Crack Rock Love

January 4, 2018

 

“Please don’t do it, please I’m begging you man I have a family now. I don’t live that life no more I was just a kid.” Simple Simon begged as he sat in the chair behind his desk in his office sweat seeping through his thousand dollar silk shirt staring back at Rondo with fear in his eyes, tears on his face, and two red dots on his forehead.

Rondo remained silent he cocked back the two hammers as Simple Simon flinched. The door to his office swung open as Rondo swung the two WVZ61 Scorpion’s towards the direction of the person entering the room. The two red dots danced around the little girls face and chest as Simple Simon jumped to his feet.

“Don’t shoot! She’s just a baby.”

With one gun still trained on the little girl Rondo aimed the other one back at Simple Simon. “Sit yo simple ass down!” Rondo spat out through gritted teeth.

“I’m begging you man not in front of my baby.”

Rondo uncocked the two guns placing one back in the holster leaving the other still aimed at Simple Simon. “You get a pass this time, but this shit ain’t over Simon I found you once I’ll find you again.”

Simple Simon remained silent as Rondo lowered his weapon and allowed the little girl to pass who appeared to be no more than twelve or thirteen years old. As he made his way out of the office he felt a burning sensation peirce his back collapsing onto the wall trying to regain his footing he dropped to his knees and rolled over on his back. Staring up clutching at both guns he stared back at his attacker. The little girl stood over him clutching the .38. Rondo’s eyes fought back the tears as his hearing seemed to fade in and out.

“Like that daddy? Did I do it right daddy?” The little girl asked as she stood over Rondo tears falling from her eyes. Simple Simon took his time walking around his desk as he stood over Rondo he draped his arm across her shoulder.

“What else did daddy tell you pumpkin?”

The little girl wiped the tears from her face with the back of her hand. “Always shoot to kill.”

She squeezed two more shots into Rondo’s chest. Simple Simon smiled as he squeezed his daughter tighter and placed a delicate kiss on her forehead.

***

 

 

 

TEN YEARS BEFORE

Crack rock hit the scene hard. At that time in my life I felt like it was the best thing to ever happen to me. 1989 Minneapolis, MN the North Side was booming so much money was coming in so fast and I was trying to get every penny of it. I was four-teen years old I was enrolled in Franklin Jr. High School. Me, my daddy, and my Uncle Cervante lived in Cecil Newman apartments on the North Side across the street from the projects.

I learned how to cook crack from my Uncle Cervante he was only nine-teen but had been hustling most of his life when he got in the game he had been younger than I was he started when he was eleven. From what I heard him and my daddy talking about he used to sell Heroin for his Uncle back when he lived in California, they lived in Watts. He was jumped into the gang when he was twelve the Pirus a Blood gang and did his first and only bid when he was fifth-teen. Arrested for suspected involvement in a drive-by of a rival gang member. Released on bond until his court date Uncle Cervante left Cali and came to Minnestoa to stay with us he was my mama's little brother. Mama was originally from Cali too but had moved here years before. Uncle Cervante has been living here on the run ever since. He never did admit to me if he was in on the drive-by or not it was a touchy subject for him he didn't like talking about it.

I learned about guns from Kevin, that was my daddy. I never could call him daddy not because he wasn't there for me and I didn't respect him but because every since I was little and I was able to walk and talk the way my daddy carried it, it was more like I was my own man and he held conversations with me as a man even when he was teaching me a life lesson as if I was a man so it was always Kevin.

He taught me how to carry a gun, how to shoot it, how to clean a gun, always wear gloves and carry a handkerchief everywhere I go. Never loan my guns out unless it was to him or my uncle. Never brag or flash my heat, if I pull it to use it and use it to kill. It’s kind of ironic that he be the one to teach me how to use a gun being that he was the one who killed my mama. He admitted this much to me about a year ago, he never came right out and said it but I got the point and realized it had all been an accident. Just like uncle Cervante and the drive-by he ain't talk much on that either.

I always had done pretty well in school but now since I was getting money I only went to holler at bitches and floss my fresh gear and phat gold chains. I was the freshest nigga in the school. I had slept with almost all the best looking girls in the school but the one I wanted most just wasn't biting. I stepped into the school just as the bell rang for lunch. There she was the most beautiful thing my eyes had ever seen.

Kenya she was in the same grade I was in, light skinned, with big brown eyes, perfect white teeth, long hair in a ponytail, big breasts and a big ass. She was perfect and none of the cats at our school was fucking her. She was the cream of the crop, the best of the best. She was Captain on the dance team so she had all the right moves. She was even smart in school she was on the honor roll every semester.

“What's up Kenya?”

“Nothing, so you want to go to the Sadie Hawkins dance with me tonight?”

I lost my breath I tried to play it cool but I was excited as hell. “Stop playing girl I thought you were going with Roosevelt?”

“I was supposed to until that flake started spreading rumors around the school talking bout he fucked.”

I smirked. She placed her hand on her hip,

“What's funny?”

“It’s just a rumor?”

“Psh. Boy please his broke ass. I was just trying to be nice cause he was kind of cute but me giving him some never!”

Yeah I saw her lips moving but I wasn't paying attention to the words I had to figure out how I was going to get out of taking Candy to the dance she had already bought the outfits and the tickets. But if I turned down Kenya I may not get a second chance.

“It’s kind of late notice but yeah I'll go with you.”

A smile spread across her face I thought I would melt right there.

“I need some money and your sizes so I can go get us something to wear so we are matching.”

I already had spent almost a “G” on her trying to make her mine it was starting to get expensive but she was worth it. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a bundle of cash peeling off three one hundred dollar bills I handed it to her. Pulled an ink pen from my back pocket and wrote my sizes on the palm of her hand.

“Three “C” notes? What don't you want me to get you nothing? This going just be enough for me.”

“Damn Kenya don't you got an outfit to wear already?”

“Uh no, I know you don't mean the outfit I was going wear with that lame? That is so tacky. If he shows up with another girl you know his cheap ass going still wear the same outfit.”

I reached into my pocket and pulled out another two hundred dollars. “That's all you    need for me.”

“What time you picking me up?”

“I don't know I got some shit to do, what time are you going to get my clothes?”

