Authors: Shareef Jaudon
Khalil sat silently on the front steps of his house in Watts. Before him stood a furious Roman, who was practically foaming at the mouth. The two had been talking for about half an hour with Roman trying to explain why he really wanted to kill Tyce. Although his lieutenant vividly explained the altercation, which had him so amped in detail, the whole thing still didn’t make sense to a more level headed Khalil.
“I told you to lay low and let me handle it. But naw, you had to
be ignorant and say fuck what I said. You need to learn patience cuz. You can’t jus’ pop off anytime you feel like it. This ain’t the Wild West. Niggas get killed for chump change and a stare out here.” Khalil took a sip from his half full bottle of Remy Martin.
Roman tapped his chest. “The nigga came at me cuz! I was jus’ gettin’ my hair cut minding mine and the muthafucka and this white boy came at me!”
“That shit don’t sound right. Tyce ain’t like that. He don’t start beef. The nigga keeps a low profile, or at least he tries to.” Khalil shook his head.
“You sounding like all these bitches around here! You all on this nigga
’s nuts! Fuck him! Those fools jumped me when they found out I was on your squad! And now you ain’t got my back? What the fuck is that?!”
Khalil sat the bottle on the step
. “Calm the fuck down cuz. You talkin’ all this shit about me not having your back. Who put you on when you got out of prison? Who helped you clip the niggas that snitched to the police and put you there in the first place? Who took you to the hospital when you got shot in your leg and who was the nigga that broke your baby mama boyfriend’s jaw when he called you a punk? Me, that’s who. So don’t bring that weak ass shit this way.”
Roman sucked his teeth. “Then why you actin’ all scary and shit? He’s jus’ one more nigga,
so let’s put a bullet in his ass. Shit, he deserves more than that for what he did to Dallas. Have you even talked to her yet?”
Khalil shook his head. “Naw, not yet.”
“That’s bull shit! Since when do you need a female’s approval to kill a nigga?” Roman spit in the grass and stomped off toward his car. “I’ll handle this shit myself and you deal with her.” He said over his shoulder.
Carmela fixed my plate first and lately Angelique and I ate separately. The only thing we did together was take care of Khari. On one particular evening, I was studying pictures of the street angles where the heist would take place while I ate stuffed bell peppers. I was in full concentration mode when Angelique walked up to the dinner table with her mouth all twisted up.
“I can’t believe you. Why won’t you listen to me? You don’t need
to rob that truck. You’re gonna fuck around and get locked up or killed.”
I put my head on the table and sighed. Once all the air was out of my lungs
, I sat up and looked at her.
“I can’t believe you’re still trippin’ about this shit. It’s been a month,
so let it go already. I’m doin’ it and that’s that. You need to decide what you wanna do. I can’t keep doin’ this roommate shit. Either you’re with me, or you’re not. I never tried to change you. I only asked you to keep it real with me and I keep it real with you. That’s it.”
Angelique folded her arms.
“I’ve always been straight with you, but I don’t hide how I feel about certain things either. I don’t believe in pushin’ my luck. You should quit while you’re ahead Tyce. You made it. Do you hear me; against all odds you survived and now you wanna throw that all away for your homeboy and a million dollars!”
I stared at my woman for a long time in silence. I knew she was only saying that shit because she cared about what happened to me, but, she didn’t understand my nature. After all we shared together, Angelique didn’t
know me at all. People didn’t change. Sure, they may alter their behavior for a while, but they always returned to what they know. What I knew best was getting money. Be it by opening up a business, or
a business, it was all the same to me. The money went in the same bucket. To me, robbing that truck was my job. I didn’t understand how she could be so down to ride and months later flip on me like an acrobat.
“You sure this is all about the armored truck?” I put the photo on the table and took a bite of my food.
“Yes, what else would it be about?” She stuck her neck out.
“You tell me
, cuz all this hostility doesn’t make sense.” I twisted my silver fork in my hands.
’t make sense is you being greedy.”
An involuntary smirk came across my face. My bull shit alarm was going off.
“Hmmm. Anyway, are you gonna eat? Carmela made red snapper.” I pointed at the stove.
Angelique looked confused. “No she didn’t, she fixed stuffed bell peppers.”
She waved her hand at my plate with an attitude.
back at her, “Damn, you’re right. Well, somethin’ smells fishy in here.”
I had my first man crush. Don’t get me wrong I loved pussy to death. I dreamed about it every other night. I also had a girlfriend whose juice box was so wet I had to wear goggles whenever we fucked. I was most definitely not gay and my desire and love for women was stronger than ever. However, I had a man crush. From the first time I met Tyce, I was impressed. My homeboy Sim told me about him before, but, I thought he was exaggerating when he told me how cool he was. I couldn’t fathom anybody being the way he described him. Niggas like that only existed in movies and shit like that, not in real life. Once I began to hang around him, I understood what Sim and everybody else meant when they said that he was just that nigga.
