“You’re just going to come out and ask him?”
“I don’t know.”
“You need to figure it out. He’s going to be on the phone in a few minutes.”
“I don’t think we should do this. I’ll just wait for him to ask me.”
“Girl, you’ve been waiting for a month now.”
“Okay, bet. As soon as he gets on the phone, I’m just going to do it.”
“You are so crazy, let me call Jonell.”
Maya was on call waiting as Crystal called Jonell, the third member of their crew. The three have been virtually inseparable since kindergarten, so it made sense to them that Crystal and Jonell would be on the phone when Maya asked Kai to the junior prom.
But there was only one catch…
“What up, y’all? Hold on, let me call Keisha.”
“Wait, J, why she gotta be on the phone again?”
“Maya, she’s Kai’s cousin and wasn’t giving up his number. So, she has to be on the phone.”
Jonell was audibly exasperated. The plan had been in the works for nearly two weeks and now Maya was trying to ruin what could be her last opportunity to ask Kai. She was about to call it all off when Crystal chimed in.
“She’s just nervous J and you know how Keisha talks.”
“Don’t worry, she’s not going to say anything, she knows better than to play with me.”
“Okay, go on and call, I still don’t understand why she couldn’t just give you his number.”
“I still don’t understand why you didn’t ask him for his phone number?”
Crystal snickered and Jonell didn’t wait for a response, she clicked over to call Keisha. Maya and Crystal waited in silence for what seemed like forever.
“You think she didn’t answer?” Maya’s nervousness was getting the best of her. Crystal didn’t respond and she thought that maybe she was disconnected from the call. “Crys. Crys.”
“Sorry, girl, you know I’m tired.”
“You falling asleep? It’s like 9:02.”
“After softball practice, I eat, shower, do my homework while I watch Martin and Living Single, then I go to sleep. I don’t have time to be playing Love Connection with y’all.”
Before Maya could respond, she heard laughter. Jonell returned to the call, apparently with Keisha and they were having a good laugh. Maya suspected it was about her.
“Sorry for keeping y’all waiting, Keisha was telling me about Robert and CeCe arguing at the bus stop because she was flirting with Daron in C-lunch today.”
“But she has B lunch with us,” Crystal woke up then.
“Exactly!” Keisha yelled and all of the young ladies laughed.
That laugh helped to ease Maya’s nerves. An uncomfortable silence fell over the line.
“So, Maya, you like my cousin?”
Her friends could almost feel the hesitation coming from Maya but managed to stay quiet.
“Yeah, she likes him, and I like you, so what’s up?”
It was a male voice invading their sacred space.
“Oh my God, Tyrell, get off of the phone!”
Tyrell was Maya’s brother, less than a year younger, but carrying all the family’s confidence.
“Boy please, you’re a sophomore, you couldn’t handle me,” Keisha didn’t lack any confidence either.
“When y’all finish hooking my sister up, me and you can talk about all that.”
“Tyrell, get off of the phone and handle a cold shower!”
Maya was embarrassed that not only was Tyrell listening to her plot on asking a boy out but the fact that he decided to ask Keisha, one of the most popular girls in school out. She already felt she was swinging for the fences asking Kai out, but now it seemed like a family thing to go for those out of their league.
Tyrell finally hung up and Maya immediately apologized to Keisha.
“No problem girl. My little brothers are the same way. But Tyrell is a little cutie.”
The girls shrieked in unison. Keisha laughed it off and got back down to business.
“Don’t tell him I told you, but Kai is feeling you too. He thought you and James were still together, that’s why he hasn’t tried to kick it to you yet.”
“Wait, you asked him about me?”
“No, he brought you up the other day when we were talking about the prom.”
“Did you tell him that she doesn’t go with James anymore?”
“I can speak for myself Jonell.”
“If you could, we all wouldn’t be on the phone right now.”
“I told him that y’all been broke up and James even asked me to the prom.”
“He did what?”
“Yeah, he stepped to me Tuesday after third period, stuttering and stuff, so I put him out of his misery and said no before he could even say prom.”
The girls all laughed. Except for Maya. She was quietly thinking about how quickly James moved on and to a girl he claimed he couldn’t stand.
“I’m about to call Kai, you ready?”
Maya took a second too long to answer and Crystal spoke up.
“Girl, let’s get this over with, I still gotta wrap my hair.”
“You can hang up if you want Crys. I don’t need any extra pressure.”
“Girl, I am not missing this.”
Maya was going to tell Keisha she could go ahead and call him, but the lump in her throat thickened as she heard a phone ringing.
“Yo, who dis”
“Boy, stop trying to be all brand new and act like Aunt Lisa taught you better.”
“What’s up, cuz?”
“Nothing, I told you I was going to call you at 9 because someone wanted to ask you something.”
“I thought you were playing. Who is it?”
There was silence.
“Hey Kai, it’s Jonell.”
“If there’s two of you, I know the third isn’t far behind.”
“Yeah, I’m here.” Her voice was small, barely above a whisper.
“What’s up, Maya? How are you doing?”
“I’m alright, just talking with my girls, what’s up with you?”
“Nothing, watching New York Undercover before I finish this chemistry homework.”
“Who do you have for Chemistry?”
“Dr. K. How about you?”
Jonell cleared her throat as a sign for Maya to do what she had them all on the phone to do. Crystal sighed, loudly. However, Keisha stayed silent, content to let this play out undoubtedly for a story down the road.
“If you want, you can give me your number and I can call you back when everyone gets off of the phone?”
He was just as sweet as she always thought he’d be and helped her relax a bit. She started to feel like she didn’t need her girls in her corner or an audience of Keisha, she could talk with him and get to know him, then hopefully he would ask her to the prom.
“That will be cool, but I was wondering if you would like to be my date for the prom?
He answered so fast that Maya didn’t hear him. If not for Crystal, Jonell, and even Keisha cheering, she would’ve thought he didn’t respond.
“If you would’ve given me your number, I was going to ask you.”
“You can still do that.”
“Awww,” the remaining young ladies said in unison.
“Now that the undercard is out of the way, Keisha, you gonna ask me to the prom or what?”