“Right after school, well whenever you come you can get dressed at my house my mama ain't going trip.”

“Cool well I'll be through about 7:00 then.”

She gave me a hug and off she went. I lounged around the lunch room talking to a few females here and there. I knew everybody and vice versa but I didn't have a core group of home boys I hung with. After shooting dice in the boys bath room for the remainder of lunch I'd won my money back I'd given to Kenya plus three hundred more dollars. I would've stayed and kept taking those fools lunch money but my beeper was going off like crazy I had to get back to the Cecil Newman's I was missing a lot of money.

I hopped in my 89 Honda Accord well it wasn't technically mined I was renting it from a geeker, that's what we called hardcore drug addicts. Old dude about thirty something ran out of cheese and ain't have nothing else I wanted so I gave him a half a gram to rent his car for the weekend. I pushed the N.W.A. cassette into the cassette player and “Dope Man” came blaring through the speakers. I loved that song it got my adrenaline going it was my hustle anthem. My school wasn't too far from where I lived I was back at the building in fifth teen minutes. Parking, hopping out the car and walking across the parking lot I spotted Uncle Cervante. I gave him dap as his pager went off.

“Come with me right quick nephew.”

Checking my pager I quietly followed behind.

      “So what's up with that little dance shit you were talking bout?”

      “All that shit, cool had to change dates at the last minute it ain't nothing though.”

      “Change dates? What happened a little chick cancelled on you?”

I laughed. “Man hell nawl, the chick I was going go with at first I already fucked her. And since the chick I been wanting to fuck shook the dude she was going go with off she asked me and I said yeah.”

      “That ain't cool nephew.”

“What?”   

“I know you want to dip in some new pussy and ain't shit wrong with that but…”

“But what?”

“Blowing off yo for sho thang to get up with a chick that made you a conciliation prize and you don't even know if you going get some or not that shit ain't cool.”

I laughed. “I got this Unc.”

As we made it to the apartment building in the complex Uncle Cervante grabbed the security door and pulled it open. It was supposed to be locked and you needed to get buzzed in but it was always broke or propped open with a piece of paper wedged into the lock. Walking down the hall and up the stairs we made our way to Simple Simon's spot, we called him Simple Simon cause he was always on some goofy shit trying to prove he was down. Last week he had blown up the spot shooting at the security guards out the window of the spot he was serving in cause they asked him for ID. The police were all around the complex patting niggas down. Running off money, all the dope fiends disappeared, copping crack from other sources. After the heat died down Uncle Cervante had to calm niggas down they wanted to beat Simple Simon ass two of the homeboys got popped off with work. I don't know if Simple Simon even know how close he came to coming up stanking, if he did he ain't act like it.

Uncle Cervante continued, “So you say, but um telling you from experience it ain't a good idea karma a motherfucker shit like that always back fire.”

      “I thought you and daddy told me don't be no sucker? Ain't not doing what I want to do which is trying to mack this other broad and ditch the old pussy for some new pussy being a sucker? I mean she ain't my main bitch or nothing like that.”

      “Do what you want to nephew.”

Bloom, bloom, bloom. Uncle Cervante banged on the door.

“Who the fuck is it?” Simple Simon yelled through the door.

“Cervante nigga, open the door with yo scary ass!”

The locks turned and the door flew open. “Scared my ass nigga, yall mother fuckers need to quit playing so much and shit. Knocking like you the police and shit. One of these days you going fuck around and get a chest full of this hot shit.”

He laughed stepping to the side to let us in clutching a slide pump shotgun. I came in after Uncle Cervante closing the door behind us and locking it.

“Where Evette fool? I ain't got all day and shit.” Uncle Cervante asked flopping down on the couch.

Simple Simon's face turned into an angry snarl. “That's what you came up here for? That bitch paged you?”

“What the fuck else nigga? I don't make social calls.”

“That dirty bitch.”

Evette stepped from the back entering the living room and stopped almost as if she was striking a pose. This couldn't be who they were talking about. She was fine. Cinnamon complexion, nice firm lips with a glittery lip gloss that shone so seductively I wanted to rush her and suck all the glitter off. She was just my size short, cute, and curvy.

“Hey boo.” She spoke as she stepped to Uncle Cervante and stood in front of him with her crouch in his face.

“Damn, step back baby girl.” He said as he stood taking her by the hand. She placed her free hand on his chest.

“Fuck that you don't be taking money out my pockets shopping with other niggas up in my shit and I got good product.” Simple Simon spat out as he grabbed Evette by the arm. She yanked away rolling her eyes and sliding her hands into the pockets of the skin tight Vidal Sassoon jeans she was wearing.

“I work too hard for my money to be throwing It away on that bullshit you trying to pass of for work.”

“You lucky these my peoples and we all trying to get paid or I'll have to put my foot in that pretty little ass of yours, bad mouthing my product with your tramp ass!”

“Tramp, tramp? Tramps a fuck anything and I wouldn't fuck you if you were the last dick on Earth with your simple ass, Simple Simon!”

Simple Simon hated that name although it was nothing he could do about it everybody in the hood called him that and he never had the heart to knuckle up and demand his respect not to be called that. But he did stick his chest out to dopefeinds and stand his ground and hearing Evette call him simple must've been a blow to his pride. He grabbed her by her collar and pulled her towards him. Uncle Cervante laughing at the incident stepped between Simple Simon and Evette blocking the two. Although Evette didn't look like she needed protection her eyes bucked and hands balled into fists.

“Come on with that shit Simon.” Uncle Cervante said still laughing.

“Come on my dick, this geeker ain't about to be dissing me and shit.”

“Ya mammy a geeker!” Evette yelled out over Uncle Cervante's shoulder. Uncle Cervante turned towards Evette.

“Be cool little mama.”

She was looking good to me especially when she was mad damn she looked sexy. I couldn’t stop staring it was something that looked so familiar about her.

Placing her hand on her hip and rocking back and forwards. “So is we going conduct this business or what Cervante? I got to get home to my baby.”

“Not up in here you ain't” Simple Simon spat out as he brushed up against Uncle Cervante exiting the living room into the kitchen.

