Be Careful What You Wish For
Samantha "Sammy" Briggs
Quiet, South African girl who loves to run
Samantha Briggs, Sammy to her friends, is a quiet, reflective black girl who loves running. She’s fast, too — she made the varsity track team at her public high school, and consistently comes in top three in every race.
Sammy’s not competitive, though. She enjoys running because of the endorphin rush, and because of the social connections she gets for being on the track team. She’s too busy with track to be one of the “popular girls”, but she has a few close girlfriends, and they hang out with each other and do each other’s makeup ALL the time.
Sammy’s parents are very proud of her, but they don’t have a lot of money, so she doesn’t have a lot of nice clothes. (Another reason she isn’t one of the popular girls.) However, Sammy runs all around Johannesburg, including the bad parts of town, and her parents are concerned enough for her safety that they found the money to send her to a few martial arts classes to learn self-defense. Sammy went, but she wasn’t very interested. After a few classes, she told her parents to stop spending money on classes she didn’t want to take, and her parents reluctantly agreed.
Sammy is in Grade 11 at Greenside High school, and she does well enough in her classes — mostly B’s, a few C’s. She doesn’t really care about academics, she just wants to get through school.
Sammy’s three closest friends are Triss, Vanessa, and Penelope. Triss is in the same grade as Sammy, and they’re in the same English class. Vanessa is a year older than Sammy and Triss, and she brings up that fact whenever she can: since she’s oldest, she should should determine what they all do and where they hang out. (Triss and Sammy don’t really mind having Vanessa direct them, since her ideas are usually fun.)
Unlike Triss and Vanessa, Penelope is a white girl. She is 16, and she’s also on the school track team, although Penelope is too young to be on the varsity team. Penelope is determined, though, and she and Sammy often go running together. Sammy has found herself sharing secrets with Penelope on several occasions — it just feels so comfortable to talk with her. In fact, Sammy is afraid that she might be developing a bit of a crush on Penelope, not that she would EVER tell her.