On The Avenue: Shaky Return

Title: Shaky Return
Summary: Francisco and Sharice meet again. At a time when both their young lives were falling to pieces, they were each other’s touchstones. These childhood friends were torn apart when Sharice moved away, but now she’s back and she’s beautiful. Francisco has been waiting for years to see her again, will he now leave his girlfriend for his best friend.
Disclaimer:  This is a work of fiction. Not intended to represent any real persons, places, events, or things. This story is copyright Dawn Kelley and all rights to these characters belong to me.

Dear Journal,

She’s back, out of nowhere, she’s back in my life. I love Karen, but Sharice is something special. I mean sure, she’s beautiful, but I forgot about it five seconds after I realized it.

You see, We was all hanging out. Benny, Harold, Kirk, Kim, Karen, Lina, Stacy and me. As usual, Kim was crawling all over Harold, hard to believe she and my conservative girlfriend are twins. And Stacy was treating Benny like yesterday’s garbage, she always hated being matched with him on group dates like this. “Yawl just stick us together cause we the two white kids,” Stacy often says in jest. Everybody knew Stacy isn’t serious.

Anyway, My older sister Shanice was out on a date with Ramone. And my mom, had taken all eight of my siblings out of the house. Of course this was a rare occasion (so rare I can’t remember the last time it happened). The twins (they think they’re grown at fourteen) had complained about being forced on the outing with the younger kids. “I’m to old for these juvenile excursions,” Ian said. For the first time, in a long time, Deven agreed with him saying, “This is wack man.” Funny kids my siblings are, sometimes they make me feel much older than my sixteen years. I talk about my siblings like they’re my kids.

i wasn’t even thinking about my best friend, who was torn from me when I was eleven years old. Out of loyalty, I have never told her secret. Not to Karen or anyone. I haven’t even written it in this jornal. As a child I often thought if I kept my blood promise, it would bring her back. And movie night, she came back to me as promised.

We were watching the newly released movie, Invasion U.S.A. None of us had seen it before, so we were all on the edge of our seats when the aliens landed. We were so engrossed in the movie, when the doorbell rang popcorn went flying and soda spills were all over the room. We cut off the tape and while everyone helped clean up, I went to the door. What I found there stopped my heart at first. My eyes were seduced by the most beautiful body I’ve ever seen. Curve after sensuous curve flowed into long luscious legs made of soft chocolate. Then they flowed back up shaping a perfect form until I reached her face. A face that changed this vision of womanly loveliness into the little girl I use to know. My Sharice stood before me.

We knew each other immediately, and hugged. Karen near demanded an explanation and when I did explain, everything was cool, almost. Every guy in the room was all over Sharice in seconds, especially Harold. I think she actually likes the guy, but I’d never let Sharice get involved with Harold. I mean, she’s had enough pains in her life, she doesn’t need Harold Emmanuel Tompson giving her more. The girls hated the attention she got on sight. Sharice says she’s use to it. It’s funny, my mom loved Sharice, but she didn’t seem to happy about Sharice’s return. I guess it was just a shock. Tomorrow, wonderful tomorrow I get to walk by her side to school again. It’ll be just like it always was, me and Sharice.

Francisco closed his Journal and climbed into bed, happier than he had been in years.

“Yo, Francisco,” Deven called from the top bunkbed, where he read a comic. “You think Sharice would be interested in a younger guy who’s mature for his age, like me.”

“No way,” Ian disputed from the bottom bunk. “If she went for a younger guy, it would be me. Sophisticated.”

“Your not sophisticated, your just a geek,” Deven said throwing a pillow at his twin. “Plus, I’m the most like Harold. I got game.”

“And why would she want you, when she already got the original?”

“What do you mean already got the original?” Francisco asked from his bed across the room.

“Harold and Sharice went out tonight. Didn’t you know?”

“No, I didn’t. How could she not tell me?” I

It was happening anyway, she was falling for Harold’s game. He had to stop this.

Francisco awoke the next morning with a plan. Once he told Sharice the truth about Harold, she’d drop him like a hot potato. Francisco finished handing out the bowls of cereal to the kids, while his mother fought with the zipper on her infant son’s clothes. The baby boy’s twin sister was still laying around undressed.

“Shanice, you could help, I’m trying to feed the kids,” Francisco stated as he grabbed the next piece of toast from the toaster.

“They’re not my brother’s and sisters.”

“Then what are they?” Francisco argued as Sharice entered through the side door.

