Authors: T K Williams-Nelson
T K Williams-Nelson
Copyright Â© 2013 T K Williams-Nelson
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That's all you see and hear; nothing more, nothing less. Bullets cover the ground like stones. Not unusual around these parts but not something you would like to see every day. Guns are the motive. Knives are the motive. We might as well just say crime is the motive where we live. My name's Jayden; and this is the ghetto.
Living on the blocks was rough. There was all sorts of madness going on but we got through it. By âwe' I mean me and my best friend, Maurice. That guy is the best of the best when it comes to being there for me. We are basically brothers. No matter what happens in life, Maurice always has my back, and to return the favour, I always have his. He has a tall and slender frame, short, jet-blacked waved hair and hands the size of my face. Always up for anything, he brings the fun into my dimmed life.
Speaking of that, I was just heading out to go check him so I grabbed my jacket, shouted bye to my mum and waited for a few seconds.
“Bye love, make sure you're back here by twelve or it's war!” she laughed.
I laughed and closed the door behind me. Since I lost my key my mum wasn't willing to wait up for me every night like some baby. Around these ends you couldn't walk down the road looking like you ran the place because it would be an automatic rushing. So I kept my head straight and focused on reaching Maurice's. It was only down the road so it was going to be a quick movement. I didn't have many enemies round here except them jealous ones that hated on my presence for no reason and this one yute, Jamal. We've never got on from the day he tried to bad me up when my mum and I first moved here. Since then we've been in beef but nothing big has ever kicked off. I finally reached Maurice's and as usual the fool weren't ready, so I sat down on his bed and asked what the day was saying for us.
“Blood we need to hit that new shopping centre down the road man. I heard bare sexy girls are going and right about now I need a wife,” he moaned.
“I hear that fam. I'm on anything,” I replied.
He put on his shirt and we headed out the door. I had a weird feeling that something bad was going to happen today, but I pushed it to the back of my head and started thinking about those fine girls I'd be meeting up with in a while. No sooner had those thoughts ran through my head Maurice and I bumped into the haters of the block; a gang ran by the one and only Jamal. He was a big man still engaging in immature antics. I just wanted to walk by. I was a big boy now; just touched eighteen, so I didn't want to be in any pointless problems but it seemed like he wanted to start something.
“Oi prick!” he shouted. I carried on walking but Maurice weren't having it and turned around.
“Is there a fucking problem, fam?” he shouted aggressively.
“Yeah there is. I don't like how you're looking in man's face!”
“Well come do something about it then” said Maurice.
I urged him to ignore Jamal but he wouldn't listen. Jamal always put on this front. He was always trying to entertain, in my opinion, and liked the attention he got from it. We'd all passed that stage but he wouldn't grow up â and he was older than us by a significant age gap. Jamal came up in Maurice's face and punched him in the eye.
Maurice crouched over, clutching his face and mumbled, “Are you dumb? You never just bang me?”
“What does it look like son! Try look in man's face like your something big. Be real,” said Jamal.
I couldn't just stand there and watch my boy get beaten up so I stepped in. “Jamal this shit is between me and you, why you getting him involved?” I punched him in the face and he fell to the ground. I kicked him in his head whilst Maurice took on the boys that tried to jump in. I had enough of Jamal trying to control everyone; he needed to be taught a lesson. When we thought he got what he deserved, Maurice and I ran off laughing. It was just like back in the days when we played our little games.
Jamal got up off the dusty ground, nose leaking with blood and eyes swelled close. He pointed at me. “Remember I know where you live” he said limping off. I didn't think much of it. He always made empty threats so it didn't faze us one bit.
The shopping centre was massive and surprisingly impressive. I had a couple of scratches on my face and Maurice had a black eye but we were still determined to get some girls to take home today. Then she walked past. The sexiest girl I had ever seen; hair flowing over her shoulders; a waistline with the ability to get any man up and her sexy strut. She was a boss in her own right. I had to have her so I walked up beside her.
“Do I know you from somewhere, gorgeous?”
“Nah, I don't think so but you can get to know me,” she smiled.
“Is that right? What's your name?” I asked, playing Mr Charming.
“My name's Vanessa, you?”
“The names Jayden and you're looking mighty fine walking by,” I winked humorously. She laughed; so quiet and cute. “So do you have a man?” I whispered in her ear. Better to get straight to the point before you end up in a situation you didn't want to be in.
“Nah do you have a wife?” she replied sarcastically.
“Yeah I'm talking to her now,” I said. She laughed again, then I asked her if she wanted to roll with me and Maurice today.
“I wouldn't mind. I haven't got anything to do other than to window shop.”
We all walked around looking at the big shops that we knew we could never buy anything from. We had to hustle hard to even have enough money to buy food most of the time. For real, life was tough but my mum helped me through it and so did Maurice. We didn't take life seriously because we didn't see any need to. We lived in the slums with slim hope of a decent future. Let's just say we knew our status in society. We couldn't get into any school or college with our bad reputation. The streets end up becoming your second family. You commit to it by going out daily on the grind. That's just the way it was and things didn't seem like they had any intention of changing.
We arrived at our usual fast food restaurant and took a seat. Whilst I spoke to Vanessa and tried to crack a few jokes to hear her beautiful laugh once more, Maurice had his eye on a brown beauty ordering at the counter. He stood up and walked over to her.
