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Soul Cry

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									                                Soul Cry


   (Missing Fathers: the misunderstanding of a fatherless child)




                      “It’s never too late to do the right thing”



                                       -inspired by true events




      A HardDrive Entertainment Production



     Seven out of ten black kids grow up without fathers. There have never

been a greater number of voluntary absences of fathers from their children’s
life than there is in the black community. When dads are not around, life gets

lonely, hopeless and confusing for the children they left behind. So for these

fatherless kids the future becomes unsure as they unknowingly continue the

vicious cycle. The cycle of a tribe lost in the shadows plagued by broken

homes. No fathers to teach our sons how to grow up to be men. (No fathers

to show how to respect and treat women.) Most important of all to teach our

sons how to grow and become real fathers themselves. No fathers to teach

our daughters their true values and how to carry and respect themselves. No

fathers to teach our daughters what not to except from boys or men because

they’re worth so much more. Without a father the child is left to learn the

other side of life on their own. So our daughters are getting pregnant by

sixteen, while our sons become missing dead beats by the age of 18. So the

cycle stays in motion. Because now the child he leaves behind never out lives

the pain of not having a father and what mother felt. He or she gets blame

for everything mommy and daddy couldn’t be. Nothing in life is gained or

discovered without sacrifice. We have sacrificed many generations of black

families, and a change has to come. It is time for us as young black men to

take a stand and break the cycle of missing fathers. It is time to learn and

discover how to be real men; Fathers. We may not begin to change until we

are confronted with the reality that we are repeating our father’s
behavior pattern that we promised ourselves we would end. “It’s never

too late to do the right thing.”




                                   Chapter 1
     With the last of my stuff in my hands, halfway out the door I replied,

“You said you don’t want me here. You called the cops on me and took back

your house keys. You even said I wasn’t your son. So I’m gone. Don’t worry

about where I’m gonna stay. (Just know that’s it for us now.) You don’t gotta

worry about me anymore mummy. Goodbye. Let me go.” She was clinched on to

my arm, “Andre a where you a go, a where you a go? Don’t go! Andre mi sorry

don’t go. ANDRE.” I pulled away and slammed the door behind me. It felt

good to slam the door and be done with her for good. But the walk to Lance’s

car was a hard and heavy walk to take. I was scared as fuck; I just slammed
the door on security and walked into uncertainty. I’m 17 years old, soon to be

a parent, and now homeless hundreds of miles away from my family. Here I

am running away into a world in which I can’t perceive the future. I felt a new

overwhelming feeling of loneliness as I walked to Lance’s car and listen Robin

crying behind me. I thought about turning back, as I began my life long

journey to where I did not know. As the years came and past I lost that

drive, sometimes I felt like I lost my will to survive. This is the stress I live

with. Dear lord this is my confession, it’s so hard to cope I hope you can

forgive me for all my indiscretion. Before I start this session I’m professing,

I have learned my lesson. I pray I’m forgiven for every bad decision I made

and it is not anybody’s fault, I made the decisions I made. I know you might

think this is the life I chose but this is the life that chose me. (This is the

tale of a black fatherless child.)

       My first memory of life was at the age of three, in Silver Spring

Jamaica, on my family’s property. At the age of three, I wanted to be

independent, so I decided to cross the bridge down river by myself. The

bridge was made from four round tree logs, I made it half way across before

falling off the bridge and from that point on I have be falling off the bridge.

If you knew my life you would shed a tear, I pray I’m forgiven. If I am not to
be forgiven, then all I ask is to be understood. I have grown up and now I’m

thankful for the lessons life gave me.

      On September 17, 1984 in Savannalamore Hospital, in Westmoreland

Jamaica, Robin Brown at the age of 21 gave me the gift of life. Growing up,

mom wasn’t really around because she went to America to seek a better life

for us. Therefore, my grandparents raised me. Life at a young age in Jamaica

was happy and good (for what we knew and had). My grandfather Uriah

Brown, gave me everything from candy to his chicken bones, he spoiled me.

See I come from a big family and we all built houses on my grandpa’s 50 to

75 acres of land. At the top of the property was my grandparent’s house. My

older cousin by two years and closest cousin, Anthony and I were the only

two grand kids allowed to sleep and live with our grandparents. Anthony’s

mother went to America with my mother, her younger sister. Walking down

the path past the mango and apple trees by the river was Mervin’s house

(Anthony’s father). Behind his house was my uncle Lasie’s house where he

lived with my two little cousins whose names I cannot remember right now

(they didn’t live there very long) and their mom Jem. Following the path,

again by the river you come up on my aunty Cibel’s house. She lived with

Tommy her boyfriend and father of two of her sons (Shocka the youngest

and Derval who was a year older than me). Her two oldest children lived
there as well, Eatan the oldest and his sister Stacia. (Across a little stream

in their backyard was my aunty Misie’s house where she lived with her two

daughters and two granddaughters that she took care of after their mother,

her daughter, died.) Sandra her older daughter and her sister Marline both

had their houses next door. Marline lives with her two sons Davian and his

little brother Bobby.

      As kids in Jamaica, we learned to live off the land and survive and

make do with what we had. From chasing chickens until they got tired, to

climbing tress higher than 8-20 story buildings just for food and to quiet

the stomach from grumbling. In those days, most people did not have jobs;

they gathered and grew what they could which is then sold at market.

Therefore, the growing of herb (weed) was a profitable market. Every

Saturday morning after cartoons, on the six channels and only color TV on

the property I might add, Anthony and I would make our way down to his

father’s house where my other two cousins Eatan and Derval would meet us.

After which we would all go to uncle Lasie’s house where we would break

down and pick the buds off the herb plant for many hours after which our

fingers would become tar black from picking at the THC all day, for free I

might add, boy, if I only knew. On some Saturdays, we would climb the

mountain up the road to meet Tommy at his ganja field, where we would
bring back down, in crocus bags, the herb that was harvested. Damn I did a

lot for free. When dinner time would come around I was always well fed

because I would always eat at Mervin’s, Dervals’, Lasie’s, and at my

grandmother’s house. Anthony was always with me, he was like my older

brother, but he didn’t eat much, he was always fussy with his food and I

would end up eating his too.

Come Monday mornings it was time for school. All the older kids went to

Sheffield school by themselves, but I was too young so grandpa took me to

and from school on his bicycle. That was until the day I decided I was too

old and I wanted to go with my cousins. We would all walk together until we

come to the intersection where my school was on the left while my cousins

went to the right. After I cried and acted up, grandpa said he would never

take me to school again. Sure enough, he never did take me again and we

never spoke about it again. Now my older cousins would have to walk me to

school until I graduated pre-school and started first grade. When I got to

first grade, my school was now a lot closer to my cousins. It was not long

after I got to the same school as my cousins, when I realized that maybe I

did not want to be here.
      See we lived a good 15-20 miles from the school and in Jamaica

tardiness is not handled with a pink slip, detention or a grade point

deduction. No, At Sheffield when you are late or you broke any rules you are

brought out into the courtyard, where you are visible to all the classrooms.

At which point Mister Spragga, the principal, humiliates and beats you like a

slave at times. One whip, from his thick long and black worn out leather

strap, for every minute you are late. Unfortunately for us since we lived so

far, we were always late. However, being the youngest my cousins would do

their best to push me into the crowd or a classroom whenever they could. I

guess they felt they had to look out for and protect me. However, for those

hurtful times that they could not save me, I would be held up in the air by

my arms and legs by two of the older boys through instructions of Mister

Spragga. I would then be whipped across my back for as long as that

punishment took, depending on the extent of what I have done. “Yeah

painful” Nevertheless, it was legal in Jamaica. When we weren’t stretch out

by our arms and legs. We had to hold our hands out and take the needed

amount of strikes for the punishment. I remember dropping my hands with

each strike to make the pain easier to bear. It was in this same painful place

where I got my first memory of beauty, one that made me smile and shy up

at the same time. Lara; eyes like a pair of fresh sparkling untouched black
pearls, a smile that gave life, brown sugar milky complexion, and hair of an

Egyptian queen. As far as I could remember Lara was the first girl I ever

liked and my first girlfriend, if that is what you want to call it that.

      Classes were separated by green chalkboards. Looking from the front,

in the middle is the principal’s office; on the right is 12th 11th and 10th grade

that were separated by chalkboards with my class, the 2nd and 3rd grade.

On the left across from my class is the 4th grade up to the 9th. For lunch, if

you don’t have any money you get government cheese and bun with a little

box drink. If you have money, you would buy from the stands. We had big

family so we only got but so much money for lunch, but I always wanted the

better things in life, the things my family didn’t have and couldn’t afford. My

family always told me, “Andre your chest too high! You to too big chested,

you need to learn how to be satisfied with what you have.” I use to steal

shrimp and plums from the vendors. But when I couldn’t steal it a few times

I would be so hungry, I picked up people’s leftovers off the ground and

washed it off. I was young, hungry and I just want to eat good like the

kids who did. Whenever Anthony, Stacia or any of my older cousins caught

me they slapped the life out my hand and mouth and told me, “Andre a wah

you a do? That’s nasty don’t ever let me catch you doing that, go wash out

your mouth, if you still hungry after your lunch come to me.” I didn’t want to
pick food up off the ground but at my young age faced with hunger, I didn’t

see a better way. It was hard to be in school all day long and only eat what I

had. At lunch, I would chill with my best friend Richie he lived in Springfield,

the next town from mine going towards school. We would run through the

bushes down the hill by where the older kids had built huts and would be

messing with girls. We never really cared if they caught us because my

cousin Stacia did not play any shit and would always beat up anyone, boy/girl,

who messed with her little cousin.

      After school, the journey home was always filled with surprises.

Whether it was falling off the bike with Anthony, or falling down a hill after

trying to jump onto the moving pickup truck, with my cousins and best friend,

only to get bruised up and left behind. Then there were those days we would

have to run through bushes and cane fields, because we were being chased

for trespassing on someone’s land, trying to take a short cut home, or

running from the crazy guy that lived in the Cane field by the bridge. (Or

even on the days when Eatan would pay Neeka, a very sexually in touch girl

from our town, a dollar for Anthony, Derval, Ethan and me to fuck.) I was

seven years old in the woods, and after Ethan, it was my turn. I remember

tipping up on my tippy toes to just rub my dick back and forth on her clit. I

was just trying to do what I saw my other cousins do before me. I will never
forget the day I ran from the person whose last name my mother gave. At

the time I was not aware of who he was and never really paid any attention

to or thought about my last name and where it came from. See I did not

have a father growing up, I just had grandpa and other than him, I would

look to Mervin for guidance. So when Mister Moore drove up to me that day,

on my way home from school, I ran. Really because I thought he wanted to

kidnap me, I never met or saw him before. My older cousins have but I

haven’t so I ran all the way home. Nevertheless, the journey home always

had something waiting for you around each corner.

      Holidays in Jamaica as long as I could remember came with family

fights and arguments. For Christmas, we would put foil paper on a little tree,

from the backyard, at my grandparent’s house for a Christmas tree. I also

remember the moments of feeling warmth and comforting love in my heart

when my mother would send me stuff. I vividly remember thinking, at those

moments, that my mother was the greatest mother in the world and no other

kid was luckier. She was so wonderful in my young eyes.

      Early 1993 my Grandfather had a stroke. Anthony and I were sitting in

the room with him, when out of nowhere after he stood up to walk he just

fell. After he came back from the hospital, I remember seeing the fight for

life in my grandfather’s eyes. The strongest man I have ever known now
depends on other people to survive and take care of himself. It was as if

seeing life starting all over. When you’re a baby, you crawl, wear diapers, and

depend on others for help. I would sit by his bed and cry at times and he

would say “Andy (that’s what he called me) a wah you a cry fa?” “Me going to

be all right.” His hearing started to gradually leave him and we would now

have to scream for him to hear. Even with all the pain, he was going through,

my Grandfather always smiled and laughed as if he had no regrets.
Chapter 2
On October 10, 1993 my uncle Coma came and got Anthony, 11 years old at

the time, his older sister Sherry, she wasn’t around much, and myself at the

time I was 9 years old, to go to the airport. Our mothers filed for our

passports to live in America. Brooklyn, New York. My uncle lives in Kingston,

Jamaica and he has houses all over Jamaica. He created a big life and name

for himself in Jamaica. A true hustler if ever there was one. His name and

assets are so big that he beat murder charges, smoking gun and all. He

picked us up in his big white tour bus, that had a microphone on which he

would ask “what are you gonna do when you gua faring?” I smiled and said

“me a go be a movie star”. So he says “so you want to become an actor.

Alright mister movie star. Guan big man”. Later at the checking window, at

the airport, I was asked the same question again and trying to sound proper

and remember how my uncle stated my answer, in our prior conversation, I

said, “I’m going to be a movie star”. However, what I really meant to say was

I am going to be an actor. We said our goodbyes to my uncle and it was time

to board the airplane. We sat in the middle isle next to the first white

woman I ever met. It wasn’t long after the seatbelt sign came, which the

nice lady helped me with, that I suddenly got a feeling of nervousness when

the plane first took off the ground and I began to feel gravity for the first

time. The woman next to us then assured us that the feeling was only
momentarily. We watched a movie about a guy that cloned himself it was

supposed to be a comedy, but I can’t remember the name. After the movie,

we arrived down from out of the clouds over New York City sometime after

8:00 clock. I don’t know if you have ever had the pleasure of flying over

NYC at night, but it was amazing. I have never seen anything as beautiful or

more captivating as the lights and how they light up the city. I felt life

starting all over again after gazing into the spectacular lights of NYC. It was

like a rebirth so to speak. When we landed everyone applauded and the nice

woman wished us well on our new journey. My mom and aunt were both there

to greet us at the gate. It was a happy moment to finally be with my mom

that I loved so much. However, I couldn’t help but to be taken aback by this

new and amazing world. (From breathing this new air, the smell of new life,

and the buildings, I was in awe. As I stared at the tall structures all I could

say was “All the big buildings, wow!”) We drove from the airport to 206 East

93rdst in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

The whole ride to the house I did not hear a word anyone said, I just stared

out the window taking in a rich feeling, “we made it.” However, it was not long

before I came to learn that life in America has its price and I will soon be

required to pay my dues.
     When we got to the house, there was food made, oxtail with rice and

peas, and cake among a few. My two cousins were to stay in their mother’s

room, and in the other room, my mom stayed with Brian, her boyfriend. As I

recall, when we lived in Jamaica, my aunt kicked my mother out of the house,

and he helped her out. Therefore, I had to sleep on the floor in the hallway

that connected my aunts bedroom to the living room. After about three

weeks, I could not sleep there. My aunt and my mother were not seeing eye

to eye, so my bed was now a mattress on the kitchen floor. After about a

month or so, I began to notice a change in the way; my mom expressed her

love towards me. It started by her beating me if I did something very “bad”,

and progressively got worse.

     After a few months of tough love, it was time for me to begin school.

It was my fourth grade year, and on Anthony’s first day of 6th grade, I went

with him to register. They did not have a fourth grade at Summers, but I

stayed the rest of the day with him anyway. Sherry attended Wingate high

school. The next day, I received a great surprise. The family that my mother

worked for was going to pay for me to attend a private school, so I

registered at Holy Cross, on Church and Rogers in Flatbush.
It was here that I began the transformation into the man I have become

today. It was at Holy Cross where I met Sister Mary, whom was very fond of

me, she was the principal and Spanish teacher, Miss Flatts, who was a life

saver, as I had passed nothing but my math class, and still made it to the

fifth grade on time. Miss Flatts followed me to the fifth grade; she said she

saw something special in me and she knew that she could help me. During

lunch she spent time with me teaching me how to write, read, and speak

English. I was reading and writing on a 1st grade level when I started school

at Holy Cross. I was illiterate and that made me feel ashamed and afraid to

read out loud whenever it was my turn. But I gradually progressed with the

help of my friends and Miss Flatts. I love her. She read us a book about the

life of a black doctor. I think his name was Ben Carson, hearing his story and

the struggles he overcame gave me hope for my own life and problems. I also

had

Mr. G, he helped me with basketball, and he was my science teacher and

computer teacher. Mr. B was my video game friend and my “friend”, one of

the few father figures that blessed my life. Miss Patton was my religion

teacher, female guidance, a comfort, even when she was being hard on us it

was always in our best interest. Miss Patton played a strong female presence

in my life and she always did her best to talk to us and prepare us for our
futures. Mr. Strong, he was my history teacher. He was a nice man, but for

some reason, we liked to go crazy in his class. We would throw papers,

running around, and talking out of turn. Last of all was Ms. Kelvin; she was an

English teacher, a very funny old lady. My best friends were William and

Adam. Adam and I got all the girls. In the first week of school, all the boys

were talking about Power Rangers. Everyone was arguing about what Power

Ranger they would be. Ray, the bully of the class before I came, did not like

anyone being or even thinking of being the red Power Ranger. After a smile

from Jessica, I stood up and announced that I was the red ranger. The bully

was enraged, and started acting up. Little did he know that I was from

Jamaica, where we don’t act up, we just fight, along with the fact that, my

mom beats me daily. I was well aware of how to harm someone. We began to

fight, and after that was over, he tried to be my friend from that day on. (I

had whooped his ass) After my first fight in America, I felt at ease with the

pain my mother inflicted on me. School fights would soon become a pattern

in my life; it was my way of earning love and respect from my peers.
Chapter3
      In sixth grade, my mom and I moved to Troy Avenue in Crown Heights,

Brooklyn. It was in that home where I came face to face with the darkest

hours of my childhood, and some of the scariest moments of my life. I came

to terms with the phrases, “I gave you life, and I can take “It” away.” and

“You are so stupid, why couldn’t you be like.” and then she would go on to

compare me to one person or another. My favorite” You are a mistake and I

wish I never had you”. My mom and Brian fought every other night. I would

see everything; my mom would slap Brian, he would punch her in the face, she

would sit there, and bleed, with her shirt torn. I would sit with the blanket

covering my head, holding my Bible, and praying for my mother. “Lord God,

please let him stop hitting my mummy, please don’t let her die. I promise

when I get older I’m going to make him pay for hurting my mummy.” I

remember feeling hurt and scared because I wasn’t big enough to save my

mom. I use to tell myself it was my fault she was getting beat so I deserved

the way she treated me. Because I couldn’t save her from her hurt and pain.

I was so sorry and I ashamed that I couldn’t help my mom. Whenever I tried

to stop him, Brian would just lock the door. Moreover, the tears would fall

from my face onto the open Bible pages. About once a week, the cops came
to the house, and my mom would make Brian leave. Nevertheless, just as soon

as he left, he would be back. After each fight, my mom would come to me,

and we would cry together. I felt her pain, yet something inside me thrived

from those hugs that were not always there when I needed them. My life

was like walking on thin ice in brick shoes; no matter how carefully you step,

the ice is going to break. When that ice cracked, I wished with all my heart

I could stop time, because to me, there was no worse pain than being hurt by

the one woman who was supposed to love you and care for you above all else

in the world. Anything could set my mom off. You see, my mother would hit

or beat me for any reason you might be able to think of, if there really is a

reason for anyone to abuse their child, and reasons you would not believe.

      On Valentine’s Day in the seventh grade, my valentine was Maya. (Maya

was a sexy, caramel, light skin complexion, who wore a school girl uniform,

with delicious pink lips.) At lunch all the popular kids would sit at one table

and vote on who was the cutest male and female. Maya was the hot girl in our

class, so I had to get next to her. It all started in Miss Kelvin’s free period,

with a game of truth or dare in the back of the classroom. It was me, Adam,

William, Damian my friend from Jamaica. He came to Holy Cross in the fifth

grade, his mother and mine grew up together. (Maya, and Vanessa, a skinny,
tall, hidden beauty with braces was there.) (Also, Chanel who was a smart,

hood wise girl who was always ready to fight, athletic, singer and, Jessica

the first girl to like me at Holy cross.) I got into my first fight at Holly

Cross, off the strength of off Jessica’s smile who was a very beautiful sexy

dark skin girl who had luscious lips, with the ass of a 19 year. And Grace, boy

oh boy, fucking with Grace was a whole other world. (She was a skinny, light

skin freak with a sense of hopelessness and lost in her eyes, but Grace had a

real thing for the kid). Honestly, I always liked Lisa. She used to let me suck

on her tits in the hall way and in the bathroom. After gym class, she used to

let me finger her in the locker room, or sometimes she would just sit behind

me in class and I would do it right there. My dares always had to do with

Maya though. After school that day, it was time to start French kissing. We

all walked down the block and took the left by Erasmus Hall, onto a quiet

one-way street. Everyone watched and cheered as I had my first French

kiss. Nobody knew that it was my first. It was like meeting in Heaven,

tasting her soft, pink lips, after she had just ate a red Now and Later candy.

We both closed our eyes, and I immediately had no pain or worries. With

only a day before Valentine’s Day, and after a kiss like that, you must get

her something. Therefore, I stopped at the corner store and picked her up a
five-dollar teddy bear. Later, after my mom got home, I was sitting in the

living room, and I asked her how her day was. I guess it was not okay for me

to ask that, because right after she ran to the bathroom to try not to pee

on herself, she came out and knocked me out of the chair. She began to

explain to me, through brutal force, that I do not disrespect her like that.

