Authors: Nika Michelle
“Why didn’t you call me first?” I hated that pop up bullshit.
“I did call you ma. Y’en answer. You was in the shower remember? Come open the door yo’.”
I decided to not even argue about it since we needed to talk anyway. As I made my way to the door I let out a deep sigh not knowing exactly how our conversation was going to turn out.
“What’s up son?” My pops pounded me up with a smile on his face.
His girlfriend Kelly was eight years younger than him and looked at least my age. She glanced up at me with light brown eyes.
“Hey Keenyn,” she called out with a smile on her caramel complexioned face.
There was a slight gap between her teeth that was actually kind of sexy to me. I hated to look at my father’s woman, but she was thick to death. I mean, pops wasn’t a bad looking man either, so I could see it. The thing was, Kelly was just too damn fine. She ran her fingers through her short, pixie style haircut and stood up. I had to look away because she was rocking a short ass pair of shorts and a low cut shirt.
“I’m gonna go upstairs and let ya’ll have your time.” She licked her lips flirtatiously before leaving the room.
“Mmm mmm mmm,” my pops said as he shook his head.
I could imagine what was on his mind as I sat down on the sofa. He sat down beside me.
“So, you got some work to drop off huh? That’s the only time you come over here.” He smiled despite what he’d just said.
“Stop playin’ old man. You the one that’s always booed up and shit.”
He laughed and took a swig from a Bud Light bottle. “You see how fine she is. Shit, you’d be booed up too.”
I nodded in agreement and thought about Sen. If I had a chick who looked like her, I’d be booed up too. “Yeah, you right.”
“You do have a lil’ girlfriend though right? She’s cute. What’s her name…?”
“Elena and nah, we broke up.” I didn’t go into it.
“Why?” His smile faded. “You want a beer.”
“She had a man back home and yeah, a beer would be on time right now.”
“Damn and go get it yourself. You know where the refrigerator is.”
I smirked at him and shook my head before heading to the kitchen. After grabbing a beer I walked back into the sitting area. The television was on ESPN and Sports Center was on. I wanted to hear what was going on, but my pops had the TV on mute. That let me know that he wanted to talk about something. Usually he’d have the volume on full blast and I’d be on the back burner.
“So, what’s goin’ on old man?” I asked when I sat down.
“Old man? Nigga please. I’d fold yo’ ass up in here and then you’ll see just how old I am.” There was a serious look on his face, but I knew better. He didn’t really want to try me.
True, back in the days he did do business with Mendosa and sold marijuana and cocaine. My pops was infamous for not taking no shit and his reputation always surpassed him, retired or not. He had pulled out of the illegal lifestyle almost five years ago, but he let me keep my work in the shed behind his two story brick house. There were a few locks on the shed and he lived in a pretty good area that was secluded, so I didn’t really worry. Besides, nobody knew what was in there anyway.
“Not much. I just…” He cleared his throat. “I was thinkin’ of gettin’ back in the game.”
I was confused. “Why?”
He shrugged his shoulders before guzzling the rest of his beer. “I just miss it. Besides, it wouldn’t hurt to get a lil’ extra dough.”
I thought about that. That younger bitch he was fucking with must’ve been high maintenance as hell.
“Is it Kelly?”
Letting out a sigh, he scratched his head and then said, “Kinda. I mean, I don’t wanna have to compete with these young cats. I got a lil’ money, but…she got expensive taste. I love her Keys.”
“I know you do pops, but damn, is she worth it? You got out and I thought you were good…”
but not enough.”
I thought about it. Had messing around with Kelly put him in a bad spot financially? Instead of asking I just offered him some advice instead.
“Do what you feel you gotta do old man. I got your back. Just think about it first. Okay.”
He shook my hand. “Okay. Thanks son.”
We talked a little longer before I decided to pull my car around back and load the shed up. Once I was done I said my goodbyes to my pops and got in my car. I was headed home and thought about calling Jasenia, but before I could my phone started ringing.
When I looked down at the screen I noticed that it was Dame.
“My nigga, what you got goin’ on?”
I could already tell that something was up with his slick ass and I wasn’t in the mood for it. Dame had been my best friend since we were four years old. On the first day of Pre K we just seemed to click like brothers. We’d been close as hell ever since. Back then this nigga named Trell was part of our crew too and then we included JJ. Over the years we’d fallen out with Trell and he had his own crew of niggas who had ambitions of running the East Side, but Mendosa had a strong hold on Atlanta period.
Dame’s crew ran a trap and some blocks on the West Side and although he and Trell had been close until some bullshit that had gone down in high school, they beefed constantly in the streets. I personally didn’t believe in having a crew to make money. I sold potent ass weed to a small, reliable clientele and didn’t believe in all of that flossing and showing off. I liked nice shit though, but I knew how to stay under the radar and be seen when I wanted to be.
“What’s goin’ on now nigga?” I had my eyes on the scene because I’d left my Bluetooth at the crib.
I didn’t want the cops to fuck with me because I was talking on the phone. Dekalb County police were some greedy ass mufuckas and they couldn’t wait to hem up a young, black man. The thing was, I was only a few classes away from a Criminal Justice degree and I knew the law as well as my rights. However, I had no clue what I was going to do with that shit. Honestly, I only wanted the education and not necessarily an honest job. I was used to being a hustler and so I was comfortable with my hustle.
