“Jhene!” I was calling her, but all I got was the back of her as she and Tae walked hand in hand down the driveway towards Tae’s car. She was crying, Tae was pulling her and I was following behind them. As they reached the car. Jhene quickly got in the passengers side and shut the door, but just as quick as she did that, I snatched the door back open and stood in between it, preventing her from closing it.
“Jesus Christ” Tae mumbled under her breath and then rested her head on her steering wheel.
“Ignoring me isn’t gonna fix anything between us Nae” I said to her as I knelt down so that I was levelled with her face. She continued to stay silent and her head forward as the tears kept rolling down her cheeks.
“Baby please just let me try and explain to you what I’m saying”
“Look Chris just give her some space okay!” Tae replied. I looked over at her.
“Whatchu mean give her some space? I’m tryna talk to her!”
“Yeah and she doesn’t wanna talk to you right now!”
“Man with all due respect Tae, this ain’t got nothing to do with you” I replied fixing my attention back onto her cousin. Tae huffed and turned her key in the ignition, starting the car. “Jhene!” She said her name in a tone that said, if you don’t open your mouth and speak up. Jhene sighed deeply.
“Chris just leave me alone for a second aight, just go back inside” her voice broke
She was at her most vulnerable right now. I couldn’t leave her without at least trying to explain to her that everything I was doing was to protect her. I didn’t want her sitting around outside waiting for me cause I had to go sit my ass down for however many years violation I was getting. Her life couldn’t stop because of me, I’d feel like piece of shit if I allowed that to happen. When I said I was breaking things off with her, it’s not because actually meant it. It didn’t mean I didn’t wanna be with her anymore or I didn’t love her, I said it because I had to
“Why are you listening to what other people are saying to you, do you really want me to leave you alone Jhene?” I asked her. I was so fucking tired of her listening to her cousin or her friends when it came to our relationship. Why was their input so important in a relationship that had nothing to do with them! I wasn’t fucking any of them, I didn’t have a baby with either of them. I didn’t have history with any of them so why was their opinions always in my business? “Baby girl please talk to me man” I pleaded with her as I gently rested my hand on her thigh. She pushed away my hand and finally looked my way.
“Why are you doing this now Chris? You just told me you don’t wanna be with me anymore and I’m accepting it so just go back inside!” She cried
“Yeah but that’s not what I meant when I said it! That’s what I’m trying to explain to you” I argued
“I don’t care anymore Chris. You can’t keep playing with my emotions like I’m not human. One minute you want me then you don’t then you do, what the fuck! Just stay away from me please!”
She pushed me away from the door. I stumbled back enough that it gave her space to quickly shut the door and then lock it. I could see Tae saying something to her but I couldn’t work out what she was saying all I saw was Jhene shake her head no. I tapped on the window and Tae looked over at me with slight empathy before she sighed and slowly pulled out of the driveway onto the residential road. I walked following behind the car until she was completely out of the driveway and then took off speeding down the road. Leaving me standing there. I sighed and ran my hand over my face in grief. Tonight just kept on getting even worse for me, one by one I was literally losing everything, my girl, my daughter, my mind!
I stood there for a moment just thinking about everything I was going through but I was quickly snapped outta my dazing thoughts when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked back to see Kyra standing behind me. “Mijo told me to come out and check on you. You good?” She asked with a small smile. I shook my head.
“Nah I’m fucked up lil sis, but I’ll be aight” I reassured her. Kyra sighed sympathetically.
“Where did Nae go?”
“I don’t even know. I guess Tae’s gone to take her home”
“Is it bad?” She asked in reference to our relationship.
“Real bad” I admitted
“Man Chris. What happened y'all were just hugged up in your kitchen and all in love a few weeks ago!”
I kissed my teeth and sighed regrettably as I took a seat on the porch steps behind me. Kyra folded her arms and looked down at me waiting for my answer. I looked up at her and chuckled at the manor she was standing in. She looked like a disappointed school teacher scolding a naughty school child; me being the school child.
“It’s not funny Chris! She loves you so much!” she stressed
“I’m not laughing at the situation. I’m laughing at the way you standing!..but I don’t know what’s going on with me and Jhene. I just fuck everything up with her all the time” I chuckled faintly.
Kyra huffed and took a seat beside me on the steps. “I swear you men have got to be one of the stupidest creatures on this damn earth” she insulted, I frowned at her, “What? Y'all are! Y'all couldn’t see a good thing even if it smacked you right in the middle of your face”
“Here you go”
“It’s true! You got a dope ass chick! Do you know how many nigga’s would love to have a girl like her. How many niggas probably want her and she don’t be paying them any attention because it’s all you!”
“I know” I mumbled
“So why’d you keep fucking shit up with her Chris!”
“I don’t know. I just… I don’t know man, I guess right now I’m just feeling kinda; trapped”
Kyra sighed. “Trapped Chris? Seriously?”
“I know. I’m buggin right”
“Kinda. I mean you chased her for so long to say you feel trapped now is kinda messed up”
I didn’t say anything.
“Do you know earlier all she cared about was making sure you was okay.”Kyra said, I looked at her. “Her and Tae got into it in the car cause Tae was telling her she’s stupid for continuously worrying and sticking up for you, even after you completely disrespected her earlier. She didn’t care what Tae or anyone else was saying all she wanted to do was make sure you was straight”
“You ain’t making me feel too good about breaking up with her right now”
“You broke up with her?” Kyra sounded shocked.