“Lame ass nigga fuck yo spot and yo bullshit dope. I'm trying to spend some money you going step out in the hall and handle this or should I go someplace else? You got some work baby?” She asked looking at me.

“Yeah we going handle this, come on.” Uncle Cervante blurted out making sure not to lose his sale to me. I was nearest to the door, I turned and grabbed the door knob opening the door and stepping into the hall followed by Uncle Cervante and Evette. They made their transaction, she gave him a hug, winked at me and downstairs and out the building she went.

“So what's up with her?” I asked as I made my way down the stairs.

“Shit, what you mean?”

“I would've never guessed.”

“Yeah I know, she must've just started smoking she don't look nothing like these crack head hoes. She ain't fucking either she always got paper.”

“She looks familiar as hell though.”

“You don't know that bitch.”

“I know but she looks like somebody I know.”

“I don't know about all that she look like somebody I want to fuck. So what you bout to do?”

“Make a few runs I got a couple beeps while I was at school bout to see if they still looking, going post up till all my work gone then go over that chick crib and get ready for the dance.”  

                                               ***

It was about 8:30 pm when I pulled up in front of Kenya's crib. She lived over North to over in Tangle Town. They called it Tangle Town cause if you ain't know your way around you was bound to get tangled and lost up in there. Knocking on the door I waited a few seconds before it was opened. Kenya stood in the door way wearing a pair of blue jean overalls covering a red and black plaid shirt. She wore solid red suede boots, and a black and red bandana covering her hair, not like Aunt Jemimama but stylish like, it was cute.

I stepped in and gave her a hug grabbed my bag and she pointed me towards her room in the basement.

“Go on down and get in the shower I have towels and a fresh bar of soap out for you do your thing it’s my own personal bathroom.”

“Aight I'll be out in a few.” I made way down the stairs and into her room. As soon as I hit her room I smelled air freshener and incenses burning. I looked around the room. She had a big ass bed had to be a queen with the real mattresses the thick shit probably a Serta it looked real comfortable.

“I can't wait to get her thick ass on that bed.” I said to myself aloud. She had Troop's “All I do is think of you” playing softly on her stereo. I looked around her room she had posters of Silk, Envogue, and De Barge all over her walls. Matching bedroom set her dresser, vanity, and headboard all matched a deep red mahogany. All along her wall she had shoes and boots stretching across her room, she had almost as many as I had if I had to estimate it was about forty maybe fifty pairs.

I went into the bathroom closed and locked the door. Took my shower hopped out quick and stepped out of her bathroom wearing only a towel. Sitting down on her bed I began to lotion my skin as I yelled up the stairs to her.

“Yo Kenya.”

“Yeah.”

“I'm using some of your lotion aight?”

“That's cool, hurry up its gettting late.”

“Kenya.” I heard another female voice yell out. Took me by surprise I thought we we're there alone, I assumed it had to be her mother.

“Yeah.”

“Who you got up in here?”

“The boy I told you was taking me to the Sadie Hawkins mama.”

“Who that Roosevelt boy?” she yelled out.

“No I told you I wasn't going with him any more I was going with my friend Rondo.”

“Well was you planning on letting me meet this Rondo or what?”

I rushed to hurry and put on my clothes didn't want her mother to come down into her room and find me half naked.

“Yeah mama dang he getting dressed right now but when he's done I will introduce you two.”

After I was dressed I looked at myself in the full body mirror she had hanging on her bathroom door. I looked good rocking the all red hoody, carhart dark blue denim jeans, black suede Havanah Joes, a sloid red Red Sox baseball cap and red bandana I folded and slid into my back pocket. After removing my money and pager from the pockets of my dirty clothes I grabbed all of them including my shoes and made my way upstairs.

“You got a bag I can put these in?”

“Yeah just put em in the bag your new clothes was in.” She walked past me and back down stairs into her room quickly returning with the bag. Standing in the kitchen I turned to face her as she held the bag open for me. As I dropped the clothes in the bag I heard a voice from behind.

“So you must be Kenya's new boyfriend Rondo?”

Before I could answer Kenya stepped in front of me with an annoyed look across her face.

“Uh no, Rondo no.” She said with a laugh. “We are just friends, Rondo this is my mama Ms. Jackson, mama this is my friend Rondo.”

I turned around to shake her hand and my voice got caught in my throat.

“Nice to meet you young man.” She said as she took my hand into hers and shook it.

“Ma'am.” I said as I tried to keep my cool.

“Well we got to go mama.” Kenya said as she grabbed her jacket and headed towards the door.

“Nice to meet you Rondo.” Her mother said as I walked behind Kenya.

“Nice to meet you too Evette.” I said, realizing my mistake right after I said it hoping Kenya didn't hear me as I rushed outside no way I could explain how I knew her mother's first name nor did I want to try. I couldn't believe it Kenya had a fine ass mama…a fine ass crack head mama. No wonder she looked so familiar Kenya look like a younger version of her mama I can't wait to tell Uncle Cervante this shit, it was like that though especially in Minneapolis everybody knew everybody in one way or another.

Later on that night after the dance me Kenya, and a couple other kids went out to Perkins on Riverside to eat. As I was on my way to drop her off at home my pager went off.

“We got to make a quick detour I got to make a run real quick.”

“That's cool.”

We pulled into the parking lot of my apartment complex and both got out. She followed me to my apartment I unlocked the door and let her in.

“Have a seat, I'll be right back.” She sat on the couch and grabbed the remote control.

“So who all stay here?” she asked as I made my way to my room to get some more work.

“Just me, my daddy, and my uncle.”

“All so this a bachelor pad?”

“Something like that.” After I had my stash of crack I returned to the living room she was stretched out with her feet propped on the table. “Glad to see you made yourself comfortable. It should be some shit to drink in the refrigerator help yourself um going make a run real quick then I'll be back to take you home. If my uncle or daddy come in tell em I'll be right back.”

“Aight, don't be long though Rondo.”

I didn't respond I just grabbed the door and rushed out. Walking across the parking lot I made my way to another building and walked in headed towards a customer the code in the page I'd gotten said that they wanted to spend a hundred dollars I brought two-hundred dollars’ worth just in case they had company and wanted to spend money. Why make extra trips if I didn't have to? I made it in, made the sales and walked out $200.00 dollars richer.

