October 26th, 2008 | By Sonnie Johnson
When I heard the car tires spin off, I knew that it was Trish, and her cab driver was trying to get out of here and fast. I was surprised the he had brought her this far into Lynnville , at night no less. I unlocked all the bolts on the door and peeped my head out. Trish was making her way through the hood rats that returned for the best post up position. I bet that was the number one cause of murder around here. Goldie doesn’t control his people. His philosophy is the strong survive. So, if you can’t protect your corner, you lost it. I understood his point of view, but I thought that caused more slow money days. It wasn’t my block so I let him run it his way. It’s just hard to keep up with all the changes that happen on this block. Back home you knew everyone on the set and if someone new came in he would meet the welcoming party.
Trish came through the door with a little baggie in her hand. The little boy on the corner said this would blow your mind. I stuck my head out the door, Lil J, raised his hand. I mouthed ‘how much’. He put both hands in the air and smiled so I could see his mouth full of shiny teeth. I nodded and closed the door.
I grabbed the bag out of Trish’s hand. She stood there stunned. I guess she thought that my place would be decked out. She was stuck in one spot. I asked if she wanted something to drink. She said something strong, so I poured us both Hennessey straight in my fancy glasses. I had thought about fixing this place up, but I kept too much money in here, giving fiends another reason to break in was pushing it.
“So, now I see why you never want company.”
Just as I was about to tell her she could get the fuck out, there came a very fast loud knocking on the door. I set the glasses down on the living room table, and opened the chestnut box in the middle. I pulled out my .25 and walked to the door. I asked who it was, as I peeked through the hole.
“Goldie!” he shouted. “We need to talk.”
“This is why I don’t have company. Just sit still and be quiet.” I said as I motioned Trish to take a seat on the love seat in the corner of the room. I tucked the gun into the back of my sweats and pulled the strings tight enough to hold it in place. I pulled my shirt over the back and opened the door. Goldie pushed his way in. I was not used to seeing him in this state. I stood back as he paced the floor, mumbling under his breath.
“What’s up, Goldie?” He continued to pace the floor as if the words had never come out of my mouth. I hate when I waste my words, but by his demeanor, I thought it better to wait until he composed himself. He was dressed up in his war gear. All black, scully, gloves and all. Sweat beads formed and fell from his forehead every time he took a breath. His hands were balled into fist, clenched tight. His mouth was tight with every word that partially managed to get uttered. Then like some thing had broken his trance, he stopped.
“I need a re-up. Tonight.” He said in a softer, more acceptable tone.
“It doesn’t work like that, and you know it.” I calmly replied as he began pacing the floor again. “Plus, we’re in the presence of mixed company.”
“I don’t give a fuck about that bitch. I lost all my work tonight. Do you hear me? All of it. I got my two main soldiers coming, and I ain’t got no work.”
“I didn’t rob you, so you need to calm the fuck down. You need to remember who the fuck you are talking to.” I started to reach around my back for my gun when Sean’s voice startled me.
“Where the fuck you been?” Goldie shouted at Sean. “You should have been out there holdin me down. You ain’t no fucking good. Ain’t never been good. Ain’t gon never be good. I should have let your mom abort you.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had never heard Goldie lose his grip that way. I’ve seen him beat a man within an inch of his life, but that was slight aggression. This was something different. This was rage. Sean stood there expression less. The last time I saw that look on his face, I had just met him. I remembered how sorry I had felt for him.
I knew that the best thing to do was let them work things out for themselves, but as Goldies’ remark got more loud and hateful, it got harder to sit by. Goldie’s attention was locked on Sean, so I took that time to get better position flanking Goldie. He had kept me safe over the last two years, and I appreciated it, but Sean was my son. He was the only one in town that knew my real name, my real story.
I made eye contact with Trish. She was more intrigued than she was scared. I stared at her with an intense glare hoping to get her attention with out drawing Goldie’s. She caught my gaze, and I darted my eyes towards the hallway that lead to two tiny bedrooms. She shifted in her chair and made the handle of her .25 very noticeable from my angle. I was shocked, but was snapped back into reality quickly when Goldie mentioned my name.
“You think that bitch really gives a damn about you?” He questioned as he shot his eyes towards me. That was it. He had gone too far. I put my head down like I was to scared to say anything. He turned back facing Sean, who was no longer standing in the hallway. He was making his way in front of Trish. “See, she act like she all hard, but when it comes down to it,”
He stopped talking as he felt the barrel of my gun push into the back of his head. He put both his hands in the air.