“Yeah man” I sighed in regret
“I thought it was the right thing to do. I thought I was protecting her but right now, not even that seems right”
“Protecting her from what exactly Chris?” She asked. I ran my hand over my face tiredly as I began telling her about my whole situation, from the finding Jen in that nigga’s home, to her telling me Jeniece wasn’t my child and everything that happened in-between, I told her about the situation with Cass and Jens dad’s ultimatums, my sentencing, the likelihood that I’d be going straight back to jail if I didn’t snitch, I just told her everything that was going on. Everything that had been weighing down on may mind these past couple of weeks
“Wow…Does Jhene know all of this?” She asked me, I shrugged
“She knows most of it. I just don’t think she really understands what’s really going on. That’s why I’m feeling trapped. She don’t understand that I ain’t gonna be around much longer Ky, what I look like holding her back because of some bullshit I’ve gotten myself involved in? She sees me breaking things off with her and all Jhene sees is me dissing her. She don’t see it as me trying to protect her and she ain’t even tryna hear me out”
“But if she’s willing to stick around why are you pushing her away?”
“…Because I don’t want her to hate me in the long run” I admitted “I hate that I’m always making her cry, I hate that shit! And I know the longer I keep her around knowing I can’t be there for her and Asia or even be the man she needs me to be, the more she’s gonna grow to hate me. I promised her so much shit that I’ve ended up breaking, she ain’t even the same girl that I met, and I know deep down its because of the shit I’ve put her through”
Kyra sighed and looked at me.
“Well when you first met her, what was it about her that you liked so much?” she asked me.
"Huh?” I looked at her
“You heard me, when you first met her what was it about her that you liked so much?” She repeated
A small smirk etched onto my lips as I thought back to the first time I met Jhene. We were back in high school and I remember I had to show her to her to her Physics classroom, she was new to the school and I was hella nervous for some reason so I ain’t say much to her, tried to play her like I didn’t really wanna talk to her nshit. But she saw right through that shit and straight up told me I was scared to talk to her, it was her attitude man, like she just knew I was feeling her. From that moment I don’t know what it was but I was interested, she had me intrigued in a way that no other girl had managed to do before. She wasn’t eager to get to know me and I think that’s what interested me the most. I wanted her more than she wanted me.
“I don’t know; she was just different I guess” I said to Ky “She wasn’t like no other chick I’d met before. She was just chilled…cocky as fuck but still, chilled as shit” I chuckled “She just had me man, I still don’t know exactly what it was, it was just everything about her”
“And what made you fall in love with her?”
“Man you asking too many questions Ky” I chuffed.
“Answer me!” Kyra pinched my side
I smacked my teeth as I thought about it for a second… “I don’t know, being with her was just easy from the beginning. She was fun, like one of the homies” I chuckled “Plus, I saw the way that she genuinely cared about a nigga, she just opened my eyes to what real love was supposed to be” I mumbled.
“So what’s changed Chris?”
I looked at her and Kyra raised her brow questioningly.
“I don’t know” I mumbled
“That’s because nothing has changed Chris. Can’t you see it? Absolutely nothing between y’all has changed! The way your describing the beginning is exactly what I saw that day in your kitchen. The way she looks at you Chris… And I see the way that you look at her, especially when you think nobodies watching” Kyra spoke, I couldn’t help but feel myself smile “You two fucking admire each other. You two are both so passionate about each other but for some reason your both are allowing outside s to split you apart!”
“I know” I mumbled with a deep sigh as I hung my head. “But honestly Ky I don’t even think any of this shit even matters anymore. I already know she ain’t gonna want anything to do with me after all of this. She probably hates me”
Kyra shook her head “She definitely doesn’t hate you Chris! Is she hurt by you? Of course. She’s heartbroken, but she definitely still loves you. If Jhene really hated you; you know better than I do that she would not have been here tonight. You’ve just gotta prove to her that your willing to change and do better by her. You really love her right?” She asked me. I nodded my head yes. “Well then go fight for her. And eventually when you get her back. Keep her; because not for nothing Chris, you ain’t ever going to find another girl who’s willing to love you or hold you down the way that she’s willing too”
“I guess your right” I muttered.
“Of course I am. I get what your saying Chris. You don’t wanna keep hurting her but please don’t end it on bad terms like this just try and make it right with her before it’s too late” Kyra said to me just before a gust of wind swiftly blew against us and ruffled the trees in the distance. We both simultaneously looked up at the gloomy clouds in the sky as little droplets of water began to suddenly trickle down, cold and wet against our skin
“Okay and that’s my que to take my black ass back inside” Kyra joked as she gently grabbed my shoulder and then stood up and “You coming in?”
“Nah, imma just chill out here for a second” I replied
“Aight, well don’t stay out here too long, this rains looking like it’s about to get crazy” she said before she quickly ran back inside before she could get wet. I pulled my black hood over my head as the water droplets began growing larger and falling more frequently.
I thought about everything Kyra had just said to me, she was right and deep down I knew I wasn’t ready to let her go. But, at some point I had to stop being selfish and be a man about the situation and the fact remained Jhene was too good for me. My mind was made up.
My fucked up circumstances was preventing me from being the man that she deserved. And for that reason as much as I loved her,
I had to let her go. I just hoped she understood my decision in the long run.
“Nae you sure you don’t want me to wait and drop you two home?” Tae asked for the second time as she finally pulled into my dad’s driveway, the rain from outside was splattering against the window at a rapid pace making it difficult to see outside.
I gently rubbed under my nose and shook my head no as I unbuckled my seatbelt “My car’s just there…look” I pointed to it parked just behind my dad’s in his driveway, “I’ll be fine, I’m just gonna go in and get Asia and then go home”
Tae finally sighed in defeat. “Aight well I love you… and please don’t be worrying about him too much”
“Mmhm” I muttered
“Call me when you get home!” Tae yelled as I opened up the car door I said yeah and then stepped out into the pouring rain. I had no hood or umbrella so quickly I ran straight up the driveway and porch steps to shelter. I didn’t have my key to enter the house so I reached up onto the porch light and grabbed the spare key my dad always left there in case of emergencies. I pushed the key into the lock and then entered inside the quiet house. Everybody was asleep as I assumed they would be.