“How me day was? Boy, a who you a talk to? I am going to teach you some

mannas.” After she became tired, or the phone rang, she would just go on as

if nothing happened. If she was on the phone, no matter how hard the

beating, I could not cry for anyone to hear. I had to

endure the pain in silent tears or I would get it twenty times worse when she

hung up. After my beating, my mom discovered the Valentine’s Day gift I had

brought for Maya. While still recovering from my last beating, and thoughts

of a new one lingering, I told her the gift was for her, but I had to wait until

tomorrow to give it to her. When Valentine’s Day came and went, later that

night I was in the shower getting ready to go to bed, and my mom must have

realized the gift was not for her, and that it had been for a girl. I can still

feel the belt hitting my naked skin, while all I can do is put one hand over my

dick and the other over my face, and beg for her to let me put clothes on
first. “Mummy, please, your hurting me! I’m going to listen! Mummy please,

just let me put some clothes on mummy, it hurts!” After about five minutes

or so, and seeing all the welts and hives that covered my body, she couldn’t

watch anymore, so she allowed me to go get dressed before continuing my

punishment. At this point, I’m feeling weak; it isn’t my fault I’m getting

beat, my tears would burn and soon stop coming and I no longer made a

sound. I just took it in silence, curled up in the corner with (crazy) welts on

my body, thinking of fantasies and fairy tales of me going upside her head

with the kitchen knife, but that’s my mummy and I don’t really want to see

her dead. I’m just tired of the abuses to the body and the head, matter a

fact sometimes I wished I were dead. It was at this point that I began to

feel a complete sense of hate. Hate towards myself, towards peers, and a

dark hate towards my mother, the woman who gave me life. Now it is as if

every beating would take a part of my soul, on the outside, I am calm and

collective but inside I am hurt and have lost all control. Growing up in

Brooklyn I was given many chances to inflict the pain which I have received

at home on to other people. There is one particular moment that stands out

in my mind.
It was when I was about to start the sixth grade, when one of my mother’s

friends, Hakeem, came to the house and told me that I looked just like a man

that he knew. Until then, I had never thought about it, I had known my

mummy, and she was both my mother and father. My mom said nothing to me,

just told me we were going over to Hakeem’s house. When we got there,

there was nothing different, I played with his fishes in the tank in the living

room, and then turned on the Nintendo. After about thirty-five minutes, a

strange man came through the door; he walked over and spoke to Hakeem

and my mom for about ten minutes. Thinking nothing of their conversation, I

continued with my game. After their quick, quiet conversation, the strange

man walks over to me, by himself, and says “Hi. What’s up? Do you know who

I am?” Looking up from the ground, at this strange man, I replied, with a

crazy face, “Hi. You’re a stranger.” He smiled. “Mummy come here.” Before

my mom could walk over, the stranger replied, with a sense of hesitation in

his voice, “I’m your father.” At that very moment, a million questions and

thoughts went through my head. However, I smiled and said, “My father lives

in Jamaica.” As soon as I said that, I stood up and looked into the eyes of

this stranger. It was like looking into the mirror and seeing myself more

mature. There was something in his eyes I cannot explain but I felt I had
seen it before. It was like a sign from the all mighty Lord. He then explained

to me his name is Orlando Petiford and he was my real father. He told me I

have six other siblings. Tiffany my younger sister, Melissa my older sister,

Jerome my older brother, Terrell my older brother, Mark my older brother,

and Gavin my older brother. As any other child meeting their real father for

the first time would, I became very excited and could not wait to meet my

siblings. Before we went home, my father told me next weekend he is going

to come and get me and I will meet my brothers and sisters. That night I did

not sleep much. I was up all night feeling lost and confused but at the same

time happy and relieved. Finally, I have a father. I remember thinking and

praying maybe he was going to save me from all the pain. I did not see my

new father for another month. After playing the fire escape, watching the

block everyday, looking for my father with no result I developed a habit of

carrying a mean face. Smiling for me was now just a memory or something I

do to front for people when my mother was around. Everything, I had to

smile about, has been beaten out of me. From TV, video games, to laughter,

fun, childhood happiness and even the smiles themselves. Now to top it off, I

have the pain of my father not coming to see me. The anger inside me grew

and finally that Saturday came around when Orlando came and got me. I felt
happy again for that moment. We went to his office at New York Life

Insurance where I met three of my siblings. My little sister, by three years,

Tiffany, who had a female version of my face, and I was blown away. Jerome

my older brother by three year was a shorter version of me. I remember

feeling like a new person; I had brothers and sisters. I then met my older

brother by five years, Gavin. He is a tall street version of me. Within

minutes, he was explaining to that if I had a problem with anyone let him

know, he will handle it. He gave me the big brother feeling I always wanted.

We ate and talked about the past and my other brothers and sisters.

However, it was not long after Orlando started to ask questions about

changing my last name that my mood took a sudden change. My sister agreed

but my older brother saw the change in my face and that I was not feeling

that. I started to feel out of place. You have to understand, my whole life I

have been someone else. I just met him and what are my friends going to

think if I change my name? They all think my life is perfect. Suddenly I miss

my mother. Through all the abuse and pain, a part of me still loved her. It is

like being the son of a beast. You will always have a place in your heart for

her; despite the needless pain and hardship, she gives you. Mummy was my

mother and as for my father; I didn’t know him. I don’t know if he was
insulted but soon after he took me home. On the ride home, I heard

promises of more days and visits, but it would be another year or two before

I saw Orlando again. After a few months went by my mom explained why he

wasn’t coming around. I was conceived while he was with his current wife,

Tiffany’s mother. I got ahead of myself; my siblings and I all have different

mothers. However, out of all the kids I wasn’t allowed to be around because

he cheated on his wife with my mom. I came to learn he lived five minutes

away, East 49th and Farraget. I didn’t know if my mom was telling me this

out of love or to hurt me, so I took it as hurtful intentions. See my mother

likes to play mind games until she finds a reason or a new way to hurt you.

Being in the sixth grade at the time with all my past problems only

increasing; the beatings, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and watching and

growing up in a domestic violence home never knowing which night the cops

were going to take me away from my mummy. I could no longer maintain the

hurt I felt from my father not seeing me. With all this pain inside of me, I

began to resort to the violence and humiliations towards other people, inside

and out the classroom, that the streets love and expect so much. One day at

school in Mr. Strong’s class, Charles, whom only really wanted to be friends

with my friends and me, was unwillingly forced to feel my pain. He would
always have to go to the bathroom and when he couldn’t, he would shit on

himself. This particular day was a half-day and that meant we got to wear

regular clothes. Anthony was only two years older and he went to public

school. Whenever he didn’t have anything fresh to wear to school, he and

Sherry wouldn’t go to school. So he was fly, and the days before half-days

he would let me pick something out from his closet after a, fight or two. We

would fight every other day to make sure we stayed on point. So here I am,

fresh hair cut seasick waves with a part to the side, and new gear. Charles

sits in front of me in class that day. It was a regular day in Mr. Armstrong’s

class, loud and crazy; paper fight, arguments, fights and people running in

and out the room. Charles asks Mr. Strong, who is now standing in the

doorway trying to block anyone from leaving, to use the bathroom and he

screams “NO”. The teacher’s head is boiling red as all he wants is for the

class to settle down. Charles was at the point where he began to shit on

himself. Honestly, it really wasn’t as if I honestly couldn’t just go sit

elsewhere. However, something inside of me saw an opportunity to bring pain

to someone and maybe vent my problems through violence. I began to kick

his chair and bring attention to him to cause a disruption and embarrass him.

Everyone laughed and threw paper balls at him. Mr. Strong was already so
frustrated and furious that he never noticed or all he cared about was

everyone sitting down. Finally, with the smell becoming unbearable he let him

go to the bathroom. Once the chaos erupted again Adam, Ray, William and I

ran out the class and went to the bathroom. William watched the door and

the rest of us and my young dude Peter, who happened to be in the hallway

at the time, began to kick and punch Charles. We threw wet toilet paper and

splashed water at Charles after we pushed him back into the stall. All with a

smile and a sense of no care. The poor kid, even after the pain and

humiliation, thought we were going to be friends. It was as if my soul had

died. See the more and more beatings I took at home, it became easier or

almost second nature for me not to feel or care for anyone else.
Chapter 4
     On the weekends or school breaks, sometimes I would go with my

mother to work. She worked for Hiram and Susan Eshkol. My mom cleaned

their house and watched their kids. Jensine, the oldest and nine months

older than me, Joziah, the middle child, and Danelle the youngest was the

children my mother took care of. My mom would wake me up at 6:00am to

get ready, on the mornings I went to work with her. We would be out the

door by 6:35am, and then we would walk to Utica and Eastern PKWY to catch

the #4 train. When we lived in Brownsville it was the same thing except we

took the #3 train and transferred to the #4. Whenever we took the train,

my mom would tell me to just bend down and go under without a token. We

took the #4 train to 42ndst Grand Central Station. After walking into Grand

Central, she would purchase two round-trip tickets to Westport, CT from

the ticket booth. While waiting for the train, we would always get breakfast.

I always got a sausage, egg, bacon and cheese sandwich. My mom would get a

plain bagel with cream cheese. After arriving at Westport, we sometimes

took the shuttle bus down town to walk and talk. Half way into the walk the

conversation would be fine until I would ask questions about general normal

things and my mom would get upset. At which point I would hear everything I

am not and what I should be. “You are so stupid. Why you always ask me
stupid questions? You need to go to school and learn ya dumb ass. How you go

a school and you only pass math? Why you so dumb?” Tears would fall but I

would just wipe them and keep on walking. I would wonder what happened to

the days when she used to hold me and told me I was the best. All the things

I wanted in the world she used to tell me I could one day have and posses.

Now all that’s building between her and I, is a lifetime of regrets. Because

now I could not believe her stories, they were all lies. With fear that the

Eshkols would discovery her mistreatment towards me, my mother would tell

me she was sorry and I’m not stupid. She would go on to explain that she was

just very upset. I would forgive her twice a week, even though with every

apology came promises of never again. However, like everything else in my

life, these promises would not be true.

      My time spent in Westport, was like being someone else. I have never

experienced life like this before, until now this life was but a dream. I had

forgotten what it was in a simple smile that I was missing. I played and had

fun like the kids on TV. The Eshkol’s took me in like one of their own.

Meeting the Eshkol’s was like God answering my lonely prayers for help.

When the matter of my report card came up, Susan took me aside and

instead of putting me down for only passing math. She made me feel good
about passing math and we spoke about steps we could take towards a

solution for my problem areas. She understood that I was not stupid and

realized that I just did not fully understand or speak proper English very

well. Every summer from that point on, I would take an English summer class.

My mistakes would be acknowledged and corrected instead of being punished

whenever I was at the Eshkol’s. I became happy again for the first time. We

would play and have fun together as a family. Jensine taught me how to swim

in the pool in the backyard. I’ve been in rivers before in Jamaica but I didn’t

really know how to swim. Everyone would play Marco Polo in the pool. Hiram

would take us to Dave and Busters, then to dinner. Being able to order and

eat $40 seafood meals out a restaurant instead of on the ground, gave me a

private sense of completeness. A movie and ice cream afterwards where we

would discuss the movie. He took us to the baseball fields and basketball

courts. He took over the nonexistent male role in my life. I felt what it was

like to have a real father, for the first time, my father.

      One summer in English class, I got into an argument with a classmate.

Halfway into this verbal argument the kid blurts out, “you fucking nigger.” I

climbed over the desk in between us and punched him in his face three

times. At which point the teacher intervened and broke it up.
That was the first time I had ever been called a nigger. Living in Jamaica

that’s not an issue or something we are use to or hear very often. The next

morning before work, Hiram took me to class. When we got the school we sat

in the parking lot and discussed what happened the day before. He explained

to me that some people are just stupid, ignorant, assholes and not to pay

them any mind. “I’m sorry kido that you had to deal with this shit” he said

with a firm hand shake while looking me square in my eyes. Then he gave me a

hug. I was hurt and confused by the incident but having Hiram there to talk

to and comfort me, made it easier for me to cope with what I just dealt

with. I never really understood or dealt with racism. It was a character

changing experience.

There was a great feel and sense of family and lots of love, whenever I

stayed at the Levy’s. During the week when we ate in, and Susan would make

dinner, we would eat together at the dinner table and discuss everyone’s day.

Back home, I’m use to dinner and a beating, this was new and it felt good

inside. After dinner, Hiram took us out for desert and for a while I was

hooked on vanilla milkshakes then a few summers later it was cheesecake.

When we got back to the house we would play with toys, play pool or if it’s

really nice out that night we would play in the pool. Jensine and I would play
‘keen’ the computer game. We watched movies together in the family room

and for a while after “The Mask” came out on videotape, which was our

favorite. We watched it repeatedly until everyone knew the words. We did a

lot of fun kids stuff. I really needed that at times, just to be able to relax,

have fun and be a kid.

      Every other weekend I would go back home, to our apartment in

Brooklyn, with my mom. Summer times in Brooklyn were different. The

apartment would be really hot and outside; it sometimes felt like the sun was

falling. I walked back and forth from my house to Anthony’s house, our old

apartment in Brownsville, to hang out with my cousin. We played video games,

chilled on the steps and played in the backyard. Mich was our next door

neighbor in Brownsville. He had many nice cars and motorbikes and what

seem to be a beautiful woman for everyday of the week. He was living a good

life so it seemed from my young eyes. Until one day, I was outside cooling

out on the steps with Anthony. He went inside for something to drink and I

said, “What’s up” to the man next door working on one of Mich’s car. I turned

to walk up the steps and right before I got to the door a car drove by and

started shooting, trying to kill the guy working on Mich’s car. Anthony ran to

the door to see what had happen and to make sure I was ok. However, I was
already inside the front door, on my tiptoes, looking out the window trying to

see what happened. The guy had dove on the ground and went under the car.

He said they though he was Mich. All I kept thinking was how close I was and

had I just stayed there for 50 more seconds one of those bullets would have

been mine and I could have lost my life. One of the older kids on the block

laughed and said, “It cost when you want to be the boss. That’s just part of

the life he’s living.” Gun shots in the air was a regular things in Brooklyn,

people died everyday for things as simple as stepping on the wrong shoes.

But the times when I came that close to the other end of the gun, I walked

away with a greater appreciation for my life. When Anthony and I are not

hanging out on 93rdst,we would walk to Rockaway PKWY and chilled at

Damian’s house. His mom Whinny was cool; Anthony and I both wished our

moms were like her. She grew up in Jamaica with my mother. We played

basketball on the garbage cans outside in front of Damian’s house. Damian

and I were the best of friends. We did what best friends did; we played,

joked, fought each other and laughed. Whenever my mom beat me or was

upset with me, she would compare me to Damian. “Why you can’t be like
Damian? He goes to school and get good grades and behaves himself, but

you’re a damn idiot.” Damian and I are not only in the same school, we are

same age and grade. So anything that I did wrong at school or test days, I

knew I was going home to hear about Damian and why he is a better son to

have me. Our mothers would take us to museums and libraries during the

summer. Whenever I was out with my mother people would always

complement her on how cute I was. I think that made her happy because

afterwards she would always buy me something. Inside her mind I think she

figured, “At least he is cute and stupid and not just ugly and dumb.” She

would always tell me, “Andre, good looks can’t carry you through the world.” I

would just smile as if to say whatever. I would think “See if you were just

around me for a little while, there is one thing you will pick up on, and that

my confidence is in my looks. It might not take me through the world but it

makes it easier to hide how ugly I had become on the inside.

      Summer came and went, and then it was back to school. However, this

year would be different. It started normal, my birthday is in September, so

my mom is nice for a few days. I celebrated my 12th birthday at the Eshkol’s

house with a cake, gifts, candles, a song and a wish. New, but I remember

thinking, “Hey, I can get use to this.” A month later, at around 8:45 p.m. on
October 22, 1996, I was at Anthony’s house when the family received a

devastating phone call from my family back home in Jamaica. My grandfather

had another stroke and he passed away on the way to the hospital. He spent

his last dying moments asking for me. His last words were “Where is Andy?

May (my grandmother) go and get me Andy. Where is Robin (my mother)?

Tell her to bring me Andy.” Everyone started crying but I did not cry. I

could not cry. I couldn’t help myself but to think about the fact that he died

asking for me and I was not there. All he wanted before he died was to see

me one last time and I was not there to give him that, the thought

devastated me. At the age of 78, God or whom or whatever awaits us after

called upon my grandfather. His eyes, once my windows to the world, closed

shut and laid to rest. His arms, once my comforting wings of the angel

Gabriel, now just lay still like a log in the forest. His words, once my

motivation, now run relapse in my thoughts. My heart felt heavy as it began

to sink in, he is gone. My whole word stopped, I wanted him to live to see me

make something of myself in America. I wanted him to see what I would

become and be proud. Now my role model is gone, and in my mind, I was

asking God why? My heart began to cry but still no tears came from my eyes.

My aunt and cousins were all crying and asking why I was not crying.
However, I had no answer, I just sat there feeling scared as hell. Scared at

the fact that no one knows what happens after death and I just hoped my

grandpa was ok. I prayed God watched over his soul, for he was a good man.
Chapter 5
      Later that week we went back home to Jamaica. We had a wake for

three days. On the day of the funeral, we all got ready and went to the

church. All of his children helped carry his coffin into the church. My family

sat in the front on the right side of the church. All my aunts and some of my

uncles had on sunglasses, to hide their tears. But Anthony and I could not

look at him as of yet, so we handed out the service booklets in front of the

church. When the ceremony started, we went in and sat with our family.

After everyone sat down, I went up and looked at him. He looked so

peaceful; I placed my right hand on his chest and kissed his forehead. At

that moment, my first tear fell on his face. A big part of me is just laying

here in front of me, and now more than ever I was dealing with the reality of

him being gone. The muggy smell of death crept into my nose. I some how

found the strength to return to my seat. Throughout the service I heard

many people break down into tears, in the over fill church. My tears and the

moans and heart breaking trembles of my family surrounded me. My uncle,

Pastor Brown, led the service. He was my grandpa’s son before my

grandmother. As the ceremony ended, the choir began to sing “By the

beautiful river shores”. Then his children carried my grandfather out the
church and I followed him to the (hoarse.) Anthony and I, along with a few

of my other cousins, walked along side the (hoarse), back to our house where

his grave and finally resting place awaited. The choir kept singing while

following us down the road. My grandpa’s grave is in the front yard

underneath the mango tree where I almost lost an arm or a limb. Anthony

caught me one day during a game of tree tag, when both Derval and I fell out

the tree at the same time. Derval broke his right arm and it staid that way,

to this day it’s still broken. That could have easily been me. When we arrived

at the grave my uncles and Mervin went down into the dirty of the shoveled

out entrance to the grave. They removed the cement block door and it began

to rain. The pastor said some last words and it was time to say goodbye for

good, time for him to go to his final resting place. I began to cry

uncontrollably, it felt as if water was running out of my eyes. My cousin

Stacia jumped down into the dirt onto grandpa’s coffin, started to push

everybody away, and told them to leave her grandpa alone. “No you can’t

take my grandfather.” She cried while lying lifelessly on his coffin. “Please

no” she was brought up and the choir kept singing and they slowly sent my

grandfather off to rest. I stood, still not able to control my tears, without
movement just thoughts of breaking into his coffin just to have one more

moment with my grandpa. My mom took me back into the house, but I still

could not stop myself from crying. “Stop crying, he’s gone” my mom said, with

a strange attitude. However, it was not that simple for me, I could not just

stop crying. He is gone and he took a part of me with him.

      There was a big feast for everyone, like a party but not. It was

celebration of my grandfather’s life. Everyone just ate, no one really spoke,

and when they did no one said much of anything. It felt as if everyone was

thinking and in some way feeling the same thing. We all share all shared

thoughts, through facial expressions. (About an hour after the burial,

everyone went back to normal, but I still couldn’t eat and I found myself at a

lost for words after that experience.) We left the day after the funeral. My

cousins and I had to go back to school and our moms back to work. After we

arrived back in New York City, I felt ok. Yea I just saw my grandpa get

buried, but it felt like it wasn’t him. Like he is still alive and still with me. I

felt him everyday from that point on. His arms forever rapped around my

soul. (I feel as if his eyes are blended within mine for a clearer vision of a

foggy world.)
     Now with my grandpa gone it’s very lonely in hell. It felt as if my mom’s

hands got heavier and her swing of any given time got stronger. In school,

the stakes of fights changed, now we fight the older students for respect

and control of the school. After my fight with an 8th grader, my class was

looked up to by the younger students, and fully respected by the older

students. After school one day Victor was running his mouth. So I was like

“Step! What you want to do?” We were in front of the gate and many high

school kids from Erasmus gathered around to watch. He swung and I stepped

back, then leant forward and gave him a right to the face. Stepped back, and

did the same thing twice. On the third go around, I finished him with a

combo that sent him from the gate to the pavement. His classmates broke it

up and everyone laughed and gave me love and respect through handshakes

of victory (daps). I felt good at those moments but not long after I sort of

felt bad. Not long after that fight, the High school kids from Erasmus

started robbing kids from Holy Cross. After school Courtney and I attended

an after school program. “Renaissances Rights of Passage”, an after school

for young black males. It’s a program to keep young monitory males off the

streets and out of trouble. They taught us African history and about being

strong black men after helping us with our homework. It was about six
blocks from our school, on Rogers Ave. After school the Erasmus high school

kids would run up the kids and ask, “Yo you got a quarter?” If they felt fear,

they would go on to shake your pockets. Damian and I got approach by these

stick up kids one afternoon. “Yo son, give me a quarter.” Damian said “No. I

don’t got a quarter.” I tightened the straps on my bag pack, at which point

you can see the fire in my eyes. “Shake ya pockets.” “Yo we aint’ shaking

shit” I quickly replied. I guess seeing that we were going to be problems

they just said “fuck it” and moved on to the next kid. On that day, the next

kid was Jason, a 5’11 fat kid in my class. They punched him in the nose and

took his money and bus pass. He ran to the cross guard crying with a bloody

nose. She helped him out by talking to the bus driver and getting him on the

bus without a pass. All I kept thinking was what a fat fuck. Why didn’t he

fight back? Damian and I were always the first to get to after school. So we

did homework and whenever we were alone we would fight. We were not

upset with each other, we fought like brothers fought. Damian is twice my

size but I’m very aggressive and tough. We fought to make sure we were

both ready to fight whoever, whenever. Outside of school, we were best

friends and if anything happened, outside of school, we held each other

down.
      When I wasn’t fighting, Damian, Anthony and I would take it to the

limits. After some fights, I would be so mad that I would stop talking to him

for hours and sometimes days. If he got the drop on me, he would hold me

down and choke me with one hand while punching with the other until I

almost pass out. He would let go and laugh while asking, “you aight?” That’s

when I would get my hits. He would get mad and chase me and I would just

say, “aight, yo I’m done.” That would be it most the times except for the day

when after one of our usual fight, I gave the last two punches and told him I

was done, after I started running. He chased me and punched me twice in

the face. I had a bloody nose for a week. “Don’t you ever hit and run. We

weren’t raised like that in Jamaica.” Whenever we fought it was always him

just making sure I stayed tough and was able to stand up by myself to

whomever. It was sort of his way of showing me love. Anthony kept me

strong through many tough times in my life. When the subject of my mom

came up, he always said, “Yea it’s fucked up but you got to suck all that shit

in and deal with it. No body out there in the world is going to give a fuck

about your problems or what you go through, at the end of the day. It can’t

last forever, just like Uriah it must come to an end.”
Chapter 6
      Things with my mom were getting worst instead of better. The abuse

is worst and the pain is becoming harder and harder to deal with. Something

changed after her father passed. She would abuse me and then cry while

telling me I don’t think anything good about her. I always told her “you gave

me life and you brought me to America.” “That’s all Andre?” she cried while

walking back to her room. Whenever we went to diner or a party at one of

her friends, I was to be on my best behavior and smile. “Look happy” she

would say. I always did as she asked, with the fear of what would happen if I

didn’t. It was just that, on this one night, I couldn’t bear the pain from the

beating I took before the party, at her friend Agatha’s house. Anytime my

mom was around me, I had a long face. She tried pinching me but I didn’t

care that she was looking bad in front of her friends, and upset. She noticed

what I was doing and didn’t really come around me much that night. She just

drank with her friends and went on with her night. Anthony came with us, so

we sat on the steps and drank the Heinekens we got from some Jamaican

man my mom knows. Monique, Agatha’s daughter, and I had a mutual crush on

each other so she hung out with us on the stairs.

