Sunil was staring up to the zinc roof. He was toying with a piece of grass or something in his mouth and had one foot up by his rump and the other crossed over the knee of that leg. His hands were behind his head and he appeared to be in deep thought. Although it was late I wasn’t sleepy; maybe because I had slept earlier. Reena put out the kerosene lamp in the kitchen and came in the bedroom. The light from the lamp in Mammy’s room spilled over the top of the wall separating the two rooms to the roof of our room. Reena went in the corner where she had her clothes hung up on a few nails in the wall there. She lifted her dress over her head and took it off then hung it on another nail. Then she loosed off the straps behind her and removed the thing with the cups that big girls and women wear. She kept her back to us. She pulled her sleeping dress over her head and let it fall over her dark maturing body before coming in bed beside Sondra. We could hear Aunty Doogoo and Mammy talking next door but we couldn’t make out what they were saying. From time to time we could hear them laugh. I guess they were talking sister things about when they were growing up. “ You think we going live with Aunty Doogoo?” I asked. “ I dunno,” said Sunil. “ You ever stop to think what go happen to Sondra?” Reena whispered. “ What you mean?” I asked. “ If we go and stay at Aunty Doogoo then Sondra got to go home at she mother. Doogoo ain’t go want she there,” Reena said. “ Why you say that?” Sunil asked. “ Doogoo and Aunty Nalini don’t talk. At least Doogoo would have nothing to do with she. You ain’t see how she does treat Sondra?” Reena said. “ You sure Aunty Doogoo want us to go live at she?” Sunil said. “ That is what Aunty Doogoo say,” said Reena. “ When we going?” I asked. “ They ain’t even bury Haroon yet and you want know when we moving,” Reena said with some irritation. “ So we going New Amsterdam to live,” Sunil said and seemed pleased. “ That is what Aunty Doogoo want,” said Reena. “ What if Mammy don’t want go?” I said. “ Mammy never say she didn’t want go, only Haroon,” said Reena. “ I hope we going,” said Sunil. “ Why?” asked Reena. “ Well, it ain’t have work to do here when I finish school except at the estate and me ain’t want work there,” Sunil said. “ New Amsterdam have more opportunities.” “ Reena frighten Aunty Doogoo marrid she off if we go live at she in New Amsterdam,” I said. “ Shhh! She might hear we,” said Reena. “ That not so bad,” said Sunil. “ You’re a boy so you can talk,” Reena said reproachfully. “ You rather get marrid off to a boy over here or in New Amsterdam where you can go cinema?” said Sunil. “ They can marry you off to a boy living anywhere out of New Amsterdam. It don’t have to be a boy from there,” argued Reena. “ Remember Savitri?” I remembered Savitri. She was from the village. She had finished school three years ago and her parents immediately married her off to a boy from somewhere named Letterkenny on the Corentyne. She came back once sometime last year to visit and already had two children. “ You don’t want dress up and look nice like Lea and Indira?” asked Sunil. “ Who’s Lea and Indira?” I asked. “ Your two hoity-toity cousins,” said Reena. “ Oh, they’re pretty,” I said. “ Yea, you can dress up pretty like them and smell nice too instead of smelling like you been in the kitchen whole day,” said Sunil. “ Is because of ayo make I in the kitchen whole day,” Reena said. “ Well when we go live at Aunt Doogoo you won’t have to be in the kitchen whole day,” said Sunil. “ Yes, just before they marrid me off,” said Reena. I was getting tired of her bad talking going to live in New Amsterdam. “ Who go want marry you though,” I said aloud. “ Shut up you fool. She go hear,” Reena urged and pointed to the next room where they were still in conversation. “ Harry Kissoon was asking about you,” said Sunil. My ears perked up. Was this the same Harry Kissoon that cussed out Reena last week? Reena didn’t say anything. “ What he asking you?” I said. “ Nothing. He just want know about Reena,” said Sunil. Reena drew her teeth and turned her back to us. “ Me ain’t like he,” she said bitterly. “ I know he like Dolly Ramsaroop in my class but like now he interested in you,” said Sunil. I didn’t know if he knew something and was toying with Reena or if what he said was true. Reena was silent for a while. “ What he ask you?” she said, just when I was going to ask a question. “ He want know what kinda nice things you like eat,” Sunil said. Silence again. Reena turned again facing us. “ And what you say?” she asked. “ I tell him ask you,” Sunil said. “ When was that?” I asked, for this seemed an about turn for Harry, judging from how angry he was when he met Reena behind school just last Friday. “ That ain’t your business. Go to sleep,” said Reena. “ This morning before all this start happening,” said Sunil. Reena was silent again. “ Imagine that. Haroon wake up good good this morning and tonight he done dead,” Sunil said thoughtfully. “ If Aunty Doogoo make a match for