“Bitch, you know I’ll kill you for this.”
“I think I gave you the wrong representation of myself. You think I give a damn if you call me names. You think I can’t handle a want to be drug dealer.” I pulled back the hammer of the gun, loud enough to make sure it was a clear and resounding noise that made Goldie flinch. “I made you what you are. Don’t you forget that. I gave you the work that made you a king. I have nothing to lose and taking your life would mean nothing to me. I can get your body disposed of for a minimal cost. Matter of fact I bet I can get it done for free.”
Sean shook his head. He hadn’t spoke since he had called my name upon making his first appearance. I didn’t know exactly what he wanted until he took his gun out of his pants. He slid it to Trish. I reached into the back of Goldie’s pants until I located the butt of his gun. I pulled it from his pants and handed it to Sean. He gave Goldie’s gun to Trish, who grasped it with the bottom of her tank velour top. I took two steps back and to the side to make room for Goldie to get out the front door. I still had my gun pointed to his head as he turned and focused his dark eyes on me.
I put the gun down to my side and regained those steps as I got real up close and personal with Goldie. The stature of his hard shoulders softened the more he realized I wasn’t scared. The truth be told, I was terrified. I didn’t give it away though. I stood there motionless like a tree. He huffed and puffed under his breath.
“No matter how hard the wind blows, the mountain will never bow to it.” Goldie was a little slow on the up take. He didn’t understand what I had said. I dropped my head slightly in disgust. I guess that was the mistake Goldie was waiting for. He grabbed my throat and began to choke the shit out of me. I swung the gun and connected with the top of Goldie’s head. It didn’t stop him, so I didn’t stop either. After the fourth hit, his grasp loosened from my neck, in time to see Sean pushing Trish into his bedroom. I swung one more time and this one opened a huge gash on Goldie’s forehead. He stuttered back and then made is way to the door.
“This isn’t over, bitch.” I heard him remark, as I tried to regain my breath. The door closed with a loud bang, and I felt a hand on my back. Without thinking I turned a swung. I put too much behind the punch, thankfully. I lost my balance and just grazed the side of Sean’s face. I felt wetness on my knuckles and immediately turned my attention to Sean. There was a stream of tears rolling down his face. I had never seen him cry. Everything that boy had been through, and this was the first time I had seen him cry.
He grabbed my hand and kissed it. My eyes begged him, NO. I grasped his hand hard and began shaking my head, NO. His eyes pleaded with me. Usually he asks me to help him get out of trouble. This time he wanted me to let him go. I knew I had no choice. I called for Trish. She opened the door.
“Give him his gun back.” I said refusing to let go of Sean’s hand. She wiped off the gun and handed it back to Sean. He took it with his free hand. My eyes began to fill and the tears burned right into my brain. I couldn’t lose him. I couldn’t let that happen.
“I’m tired of being tired.” He caught my attention. I let go of his hand, stood up, and wiped my face. Here he was 13, caught in a life that he didn’t ask for, but instead of running he was going to fight back. All this time I thought I was teaching him. It’s sad when you realize too late the lessons you should learn.
“Ready for war?” I asked trying to hide what I was really feeling. His face hardened over, and his body became tense. His fist clenched the gun, while his other hand hung by his side. I grabbed it, but this time I made him hit himself several times in the chest. I kept hitting him in the same place until he grimaced. “Remember that pain, if you get caught in a bad position. The pain means your still alive, and as long as your alive,,,”
“It ain’t over.” He mouthed back.
I had so much I wanted to say. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him. How much of a difference he had made in my life. I wanted lock him in the bedroom and never let him out. I wanted to save him. To make sure he was alright. Instead I held my tongue between my teeth. Every time I came close to letting go, I’d bite down as hard as I could. When his hand touched the front door, I tasted the blood as it began to fill my mouth.
“I love you, mama.” He said as he closed the door behind him. I ran to the door and opened it. Sean didn’t turn around, he just kept on walking. The burning from my eyes and the pain welling up on my tongue, made me realize this wasn’t my choice. I couldn’t make it for him. We both are still alive so it isn’t over.
“I love you, son.” He paused for only a second. Then kept going off into the night. I didn’t know if I’d ever see him again, and my heart ached badly. “Please, come back to me, son. Please come back to me.”