Since that time they went clubbing, Risa and Amina had grown apart. Risa had few friends, but she liked Claire Jamsheed who lived a few streets away from her. One day, Claire invited Risa to the karaoke bar where she was to meet some friends.
“Penelope told me she’d invite her neighbor as well. It’ll be such fun! Oh, there they are!”
“Come on, Julian, don’t be shy.” With her forceful personality, Penelope had convinced a reluctant Julian to join her friends.
He was already uncomfortable around girls, but there were three of them. And Risa was particularly cute. He didn’t do much but stammering as he introduced himself.
Penelope and Claire made the opening with a pop song.
Then it was up to Julian and Risa, who sang out of tune the whole way.
– S… Sorry. I… I don’t know how to sing. It was terrible.
– Never mind, I was no better.
And then, Claire sang that one song… and attracted all the other customers’ attention.
Her voice was clear, and she was able to control it without hesitation.
Even Julian, who doesn’t know anything about music, was impressed.
– Wow! She’s… wow!
– Isn’t she?! She’s the best, Claire!
Claire finished the song to rapturous applause.
Risa suggested that they should try a board game, since they had all been so massively crushed by Claire’s success at the karaoke.
Strategy games are obviously not everyone’s cup of tea.
“Hey, we should take some pictures together to remember this day, what do you say?”
This is what resulted from Penelope and Claire’s visit to the photo booth.
And Risa hung her pictures with Julian in her bedroom. She was actually glad to have found new friends.
Her mother had to work until late, and as a consequence, she had asked Nathaniel to come by. She waited for him with a book.
He had been right: the motorbike was pretty convenient.
– Who’s this? It’s new.
– I was invited to go to the karaoke with a few friends of my friend Claire. We had so much fun that we ended taking pictures of each other.
“A few friends? I see only one guy on those pictures.”
“Oh, calm down. We were paired up, that’s all. I thought you’d be happy for me.”
“I’m not exactly happy to see pictures of you with another guy hanging in your bedroom.”
What should have been a nice evening became the day of their first argument.
“Sorry Risa, I’ve been an idiot. Don’t be mad at me, I hate it.”
“I can’t stay mad at you, it seems… I’ll take the frame down.”