I looked over at the window as a bolt of brilliant white lighting temporarily lit the dark foyer up, followed by the deadly silence, and then thunderous boom from outside. One thing about LA weather, it rarely rained, but when it did. It poured.
In the mist of the silence, I thought I heard my baby fussing, I took a deep breath and made my way upstairs.
“What’s the matter princess?” I asked quietly as I entered my old bedroom. Annette was stood in a dressing gown and head tie with a sleepy Asia in her arms trying to comfort her. As I entered Ann jumped slightly.
“Oh my Goodness, I didn’t hear you come in, you scared me” She chuckled faintly.
“My bad I could hear her crying from downstairs”
“Mommy” Asia sniffled as she stretched her arms out to me, Her little face was blotchy red and wet with tears
“I think the noise from the thunder outside must have woke her up and scared her” Annette explained as she passed her over to me. I took her on my hip and cuddled her close to me.
"Yeah it probably did”
“How was your night?” Annette smiled.
“It’s was ok” I mumbled with a shrug “is my dad asleep?”
“Yeah, he knocked out not too long ago. Running around after a 2 year old definitely wore him out today”
I smiled faintly. “Welcome to my world” I mumbled looking down at Asia as she slowly began drifting back off to sleep. Gently I stroked her curls away from her face and kissed her cheeks
Annette chuckled. “Well I’m gonna head back to bed. I’ve got an early start. Will I see you two in the morning?”
“Nah I’m gonna head home now. I just came to quickly pick her up”
“Ok hun, well get home safe and I’ll have your father call you when he wakes up”
We said our goodbyes before Ann left my room. I looked around briefly for Asia’s things. She whined and fussed around for a little bit as I laid her back down on the bed, but soon after she fell straight back asleep. I began gathering all her stuff and getting her ready to go, I looked at the time on the alarm clock and it was 20 to 3. I could’ve just stayed here tonight but I just wanted to be in my own space. Besides I only lived 10 minutes away,
I’d be home in no time.
I didn’t take long for me to get everything ready. I quickly shuffled over to my closet hoping there was some sort of jacket with a hood left in there I needed something to keep me dry I thought before I went back out in this rain.
My bedroom was still pretty much the same from when I left it 2 years ago, so all the pictures and memories I’d managed to accumulate during my time living here still remained in the exact same places.
As I opened the closet door, my eyes briefly skimmed over an old picture on my wall. It was a cartoon drawing of me Chris had done on my wall one day after we both had the day off after being suspended from school for fighting. Well Chris was fighting, I was just… helping!
I smiled briefly as the drawing just brought back a flash of good memories. Innocence. Love. Happiness. Nothing was boring, plain or complicated.
Back then Chris was everything to me. I loved him so much he was like a breath of fresh air compared to the nigga’s back home I’d dealt with. He was just different. I liked that in the beginning he didn’t try to just ‘get with me’ he built a genuine friendship with me before anything else. The relationship followed after, but the foundation of us was always a friendship. We were so happy together. We hardly fought, he always made me laugh and always kept my feelings into consideration. I’d never been in love before but with Chris I fell so easily and in such a short space of time, it was like he was my soul mate. We just gelled together. We were like two best friends who just happened to be in love with each other.
The more I started to think about Chris, the more I thought about the good times we shared.
Why did it have to end like this?
I could deal with us not being in a relationship; people broke up all the time, but I hated the fact that us not being ‘together’ meant we couldn’t even be friends anymore. What would it look like us being ‘just friends’ it just wouldn’t work. Feelings would eventually get in the way and then we’d be back to square one. If we weren’t together me and Chris were done.
I blinked as suddenly a rush of tears fell quickly from my eyes. This was so messed up! Why did I have to love him so much!. Badly I just wanted to fall out of love with him and forget that I ever loved him. If I could just do that, I wouldn’t be feeling the way I was feeling right now.
I started to blame myself for the way things were now, like maybe if hadn’t left and broke up with him in the first place then maybe things would have been different. Maybe we would’ve stayed together and worked things out instead of letting things come between us and eventually wear us down.
Suddenly, a wave of nausea overcame me and I just felt the need to be sick. I got up quickly running over to the bathroom. I almost tripped as soon as I opened the door. I grabbed the toilet seat and started throwing up in the toilet. My knees pressed against the cold floor as I cried and threw-up in the toilet all at once; the alcohol I’d consumed earlier leaving a horrid burning sensation in my throat.
This night really was just getting worst for me. I threw up 2 more times before I finally felt well enough to stand up. I cleaned the seat off and flushed the toilet, my stomach still waving with slight unease and then made my way back into the bedroom. I just needed to get home so I could sleep and just put an end to this awful night I’d had. I got to the room and picked Asia up from the bed and grabbed her sleep bag and quickly left out the house.
Once I got to the car, I buckled Asia securely into her car seat before I got in and slowly pulled out the driveway and took of down the street making my way home. Asia slept the whole way.
I wasn’t far from home when suddenly my phone began buzzing uncontrollably in the passengers seat. Without looking I picked it up “Hello?” I turned the music down and brought my phone to my ear. The moment I heard his throat clear, I didn’t even have to check the caller to see who it was.
“Where you at?” he asked lowly.
My heart began racing in my chest as my stomach twisted fighting the urge to be sick again.
“I’m driving home Chris” I muttered roughly as I slightly cracked my window letting a small amount of air into the car.
“Didn’t Tae drop you?” He asked in a concerned tone.
“Chris what do you want?” I sighed deeply.
Chris let out a deep breath. “I just wanted to talk real with you for a minute.. make sure your okay"
“No, Be honest with me” he cut me off before I could finish what I was about to say “please?”