      After The party, when we got home my mom was furious. She slammed

the door and started screaming, “Everybody asking how Andre is. What’s
wrong with Andre?” I knew what was coming up next so I just went into the

room to get it over with. Still screaming, she stopped hanging up her shirt

and started to beat me with the hanger. Not seeing much result she grabbed

my belt off the bed and continued. Every strike was harder than the last.

After five minutes she began to cry and started punching me. I stepped

back into the iron board and fell on the floor. Laying on the floor my mother

started kicking me in my ribs. She was kicking so hard I couldn’t scream. I

felt my life leaving as I laid there choking on my screams, I thought I was

going to die. After a few more kicks her tears came faster and her voice

cleared up when she told, while still kicking, “You are a mistake. I wasn’t even

suppose to have you. You fucked up my life. Only reason why I had you was

because my father forced me to stay home the day I was suppose to finish

my abortion. I hate you.” Now suddenly no more tears came and everything in

me stopped. She kept kicking and crying but I felt or heard nothing. I’m a

mistake and the only person that wanted my life is gone. I felt a new pain. It

hurt like hell, felt as if my heart kept breaking over and over again.

Overwhelmed with this new pain, my heart didn’t want to believe my ears.

But it was hard not to believe, when she kept saying it. My mom kept beating

until she got tired and realized that a few more kicks and I’ll be dead. I laid
there and cried for a moment, unable to move. I died on the floor that night.

Everything decent and good inside of me lay dead on the floor as I got up

and went into the living room. I cleared my eyes and went back to the room

and asked, “So mummy you never wanted me?” Still crying she explained to

me that she had already started the abortion process. My grandfather

stopped her the day she was to finish. More tears came from my face and I

walked away in silence. Not another spoken word for the night. I laid on the

couch with my grandmother’s Bible hugged up against my chest, trying to

take in the fact that my dad don’t care for me and was never there. Now my

mom is telling she never wanted me and I wasn’t even supposed to have been

born, I messed up her life. I guess I just came from a night when the mood

was right. Thoughtless, it was just sweet stories from a guy to a girl that

could never be. Maybe they were just drunk and I was birth from the

influence. I felt empty, at lose for thoughts, not knowing how to feel or

react to the situation. I felt so much more love for my grandfather,”it’s

because of you I have life. Thank you” I whispered and kissed the Bible. Life

was getting more real and my pain undeniable, after learning the truth about

who I am. I didn’t sleep much that night, I laid there reflecting on my life

and erased the few good memories I had with my mother. They were all
made believe, like the stories in the movies, just pretend. “God this can’t be

life. I don’t want to deal with this anymore. I feel like I’m lost in hell. This

can’t be right, there’s got to be more to life than pain. Lord please hold me I

need love, father I’m dying. Why am I going through this? Why won’t anyone

help me? I’m lost, tell my grandpa I love him and thank you. God let him know

I miss him so much. I’m so alone, God give me someone. Whatever I did to

deserve this, God I’m sorry please help me to keep going through these hard

times. Forgive me for my sins please, I’m sorry. Lord, help all the other

children in the world going through the same or worst. Help all the homeless

people and keep them safe. I love you God, goodnight. Amen.” Not long after

my prayer my mom came to the living room with blood shot teary eyes. She

tried to tell me that I was special and I go through the things I do so young

because God has a special plan for me. Then she went on to saying that how

she raised had an impact on how she treated me. As soon ask she said that I

asked, “Did you like it when you use to get beat by your parents?” she pause

and quietly replied, “No.” “So why you do it to me?” she was at a lost for

words as she answered with a clueless look on her face, “I don’t know why.” I

couldn’t believe or except her answer as reasonable. I looked her in the face

and that moment my eyes saw nothing of my one time mother, just a
stranger. A woman I didn’t know or recognized. Feeling confused and lost to

hope, I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep so she would leave me alone.

It’s a strange feeling to be in the seventh grade and learn nobody wants you

and your life is a mistake.

      My new feeling changed the way I felt and acted towards my mom. I

didn’t care anymore about how much or how hard she would beat me, I would

get in trouble now just to piss her off. Teachers called about me

fraternizing with girls in the hallway and bathroom, fights and

insubordination. After Anthony graduated middle school, they moved into

the building next door. Now he was closer and got a chance to see how bad

the abuse was for himself. He told me whenever she tried to beat me just

walk away. But I never moved, I just stood, lay, or sat there and took the

abuse. Whenever the chance would present itself I would try to sleep over

at Anthony’s or Damian’s. One afternoon at Anthony’s house, Anthony asked

me if I wanted to sleep over. I told him I do but I had to ask my mom first.

I asked and she said no. I went back to Anthony’s and said, “She said no.” My

mom heard me and said, “Who are you calling “she”? Let’s go.” We got back

to the apartment and she started screaming telling me she’s about to teach

me some manners. The whole time she was beating me for referring to her
as she, I was trying to explain to her that it wasn’t disrespect. I kept trying

to tell her I learned it in school and that’s just how the teachers thought me

to speak. “I’m your mother, you don’t call me she. I’m not one of your little

stink girlfriends.” That beating and it’s ridiculous reason was the last straw

for me. I told Anthony about what happened the next day and he got mad

and grabbed me, “Yo stop fucking standing there and taking it. You’re taller,

and bigger than her now you’re in the 8th grade. If you stand up and show

her you not scared of her and you’re not going to let her hit you anymore

she’ll stop. She only keeps doing it because you let her do it and she knows

you not going to do anything.”
Chapter 7
      Finally I decided to take his advice. The next day as usual she found a

reason to get upset and abuse me. But today was different; I was waiting

and hoping for her today. We were in the kitchen when she tried to hit me

but to her surprise I put my hands up and pushed her away. She was so

shock she didn’t know what to do; she paused for a moment and looked into

my eyes. I felt good and started to feel myself grow as she shrunk in my

eyes. She started swinging again and I just kept pushing her away, as if I

was playing with a little child. I didn’t fear her anymore and that made her

seem so small. She started crying and saying, “Now you hit me back. You a

big man now. You don’t love or respect me.” She continued on crying like a sad

puppy. At that moment I felt weakness from her and I assertively assured
her, “mummy you can’t beat me no more. I won’t let you.” It was like taking a

toy away from a baby. In this case the baby’s favorite toy. Feeling out of

place she steered for a second and broke down into uncontrollable tears.

She kept mumbling through her tears, “You want to fight me now”. I just

stood there and smiled at the fear I saw in her eyes. It felt good to finally

have control over her beating me. Everything we go through is like life; it

can’t and won’t last forever. All things must someday conclude, today was the

day for the physical abuse to conclude. I told Anthony about everything and

he was happy. We laughed and he shook his head at me with a strange look as

if to say, “I’m sorry.” But he just said, “You are going to be alright. We’re

going to be alright.” When we were younger, we use to sit on the river bank

in Jamaica and dream about how good life in America would be. I think he

was hurt to see the reality of the dream I was dealt. He always tried to

keep me strong and going. I would need all the strength I could get. See my

mom doesn’t lose, she always has to be on top of you some how. I guess she

took a day and thoroughly thought about everything. She figured, ‘ok he’s

bigger than me now so I can’t beat him but he still needs me to survive. So I

got control, I can beat him in other ways. You think you’re a big man? Ok big

man I got something for you.’ The attention I received from my mother
started to decrease. Most of her time went into arguing and fighting with

Brian. The few times that she spoke to me, it would either be her putting me

down or her giving me a punishment. Now that she couldn’t beat me, she

would verbally abuse me and took away anything I liked or did for fun. Like

living in jail; in jail and playing second to her boyfriend. Honestly a part of

me started to miss the beatings. I had become use to the beatings as a part

of my life and in the past only time I ever really got my mom’s attention was

when she’s beating me.

      Things with my mother and Brian were going steady for a little while.

One afternoon my mom and I were eating dinner when Brian came running in

the door smiling. “Yo come down stairs”. My mother and I followed him

down stairs and we walk up to a blue Honda parked across the street. Brian

opened the door and we went for a ride. Everything was good now, they

would go out on dates and instead of fighting they laughed and joked. But it

wasn’t long before Brian started coming home in the wee hours of the

morning. My mom found phone numbers in his pocket and in his beeper. Then

the fighting started again but this time around it was a lot worst than usual.

One night my mom called a phone number she had written down from Brian’s

beeper. On the other line was another woman who knew nothing of her, and
in fact she was let to believe that she was his one and only. It was kind of

weird to see my mother argue like a little girl, over a man. After a long

argument with Brian’s other girlfriend and a few strong drinks. My mother

was hurt and furious, discovering that she was the mistress brought tears

across her face. She waited for Brian to walk into the bedroom before she

slammed the door and began to scream. I guess the car was in my mother’s

name or she paid for it because her voice got louder every time she said,

“you driving around other girls in the car I paid for? You fucking ungrateful

nigga.” The door opened and Brian was trying to leave but my mom was

grabbing and scratching at him saying, “No you not going anywhere.” The

fighting then got worst as Brian started to fight back. He slapped her

around a couple times but after a while he went in to the room and locked

the door. My mom went in the kitchen and called 911. She then took a glass

and broke it on the counter trying to cut her hand. By the time the cops got

there her hand was bleeding and she told them Brian did it and she wants

him out of her house. After going into the bedroom to get Brian and hearing

his side of the story, the cops asked if there was somewhere for me to stay.

The cops placed hand cuffs on both my mom and Brian but I didn’t really

want to see my mother go, so I started to cry and begged the cops for my
mother. In the end they took Brian and left my mother. The next day she

changed the locks on the door. I just kept thinking about how she lied to the

cops and made me lie with her, Brian didn’t cut her. It seemed like Brian was

gone for good this time. A part of me was happy, even though I got great

hate inside for this lady; I always wanted it to just be me and her. I guess a

part of me always thought it would have been different, if it was only the

two of us then maybe I would be valued more.

      Brian’s life got weak without my mom as a crutch. Now he was just out

driving around roaming the streets, no where to sleep or even shower. He

lost both his girls, his other girlfriend broke up with him the same night my

mom did. On my way to the bus stop in the mornings, he would drive up on me

and beg me to let him in the house to take a shower and afterwards he will

give me a ride to school. Yea I hated my mother but I hated him even more

for how he treat her and the things he did to her, a part of me still wanted

to kill him. I let him in the house the first morning he asked but after that I

just kept saying “no” until I got to the bus stop on Utica Ave. Feeling lonely I

guess, my one time mother now tries to make nice with me. For about a

month things started to seem as if it was all going to be alright. Now

everyday she would say, “We’re going to live together forever, right Andre?”
speaking to me and anyone else who would be around. I hated her so much

but something inside of me loved her and smiled whenever she said that. Out

for a walk and talking about life one night with Anthony and my mom, the

subject of money came up and I said, “People don’t need money to be happy.

All we need is love and enough to take care of our families. If I find love, I

can survive without money.” “Don’t ever let me hear you say that again.

Without money you are nothing in this world. You can’t survive without money

in America. Love won’t pay your bills and it won’t feed you. You have life easy

now, wait until you enter the real world and you on your own and have to take

care of yourself.” I just smile and said, “I could do it, but don’t worry

mummy I’m gonna be rich anyway.”

      It wasn’t long before my mom got tired of it being just me and her. So

she started going out on three to four different dates a week. Home alone

on many late nights; I started to play the streets late nights. My mom never

came back before 3:00am, if she ever came back. So I would wait for her to

leave and ten minutes later I would hit the streets. If you from Brooklyn

then you know after dark in the hood ain’t nothing nice. I chilled across the

street from where the pimps, prostitute, and drug lords meet. Smoking in

the back of the school yard trying to chase my pain, I got schooled to the
streets by some older dudes. They told me to watch how I move and how

other people move around me, because every smiling face ain’t a friend.

Watch who you fucking with because your man’s beef can end our life. Don’t

every trust anyone, especially the people closest to you. Couple more pulls on

the L and my thoughts was jaded, my mind was gone. The old heads broke out

and it was just me and my homie Dwight. That’s my dude but he is wild, he

never comes out the house after dark without a gun or two. He lived around

the corner a few blocks over and he always looked out for me and held me

down whenever I had a problem with anybody. He was a freshman in high

school and two years older than me. I got caught up one night on the other

side of town fucking with some dude’s girlfriend. We got the arguing and son

pulled out a blade I remember thinking damn I’m going to have to take a

couple stabs to get that knife out of his hands. But before son got a chance

to walk up on me, my homie Dwight came from playing the cut and stabbed

him in the right side of his head with a screwdriver. The knife fell from

son’s hand and he hit the pavement face first. He laid there shaking with the

screwdriver stuck in his head, as we ran back to our block. “Yo, that shit was

crazy my nigga!”, “Yea my nigga! Who ya mans nigga? I told you I got ya back

son. You got my back too right?” Not knowing that question would change my
life I said, “yo, you already know my nigga.” “Yea ight. Pass the fucking weed

nigga you high.” A few nights later, cooling out in the school yard smoking

with Dwight, that question got put to the test. For some reason he gave me a

22 and said, “ yo hold this for me real quick.” Not knowing about them other

guys he was having problems with, I just asked why he gave me the gun once

and thought nothing of it when he laughed and said, “yo come on, just hold

that real quick.” Just about 10/15minutes after he said that, three guys with

fitted caps over their eyes came through the school fence and opened fire.

Dwight started to shoot back, but I froze for a second as the gun fell from

my hand. “Yo come on son, pick that up and shoot back.” I grabbed the gun

and squeezed twice before we started to run out the back of the school

yard. Jumping over the fence, on the way down I felt a pinch on the right

side of my right knee. But with all the gun shots going off I just kept

moving. We ran into a building, two blocks away, that we use to chill in. After

checking to see if we got followed, my heart’s beating a hundred beats a

minute, I had to take a moment to cool out, 30 seconds later we started

checking each other for wholes. He was good and I felt and seemed good

until he noticed the whole in my right pants leg covered with blood. All kinds

of crazy thoughts rumbled through my mind. Like I might never walk again, I
know so many dudes in wheelchairs and one leg. Everything stopped when he

starting laughing and said, “Yo you good son, it just grazed your knee. A little

flesh wound that’s all, walk that off my nigga. Here yo hit this weed you ight

my nigga. Wipe ya leg off son, you good.” As we sat there and smoked, he

began to explain what just happened. He said he was having problems with

some kid and he shot him and that was his cousin and his niggas. He knew

they were looking for him but he never warned me or said nothing, he just

made sure I had a gun. Realizing, for some reason, what my mom meant when

she said, “ you don’t have to be friends with everyone, you need to learn how

to pick and choose your friends.” but I love Dwight like a brother because he

always looked out. But as the smoke build up in my thoughts I began to see

and realized I almost died young leaving a good looking corpse, and the

thought brought a smile. Yea, my life so far hasn’t brought me anything but

pain and hate, and dreams of reuniting with Uriah, but in all honesty after

being face with dead I didn’t really want to die. I wasn’t ready. It felt as if

God was speaking to me through the bullets, divine intervention. He gave me

a warning, and I don’t know if it was the weed but I saw myself laying in the

school yard in pool of my own blood for some shit I had nothing to do with.

All these years I’ve been praying for death and to hear the choir singing I’m
going to meet Uriah. God finally answered my prayers, but he, she it or

whatever is out there kept me alive, I was happy he did, “thank you God.” I

realized I was slipping with my life being out here fucking with this guy like

this, my life line starting to look young. But Dwight is friend though and we

were like brothers, I couldn’t just stop fucking with my brother. So I just

explained to him on the way home, “That shit wasn’t cool hommie, you know

what I mean? Next time give ya nigga a heads up, ight?” “Yea I feel you Dre,

my fault my nigga. I fucked up but we both ight. You know what I mean? We

good son.” “Ight nigga, but yo fa real, next time say something.” For the next

couple of weeks I battled my thoughts of death, while keeping the incident

between Dwight and myself, I didn’t even tell Anthony. I kept it to my self

and at times became hesitant to go out side after dark. After that night I

never smoked again, whenever my mom left I staid home at night. I

appreciated my painful life a lot more after that night. I realized all it took

to be a killer was for another man to push you. I almost died or went to jail

for life if someone was ever to find out. I had to slow down, but I kept it

cool with Dwight we chilled in the park now because I didn’t smoke anymore

and started playing basketball. Other than a few fist fights in the park I

wasn’t really involved in too much problems when we chilled. I never really
minded the fights; I loved a good fight every now and then. I always felt

good afterwards.
Chapter 8
     I decided to get myself together. I started paying attention in class. I

got good progress reports, and report cards. Still a little talkative but my

mom was happy. She would brag to all her friends about how good I was

doing. Damian had moved to Long Island so it wasn’t as much competition

between our moms with us. He still came to the after school program

because it was almost time for us to graduate. Anthony, Damian, and myself

all graduated from Renaissance Rights of Passage Program. Everything was

going fine, and It was almost time to graduate junior high and I was looking

forward to high school. But it all changed when my mom, while walking with

Anthony and myself, told me we were moving to Connecticut. I went crazy;

when I was younger and we talked about moving there I was all for it but

after the beating stopped I just wanted to stay in New York. “I want to live

in Brooklyn, I’m never gonna leave.” She shook her head and said, “you think

New York is the only place in the world, poor you. You getting an opportunity

at a better life than most people can dream. You better not let that

opportunity pass you by.” Anthony agreed with her so I just said whatever.
But in mind I was thinking about my friends. I mean they kept me going all

these years, without even knowing, through all the pain and suffering. You

know how people always say, “ blood is thicker than water.” Well it was the

other way around in my life. My friends and people that aren’t my blood has

looked out for me and shown me a lot more love than my family. I love my

family, but at times I didn’t really feel any love. Maybe I was expecting too

much. But leaving my friends was a big deal for me, I really didn’t want to.

      One night, out of no where, there was a knock at the door. My mom ran

to answer it and once Brian walked through the door, my mom was happy to

see him, well obviously she did invite him back in the door. But I wasn’t

happy, far from it, I haven’t forgotten the things he did to my mom and how

he treated her. So I just looked at him, not a word, and walked into the

bedroom. That must have made my mom furious because just seconds after I

walked away she call me back and said, “Andre you can’t say hi to Brian?”

With a crazy look on my face, as if to say that was a stupid question, I

replied, “No.” Without any thought or hesitation she just reacted and

slapped me on the left side of my face. She slapped me, her only son, for the

guy that has used and abused her for years in front of me. Just when I

thought she couldn’t get any worst, she opens my eyes to something new.
How could she choose him over me? This slap is worst than any beating I’ve

ever received, she slapped my heart, my pride and what little love or care

that was left inside of me for her. That slap will probably remain on my face

and pride for a few lifetimes. I was confused, I realized that night it was

every man and woman for himself or herself. At any giving moment in life the

people who you expect to protect, love, and always be there for you, will turn

their backs on you without the blink of an eye just for selfish pleasure. Have

you ever felt like nobody really cares, they all just pretend and play a role

that society has set in place? That’s how I felt after that night and all the

pain I could take has reached its peak. After that night, I never really spoke

much around that lady, at times it wasn’t that I didn’t want to but instead

my will became so weak, I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t even hate her anymore.

Because to hate someone takes feelings and after that night I felt nothing

for or about her. I was numb to her being, just an empty dark space when

seen through my eyes.

      The year went on and it was graduation time. Damian and Anthony came

with Robin (my mom). Before graduation started, while everyone was still

getting ready in the school, Maya and I shared our last moments together.
We were separated and she had a boyfriend, but we couldn’t help but miss

each other when we realized tonight might be it for us. Plus I wrote her a

really nice “I miss you, goodbye letter” at graduation practice, earlier in the

week. Like a long goodbye, we were kissing in front of everybody, friends and

teachers, until we entered the church. All the teachers knew the history

Maya and I had over the years and I was every teacher’s favorite boy in my

class, so they just laugh and said stop. But they knew I wouldn’t and we

didn’t. It was as if we didn’t hear anyone, with our eyes closed, I peaked to

make sure she close her eyes it was a big thing for her eyes to be close it

shows that she’s into you, we connected through her delicious lips, “mmm.”

We kissed until the graduation song started and it was time to get in line and

do our walk. I graduated with four honors; I received an honors metal for

science, social studies, math, and religion. Everyone received a graduation


necklace and a rose. I gave my necklace to Miss Flatts, she cried. She was

proud because she was really the only one that knew how far I have come

and she was the one would gave me a chance. She gave me a tight hug and

like fifty kisses, all while overwhelmed with tears and smiles. It felt good to
give her my necklace, that was me saying, “ saying thank you. Look I did it,

just as good as the other kids and even better. I owe this all to you, thank

you for believing and taking a chance with me when I couldn’t past nothing

but math.” That’s what I was thinking but I only said, “thank you, I owe this

all to you. I love you.” I gave my rose to Robin, she was proud I saw it in her

eyes. A part of me didn’t care; I just gave it to her so that none of my

friends would notice what was going on in my life. We ate at juniors,

everyone was happy. We took pictures, laughed and told jokes. It felt good

to be appreciated and loved. That night I couldn’t really sleep much, I stayed

up fighting the sad feeling of goodbye. Goodbye to the life and friends I

have come to know and love. The only life I’ve known and was accustomed to.

I didn’t really fear the idea of something new; I just hated the idea of

saying goodbye when I cared. But I didn’t really have a choice so I just

wiped the salt water off my face and closed my eyes.
Chapter 9
      Not long after graduation it was time to move Connecticut. The

Eshkol’s just finished building their beautiful dream house. It was amazing,

like something off the TV show, MTV Cribs. “Wow”, was all I could say to

myself. While picturing there dream house, they thought of me and designed

a room just for me. I felt good, that made me feel wanted. It brought a rear

smile to my face. I attended Staples High school my freshman year of high

school. It was different, I was use to a lot of minorities but there was only a

few at most. I felt out of place for the first couple hours, until I started to

receive the love I was use to from the females. I got like ten numbers my

first day. Over the years basketball became a love and a way for me to get

away from my world of pain and disappointment. So I tried out and played on
the freshman team. Susan and Hiram would come to my home games but

Robin never came. I can’t explain why but after the move, it was as if we

were separated and just kept growing apart. She began to feel like Susan

was my new mother now.

