Kabelo wipes his hand on his jeans before shaking hands with Amanda’s mom. That’s the kind of person she is. She makes you feel like you should have brushed your hair and worn your best clothes. And you’re always on your best behaviour with her.

Amanda comes up and gives her a warm hug, but all I get is a cool nod.

“Hello, Latoya.”

“Hello, Mrs McBurney. Thanks for offering to take us to the party.”

Another cool nod. I wait for her to say that I should call her Melissa, or Mel or something. She is my step-mother, after all. But she says nothing at all, so I carry right on calling her Mrs McBurney.

“Are you girls ready?”


“No,” says Amanda firmly.

I clap my hand over my mouth to stifle a giggle. Personally, I would never dream of keeping her waiting, but Amanda has no hesitation in parking her mom in the kitchen with Kabelo while she and I finalise our outfits for tonight.

“Okay, so you’re wearing the black jeans with the purple wash, and the silver strappy top,” says Amanda. “And I’m wearing the black mini-skirt and the striped T-shirt. Can I borrow your other pair of hi-top takkies?”


We’ve both learned that you don’t wear high heels to a dance. But the trouble with flats is that they’re so boring. So now we’ve compromised on these really cool high-top trainers that I got at China City last weekend.

“Right. Let’s go.”

It’s only six o’clock, but they’re braaiing boerewors rolls at the venue first before the dance starts and we don’t want to miss out.

Mrs McBurney has just driven off after dropping us at Mirrors when Amanda grabs my arm and points.

“Oh, my goodness! Look at that.”

I look, but I don’t like what I see. Jayden and Refilwe are standing near the drinks table. And they’re holding hands.

WHAT DO YOU THINK: Do you have any stepmothers or stepfathers in your life?  Do you call them by their first names?