The Conclusion: No Turning Back
Eric watched his life flash before his eyes as sweat trickled down his mustache wetting his lips. Or maybe it was tears. Eric couldn’t tell the difference at this point. It really didn’t matter. He just prayed that he could be anywhere but here. He was tired and scared. He wondered if his friend could see the fear in his eyes. He hoped his father couldn’t see it. Fronting had gotten him this far and it was too late to stop now. His legs felt like wet noodles, his arm shook, and his heart was beating so fast and loudly that it drowned out all sound. His father stood only inches away and although he saw his lips moving all he could hear was the sound of his own heartbeat. A shot rang out and he saw his friend Philly’s body involuntarily jerk. His body was pinned to the floor in pain as blood slowly oozed from his leg. Eric cocked back the Glock, placed it in Philly’s mouth, and pulled the trigger. Eric stepped back, dropping his gun. He held his mouth trying to fight back the vomit. His father rushed over and snatched his charcoal gray Kangol apple cap from his head placing it underneath his son’s mouth. Everything he’d eaten that day was dispelled into the expensive hat.
“Don’t get any on the floor son, can’t leave any DNA.”
Eric nodded his head up and down signifying that he understood. They walked to the car and he climbed into the back seat lying down and closing his eyes. He remained silent as his father got into the driver’s seat and pulled off. Only a week ago he had a best friend, and a plan to make two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Where did things go wrong? He let his mind recollect the events of the week.
Wale and Omarion’s ‘M.I.A.’ played in the background as Eric talked to his mother on his Bluetooth while getting dressed for the day’s business.
“I know, ma… I am. I’m looking at the applications as we speak.”
“I don’t need you to look at them. I need for your tail to fill them out,” she replied.
“I am, ma...Ma, let me call you back. I have another call I need to take.”
“Okay, baby. You make sure you get those forms filled out and mailed back in.”
He disconnected the call and clicked over to answer the next one.
“What’s good, playboy?”
“You ready to make this move or what?”
“Yeah. I have to check this email confirming the purchase order on the plastic and magnetic strips. What about you? You gon’ be ready to activate em?”
“Yeah, I’ll be ready. We gon’ handle this lil bit then go meet Akmil and get our payday. Tell me again how much we getting from Rahiem and how much he gon’ want back?”
“Thirty racks and he want’s eighty-five back. After we get’ em off to Akmil and pay Rahiem back we should walk away with eighty-two and a half a piece. Not bad for a couple of hours of work right?”
“Hell naw. You get any of those college applications mailed off yet?”
“Man you sound like my mama,” Eric responded.
He sat at his desk, lifted his laptop, and powered it on. He looked over at a packet of papers sitting lying nearby. It was an application to Howard University. He balled up the application and tossed it into the trashcan near his desk.
“What you waiting on?”
“That school shit ain’t for me,” he said as he keyed in his access code and logged into his Gmail account.
“Go head, you scored 2350 on the SAT. How in the hell is school not for you?”
“Don’t front. What school you in? You didn’t even graduate. You went and took the GED test.”
“So! A lot of people do.”
“You were getting acceptance letters from Princeton, MIT, and Purdue.”
“Why your ass ain’t go?”
“I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me that I’m smart. I’ll build my wealth on my own terms.”
“I feel the same way, shit.”
“Whatever you say, man.”
Eric read through his email. The confirmation was there.
“It’s all set. I’m on my way to get the cash from Rahiem.”
“Cool, but one last thing.”
“I’m just wondering what your dad is going to say about you not going to school. Didn’t he say as part of the arrangement for him paying for your apartment, monthly allowance, and buying you that Tahoe that you had to not only get in school but stay in school?”
“He gon’ beat your ass when he finds out that you lied.”
“Not really. By the time he finds out this deal would have been done and I’ll be able to pay my own bills.”
“I don’t know… you think it’ll be that simple? He’s going to trip if he finds out how you’re getting the money.”
“Man, I ain’t worried about my dad. If he trips out then that would make him the biggest hypocrite in the world. Yeah he’s independently wealthy and legit now selling women’s clothes and shit, but I ain’t forgot how he got there… and after all, I am his son. If he had it in him to get out in the streets and get money, I know I got it in me.”
“Whatever, man. I’ll meet you in a couple of hours.”
Jimmie ran as if his life depended on it, sweat covering his muscular flesh. Clad in only a wife beater and boxing shorts, he held onto the bars of the treadmill as the sweat slid down his bald head and ran into his eyes. The central air circulated through his bedroom as he watched the Business Television Network and talked to his realtor on his Bluetooth.
“What are they talking about for the property?” he asked almost breathlessly.
Ronda sashayed into the room adorned in a silk robe, no panties, no bra. Her breast protruded through the thin material. She smelled of Chanel regenerating cream. Jimmie smiled at the four foot tall, half black, half Asian beauty. They’d been married for a year now and she was ten years his senior, but they had both known it was love from the first day they met at his parole meeting. She was his parole officer. Although she was violating ethical codes of conduct she hadn’t cared. They were married six months later. They held no secrets from one another and she helped him to make the transition from criminal to corporate.