        After school, one afternoon the team had a scrimmage at the middle

school down the street from us. I told Susan about it but I didn’t say

anything to my mom. I got dressed and ran down the stairs, as I was walking

out the door my mom called me back. She asked where I was going and if I

wasn’t going to ask or tell her. I told her, “Susan already knows” and she got

furious. “Susan’s your mother now? Take off the jacket I bought you. You

piece of shit little boy, go tell your new mother to buy you one.” I replied,

screaming, “I DON’T WANT ANYTHING FROM YOU OR NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU, I

HATE YOU. TAKE YOUR JACKET; I DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH YOU. I HATE YOU.


YOU’RE NOT MY MOTHER. I WISH YOU WERE DEAD AND YOU NEVER HAD ME, I HATE

YOU.”   The mood throughout the whole house changed, as the argument was

heard throughout the house. Hearing a taste of the fury within me, through

my voice, Susan came over and asked what was going on. Upset and crying, I

just said, “I hate her. I just want to go.” She offered me a ride, but I said,

“No, I just want to walk and be alone.” I stormed out the door and walked to
the middle school. I felt bad after I calmed down and thought about the

fact that the Eshkol’s weren’t use this way of life, with the screaming and

fighting. But I just couldn’t help it, I was pissed off and sick and tired of

being sick and tired. I mean it’s only for so long that I can pretend to be ok

and take her bullshit. I went to the scrimmage with a smile on my face, but

if you looked hard enough you could see the pain in my demeanor. Later that

night, Hiram and I had a talk about what was really going on between me and

my mom. So I began to tell him what my life was really like and the things I

been through. I started to cry and with tears and a sign of pain in his eyes,

Hiram hugged me and for the first time I felt like someone actually felt my

pain. It was a good feeling; it felt just like I dreamt it would to have

somebody feel what I feel. After our talk the Eshkol’s suggested family

counseling for me and my mom. Out of respect for the Eshkol’s, I agreed to

do it. But I didn’t want to, not because I didn’t want things to get better.

But because I knew Robin very well and she will find a way to make

everything look like my fault and make me feel worst about myself.

      We started counseling a week later and just as I thought. It was just

me, Robin and some guy sitting in a room talking about how I could be a

better son. Not seeing any real results, a month or so later Robin and I
decided to stop going and just pretend to be nice to each other for the

Eshkol’s. One afternoon I went out with Susan, without saying anything to

Robin. After returning a few hours later, Robin called me over the intercom

and told me to come to her room. “Where you were Andre? I have been

looking for you for hours now.” Not thinking nothing of it, I replied with a

smile, “I went out with Susan.” She looked away and asked if I was hungry.

Before I could finish saying, “no I already ate.” She went crazy said, “I

ordered food for you, thinking about you and you go out with Susan, without

even asking me. I’m sitting here thinking poor Andre, I know it must be hard

for him to adjust to eating kosher food let me order him something to eat.

Susan is your mother now, right? You little piece of shit. You so fucking

stupid, you ain’t anything but a little black boy to them. Just give it time wait

until they get to know the real you. You will be an embarrassment to them,

just like you always been to me. Nobody is ever gonna want to deal with you

and your bullshit ways for too long. So you go ahead and enjoy your new

family for now. Just wait until they see the real, you just wait.” I was hurt

but I couldn’t cry, I wanted to but the tears wouldn’t come instead I just

felt a burning feeling in my heart. It burned so much that I had no reply for

what Robin said; I just took it in and walked out the room.
      I went back to my room and started to pray. But the further I got into

my prayer I began to question if there was a God and if there was one is he

listening to me? Does he not see and feel my pain? Am I not his child? Why I

got to live like this? That night I said goodbye to what I once believe to be

God . One tear came from my left eye, as I walked away from God and

became truly alone and the devil controlling my thoughts. I was now more

than ever convinced that Robin was right when she said no one will ever love

me, not even God. I began to feel hate towards myself, and soon became

depressed as the way I felt about myself was eating away at me. But I did

my best to hide it all on the outside and pretend as if I was ok. All the while

knowing in my mind nothing was ok. I started to seclude myself from the

family and their friends and love ones. It was like Adam and Eve hiding from

God, afraid he would see what they have become and cast them away. I

became so afraid of what Robin said that I distanced myself from the only

people that actually care for me and have my best interest at heart. Now I

spend most of my time on the basement floor working out and watching TV

by myself. No one really saw me until dinner time. (I was lost and no hands

did I trust, just me and my basketball.) Now whenever I play basketball

nothing mattered, all my pain and problems was no more. I began playing
basketball day and night, whenever I got a chance, at lunch and cutting class

to go to the gym , I didn’t care anymore. But when I wasn’t playing basketball

my anger got the best of me in school. But never did my anger affect me like




the time when this fat 350-400lbs fat kid took my seat after I got up after

lunch. I came back and told him get out my seat; he laughed and looked at me

like I was stupid. I pushed him out my seat and told him, “I will beat ya fat

ass. Don’t fuck with me.” it was all broken up in about 30 seconds. After

everything he started telling people I told him I was going to bust a cap up

his fat ass. I thought nothing of it because it was Friday and I went back to

city every other Friday. I got on the train and forgot about the incident as I

got into my New York state of mind. That weekend while back home in the

city I went to Flatbush to chill with my friend Vick. I met him at staples, he

moved to Westport with his mom the same year I did. Funny story of how

small this world really is, come to find out he was Maya’s boyfriend and he

was at our 8th grade graduation. Here, I’m best friend with him after we

found out who each other was and how we was connected. Chilling with Vick

quickly brought back memories of late nights with my Dwight. Vick was crip,

and I ain’t talking about a play, play gangsta just fronting behind colors. My
son was known for busting his gun over anything in his hood, dice games,

basketball, funny talk or whatever. He lived with his father in an apartment

around the corner from where Maya use to live. We bought some food and

went up to his apartment to eat. Then he opened a draw and brought back my

past, he pulled out a large construction glove and showed me a loaded

revolver. “Yo this is hot son. Check this out.” Fully loaded he place the gun in

my hand. “That’s why niggas don’t fuck with me. Cuz they know I’ll put

something in ‘em.” My right knee itched as I admired the gun in my hand. As

if my knee was saying, “Remember me?” I quickly pushed that thought out

my mind after Vick left the room and I stood in the mirror with the heat in

my hand. My reflection seemed 10ft tall, with the revolver in my hand, like I

was looking at a different man. I have been trying to get my life together

but now here I’m back with a gun in my hand. At this point in my life I was

lost to the world, not even God can save me now. Vick walked back in and saw

me pointing the gun in the mirror and laughed, “Yo don’t shoot nobody. Here

give me that. Let’s go down stairs.” We went and chilled on the corner of

Flatbush and Linden for a couple hours. I stood there chilling across the

street from where I use to play, with him and niggas from his set, Thinking

about how life is weird and how quick it all changes. Now I’m the older guy
across the street to the little kids who play and stand where I once did. It

was a different game across the street. Later that night when I went back

to my aunt’s house, Robin called her and said the cops came to the Eshkol’s

house looking for me. Because I told some kid at school I was going to shoot

him. My family went crazy and started to preach to me about what I was

doing and what I needed to be doing with my life. Until I stopped them and

explained what really happened. “I never said that, this white kid just

watches too much TV and thinks every black person from the city just go

around shooting people for no reason.”

      I went back to Connecticut the next afternoon and Hiram and I went

to the police station to straighten out the situation. On the way there I

explained what really happened and that I was sorry for putting his family




through this. When went to the police station and cleared it all up with the

cops. After hearing what really happened, they just asked if it was possible

for me to just avoid and stay away from the kid. Because he and his family

really think I’m going to shoot him and they are scared. I assured them that

I would just stay away and that was it. On the way back to the house I kept
apologizing and Hiram stopped me and told me, “it’s just a misunderstanding.

Don’t worry I will never give up on you. I see something there and we just

got to figure out how to turn it on and make it work. You will give up on

yourself before I give up on you. It’s never too late to do the right thing.” I

smiled and said, “thank you. But I really am sorry. I want you to know that.”

When we got back to the house, Robin called me in her room. “Andre, you can

not do things like that here. They are not used to this kind of street boy

lifestyle.” -“I didn’t do anything.”- “Andre it doesn’t matter. You did enough

to have the cops come to their home looking for you. That was embarrassing

for Susan and her family. All I’m saying is don’t burn your bridges. Susan

didn’t want you to come back in her house after that happened, she was

surprised and didn’t know what to think. If it wasn’t for Hiram you wouldn’t

be back in this house, he had to beg her to give you another chance. You

need to go and talk to her and let her know you’re sorry Andre. Make sure

you say thank you for another chance.” I walked away feeling bad about the

situation as I went to explain to Susan, how sorry I am and what really

happened. Later that night I stayed up thinking of what life use to be like

and how bad it might be again without the Eshkol’s.
     About a month or so later Robin went out with one of her friends

without saying anything to Susan. When she got back Susan was upset with

her and explained to her that she needs to know when and where Robin
comes and goes. After their talk or more like Susan talking and Robin just

sitting there speechless like I use to be when she spoke down to me and hurt

my feelings. I went in her room to see what had just happened. When I

walked in she was wiping her eyes and she looked at me and said, “Andre, you

see me? Do you see what I’m? I have to ask permission to leave the house,

Andre.” Tears began to pour down her face and her voice started to shake,

“I’m a little girl to her. Promise me you won’t turn out to be anything like

your mother. I’m nothing and I pray at night that one day you could do

better.” For that short moment I placed aside my feelings towards Robin and

I comforted her like I did when I was younger. I felt sorry for her for the

first time in very long time and for that short moment we were mother and

son again.

      When we went back to the city that weekend, Robin had her mind set

on going out and finding a husband that could support her so that she can

stop working for the Eshkols and move away. A few hours after we got to

the city, her friend from Philly call and told her to come up and visit because

there are a lot of rich guys in her area. Anthony and I went with Robin to

aPhilly. That night she got all dressed up and went club hopping looking for a

husband. After they came back the next morning come to find out Robin had
luck and found a man. His name is Ean and he lived in Delaware and was just

in Philly for that weekend. Things began to get serious between Robin and

Ean. He would cry if he went more than three hours without speaking to her.

After my mom got her license and her car, she decided that it was best if

she moved away with Ean to start a new life with him. So she explained the

situation to the Eshkol’s and before we moved, Hiram helped her with all her

bad credit. Soon after, Ean and Robin decided to move to GA and found an

apartment in Kennesaw. Ean came to Connecticut and we packed all our stuff

in Robin’s Honda.( It was time for me to say goodbye yet again and go back

to living alone with Robin.) I said my goodbyes and the Eshkol’s assured me

this wasn’t goodbye, I’m a part of the family and no matter where I go that

will never change. With everything stuffed in the car and all goodbyes said,

we drove out the driveway and on to the next chapter of my life.
Chapter 10
      Anthony came for the ride with us to see what Georgia was like. There

were a lot of trees, and the grass was so green. We moved to the Bridges of

Kennesaw apartment homes. It was a really nice gated community, with two

pools, a playground, a nature trail, and two tennis courts. We didn’t know

anyone other than Robin’s old friends from Jamaica. Ean still worked in

Delaware, so he traveled back and forth until he got a job in Georgia. Ean

and my mother started looking for a house. Anthony only stayed for two

weeks, and then he said he was bored and he missed his girlfriend, Erica. I

started North Cobb High School in tenth grade. Because I had skipped so

many classes at Westport, I was short four credits, and I was in a 9th grade

home room. My first day in home room, I met Camila. She was a short, thick

Spanish girl, with long hair, long nails, and big earrings. She thought I was

cute, and was all over me. She introduced me to Shane, this pretty boy that

was sitting in front of us. This guy did his eyebrows and all of that shit, but

he was cool. Right after the bell rang for home room to start, a sexy light

skinned shawty waved me to come over. She introduced herself as Claudia,

and her exact words to me were, “eh shawty, what’s good? You cute, give me
your number, Im’a need to holla at you shawty. Oh, and what’s your name?”

After she got what she wanted, she ran off to her home room. I was already
beginning to like North Cobb. After third period, on my way to gym class, I

came across Claudia again. She handed me a note, gave me a tight hug, and a

kiss on the side of my face, and disappeared again. On my way down the

stairs, I saw Camila again, and I guess she had been talking about me,

because the girls that were standing with her had looks on their faces as if

they had been waiting for me. She introduced me to her sister Rosaline, She

was five foot six, toned, beautiful hair, and a smile that could give life to

your day. Mia, Rosaline’s best friend, was sexy as hell. I mean video girl sexy.

She was five foot five, cute face, a fat round ass, and a small waist.

In gym class, I met Julius he had just moved from Queens, and he was cool.

I met Lance, a real Georgia boy, and then I met Deshaun and Justin,

Andre, and Lamar. I was glad that I had met so many people on the first day.

After gym, it was time for lunch. Camila and a few of her girlfriends were

waiting for me in the hallway. I met her boyfriend and his play, play gangsta

friends. My honest first opinion of them was, “these niggas is wack.” But I

guess they were the hot boys in school. I went to lunch, and wasn’t sure who

I was going to sit with, but as soon as I walked in, I had plenty of offers.

However, I had walked in with Deshaun, so we just went and sat at our own

table.
I was never really one to dick ride; I always wanted to do my own thing.

After we sat down, a lot of people wanted to know who I was, and came over

to introduce theirselves. Demarcus had a class with me, so he came over and

chilled at our table. He was feeling my style, and was like, “I’m sitting with

ya’ll niggas from now on.” Rosaline was in the same lunch period, and her and

Mia walked over and brought me back to their table. The play, play boys

sat with them. Hearing I was from Brooklyn, those boys went crazy. “Yo son,

you from BK? Represent my nigga. I’m from BK too.” That was Dillan,

he was a tall skinny dude, and out of all the niggas, he was cool, and a little

more real. After lunch, I met a couple more people before it was time to go

home. By the time I got home, I had missed five calls. The first thing my

mom asked me when I got home was, “Andre, who are all these girls calling

my home?” I just laughed and asked her who called, and she told me to

check the caller id. “One of them was Claudia,” she said. “I remember her

because she called back two more times.” The phone would not stop ringing

that night. Before the next day, I had a girl. Claudia was feeling me, and she

made sure she got what she wanted. I was cool with Claudia being my girl.
She was a dime, and it was a good look, the two of us together. For the first

few weeks my days were spent the same, making new friends, being




introduced to new people. I hung out with a lot of different people my first

year at North Cobb. Lamar from my gym class became a friend I chilled with

on the regular. He was two years older than me, his family was from Queens,

and they were Jamaican. His pops owned a car dealership, so our whip game

was crazy. We had big boy toys, trucks like Yukon, Explorers, Navigators,

and we rocked A-town classics (cutlass). We were riding hard for real, and I

was only fifteen doing this. We went to a football game one weekend so I

could meet his girl‘s friend Denise. I seen Denise in the halls and I always

told my son to put me on. She played basketball, tall, cute and popular. See

high school, or just school in general, is just a game of fitting in and being

popular. Everyone wants or wanted to fit in and be popular. It’s a game we all

played, ‘How to fit in.” I played the game through females; what I do is bag

up a couple bad girls my first days at a new school. I gain points and meet

anybody, that’s anybody, through these girls. See I ain’t a dick riding type of

dude. The one thing Robin thought me was to be a leader not a follower and

always do my own thing. “Right or wrong” she would say,” make sure anything
you do or any choice you make its your own and not you following or copying

someone else. It’s your life don’t let anybody choose for you.” So I never

come in as a new guy riding nobody’s dick, I chill fallback and let people peep

game. The streets is always watching, like Jay said, “after they see how I

move they gather around like disciples to kid.” We met up with Lamar’s

girlfriend Tahnya and Denise at the game but we got there late and they




were leaving. But I got at her and put my bit in, Shawty was feeling me, “I

know she was. I had her cheesing.” After they left, Lamar started telling me

I couldn’t get that because she loved playing hard to get. I had to stop him

in his tracks and let him know, “like you said she plays. It’s all just a game,

she plays and I play just that much better.” He laughed and went on to tell

me she just broke up with one of them play, play boys and she ain’t trying to

fuck with no one right now. I just laughed and said, “yea ight my nigga. You

wilding, this Brooklyn nigga I’m a get that. Watch you gonna see.” We walked

around before leaving and we saw Jantel and Chrystee. Jantel was thick in all

the right places, with some sexy pink lips. Right off the back I was like, “yo

son I want that.” We went over chilled and I exchanged phone numbers with

Jantel. They left when we were leaving, so we walked them to their car, in
the parking lot. On their way to the car, they brought up the school dance

tomorrow night and Jantel asked me to go with her. I smiled and said, “Yes.”




Shit, shawty made my dick hard just from looking at her lips. When we got

to the car, I hit shawty with some quick game that ended with her ass in my

hands and her lips pressed up against mine. I had to do it, I had to sample
those lips and grab her fat ass, damn! After they left and we walking back to

the car, my son was hype, “yo that’s what I’m talking bout son. My nigga get

kisses and grab ass right off the back. I fucks with you, yo.” “That’s how I

get down my nigga.” The next day I was talking to Lamar and his girl got on

the phone and asked me if I wanted to go to the dance with Denise. I

thought about Jantel and the fact that I already told her I would go with

her. But I had to say yes, shawty was cute, popular and had good status. She

played basketball which at this in my life basketball was all I knew, did,

though, or believed in. Not long after I said yes, Jantel called and asked if

we were still going and I replied with the first thing that came to mind, “yo I

don’t know if I’m going but if I do go, yea.” I don’t know why I didn’t just say

no or tell her the truth. Maybe I felt bad and I didn’t want to hurt her

feelings. Truth be told, I really want didn’t want mess up my chance with

Denise. Lamar and I had to take Denise and Tahnya out to dinner before the

dance. My son came and scooped me in a, eye dropping, old school Cadillac.

That shit was cleaner than a motherfucker. My son had the cars and but he

was broke. I had $30 with me, I figured I would let Denise order first and

then I would order according to what she got and I will be good. But when we

went to meet up with the girls, Lamar asked how much money I had cuz he
only had $10. I gave my son $10 on some g shit, so we both had $20. I could

have left him with ten and told him I didn’t have it, but the type of friend I

am, if I fuck with you I always look out and do my best to hold you down. If

I’m with you and life is raining on you, I would never hesitate to stand in the

rain with my nigga. We went to the Olive Garden. I looked at the menu and I

can’t front I got little nervous. I just kept hoping, in my head, that she will

order something under $20 and left enough for me to eat. So that I don’t

look stupid. Out of nowhere, Denise looks at me and says, “I can pay for my

own food. The menu looks kind of expensive. I’m just letting you know I got

my own money if you can’t afford it.” I wanted to say ight go ahead and pay

for your own food. But after she said that I saw that she was a strong

female, and at that point my attraction grew stronger. So I just stunted and

replied, “naw order whatever you. I got it, we good.” I didn’t really have it

and I really didn’t want her to order whatever. I was hoping she would say

she good with water and a salad. When the waitress came, she ordered pizza

for about $6. In my head, I was like yea I fucks with you, that’s what’s up. I

had $14 left to order my meal, so you know the kid had to stunt and order

some exquisite shit. I ordered a shrimp meal for like $12. Whiling waiting

for our food Denise said, “I’m not really that hungry. I ate before we came
and I had a lot and bread.”, after I ask why she didn’t get something else. I

didn’t mean it; I just wanted her to feel special and catered to in front of

her friends. Her ordering a cheap meal showed me that she was thinking

about us and not just herself. I knew I had to make a move to wife her up

and make her my wifey. The meal came and I was tight. It was four little

shrimp and a slice of toast, decorated to look nice. After dinner we left to

change and told the girls we would meet them at the dance. When we got

there, we thought it was free, it cost $4 to get in. I had four but Lamar

didn’t so I grabbed $2 from the tip on the way out. So I gave him the $4 for

him to go in and get $4 from his girl. Tahnya came to the door and said,

“Don’t say I never did anything for you.” I’m a very proud individual, my pride

means the world to me, I had to set her straight, and so I quickly replied,

“na chill that’s for your boyfriend. That was my four he used.” We went back

to the car after I got my ticket. Jantel was standing right by the door,

that’s all I thought about while we changed in the parking lot. “Damn yo, I

don’t know if I want to go yo. Cuz Jantel right there and that’s gonna fuck up

my whole Denise situation. I’m really starting to feel Denise so I don’t wanna

fuck that up. Damn yo.” Sean started laughing and said, “But if we don’t go,

that’s gonna be it for ya Denise situation.” “Word! Fuck it come on, I got
this. I’m a G my nigga, watch you will see.” On the real, I felt kind of nervous.

But I just thought whatever if I lose them both, and then it wasn’t meant to

be. We walked in, said what up to a few people and before I could make it to

Denise, Jantel ran up on me. “Dre why people saying you and Denise here

together Nigga, you trying to play me? You told me that we were coming

together. Yo that’s fucked up.” Before I could say anything, Tahnya, Denise

and all there girlfriends came over. Tahnya is very loud and likes to make a

scene. She pulls me away from Jantel and said, “Dre you suppose to be here

with my friend. Don’t play my friend. Go and talk to her.” She pulled me over

to Denise, who walked away and sat down after everything got loud and

crazy. At that moment I knew I had to make a choice and after seeing the

tired look on her face, that said she was tired of guys and their bullshit,

tired of the lies, games, uncertainty and wasting her time. Now I had to get

on my grown man shit, and come at her honest and correct. “Andre, I can’t

deal with this bullshit. I’m tired of arguing with other girls, over a guy that’s

supposed to be here with me, on our first date! I’m sorry Andre, you cute

and all but I’m good if this is what it’s gonna be like.” I made eye contact and

replied with a sincere look in my eye as I held her hands, “First of all, I’m

sitting here with you, and I only came because of you. To be around you, get
to know you better, and spend some time with you. Remember I said, we

could go to dinner but I didn’t know if I was coming to the dance?”She

replies saying “Yea, but Andre, what’s all this about you, and Jantel coming

together?

Don’t lie to me, everything you say sounds sweet but be honest.” At this

point I began to gentle rub her hands, as I replied, “Please believe

everything I say to you to be from my heart and the honest truth. I try my

best to always be real cause life is too short, what’s the point of lying?

