshia shrugged and fiddled with her burger. Of all the guys she had gone out with, Grey was the only one she had fallen so deep for, but something was missing and she didn’t know what. He was nice and sweet but sometimes he was so predictable. Their conversations were dry now and making out with him had taken on a different level. The only thing that was satisfactory were his ‘bedroom activities.’
Grey was the first guy Keshia slept with and he was special to her. She knew she had to try and salvage their relationship but it was so boring now. She didn’t know how to explain that to Shauna.
“It’s just not the same anymore, Shauna. The last time he said I love you was a month ago.”
“I don’t know what to say because I’m no expert on boys,” Shauna said.
Keshia knew that was true. She was the expert on boys. Keshia had had serious relationships with five boys, Grey was the sixth. She had her first kiss when she was just twelve. Four years’ experience of boys yet at sixteen she was at a loss with Grey. He was different. Maybe going Shauna’s way would be better. Stay single yet have fun. No commitments, just plain games and fun. Relationships were so tiring. She glanced at her watch; she was supposed to meet Grey at his place in an hour. Maybe it was time to talk things over.
“You’re eating a lot, Shauna,” Keshia noticed.
“I’m trying to put on weight,” Shauna explained as she took a huge bite of her burger.
“So, let me guess what’s going on. Do you want to have a fling with Nii Ayi? Is that what this is about?”
Shauna shrugged, “Honestly, it’ no big deal. I don’t know if I will.”
“I’m going to have a fling too,” Keshia declared.
Shauna choked again and quickly took a gulp of her drink. This girl was going to kill her!
Keshia flared up, “Says who?”
“Says morality, okay,” Shauna said heatedly.
“Morality? Give me break, am I married?”
“You’re supposed to be in a committed relationship with Grey.”
“Oh come on, do I have his ring on? I’m just a sixteen-year-old who needs to live. Going steady is silly and I’m definitely going to have my due fun.”
Shauna looked at Keshia’s determined face.
“Just promise me you won’t go sleeping around. If it’s just kissing, then fine, maybe.”
“I’m not a slut, okay?” Keshia was getting angry.
“I’m sorry, Kesh, but it doesn’t sound right to me,” Shauna softened her voice. Keshia’s face softened too.
“Doesn’t sound right to me either.”