“I couldn’t sleep, Mom,” I told her when we met in the kitchen the next morning. We had been robbed while I was at school the day before. They took the car, the TV, even my sports’ gear.
“Me neither. But at least your Dad arrives today,” she replied. I had never seen her like this, so depressed, so unhappy. It was always hard for her when my dad went away. He was working on contract in the Kruger Park, and this was the last straw.
“Take care,” Mom said as I left for school.
“Hey,” someone called softly as I walked down the road. I looked around.
“Hey!” Two boys in their late teens were sitting on the street corner. The boy who had signalled me was wearing a Rastafarian beanie, loose shorts, and big skater shoes. The other, dressed similarly, was deeply busy on his phone.
“Hey, I recognise you!” I exclaimed, raising an eyebrow. “Aren’t you, eh… wait a minute…”
“Damian. And this is my friend Brent. Dude, do you have a light?”
“Nah, man. But I have ten bucks if you…”
“Yeah, bro. I’ll only use half of it. Thanks my man.” Damian was a school drop-out. He had been kicked out for having weed on school premises. Personally, I just thought he took the whole Rastafarian-Hippie thing too far. He was a natural born red-head, and his hair was in curly, shoulder long locks. He had sharp blue eyes and always wore a hoodie with skater shoes.
Just imagine if he grew fond of me. That would totally boost my popularity. Having a friend like Damian certainly would make me cooler.
So every day that week, when I walked to and from school, I met up with Damian and his friend. We would make idle conversation and often I would give them some leftover pocket money.
Then that Friday Damian surprised me.
“So dude,” Damian pronounced. “You coming to the party at Sandra’s next Friday?” I had heard the girls talking about a party at school, how ‘Everyone who is anyone’ was going to be there. I couldn’t believe it – was he was actually asking me to join him at a party? I really wanted to go but it was a Friday, and every Friday after school was ‘hang-out day’ for me with Josh and Chloe.
“Err, no I… I can’t. I have to…” I tried desperately to think of a cheap lie, that wouldn’t sound lame. “I just can’t.”
Damian could be very persuasive: “Come on! Don’t bail on me.”
“Damian, it’s too short notice.”
“Come on Dude, it’s a whole week away.”
I knew there would be weed and alcohol at a party like that, so I tried my best to resist him.
“It’s Sandra Hueman’s sweet 16 after party.”
“Sandra?” I repeated. “Who’s that?”
“Sandra, dude. The short blonde.” He looked away, like he was thinking, then his eyes snapped back to me. “She is the one who always used to walk with that Amy chick. I don’t know if they are still friends, because Sandra went to another school, like, two years ago.”
“So Amy is going to be there?” I said quickly.
“Are you sure?” I asked, trying to lower my voice so I wouldn’t sound too keen.
“Positive. Why the big issue?” Damian asked.
“Nah, nothing. I was just curious.”
“So, are you game?”
“OK, OK. You win, but my mom must never know about this!” After saying this Damian suddenly shot up and hugged me, stunning even Brent who was slouching behind him on the pavement.
“It’s going to be epic!” Damian hugged me tightly.
“It sure will be,” I replied, with a small grin on my face.
Tell us what you think: What is your opinion of Damian and Brent befriending Simon?