Before you asked me to go with, Randy had asked me and I said, I didn’t

know if I was going but if I did then ight. I wasn’t gonna go until I heard you

wanted me to go with you. That’s why I didn’t want to come after dinner. Cuz

I began to see myself feeling something for you and I didn’t want to put you

through this dumb shit. I’m sorry; I should have said something earlier. But

that’s the truth, honestly.” I smiled and she said, “Well Andre, I appreciate

you being honest with me. I really do.” She said “Ight enough about all that.

Let’s talk about you. You look very beautiful, what’s a beautiful girl like you

doing here with a guy like me?” “Andre stop, now you not being honest.” “Oh

nah, I ain’t ever been more honest in my life. I’m for real, I feel special that

you would want to be here with me. If you could only see yourself through
my eyes, you would be amazed with what you see. Are we good now?” “Yea we

are good, Dre. I’m good now that I see I can trust you.” “That’s good to know

and I will do my best to not mistreat your trust. Let’s go dance and enjoy our

time together.” I guess the DJ was feeling the vibe because as soon as we

hit the dance floor, he slowed it up and played, John B ‘Don’t listen to what

people say.’ We started out close and the mood built I pulled her closer. Now

her head is on my shoulder, and we are tightly hugged up grinding slow to the

beat. I gently moved her head with my shoulder and as we made eye contact,

I licked my lips as she gazed into my eyes. As if she was trapped in a fantasy

world, not knowing for some reason the beautiful things she saw in my eyes

could never really be. She moved her head, as she licked her lips, to my

other shoulder. I once again gently move her head, but this time when we

made eye contact it was different. At that moment all my game stopped as I

got caught up in a slow, sort of magnetic, movement of my face towards her

lips. I kissed her lips once and pulled my head back slowly, as I licked my lips

and steered into her eyes. Then she leant forward and we met halfway, as

our eyes clued shut, for our first kiss. Lost in a new w world, for that great

moment we connected and I felt peace. I liked this place, it feels

comfortable and I can see myself calling her world my home. It wasn’t long
until her girlfriends all gathered around clapping. “It’s been a while for

Denise. You pulled her out of a slum.” We shared many kisses throughout the

night. Now I’m realizing I’m about to start a new life. See I believe a man

starts a new life, whenever he enters a new female’s life. Females are

beautiful, enchanting creatures, and deep inside every female’s heart is a

gateway to a new life, if she lets you in. After the dance we shared a

goodnight kiss. I can’t front I was floating on air. After we got back to the

car, before I could get a word out my mouth Lamar was like, “Yo you my

nigga. Damn son, Brooklyn is in the house. I feel ya style son, you be doing

you. My nigga Dre bag bitches on the first night. You know that gonna be

your girl real soon right? She is loving you right now. They will be calling you

tomorrow watch.” I had to take a second to collect myself; I was hype, “Yo

when I told you I got this nigga. I wasn’t playing son, we don’t play any games

where I’m from. I told you I got this (LOL).”

      The next day it was on. We talked on the phone for hours. Later that

night, Denise told me that Tahnya’s parents were gone for the night and

Denise wanted me to come over and spend time with her. Robin was inside
drinking with some of her friends, while I waited outside for Lamar to come

get me. I guess Denise and Tahnya called a few times, back to back and kept

asking my mom if I left yet. Robin came outside and called me in the

bathroom and handed me a condom. “Here Andre! Use it, this girl sounds like

she needs you bad. She keeps calling every five minutes to ask if you left

yet. Be safe and make sure you wash your dick; you don’t want to catch

something. So always be safe.” That was my big sex talk. The first time

Robin talked to me about sex or gave me sexual advice. It felt kind of funny

for me to have that conversation with her, sort of awkward. So I just took

the condom and laughed. Lamar came and I hurried out the door as Robin

started joking with her drunken friends about where I was going. We got to

Tahnya’s house and I greeted Denise with a hug, kisses and sweet talk.

Moments later Tahnya started playing an R&B cd and she played the song

“you’re my little secret” and Denise pulled away from me and said, “This song

is for us.” I smiled as I saw in her eyes it was time to make her my girl.

So I replied, with a confident face and a sincere look in my eyes, “Yo, you

wanna be my girl? I mean I would be honored if you gave me the pleasure of

being your man and a part of your life, a part of you.” It took her a second
to stop smiling, “ Yes Andre I would love to be your girl.” Just like that it

was official, this is my new wifey. A serious relationship in high school

changes your everyday life. Now I’m on the phone three or four hours at a

time, holding hands walk to and from classes. Kissing, Hi’s, and goodbyes.

Spending holidays and birthdays with her family and friends and writing

three or four love letters a day, even going to her basketball games sitting

with her family and cheering for my girl. Its was funny though, cause at

halftime I would be by the bathroom or outside in the parking lot kissing and

messing around with other girls. I love girls; there is no better feeling to me

than meeting that next girl. I could never have enough and the funny thing is

girls love you more when they know you got a girl. Relationships always

brought great temptations, from other females, to me. Even one of Denise’s

best friends at one point wanted to fuck me after she and her boyfriend

broke up. She got at me one day in the hall like, “yo, Dre why you like Denise?

Why don’t you like me?” See females are funny on the low.

I know you must be thinking, “ok, so what? Temptations come to everyone

and I’m supposed to care enough to not give in.” Yea know. But I saw

the temptations as a part of me and I needed to cheat to feel complete. A

long with the fact that I messed around with so many girls that had
boyfriends. 85% of the girls I messed with had boyfriends that they were

relationships with for years. Dudes they held hands with, kiss, and said I

love you to in public. So I always looked at it as game, if these dudes can’t

trust these girls they been with for years I can’t trust no girl. Everybody

cheats, I had to smarting up because this is real life. The moment you let

down your guard and give your full trust to a girl, she’s gonna throw away

your trust while your eyes are close and leave you sick and fucked up the day

you find out. So these are the rules I go by whenever in relationships, you

never want to be the one left feeling stupid when it all falls down. So the

faithful man is a sucker, I know it sounds fucked up but it’s true. Plus like I

said before, I love females. When it come to girls I’m like a little kid, I’m

never satisfied and I always saw something I liked better and I get bored

real quick. I’m not a dog or nothing, I just love females and I can’t help they

way they make me feel.
                               Chapter 11




      Denise and I started to grow apart as the months went by and my

popularity amongst the females grew. More and more she kept hearing

stories about other girls and now a days she’s starting to catch me in my

senseless lies. Lies about the other girls and lies about home. I liked Denise

but I didn’t like her enough to tell her the truth about my home life. I guess
it was partly due to the fact that a part of me was ashamed and afraid if

she knew she would look at me differently. I was ashamed my mom was

dating and living with a white man. I was ashamed that we lived in an

apartment and not a house like all the other kids. I was never really honest

with her about where I lived until Ean and Robin found a house and we were

ready to move. The weekend before we moved my mom had a moving party

with all her friends. Long story short, everyone got stupid drunk and after

all her friends left, except for Francisca. She’s Robin’s best friend and was

too drunk to drive home. For some reason Ean and Robin wasn’t getting along

and they started arguing. In the middle of their fight Ean decided he

wanted to go for a drive. Robin at this point is trying to take the car key

from him and telling him no he’s too drunk. This is all happening in their room

with the door close, while Francisca and I are just sitting in the livingroom

listening. I heard a loud tussle and Robin’s voice screamed out, as if she was

losing life, and her voice quickly went away as if all the air was chocked out

of her. Hearing this I bust in the room to help her, as I entered the fighting

stop. I steered Ean in the eyes, with two veins pulsing, close fist, “ Yo if you

ever in your fucking life put your hands on my mother like that again I will

fucking kill you. You hear me? I will fucking kill you. Don’t fucking hurt my
mom.” Ean started to cry as he replied, nervously,” it’s not me; I just want to

go for a drive. It’s your mother fighting with me. She grabbing on me, I

didn’t do anything to her. “-” Andre get out of here, I’m alright”, Robin

angrily screamed at me. I started to walk away but I stopped and hesitated

as I thought about Brian and the life she just escaped. With crazy flashes

of Brian beating her and me watching helplessly going through my head, I

turned around and replied, “Fuck that. Fuck you crying and whatever my mom

says. I grew up watching her get beat not being able to do anything about it.

I’m grown now and I’ll have to be dead to just sit by and watch her repeat

that life. So understand the day you decide to hit my mom, you will no longer

have a tomorrow. And that’s not a treat it’s a promise.” “Andre stop, get out

of here. I said I’m ok, get the fuck out.” “Yes mummy, but he needs to know

I ain’t playing. I will not sit around and watch another man beat you.” I

walked out slammed the door and went to my room. 3o minutes later I hear

the front door open and slam shout. I walked out into the living to hear

Francisca say, “Ean’s drunk, he went for a drive and your mother went with

him.” I said a quick prayer in my head for her life and then I slowly replied,

“I’m a fucking kill him. Francisca em wan ramp with mi bloodclot mother’s

life?
On mi bloodcloth grandfather, swear to God mi ago kill em! Him dead

Francisca.” At this point my mind is lost, not out of hate but fear. Fear for

the life of the woman that gave me life. I’m thinking damn; please don’t let

me lose her

life for some crazy guy. Yea I hate this lady but she’s my grandfather’s last

child, and if she dies he hurts and that thought hurts me. As a tear of anger

makes it way down my face, Francisca stops me in the middle of my thoughts,

“ Andre, I understand you mad, but you have to let this go for your mother.

Remember he’s giving her a better life than we ever had or seeing growing

up. This part of life, everybody fight and disagree at times. You’re not wrong

for feeling that way or saying what you said because she’s your mother. But

Andre she needs this, it’s not the same like before with Brian. Ean can take

care of your mother, she’s gonna be ok don’t worry. No matter who she with

they gonna argue and fight, you have to let it go sometime. She knows you

mean well and you only say the things you said because you care for her.” I

am praying with my Bible in my hands. Playing with thoughts of what

Francisca said. I concluded this to be her hustle and her way of making a

better life for herself. Before me, this was probably the life she dreamed.

am praying with my Bible in my hands. Playing with thoughts of what
Francisca said. I concluded this to be her hustle and her way of making a

better life for herself. Before me, this was probably the life she dreamed.

It’s hard but I just gotta mind my business and let it be. An hour or two

later Robin came through the door. With a breath of relief from the sound

of her voice, I closed my eyes and went to sleep. The next morning Robin

came in my room and explained to me that this is her life, and if she had to

choose, she wouldn’t hesitate or think twice about letting me go. All I really

want to do was make sure she was ok. I was just trying to protect her. But

now I realize this is her life and I got to focus on mine, because no one cares

about my life.

So I can’t waste my tomorrow thinking about her past or trying to insure her

a safe future. I can’t worry about nobody but myself, fuck everybody, if my

own mother doesn’t give a fuck how can I expect anyone else to. “Damn God,

is this really my life? Why am I here, I try to do the right and in return I’m

judged and viewed as doing wrong. How much longer will my good heart

survive? I don’t want to be filled with hate, but God why is my life this way?

Father I know not how much more I can take. If pain and suffering is a part

of your plan for me, then so be it. I just pray that at some point in your plan

for me Lord, I will live to see some good times. Forgive me for my weakness
and the times I turned away from you. I have never really lost faith, it’s just

at times my heart gets too heavy for me to bear or understand your plan.

With that said, I hope God with me you will bear. I know I ain’t perfect but

Lord why everyday I wake and rub my eyes with disbelieve to my life? I was

hoping it was all a dream better yet a nightmare. Now all I do is pray for

that day when I’ll be ok, and just hope for better days.” All these feelings I

kept inside, afraid if I shared the truth, people would judge, point and laugh

at me. So all my real feelings I kept inside and replaced them with fictional,

fantasies, and lies whenever I spoke about my life to anyone that didn’t

really know me. I told my life to my friends as I had dreamed it from a young

mind on the river bank in Jamaica. All my demons from my past I did my best

to hide. Now the pressure and pain from home was starting to boil over, and

I begin to slip in my second life. Now my girl’s at lunch watching two other

girls fight over her man. The man she gave her heart to. The same one that

said he would never break her trust. Heart broken and confused, feeling
used, mistreated and unappreciated she had enough. As we met after school,

she hesitated to end her current life as she stood there searching and

waiting for a reason to change her mind. But I was at a lost for words and I

had no reason for her. With a look of hurt in her eyes she says, “Andre you

know I care about you, but this is too much. You got other girls fighting over

you, when you’re supposed to be my man. That hurts and I’m sorry but I

think it’s best for us to just be friends. All these lies and other girls is too

much for me.” Just like it began, it was over just like that. I can’t lie, I felt

a funny movement in my heart as I turned and walked away. Damn I just lost

my girl, but honestly what really bothers even more was the idea of her not

liking me anymore. I hate the idea of no longer being able to have something

I once had. So now in the back of my mind I’m out to get her back, just to

prove to myself I could. Now I’m up late at night thinking the perfect love

letters. If you was a girl only your dream guy would say these things to you.

All the while saying and writing these things, I’m kissed up with so many

other girls, even some of her friends. During the time of our break, was our

move to a house in Paces Club. Little did I know Rosaline, Camila, and Mia live

here.
Chapter 12
      It was good to finally live in an actual house that I could call home and

can live how I want to. At this point in my life I was a basketball fanatic. I

had hoop dreams that couldn’t even be broken by Jordan himself. I used

basketball as therapy for my life. It was my escape from my life. Nothing in

the world mattered when I had a basketball in my hand, or basketball on tv

and Slam magazines. It was a different life, a different me. Dre the ball

player in now my alter echo, crossing over and see the next guy fall was like

no other feeling I have experience. It was my high. Living in Paces Club I had

a basketball court, a lake, two gazebos, a pool, and three tennis courts. So I

was outside working out and practicing night and day. All of a sudden after

living there for a few weeks, the neighborhood became the spot. Everybody

came to chill or play basketball there after school. It was me , Myles and his

brother Francis, their cousin Benny, Shane, my son Aaron from the

neighborhood across the street. Young drew and Pat and I can’t forget about

little Cole, Adriana’s little brother. She had a crazy fat ass, damn. My first

day on the new bus brought a surprised and intriguing smile to Rosaline’s
face. Little did I know she was loving the kid on the low. But she wasn’t too

discrete as I would catch her gazing at me in school. It wasn’t long before




her best friend Mia started telling me her girl wants me. I would just smile

and she would say, “don’t worry she’s gonna have you one day and you’re gonna

see how luck you’re to have my girl. It wasn’t long after that when Benny and

all the other dudes put me on to how Rosaline was. They told me

she was a freak and stories of her blessing dudes and how she rarely says

no. If I didn’t say I was intrigued and turned, I would be a liar. It was on a

day that it poured when it rained and a couple of the guys from the

neighborhood were chilling at, the new comer and my dude, Demetrius’ crib.

He came from Alabama, with his mom. He was three yours older, but in

school he was behind. He had gangsta tattoos and stories to go along with his

tattoos about his hood and past life. We was mad cool. Back to the story,

while bored at his house in the rain playing video games. I started asking

where the girls at and Rosaline came up in the conversation. A call was made

and in the rain she came. In the house was talks of truth or dare, she smiled

as we left her down stairs to go and talk about how we going to run a train.

Verdict came up, she was feeling me the most so I was suppose to set it off.
I went down stairs and sat on the coach with Rosaline, we exchanged a few

words and then we started to make out. Damn, now I caught up in her world

as she tells me she only came over because I was here. Now my dick and my

mind started to take over and I wanted her all to myself. I said fuck it to

myself and took her upstairs. We went in Demetrius’s room and everybody

went down stairs thinking it’s on. I pulled Demetrius aside, “yo I need you do

me a favor. Watch the door, she only trying to fuck with me. I’m still gonna

try and if she change her mind im’a holla at you.” He laughed, “Ok my nigga, I

got you. So Andre you said fuck it, you keeping her to yourself, huh? I got

you, do ya thing.” At first we got the touching, that turned into kissing and I

started giving her signals that I wanted head. I gave her the gentle rub on

the head, laid on the bed with her on top as I pushed her head to kiss on my

chest and I kept pushing her head down. She stop and laughed, “Andre I

know they all think I’m gonna do something with them. But I’m not, so get

that out your mind. I really don’t want to do anything with you right now, cuz

then everybody’s gonna know and I don’t like people thinking I’m a

slut.(smiling) if you want something you need to ask and stop pushing my

head.” I smiled and looked in her eyes, “first of all I will never see you as a
hoe and I wouldn’t tell anyone anything. And you shouldn’t care what people

think or say about you, if you know it ain’t true then you should just say,

fuck it. Whateva.’ but back to what I wanted. I want you to give me head.

It’s only you and me in here and this is just between me and you. I like you

too and I just want to get to know you better. Don’t worry I won’t say

nothing, just kiss it.” My dick is rock hard as she rubs hands back and forth

over my shorts. “Ok, but you better not say anything to anyone.” “ I won’t.”

When she went to pull my shorts down, my dick was so hard it popped in her

face, like a jack in the box. It was a loud popping noise and we both stopped

and laughed. Then she said, “ Damn, he ain’t playing. He couldn’t wait to come

out”, Before she dipped her head. As soon as I laid back and got

comfortable. The sensation stopped and her head came back up with a big

smile and said, “ok that’s a kiss. All done.” I sat up and replied, “come on that

wasn’t a real kiss. You gotta kiss it like the french people do.” She smile and

went back down and gave me the best French kiss I ever had in my life. She

had me think we was in France. “ ok. That’s it. That was a french kiss. I gotta

go soon, so you get one more kiss, you better come up with another kiss

quick. If you think of another one, I’ll give you five minutes but then I really
gotta go.” I smiled and said the first think my dick said to my mind, “ Ight,

let me get a Rosaline kiss.” “What kind of kiss is that? You have to describe

it for me.” She smiled as she had her face to my dick, giving it little pecks,

waiting for my answer, “It’s a beautiful, sensual, erotic and exotic kiss. It’s

like the french but a little more tongue and feelings. Yea just like that.

Damn, that feels good, that’s it right there.” My head dropped back and my

eyes rolled into the back of head. Damn, this shit is good; I don’t want her to

ever stop. It felt like I was experience excise, and just like that she had me

hooked. My thoughts and body movement, feels as if it’s under her control

and I was feeling what she wanted me to feel. Five minutes went by and she

looked at the clock and said, “Hurry up. I gotta go.” “Ight two more

minutes.” It wasn’t that she couldn’t make me come, cuz after the first two

minutes I felt like I was about to come, it was just that it felt so damn good

I didn’t want her to stop. Five minutes later she stopped, “I have to go home,

we’ll finish this when I’m not on my period. You owe me.” I smiled and

pleaded no, for a moment but gave up without much of a fight. She had me so

intrigued with the thoughts of what’s going to happen next time. She said

goodbye and left, after I got myself together and went down stairs

everybody was hype. They all started asking questions but I just told them
we were just kissing and that’ s all we did. But Benny said he heard

different, “you lying Folk, I heard here sucking ya dick. Andre you can’t lie to

me, I know what I heard.” I just kept saying nah, and they all kept laughing.

That night I had a good sleep, you know that smile on your face, curled up

underneath the blankets, hugging a pillow, listening to the midnight storm,


and thinking about that special someone that doesn’t know they got you

sprung kind of sleep. The next morning as soon as I got off the bus, I was

getting smiles, and nods from mad dudes. It was all over the school,

everybody asking if the head was good. I said I wouldn’t know, but nobody

believed me. Honestly I wouldn’t have believed me either. By lunch time word

got back to Rosaline, she assumed I said something and I was so mad that

she stopped speaking to me. All I kept thinking was, “damn I only had to wait

a couple of days and I could have hit that.” A week went by and she started

dating Demetrius. They dated for two weeks; he fucked and broke up with

her. A week after they started going out, I spoke to Rosaline and explained

the misunderstanding between us two. After hearing that I really didn’t say

anything, we were good again.
                              Chapter 13




About a month or two later on the bus one morning, Tahnya and Camila

started talking about their boyfriends and the gang they were in. They were

called something squared, that shit was so wack I can’t even remember what

it was called. The play, play squad, these dudes was like Nintendo, no, better

yet, Atari at that. The only members of their “gang” were Camila and

Tahnya’s boyfriends, and a couple of their close friends. It was like the

Stretford wives or some shit. Camila went on to say that if you got in a fight

with one of them, then you had to fight all of them. She looked at me smiling
and asked if I thought they were hood. I smiled smugly, “I mean, if this was

the hood then yea, ight you hood thinking like that. Shit gets serious in the

hood. But this high school, and that ain’t hood, that’s pussy. A real man gotta

be able to throw his fists up and stand up on his own two feet before he can

be considered a thug. How you a gangsta, if you afraid of a fair one? What

hood they from? I’m not trying to play ya peoples, but anybody that gets

down like that over bullshit beef is pussy. If you need other people to fight

with you, then you are a pussy.” I guess Camila went and told her boyfriend,

and he took some sort of offense to what was said. After school that day,

her boyfriend and his mans came up to me and was like, “yo what up son?




We heard you were talking about us.” I told them what I said, and these

pussy ass kids shook my hand, and walked away. I laughed and loosened back

up the straps on my book bag. I had been waiting for them to try something

funny, but I guess they had to go home, and have a group meeting about me

to get pumped up. I laughed about it, and forgot about it. Later that night

after everyone was done playing basketball, and everyone had gone home, I

stayed and did my nightly work out. Benny stayed and worked out with me.
We talked about what had happened, and how those kids is pussy. The next

day at school, after lunch, I was on my way to weight-lifting class, and one of

the “gangstas” was like, “heard you were talking shit. I’m coming to get you

today after school bitch. I’m gonna fuck you up.” I sucked my teeth at the

dude, and said, “Yea, ight, come and get me nigga. Fuck that, what’s poppin’

right now? Yall some pussy ass niggas.” - “What?” He yelled.




“Yo, you heard me pussy. I’ll be waiting for you.” I was pumped; I went hard

on the upper body that day. Shadow boxing and all, I was hyped. It had been

a while since I had been in a fight. I got off the bus, went inside and

changed into my basketball clothes. After I stretched out, and went to the

pavilion. Demetrius came as soon as I got there. “I was just about to come

get you. Andre ready to go, huh? My nigga went home and changed mad quick.

