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“Come on Kay, we’re going to be late!” I called out after checking my watch. There are many things I love about my roommate and best friend, but her obsession with what to wear and how to style her hair weren’t one of them. Especially when my classes start an hour earlier than hers.
Kamogelo Malete and I met the day we first moved in here and we instantly hit it off. I never really had a best friend who’s a girl before but she’s a gem. She’s a loud and proud Mamelodi girl, I even think some of her personality has rubbed off on me. She came out of the bathroom with a small frown.
“African hair is just too much damn work.” She muttered as she tucked her shoulder length weave behind her ear. I chuckled, “I don’t know why you even bother.” I said and she stopped gathering her books to shoot me a mock glare. “Well not all of us can sport an edgy pixie cut my friend.” She said, “I’m not pretty enough to have short hair. But you totally have the whole Rihanna thing going on there.” She added.
I couldn’t resist rolling my eyes, “Are you kidding me?” I asked as we walked out of the room and she locked it. “I’m not the one in a sundress right now.” I pointed out and she chuckled. We were coming down the hallway when we stopped to greet one of the Res guardians. “This is ridiculous, I don’t get why we have to stop and greet them all the time.” She muttered in a low voice.
“Well we wanted the full res experience.” I said as we reached the bottom of the stairs. “I’m starting to rethink that part.” She said and I stifled a smile. We lived in Greenleaf, on of the girls’ residence around the main campus. It’s considered a privilege to stay at any one of the varsity residences, either boys or girls. As you only get placement on academic merit alone.
But being first year students they go a little hard on us. Greeting the guardians every time we see them is just one of the many rules we are subjected to. They say the rules loosen up once you get into second year. For me though, I was more or less used to those rules now, entering my second semester.
We walked out the revolving doors of the foyer, “Oh did you hear there’s a raid coming?” she said in an excited voice. That probably the only part Kay liked, that attending socials was compulsory for us. Socials are functions where we interact with students from other residences, either girls or boys. They normally came in the form of bashes, s?rries or raids.
“Are we hosting or what?” I asked, not really paying attention. “No silly, we’re raiding the boys of Steenkamp.” She said. “Oh yeah, we’ll be going with the girls from Minooka right?” I asked and she smiled. The Minooka res is sort of like a sister to ours and we were facing off against each other in this month’s s?rrie.
“The only thing we’re hosting is the s?rrie, which is in two weeks and Alexa called. She says she has a routine she wants us to try out.” She said, “Preferably tonight.” She added. A s?rrie was a competition between two residences in three rounds of singing and dancing. The interesting part is that one res would be chosen to judge the whole competition.
This was one of my favorite socials, but I liked watching s?rries from the sidelines, not actually being in it. I wasn’t so lucky this month. “You know I had plans to study tonight…” I trailed off when she shot me a warning look. “Okay fine, tell Alexa I’ll be there.” I said with a halfhearted chuckle.
“Good, we have to win this one Zoe.” Kay said, “The last time Greenleaf competed we got our arses kicked, well not on my watch.” She added as we stopped in front of the EMS building. “I like your conviction.” I teased and she stuck her tongue out on me.
Just then Isaac walked up to us, “Morning girls.” He said with a cheerful smile. Isaac was my classmate and sometimes we studied together, an all round nice guy. He had a t-shirt on with knee length shorts; much like me he didn’t care much for appearances. Our course didn’t exactly leave us with ample time to engage in trivial things.
“Hey Isaac.” Kay greeted him pleasantly before he shifted his blue gaze on me “You coming?” he asked, “Yeah.” I said then gave Kay a quick hug. “I’ll see you later.” I said and she nodded and started walking away. “Don’t you dare bail.” She called out to me and I waved my hand dismissively. “Bail on what?” Isaac asked as he held the door open for me.
I sighed, “S?rrie practice.” I muttered and he chuckled, “Oh yeah, I heard you are among the performers, you can be damn sure I’ll be coming.” He said and I playfully bumped my shoulder against his. I enjoyed Isaac’s company and his jokes as we entered the lecture hall.
“Zoe could sing lead.” Lucia said as I walked into the res studio, “What?” I exclaimed and everyone’s head snapped to me. Just then Madeline came in and stopped to observe the scene. “What’s going on?” she asked. Alexa sighed, “Lucia suggested Zoe take the lead in the third performance.” She said. I stood there unmoving as Maddy frowned, “Why? What happened to Lizah?” she asked.
“She wont be performing in the s?rrie, family stuff.” She said, “So now we’re without a lead for our final performance.” She added. I snapped out of it, looking around the studio filled with fourteen friendly faces. “We could always sing it as a group.” I suggested and Alexa’s brows furrowed. “You know its no good without a lead vocal.” She said.
Maddy nodded her blonde bangs, “I agree, it would ruin the entire piece, and it’s our best.” She said. Alexa watched me with careful eyes, “Don’t you dare suggest someone else, you know that except for Lizah you’re the best we have.” She said, “Come on.” She added more pleadingly.
I looked at Maddy and Alexa, my other two beloved girlfriends. Except for Kay, they know me better than anyone else. They also know that center stage is not my comfort zone. Rethabile stood up from the polished wooden floor, “She’s not budging, we need Kamogelo to intervene.” She said.
Kay came in right then, “I’m here, sorry I’m late.” She said then stopped dead after seeing me. “Let me guess, you asked her and she refused?” she asked Alexa, who ran a hand through her long brunette locks. “Not exactly but she didn’t agree either.” She said. Kay shot me a look I knew she had when she’s about to guilt trip me.
“Alright, alright.” I said with my hands up “I’ll do it.” I said and Maddy who was standing next to me, squeaked and pulled me in for a quick hug. “Okay now were back in business.” Alexa said, her relief visible as everyone stood up and took their positions. As the team leader it was her duty to make sure we deliver great performances in 2 weeks time
Kay came to stand beside me on the mirrored wall as I took off my sandals, “What did I just get myself into?” I said and she shot me a sympathetic smile. “You’re good, you’ll do fine.” She said and I snorted, “I can’t do Beyonc?.” I said in a hushed voice as we walked up to the group. “Yes, you can.” She said, “And you will.”