To read Part 1, click here.
We climbed into Shameka’s Big Lemon car and headed for the community pool.
Gage made me sit in the front passenger seat and directed his sister from the back seat. Shameka and I headed to the ladies room before going out to the pool.
“You girls and going to the bathroom together,” Gage teased.
I came out of the stall and Shameka appeared to be admiring herself in the mirror. Disgusted, I said nothing and went to wash my hands.
“Do you think I look like him?” she asked.
Who Gage? No you overripe banana… Gage doesn’t tan. He is super pale and burns like nobody’s business when he’s out in the sun. Where did you get your flawless skin?
“Uh, I don’t know,” I replied seriously.
“I know we don’t have the same complexion,” she said, as if anticipating my thoughts. “I obviously got my father’s dark looks, but I thought maybe our chins and noses were the same.”
“I guess,” I shrugged.
“Look, Kass,” Shameka turned toward me. “I know you don’t like me, and I know you think you have a right to distrust me, but I just want to get to know my half-brother. He’s my blood. I would never hurt him.”
“You better not!”
“I can see you care very deeply for him. Maybe even love him, which is why this is hard for you, but trust me, I have no ill intentions…”
“Excuse me!? You don’t know me. I’m not in love with your brother,” I protested loudly, and then wished I hadn’t. It sounded weird to say it aloud. “I just think of him like my brother too, and family protects family.”
“That’s exactly how I feel,” Shameka pointed to herself. “Please you have a lot of sway with Gage. I want to get to know him and make a good impression. I’m even thinking of moving to Sunset Valley to get to know him better.”
“Aren’t you like seventeen?” I said snobbily. As if she’s all that much younger than I am.
“I’m an emancipated minor,” Shameka explained. “I got my walking papers early.”
“Great for you,” I said sarcastically.
“Listen, Kass,” Shameka said nervously. “Please just don’t hate me. I don’t want to mess things up. Finding my brother means so much to me when I have a father who couldn’t care less about me and my mother is irresponsible flake who cares more about getting laid than her own children.”
My eyes widened.
“Yes,” Shameka said passionately. “There’s no love lost between Brigit and me. I know what she is. I know she’s been with dozens of men. I really hate her for that.”
Suddenly, my heart softened toward Shameka. Her confession had just earned points with me in some odd way.
“I just… I want a family… I want to know my brother. I want someone to care for and to be cared for by. Is that so wrong?”
Don’t we all?
“I don’t hate you, Shameka. I just want to… protect… my friend,” I replied.
“I can understand that,” Shameka nodded. “We don’t need to be best friends too, but I’d like us to try and be friends.”
“I can do that,” I agreed.
“Great! Let’s go swimming!” she said enthusiastically.
“Did you girls have a good chat?” Gage asked when we emerged from the women’s restroom.
“Yes,” Shameka bobbed her head eagerly. “You have a very rare friend, Gage, I hope you know that.”
“Yeah,” he said sheepishly. “I’m glad Kass is my friend.”
Somehow his overuse of the word ‘friend’ made me feel sad. I knew I had to tell him about Davis and I didn’t regret choosing him over Gage, but still, it felt like I was closing a chapter on my life that I’d never get back.
I jumped in the pool tired of standing around.
Gage and Shameka used the ladder.
Gage and I did a breath holding contest.
…because Shameka interrupted us and wanted to tease Gage. She splashed him in the face.
He wasn’t happy. In fact, he pouted and then he splashed her back.
“Gotcha!” he laughed.
I didn’t hang around much longer. I still hadn’t told Gage about Davis, but I wasn’t worried about him finding out. He wasn’t working tonight and he’d most likely be occupied with Shameka. It was better this way. He had a new sister to get to know. Maybe he’d even forgotten his ‘confession’ to me altogether. It’s for the better. Somehow, though, I still feel… sad.
Chapter 15 Coming Soon!
- Is Kass and Gage’s friendship ever going to be the same again?
- Will Shameka keep her word to Kass about her reasons for showing up in Gage’s life?
- How will Kass’s date with Davis turn out?
Author Changes: What’s different?
- Picture size has been edited.