“Hey Reese,” Francisco said giving her a kiss on the cheek. Her four year old sister and god-brother was with her. “Who’s this?”

“The kids I was telling you about, Courtney and Robby. ”

Sharice spotted Dawn struggling with the babies clothes.

“Mrs. Dawn, you need some help,” Sharice asked as she headed to where the second baby waited to be dressed.”

“Thanks sweetheart,” the busy mother replied. Francisco smiled, he knew his mother and Sharice would get along again. Just like old times.

“It’s no problem. I use to do this all the time with Courtney, and then when Robby’s mom died, him too.”

“How about I do you a favor and take Courtney and Robby to Day Care, I have to go anyway.”

“Thanks,” Sharice replied.

The time passed quickly as they all rushed out of the house. The day was going good so far, Francisco thought. Mom and Sharice were getting along and they were walking to school together, talking and laughing about old times. It was the coolest day. He had almost forgotten about Karen, whom he met on the bus stop. His cool day ended at that bus stop. Harold and Sharice embraced as if they had been going out forever and kissed right there in front of everybody. Karen seemed happy about it. She knew anything involving Harold was bad news, so why was she happy?

Harold really showed off on the way to school, making sure all understood that the new girl was his. He was actually groping her on the bus, in front of everybody and she was laughing. Kim looked as if she was ready to fight. Just yesterday she’d been the one in his arms (only three days before Stacy had been his companion). Today Kim and Stacy were in alliance against the new pretty face.

A pretty face was all they saw and Francisco knew it. They didn’t know the girl. But when he looked at the pretty face enjoying being Harold’s ornament he wasn’t sure if he knew her anymore. Was she the same girl? She had to be. This was Sharice, his little Reese.

Francisco was glad that none of his close friends, or his girlfriend, shared fifth period with him, because Sharice did. He hadn’t really gotten to talk to her since the bus stop. She sat beside him, as he knew she would.

“Hey little Biscuit, how you been?”

“You gotta break off this thing with Harold before it goes to far,” he blurted out. The words had been on the edge of his toungue all day.

“Okay,” Sharice said nonchalantly.

“Are you for real?” Francisco asked. He was stunned.

“Of course I’m not for real,” Sharice answered with a giggle.

“Do you know in the past month, 30 days, he’s had over 200 girlfriends.”

“Your exaggerating.”

“Maybe I am, a little. But Harold is a busy man when it comes to girls. Your just a trophy to him, a symbol of his stunning masculinity. Besides, he only wants one thing from you.”

Sharice laughed, “If you mean what I think you mean, he already got it.”


“Last night, our date.” She lauhed the cunning laugh of a TV seductress. “Francisco, The little girl that left here has grown up a lot. I date Harolds all the time. I saw through his game the second we met, but he’s cute and he’s fun. So let it be.”


His words were cut off when the teacher entered the class. He sat there staring at the teacher, but not hearing her. He wondered if the little girl that needed his protection could be found anywhere inside the new vixen of sexuality. Where was his little Reese? The one who was scared of the dark and snuck through his window and into his bed every night. What happened to the days when he was the only thing that made her smile? She use to be so happy just to be by his side, and now she’d turned into this.

He joined Karen for lunch, but his mind was still focusing on his friend. He looked across the Cafeteria at Harold clowning around and Sharice with him. Him? Harold Emmanuel “Play Boy” Tompson. This should have been their lunch. A celebration of their resurected friendship.

Kirk and Lina joined himself and Karen at the table.

“What’s wrong with him?” Lina asked.

“What else? Sharice.” Karen replied.

“I tried to talk to her, but she didn’t want to hear me,” Francisco added. “I got to get across to her that Harold is a bad idea.”

“Maybe it’s over Francisco. You need to let go. I mean look at her, that’s her environment,” Lina argued.

“That’s all anybody is doing, looking at her. They’re not seeing her. All this, it’s a show, a mask for something deeper. I know Sharice.”

“Baby, no you don’t. We’re talking about years of separation,” Karen said sweetly.

“A few years don’t make a difference, I never broke our oath, because I love that girl. It was like having my own soul ripped away.”

“You love her? Is that the problem, your jealous Harold has her instead of you? You want her, instead of me?”

“Karen, I don’t mean I love her like that, it’s nothing like us. It’s different.”

“How so?”

“I can’t–”

“Good, cause I don’t want to hear it,” Karen said as she grabbed her tray and stomped away.

Francisco’s head dropped to the table in confusion. What was he feeling? She was his friend, he knew her secret. That much hadn’t changed, but what had?