The night was going good as hell had fun at the little dance shit. It felt like Kenya was feeling me if I didn't fuck tonight I knew it wouldn't be much longer. I might make her the one she smart, sexy, and popular why not make her my main girl. As I walked down the hall of my apartment building towards my apartment I heard Kenya laughing I smiled as I pushed the door open she must be watching an HBO comedy special or something. I was taken by surprise when I stepped in and Uncle Cervante was sitting at the table breaking down his weed.

“What's going on nephew?”

“Shit.”

“So that Sadies shit was fun, I hear.”

“Yeah it was straight, where Kevin?”

“Had some shit to take care of should be back the day after tomorrow your company staying the night?”

“Uh no, my mama is not playing that.”

Hearing that made me smirk, which reminded me that I needed to put Uncle Cervante up on game.

“You ready?” I asked directed towards Kenya.

“Yeah after your uncle let me hit this blunt we can roll. That alright with you?”

“Yeah cool with me.”

“So what yall in the same grade?” Uncle Cervante asked as he rolled the tobacco leaf and licked it to seal it.

“Yeah, we been knowing each other since last year that’s my homeboy.” Kenya responded as she took the blunt from Uncle Cervante lit her lighter and burned the outside of the blunt where Uncle Cervante licked it to kill the germs. She placed it between her lips and lit it.

“Is that right?”

“Yeah that's my nigga if he don't get no bigger.” She said as she choked on the smoke from a pull that was too much for her lungs.

“Yeah she aight.” I said as I flopped down in the Lazy Boy chair that sat across from the two of them. We talked and bullshitted back and forwards until the blunt was gone then we left so I could get her home.

A quarter to 3am we pulled up in front of her house and parked.

“Thanks for tonight it was fun and your uncle cool as hell.”

“Yeah that’s my nigga I'll kill for that nigga.”

“We’ll see you on Monday at school.” She grabbed the door handle to open the door, I grabbed her arm.

“What no kiss?”

“Yeah right, I don't kiss my friends.”

“Stop playing.”

“I ain't playing Rondo you cute and all…”

“Cute?”

“All right I'll keep it real you more than cute some would even say fine…”

“But…”

“But Negro I know how you is.”

“What that supposed to mean?”

“What it means is you blew your chance.”

I snickered. “What?”

“It was a time I would've given you some but not now.”

“Why the fuck not?” I asked as I shifted in my seat to face her fully.

“You are a whore.”

“What the fuck you call me?”

“You heard me, a whore I would've given you some if you would've kept your dick in your pants. But nall you had to fuck every female I know.”

I laughed. “Come on now you exaggerating I ain't fuck every female you know.”

“Don't get me wrong you half way slick with yours making sure they ain't run they mouths so the whole school wouldn’t know. But you ain't slick enough them bitches still talked. They ain't tell everybody cause they were on some snake shit they self. Me and four other home girls all hang out together.”

“Yeah.”

“And one of em everybody knew you fucked. Sharonda.”

“Yeah.”

“That alone is enough to justify why not to mess around with you.”

“Man that shit was last year I don't mess with that girl like that any more.”

“True, but what about Nakeema, Victoria, and Wakeisha?”

I laid my head back on the head rest with a smirk plastered across my face. “What about em?”

“I don't know how you got them hoes to not blab about it but as far as I know I'm the only one they told. Maybe they felt stupid for going behind Sharonda's back and fucking you.”

I remained silent. She continued. “Nakeema came to me first and told me yall did it in the school bathroom. Then Wakeisha told me yall had a quickie in Sharonda's room while yall was waiting for her to get out the shower, then Victoria came to me bragging bout sucking ya little dick.”

I laughed. “My dick ain't little.”

“Might not be, if it is or it ain't I won't ever find out.”

“It ain't even like that Kenya I…”

A knock on her window took me by surprise. She turned to look and saw it was her mother. I rolled down her window from the master control on my side of the door.

“Hey mama.”

“Don't hey mama me, carry your ass in the house its almost 4 in the morning.”

“Alright mama, sorry Rondo but we friends and that’s how it’s going be Mr. Happy Dick.”

I laughed. “Aight then I ain't tripping.”

She opened the car door and stepped out. Her mother jumped in her seat and closed the door.

“Gone on in and lock the door bout to have him run me to 7-Eleven real quick.”

Kenya didn't answer she turned towards the house and made her way in.

“Can you do that for me baby?” She asked fastening her seatbelt before I had the opportunity to respond.

“Yeah that's cool.”

She reclined in her seat as I threw the car in drive and pulled off.

“I appreciate you not saying anything to Kenya about earlier today.”

“Shit it ain't none of my business.”

“You got some work on you?”

“Not right now but I can run you to get some.”

“That's alright, I can wait until tomorrow I don't need it. So what’s your intentions with my baby?”

“Who Kenya?”

“Yeah that’s the only baby I got.”

“Nothing.”

“Um hmm nothing, what yall doing getting home so late?”

“Just went to eat after the dance and lost track of the time that’s all.”

“Umm, hmm.”

We rode the remainder of the ride in silence I took her to the store she ran in got some squares and I took her back home.

***

The early bird gets the worm, I was up and dressed at 5am this morning, hadn't gotten much sleep it was the first of the month the busiest part of the month it’s when the majority of my customers got they checks some from Aide, some from disability, the rest from social security. So I stayed up all night serving them what they craved. It started to slow down a bit around 4 this morning so I made it to the crib took a shower and dressed. Might as well stay ready no time to sleep money going be coming all day, so I'm going get it.

Been thinking bout Kenya and what she said, I don't give a fuck what she stressing we were made for each other she just don't know it yet. I couldn't get her mama off my mind though even though I knew it wasn't nothing cracking there but I thought about it.

Made my way to the front of the building and posted up Simple Simon, Uncle Cervante, and a few old heads stood around talking.

“You going to school today?” Uncle Cervante asked.

“Nall too much money coming through to go to school, you know that.”

“I hear you.”

Evette pulled up and rolled down her window. “Hey Ms. Jackson.” I said as she stuck her head out the window.

