"Keziah!" Keziah Jones turned around and smiled at her friend, Eric Sampson as he jogged up to her. He was wearing his school uniform. Long gray pants, a dark green blazer with a white button up shirt, green tie, black polished shoes and green sweater. He surprised her by hugging her tightly when he reached her.
Keziah gave a small giggle and hugged him back. "Ah, it’s great to see you again!" He said as he rocked her a little then let her go and looked at her. He raised an eyebrow. "When did you become a girl?" He asked referring to her looks.
She punched him in his arm and laughed. "Well, you weren’t here - this holiday, so I got forced into spending some time with my mom," she explained, knowing she looked miles different from how she had looked a month ago. She smiled at him. "And it’s awesome to see you again. How was South Africa?" She asked trying to change the subject and they started walking to their homeroom together.
"Incredible. I wish you could’ve gone with. The mountains, the bush, the beaches, the braais!"
"Braais?" Keziah asked with a raised eyebrow. "Sort of like a barbeque, only better. They put lamb chops, wors –."
"Wors?" Keziah asked again with a confused expression.
Eric laughed, his light green eyes lighting up. "Uh, never mind, I’ll just confuse you even more. Overall, South Africa is amazing. Their culture is something to experience. There were many Indians as well only they sort of blended in so to speak. The South African traditions simply embraced them and made their traditions a part of the whole thing. It was just incredible," he said.
Keziah giggled. "Maybe I should talk my parents into taking me to... what’s the place called again? Deban?" She asked.
"Durban," he said and smiled. "You’d love it. I just know you would," he said.
"So how’s the family then?" She asked.
Eric ran his hand though his black hair. "Yeah, they’re fine and about that..." he trailed off. "Uh! Don’t even!" Keziah said and rolled her eyes. "I don’t want to hear about that spoiled moron," she said and looked straight ahead.
"Well, I’ll just say you’re gonna be seeing a lot more of that spoiled moron," Eric said and Keziah could hear his voice going into defensive mode. She looked at him and narrowed her eyes a little.
"Why would you say that? Please tell me you didn’t bring him along. Did you?" She asked already knowing that was the case. "He’s starting at our school tomorrow. They just finalized everything yesterday," Eric said.
"What?!" Keziah’s eyes widened.
"Chill, he’s not so bad once you get to know him," Eric said.
"I have no intention in getting to know him. I despise that guy and you know it. No, you can’t let your parents let him start school here! Why did you let your parents let him start school here? Why didn’t you warn me?" She asked.
"Jeez, Keez! You’d swear, I was the one that made them bring him here. I was just as surprised as you were. Well, I handled it a bit better but still. He’s coming here, he’s starting tomorrow and you might as well make peace with it because no matter what you do, it’s not gonna change anything. This isn’t in your power," Eric said.
Keziah crossed her arms and huffed. "I’m still not happy about this," she said.
"Well, that’s just too bad then. Now forget about Zack. You two probably won’t even talk to each other," Eric said.
Keziah rolled her eyes. "Let’s hope so," she said.
Keziah dipped her potato fry in the small, white cup that held the tomato sauce. "Ah, it’s good to back in my normal routine," she said as she put the fry into her mouth.
Eric laughed. "You’re such a geek!" He said.
Keziah just smiled at him. "I prefer the term nerd," she said and stuck her tongue out at him.
Eric laughed again. "Whatever. Either way, you’re the only person, I know that actually enjoys school for the work and not the play," he said.
Keziah shrugged. "That’s what I’m there for so why not enjoy it. Plus, with parents like mine well...," she trailed off and put another fry into her mouth.
They sat in McDonalds, an afterschool Monday tradition they had. She actually hated any fast food joint but Eric loved it and it was close to her house. Plus, the fries and McFlurry’s were okay too, so she’d endure it and have fun with Eric.
"What’s up, cuz, mind if we join you?" Keziah shut her eyes slowly when she heard that voice and groaned quietly.
"Oh, please, God, no," she whispered loud enough for Eric to hear.
"Hey, Zack." Keziah heard Eric say and shut her eyes even tighter.
"Great, so it is him," she mumbled under her breath then opened her eyes and looked up.
Two light and beautiful brown eyes looked directly at her along with a crooked smile and spiked black hair. There was a little amusement playing in his eyes.
"Hi, Zack," Keziah said flatly.
"Hello, to you too. It’s Keziah, right?" He asked.
"That’s my name, yes," Keziah said and forced herself not to roll her eyes.
"Wow, your face caught up with your ears, lucky you," he said.
Keziah tried not to glare but he was making it really difficult.
"Wow, and, uh, you’re in my line of sight, not so lucky me," she said and noticed his date.
A tall blond with a nose ring and bright blue eyes with big boobs. She wore a dark skinny jean and a pink tank top and made Keziah very self-conscious about the school uniform she still had on.
"Hi, I’m Jane," she said smiling and gave a slight wave. Keziah felt herself calm down a bit and smiled as well.
"Keziah," she said, at least his date seemed a little nice.
"Nice to meet you but I’m actually on my way," Keziah said and stood up. She looked at Eric and shot him an apologetic glance. He gave her a slight not to let her know he understood.
"Yeah, and tell your aunt I say - "get better soon"," he said. Keziah smiled.
"She’d appreciate that," Keziah said, playing along and looked at her fries and water on the table. She had already downed her glass of water and there were only two fries left, so she could get away with this. She picked up her bag and flung it over her shoulders then picked up her blazer and threw it over her arm.
"I’ll see you tomorrow, Eric," she said and gave Zack and Jane a quick wave before heading out of McDonald's and started walking home.
Urg! She couldn’t stand him! It’s been that way since they were little. They just couldn’t get along. When they first met, they were both seven and Zack had pushed her off a slide because he wanted to go on it before she could. She almost broke her arm and disliked him ever since.
"Hey! Keziah!" Keziah turned around and saw Zack running towards her. She stood still and waited for him to get to her.
"You forgot your phone." He held her BlackBerry out to her. She looked at it and took it gingerly.
"Thanks," she said flatly and expected him to go back to McDonald's but he didn’t and just stood there looking at her.
"Uh, you can leave now," she said after a few seconds. He smiled crookedly and stuffed his hands into his jean pockets. He had taken off his leather jacket and was now only in a t-shirt. "You’ve really changed," he said.
Keziah tilted her head a little. "From what? Two years ago?" She asked not even fooling herself. She knew she had changed. There was no doubting it. She had gotten contacts a month ago and packed away her glasses at the far back of her lowest drawer. She had learned to do her own hair, makeup and how to wear the right clothes during the holiday. Eric had gone away for the entire holiday so she had spent some quality time with her mom, learning more about how to be a proper girl.
She had grown up a lot even she knew that. Her hair was in a high, long, semi-curly ponytail today. It was brown with natural light brown bits in between. She had no makeup on, she only wore on special occasions since she knew it was unnecessary for school.
She had light, clear brown eyes that complimented her complexion. Zack didn’t seem to have changed at all. He still had the same bad boy attitude and she wasn’t interested in getting involved into that mess. "Oh, come on, Keez, you know you’ve gotten prettier.
You’re almost hot if only you’d lose the uniform," he said. Keziah rolled her eyes. "Well, I’m sorry if my school clothes don’t please you, but I unfortunately don’t have a choice. It’s part of the school rules, not that I’d expect you to understand what rules mean," she said.
She sort of liked their school uniform. Black stockings with black shoes, green and black plaid dress and dark green blazer. Zack raised his eyebrows. "Look, I’ve got somewhere to be and it’s definitely not here. Thank you for bringing my phone back to me," she said before he could get a word in, turned around and started walking away.