Authors: Michel Moore
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
How did this happen? How did I get here? Here to this point. These little simple-minded third-generation punks done got the drop on me! Well, I'll be damned, three damn young kids. I swear on everything I love, I can still smell the breast milk on their stankin' foul, immature breaths. Yet, here I lie stretched out in my best suit ready for a Saturday night of partying. I'm covered with dirt. My pants leg torn at the knee and my snakeskin shoes scuffed the hell up. These murdering sons of bitches! They straight caught me slippin'. Why did I come tonight? Why?
In between my coldhearted stares of these pint-sized killers, I see the small dark pools of blood slowly growing from Melinda's gunshot wounds: one in her side, one near her collarbone. My loyal queen was gasping for air as she choked on her own mucus. I grew infuriated seeing her suffer like she was. I had a love so strong for her as well as the love we shared; our bond was unbreakable. Melinda was more than just my wife. She was the mother of my two precious daughters, my best friend, and my road dawg. Me-Me, as I'd always called her, was damn near my everything and because of my arrogant, stubborn ways, the woman who'd birthed my seeds now lies inches away from me, dying, and I can't do anything to help her. How really messed up is that? I mean I really dropped the damn ball this go-around. Make no mistake, this one's all on me.
Why didn't I just wait for my brother like Melinda begged me to do? I really didn't trust these young cats off rip, but as usual I thought I was bigger than the game and the rules didn't apply to me. Stupid me. I'd violated every rule of the game and was now paying the ultimate price. I'd just met these busters looking for a quick come up and was letting them cop from me on the humble. What can I say? My bad! I got greedy and wanted that money. Shit, I ain't gonna lie. It started gettin' good to a guy. Me and mines was eating good, driving good, dressing good, smoking good, and riding good. We were what poor folk around our way considered hood rich and we played our part well.
They say loot will change a person; hell, I can testify to that shit. Flat out, it got me off my square. I fucked up this time. No doubt! How could I believe in any honor among thieves? It didn't exist. How could I have forgotten the basic levels of being in the life? The rules of the dope game never ever change, just the players. Live by the gun, blah, blah, blah, shit's tight now. Time is ticking. I'm not brand new to the streets. I've been around death long enough to realize that my wifey, Melinda, has just taken her last breath in this lifetime and I, as hard as I was fighting it, was undoubtedly next in line for that same fate.
I'll be damned, here it comes. I can't feel my left lower leg anymore. Now the right! The last bullet these assholes let loose caused a burning sensation that ripped right through my flesh, knocking me off my feet and in this ditch. Still wishing for a different outcome, I wanted to beg for them to spare my wife's life, but I had no intention of going out like a straight bitch. I have my pride, and if nothing else but on point and principle, I'm gonna keep it gangsta 'til the very end. Besides, I knew my Me-Me was already gone. The mother of my two daughters was dead, finished, over, and it was my damn fault. Yeah, it's pretty much a wrap, for both her and me.
If I could turn back the hands of time, I still wouldn't change a motherfucking thang. I can't say I honestly regret one minute of it. Me and my girl had a ball doing what we did, living how we lived. Just thinking about slangin' could get my manhood rock hard. From being posted on the corner of Linwood Avenue, taking two dollar shorts on a top side hit of powder to grinding up on my first cake of that good stuff, that shit was real, hell sometimes maybe even too real. My sweetheart, Melinda, was with me from day one. She always had my back. Now here we go again, but this time we won't be able to get high and laugh this one off.
I feel myself getting weaker as the seconds drag by. It's about that time. The clock is about to stop. I know I've done wrong and more than likely the devil has left the light on for me. That's okay though. I earned my spot in hell. But God, if you can still hear me, for Melinda's sake, please take care of our little daughters, Kenya and London; especially Kenya, who has an inner rage and a lust for the streets just like her old man. They're the purest thing that came out of all this madness. Game over, lights out!
From da cradle to the fuckin' grave!
Buzzzzzzzzzzz . . . It was a typical morning in the small family household located in the middle of the crime-infested Detroit neighborhood. The digital alarm clock was making what seemed like an intolerable sound, yet there was still no movement from either one of the “different as night and day” teenage twins. The alarm going off on the clock at 6:45 a.m. every school day was a normal occurrence, just as normal as the girls trying to ignore the sound and their grandmother's sometimes annoying voice.
“Get up!” Gran, cane in hand, yelled with a Southern drawl even though she'd been living up North in the city for decades. “Both of you gals get up before you're late!” Every morning was the same routine. She thought,
Lord have mercy, don't let these girls end up like their mother Melinda because if they do, I don't know what in the world I will do!
Gran had two children of her own. Melinda was her youngest, her baby. Everyone knew she'd tried her very best with both of her loving children, but to no avail; the black-hearted streets had other plans for them. Both had died young living the life she wanted so desperately for them to leave alone. Her son, just barely eighteen, had overdosed on drugs, heroin to be exact; and Melinda, who always thought she was too smart for her own good, was found shot to death in the projects in a ditch with her husband, leaving the girls, her only children, orphans.
Hattie Jean Lewis was a devout Christian woman, who stood tall in her faith and love for the Lord. She used to stay up countless nights and shed many a tear, worrying about her little girl.
Damn, why did she have to meet that low-down, good-for-nothing Johnnie Roberts?