“Hey baby.”

“You looking?” Simple Simon spat out running up to the car and looking through the back windows.

“Not from you I ain't.” She said reclining back in her seat.

Uncle Cervante smirked. “I got this.” He said as he reached for the passenger door.

“Nall um cool Cervante, take a ride with me Rondo.” She said as she hit the locks on the door. I grabbed the door opened it and jumped in. Both Uncle Cervante and Simple Simon stood with their mouths open. She jerked off into traffic.

“So what's good?” I asked as she shifted the gears on the stick shift she was driving.

“Shit, you….you do me a favor little cutie?”

“What's that?”

“I need you to front me something till later today.”

“Something like what?”

“A eightball.”

I laughed. “Yeah right what I look like?”

“I know what you thinking but I got a sale with this white boy who work with me he going pay $300.00 for it let me make the sale and I'll bring you back your $150.00 I keep the change.”

“I don't know….”

“You want to meet him so you see I ain't on bullshit and we still split the sale since I plugged you with him?”

“Hell nall um straight I don't want to meet nobody.”

“Well I brought it to you cause you seem cool you a little money getting ass cat and you treat my daughter right but I understand if you don't trust me.”

“Look Ms. Jackson I told you it ain't even like that with me and Kenya, don't get me wrong I want to but nall she ain't with it. That's neither here nor there. How I know I give you this work you ain't going come back with some bullshit ass story?”

“Well Rondo I ain't got no colleteral to give you all I got is my word either you going trust me or you not.”

I sat back thinking bout how much work I had left from the ounce I copped if it would hurt my pockets bad enough to take a chance just in case shit went bad. On top of that it could fuck up me and Kenya freindship cause if her mama runs off with my shit I got to fuck her up just on PC.

“I got that on me right now it’s all in pills though.”

“Nall they want it all in one chunk.”

“Since when smokers been so particular?”

“When they smokers who got paper, and don't mind spending. They want quanity and quality. Can you get it not broken down?”

“Yeah that ain't a problem.”

“Is it any good?”

“Yeah I cooked it myself A-1 baby.”

“So is we going do this or what?”

“Yeah we can do it we got to go back to my crib though and pick it up.”

She made her way back to my house I ran in weighed up what she needed and ran it back outside to her.

“I know you already know our business is our business right?” She asked as I slid it in her hand through the driver’s window.

“I feel the same way don't trip.”

“Good see you in about an hour, slide through my house and pick it up this my friends car I won't have any wheels to bring it to you, don't worry Kenya going be gone too.”

“Cool see you in an hour or so.”

“Peace.” Then she pulled off.

***

Bout two hours later I made my way to her crib to get my scratch. I got to admit I was apprehensive about letting her get that much work on consignment but at the same time I didn't want to come across as petty or act like it was going hurt me to lose it by being over anxious so I stayed at the spot and made sales until the two hours passed going to get my money from her an hour later than we agreed purposely.

I knocked on the door. She came to the door wearing a cut off belly shirt and cut off blue jean coochie cutter shorts. Standing there holding a bottle of Bartles & James wine cooler. “Thought you weren't coming till tomorrow said you were going be here an hour ago.” She stepped to the side; I stepped in and looked around.

She closed and locked the door Bootsy Collins' “I'd rather be with you” played softly coming from her bedroom up stairs. “Have a seat.” She said as she ran up the stairs. She returned shortly and bypassed me sitting on the couch and went straight into the kitchen reappearing with two more bottles of Bartles & James.

“Here.” She said handing the bottle to me. I took the bottle as she turned on the stereo Randy Crawford's “Street Life” came through the speakers. She sat down on the sofa next to me and curled her legs up sitting on top of them.

“Thanks.” I said as I popped the top off the bottle and took a swig.

“Here you are sweetie.” She says as she hands me the money from the deal. I took the money and slid it into my pants pocket.

“They say it was alright?”

“Yeah, they couldn't even talk at first they took that first blast and they lip curled all up had that stuck look on they face.”

“That's what’s up.”

“Yeah thanks again baby I appreciate you trusting me with that.”

“It’s cool.” It got quiet. I took a swallow from my bottle; she pulled out a joint wrapped in Tops. Lit it and took a pull, blew out the smoke.

“You want to hit this?” Motioned the joint towards me.

“Nall um cool.”

“Come on Rondo you hurt my feelings I know you don't think I would try to give you no laced shit?”

“Nall um cool, trying to keep my head clear got a lot of work to do tonight.”

“Um hmm…” As she took another pull from her joint my pager went off just as her phone rang. I pulled my pager from my hip; she rose and went into the kitchen to answer the phone. I felt uncomfortable now, I needed to leave I hurried and downed the rest of the wine cooler just as she returned from the kitchen.

“Thanks for the sale, and for the drink I got to move around Ms. Jackson.”

“No problem baby, I'll page you if they looking to cop again.”

“Cool, I reached into my pocket and pulled an ink pen.”

She ran into the kitchen and returned with an old Paragon Cable bill. “Put your number on here.”

I took the envelope and jotted the number down. “Don't let Kenya find this shit; I don't need to hear that girl mouth.”

“You just keep getting that good dope and I'll worry bout my little girl.”

I laughed. “I got you Ms. Jackson.”

“Evette.”

“I got you Evette.” I snatched the joint from her and took a pull.

“Thought you had to keep a clear head?”

“Yeah well.” I took another pull and walked out of the house leaving the door open. She stood in the doorway laughing.

“So you a little gangster right? You just take my shit?”

I laughed as I climbed into the car and turned the ignition. “You owe me little cutie.” She yelled out as I pulled off. I smiled to myself. Evette was cool as hell.

***

It was 3am it had been a long one. Fiends were coming left and right at the spot I was posted up in, would've stayed longer but ran out of work. An ounce was gone, been up for twenty-four hours and I was $3500.00 dollars richer. I walked in and crashed on the couch. I was exhausted, thought I was home alone until I heard moaning coming from Uncle Cervnte's room. I just got up and went into my room flopped on my bed fully dressed and fell asleep.