“Nothin’ man.” He laughed. “That nigga JJ was just here askin’ me to give him a OZ ‘til the end of the week.”
I shook my head. “I just fronted that nigga a eighth yesterday. What the fuck?”
“I’on know man, but that nigga’s fallin’ off and shit.”
I didn’t say anything because I knew that his call had to be about something else other than JJ’s begging ass. Something told me that he was in some shit and he needed my cool as a cucumber ass to defuse it.
“Yeah, but what’s really up nigga? Get to the fuckin’ point.”
Dame got a little weed from me here and there to get off of, but he really fucked with coke. He got that pure, uncut shit from Mendosa of course. He had tried to pull me into the coke game with him time and time again, but it was a no go. I’d seen firsthand what the lifestyle had done to my pops and decided to stick with weed. It was dangerous too, but the people I sold to didn’t seem as volatile as those ruthless niggas in the coke game. Mo’ money, mo’ problems like Biggie had said. Yeah, Mendosa and my pops had me on that old school music.
“Shit, straight up man, Come by my crib.” Dame’s voice sounded funny and I was wondering what he wanted me to meet him at his crib for.
We’d already done business for the day and I wasn’t really in the mood to hang out.
“Nah nigga, I’m goin’ home. I ain’t in the mood to be fuckin’ wit’ yo’ crazy ass.” Whenever I went out with that nigga it was a fight or a shootout.
I didn’t like to bring attention to myself, so getting into disputes and shit wasn’t really my thing. A nigga like me could hold my own, but I really didn’t like to be put in the position to pull a trigger. Arguing wasn’t my thing, but I didn’t mind throwing some hands. The only thing about that was the fact that niggas my age didn’t believe in fighting. They always wanted to pull out a strap, so I made sure that I had mine at all times. So, my nine was in the arm rest waiting for a nigga to test me. That was why it was best for me to just make my money and lay low.
“What you mean man? It ain’t nothing like that. I ain’t in the mood to get in no shit either. Look, you my right hand my nigga. We ain’t got fucked up and just chopped it up in a while. Just come through for a lil’ minute. I got a proposition for you.” His voice was full of the malice that I knew flowed through his veins.
All of my friends that I’d grown up with were different from me. They were calculating and self-serving. I often wondered what they would or wouldn’t do for a come up. JJ and Dame were the only niggas I really fucked with now and my loyalty to them was never in question. Mendosa and my pops were the only real family that I had and my loyalty lied with them as well. Still, you never knew what kind of hate and contempt another nigga was holding on to.
“A’ight. I’m on my way,” I said reluctantly.
Shit, I needed to chill and smoke a blunt or two anyway.
* * *
About forty five minutes later I was pulling up in Dame’s driveway behind a dark blue Impala. Something told me that it was one of his bitches. That nigga had two baby mamas and at least three or four chicks he was fucking on a regular. That didn’t even include the random bitches he was dicking down. I was surprised that nigga’s dick hadn’t fell off yet, because he didn’t have no standards.
That nigga loved strippers and freaky ass thots who’d do any and everything for a few dollars. He’d buy those hoes knock off purses and shoes and they’d be his forever. All he had to do was give them some dick and tell them all of the bullshit they wanted to hear. Then, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, that nigga’ll switch up on their asses. He’d beat on them and like fools they’d stick around.
I’d learned my lesson about playing captain save a hoe for them. About a year and a half ago he was beating up on some chick and I tried to get him to stop. That hoe told me that it was none of my business and I should leave that shit alone because she loved her man. She ain’t have to tell me twice. I was at home less than twenty minutes later. The next day Dame called me talking about how he’d choked that bitch out. After that she came back for more. Next thing I knew, she was baby mama number two.
For some reason women just flocked to Dame. I didn’t understand that shit at all. Maybe it was his money, but he was really a stingy nigga. Why did women give a fuck about a man’s whip, or his crib if he didn’t give them shit? It was like so what, you got a key to the crib and a key to one of his rides. He could take that shit away at any time. When a woman owned the key to a nigga’s heart, then she was doing something.
That was why I didn’t do dumb broads. I was seeking something real. My soul yearned for a woman who had standards and knew that she deserved a man like me and not an asshole like my boy Dame. Yet and still, he pulled way more chicks than me. Not that I wasn’t good looking. I guess I just wasn’t all flossy and aggressive like my best friend. I was the exact opposite. A nigga like me didn’t believe in beating on no female.
Deep down inside, I was a hopeless romantic who was looking for a good woman to fill that empty hole; a void that I’d felt for most of my life. I needed a woman who was looking for longevity and not how long my pockets and dick were. I was a good dude, but women didn’t want good dudes. They always fell for the wrong niggas and then wondered why they felt so unfulfilled and disrespected.
Before I could even make it to the steps of Dame’s house the door opened and he had some chick hemmed up by the collar of her shirt. All I could do was walk faster and try to keep him from catching a charge like always.
“What’s goin’ on nigga?” I asked him. “I just talked to your ass.”
He gave me a stern look like he was telling me to mind my own business and then focused back on the broad who I’d never seen before. “Bitch, how you gon’ pop up over here after I done told yo’ hoe ass! Don’t play them games wit’ me! My baby mama was ‘bout to cut you and you don’t wanna know what I’m gon’ do to yo’ trick ass!”