Young Adult Fiction posted May 7, 2011 Chapters:  ...5 6 -7- 8... 

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Tanisha and Spooky make plans to go to the mall

A chapter in the book Tanisha's Way

A Spooky Meeting

by Deejharrington

Tanisha is a seventh grade girl who has just started a new school. She is being raised by Big Momma (grandmother) after her black mother has given up on her. Tanisha's father is white but not around.
The rest of the school week went smoothly for Tanisha. No major dramas in any of her classes or at home. She was feeling pretty good about things, as she walked home from school on Friday. She and Spooky had made plans to go to the mall the next day. That is if, and that's a big if, Big Momma gave her permission. Saturday was cleaning day at their house. The chances of Tanisha getting a pass on her chores were slim. But, she had been extra helpful all week. She had done the dishes every night, no back-talk, even watched Wheel of Fortune with Big Momma. All those sacrifices should count for something. What worried Tanisha the most was Big Momma actually meeting Spooky.

Not that Spooky was a mean girl or a gang-banger. But she did have the habit of dying the streaks in her hair a rainbow of colors. You never knew what to expect until she walked into class. One day, she had done all the colors and ribbons, too. And then there was her tattoo of a butterfly on her neck. Tanisha didn't know how Big Momma would react to that. According to Big Momma and her church lady friends, tattoos were an insult to God's creation. Maybe Spooky would wear a turtle neck on Saturday? Tanisha doubted it, the temperatures were supposed to be in the 80's.

Before Tanisha could come up with a plan, she heard a car with a loud muffler pull into the driveway. She peeked out the window and saw one of those old Beetle cars. It was painted neon green, blue, and yellow. Covering everything but the windows were peace symbols and bumper stickers. A tall, skinny, teen-ager unfolded himself out of the driver's seat and Spooky jumped out of the passenger's seat.

Tanisha gawked as she watched her friend come up the walk. Today, Spooky had bright pink streaks and sparkles in her hair. She wore a short black skirt over pink and white striped tights. On top, she wore a camouflage jacket. Tanisha just shook her head and said a quick prayer that Big Momma had lost her glasses.

The door bell rang and before Tanisha could race to answer it, Big Momma was there. She opened it and started to say hello but instead just stared. Tanisha knew it was one of the few times she had seen Big Momma speechless.

Spooky immediately put out her hand and introduced herself. "Hello, I'm Samantha Sorensen. You must be Tanisha's grandmother. How are you today? Tanisha talks about you all the time. She's usually bragging about what a great cook you are. I hope some day I get to try for myself."

Big Momma just shook her hand and led her into the living room. Tanisha hid a giggle as her grandmother's eyes got real big.

Spooky just kept the chatter up. "What a cozy house. It's so comfortable and inviting. Is that picture your embroidery? It's pretty."

Big Momma finally found her voice. "Tanisha tells me that the two of you have made plans to do some shopp'en at the mall?"

Huh, oh, here it comes, thought Tanisha. We're gonna hear all about it now.

"Yes, my older brother Tony, is outside. He's going to drive us to the mall. My mom said she'd pick us up. Oh, and she asked me to invite Tanisha over for dinner. Is that alright?"

Tanisha could see the wheels mov'en in Big Momma's head. She was weighing how polite Spooky was against all the chores that needed to be done.

Big Momma must have made up her mind. "Tanisha, you remember your manners and be sure to thank Mrs. Sorensen. You two be careful and don't go talk'en to no strange boys. Be home by nine o'clock and have fun."

Have fun? Tanisha was in shock. Did Big Momma just give her a pass on her chores, let her go to the mall, have dinner at a stranger's house, and tell her to have FUN? Tanisha grabbed Spooky's arm and started for the door before Big Momma could come to her senses and change her mind.

"Good-bye, it was nice meeting you." Spooky barely had time to get out before Tanisha pulled her out the front door.


Tanisha and her friend, Spooky make plans to spend the day at the mall. But first, Spooky must get past Big Momma.
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