Normani Brooks

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Friends Reunited

NORMANI” S PERSPECTIVE

Day 1 July 19th Thursday Afternoon

I walked down about a block from the park and waited at the hill’s bottom for Shayla to arrive. About 15 mins later, I saw this Slim redhead, with big barrel curls just bouncing as she was approaching. Shayla had dyed her hair another color that was so like her. She always loved to try new colors on her long beautiful hair. Standing about 5′7, her skin tone was a warm medium tan with freckles on her face. She was coming down the hill. I stood up from the large rock I had been sitting on and began to wave very excitedly to get her attention.

A dazzling smile revealed the bronze glow on her cheeks when she spotted me waiting at the bottom of the hill.

“Normani, What’s up, girl!” Shayla said as she ran over to hug me.

“Hey, Shayla.” I stood back then took a stance with my hand on my hip

“I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever,” Shayla said as she looked me up and down.

I took a deep breath and tried to explain my absence. I knew Shayla would be shady about me ditching her the entire summer break, but I was busy. “I know, I know, between these classes and work, I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands. Luckily, classes are over for me”. I rejoiced.

Shayla smacked her teeth and spoke sarcastically, “Yea, two weeks before school starts back, what kind of break is that. You missed out on everything, Nori!”

Shayla rolled her eyes, and I laughed at her exaggeration. Shayla was good at exaggerating things. I listened as she told me about all the parties I had missed. She also filled me in on all the drama that had happened throughout the break.

“I mean, Nori, the summer tea is HOT! you better get you some!” She said jokingly as we began to walk off.

I laughed and joked how her gossiping ass would catch me up on all the messy happenings that took place. We walked and talked until we reached the gazebo. I noticed Shayla pull out her phone.

“Have you been to George’s Insta page?” she asked with excitement.

I leaned over to see what she was seeing. I didn’t follow George, but I didn’t tell her that. I knew she would make not following the most popular boy in the school a big deal.

“No, I haven’t. Why what’s on there?”

Shayla jumped in front of me abruptly, explaining, “George posted all his party info and the guestlist for all the local talent he would have performing.”

I wasn’t too big on parties, and Shayla knew that. I also knew all this excitement about the party she had that she would get around to asking me to go with her sooner or later. I was hoping to pick up on how uninterested I was in the party and see I had no intentions of going.

“You know I don’t be checking for George Bradley or care about this party,” I said as I shrugged my shoulders.

“This party is about to be lit. Do you see who all will be performing?” Shayla said with much excitement.

“I don’t think there is anything that will make me want to go to this party,” I said as I continued to walk.

Shayla stood still. I was a few steps ahead of her before I noticed she wasn’t walking alongside me. I turned around to see what was holding her up.

“Hold Up! I know you don’t think I’m hitting this party up without you!?” Shayla said with a firm voice.

I could see she was serious, and so was I about not going. “I’m not calling off of work Shayla, you know I have been keeping up good attendance since I started. I’m not messing that up for no ratchet ass party” I threw my hands up and turned around to continue walking.

As we got closer to the park, we could see a larger crowd than usual out at the gazebo. Shayla grabbed my arm to get my attention.

“You’re so damn lame, Normani! Good attendance?...really!” she said sarcastically.

“You cannot let the summer end without at least going to one party.” She insisted.

I took a deep breath and then sighed in annoyance. “I have enjoyed enough this summer, trust me.”

I tried to change the subject by pointing out the park was especially packed today, so something big must have been going on. Still, all Shayla seemed to be focused on was getting me to go to this party.

“One party Nori, all you do is work and study, leaving me to hang out with Breanna and her stank breath ass cousin Fred.” She made a face holding her nose.

I laughed so hard because Fred did have some funky ass breath. He was known for it, but if I wasn’t mistaken, Shayla called me a few weeks back telling me she had gone to Breanna and Fred’s kickback and that something happened between the two of them.

“Oh no, ma’am, didn’t you tell me you kissed him at their kickback last week?” I said with my arms folded.

Shayla gasped in shock, holding her hand over her mouth as if she was going to throw up.

“Nori, his breath was so bad I was throwing up for weeks from just the thought,” Shayla said, rubbing her stomach.

At that moment, I remembered how bad his breath smelled, and I had pity for her “Tragic sis.”

We both laugh and continue to walk. As we made our way through the crowd of people, I still couldn’t understand what was going on that had everybody outside at the park today. I noticed Breanna and Fred sitting over on some bleachers in front of the basketball court. We headed over to where they were. I could see there were a bunch of guys on the court with no shirts on playing streetball.

Shayla, Breanna, and I had been friends since kindergarten. We were closer than real sisters, Breanna was shorter than the both of us, standing about 5′5, and she had a soft speaking voice. When we got over to where they were sitting, she hugged me, and then Shayla then caught us up on why the park was too packed today, like some kind of block party was going on.

She explained that George Bradley and his friends were having a streetball game against some rival team players. I looked out over the crowd and just shook my head. The fact that all this commotion was because of George Bradley was just ridiculous. As we were getting ready to sit down, we heard a deep raspy voice and smelled a familiar funk flow into the air. We looked behind Breanna, and there stood Fred.

“Hey Shayla,” Fred said as he rubbed the back of his head.

You could tell he liked Shayla. I looked over at her to see if she would respond to him. I couldn’t help but laugh, given our conversation about him moments ago.

“Thank You, Fred,” Shayla said pathetically. I couldn’t help but laugh out again, and Shayla pushed me lightly and mouthed for me to shut up.

Suddenly Shayla shouts “OMG” when she noticed one of the guys in the street ball game.

“Is that my brother in the red shorts?” Shayla said as she squinted her eyes to make sure she saw things correctly.

Once I looked out over on the court, I saw that it was Rodney as well, Shayla’s older brother. “Yep, that’s him, with his shirt off thirst trapping as usual.”

“You sound jealous,” Breanna said, giving me this taunting look.

′ Who...me...I...I ..I... don’t think so,” I stammered.

I tripped up over my words because she had caught me off guard with her comment. It wasn’t a secret that I use to be in love with Rodney when we were kids, but I haven’t thought about Rodney or any boys for that matter in a while. It was all about my education. Shayla made the situation more awkward for me with her comment.

“You still got a thing for Rodney Normani?” She asked with this stupid smirk on her face.

At that moment, with all three of them watching me, all I could do was deny, deny, deny, and it wasn’t a lie. I had no feelings left for Rodney.

“Girl, I am not thinking about your big head ass brother. I mean, he cute or whatever, but he is also hella cocky. Besides, Rodney sees me as a little sister. Are you crazy,” I said while brushing the entire thought away.

Shayla rolled her eyes at me, then leaned in closer to me and whispered, “Yea, but you’re not his sister, and you’re damn sure not so little anymore.” She slapped her hand against my ass.

After I pushed Shayla away, she turned to wave her arms around, trying to get her brother’s attention off the court.

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