I pulled the car over and put it in park on the curb. I looked at Asia sleeping in the back through the rear mirror, feeling the tears burning in the backs of my eyes.
“Fine, I’m not okay Chris. And it seems like all I’ve done these past couple days is cry because I don’t understand what’s going on with you. I don’t understand what I’ve ever done to you that’s given you a reason to treat me the way that you have been these past couple days. I don’t know what I’ve done that’s made you hate me so much”
“I don’t hate you Jhene!”
“Well that’s what it feels like. You told me you wish you never met me, do you know what that done to me?”
“You know I didn’t mean any of that shit Nae! You think if I wished I hadn’t met you I would’ve chased after you for so long?! I say reckless shit I don’t mean when I’m angry, you more than anyone should know that” Chris sighed
“But your always angry these days Chris! And for some reason I always seem to be the person on the receiving end of your tirades! You say the most fucked up shit to me and it’s like you don’t even care that I have feelings”
Chris stayed silent.
“You’ve put me through so much shit and I just stick around with you. I just let you do all this shit to me because I love you more than I loved myself . Now look at us, you fucked it all up.” I said as tears streamed down my face.
“D'you think I don’t know this Jhene. I know I’m the reason everything’s fucked up right now! And I regret every fucking thing I did to you.” He slightly yelled at me “If I could go back and change it, I would. I wish I could but I can’t.” He said
I sniffled roughly and quickly wiped my blurry eyes, as the phone stayed silent between us for a moment. A deep sigh from Chris broke our silence as he spoke
“I can’t change what’s happened in the past Nae, all I can do is try and control what happens from here on. I’m going through a lot of shit that’s outta of my control right now baby and from the bottom of my heart I’m sorry if the way I treated you ever made you feel less of a woman or ever made you believe I love you any less than I do. Honestly you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me Jhene, you were a blessing that came into my life when I didn’t even believe I could love or feel anything for another girl again and if circumstances were different I wouldn’t hesitate to spend the rest of my life with you. But right now, I just need to be by myself for a little while…I need to figure out my own shit before I can be the man for you that you want me to be; the man I want to be for you. I love you Nae, I really do. And I’d do anything for you. But I don’t wanna hurt you anymore” he admitted sadly,
I said nothing as more tears just built up inside my eyes.; a few fell from my eyes hitting my lap. I looked away and wiped my eyes. “I can’t keep being the reason your up crying at night or feeling sad…You’re too good for me baby” he spoke lowly
"So what are you saying to me Chris?” I asked him. I knew exactly what it was, but I hated the fact he was beating around the bush about it. Chris sighed
“I’m saying…maybe we rushed into things. Maybe we- I wasn’t ready for all this”
“So why didn’t you tell me all of this before you made me catch feelings for you again Chris?“ I asked; you could hear the crying in my voice. "I wish you would’ve figured you wasn’t ready before I wasted 5 years of my life on you” I cried
“I’m sorry” was all he could say.
“No your not, your selfish!” I cried “I never asked for any of this! I did everything in my power in the beginning to avoid getting involved with you again but you were so persistent in getting back with me, I gave you another chance. You convinced me everything would be different this time; so good fucking job because you managed to use me to your advantage once again Chris!”
He stayed silent. I was angry and I was hurt because this is exactly what I wanted to avoid. I’d had my heartbroken by him before. I’d been through this heart break shit and I’d promised myself I’d never allow myself to experience anything like this again.
“Please don’t hate me Jhene” he finally spoke… so sadly.
Tears streamed down my face as my chin trembled. I took a deep breath,
I ended the call and just broke down in the car, crying hard…
As I was driving home the rain mixed with my floods of tears was quickly becoming too much for me to see. Everything became blurred to my vision and vastly I could feel myself begin to hyperventilate, like the windows around me were closing in and there was nothing I could do to calm myself down. My hands soon became numb and my legs fell weak as the tires to my vehicle began to spin fast and out of my control. I tried to slam my foot on the break but there was no hope. In a split second my car suddenly swerved out of control, the two on coming cars tried to avoid it, but failed as they both smashed in a violent three way head collision.
My body hit the hood of the car and I screamed as the glass to my front window completely shattered, loose pieces slicing through my arm and face like a knife to a piece of meat.
My lungs contracted with such force that I was afraid they would fold into themselves.
My bones, my muscles, my joints; my organs felt like they were being crumbled up and smashed into a tiny box as my body tumbled in the forward motion it was going in.
Crushing of glass mixed with the distinct crackles of my bones filled my ears. I heard the piercing screams of Asia’s crying in the back and all I could think was I couldn’t get to her! I was complete trapped; she was hurt and I couldn’t get to my baby!
In my mind I began screaming to try and get to her, but in reality the silence was defeating. I was experiencing an out of body experience, I was fighting hard to get to my baby, but in reality I was just as trapped as she was.
Then suddenly, everything became light, like I was flying through the air, my broken body almost limp from the impact that occurred nanoseconds before. The world must have kept flickering its figurative light switch because my vision kept flashing from bitter darkness to blinding white light.
It was like life was repeating itself all over again as flashbacks of my mothers death suddenly played to me like a movie on a screen. I saw images of her car flipping over and images of her lifeless body being flung from out of the car windshield. I saw her being pronounced dead at the scene. Everything was happening right in front of me but in slow motion.