“She’s made a real mess of your life hasn’t she?” Lina asked.

“It’s not her fault,” Francisco replied. “She’s confused, I mean she’s been uprooted a million times. Plus, all guys respond to her like, well Kirk, What do you think of her?”

Nelson Kirk looked nervously at his girlfriend. “Answer him”, she stated

“Well, honestly I guess she’ s pretty, gorgeous actually.” He turned to look at the girl flirting with Harold. “She’s like a centerfold. I mean, she’s the type of girl most guys would be intimidated to approach, but the Harold’s, they go for it.”

“Are you saying I’m not pretty enough?”

“Of course you are baby, It’s just–”

“Just what? I’m not as drop dead gorgeous as her.”

“No, it isn’t that either. She’s just, you know, got that model build on her.”

“And I don’t”

“Of course, but–”

“Shut up before you put a third foot in your mouth. You can’t talk your way out of this one anyway.” Lina grabbed her tray and joined Karen, who sat at the table with Stacy and Kim.

“Man, why you put me on the spot like that?” Kirk asked.

“I wanted to see if her effect rang true on everybody. Maybe it’s getting me too. I can’t distinguish on feeling from the other anymore. I mean, I wanted to strangle Harold on the bus this morning. Was I being protective or jealous?”

“I don’t know, but my advice is drop that hot potato before it burns you.”

Francisco thought about this the rest of the day. He had hardly seen Sharice, with the exception of this morning and fifth period. They needed to talk bad, but on the bus it was impossible. Harold dominated her . Karen was still mad at him, though Kirk and Lina had made up. So the bus ride home was spent in a trivial partial conversation with Sharice, inbetween Harold’s act.

“Ain’t my girl the bomb,” Harold said to one of his “buddies”.

“You didn’t use to think so,” Francisco interceded. “You use to call her all types of names. Stick girl, black Pipi long long long stockings, Reese so skinny, she fell and broke to peicey.”

Sharice shot him a look, but he ignored her.

“I hope you won’t hold pass mistakes against me,” Harold said kissing Sharice’s hand like he was some type of gentleman.

“I won’t”, Sharice said. “How could I hold anything against this face?” She kissed him and Francisco filled with angfer. Why was she acting like this, this wasn’t suppose to happen. Who was this girl?

“Why don’t you two go get a room!” Francisco shouted. “Oh, I forgot, you already did, or did you? Maybe you just jumped in the back seat of his mom’s car.”

Sharice looked at him then with burning rage, but the rage broke into these little girl eyes. They were welling with tears. The words had carelessly slipped to his lips. The implications of his statement had to be devastating to the ear. The girl he had been looking for all day now appeared in her eyes. He acted like he hadn’t changed. What did he expect them to do, play with toy cars or doll babies after school? Go swing and slide in the park. That was long over.

“I’m sorry Sharice,” He said as the bus stopped.

“It’s not good enough Francisco,” Sharice said as she turned and got off the bus at the next stop. Francisco followed her. Close friends and strangers alike watch him run after her in the near deserted bus stop area, until the bus pulled off. Sharice ran with furry, Francisco behind her. He couldn’t catch her and almost stopped. Sharice looked back for a second and fell. Francisco ran to her and checked her leg, though she was shouting at him to go away. Her ankle was twisted and she couldn’t move.

“Your hurt, please stay still,” Francisco said readjusting her ankle. “Sharice, I can’t tell you how sorry I am about what I said. I was thrown by all this new stuff. I mean you and Harold? He use to bring you to tears with his teasing.”

“I’m not a kid anymore Francisco. And yet I’m back here, where I lived as a kid. I don’t know where I fit in. I mean I come back here starting from scratch almost. And you have your little girlfriend now.”


“When you introduced Karen as your girlfriend, I nearly died. I couldn’t believe my shy little guy, had a girlfriend.”

“Is that why you went out with Harold.”

“Not quite, but somewhat yea. It’s why I hung out with him today. I just can’t come and invade your established space.”

“That’s crazy Sharice,” Francisco pulled her up on her feet. She supported her hurt ankle, by leaning on him. He looked into her eyes. “Sharice, I want you in my space. All these years I couldn’t wait to have you back in my space.”

They looked at each other, finally seeing the past, present, and future connect. Though they weren’t completely the two kids that had been separated, they both still wanted the other one to be their friend, thier best friend.

Francisco reached up to touch the face he been waiting for years to see. Something came over the both of the as they looked into each other eyes and the two friends began to instictivly close the space between them. They’re faces were within inches of each other. Francisco prepared his lips for the coming kiss. Sharice’s hand ran interference.