Woke up maybe ten minutes later the house was silent. Uncle Cervante must've sent his chick home who ever she was. I sat up on the side of my bed kicking off my shoes, then pulled my sweatshirt over my head dropping it to the floor near my shoes, unbuckled my jeans and pulled those off. Stood and yawned looked at my pager one last time, I had fifth teen pages. Damn geekers is bothersome as hell sometimes, I thought to myself as I tossed my pager on my dresser and stepped into the hall in my boxer shorts. I stood in front of the closed bathroom door and knocked.

“Hurry up fool, I got to piss.” No answer. I scratched my balls. “Come on nigga….I heard you up in there earlier tonight knocking a hole out that pussy. What bitch you have up in there any way?”

Still no answer, I got quiet and listened. The toilet flushed, it was a pause before the door opened. “It’s about time nigga damn you worse than a little bitch and…”

When the door opened I felt my heart break. Damn I thought to myself, Kenya stood asshole naked in the door way.

“Let me explain Rondo it ain't…”

“What Kenya? Don't trip if you ain't fuck me might as well….just glad it was my Uncle and not some other nigga.”

“Don't be like that Rondo.”

“Like what Kenya? You ain't my bitch I don't care who dick you suck.” Before she could respond I rushed pass her and slammed the door closed.

“What the fuck is going on?” I heard Uncle Cervante yell from his room.

“It’s Rondo…he saw me.” I heard Kenya explain to Uncle Cervante right before I heard his room door close. I wasn't as madder as I was hurt, damn near wanted to cry. How could she do this to me? I pissed and went to bed, tried to go to sleep but couldn't get her off my mind to make matters worse I heard them having sex in the next room all morning. What a way to end a perfect day.

***

It was my first time going to school all week it was Friday didn't want to feel awkward seeing her so I didn't bother goin all week. I just re-uped my crack and hustled harder. And to think I was going to make her my main one….bitches ain't shit. The only thing that kept me cool when I saw her was that I had one on her; I knew her mama was a closet smoker and me knowing that made me feel good…fuck her!

“Can we talk Rondo?”

She looked hurt and confused. I didn't care, fuck her feelings, what about mine?

“What we got to talk about Kenya?”

“Don't be like that Rondo.”

“Like what Kenya?”

“Acting all funny towards me and shit.”

“I'm still me I ain't acting no kind of way.”

“I told you from the jump we couldn't ever go there.”

“True, but I ain't expect you to turn around and fuck my Uncle, you knew I was feeling you.”

“You mean like I was feeling you and you fucked all my friends.”

“That shit ain't got nothing to do with nothing, and plus how was I to know you wanted to get with me? You never let it be known.”

“I was scared, by the time I worked up the nerve it was too late. But forget all that Rondo what are we going do about right now?”

“Why do we need to do anything Kenya?”

“I just want it to be how it used to be.”

“Too late for that Kenya….it'll never be the way it used to be.”

“So what we ain't friends no more?”

“Nall we going always be cool, you still my nigga but I would be a lie if I said I ain't see you through different eyes now.”

“Well….that hurts but I guess you can't help how you feel.”

I remained silent. She wrapped her arms around my neck pulling me into a hug. I stood motionless with my arms off to the side not hugging her back. She sighed in frustration. “Fuck you Rondo….you still my nigga….if you don't get no bigger.”  She let go and without looking at one another we walked down the hall in opposite directions.

***

A few months done passed, close to graduation time its getting hot outside females is coming out with less and less on. Cats that done hustled hard all winter is riding through the hood in Chevy's with banging systems, dark tint, and sitting on Gold D's. Money still coming through but now not only do we got to worry about the police we got these clown ass niggas call they self the Avenging Angels sliding through patrolling the hood and shit on some vigilante type shit. Telling niggas they can't post up and shit trying to make citizen’s arrest. One cat put hands on somebody serving and put him in the hospital a lot of them Angels knew karate. It didn't matter what you knew though cause push come to shove I ain't never seen Bruce Lee stop no bullets with a karate chop. The guy who was put in the hospital his peoples rode through and sprayed the spot hit two Angels who had nothing to do with it and a little girl. The police came through and shut shit down it was like a ghost town. On top of that management hired more security guards to patrol so now we had Angels, security, and the law to worry about this shit was getting ridiculous.

Thought it would be just a passing fad but Kenya and Uncle Cervante kind of hit it off ever since that night she been sliding through on a regular. I don't blame him though she a good catch. Fuck it… got to keep shit moving we got to a point where we could be civil to each other. I still had that lick going with Evette and the white boys. I finally met em about a week ago they up'd the order from an eight ball to an ounce, cool or not I wasn't giving Evette an ounce. I still gave her a cut since we were over charging em any way. An ounce typically went for $900.00 maybe a “G” I was charging the white boys $1500.00 I ain't tell Evette what I was charging just gave her $250.00 dollars she was happy she ain't complain.

I had been spending more and more time with her since the white boys were plugging me with more of their friends and Kenya was always at my place I just chilled with Evette. We ain't do much smoke, drink, sometimes some of her peoples slid through and we played spades she was just good company. We'd just come from meeting the white boys had to drive out to Chaska and back. Back on the North Side we stopped at Church's Chicken on Broadway and Emerson and got a bucket of chicken, chicken gizzards, okra, biscuits, mash potatoes, and coleslaw.

We made it back to her crib, Kenya was gone as usual probably over to my crib again I didn't know, didn't care. At this point I was getting so much money fucking with the white boys I didn't give a fuck if she knew about me and her mama arrangement or not cause realistically I didn't have to keep giving her mama a cut I was plugged with the white boys on my own they had my pager number.

Sitting in her room, both on her bed kicked back watching “Cotton Comes to Harlem” and eating chicken. I paused from watching the movie and looked over at Evette, I felt her watching me.

“What's wrong?” I asked taking a bite from a chicken leg.

“How old are you Rondo?”

“Fourteen, how old are you?”

Evette laughed. Yo daddy ain't never tell you don't ask a woman how old she is?”

“No, my daddy told me a woman is a woman no matter how old she is, treat em all the same.”

“Well yo daddy told you some nonsense.”

“I don't know.”