I don’t remember much of what happened next because after seeing her being pronounced dead at the scene;
I slowly began to drift completely out of consciousness…
“What are you gonna do now?” Kyra asked looking up at me as I stood, staring at the door Chris had just been escorted out of. I was trying to wrap my head around the fact that just 10 minutes earlier we were laughing and joking around with each other and now I was stood here in a trance after watching him being arrested, handcuffed and escorted out by two police officers. The saying Anything can happen in a blink of an eye, was so true because right now really just proved it. I turned around to face her and she was stood there with Asia innocently clinging to her hip, “Um… I don’t know, I guess I gotta go post his bail right?” I mumbled, I didn’t know what to do, I wasn’t even sure if he was gonna be able to get bail because of his whole probation situation, I was just clueless.
“Alright, well do you want me to follow you to the station or…” Kyra said
“Nah it’s okay, I’ll go but can you watch Asia again for me? I just don’t wanna have to bring her to the station or anything like that” I sighed running my hand through my hair.
“Yeah, of course I will that’s no problem. I’ll take her back to mine, you can just come get her when y’all done”
“Thanks Ky…for everything”
“Girl shoot. You know I got you and Chris, y'all family” she reassured. I smiled faintly.
“Let me go get her ready and then we can leave” I said reaching out and taking Asia from her so that I could quickly get her dressed. With no longer than 15 minutes, we were all dressed and ready to go; I took Chris truck keys from off his side drawers and then we left out of his place.
As we got to the car park Kyra quickly went to bring her car that was parked out on the main road closer to Chris’ so that I could quickly exchange Asia’s car seat from his into hers seeing as she didn’t have one.
I unlocked Chris’ truck and threw my bag into the passenger’s seat floor and sat Asia on the chair so that I could take her car seat out the back, within a few seconds; Kyra had pulled up beside me in her car and I switched over the car seat into the back of hers and then strapped Asia inside of it whilst she babbled along happily about something. I smiled; I was just glad that even in the mist of everything that was going on around her, her innocence left her so naïve and oblivious to the blatant obstruction. I kissed her goodbye before I shut the car door in and walked over to the drivers side where Kyra’s window was. “So is there anything she can’t eat or touch or whatever cause, I don’t wanna give y’all baby back broken” Kyra joked once she’d rolled down her window, I laughed
“Nah she’s good, she don’t really need much. She might just get a bit restless around 2-3 so just put her down for a little nap time, other than that she should be fine” I’ve packed everything she needs in her bag”I explained
“Just call me if you need anything though” I said as I looked back at Asia playing with the soft Doc Mcstuffins doll that she was obsessed with. That’s when I realised I’d forgotten the one thing that would actually keep her quiet besides that doll. “Oh shoot, I forgot her binky, one moment” I laughed jogging back over to the truck to grab it outta my bag. I couldn’t forget that otherwise Kyra really would be calling me in 10 minutes telling me to come and collect my child. Just as I opened the car door and dug in my bag for it, I heard the sound of my phone begin to ring next to me on the passenger seat, I looked over to see who was calling and saw it was Ty’s name that was flashing against the screen. I figured he’d probably found out about what happened yesterday through Mijo and was calling to get the details on his best friend seeing as he couldn’t get through to him at the moment. I reached over to take the ringing cell off the seat; however something else caught my eye that halted my initial movement.
Ignoring the fact that Ty was calling I frowned and leaned over, pulling out a small Walgreens bag that had been stuffed in the side pocket of the passenger’s seat door. I looked inside of it and in bold printed letters read the words, ‘Plan B One- Step’ and then in smaller characters, Emergency contraceptive pill.
My stomach fell and I felt my heart suddenly grow heavy with weight as I stared completely frozen at the box in my hand.
What were these doing in his car?
I had to have been sat in the same frozen position for a few minutes before reality really got a grip of me. Here I was running around like a fool again trying to get him out of trouble when he’d been out here fucking somebody else just a few days ago?
Was I some sort of joke?
Did I have dummy written across my forehead or something?
I had to have had if this was truly the case and I didn’t want to just jump to conclusions, but the proof was right here in front of me. What else would a empty contraceptive box be doing in his car if he hadn’t been messing around with some other girl?
I felt sick. I felt physically sick to my stomach.
Just the thought of it alone was enough to make me just wanna say fuck it, and more importantly fuck him! It’s like every single time I go to give him a chance he turns around and fucks it up again. How many times did he want to have to beg for me to take him back if he was just gonna throw it in my face like this?
“Girl are you making her binky? Hurry up!” Kyra yelled over at me from her car. I looked back at her, and I guess the look on my face must’ve said it all, because immediately her face changed into a look of concern. “What happened?” she asked worryingly getting out of her car and walking over to me. I looked down for a moment and then just raised the box up to her. I didn’t know what else to say.
“Their not yours are they…” Kyra said knowingly, I looked at her and subtly shook my head no and in that second a tear ran down my cheek. “Aww Nae…” Kyra wrapped her arms around me in a hug. I just couldn’t contain it and began to cry, this was the last thing I needed! How much more did I have to go through with him! “It’s going to be ok Nae please don’t cry, You know I’m here for you,” she said breaking the hug and wiping the falling tears from my eyes but they just wouldn’t stop.
“Why the hell am I so stupid Kyra!” I sobbed through my tears. I had to be! This guy was really able to just pull the wool straight over my eyes without me even suspecting anything. I had to be stupid because I kept falling for the same thing with him, over and over again.
“Your not stupid Jhene don’t say that” Ky comforted.
“But I am though. I have to be because I really be believing every word he says to me and now look!” I sniffed holding the box up to her. “This shit don’t belong to me Kyra and these were bought just a few days ago, that means he’s been fucking another bitch whilst he’s been with me!” I said in disgust. Kyra just shook her head not knowing what to say, what could she really say? She’d been through this shit with Mijo so I knew she understood where I was coming from. “I can feel him all over my body and it’s making me feel sick Kyra” I cringed as I cried some more, I was disgusted. I felt dirty with the thought that the same lips he kissed me with last night he used to give another woman the same feeling, the same hands he used to touch me, he’d touched on another woman with, literally I just had images in my head of everything we’d done last night him doing with somebody else and all along I knew nothing about it. I was oblivious.
