Shanni woke up that morning in the bedroom she had shared with Adjo and Charles for most of her school years, and she knew something had to change. The breakfast of leftover birthday cake from Charles’ birthday just underscored the problem.
“Wow, you’re up,” it was Zahra. Or possibly two Zahras stuffed together.
Shanni shrugged. “It’s not exactly the crack of dawn.”
“You usually sleep till noon when there’s no school.”
Shanni sighed. “That’s the problem, of course. There’s no school forever. I have to figure out what to do with my life.”
Zahra nodded, trying to be sympathetic. She knew this had to be a hard decision, but she’d known what she wanted to be when she grew up from about the age of eight. “What do you think you’re good at?”
“I don’t know. I party pretty well. People say I’m a snappy dresser.”
Zahra raised an eyebrow. “People say you’re hot. I think they prefer the clothes off.”
Shanni choked. Should she blush or smack her?
“That’s not the kind of job I’m looking for. I need to support myself.”
Zahra looked up from her breakfast at met Shanni’s eyes. “You’re welcome to stay here as long as you need to. You know that.”
Shanni smiled wanly. “Thanks, sis.”
She took a deep breath and tried to calm her nerves.
She could do this.
It was no big deal to support youself. Everyone did it. Well, almost everyone.
She needed something to symbolize the new, stronger person she was going to be. So she turned into the tattoo artist’s office instead of the styling salon, as she’d planned.
She was emerging from her cocoon.
And she was the new stylist at the salon. Start time 9am. No problem.
With Zahra’s permission, she moved out of the kids’ room and took over Cycl0n3’s old room downstairs. It had been empty since Cycl0n3 married Zahra and moved upstairs.
She wasn’t going to live with her family forever, but better to stick around until the time was right.