“Trust me sweetie, this is coming from a woman. No woman wants to be told that you’re treating her like you've treated every other woman in your life. They want to feel like their special even if it ain't true they want to at least feel like it.”

I laughed. “That shit sounds like too much work, a nigga might have three, four different chicks he dealing with at one time and he supposed to treat em all in a different special way?”

“No, you’re not listening baby I said let them think that you are and whatever you do never tell a woman you treat her like every other woman. Even if she don't mean much to you her attitude going change which doesn’t matter if you don't care but if she's truly special to you it could cause problems.”

“I'll keep that in mind Evette.”

She took a napkin and wiped grease from my mouth. I grabbed her hand and looked into her eyes. “So.”

Her eyes softened. I still held her hand in mine, she never pulled away. “So.” I said once more when she didn't respond.

“So, what?” She answered.

“How old are you?”

She smiled. “Old enough to be your mama.”

“But young enough to be my lover.”

“Boy no you didn't.”

She still never let my hand go. My pager went off I ignored it; rubbing her thighs she rubbed my face with her free hand. My pager went off again, I ignored it. I buried my face in her neck kissing her and sucking her flesh like it held some forbidden fruit and only those juices could quench my thirst. Letting go of my hand she placed her hand on the back of my head and caressed. My pager went off again. Heavy breathing came from both of us I slid my hand down her thigh, underneath her shorts and rubbed her panties, they were soaked. She jumped back sweat running down her face. My pager went off again.

“Maybe you need to answer that.”

My dick was hard as hell I had one thing on my mind and it wasn't rushing off to see what some damn crack head wanted.

“Nall it can wait.”

“Uh no, pussy going always be there, never I mean never miss out on money for pussy. You hear me?”

She was right. Don't know if its cause it came from her or if it was because I knew that already and was being weak but it pissed me off.

“Don't you think I know that shit?” I moved her leg from on top of mine and stood and from the bed.

“Rondo.”

“I didn't answer. I began looking around the room for my shoes.

“Rondo.”

I found my shoes and slid them both on. “What?”

“I didn't mean to rub you the wrong way baby, I just wanted you to recognize that a man got to stay on his shit regardless of what’s going on and who it’s going on with. I'm a woman and if you can't handle me talking to you like an adult and telling you what’s real when it’s to your benefit let me know now.”

I sat back down on the bed and placed my hands on her face. She pulled away. “I need an answer Rondo.”

“I feel where your coming from Evette and I respect it, what you give to me I'm going give to you keep it real I keep it real.”

She closed her eyes and laid her head back on the headboard. “We on the same page Evette?”

Her eyes remained closed. “Yes Rondo we on the same page.”

I placed my hand on one of  her breasts and began massaging it she moaned, my pager went off. “Man fuck, damn geekers paging me like it’s a fucking emergency and shit.” I stood and pulled my pager from my waist. Looked at the number they were all the same. My house it had the 767 code behind the number that was an S.O.S. it was me, daddy and Uncle Cervante code it meant that something went wrong at home and to not call but to hurry home.

“Fuck.”

“What's wrong?” Evette asked jumping from the bed and rushing behind me. I'd already left the room and was headed down the stairs.

“I got to go some shit done happened with my daddy or my Uncle.”

“Be careful Rondo, and call me when you get a chance let me know you’re alright.”

I didn't answer I'd already hopped in my car and closed the door. I turned the ignition threw the car in drive and sped off. Running red lights and stop signs I was home in ten minutes. Hopping out the car and rushing inside my apartment the only one there was Kenya sitting on the couch crying.

“What's going on Kenya where everybody at?”

“The police came and took em.”

“What?”

She began sobbing harder. “The police swooped through and took everybody.”

“What? Why, calm down Kenya and start at the beginning.”

She jumped to her feet and began pacing the room. “It’s like this Rondo you know that nigga Simple Simon?”

 

Here go the bullshit I know if his name is involved it had to be something petty and stupid. “Yeah what about him?”

He got into it with one of them Avenging Angels.”

“Yeah.”

“And they start scuffling he put Simple Simon in a choke hold and was bout to choke him out.”

“Yeah.”

“So your uncle shot him in the back.”

“Damn, is you serious?”

“Yeah.” She started crying again. I touched her shoulder.

“Sit down Kenya takes a deep breath and finish telling me what’s up.”

She sat wiped her wet face with the sleeve of her shirt. “Nobody was out there but me, Cervante, the angel, and Simple Simon.”

I remained silent. She continued. “Needless to say after he dropped we all swooped up out of there.”

“Come on now Kenya fast forward to where the peoples come and get daddy and uncle Cervante.”

“All I know is I came back from the store and I saw your daddy and your uncle being put in the back of the car. Your daddy yelled out before they put him in the car to page you with 767 so I did. Rondo I'm so scared I love him I can't lose him.”

“Be cool get your shit together bout to take you to the crib.”

“Rondo no I have to stay here so I can be here in case he calls.”

“Just listen to me I got this it ain't shit you can do anyway you ain't old enough to bail em out.”

She grabbed her overnight bag from Uncle Cervante's room and we were out. Ten minutes later in front of her house I blew the horn. She climbed out, closed the door and leaned her head through the window.

“Call me and let me know what’s going on.”

“I got you.”

She turned and began walking towards the house. Evette came from the house towards the car. She stopped and placed her hand underneath Kenya's chin.

“You been crying? What's wrong?”

“I'll tell you bout it in a second ma let me go in and wash my face.”

“Are you alright? You’re not hurt are you?”

“No I'm fine mama.”

Evette hugged Kenya, Kenya hugged her back. “Go on in; let me holler at Rondo real quick.”

“Alright.”

Kenya made her way inside Evette opened the car door and climbed in the passenger seat. “Everything alright?”

“Nall I need a favor Evette.”

“What's up?”

“My daddy and uncle got locked up I don't know what for but I need you to go bail em out. I got the money whatever it is I just need somebody 18 or over with ID to get em out.”

“Of course Rondo but where's your family?”

“That is my family. My daddy people all in Chicago and my mama's people don't mess with my daddy like that so I know they ain't about to bail em out.”

“I got you were they being held at?”

“I'm guessing they downtown up under the clock.”

“Let me run back in and get my ID.”