They pussy niggas, I got you if they try to jump you.” I just laughed and told

him I was good. As soon as I said that, Benny, Myles, Francis, pulled out my

driveway and came to the pavilion. Benny said, “I just rang your door. We was

coming to get you. Eh folk, remember all that NY shit you was talking last

night? You betta show me that wasn’t all talk. You betta fuck that nigga up

cuz. I fuck with you, my folk was out here waiting. Yo, you know they gonna
try and jump you?” Everybody that was there said, “Na fuck that, they ain’t

jumping anybody over here.” Benny, “I know, I’m just letting my folk know we

got him.” About five minutes are so later, two cars pulled up in the parking

lot. Half of the play- play boys and some older dudes that was cool with

everybody. Niggas came through the gate screaming, “Yo what’s up now? You

talking shit, Andre? Talk that shit now.” I got off the picnic table and said,

“Fuck you.” As I said that and started to make my way into the open space

where son was at, one of his mans tried to rush me from the other side. So I

turn to face his mans while backing up into the open to square up. To my

amazement, this herb ass, pussy bitch comes up behind me and snuffed me in

the side of my head. It was on some blind sided shit, no lie, I yelled out,

“awww.” Just like that I flicked the switch and brought this herb as nigga

face to face with my demons. His mans backed up and I stood toe to toe with

son, He went to the floor after five. Now I’m on the floor punching his head

into the concrete. I got off him and told him, “yo stand up and fight bitch.

What the fuck you thought this was gonna be?” This nigga got up and tried

to rush me, now we wrestling. I got a good crip and firm stands and pick son

up. I held him for a second, I had to try and control myself, and I was losing

it. I thought about what was going to happen if I slammed this bitch into the
concrete. Cops knocking at my door, he wasn’t worth it. I slammed him into

the fence and kicked him twice after he fell. Everybody started laughing at

him. I was laughing too, but I stopped to say, “Yo you good or you want to

keep trying? Just know, I’m a fucking hurt you.” Bitch ass nigga put his hand

out to shake my hand. I just slapped his shit and said, “ight.” True story no

lie, this dude starts to cry and beg one his mans for a ride home. While he

was holding his face crying and asking for a ride, one of the older dudes he

came with, My motherfucking man, Gary held up my hand and was like, “ And

the undisputed winner is, by way of making the other man cry and say no

more. I’m from Brooklyn, NY Dre. LOL. Yo what the fuck, you ain’t want to

hurt him? We thought you was gonna finish him when you picked him up. But

you said na, half way into slamming that nigga.” I laughed, “Yo I wanted to kill

that man. I was really about to, so I had to chill.” The rest of the play, play

boys came after son got a ride home. They was tight, all them niggas felt

pussy. But not a word to me, we all just started picking teams for basketball.

That’s when the Mexican bloods, from our school, came into the

neighborhood and pulled up in front of the pavilion and started shooting. Yo

broad day light and in a fucking family neighborhood. These niggas is really

loco. Niggas scattered like roaches in the hood when the kitchen lights come
on. At that moment it was no longer me against the play, play boys, it was

black against Mexicans. Shoots went off and niggas started diving into

bushes and shit like a fucking cartoon. I got low and went behind a brick wall.

After they drove off, they went the wrong way. There was only one way in

and out the neighborhood. They went to the right, Rosaline’s side of the

neighborhood. We hopped into cars and started chasing them. Long story

short, these Mexican niggas was real loco, a game of three car to one




chicken and all the black drivers lost. We went back and picked up the shells

before the cops came. It was three shots from a 38. Cops came after we

went back to playing basketball and the big hommies came with the hammer

and left when they saw the beef was dead. The cops asked about guns shots

and we all looked in shock and said, “Gun shots? Na we ain’t hear no gun shots

over here. We just playing ball, officer.” We started playing like it was game

seven of the playoffs, until they left. After they left the play, play boys

tried to jump me again. As soon as I squared up, Clay stepped in and said, “na

fuck that, yall ain’t fena jump this man. Niggas had a problem and he did

what he had to do. Ain’t none a yall touching that man.” The next day I was

the topic of conversation around the school. I was the shit, my female rate
fucked up face. While I just rocked the clean face and a smile whenever I

walked by the play, play squad. I had two class with Gary, German and

Science. The kid that had tried to rush me was also in our Science class. The

next day in class, he was all on my dick, “Yo Dre you smoke? You would be the

shit if you smoked.” Dude even went on to play his man, which I had to give it

to, talking about how he pussy and shit went through the roof. Son came

back to school, two days later, with a.




I guess he must have asked his girl about her fantasies and my name came

up, because he started asking and kind of telling me to get at her. He said

they had just broken up and she was feeling me. I just laughed and said,

“Yea, ya mans is pussy. Son, I don’t need to smoke and I don’t like ya shawty,

she ain’t my type.” That’s funny, just yesterday he was with them dudes

hoping to see me fall. Today he offers me his x-girl and weed. Later that

class, Gary told me, “Yo if you really wanted to, you could take this whole

school over. You that nigga right now. You just don’t know it.” I laughed, “this

shit ain’t nothing, god. I don’t want this shit, them bitch ass niggas can keep

it. But I see what you saying though. I don’t give a fuck on da real, I just
want the bitches. These niggas is wack, fake baby gangstas and shit. You

feel me god? These niggas is all ass.”

      We got off the bus that day and everyone met up at the basketball

court as usual. Only to find an unusual, the rims were missing. At first

thought we figured them Mexicans took it. But we quickly laughed away the

thought when we saw the head of the community board. He told us he was

notified about gun shots and gang activities taking place around the

basketball court.

Everyone that played basketball, from the neighborhood, spoke to their

parents and had them speak to the board to get our rims back. At this point

I was obsess with the dream of becoming a basketball player. The game was

my drug, I needed it day and night. When I wasn’t

playing are practicing, I practiced in my mind. Basketball is 10% physical and

90% mental. I did my strength shoes workout every night before I ran four

miles dribbling and working on my handle. I was focused to the point where

after school, I went to the neighborhood across the street to workout and

work on my game alone, My drive was real hard, older guys that lived in our

neighborhood would stop and say, “keep up your hard work. I see you out
here everyday, and I hear you running by dribbling every night. I better see

you in a jersey ten years from now.”

      It felt good to have people I didn’t even know pump me up, and give me

that extra drive by acknowledging my hard work and dedication. Every wall in

my room was covered with basketball players, basketball instructions, and

motivating words and statements. I would sleep with my basketball like a

husband sleeps with his wife, faithfully every night. I changed my social life

from going out all the time, to once or twice a month. I didn’t really care

about having fun anymore. I sacrificed what I saw as only momentary

happiness and fun for what I thought would bring me a better life. That type

life that I had always wanted; was supposed to include money, power,

respect, and celebrity women. I became obsessed with the idea of having

and being able to do the things that I had always wanted. I was so engrossed

with the thought of being wealthy, incredibly wealthy. Growing up always

struggling and suffering, I used to daydream about my fantasy life and how

things will one day change for the better. That’s really the only thing that

keeps people in the struggle going, hopes and dreams of one day seeing a

better life. I was determine to make the team my junior year. I worked out

all summer. I ran at least 12miles a day, only sleep about maybe two hours a
day. I spent most if not all my time in the house, watching and studying

basketball videos and looking up drills and workouts online. E-mailing coaches

online for advice on elevating my game, I even email Allen Iverson. He was my

favorite player and he symbolized what I wanted to one day become. Not

just in basketball but in life, AI wasn’t dealt the best hand in life but he

fought and he beat the odds. However, big hommie didn’t respond to fan

mail, or at least not to mine. Whenever Robin got the chance, she didn’t

hesitate to try and break my drive, “What if you don’t make it Andre? You

putting your whole life in this one thing, you don’t even sleep, all you do is

basketball; 24/7. All I am saying is that you need to keep the possibility in

mind that you might not make it. “Hearing that would always piss me off,

there I was, doing something that made me happy, and was really important

to me. All I wanted was a little ounce of support, because if you are serious

about basketball, you understand that there are haters and people that are

going to try and cut your dream down, just out of jealousy. So, of course I

thought about not making it, but as a true ball player, I could not give into

that idea, because if I did, I would be destined for failure. Basketball is a

game for the strong minded. You have to be your own biggest fan, without an

ounce of support in my home, Robin and I became distant strangers. Lost in a
DMX state of mind, all the rage inside of me, I stopped giving a fuck. I had

been trying to respect this lady my whole life, even when the hurt and pain

was unbearable. But for her to cut me down, and try and destroy my dreams,

was all I could take. I would ignore her comments, and stayed working out all

summer long, to prepare myself for tryouts in the fall. I was in my best

shape ever, I was like a machine. My game was at its prime, and I went back

to Brooklyn for a month and a half, and killed the parks. I did all the moves I

knew and had been practicing, and I finally had a chance at beating Anthony.

He played dirty, he would throw elbows, push, and even throw punches

whenever I would be close to making a basket, or winning. So whenever, he

was losing, he would start an argument, and throw the ball and say fuck it.

When I told him about the play, play kids, he laughed and gave me a talk. “Yo,

don’t OD son. Because I know how you do sometimes, know what I mean? If

you do some crazy shit to these niggas, the cops are gonna come to

your moms house looking for you. This ain’t Jamaica, so you can’t handle this

like you use to at home. That might fuck up her situation with Ean. All I’m

saying is do you but just keep that in mind. Your mom told my mom you not

listening and you being disrespectful, talking back to her in front of Ean. B e

z you don’t want Ean to get scared and leave.” “Yea, ight, I hear you. She
wildin’ though, I don’t be walking around, disrespecting her, on some next

shit, I just don’t listen to her bullshit. She be coming at me crazy, and

expect me to be like ‘ok, whatever.’ She wilding. But I hear you yo, Ima

fallback.” Anthony nodded, “Yea yo, cuz you know how your mom do. She mad

grimy, you never know what kind of shit she will do just to get at you. Just

ignore her when she start bugging. You say you want to play ball, and be in

the NBA, focus on that and block her out. And you need to chill with all that

beef shit before I gotta come down there and murda someone.”I went back

to Georgia with nothing but basketball on my mind. I got a job at Papa John’s

Pizza, to take care of myself and put clothes on my back. My mom gave me

next to nothing, so I had to do me for me. The last week of summer, I was

in my driveway practicing my handle as usual, when Rosaline ran over and

asked for a cup of ice. She had just got her tongue pierced by a

friend of hers that worked at a tattoo place. She smiled at me and stuck out

her tongue. “When you gonna let me see what you can do with that?” Rosaline

rolled her eyes,”Never you talk too much. I’m just playing. But for real, I

can’t do anything of that sort for two weeks. I can’t kiss or anything. But

after it heals, we can talk. Matter of fact, before we talk about that, I

didn’t forget that you owe me. Do you remember or did you already forget?”
I smiled, “I didn’t forget. I got you whenever you’re ready. We never did

finish what we started. Just so you know, I still think about that. So when

your mouth heals, we’ll talk.” She jogged away slowly, and I went back to

practicing. I spent the rest of my workout thinking about Rosaline, and what

we would do the next time we were alone together. It turned into a big thing

at the Paces Club between the dudes; who was gonna sample Rosaline’s

tongue ring first. A week before her tongue healed, Francis wifed her up to

make sure that he was the first to get it.




But it was fall now, which meant it was basketball time. The first week is

conditioning, with no basketball. The following week was try outs.

Conditioning started at a brutal 5 a.m., before school, and lasted until 7:45,

right before home room. After school we conditioned from 3:30 p.m., until

Coach J was satisfied. I was prepared and ready. I gave it my all, and

performed in the top five. Everything I had worked so hard for, all the

practicing had paid off. I had a great relationship with coach outside of

basketball. He could read all the hurt and pain in me, and we would talk about

life, and he would give me advice on different things, when I had nobody else

to turn to. I had an outstanding performance during conditioning, however,
the first day of try outs, before I went into the locker room, coach called

me over to the bleachers. He told me he had to check grades for eligibility.

I was ineligible because I took classes that were behind my grade, and I was

in a tenth grade homer room. He went on to say how he was sorry, and that

he would have really loved to have had me on the team. After he walked

away, although I fought it for a few moments, a single tear trickled down my

cheek. I was heartbroken. I loved basketball like I was married to it. Like

everything else in my life, basketball too had disappointed me. I didn’t pick

up a basketball for about a month.




                              Chapter 14
      During that time, I spent my nights at the Cantina. That was the high

school night club for Cobb County. I started to make girls my top priority

again. Boyfriend or single, it didn’t matter. All she had to do was look my

way, and I was bagging that. Francis was always talking about how freaky

Rosaline was. A few days of hearing this, I thought, “Fuck it, I just met the

guy, I don’t owe him shit.” So I wrote a little note telling Rosaline I wanted

to get up with her after school, because I had been thinking about her.

Before last period, she replied. Apparently, she had been thinking about me

too. After school, she went home to change before she came to my House. It

was cool, because Robin worked at a day care, so she was never home until

about seven. Ean was never home until about nine. She sat on the couch next

to me, and we immediately started kissing and grabbing each other. But she

stopped. She started to smile and said, “What’s up? You said you got me, I’m

waiting.” I hesitated for a minute. “I don’t know how. I ain’t neva eat a girl

out before. That’s not something I do, it’s against my religion,” We laughed,
and she started to blush. “Are you serious? Don’t worry then, Ima teach you

how. When I’m done with you, you gonna be an expert. But we can’t do it

here, we’ll mess up your momma’s couch. Let’s go to your room. Grab a towel,

its gonna get real wet.” “What? Mad wet? On my face? You wilding,” I said

nervously. “Lets go in the guest bedroom. That way, we don’t mess up my

sheets.” We walked into the guest room next to my bedroom. Rosaline took

off her pants and her underwear. I kneeled on the floor between her thighs.

With her finger and my tongue, we began my lesson on pleasing a girl, and

what a girl wants. She told me some girls might be different, so I should

always ask a girl what she likes, if I really want to please her. We went from

the hood to the clit, we spent a lot of time on and around the clit area. From

there I explored the inside of her thighs, right around her lips. After I

gently made out with her lips, I tasted her moist as I slipped my tongue

inside her. Five minutes are so later I stopped and said, “Yo I’m good, that’s

it. I gave you longer than you gave me. Yo, you betta not say nothing to

nobody.” She smiled as she sat up to put her panties on, “I won’t say

anything. How was it? Did it taste like strawberries (LOL)?” I laughed at her

little funny comments before I replied, “Yo, you bugging. You’re the first,
last and only girl I’m ever doing that for. That ain’t for me. Damn I could still

taste you in my mouth (LOL). But yo for real, Francis really likes you so don’t

say nothing.” She smile, “that’s the strawberry after taste you experiencing




right now. Don’t worry you’ll get use to it (LOL). But yea, I know he really

likes me. He be telling me he loves me and shit. It’s funny because whenever

he says it, I just say, ok I like you too. But he loves to eat me out. It’s your

fault why I can’t be faithful, you keep making me cheat on my boyfriends.”

She left and two days later it was all over the school. She said she told

Camila and Mia to swear not to say anything to anybody. We both denied it

to Francis and everyone else. The only person that I kept it real with was my

dude, funny Devante from Queens. A few days later Rosaline and Francis

broke up. I was happy because a few days later came the first time Rosaline

and I made love. We met in the gazebo by the lake and between the tennis

courts. I told my mom I was going to practice and workout; I took my

basketball and threw it in the bushes as soon as I entered the pavilion. It

was about 10:00pm, I got there first and I anxiously awaited my secret

beauty. My undercover lover and best friend. I got excited as I watched her
walking from the other side of the lake. She had on orange and grey sweat

pants and a tight tank top. It was a beautiful night, the sky was clear and

painted with stars that sparkled like diamonds. All that met with a warm

night breeze. Her lips was glossy and her breath stayed fresh, off that

green apple extra gum. Her cheeks puffed up with the most amazing dimples

as she started smiling when she saw me. We sat on the cement tables inside

gazebo. We kissed and caressed each other for a hour and a half straight. I

never felt such a strong attraction to a girl; I never knew kissing could ever

feel so good. I mean I’ve kissed many girls but never had it felt like this,

like we were making love with our tongues. I loved the taste of her mouth, so

fresh, sweet and sensual. We kissed until our tongues got tire and started

hurting. “Damn, I don’t want to stop kissing you. But my tongue starting to

hurt,”

I said softly as we continued to gently kiss. “Yea, I know. My tongue is

getting tired too. Sit on the bench and take your shorts off. I never got a

chance to finish what I started,” she smiled and said before dropping her

head. Damn that tongue ring felt good. She gave me head for about 45

minutes, before she picked up her head and said, “Damn, what you ate? You

are taking my long.” I was in such a blitz of pleasure I found myself
rendered speechless. I just looked at her and smiled like a rich kid on

Christmas morning and it was my birthday. She took her pants off and

climbed on top of me. She was so wet, 10 maybe 15 minutes went by and, no

lie, I came like three times. I never felt a touch like hers before, the

feelings I felt when with I was with her was unlike anything life had ever

gave me. In all the excitement we lost track of time and didn’t realize it was

going on 5am in the morning (school night). We tried to say our goodbye’s

quick but just to say goodbye and let go and walk away took us close to about

another hour. We spent thirty minutes giving goodnight hugs and kisses, and

another thirty walking each other home. I would walk her to her street and

she would feel bad and say, “ I don’t want to go. But I know we have too. Let

me walk you back halfway.” I didn’t need her to walk me home but I also

didn’t want her to go and I couldn’t say no, to more time with her. So after

we got halfway and it was time for her to turn back we looked




at each other and smiled before I said, “Yo, you know I gotta walk you home.

I wouldn’t be able to sleep without seeing you walk through your door.” It

was funny because neither one use wanted to go are care about sleep. I was

hype on my walk home, talking and laughing with myself. I need not say, but
if I need to, I had a great night sleep. We shared secret smiles all day

during school and on the bus. We passed notes making plans to meet again

tonight same time, same place. Tonight was different, it was her night. We

took turns pleasing each other and I never understood why but I wanted to

please her. Normally I wouldn’t even think about pleasing a girl as long as I

got what I wanted. Something about this girl was different; she changed me

wit between her legs, hanging off the table and at this point over my

shoulders. I gave her head for like an hour. Afterwards we kissed and held

each other hour me even knowing. We kissed for two hours before I sat on

the bench between her legs, hanging off the table and at this point over my

shoulders. I gave her head for like an hour. Afterwards we kissed and held

each other for another two hours. When our tongue got tired, we climbed on

top of the gazebo and she laid in my arms as we gazed at the stars and

talked about life. Hearing about her dreams to get into the naval academy

after high school and her love for life and helping others even if it’s just

with a smile. I grew more and more attached to her, because in my eyes it

didn’t make any sense that a person this good wants a person as bad as

myself. I began to open up to her and I told her about my basketball dreams

and how I honestly had nothing else. I told her without my basketball I’m
nothing and I don’t know what else I would do with my life. It took a lot for

me to tell myself that all I had in the world was my basketball and a dream.

It took even more to reveal that to anyone much less a girl. But there was

just something so special about this girl. Whenever we were alone, I was in a

different state of mind. I wasn’t the same person it was so unbelievable, life

for the first time would feel pain free and so perfect. I don’t know how to

explain it but I just felt so secure intrusting her with my dark soul.




To this point no girl I ever messed with knew the real me, I always hid

behind my outer appearance and my cocky conceited attitude. I began to

become more and more drawn to who she was as the nights went by with us

hugging and kissing under the stars. There was something so special between

us. No matter how many times her sister and them play, play kids tried to

hate and tell her stop fucking with me, she didn’t care that just made our

bond stronger. She would just come back and tell me what they said and I

would just laugh as she who just put their business on blast. She thought it

was funny her sister’s boyfriend and his friends had something to say about

us spending time together, when her sister be spending time with mad

different dudes he ain’t know about. On the fourth night, there was a cold
breeze outside, so we decided to sneak her into my room. I walked in the

door and Robin yelled my name from her room and told me to set the alarm

and turn off the lights before I went to sleep. I signal Rosaline in the front

door and whispered in her ear, “Yo, go in front of me and just run to my

room. Her door’s close, if you go fast enough by the time she comes out, if

she does, she will only see me. Ight go.”




As soon as Rosaline walked into my room, Robin came out her room, “Andre,

make sure you wash any dishes you’re about to use. And clean up after

yourself. Goodnight, don’t forget to set the alarm.” I got her a drink, set

alarm and when back to my room. She was laid up on my bed smiling, “how am

I gonna get out? I have to get home before my dad gets home from work. I

didn’t think you guys used the alarm. We don’t.” (LOL),” I don’t know, but why

yall got an alarm system? We’ll figure something out. I’m saying, you can

always just jump out the window.(LOL) I’m just joking. Yo lets watch a movie

and we’ll talk about you leaving after. Even though you don’t really gotta

leave.” We watched my favorite movie, Love & Basketball. We laid there
hugged with her goddess hands running across my rippled chest. As she

began to rub my body, it felt so good and relaxing that I fell asleep on her.

She woke me up in a crazy panic, “always just jump out the window.(LOL) I’m

just joking. Yo lets watch a movie and we’ll talk about you leaving after. Even

though you don’t really gotta leave.” We watched my favorite movie, Love &

Basketball. We laid there hugged with her goddess hands running across my

rippled chest. As she began to rub my body, it felt so good and relaxing that

I fell asleep on her.




She woke me up in a crazy panic, Oh shit, Andre wake up. Its 5:30 I’m

gonna be in so much trouble when I get home. I don’t even know how I’m

gonna get out. Andre, get up and do something please.” I sat up and replied,”

why did you go to sleep? Why didn’t you just wake me up after I fell asleep?”

She sits back on the bed to put her shoes on, “I don’t know. But I gotta get

home Andre.” I walked over to the window, took the screen out and visual

measured the fall. “Yo, climb out the window. Hold on to my hands and I’m

gonna let you down. It won’t be that high if I let you down.” She looked out

the window nervously, “I’m scared. I might break my legs or something.

Promise you won’t drop me.” I smiled,” Yo, you know I would never drop you.
Just make sure you don’t let go until I tell you to. You gonna be ight.” She

climbed out the window and stood on the ledge below my window. Well at

least that was the plan; she miss stepped and kicked off a big ass chunk of

the ledge. “Damn yo, you fucking up my house. I hope my mom don’t see that”

She gathered herself and I began to let her down as we had planned. But she

let go before it was time and fell on her ass. She fell on top of Robin’s little

tree in her front garden. “Ahh, damn you dropped me. You said you weren’t

going to drop me. You lied. My ass hurts; I think I broke my ass. O shit, I’m




sorry I broke your window. I hope your mom doesn’t notice. But I gotta go.

