When Michael Met Mina

When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah Page B

Book: When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah Read Free Book Online
Authors: Randa Abdel-Fattah
attention,’ she tells me. ‘Unleashing my finest acting skills here.’
    â€˜ Mum, can my friends and I have the house all day and can you supply all the food and drink and make sure you’re out until the last person’s gone?’
    She clears her throat, then puts on a breezy voice. ‘ Make sure we’re out of the house? Why, Paula, we had no intention of being home in the first place. We’ll be in the office that weekend.
    â€˜But you don’t know which weekend yet.
    â€˜Minor detail, darling. Here’s my credit card. Buy as much food and drink as you need. Have a wonderful time!’
    Paula bows, lets out a bitter laugh, and then falls back onto the pillow. ‘So in other words, venue and sustenance are taken care of. We just need to figure out who to invite.’
    â€˜So they work long hours?’
    â€˜My stepfather does too.’
    â€˜Does your mum?’
    â€˜She’s in and out of the restaurant.’
    â€˜I’m a feminist, I don’t care which of them cuts back their hours, I only wish one of them would. Meanwhile, my sister, Nancy, abandoned me and is spending her gap year in the States. So I’m basically an orphan with a one-email-a-week sibling.’ She shakes her head. ‘So hopefully I’ve made you feel sorry for me now which is why you have to get into slam poetry with me!’
    â€˜Slam poetry?’
    She grabs the laptop and goes back to YouTube.
    â€˜Check this channel out: Def Poetry Jam. It’s an HBO show. I’ve died and gone to heaven. It features all these spoken word artists. Prepare to lose your breath.’
    It’s like nothing I’ve seen or heard before. The words pierce me. The beat, the intensity, the rhythm. Some performers’ voices are soft melodies, lulling you into a false sense of security until wham, they’ve pulled the ground from under your feet. Others puncture your heart with every word.
    â€˜I want to perform one day. I’ve been going to a poetry slam event in the city. I’ve made some friends there, but I don’t have the courage to get up on stage yet. Would you come with me to the next one? I might have worked up the courage by then.’
    â€˜Sure! I’d love to.’
    She grabs my hand dramatically. ‘Thank you! Okay, let’s do a Facebook invite for our movie marathon!’
    One does not simply receive a LOTR movie marathon/dress-up invitation and decline. Dress up as your favourite LOTR character.
    We decide to send the invite to Adrian (because he’s smart and laidback), Jane (because Paula will feel guilty if she doesn’t), Leica and Cameron (because they’re joined at the hip). Paula’s going to ask a couple of friends from her slam poetry group too. I tell Paula about Maha and a couple of my other friends from Auburn Grove Girls High and ask her if I can invite them too.
    â€˜Of course!’
    â€˜You’ll love Maha,’ I tell her with a laugh. ‘Or not . . . It could go either way.’
    â€˜Hey, I have an uncanny knack for memorising book and film quotes and a crush on a dead gay writer and a teacher. I’m not one to judge.’
    Paula’s text comes through as I enter the school gates.
    Public service announcement from Bus Route 419:
    I don’t think I could survive an apocalypse. Canned food. No poached eggs on sourdough with mushrooms in balsamic. Pass.
    See you soon Mina Colada.
    We file into the school hall for a special assembly. The entire campus of Auburn Grove Girls High would fit inside this hall. Ms Ham stands in front of the podium on a stage I’m sure rivals anything on Broadway. She announces that the year tens have put on a Global Citizen Photography Reflections Exhibition following their two-week trip to Ghana. She encourages us – well orders would be more accurate – to visit the Middle School Atrium to have a look before the

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