After I jacked the diamond, I was all excited and shit and he was just the opposite. I could tell that he was proud of me, but it was almost like he expected it. Like he knew that I would pull it off. I admired the way he thought things out and the fact that he wasn’t scared of shit. If King Kong and Tyce had a heavy weight fight, I would honestly bet all my money on Tyce to knock his hairy ass out. When we were in the barber shop the other day, I really didn’t know what to expect when ole boy started to trip. That fool was bigger than both of us; most certainly me, but Tyce didn’t give a fuck. I was on the same page. I would have blown his mind out of the back of his head, but when he flinched an inch in my direction, Tyce snuffed him. The shit happened so fast I didn’t even see it. He went from zero to sixty in a flash and the next thing I knew, dude was on the ground gasping for air. Then he rescheduled our haircuts while he held a gun to his throat! Now, that was the kind of shit I liked. I could roll with a cat like that any day of the week. Coming from my background and seeing everything that I’d seen in my short twenty three years on this earth, I recognized a real muthafucka when I saw one. Tyce was the real deal and I was happy to be the third member of his crew. Shit, we hadn’t even done the real shit yet and I was making money already. I sold the diamond I snagged to Tyce’s play sister Bree for twenty grand. Talk about a quick lick. It seemed like everyone around him was balling and I would do everything in my power to stay in the game.
That’s why when he asked me to deliver five hundred red roses to a house I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I knew he could afford to have someone else deliver them, but there was a reason that he asked me. Nothing he did was ever random, so I knew that it had to be a reason why he wanted me to take the flowers and hand deliver the note also. On top of that he had me drop off an envelope to a high rise office suite downtown. The average sucka would have gotten nosey and took a peek inside the package, or copped an attitude when they were asked to play delivery boy, but not me.
The world was full of fake ass people who pretended to be loyal and real, but just like my boss; I was not a cubic zirconia.
Thaddeus was like a fresh breeze blowing through a musty locker room. For just a night, I was free. I was free from my constant thoughts of Tyce and our presently fucked up relationshit. It was nice to get a break from all the stress and worry even if that “break” came in the form of a dark chocolate R & B singer with movie star good looks.
The kiss was a mistake. Letting him palm my bare titties was a no no, but when you’re thirty lines deep into a coke session you say
. So that’s what I did. I said fuck it and made out with Thaddeus in my small office. I did have sense enough not to move the session into a private room though. In addition to not relocating to a fuck suite, I did not see his dick, touch his dick, feel his dick, or even taste his dick. When all the coke dust settled, I did not fuck the man I had an affair with. That aside, I knew what did happen wasn’t right. Tyce would be beyond pissed if he knew what happened. He would punch a hole through a high rise building if he knew about Thaddeus.
I thought about the scenario and I almost turned my Jag around. I stopped at a red light drumming my finger tips on the steering wheel contemplating busting a U-turn and going back home to my man. I was supposed to be meeting Thaddeus for dinner, but I was having second and third thoughts about it. Should I go? Would I regret not going? To be honest, after Biz was eliminated from my life, I never really got a chance to date and just do me. Rather than date a bit and reflect I immediately jumped into a relationship with Tyce. The truth was that I’d been somebody’s woman since I was sixteen years old. I never really had a chance to live the single life and before I knew it I was a girlfriend and a mother. A few weeks ago I found myself longing for a Tyce proposal and now fourteen days later, I wasn’t so anxious.
The horn of the driver behind me blared long and hard cutting through my fog. My inner distraction was causing me to hold up traffic. I abruptly pulled off headed
in the direction of the mini mansion I shared with Tyce, but to a low key restaurant in Redondo Beach to break bread with Thaddeus. I was supposed to be holding down my spot for our weekly 20’s and 30’s night for our younger club members however, I instructed Trina to hold it down in my absence. I didn’t tell her I’d swing by after closing time because I wanted to leave the night open for whatever happened on my date.
I mean it wasn’t a date…right?
As I parked outside the restaurant, I took one last look in my visor mirror to confront myself.
” I said to myself. “You are a grown ass woman and you know what the fuck this is. This is a date bitch.”
After that brief self-honest moment, I jumped out of my car before I chickened out. The valet checked me out, married men leaving with their wives stared me down and women on their way in eyed me with hate in the whites of their eyes. Was it because they knew I was cheating on my man? Fuck that, it was the white cling tight dress with the high splits angling up both sides of my thighs that had them peering. Both of my glowing caramel brown legs were completely uncovered, except for the loose flapping fabric in the front and the back, which trailed all the way down to my silver stilettos. My dress commanded attention. It was designed to give men and women crooks in their necks from watching me walk by. This fashion master piece was made to swell dicks and make bitches over dose on hatorade and hopefully Thaddeus would appreciate all the skin I was showing off under the soft candle lights.
I had just finished giving Khari a bath before putting her down for the night. My hands smelled like cocoa butter baby lotion and my little munchkin was all clean, fresh and sleepy as hell. As of lately my hours were spent planning a robbery and taking good care of my daughter. Between maximum efforts from me and Carmela and medium efforts from Angelique, Khari was well taken care of. I couldn’t rightly say Angelique was a part time mother, because that would be unfair. Most mothers had to work. It just so happened that my child’s mother worked nights.
I tucked my baby in the crib, turned on her favorite Jackson 5 CD and left the door slightly opened with the baby monitor on. Just as I turned the corner to go down the hallway my phone came to life in the back pocket of my jeans. I looked down and saw Khalil’s name on my wide screen. I grinned slightly as I read it before hitting the talk button.
“Hey now, what’s up
fam?” I walked toward the stairs with the other baby walkie in my hand.
Shit nigga, jus’ stayin’ in trouble tryna stack doe like pallets. What’s up on your end?” Khalil replied in a gruff voice.
“Shit, I like money no doubt
, but trouble costs me time. Like the time I spent whoppin’ your boys’ ass the other day in the barber shop. I’m sure you heard about that.”
Khalil cleared his throat. “Yeah he told me you and some white boy jumped him.”