Rabbit's Lucky Number
Even if no one else liked Kerri, I did. She was hip, she was cool, she was fly. And she was my sister. Sometimes sisters got on everyone’s nerves. It was a fact of life. But I didn’t take her back to the park.
Instead we hung out on the steps like Tanisha and I used to do or we sat up in The Lavender Palace.
“Your mom needs to get some AC in here. Dang.”
“I know. I can hear the drums of the Congo.”
“It’s hot like Africa.”
“You ain’t never been to Africa. How would you know? And anyway who says stuff like that?” She shook her head, giggling to herself. Personally, I didn’t see what was so funny about that.
The only other place in the house where we could have any privacy to gossip was Kerri’s room and she said she preferred my room because I had a bigger television. Never mind that it was secondhand with a black and white picture tube.
Even in the sizzling heat of summer, and no matter how much my father and I had argued, begged, or complained my mother did not believe in air conditioner because it was just too expensive when we could just use the fan.
I sat on the floor between Kerri’s legs. It was too hot to be so close to another human being, but Kerri had promised me a miracle. In the summertime, my edges tended to frizz up giving me an afro halo surrounding my silky pressed ponytail. If Kerri came through, I’d be fly like her!
“Anyway, Lashelle and her friends are so corny,” said Kerri. “I can’t believe everybody likes them.”
“I don’t think she’s all that.”
“Nope. And I already had that haircut. And I even heard her mother has a beauty parlor. She should have the latest hair styles at all times.”
“Yeah. But nobody goes there anymore. Everybody that goes in comes out looking like James Brown. Ha! Kiss myself!” Kerri slapped her leg and let out a shriek that startled me.
“Now that was funny, Rab!” She giggled.
“Yeah. And Lizette came out of there once and she looked like a poodle so she never went back!”
“A poodle?!” Bwaaaahhh-ha ha ha! She continued to cackle and beg me for more. I was only too glad to dish as she brushed and yanked my hair back until she finally patted my head. “There. Now you can roll with me.” I jumped up and ran to the mirror. My French braid was long, down past my shoulders. Perfect. I tied on my head scarf and jumped on the bed with Kerri.
“So you think Corey likes Lashelle?” I asked.
“I hope not. She’s so dumb.”
“I know. Because I think he’s sooo cute!”
“Me toooooo!” We fell back on the bed, screaming.
“Tomorrow, I’m gonna say hi to him,” I said, breathlessly.
“For what? He’s not gonna like you.”
“Why wouldn’t he like me?”
“You’re right. He might like you.” She had a funny smile on her face that I wasn’t sure I liked. I brushed it off. Kerri and I were the Shadow Sisters, singing Showstoppers into a makeshift hairbrush microphone like we were the real Salt and Pepa. She was my sister, my partner in crime, my ace boon coon.
The next day, I let Corey pass by without saying a word. Kerri was right. He probably wouldn’t like me.