Night, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” I stood in the window to watch her walk

away. Before she got into the pavilion, to my surprise and I’m sure her’s too,

her dad turns on his lights on his Harley Davison. I could see the change in

her movement as she slowly walked over and got on the bike. “Damn”, I

thought to myself as I felt her pain and listen to sound of the Harley ride

away. Rosaline didn’t come to school that day. I called her as soon as I got

home, “ Yo why you skipping school?” She took a deep breathe into the

phone, “They knew where I was. My dad wanted to knock on your door. He
was real mad. My mom had to talk him out of knocking on your door. I told

her I didn’t do anything, that we just watched a movie and fell asleep. Then

she slapped the shit out of me and called me a whore. I cried.” after she said

that she cried I couldn’t help but laugh, “Yo why you cried? (LOL) you took a
slap for me, that’s what’s up. Damn you got in trouble the one time we really

didn’t do anything. I told you, you should have waked me up. But don’t worry

I’m gonna make it up to you.” She replied, “You better. That shit hurt and my

mom don’t ever hit me, so she was really mad. I can still feel her hand on my

face. Andre, Andre the things I do to spend time with you. I know I should

have woke you up but you looked so peaceful sleeping. And I was looking

around your room at all the stuff on your wall. It was my first time in your

and I just got too comfortable and fell asleep.”
                              Chapter 15




     We had a funny relationship. The agreement was we can have real

relationships but no matter who or what, we would have to make time for

each other. She cheated on every boyfriend she had since I moved to Paces

Club. She even broke up with most, if not all, of her boyfriends because of

me. She began to grow attach, I mean she would always say, “Andre you
know I really like you. So whenever you ready we can be more than just bed

buddies. I mean, I go through and do a lot of crazy things to spend time with

you. I’m just saying let me know when you ready, cause I know you feel the

same way.” Whenever she said that, I would just smile and change the

subject. A few weeks later, in weight lighting class, a cute skinny Mexican-

Indian crossed my eyes. She smiled and whispered to her friends, sitting in

the corner reading notes, when she caught me steering. The next day I ran

into her, on the steps coming from the Science building. She had a neatly

folded note for someone in her hands, “Where my letter at? I stay seeing

you with letters. Where mine at?” She blushed and then began to laugh.

“What? Boy I don’t even know you. Where’s my letter at, Andre (LOL)? Yea I

know your name. Coach Clarkson is always yelling at or for you. But why would

you want a letter from me and you don’t even know me? What’s my name?” I

looked at her and smiled, “ Yo, that’s why I need my letter. So I can fill my

life with all these must know information about you. You can tell me

everything I need to know in my letter.” She took a second, “I didn’t know

you wanted a letter but I got you. I gotta go to class. It’s Jasmine, by the

way. Bye.” After the last bell of the day rang, I ran into her again in the

halls. She handed me a letter with a smile and said, “ you better write me
back. I got in trouble to write that.” On the bus Rosaline and I sat together

and read her letter. She said it was sweet but I said it was stupid and

laughed. “But you still gonna fuck, right?” She smiled as I replied, “yea, you

know.” We were best friends before anything. We spoke openly and told

each other everything. Jasmine wrote her number in the letter, so I called

and made plans to see her tomorrow night. Later that night, Rosaline snuck

into my room again. We kept silk, 112 and the Isley Brothers albums on

repeat until 3am, while we made love. The next night, I spent 3o minutes

convincing Jasmine to sneak out and spend the night. She lived about a mile

and a half away, so I told her my friend was going to give her a ride. All she

had to do was just jump out her window. She agreed and it was on. I called

Rosaline and told her I needed a favor. She came and got me then we drove

to Jasmine’s house. The whole ride there she had this look on her face. The

kind of look someone has when they’re doing something for someone, not

because you want to. But because it makes that person happy and you feel in

return they’ll love are care for you more. We pulled into her neighborhood

and parked across the street, two houses down. We started laughing as we

sat and watched Jasmine struggle trying to take the screen out her window,
without breaking it. I turned to Rosaline, “yo, she about to fall and bust her

ass on that driveway (LOL). YO, go help her.” She looked at me like I was

speaking in some made up language, “ Go help her do what? What you want me

to do, go catch her? I hope she falls and breaks something. That way we

could just go home. I’m just kidding, I wouldn’t want her to hurt herself,

maybe just a bruise or two (LOL). I gotta be stupid, hold on I’ll be back.”

Rosaline ran across the street and instructed Jasmine on the correct way of

taking out the screen and climbing out the window. There was something so

sexy about watching Jasmine catch another girl from her window, just for

me to fuck. She caught her but at the last moment she dropped her as if to

say, “ fuck you bitch”, without the words. That was the first time they met

or ever seen each other. That’s crazy. Rosaline dropped us off at my house

and once again had to assist her. Walking a girl through my front door and

risking Robin coming out her room, was a risk I only took with Rosaline. I

went inside opened my window and Rosaline boosted Jasmine up into my

window. Rosaline was suppose to come back and take her home, but she

didn’t. So at about 4am in the morning, I jumped out with Jasmine and

walked her Halfway home. After I got back, I had to stay outside and play
basketball until day light so that Robin wouldn’t know I snuck out. When I

went home I told her I was outside all night working out. The next day I told

Jasmine what happened and she said, “Damn, I’m sorry. I didn’t think you

would have walked her home. You are getting soft Andre (LOL). I’m just

kidding but I am sorry I made you walk.” That night I snuck out and Rosaline

dropped me off at Jasmine’s house. “Yo, don’t forget about me. Come back, I

ain’t playing. I’m not trying to walk home.” She smiled, gave me a kiss and

said, “You know I won’t forget about you. I won’t even go to sleep. But I’ll set

my alarm just incase. Don’t worry, have fun, I’ll be back.” I snuck into

Jasmine’s house but it was different from my house or Rosaline’s. Our rooms

are down the hall, while Jasmine’s is right across from her father. So I was

shiting bricks sneaking in her room. I just kept feeling like, this man’s going

to come out his room for something and see me. I had to take a second to let

my heart settle once I got into her room. I talked her into giving me a strip

show. At first she fronted and played shy. But after about two minutes of

assuring her she was beautiful and had nothing to be nervous about. She

found her inner stripper and agreed. I had two condoms so we had sex twice.

But we had another thirty minutes before it was time for Rosaline come

back. So without much thought from either of us, we had raw sex. I don’t
know what I was thinking, well I do but it was still a careless stupid act. In

the heat of the moment, she was riding and I came. But once again we both

ignored it and kept going until Rosaline honked her horn. I got dress and

jumped out the window, or at least I was about to, until I saw the concrete

ground that was gonna break my fall and everything else. I wasn’t about to

break myself up for a girl. She ain’t want me to, but I walked out the front

door. I got in the car and greeted Rosaline with a kiss. Then she started

with her jokes, “You had fun? (LOL) why didn’t you jump out her window?

How was your Vietnamese or whatever she is, how was her pussy? Look like

you had fun. You sitting there smiling.” She just kept laughing as I just

smiled and replied, “Yo, you crazy. You know I wasn’t about to jump out no

window for her. Her little strip show was ight, but that about it. She was too

skinny, not enough ass or tits. She can’t compare to you. You know you my

number one. So B E Z with all your jokes.” As I said that we pulled into our

neighborhood, but she drove by my house and parked next to the pool, in the

pavilion parking lot. She climbed in the backseat and I followed. After she

pushed the front seats all the way forward, she turned on 112 and got

comfortable. She laid back with her legs rapped around me, “Was her pussy
better than mine? Do you really like her, because you spent two nights in a

row with her? You must like something about her. I had to go get her, help

her out her window and into yours. Andre I’m jealous, I feel like you like her

more than you do me. You need to do something to make me feel better. I

feel like you using me. Don’t answer with words; I want you to show me.” We

kissed for about 15 minutes before I stop and tried to speak. Before I could

get a word out my mouth, she covered my mouth and started pushing my

head down, “ I said don’t speak.” I pulled away and laughed, “Ight yo, chill,

and I got you. Take your shorts off and stop pushing my head so hard.” She

laughed and pushed even harder, “ I said don’t speak. I want you to take my

clothes off. Use your mouth for my panties. I don’t ever complain when you

push my head, so shut up.” It was like 4:30am, I gave her head until 6:15 and

people started driving by on their way to work. I started to really feel her,

maybe even more than I wanted to or expected. But I kept those feelings to

myself.

      After about three weeks or so of fucking with Jasmine, she came to

class with news that almost brought public tears to my eyes. “Andre, I’m

late.” at first I looked at her like she was crazy, “How you late? Class don’t
start for another 5 minutes.” She came closer as she hesitated to speak, “no.

I’m late with my period. I think I might be pregnant.” She broke into

tears after she said that. I hugged her and comforted her as I told her,

“wipe your eyes, stop crying. It’s gonna be ight. I’ll figure something out.

We’ll talk about it after school. But don’t cry.” She squeezed me harder as

she wiped her eyes and said, “Andre my father is gonna kill me.” After school

I went over to Rosaline’s house to her tell about what was going on. I went on

to tell her I wanted Jasmine to have an abortion but I was scared she

wouldn’t want to. Seeing my pain and stress, Rosaline told me to call and she

will speak to her. So I called Jasmine and gave Rosaline the phone, at first




Jasmine didn’t want to but Rosaline convince her an abortion was the best

thing for both of us. After Jasmine agreed to go along with the abortion a

new problem aroused. Jasmine said she didn’t have the money for the

abortion. What happened showed me just what a beautiful young lady

Rosaline was and how much she really cared for and about me. “That’s ok if

you don’t have it. I’ll pay for the abortion. Don’t worry about it, Andre and I

are good friends he’ll pay me back.” Wow, that’s love and if that ain’t love I
don’t know what is. After she hung up the phone and smiled her beautiful

smile, she said, “its ok now, Andre. But what the fuck were you thinking?

This was stupid Andre; you need to be more careful. That’s all I’m saying. But

she really likes you. When you break it off with her, you’re gonna break her

heart. You owe me; I must be crazy, look at what I do for you. It was really

dumb on your part, but don’t worry I will take care of it. You can stop

thinking and stressing about it.” I sat there and watched her transform in

my heart and right in front of my eyes. I remember thanking God for

blessing me with such a beautiful woman in my life. If I wasn’t really sure

about my feelings before, there was no uncertainty now. What started out

as lust, grew into puppy love and has now transformed into real and pure true

love. But feelings such as these, so strong, I had to keep to myself out of my

undying fear of being disappointed. Honestly I was afraid of getting my

heart broken. People tend to take advantage of you when they know or think

you truly love or care about them. That’s why the ones that hurts us the

worst, are the people closest to us, family and loves ones. We hugged, kissed

and watched a movie on her free Paper view (LOL). I spoke to Jasmine less
and less after that day, we never had sex again. About two day later in class,

Jasmine came up to me smiling, “It came today.” With a puzzled look on my

face I replied, “ what? Yo, what are you talking about?” She just kept

smiling, “my period came. I’m not pregnant.” I felt the pressure leaving my

heart, as her words sunk in. I stopped talking to her after that day. After

she got off her period she called me and asked me to come over but I said

no. She got mad, I guess she felt embarrass with her best friend, Laya,

sitting next to her. Because she started flipping out over the phone, “you

know what, FUCK YOU DRE. YOU DON’T WANT TO COME FUCK ME? FUCK

YOU. YOU AIN’T EVEN SHIT NIGGA. YOU’RE JUST A WASTE OF MY

TIME.” I just laughed and said, “Yea, ight. You’re funny.” As soon as I said

what I had to say I just clicked the phone and turned on an AND1 mix tape.

I hung up so quick on her, I don’t think she heard the y in funny. I guess she

thought about it and felt stupid, because thirty minutes later, Laya drove

her to my neighborhood and she called to apologize. She started to beg me

to sneak out before I hung up on her, in the middle of her story, for the last

time. I know it was fucked up to do her like that. But fuck it, that last

situation was too close for me. I didn’t like her enough to chance a situation
like that again. It’s not that I was too good for her, but more like she wasn’t

right for me in that kind of life.
                              Chapter 16




     Things between me and Robin were starting to get crazy, she started

to talk about some boot camp boarding schooling for me. I wasn’t about to

have any part of such a thing. So I started having thoughts and talks with

Anthony about moving back to Brooklyn and living with my aunt for my last
year of high school. Things didn’t get any better when she got a call saying

to come pick up her son from school. I got suspended for getting

caught, by a teacher, in the girls bathroom with a girl in a close stall. I

thought she was going to be mad on the way home, because she seemed

furious while we were sitting in the office. But on the ride home she laughed

about it, “ Andre you have to be careful in situations like this. Even though I

know you wouldn’t and I’m not saying you did. She could have got scared and

said you pulled her in the bathroom or even worst, you tried to rape her.

You’re very lucky she was an honest young girl and she told them she pulled

you in the bathroom. But Andre, a where you get it from? You’re your father

pickney for real. Me a go tell ‘em bout this and see what ‘em have to

say. You care, if me tell him?” I laughed and said no. Orlando laughed when

he heard the news, and said “So Andre, big man a you a get all the girls

them? Your mother tell me say, you even have gal a pull you in a bathroom.

Watch ya, me boy a galist, a Jamaican term for; a player or someone who

gets a lot of girls and is good with females. You done know say, a me you get

it from.” I just laughed and played along, but the whole time I sat on the line

with a retarded look on my face. I mean the nerves of this guy, I ain’t get

shit from you homie. But I just said, “Oh word, that’s where it comes from.
Ight.” What a fool, ‘he bugging’, was all I thought as I erased the thought

and went back to my everyday life, where he is a stranger. Things didn’t get

no better between me and Robin, after she heard from a girl at work about

my little problems with them kids. I think it was Kadaine that spoke to her

about the whole situation. She came home and asked to see if I would say

something to her. But when I said I didn’t know what she was talking about,

she called Kadaine, she worked at the child care with my mom, and put the

whole thing on blast. After she talked to Kadaine, she sat me down for a

little talk, “Andre, what’s going on? Tell me the truth.” I looked at her and

laughed as I ate my Jamaican beef patty, “I don’t know. I didn’t do anything

to these kids. They thought, heard or think I said something about them. So

they felt tough and wanted to fight. Mi beat up one of them friend and make

em cry (LOL). So now they acting up and talking tough, saying them want to

jump me and all that, them really funny if you ask me. This Uriah’s grandson

and your son, ain’t nobody touching me and walking away. You done know that

mummy, so don’t worry. You were a lot tougher than these kids back in the

days when you use to beat me. Mummy relax, I got this. I’m a try to keep it

away from your house. But understand I’m not wrong and I ain’t pushing the
issue but if anybody touch mi, I’m do what I got to do. What my family raise

me to do.” We laughed as she took a piece of my patty, “Andre, please don’t

get yourself in any trouble. I don’t have the citizenship yet. You get in

trouble you gonna get deported back to Jamaica. I know you won’t walk away

if somebody touches you. But Andre please I’m begging, if you can please try

and avoid it. Andre, please try your best. This is not Jamaica; you can’t just

do what you want to people and get away with it.” I laughed because it wasn’t

as serious as Robin thought. In all reality if it was that serious, “My

neighbor, He keeps it 21 light plastic, big hommie, 27, straight out of

Detroit. All I had to do was ask it and there would have been a lot of laid

down play, play fools. Tomb stones reading, ‘Death by Plastic’. It was offered

after hommie heard about the bullshit.” But thoughts like this I just keep to

myself and smile about, all while walking by these kids looking at me as if

they crazy. I made up my mind to move back home to Brooklyn. Robin started

complaining about the alarm going off in the morning. Between my mom

telling me to walk away and my dude, 6'7 Basketball Jean telling me, “Yo dre

chill. You’re fucking with little niggas.” I just said whatever and let all the

rumors and tough talk ride. Even when Devante and Jay kept telling me, “yo
Dre, just say the word, and we got you. Let’s get it poppin’ with these niggas.

They ass”, I still let it ride. I never felt that beef, corn beef not even real

beef, was ever that serious to involve my friends. It was funny because

Devante, Jay and I attended all their private parties and events. They use to

talk crazy in school, but who knows what happened to their mouths then. I

just laughed at it all and flirted with their girls. Like the time I had

somebody’s girl in the pool with my hand on her pussy, talking about her

dude. It’s a funny thought, all the while your girl’s playing along with you in

public but behind your back she trying to get secret loving.

      Late nights with Rosaline and I got less and shorter, with all the new

problems I was having with Robin. I had a few days before I was leaving for

New York, she came to my window one night and asked me to come out but I

couldn’t. She told me her sister had boys over and they were trying to get at

her. She went on to saying she was horny but she was only in the mood for

me. Come to find out the next day from my boy Daryl, he had her naked in

the living room on the couch, under a blanket that four other people was

sharing, fingering her. Hearing that broke my heart, but I just smiled as we

played fight and I busted his lip. Rosaline was buying my ticket to New York

on her credit card. After we took care of that we went up to her room. I
asked her what happened last night. At first she hesitated but then she told

the truth. Out of my new feelings for her I said mean things to her that

made her cry. I didn’t mean it; I just wanted her to see that it had an affect

on me. It was my last night so she decided to spend the night at my house

and make up for everything. We had the Isley Brothers, 112, R. Kelly, and

Silk on all night rotation. The night before after she walked away from my

window, when I said I could come out, I had got down on my knees and as I

said a prayer. I asked God to keep her in my life forever. I told God I was

willing to give up anything and whatever it took I wanted Rosaline to be a

part of my life forever. The condoms were right on top of the dresser at

the end of the bed. We both looked at each other, “you get it.” But there

were no attempts from either of us to get the condoms. Without words we

both said fuck it. That night was nothing like before; we speechlessly

confessed our love for each other. She went on top to end the night (great

clitoris stimulating position, if you do it right). She started off slow and

then sped it up. We went from making loving to straight hardcore. When I

felt it coming I said, “yo I’m about to come, get up.” I started to lift her ass

up but she made eye contact as she pushed back down started riding me

even faster. I just laid back as she leaned forward and gave me a kiss, with
her fingers scratching the skin off my back. I came inside her and we just

kept going until she came. We kissed and laid, hugged up, naked, like

something out of a movie. It was beautiful; we were the only people on earth

that night. We woke up at 6:30 and her dad was waiting in front of the

Pavilion, on his Harley, for her.

      Robin had all my ID’s so went to tell her, after I packed, that I bought

a ticket to come back to New York. She got mad that she didn’t know

anything about me going until now and that I didn’t even ask her if I could go

back to New York. So she said, “Fuck you. I’m not giving you shit. You went

and buy your own ticket, so go buy your own ID. A waa the rass you think you

a big man? A me pay for all ya papers and passport, it’s all mine and you can’t

have it. I’m not giving you shit, you disrespectful peace of shit. Goway.” I

couldn’t deal with her shit anymore; I had to find a way to get an ID. That’s

when I called my dude Daryl, he from Queens and I remember he use to

always talk about fake Ids. We met up at the, rimless, basketball court and I

told him the situation. He said he doesn’t really do that anymore but he’ll

figure something out for me. He left and went back to his house for his

digital camera and came back. “Yo, Dre we gonna have to go inside your house

to take these pictures. I gotta take them on a blank wall.” I laughed as I
warned him about my Robin, “Ight, but get your camera ready to take the

pictures right now. My moms is gonna be wilding.” He took a quick minute to

laugh, “ight I’m ready, come on. Just go straight to the wall, it ain’t gonna

take me that long.” I walked up to the door and looked for Robin before we

went in. We didn’t see her, but as soon Daryl took the first picture she came

out of nowhere scream, “what are you doing? Who are you? Get the hell out

of my house. Get the fuck out.” As soon as we got the pictures needed, Robin

started run over towards us trying to grab Daryl’s camera. We ran out the

house laughing. “Damn yo, your moms is crazy. No wonder you trying to get

home so bad. What you did to her? That was some crazy shit, I thought she

was gonna get me yo. Ight, now you need to get somebody’s school Id so I

could just replace the picture. Ask Rosaline, I’m sure she got one and she’ll

give it to you.” We called Rosaline and got one from her, matter a fact I

think it was Camila’s. He went home and came back two hours later. He said

he fucked up the Id I gave him, but he made me a new one. He gave me a

NYU student Id and I took it to Atlanta, Jacksonville airport. I must have

shown my fake Id at least five or six different times. Between security,

check-in, and boarding no one figured out it was a fake. I thought for sure

somebody would have noticed, I was just trying this out of pure desperation.
I had my ride to the airport, Jacob and Laya, wait until I boarded the plane

just incase I didn’t get through. I got on the plane with a feeling of relief, I

made through with no problems. Some of my most peaceful moments are

spent off the ground and amongst the clouds. The world is so much easier to

take in when I’m sitting above it all.
                              Chapter 17




     I got home and I finally felt at ease. I was away from Robin and for

once in a long time I could breathe without hearing her mouth. It started

out normal; I got outside the airport and took a second to take in the NYC
fresh air. I’m back on well known grounds and everything from out of town is

forgotten. But this would be a summer I will never forget, the summer that

changed my life forever. It was on; I would like to say, July 17th or

somewhere between the 11th and the 17th. I’m not sure of the actual date

but if it wasn’t one of those dates then it was the 21st. Between 7:45 and

8:15pm, Rosaline called and quietly said, “ I have to tell you something. Please

don’t be mad at me. I really don’t want you to get mad.” I drew a blank as I

thought about what she could be talking about, “Huh? What could you have

to say that will get me mad? But yea whatever, don’t worry I won’t get mad.

I promise.” She took a second, “I haven’t had my period for three weeks.

And I started to feel sick in the morning. So I told Mia and Camila, they

thought I might be pregnant so we went and got a pregnancy test. I took two

different ones. One was positive and the other wasn’t so clear. So I’m going

to the store right now to get a different one. But I think I am. I didn’t want

to say anything to you before I was sure. But I needed someone to talk to,

that’s why I told Camila and Mia before I told you. I was scared, I still am. I

wish you were here with me. Andre, what am I going to do? I’m so scared and

what’s going to happen when my parents find out?” She started to cry and I

reached out through the phone and said, “First of all it’s not what are you
gonna do. It’s what are we going to do. Everything is gonna be ok, we’ll figure

something out don’t cry. I’m here with and for you. Wipe your eyes; go take

the test so we can know for sure. I’m about to go to the store, I’ll call you

back in about 20 or 30 minutes. But don’t worry; we’ll get through this

together. Please stop crying, it’s going to be ok. Ight, I’m a talk to you when

I get back.” Not knowing what to even think about the situation, I told Erica

and Anthony. We talked about it on our way to the Chinese store on Utica

and Empire. After we got two orders of four wings and French fries with a

lot hot sauce and ketchup we walked back to the house. On the way back

Erica and Anthony both said, “Yo she pregnant. When you call her back that’s

what she’s gonna tell you.” We all laughed as I thought nothing of it and said,

“Yo ya’ll about to jinx me. Chill, let me knock on wood.” I jokingly knocked on

a little tree that we walked by, three times. When we got into the house I

nervously returned her phone call, “Hey, it’s me. So what’s the news? Are we

pregnant?” She sighed and replied, “Yea, I’m pregnant. Andre,

I’m so sorry. I know this isn’t what you wanted. I’m going to have an abortion.

