3.7 Mixed Signals

It didn’t take Shanni all that long to get over Michael Bachelor. Her new flame was Miraj Alvi. She caught him watching her in gym class and invited him over her place. Soon they were going steady. He also had a part-time job, which drove Shanni crazy, but it was a lot easier to get his time than it had been Michael’s.

Shanni had visions of candlelit dinners at the bistro where Miraj surprised her with little gifts of jewelery. Despite his job, Miraj insisted he didn’t have that kind of money. They used to take long walks at Central Park instead and gaze into each other’s eyes.

She thought about him all the time. She wondered how far to go in their makeout sessions. She hated that most of the time, they hung out at her place where her parents were watching.

One day, she invited him to the park after dark, thinking they could find some real privacy in the shadows with no parents to watch.

Miraj showed up, but he was cold to her. Whenever she sat down with him on a bench to get cuddly, he jumped up and walked away. She felt like she was chasing him all over the park.

Then he said, “You call that a date? Call me when you grow up,” and walked away.

Shanni was stunned. What had she done wrong?

Adjo was crushed at the disastrous end to his date with Toya.

It took him days to bring himself to talk to her again. Once he got his courage back, he invited her to hang out at the community pool. That seemed like a neutral enough location.

They stayed there until after dark, talking about anything and everything. Adjo pulled out all the stops.

But when he finally confessed his feelings to her, she laughed nervously. She just didn’t see him that way. He was more like a brother to her. Couldn’t they still be friends?

Adjo forced himself to smile. Of course they could. No hard feelings. It wasn’t a big deal anyway.

He invited her into the pool and started a game of splashing.

And, hey, he was sure he could hold his breath underwater longer than she could.

Toya had a fantastic time. She wanted him to call her again tomorrow.

Adjo scraped up the pieces of his heart and headed home.

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