“You cool?” he said, leaning next to her.
“And who are you?” she replied defensively.
“Well you're a feisty one, aren't you?” he laughed. She subtly smiled. “So what's your name?” he asked, being a bit more polite.
“The name's Holly.”
“Holly, I like that,” he lied. “Well my name's Maurice and I was wondering if you would like to kick it with me and my friends over there. We're going back to my house to chill out and listen to some music, what do you say?” He pointed at our table and Vanessa couldn't help but laugh.
“Alright it sounds good. Let me just get my food and I'll be right over.” She pecked him on his cheek and he walked back over grinning bare teeth.
“Man handled that correct!” he laughed.
About two minutes later she walked over and we all got up, introduced our selves, then left to go back to Maurice's. “What happened to your eye?” asked Holly. I found it funny that she didn't notice it when he actually approached her.
“I got into a fight but it's handled now, we showed them who's the boss round here,” he joked.
We all laughed and before we knew it we were at the door. When we walked in me and Vanessa sat down in the living room, whilst Maurice and Holly went upstairs. Approximately five seconds later Maurice ran back downstairs. “Fam, do you have any condoms?” he whispered.
“You're lucky I had one in my pocket or you would have been pissed.” He ran back upstairs and almost immediately we heard the ceiling creaking. It was an awkward position to be in but me and Vanessa just laughed it off and turned up the music.
“She freed it up easily don't you think?” said Vanessa.
“You can just tell she's easy when you find a girl like that, but Maurice isn't any better don't get me wrong,” I smiled. She giggled then leaned in to kiss me. Her lips smoothly rubbing over mine made me tingle but I didn't want her to think I just wanted her for sex. She genuinely seemed like a nice girl and I didn't want this to be the last time I saw her. “I just want you to know that I'm nothing like Maurice. He may be my best friend but I have respect for women.” She stared in my eyes and kissed me again. I took that as a sign that she understood what I said and felt comfortable with it and, most importantly, comfortable with me. As she kissed me she slowly unbuttoned her shirt and threw it on the floor. I lay her body down on the sofa before making a slight hesitation.
“Do you really want to do this? I mean I would be fine if you didn't” I said. All she did was grin and we made love to the music.
“You're a talented boy aren't you Jayden?” she said out of breathless.
“I just think you're a bit special therefore special treatment is required” I explained, picking up my things. She went into Maurice's downstairs bathroom to clean up and get dressed whilst I put my clothes on in the living room. I stopped and thought to myself:
that was the best I've had in a while. It isn't often that I meet a girl who makes me feel like this.
Looking at the time I realised that it was getting late and I didn't want to keep my mum up, so I waited for Vanessa to come out the bathroom and for Maurice and Holly to come downstairs. When Holly came in the living room her hair was ruffled and her appearance altered. She looked like she had just been in a fight. That was the only way I could describe it.
“You know how I do,” said Maurice, smiling as he saw my stunned expression.
“I'm cutting now so I'm gonna holla at you lot tomorrow,” I said keeping it brief. I kissed Vanessa on her forehead, spudded Maurice and left.
Walking home, I had a bad feeling in my stomach. It wasn't a pain but more like instinct. Regardless, I let it slide and slipped in my headphones. When I arrived at my house my door was kicked off and shattered. Just seeing that alone sent a sharp pain up my spine. I blinked a few times before I actually realised what I was seeing. “What the fuck” I expressed aloud. I walked in slowly and shouted out to my mum. The house was pitch black and silent. There was no reply so I shouted again, hoping that she just wasn't home. There was no reply. I entered the kitchen and saw plates smashed on the floor. She hated when things weren't in their correct place let alone have broken plates lying around. Tension began to overwhelm me as I knew something was wrong. I could literally feel the evil in the atmosphere. I went into my living room and I saw her; rigidly posed against the wall. I ran up to her to see if she was alright and that's when I saw it; the bullet hole in between her eyes. I knew she was dead but I refused to believe it. I spoke to her today, I laughed with her and I loved her that little bit more today. I couldn't take it in. Tears ran down my face as I held her lifeless body in my arms; my own mother's lifeless body. The tears were endless. I didn't want to leave her but I had to get some help. I put her down on the sofa and ran to Maurice's house without stopping. I pounded on the door with the little strength I had left and when he opened up I fell at his feet.
“Shit Jayden, what happened fam?”
“Maurice, someone's shot my mum. I got home and the door was kicked off and I found her laying there in a pool of blood. Come, we have to go,” I urged frantically. “Blood come inside and sit down. If she's dead, Jay, you know we can't go back there. Police are gonna be all over the place soon and you don't want them getting the wrong idea. Let the scene die down and we'll go back. Come and calm down,” he said, helping me up. He was right. Running into the police was not something I needed right now. I couldn't take the harassment and grief when I was the real victim. I got up and limped to his sofa. I felt so weak and so angry. My mind pulsated as I tried to abolish my confusion and piece together what could have happened. I broke down. This didn't seem real. I expected to be able to phone her right now and she'd be cursing me about having to keep her up to let me in but it was real and she was gone.
“Jayden, I think I know who done this,” Maurice said teary-eyed.
“I know,” I replied, staring blankly ahead.