“This will be my third boutique in Minnesota before I expand to the East Coast. The demographic is perfect. Get them to drop another five to ten thousand off the selling price.”
He ended the call and the work out simultaneously. Turning off the tread mill, he smiled at his wife.
“Enjoy your shower, baby?”
“It was nice.”
“Good. I thought you wanted me to join you.”
Sliding on her tamale red Body by Victoria Secret Lace Cheeky panties and matching bra.
“You didn’t want to shower with me. You prefer to talk money than take advantage of all of this.”
Ronda sprawled herself against the wall letting her hands glide seductively up and down her breast and inner thighs. Jimmie walked over and dropped to his knees in front of her, burying his face in her thighs and inhaling her scent. He began to ravish her flesh with his tongue. Giggling she pushed his head back playfully.
“Naw, my brother! It’s too late now. I have to be to work and so do you.”
Standing to his feet he swept her off hers and carried her to their Eastern King sized bed. He threw her onto the mattress.
“Forget you then, ugly,” he said turning and walking away.
Laughing, she threw a pillow, hitting him in the back of the head and then jumping on his back she wrapped her legs around his midsection.
“I know you ain’t think this was over that easy.”
“Ah, so you want to play rough huh?”
She tightened her grip around his neck and squeezed her legs as tight as she could, trying to break him down to his knees. Laughing, he slowly backed up until they both fell onto the bed.
“Okay, okay I quit!” she yelled out in between laughs.
“Naw, you think you some kind of extreme fighter or some shit. Get out of this move with your tough ass.”
Jimmie, with his almost seven foot frame and almost three hundred pounds, was lying on top of her.
“Stop, boy! I can’t breathe!”
“Naw. Who the King?”
“I’m not saying.”
“That’s fine with me. I’m in no rush.”
Moving his arm, he reached over and grabbed the remote turning the television channel to a music station. Mystikal’s ‘Original’ came blaring through the surround sound speakers.
“I’m serious now… shit… come on… I have to be to work!”
“Who’s the King?”
“You are.” She said, barely audible.
“Girl, I can’t hear that.”
“I said you are! Now get off of me, damn!”
He rolled over, scooping her into his arms all in one motion. Her face frowned in mock anger.
“Come on, Jimmie. I have to get ready, baby,” she said in a soft baby tone.
“Nope. Give me kiss.”
Closing his eyes he puckered up his lips.
“No,” she said defiantly.
“I ain’t moving,” he responded with his eyes still closed, lips still puckered.
She kissed his lips over and over again.
“There. Are you happy now?” she asked laughing as he stood from bed, towered over her, and stared down at her sexy frame. She felt her heart flutter.
“Yeah that will do...for now.”
“You make me sick,” she said laughing, watching as he removed his wife beater and boxer shorts and walked into the bathroom with nine inches dangling between his legs.
The pool hall on the East side of St. Paul looked out of place on that side of town. Wall to wall marble floors, fifty inch television screens on almost every wall, a live band playing jazz, billiard tables, a bar, a spa, manicurist and barber, a cigar room, and massage parlor. Eric stood at the bar drinking a long island iced tea while he waited for Rahiem to come out. Rahiem owned the pool hall and had named it ‘The Bank Shot’. An assortment of clientele came in and out of the establishment, from white collar businessmen, strippers, loan sharks, and drug dealers to white collar criminals and school teachers. Rahiem catered to all and made everyone feel comfortable.
A short balding white guy wearing black slacks, a white button up, and a suit jacket appeared from the back carrying a clipboard.
“Yes,” Eric responded downing the rest of his drink and heading in the man’s direction.
“Rahiem will see you now.”
Eric quietly followed the man went through a set of double doors into the kitchen where there was a service elevator in the back. A body guard stood at the elevator holding a walkie-talkie.
“Yeah, he’s on his way up,” the body guard said into his walkie-talkie as Eric got onto the elevator and the doors closed taking him to the upper level.
The doors opened and another body guard was standing statuesquely as if awaiting him. He pointed to a set of French double doors down the hall.
“Go right in. He’s expecting you.”
Eric didn’t respond verbally. He simply followed the man’s directions and walked down the hall to the French doors. He entered without knocking. Stepping through the doors he was shocked to see that it was an apartment. The mahogany hard wood floors and matching walls put Eric in the mindset of being in a modern day cabin. Najee’s ‘For the love of you’ played softly. Eric closed the door behind him.
“Have a seat,” he heard Rahiem say as he entered the living room from the kitchen carrying a tray of food.
The scent hit Eric’s nostrils causing his stomach to growl. The room felt homey and warm. A cream colored sectional sat around a low sitting Japanese style table. Eric stood next to the sectional as Rahiem set the food on the table and promptly sat on the floor.
“Join me,” Rahiem said placing two bowls on the table.
He began to dish food into the bowl that sat in front of him.
“Thank you, sir, but I have business that…”
“You know it’s rude to turn down an invitation from a man in a higher position of power than that of your own. It is sometimes viewed as arrogance.”