August 10th, 2008 | By Sonnie Johnson
From inside the cab I called Travis and gave him Big sistas number. One call from me and he gets $1,200 and sometimes long life clients, even though in this business that could be short. If I wanted to hustle myself I could control this town. Everyone here is weak and not about business. That made doing business to damn risky.
We pulled up to the border of Lynnville projects. It must have rained when we were in the club. The night air was crisp and just on the brink of being warm. Early spring my favorite time of the year. I told the driver to pull over. I offered him the amount shown on the meter. He refused. I said okay and flipped a $20 over the front seat.
“You shouldn’t be walking out here all alone, ma’am.” He said poking his head out the drivers’ side window.
“To me, this is the safest place in the world.” I turned my back and walked away. He stayed there for a moment, then quickly pulled off when a group of local thugs got to close to the side of his cab.
I didn’t like living here. I got the money to move someplace nice, but no place nice could be as safe.
Goldie, by far the scariest of all the rats around here, was the best person to do business with. He didn’t speak to me when we weren’t talking about business. When he did want to do business he always had the money, he was always on time, and he told me I can walk safe in his hood. So I dropped the cost of his inventory. Now he supplies to most of the little rats around here, and most of the city. He never tells anyone where he gets his work, so the whole hood thinks he’s banging me. And that’s cool no one fucks with me. It works for me.
I walked down the street. It seemed to be dead tonight. I bet I’d get a delivery soon. There were no fiends, no little kids outside playing way past their bedtimes. Silence and that was worrisome the longer I walked and the quieter it seemed to get. I quickened my pace and made my way into the dirty corridor that led to my apartment.
I checked the halls, both ways, twice. Something just didn’t feel right. I opened the door and went in fast. I bolted all five locks from the inside. Took off my knock Vera Wang slingbacks, and began to move close to the couch.
He startled me as he began to move around. I knew that he was still having those bad dreams that haunted him the 2 years I’ve known him. I heard him softly murmur ‘I don’t want to be a gangster. It costs to much’.
My heart broke looking at him, remembering how alone I used to feel. Shit, used to feel. The way I have always felt. I stayed a safe distance from his swinging range and called his name sereval times raising my voice each time until he opened his eyes.
“They almost got him tonight.” He didn’t have to tell me who. I knew. Goldie had started making a lot of enemies. He had such low prices on his work, no one else could compete. “I put $135,000 in your safe. Do you mind if I crash here tonight?”
“You know you don’t have to ask. Go get in the bed we’ll talk in the morning.”
“I’ll make you pancakes.”
“I can’t wait.” I said as he sauntered off into his bedroom. He was 13 and on the fast track to taking over his father’s business. He had no fear in dangerous situations, because he had nothing to live for, but boy is he smart. I let him have unlimited access to my apartment as long as he brought good grades home. So, he did. I even had to go to the school and get him put in advanced classes so he wouldn’t be bored.
I can’t have kids so he’s the closest I’ll ever get.