“Don’t panic!” Amanda orders as I practically start hyperventilating. “Panicking is not going to help us here. What we need is a plan.”

“A plan!” I almost scream at her. “Jayden’s going out with Refilwe and you’re making plans? The only plan I’m interested in is how to make sure she gets flu before Saturday.”

Amanda’s mouth twists. I can see she’s trying hard not to laugh at me.  

“Just calm down, Latoya. Okay, listen. We were planning to go to Mirrors on Saturday night anyway, weren’t we?”

I nod. This is true. I think most of the school is going. It’s Under 18 night at Mirrors when they don’t serve alcohol and only play music that we like – no golden oldies.

“Right. I’ll come to your house on Saturday and give you a total makeover. You’ll be looking so awesome Jayden will ditch Refilwe there and then and ask you out instead.”

I can’t say I’m exactly enthusiastic about this plan, but it’s all I’ve got.

Amanda duly turns up at my house on Saturday afternoon, clutching plastic bags full of her clothes.  

My mom is out grocery shopping, so it’s only Kabelo and me at home.

I introduce her to Kabelo. As Amanda holds out her hand, I have a sudden fear that he’s going to try to kiss her like he did me. But thank goodness not. He just shakes her hand and says hello normally.

“So what are you two lovely ladies up to this afternoon?” he asks with a grin.

I open my mouth to tell him exactly what we’ll be doing, but Amanda gets there first.

“Nothing,” she says, giving him a long, cool look. “Just hanging out.”

“You don’t have to tell grown-ups everything,” she says in my room later. “It’s none of his business what we’re doing.”

“I guess.”

This is one of those times when I realise how differently Amanda and I were raised. My mom taught me to have total respect for my elders. You don’t ever say no to an adult in my culture. Whereas Amanda acts like she’s an adult herself.

“Here, try this top on,” she says, handing me something silver and glittery. I’m just starting to pull my shirt off when we hear a noise outside my window.

WHAT DO YOU THINK: How were you raised?  Do you have total respect for your elders, or do they have to earn that respect first?