“Do you really want this from me?” Sharice asked.

“I don’t know.”

“When you looked at me today, what did you see?”

“You, I guess.”

“But what about me. Did you think about my clothes or my butt or my breast or–”

“No Reese, What are you saying?”

“Let’s not do this just cause moment permits it, It won’t be worth it in the long run. ” Sharice explained. “Our friendship isn’t clouded by sex and wild desire. I want us to have that what we had before, but I don’t need you to be my protector. I’m a big girl, I’ve seen the world. I’ve got my own safegaurds.”

“Okay, and you don’t ever think I don’t want you in my space. I want, no I need to know your okay. I can never have the uncertainty I had all these years.”

“Okay, now let’s get my broken ankle home.”

“It’s not broken.”

“How you know it’s my ankle?”

They argued and talked on the bus stop until another bus came and took them home. In that bus ride he found the genuine smile he had been searching for. The one only he could make, not the phony one she gave to Harold. The two of them decided to drop by the distressed Karen’s house. Kim answered the door. She looked at Sharice with her arm wrapped around Francisco and turned inside the house saying, “Karen, your man is here to break up with you.”

Karen, who had been in tears, met them at the door. She tried to wipe all the evidence away from her face, but a blind man could see it.

“Is Kim right.”

“Kim is totally wrong as usual,” Francisco stated as he lowered Sharice on some porch furniture. “I am not breaking up with you. Sharice and I just had some kinks to work out our friendship.” Sharice smiled.

“I don’t want him like that,” Sharice added. “I mean, he’s a great guy, but that part of him belongs to you. We were kind of thrown today. Imagine trying to rebuild a friendship after a five year separation. Just to look at each other was conflicting and confusing. All these years we’ve imagined the day when we would be together as friends again, but we were confronted with two people different from those kids, yet the same somewhere deep down inside.”

“So you two are not–”

“No,” they answered together.

“And I hope we can be friends,” Sharice added.

“Of course we can,” Karen said leaning down to give her a hug. “We have a pair of crutches in the house. It might get you home.”

“It’s not that bad,” Sharice replied, but Karen raced off anyway. Her bad girl twin stood in the door. Karen licked her tongue at her as she headed inside. Kim came out and eyed the two friends.

“You may be able to fool my sister, but I know you two are more than buddies. If you hurt my sister, I’ll hurt you both,” Kim returned inside the house.

“Is she serious?” Sharice asked.

“Yea, she loves her sister, no matter how you see them act on a daily. Sort of like Deven and Ian. And Mark and Melissa, although they’re fraternal twins. You’ll be familiar with everybody’s ways soon enough. “

A week later, Francisco opened his Journal with a heavy heart. He had been through a lot in the last week.

Dear Journal,

Sharice and I are friends, it is just different than before. Karen tries to be her friend, though the rest of the girls ignore her. I still hate it, but Sharice is seeing Harold. I can’t believe she doesn’t need me anymore. That she’s so independent. I still remember the girl who spent all day focusing on her shoes, because she was to scared to look anybody in the eye. Yea, I remember her clearly, but it doesn’t matter that she grew up. It’s great, that despite what happened to her she’s as together as she is.

A tap at the window distracted Francisco from his writing. He looked over and saw the twins were sleep, so he opened the window. Sharice climbed in. Her face was tear soaked.

“I try to be strong, but every once in awhile I look at Malcom and I just want to die.”

“Malcom, Your father? What did he do?”

“Nothing, I came back from a date, if you can call it that, with Harold and he was just sitting there. He stared at me the way he did the first time I fought him. I can’t sleep in that house tonight.”

“Maybe it’s time you let go of it, just tell it.”

“Why, so I can feel worst. So people can stare at me.”

“They would never blame you.”

“How do you know? Look, I just need you to hold me Baby Biscuit. Make it okay”

“Okay Reese,” he said hugging her. They made their way over to the bed and laid down. Sharice cried like a baby in his arms that night as memories flooded back, some he didn’t know of. It was like all the bad in their five year separation was poured out in that moment. It wasn’t the first time, wouldn’t be the last, she required his ear and his arms. His next Journal entry went as follows:

Dear Journal,

Some things never change, she still needs me.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to RhondaWeasley.com. Dawn is a writer, theatre artist, and film maker. She loves to create and be a part of the creative. This is my webspace playground, for blogging, displaying my work, and general all-around fan fun.
My Social Networks
My Online Portfolio