“Hold up, you don't have any warrants do you?”

“Nall I ain't got no warrants I ain't no criminal.”

“Aight hurry up.”

She rushed from the car and inside to get her ID. She quickly returned and we were downtown Minneapolis in ten minutes standing in the Hennepin County Detention Center. Everybody called it “Up Under the Clock” because on the top of the building where the inmates were held on the outside of the building there’s a big clock so if you were told that someone was up under the clock you knew they ass was in jail.

I gave her both of their names and 3500.00 in cash it was all I had in my pocket at the time I was just hoping that it didn't cost more than that to get them out didn't want to go back home and get more or bother with trying to get a bail bondsman. My daddy was being held for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Uncle Cervante for suspicion of murder my daddy bond was $1500.00 uncle Cervante's was going be more. We sat and waited in the car.

“At least we got your daddy out.”

“Yeah.”

She rubbed my face. “It’s going be alright. Do You need any help with your uncle bond? $20,000 is a lot of money.”

The money was the least of my uncle's problems if we didn't hurry and get him out his fingerprints would get back from Cali once they ran that nationwide FBI check and that warrant he had for that drive-by from back in the day popped up he would get extradited for sure. “Yeah um straight I got the cake to get em out.”

“Well everything cool then?”

“We'll see.”

My daddy stepped out of the building looking around, I blew the horn he looked my way and made his way towards the car. He climbed in the back seat.

“Let’s get to the house and get back up here.”

“Daddy this is Evette, Kenya's mama she helped to get you out.”

“Thanks Evette I appreciate it.”

“No problem.”

“How much is it to get him out?”

“Twenty “G's.”

“How much you got on it?”

“Without wiping me out I got about twelve.”

 

“Aight I got the rest, let’s hurry up before them crackers ship his ass out of here.”

                                      ***

We dropped Evette back off at home, went to get the cash we had three separate money orders all in fake names to pay to get him out. It's a federal crime to pay for anything costing $20,000 dollars and not be able to account for how you earned the funds that’s the last thing we needed was to catch one more charge behind some bullshit. We paid the bond and sat outside in the car waiting, twenty minutes later he walked out. Looking nervous as hell he climbed in the back seat.

“Get me the fuck out of here.”

“You alright brother in law?”

“Yeah um cool Kevin thanks for getting me out. How much I owe yall?”

“It cost twenty large to get you out.”

Uncle Cervante dropped his face in his hands and shook his head in disbelief. “I can't believe this shit.”

“What the fuck happened man?” I asked as I made my way through downtown traffic.

“Fucking with that bullshit ass Simple Simon, it had to be him.”

“What you mean?”

“Man this nigga bout to get choked the fuck out I save his life clipped that pussy ass angel and next thing I know faggot ass law kicking in the door said they got a tip it was me.”

“What you do with the gun?” My daddy asked as he removed the cap from a 40 oz of Olde English and put the bottle to his lips.

“They ain't going never find that shit. Um just concerned with getting the fuck out of Dodge before my shit come back. I ain't going be able to give yall all yall bread back but once I get situated where um at I'll hit yall back a little at a time.”

“Don't worry about that shit just do what you got to do when we get to the crib and bounce. I mean like in an hour or less you need to be packed and on the road or in the air.”

“I kind of want to stay longer get that bitch ass nigga Simon.”

“Don't be stupid; fuck Simon we got that you get to safety.”

“I got you brother in law.”

                                         ***

Back at the crib Uncle Cervante was moving like a mad man. Packing his clothes and his heat he was ready to go in ten minutes. He decided to go to Little Rock, Arkansas heard cats was getting money out that way said we had some cousins out there he was going head that way and check them out. If things weren't smooth out that way might head to North Carolina. He gave me $500.00 dollars to give the crack head whose car I was driving around in. Told me to give it to him and tell him it was stolen, he decided he would drive to Arkansas that way he could keep his gun and he would have wheels once he got to town at least for a little while any way he knew he'd have to dump it eventually.

He sat to eat real quick I went outside to get some air and think. I was going to miss uncle Cervante we were more like brothers than nephew and uncle. Ten minutes had passed before he came outside bag in hand.

“So this is it huh?” I asked giving him a hug.

He hugged me back tight. “Yeah this is it, once I get settled and money coming good I'll send you a plane ticket to come kick it with me aight?”

“Sound good, be safe.”

“No doubt.”

“You good on money though right? Cause I can give you this five back I can take care of paying for the car he'll probably take some work for it any way.”

“I got a little under ten thou, that five ain't going make a difference, keep it.”

Not another word was said he climbed into the car turned the ignition and pulled out the lot as he pulled off the last thing I heard was the sounds of N.W.A.'s “Dope Man” coming from the window.

                                          ***

Walking back into my apartment Kevin was in his room I heard the TV. on in there. I flopped down on the couch my pager went off. Reluctant to look at it I pulled it from my waist. It was Evette. I reached over and grabbed the receiver from its base and dialed her number. The phone rang once and was answered after the first ring.

“What's up?” I chimed coolly through the phone.

“Rondo, she's gone!”

“Huh what?”

“Kenya, she left my baby's gone!”

“Hold on Evette, I'll be through as soon as I can.” I hung up the phone before she could respond. “Man damn shit getting too dramatically around here.” I said to myself as I picked the receiver back up and called a Blue and White taxi cab.

I went into my room and got my .38 if and when ever I see Simple Simon ass he out of here. Knocked on Kevin's door and told him I was going over to Evette's for a while some shit came up with Kenya.

I stood outside and waited for my cab. A few fiends passed by every so often I told em to spread the word it was a couple hundred dollars to whoever had info on where Simple Simon was. It wasn't long before my cab pulled up. I hopped in and ten minutes later I was at Evette's.

Standing in her living room I held the note that Kenya left for her mother. Evette stood near the kitchen crying drinking a wine cooler. I read the note,

Don't be angry mama I couldn't take the chance of not seeing him again. I'm gone with Cervante, don't worry I'm safe he'll take care of me. I took your ID from your purse in case I need it I left you some money in my shoe box underneath my bed. I'll call you when I get to where I'm going.

Love you always,

Kenya xoxo

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