“Jhene I don’t even know what to say to you” Kyra begun to say but I cut her off
“Did you know something? Why did you say what you said to me earlier?“ I asked her. That whole conversation we had this morning about him cheating.
"Jhene I didn’t know anything. I just told you that as a friend because I could see you were getting caught up again real fast. You know damn well if I knew i would’ve told you!” she sounded offended. I sighed and looked down, she was right. Of course she would of said something. I knew that. "What should I do Ky?” I asked her.
Kyra sighed. “Nae I really don’t know, just ask him about it. See what he says before you react”
I smacked my teeth and looked away. What good was asking him about this when I knew from the jump that all he was gonna do was lie about it! I knew Chris well enough to know that.
“All he’s gonna do is lie about it Kyra. I know him well enough to know that already”
“Jhene whatever you do just don’t move off of emotions aight. Just Listen to what he has to say before you do anything crazy” she said to me. I nodded whatever as I handed Asia’s binky to her
“I’ll come pick Asia up in a bit” I mumbled as I pulled my left leg into the car and started up the engine.
“Alright girl, Call me okay”she said with a worried expression on her face.
“Yeah” I mumbled and then closed the door. Kyra walked back over to her car and got in and then pulled out of her parking slot. Soon after my phone rang for a second time since I’d been in this car, but this time I picked it up, seeing Ty’s name again, I answered. “Hello?”
“Yo Nae wassup, what’s going on with Chris’ phone man?” Ty’s voice boomed through my speaker. I rolled my eyes involuntarily at his name even being mentioned right now. The whole thought of him right now just made me feel physically sick.
“He’s in jail right now” I said very nonchalantly. I threw the Walgreens bag back onto the floor and then turned the ignition of the car on and pulled out of the parking lot behind Kyra. We both took different turnings as I made my way towards the freeway and she went left heading back to her place.
“Hold up, Jail? Man Mijo told me what happened last night but I ain’t think he would he arrested. You straight?” He asked me
“You finna post his bail right?”
“I don’t know … depends on how I feel” I said dryly, there was a brief silence between us for a moment as Ty tried to understand what I meant.
“Whatchu mean it depends how you feel, what’s going on?” He laughed uneasily. I pulled up to the stop light and then sighed.
“It depends how I feel, because right now I don’t care. I want him to stay in there” I said honestly. With the way I was feeling right now, the thought of him made me feel disgusted. I’d completely skipped over the anger, upset and hurt faze and went straight into the not caring faze. I didn’t care if Chris had to sit in that jail cell until the morning came again, until I was ready to see him, and be able to keep my composure whilst seeing him, I wasn’t running to his recuse, fuck that. It was either that or I’d run to his aid and then end up right in that cell myself for assault.
There was another brief silence between Ty and I “Man what’s up with y'all two now? I thought you were good with each other” Ty sighed tiredly.
“I know right, round and round in the same tired ass circle we go huh…” I laughed “if your tired of it imagine how I feel”
“I found the morning after pill in his car”
“Aight!?” I repeated incredulously
“What y'all slipped up again? I don’t get it” he sounded confused. I sighed.
“They didn’t belong to me Ty”
“Yeah Oh. So I don’t know if imma post his bail right now, maybe he should call whichever other girl to do so, seeing as he has options like that”
“Man Nae come on man. There’s probably a perfect and logical explanation for this. They probably not even his."Ty began. I just laughed at him really trying to take up for his friend.
"Yeah right, you must think I’m stupid, just like your boy does” I pulled off from the stop light.
“Nah I’m for real though, they could be anyone's…Jaz, you know she be borrowing Chris’ car sometimes” he tried to justify. Was I stupid? What the fuck would Jazmine be doing with Chris’ car when she had her own? Plus Chris didn’t borrow his car to anyone, especially not his sister.
“Get the fuck outta here Ty. I’m not stupid”
“I’m not saying you are, I’m just saying chill before you go making rash decisions. Just go get that nigga outta jail and hear what he has to say first”
“Who is she Ty? ‘Cause I know you probably know something about this. Chris practically tells you everything” I asked as I ignored his last comment. All I wanted to find out was who this girl was that’s all.
“Nae…you know that man loves you.” He replied as if I’d asked him that.
“That’s not what I asked you…”
Ty sighed hopelessly, and I could just picture him running his hand tiredly across his face.
“I don’t know Jhene man. You gotta talk to Chris about that, it ain’t my place to talk on y'all business” he spoke coyly. That’s when I knew this conversation was over. It was never their business to talk up when it came to their ‘homeboy’ fucking up, but they all had a lot to say whenever it was me right.
I laughed bitterly, “It’s never y’all business to tell me anything pertaining to Chris huh?…. I’ll call you if I hear anything from him” I mumbled referring to his friends situation and then I hung up the phone on him. Of course I wasn’t going to get any answers from him, he was just like Mijo, they were Chris’ best friends so their loyalty wasn’t with me it was with him, and they probably knew about it all along anyways. That’s usually how it worked
Chris: (a few hours later)
I was woken up by the sound of keys clanking inside the lock of the cell door. Lord knows how I’d even managed to fall asleep with the constant sounds of metal doors slamming shut and shouting echoes from other people locked in the cells; not to mention the aroma of stale fucking piss coming from the metal toilet positioned in the corner saturating the room. As I looked around this shit just took me back to 2 years ago when this was my every waken reality. The small cell was clearly designed to make a person feel as inhumane as physically possible. The previously grey coated walls were chipped, there was no window, bolted doors and a dirty worn out mattress with a thin ass blanket which was supposed to be somebody’s ‘bed’ and a dirty ass pissed stained toilet.