Gran frowned up her face questioning why things had gone so wrong.
She quickly repeated over and over,
Let thy will be done. If you thought it was best to call them home, I know you know best and only you can help me with these girls, especially Kenya.
Gran started loudly singing church hymns; that always got the entire household up and going. Not because the twins love hearing them, but the complete opposite. Whenever it came to going to church one of the sisters, Kenya of course, always bucked at the idea. She was considered the wild child of the two and everyone who would encounter the girls could easily tell the difference. Gran didn't care how much Kenya rebelled. God was the head of her household and Kenya, London, and anyone else who stepped foot inside her home was going to follow suit. Gran would drag Kenya to services week after week praying she would soften her heart. From experience, the old woman knew good and well that everyone would need and call upon the Lord one day, Kenya included.
With a “mad at the world” attitude, Amoya Kenya Roberts was the first one of the girls to jump out the bed. The second verse of her grandmother's song was unbearable to the young teen.
“Morning, baby.” Gran tried to kiss her on her forehead, but Ms. Kenya, waving her hand backward, was having none of that. Since the twins' first names were so close, everyone called them by their middle names. Kenya was what you would call the most outgoing one of the two. She often joked and kept a smile on her face; that was, as long as she was having her own way, which she often demanded. Having a thirst for being the center of attention, she was most certainly the life of the party. However, just as easy as the jokes, smiles, and laughter could begin, they could be brought to a screeching halt. Kenya possessed a short-fuse firecracker temper that was unbelievable. The teen with a beautiful face, loved by some and hated by others, could and would snap just like that at a drop of a hat. Kenya was truly her father's daughter in every way you could imagine, from personality and demeanor to his hustle by any means to get paid pedigree. And for that reason, among many more, her immediate family worried about her and what unseen tragedies that mentality could ultimately bring to her.
Amia London Roberts was the latter of the girls to get up and start her day. “Hey, Gran.” She smiled as she reached out to her granny. Knowing another day wasn't promised to anyone, she hugged and kissed her every chance that she got.
“Mornin', baby. I love you.”
“I love you too, Gran.” London beamed with joy as her sister came out the bathroom, interrupting their embrace.
“Dang, why y'all two gotta be so mushy all the time? It's too early in the morning!” Kenya asked while turning her lip up, “And, London, why don't you stop being such a butt kisser? I mean dang!”
London paid her sister no mind. She loved her grandmother. They would discus all sorts of important subjects. Prejudice and racism in America and civil rights struggles that had taken place in Alabama and throughout the South. They shared conversations about Dr. King, Malcolm X, and even the Black Panthers organization. Not only did London like to hear about the struggle of her people, she promised Gran one day to be part of the solution. The honor-roll teen loved to read books and would spend countless hours at the library. She would study every chance she got, even at night when the troubled neighborhood she lived in was quiet and still or her sister was chattering away on the phone.
While London spent her nights studying, Kenya would stay posted on the phone. She could often hold a conversation for what seemed like hours on end talking about absolutely nothing of any value. Meeting different boys at the mall and exchanging phone numbers, she'd tell them all kind of things a normal fourteen-year-old had no business knowing about life in general, let alone repeating. Everywhere she'd go, the boys, some her own age and some much older, flocked around Kenya like bees to honey, but London didn't care one bit. Her only focus was obtaining and maintaining good grades and a high GPA. Their Gran had taught London that knowledge was true power, and with a good education, she could easily write her own ticket in life.
London always daydreamed, wondering if her mother had stayed in school and hit the books as much as she heard that she'd hit the streets getting into mischief with her dad, would she still be alive today. Nevertheless, bottom line, Kenya, not giving a damn about jack shit, was hell-bent on living her young life recklessly and London, determined to make something of hers, studied, wanting to be labeled something other than a hood rat.
Both London and Kenya got dressed for school. They were only fourteen, but each had already developed their own style of dress. Kenya picked out a pair of light blue jeans that were neatly pressed and had a jacket and baby T-shirt to match. She grabbed her new designer bag and belt, throwing them on the bed. After finally pouring herself into her pants, she turned around in the mirror and smiled as she thought,
Both tight and right.
“Humph, should I were my K-Swiss or my new Air Force 1s?” she then questioned out loud, still checking out her own ass.
“I think you should wear the K-Swiss,” London whispered under her breath.
“Did you say something over there Miss Power to the People?” Kenya had a smirk across her face, turning to face London. Kenya loved her sister, true enough, but she knew the girl had no taste whatsoever. “K-Swiss you said, then I know it's the Forces today.” They both shared a laugh as London playfully threw her pillow across the room at her twin.
London pulled out a pair of black slacks and a plain black polo shirt. She wasn't into all of those high-priced designer clothes that her sister liked. Why walk around with someone else's name plastered across your chest and behind? Why be a free walking billboard on display?
Free promotion and advertisement for the white man, I don't think so. No way, not the kid,
she thought as she watched Kenya get dressed.
They both had long sandy-brown hair that stretched past their shoulders. Kenya always let hers hang and flow wildly, while London favored hers pulled back off the face in a ponytail. Their features were identical. If not for their clothes and obvious different characteristics, many of their own distant family members and friends couldn't tell the twins apart. With two different agendas for the day, they were out the door on their way to schoolâseparately.