you to marry Harry Kissoon you would like that?” I asked Reena to bring the conversation back to what I was interested in. “ Boy shut up,” said Reena. Sunil chuckled. “ Reena Kissoon. That ain’t sound too bad,” Sunil said and laughed. “ Maybe Aunty Doogoo go arrange for you to marry Dolly,” I said to Sunil. “ Dolly? Naw, I won’t marry a girl like that,” Sunil said and I could see he was enjoying this. “ Wha’ wrong with Dolly?” said Reena. “ Yea, I thought you like her,” I said. “ Naw, she ain’t go make a good wife,” Sunil drawled. “ She interested in too much boys.” “ You mean she don’t like you enough,” I said. “ Oh she like me alright. But she ain’t my type.” “ If she ain’t your type why you spend out all the kerosene money fattening she up?” I said. I had had enough of this denial game these two were playing. “ What?” Reena said. Apparently she didn’t know anything about this. “ He spend out Mammy’ kerosene oil money buying snack for Dolly and had to ask me for me passage money Friday to make up the oil money,” I explained. “ Boy that is just a li’l favor I do her to get what I want from she,” said Sunil. “ What you want from she?” I asked. “ You too small boy. You will learn later,” Sunil said and laughed. “ All ayo is the same thing,” said Reena and sucked her teeth again. I wasn’t sure what she meant by that. “ I ain’t spending no money just to get a kiss from no girl,” I said. “ A kiss?” Sunil said and laughed. “ I get that everyday from Dolly.” “ Then what else you want?” I said. “ Milo shut up,” said Reena. “ Why you think Harry want buy things for Reena?” said Sunil. “ Nothing like Harry can touch me,” Reena said angrily then sucked-her-teeth. “ Why he don’t go to Dolly for that?” “ He say Dolly batty too flat,” said Sunil. “ So why he run round behind school to meet she then?” I said. “ Milo shut up. You talk too damn much,” Reena said harshly. “ Meet who behind school,” Sunil said and I could see I had his attention. “ I thought you say she nuh good enough for you,” I said. “ What make you think Harry want anything from me?” asked Reena. “ Why else he asking about you then,” said Sunil. Reena was silent. “ You better get smart girl. You getting big and getting woman parts. You think I ain’t see how Mr. Ramdat does look at you?” Mr. Ramdat was a tall skinny teacher just out of Training college who taught the class next to Reena’s. “ How he does look at me?” said Reena. I wasn’t sure if she was playing ignorant and already knew Mr. Ramjit was eying her up, or if she really had no idea. For me it’s the first I was hearing of this. “ You play you stupid,” said Sunil. “ And I go tell Mammy to make your skirt longer.” It was true Reena was growing out of her skirt. While most of the other girls’ skirts were down to their knees or below, Reena’s was approaching the territory of the new mini skirt style. Much of her legs showed under her uniform and she had to be careful to keep her knees together when she sat down and prevent her skirt from riding too far up. Reena drew her teeth again and turned away from us. “ What is that about Dolly and Harry behind school?” Sunil asked. “ Ayo hush up. I want sleep,” said Reena and squirmed in her bedding like she was settling down to sleep. “ Harry get a note from a girl that like he to meet he behind school but he thought it was Dolly,” I said quietly. “ So he went behind school after school over and was vex when he see wasn’t Dolly.” Sunil laughed at this bit of news. “ That good for he,” said Sunil. “ He always go on like he is the starboy in the class.” “ Ah tell you ah don’t like Harry Kissoon and I didn’t write he no love note. And you Milo, you mouth like duck batty; it run too damn much,” Reena retorted. “ Is you he meet behind school?” Sunil was putting two and two together. “ Ohh, so now Harry realize he miss a’ opportunity with you so he trying to get a second chance.” “ He ain’t miss nothing. I just wanted to talk to him,” said Reena. “ I hope you know what you doing,” said Sunil. “ Who go like big nose Harry,” said Reena and drew her teeth. She turned her back to us again. Outside the wind had picked up and I could hear the rain starting to drizzle. The frogs and night insects were loud outside as though it were the middle of the rainy season. I could hear the loose zinc on the roof rattling in the wind. Mammy and Aunty Doogoo had stopped talking and had put out the lamp. They had probably fallen asleep by now. The wind blew stronger and I could hear the rain beating down on the zinc roofs of the houses in the neighborhood as it came our way. Sunil started breathing heavily and I knew he had fallen asleep. “ Reena?” I said. “ What?” she said. “ Ah sorry,” I said. She turned in bed and I supposed she was looking in my direction. “ I shouldn’t ah done that to you Friday,” I continued. She turned again, probably back to the wall. “ Go to sleep Milo,” she said. The rain came down heavily and the noise it made on the zinc roof drowned out anything else she might have said. I yawned and began drifting off to sleep.