The door pulled back and the officer who had previously escorted me to this cell stood by the door “Get up Brown. Somebody’s here to talk to you” he said.
“Who?” I muttered ridding my eyes from the blur that was sleep.
“You’ll figure that out once you get into the investigation room. Stand up” he walked over to me with handcuffs. Sighing I did what he said and stood up Holding out my arms for him to cuff me. I guess I knew this procedure a little too well. “When am I gonna get my call?” I mumbled once the cuffs were locked tightly onto my wrists.
“You’ll get your call when your done with questioning” he replied and then held on my arm as he escorted me out of the cell and down the hallway towards the investigation room. Walking down I could hear nothing but constant yelling and banging from other people locked in their cells, shouting for their freedom and all other sorts of profanities.
Once I was brought into the investigation room I was made to sit down on one of the chairs either side of the table. The officer un-cuffed my wrists and then informed me that somebody would be in to interview me shortly, with that he left out closing the metal door behind him. Once again I was left alone with nothing but my thoughts. All I could think was what if I never got outta here. The last time I went through this fucked up justice system I ended up doing 2 years of trying to prove my innocence on some bullshit allegations that never even happened! I couldn’t do that shit again man. Being stuck in prison, I couldn’t deal with that.
I sighed as I ran my hands over my face and then hung my head. How the fuck did I allow myself to get back in here? I thought. In a way I couldn’t really blame anybody but myself, I needed to learn how to control my temper and not just react off of impulse all the time.
That was my problem. I never thought shit through. I had a very impulsive personality. Last night everything that went down happened strictly off of impulse. I saw her face and just saw red, perhaps if I’d listened to what she had to say before I reacted I wouldn’t be sitting here right now.
The door pulled open for a second time, pulling me from my inner thoughts. As I looked up at the ‘Detective’ that walked in; in that very moment I saw my freedom just flash before my eyes. I just knew my ass was done for. It was over for me. If this was the man handling this ‘case’ that was it. My heart began racing in my chest and my leg began bouncing underneath the table.
“Christopher” He smirked slightly. “It didn’t take long for you to find yourself back in that orange suit huh?” He said to me. He looked back at the officer who’d come in the room with him and then nodded his head at him in a dismissive fashion. With that the short stocky guy scurried out of the investigation room, leaving us alone.
“So…how’s things been?” He asked as he pulled out the chair and sat at the opposite side of me. My jaw instinctively clenched as I sat back against the chair and just glared at him. I hated this nigga. Hated him since I first met him when I was a kid just trying to hang out with his daughter. Ever since I’d met this man he just had it out for me. It didn’t matter what I did, he just hated my guts. That man was Mr ‘Eric’ Cantese. otherwise known as Jennifer’s bitch ass father. I should’ve known with my luck this would be the Nigga handling my case.
“How do you think things have been? I’ve been sitting in a jail cell for the past 5 hours” I said
“True” Mr Cantese nodded in agreement. “You could also be sitting in a jail cell for another 5 years if this case doesn’t work in your favour” He added. I stayed silent and just continued to eyeball him.
“Allegedly, according to this witness statement, verbatim you like to ‘break in and beat up your ex girlfriends current boyfriends in the comfort of their own homes” he smirked slightly as he read from an IPad.
“I don’t know nothing about that” I looked elsewhere. Mr Cantese peered at me over the pad and then chuckled humorously. “And I’m supposed to believe that?” He asked
“Believe what you want. I said I don’t know nothing about it” I repeated. Mr Cantese laughed.
“Now look lets cut all the bullshit Chris, I know like you know you went to that mans house and beat him up. I don’t know why or what for but judging by your prior history it’s not too far fetched now is it”he said referring to the first time I was arrested for assault (re-read Chapter 34) but if I’m being honest Christopher, I really don’t give a fuck about this alleged assault case against you, that’s the least of my worries. As a matter of fact I can have this whole case completely wiped clean with a drop of a dime” he said to me, suddenly my ears perked up.
“What you talking about?” I questioned him as I watched him closely. Mr Cantese looked at me as he leaned on the back of his chair with his hands clasped together. He sat in a very relaxed manor despite the intensity that was the situation.
“This whole assault case. I don’t give a fuck about you breaking into people’s homes and beating them up over some girl. I could care less about any of that shit. As far as I’m concerned we’ve talked to the ‘victim’ and he’s not giving up any information on you attacking him so why should I care about what some little girl with a clear infatuation has to say on it. It’s null and void in my eyes”
“What you talking about. What little girl?” I questioned. Mr Cantese looked down at the folder he’d brought in with him and opened it up to the first page. His eyes briefly scanned over the document until he found what he was looking for. “A Brandi Ventura. The alleged witness came forth with this statement. But like I said it’s all null and void in my eyes.”
Brandi Ventura? Who the hell was that? I thought to myself. I had to be sure to ask Jhene who the hell this Brandi person was and why the fuck did she think she could run her mouth to the cops on some shit she knew fuck all about. I was pissed that the ‘witness’ wasn’t even a witness but right now that was the least of my problems. “So why the fuck am I here then?” I raised my voice slightly. Why the fuck had I been sitting in a cell for damn near 5 hours if this whole situation was ‘null and void?!’
Mr Cantese smiled “Because Christopher, I’m Chief around here so what I say goes. And when I saw your name pop back up around here, I just couldn’t let the opportunity go by”
“The opportunity to you know, ‘help each other out’” he smiled.
“Man what are you talking about? You steady talking in damn circles just say what you got to say!” I snapped. Mr Cantese looked at me smiling and then he brought the iPad he’d entered with back up to his face. I watched as he began scrolling through it until he came to what I assume he was looking for. “Press play” he said presenting me with a black and white CCTV video . I looked at him skeptically and he pushed the iPad further to me in a suggesting manor. I tapped the play button on the screen and watched as a street view from that Marlon dudes house showed up. Shit! My chest began to tighten. The camera’s from outside his house managed to capture part of the street that lead up to his gated drive. Bad thing was the part it captured was also the part where I’d carelessly parked the car I was driving that night. Which only meant one thing…
“That is you right?” He asked stopping the video as a very incriminating frame of me getting into the blood red mustang I’d gotten from Cass that very same night showed on the screen. That night I went to find ol’dude for putting his hands on Jhene, I’d called Cass and told him I needed a ride to pull up in, because pulling up in my legit car would be too risky. So Cass made a deal with me, he’d give me one of the old stollen cars at the shop that had no more value to it, as long as I was able to dispose of it that very same night. Of course I took the opportunity, it was a easy win, win situation.
That’s why that same night we left That nigga’s place I drove the mustang straight over to my dude Carlos at the Scarp yard so he could get rid of it for me afterwards. Carlos was a dude I’d known from a while back who had the hook up when it came to the disposing of things, guns, cars, bodies, you name it he could get rid of it without a single trace. I don’t know how he did it, but he just did.
Mr Cantese looked at me smug before he pressed play and we watched as I got into the car and then minutes later sped off down the street. A small sigh of relief came over me as the tape cut off because there was no sign of the car Jhene was following me in on the footage. Luckily she’d parked the car on the opposite side of the road and out of the cameras view. So at least she was out on the clear, but the fact they had me on tape most definitely hindered my situation.
“That mustang you were driving had no licence plate. Now I ain’t the sharpest tool in the box Chris, but over the years I’ve been able to decipher the codes to this criminal activity shit. And what I’ve been able to pick up on is the majority of the time when cars are missing license plates it’s usually because their stolen vehicles and in order to avoid identification, their licence plates are removed and disposed off just in time to take to whatever chop shop is requesting. Funny thing is over the past few weeks there’s been a pattern of police reporting’s for stolen vehicles, specifically in the California area” Mr Cantese concluded, I looked up at him as he raised his brow.
“So what does that have to do with me?“ I said monotonously keeping cool and collected when in reality my mind was ticking a thousand per minute.
” Oh c'mon Christopher, you should know me by now. I thought you was smarter than this" he smirked leaning back in his opposite seat. “I know you know something about it” he prompted, I shrugged.
“Why would I know anything about police reports for stolen vehicles?” I replied keeping my poker face. Mr Cantese laughed as he stood up from his chair. I sat and watched him closely as he slowly began walking back and fourth in a smug manner.
“So you mean to tell me I got you on tape getting into what fits the perfect description of a stolen vehicle and you know nothing about it?”
“That’s right” I shrugged.
“Okay, so let me ask you this. Where’s that car now?” He challenged
“What does that have to do with my arrest?”
“Oh it has a lot to do with your arrest boy. It also has a lot to do with your freedom. So if I was you I’d cut the bull and start co-operating because I can make this very easy for you Christopher or I can make it very hard”
“And what’s that supposed to mean Sir?” I spoke sarcastically. I couldn’t let this man see me sweat, no matter how much I was under pressure.
“It means your still on probation right now and this tape is clear evidence of you violating the terms of your probation , so that’s 2-3 years added onto your original sentence; not to mention, it’s past 1pm” he said glancing down at his watch “which means you’ve missed your P.O meeting today, that’s violation number 2, plus this little assault case which could be another 4-5 years, so your looking at a total of approximately 10 years behind bars, You’ve got daughters, by the time you’ll be out they’ll rbe what, 14-15? They probably won’t even remember who you are by the time your out”
I stayed silent.
“Still not talking huh?” He chuckled “I can also have it arranged so that your put in solitary confinement, that’s 23 hours lock down a day, for 10 years. You think you can handle that?” He leaned back in his chair with a smug look on his face. In that moment I just saw pure evil in his eyes. Nothing but evil!
“What the fuck do you want from me man?!” I snapped at him.
“All I need is a name” he said. “Just one name of the person running this operation and, your whole file will be wiped clean. No more probation, no more court dates, no more piss tests. Nothing, you’ll be a free man. If not, well…we can go through this case and I can promise you someway, somehow I’ll make it my mission to make sure you go down for it. It’s your choice”
Mr Cantese pushed chair backwards causing it to make a loud scrapping sound against the floor and then he stood up.
“Since you’re my grand-baby’s father and all, I’ll give you 2 weeks bail. 2 weeks for the name or 2 weeks until another cop comes knocking at your door. It’s up to you” He concluded, and with that he left out of the room, the door slamming shut behind him.
I sighed in distress as I ran my hand over my face. My mind was fucked up. I’d been in this game long enough to know, never ever trust a fed but I also knew that man hated me enough to make sure all those things he proposed came true. And then Cass, he was a crazy man so if he ever found out I ratted him out to the feds, it was game over for me. It was over for my family and everybody else he knew that was in some way associated with me. I’d watched this man literally slice a niggas’s face open just for messing up his money. So could you imagine what he’d do to someone for playing with his freedom and taking that shit away. Just The thought of it wasn’t even worth the risk. I had to think logically, this wasn’t just my safety at risk
But on the flip side this man was talking about 10 years behind bars, solitary Confinement. Honest to God I wasn’t sure if I could handle that shit, not being able to see my kids whenever I wanted, not being in their lives period. I’d grown up without my father around and the resentment I felt towards him I don’t think I could handle my kids having that same feelings as I did him, towards me for not being there.
I just didn’t know what the fuck to do! I was caught up in a catch 22 and their was nothing I could do about it, Either way with this ultimatum my lively hood was at stake. It’s just figuring out which worst ending was better.