Camila and Mia think I should too. I’m sorry, I know you must hate and blame

me for this.” As she broke down into tears I replied, “First of all, we got

here together. It takes two, so any blame you feel we share together. And
together is how we are going to get through whatever we decide to do. I

don’t know if I want you to have an abortion. Please lets just both take a day

to just really think about it and then we can talk about what we want to do.

It’s too early for me to make a decision, give me day. Rosaline no matter

what you do I could never hate you. So please stop thinking like that. It’s

very important to me that you know and understand that I’m here with and

for you, no matter what anyone says or do. Please don’t make a decision

because someone else wants you to. Whatever you decide, you have to be a

110% sure you can live with it for the rest of your life.” She stopped crying

after I reassured her we were going to get through this together, “ how

comes when Jasmine thought she was pregnant you wanted her to have an

abortion and not me? What’s so different about me? I’m saying I just want

to know. Be honest.” I took a second, thought about it and replied, “A lot of

things are different. First of all she was a freshman, you’re about to be a

senior. I could see myself building and living a life with you forever. I never

really cared about her and you, I love you.” I remember thinking damn that

slipped out, I didn’t want her to know that. I tried to pretend like she didn’t

hear what I said and kept going on about Jasmine. But she cut me off, “do

you really love me? That’s what you said right? “I laughed and replied,
hesitantly, “Yea that’s what I said. I love you. I have for a long time, I was

just afraid to say it.” She giggled, “I love you too, Andre. But I’m sure you

already knew that. I loved you since the first day I saw you in the Courtyard

at school. I knew I wanted to be with you, and I just had to have you. We

just got to the house, I’m gonna call you back later before I go to sleep. I

love you, Andre.” I replied, “I love you too. Bye.” After we got off the phone

Erica, Anthony and I discussed my options and things I can do if we had the

baby, while Erica did my hair. Erica said she thinks we should have the baby

and how she would even drive to Georgia to baby sit and help us out if she

had to. I remember sitting there dazed out waiting for it to sink in, she’s

really pregnant. It’s crazy because I could remember in middle school when

all the girls said I would have my first child at sixteen. Now here I’m at

sixteen about to make a choice that will affect the life of three no matter

what I choose. In the back of my mind were thoughts of how I came into the

world, a fetus who survived an abortion. I knew I had to find a way for us to

have this child; I can’t let my baby die. I know we’re young and still in high

school and the odds and statistics were against us. But I wouldn’t be able to

live with myself, having the death of my first child on my conscience. Erica

and Anthony started to ask about Rosaline. They wanted to know what she
was like, how I felt about her, and where we stood. I lied and told them she

was my girl, when in fact we were never together. But I really did love her,

so I told them we loved each other. Erica like that Rosaline was Hispanic,

because her family is from Belize, South America and they speak Spanish. I

told them that I decided I wanted to have the baby. Erica agreed and said

that’s what she thought I would and should do.

      I couldn’t sleep at all that night; I sat on the phone until 6:30 in the

morning with Rosaline. I told her how I felt but still to take a day and think

about her own feelings and then we’ll make a decision together. She fell

asleep on the phone after hours of talking about what our lives will be like

after we make a decision. I just stayed up picking at my brain and silently

crying as I listened to her sleep on the phone. The tears came because I was

afraid of ruining Erica’s life more so than mine. I mean what if I can’t

change? I love to mess around with a lot of girls. I really don’t do girlfriends,

but for us to have our child I know I have to. I wiped my eyes and at that

moment made a promise to myself, to here on forth be true to Rosaline. She

would be the only girl for me, no other girl mattered. I love her and for her

I would let go of my old ways. No lie, that same night I became a changed

one woman man. For the first time I began to see a reason for my, once
hopeless, life through her love and the blessing of life we have started

together. Until I got that call from Rosaline, I really gave up on life. I

packed a big suitcase with everything that mattered to me that summer

because I wasn’t planning on going back. I had no reason to; a better

education system wasn’t worth half the pain I felt at home. I was done with

my mother for good. But, now with the news, I knew I had to go back. No

matter if we had the baby or not, it’s important for me to be there with her.

To hold, support and show her I was really there for her, no matter what.

Julius was back at home in Queens for the summer. He came to Brooklyn to

chill and I told him the situation with Rosaline. Come to find out he had a

living situation as well. He wanted to go back but he couldn’t stay where he

staying before. He was renting a room at this ladies house but she was as

nasty as they come. Every time I went over there we always laughed about it.

He was thinking about renting his own apartment but it would’ve been too

much money. We decided to get an apartment together. His father would

help him with his half and I was going to ask Hiram to help me with my half.

Word got back to Robin that I was looking for an apartment and I guess she

felt embarrassed and bad, because she called and asked me to come back

and live with her and try to work things out. She was also pregnant at the
time, expecting for August. I told her I couldn’t move back in because I

already told my friend I would get an apartment with him. I explained to her

that he needed me to help him get an apartment so he can finish his senior

year. She asked if he was a good kid and I said, yes. She said he could stay

with us and to just have his parents call and they will work something out. I

really didn’t want to go back to her house but after talking to Julius. He said

it was up to me but, that would be a better and easier living situation for

him. For my friend I swallowed my pride and said, “Fuck it.” I told Robin we’ll

come live with her. I didn’t tell many people about the pregnancy, just Erica,

Anthony and Julius. Now it was time to give Hiram that call, “we gotta talk.”

Hiram has always remained the father of and in my life, so I would keep him

close and updated on my life. We met at a restaurant down town Westport,

CT for brunch. Take Nicolas Cage and John Trovolta, mix them together and

you got half of Hiram. The other half is a mix of Ghandi and Moses. He’s my

fountain of wisdom, I know no man wiser than him. Now take DMX, Puffy, and

Biggie and mix them together and put them all into a sixteen year old man.

Then you get me, an angry, conceited kid with dreams of being wealthy. Not

rich. It was crazy to think that two human beings, yet so different, have

kept and held on to a bound so strong, without any form of blood or family
relations. After I broke down the situation he looked at me with his caring

eyes and said, “Well I must admit you always keep life interesting. You know

I’m always on your side but Andre this is a big deal. This is a big decision,

one of the biggest you will ever have to make. You have to ask yourself, am I

ready for this? Can I handle the responsibility of someone’s life? Can you

really see yourself dealing with this girl for the rest of your life? Because

once you have this baby there is no turning back. Together or not you will

have to deal with and maintain common grounds with the mother for the rest

of your life. It’s really a big deal and if you have any doubts at all, that’s

yourself telling you you’re not ready. There are other options other than

abortion out there. Like adoption. Something like that might be a better

option for you guys and the kid, because it’s going to be very difficult to

provide a life for the baby and finish yours at the same time. You’re heading

for a life of doing things you don’t want to do, when you don’t want to do

them. Now we both know you don’t like being told what to do. Are you willing

to give up your free will and pride?” I took a few seconds and thought about

what he said before I confidently replied, “I know it’s going to be hard. But

with all the things I have dealt with and overcame in my life. I feel confident

that I came make the needed sacrifices and do whatever it takes to make
this work. I do believe, without a doubt, Rosaline and I together can fight

through this and beat the odds. She’s a very special person and yes I can see

myself with her for the rest of my life. I love her and I honestly do believe

her when she says, she loves me and wants to be with me forever. You taught

me that anything is possible with the right preparations. If and ever I’m met

with a task that feels or seems impossible, that just means I haven’t

properly prepared myself. So being that it is possible for us to beat the

odds and statistics, I’m very confident we can do it and be amongst the few

who do make it. I’ve really thought about all my options and this is the only

one I can live with. Any other way and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.

I really don’t want you to give up on me for making this choice. It was just

very important to me, to tell you this and be honest with you. Also hearing

and taking in your opinion, because I value that very much.” He laughed,

“Kido, what do I always tell you? Andre me giving up on you is the least of

your worries. You’re going to give up on yourself before I give up on you. I

will never give up on you, I believe in you. I really do and you should too. I

see something special inside of you. We just have to figure out how to turn it

on and bring it out of you. It’s never too late to do the right thing. You’ve

convinced me you can do this and I think this could be good for you. You’ve
always did better when the odds are against you. It will give you a new sense

of focus in life and help you discover yourself.” I smiled as he squeezed my

shoulder, “I got something else I need you to help me out with. I’m two

classes behind to Graduate on time. I want to go to summer school in the

city. I was wondering if you knew anyone who would be able to help me out

with that situation.” He replied, “When I get back to the office, I’ll have

Kathy figure something out. Give me a call tomorrow and we’ll go from there.

I’m impressed you’re taking the initiative to do the right thing. You’re

changing already. Are you staying for dinner? Danelle has a softball game

and I’m helping the couch out. I have to go back to the office and take care

of some stuff. I’m going to drop you off at the house and come back for you

and Danelle when I’m done. Spend the night, take a load off and we’ll talk

some more about everything tomorrow. Ok kido? You’re not in a rush, are

you? You got anything you get back to in Brooklyn?” I smiled, “no. No not in a

rush. I just don’t have any clothes with me. But that’s fine. I don’t got

nothing to get back to. Who’s at the house?” The waitress came with the

check and Hiram paid. We said thank you and walked outside to the BMW.

“We can get you some clothes later. But that’s a good question. I don’t know

who is home. We’ll surprise them. But it’s good to see you. It’s been a long
time. We missed you kid. Do you still remember your way home? How’s Robin

doing? How’s the situation with you and her? “I lent back in luxury and

replied, “The way home is imbedded in my brain. I have a mental map of

Westport, stored away. No matter how long I stay away, I will never forget

the way home. This is my place of peace, the few moments in my life when

nothing matters and I can just live. I missed everyone too. It’s been rough as

usual with me and my mom. But I guess she is trying to changing. Because I

was gonna move out and get an apartment with my friend. But she called and

apologized and told me my friend can come and live with us. I didn’t want to

but it was the best option for him. But we’ll see how that goes. I know things

will change when she finds out about the baby situation. Yea, I think it would

be best if she heard it from you.” He laughed as he switched gear, “I could

do that. Just try and get along with her. You guys have a funny relationship.

But somewhere inside of her, she really loves you. She is trying, like you said.

But we’ll talk later. We got a brand new basketball court. Go work on your

game and maybe one day you could beat me. Alright kido, I’ll be back in a few

hours.”

      I got out the car and it was like traveling to your life on another

planet. Far, far away from the chaotic, moral demeaning, racially byes planet
of earth, I have everything I see on TV and that I dream of one day

acquiring for myself, at my hand. I wished I could give a Westport to

everybody. Maybe we would all look at life differently. There is so much

more to life than we see at first sight. Maybe if we all had a place of peace.

A place where we could go and have everything we want. Maybe then would

could we really see life for what it really is. When I’m in Westport, I have no

wants or worries because I have all I need and want. So I look at life with an

open mind through many angles when I lay back and recharge my always

seemingly out of control life. There are no wrongs in Westport only open

arms and solutions. It’s a different world and the sad thing is many people

don’t get a chance in their short lifetime to experience it. Being exposed to

Westport and the country club lifestyle, breaking bread with real

millionaires daily, gave me and extra hard drive to push myself to one day

give my love ones their own Westport. (A life of true peace, love and

tranquility is what I always wanted.) I’ve always felt that was to be my

purpose since the day I got news I was going to America. I only live once and

my grandfather left behind land for all his children and their kids. He made

sure no one will ever be without a place to live. I now have a chance to
expand on the example he has left behind. It’s hard being a young man living

so many lives at ones.

      One life I have to provide for my family in Jamaica. To get them out

of their everyday struggle. That life I’m known as Sean (Se-an) and Andy.

Next life I’m parentless and have to fight that struggle eternally every

moment of my life. That life I’m Andre and once in a while if it fits the

situation, I am then a son. Next life I have to be a good student and get

good grades. Socialize and make friends, strive to be a leader and never

follow. So I got to win all my fights and have all the girls on the low or out

loud and be nice in street basketball. That life I always try to be a winner

and do my own thing and only befriend true leaders. If you don’t have your

own plans and thoughts to bring along with you, I don’t want to be your

friend, you’ll only be a distraction and a liability to my dreams. In that life

my name is Dre, Brooklyn Hot Sauce, And1, Bless, Butta, Budda (Bud-da), D

God’o, Dre Dre, baby, boo, hommie, cuz and love. Now in my new life I’m

provider, protector, love and lover of the highest level creators of life. I’m a

father and now I have a chance to do everything that my parents didn’t do

for me. I’m a soul mate, a half of another person. I’m her and she is me and

together we are one. I have to give them the best life has to offer.
(Whatever the wealthiest person experience, I feel they deserve it, and I

have to get it from them, anyway and anyhow.) They come before all and at

any giving moment I’ll give up anything for them if needed or asked to. They

are my purpose in life, my true dream. I have found a truth is this true for

me; the idea for which I can live or die. In this life I’m known as Andre,

Omar, Mr. Moore, Baby, My heart, love, Father, Dada, Daddy, Dad, Me’

amour, and Pappi. My next life, my perfect life, is in Westport, CT. All I’ve

ever wanted and desired of my future life, I have. Peace and freedom to be

myself without worry. I have to learn from my experiences and use what I

learn to move forward positively and become a better person. Even at the

darkest hours of life, I’m always supposed to seek out and do the right thing.

Even when I’m wrong, always keep the best intentions at heart no matter the

pressure. In this life I’ve been blessed with the time to lay back and dream

of changing the world. In this life the opportunities and possibilities for life

seem so endless. I know the true meaning of family, love, and support in this

life. I’m very diverse and open to the vision and value of all human beings. In

this life I’m Andre, Mr. Moore, kido, son. In this life I’m an Eshkol.

      All of these lives, the different social norms, and expectations living

are daily in one human vessel. That night I wrote Hiram a letter, explaining
to him my five year plan. I think I asked for $10,000 and a car. Rosaline and

I were to graduate school in four years both with business orientated

degrees. After which I would return to Hiram for helping us find great jobs

in our then area of expertise. After he read the letter he told me he had a

better idea, I’m to do what I say I will do and he’ll get me a car and help me

out along the way whenever I needed it. Just don’t have anymore kids for

now. We both agreed that would be the best way for him to help me.

Because the money would eventually be gone and if I haven’t figure out

something by then, I would be left asking, “What now?” He dropped me off

at the train station, were I traveled back into time on the metro north,

where Grand Central being the terminal between time. I took the 4 train

down town Brooklyn to the last stop, the station to my chaotic world of lost

hope. I called Hiram as planned about my summer school situation. He knew a

guy that was involved in the education system and had someone who could

help me out. We made and appointment to meet and go forward we a solution

for my situation. They were located somewhere in the area of 14th Street &

Union Square. It was a student resource program. They helped kids apply and

prepare for college. They didn’t really do high school classes but I was told

being that Hiram has a really good friend in an important position in the
organization; strings were pulled to accommodate my situation with the best

results. They acquired a copy of my transcript from GA and found me a high

school within hours. I expressed my gratitude but told them I wanted to

take sometime and see if I could find something else before I made a

commitment. The classes they had for me would still have me behind one

class for graduation, because only one class was credited and would transfer

back to GA. It took a while to find a school with a compatible crediting

system to GA’s. Finally I got a break when I spoke to Monique and she told

about her high school and there summer school programs. They were

offering the classes I needed with the transferable credits I needed for

graduation. I enrolled in summer school at Louis D. Brandies High School.
Chapter 18
      Everything, giving the situation, was going unusually good. Rosaline and

I made an agreement to have the baby. Summer school was going good and I

was even working things out with Robin. Then about three or four weeks into

the agreement, Rosaline had to tell her mom, she wanted to tell her before

she found out on her own. After she told her mom, she agreed with Camila

and Mia and wanted Rosaline to have an abortion. Now all of a sudden we

were back to square one. Rosaline became unsure again and started to tell me

she might have an abortion. Because she didn’t want to hurt her parents,

they already went through this with their older daughter. I started telling

Rosaline crazy mean things about what she was about to do. How she was

taking away the blessing we’ve created together not for herself but to

please others. I tried to explain to her our child was worth so much more

than pleasing someone else. I even cried and begged her not to kill our baby.

I told her I would never talk to her and I would hate her as long as she lives

if she killed my child. I didn’t really mean it, I just want her to feel and

think about what she was about to do. I wanted so much for her to

understand and believe everything I say to be true. I will be there for her,
despite what family and friends tell her. But after her mom broke down and

cried she agreed to go to a pre abortion appointment. I pleaded with her not

to make a decision before I got back. Because I wanted to be there

regardless of what she did. I came home from the park (Lincoln Terrace) at

around 11pm on the day of Rosaline’s appointment. Little did I know in a

matter of moments a series of events would once again change my world?

Life has its funny ways of teaching us, even when we have the best of

intentions and want to do the right thing, we can’t stop or control the worst

of things from happening. Things will happen to put all plans in jeopardy one

way or another. I called Rosaline after I got out the shower and Camila

answered the phone. “Andre, Rosaline is not here. She went out on a date

with guy from here job, (LOL). I’ll tell her you called. Uhh, you mad Andre?”

She enjoyed telling me that, I didn’t even get a chance to ask for Rosaline

before she blurred that out. “With who, what friend, Word.” She laughed, “I

think his name Ricky. She said you hated her or some shit, so she going out.

I’ll tell her you called.” (As the hours went by, every time I called, all I

heard was Camila on the other line saying, “she is still not here yet Andre”,

until 3am finally rolled around.) My heart became twisted as those hours

went by because I had to now rethink the commitment I just made to
myself, Rosaline, and Hiram. This goes against all my plans; this was the last

thing I thought we would have to deal with. I was lost and confused, I didn’t

know what to think, do, or say. Once I give my word and made a commitment

to something, I never go back on my word. So here I’m staying true to my

love for her and everything I say to her. To my family I’m showering her

with praises and painting a portrait of a beautiful, smart, caring, loving

person, my love. I really thought she loved me like I loved her. All the while

she’s out, with our child in her stomach, spending time with the next man. I

never felt this way about a girl; I’ve never felt such a bond or connection to

another human being. Though we weren’t together relationship wise, it still

broke my heart. This was the first time I said I love you and really meant it,

but I guess I was naive to expect the same. My pride felt more pressure

than ever as I laid on the bed steering at the picture she gave me. For a

brief moment I broke a smile as I read the back of the picture. It read, “To

Andre. Your secrets are safe with me forever. P.S., stop breaking hearts and

making girls cry. Heart, Rosaline XOXO.” I thought it was funny because my

whole life, I was thought or seen as a conceited guy, who couldn’t be

committed to anyone. Now I find myself in the opposite role, watching the

phone, with my heart in hand, and waiting for it to ring. The phone rang and I
answered halfway into the first ring. Rosaline said, “Hey what’s up”, as usual.

Before I got mad I wanted to see if she would be honest with me. Once a

person makes it into my very tight circle of trust and love, as long as that

person is honest and straight forward with me, they can do me no wrong,

honesty is the most important value a human has. Without honesty, there

can be no love, trust, or honor. While honesty is an important value of

mankind, the ability to use it is a value only possessed by few. That’s why I

only opened up and become true friends and family with few. I only give a

person one chance to lie to me, before I switch up and play their deceiving

game. Truthfully I don’t believe a person alive can play the game of deceit

better than I can. Most people deceive out of love and fear of hurting the

deceiver’s feelings. Whenever I deceive it’s never any love involved, just a

smile. I asked her where she was and who she was with. “I went bowling with

some of my friends from work. It was fun. I even tried beer for the first

time. I didn’t like it. That shit was nasty; I just tried a little bit.” I took a

second to clinch my jaw, “Yo, who the fuck Ricky? And you were fucking

drinking with my baby in your stomach. You think that shit is cool or funny?

I’m supposed to be laughing with you? So I tell you I love you and I want to

start a family with you. And you out there spending time with someone else
and son got you drinking and shit with my baby inside of you. The one time

I’m true and this is what you do. I thought this was what you wanted.” She

took a second to stop crying,” Andre, I do want you to love me, because I

really do love you. But I don’t want you to only love me because I’m pregnant

with your baby. I want you to love me separately, for me. When you told me

you’ll never speak to me again I believed you and you really hurt my feelings.

I’m just so confused; I really want to believe you and all the things you say.

But at the same time, I know my family loves me and only want what they

think is best for me. This is gonna kill my dad when he finds out. Andre, I

really don’t want you to hate me. You know I would never want to hurt you

and make you mad. I’m sorry; I only hung out with him because I need

someone to talk to, who didn’t know about everything. He just moved here

and he doesn’t have any friends. I’m sorry, I’m just really stressed.” I took a

second and replied, “Yo, all I’m asking you to do is wait, until I get back,

before you do anything. Summer school will be done in a few weeks. I can’t,

and don’t hate you. We did this together and I should be there with you to

go through whatever together. But yo, why you were drinking?” She replied,

“Andre, honestly after me and my mom went to the appointment today. I

really thought I was going back next week for the abortion. That’s why I
tried the beer and I really just tasted it. I told you that shit was nasty. I’ll

wait until you get back, before I do anything. I’m really sorry and you know

all this new to me too. It gets hard sometimes and if we do have the baby.

I’m sure it’s only going to get harder. I just need you to remember and

understand that when I do crazy things, because it’s really all just stress. I

love you so much Andre but a part of me is afraid you’re not going to be

there and you will only break my heart. I know you and I know how you are.

And honestly I don’t think you believe you’re ready for a real committed

relationship. I mean I hope you are. I really do. But sometimes I just don’t

know. But like you said, I should wait for you to get back before we do

anything. So please let’s not argue, I miss you and I get stressed out enough

by my family. And it’s only going to get worst once I tell them I’m not going

to the appointment. Ight yo? (LOL) So you betta start telling me sweet

things that I want to hear. Ight son?” We both laughed for a moment as I

switched to my sexy bedtime voice and said, “What kind of sweet things you

want me to send to your heart? I become filled with so many sweet and

beautiful thoughts whenever your on my mind. I wouldn’t know were to start.

The feelings I grew for you, I’ve never felt for another. I can see you in my

future as my queen and me as your king. Together I don’t believe there is
anything we can’t do or overcome. Whenever we are together the universe

seems so big and all my pain and problems disappear into your eyes and kiss.

If there is truly such a thing as faith, then you would be my destiny, my

silver lining through these dark and stormy clouds in my life. I love you

Rosaline and I know I’m the opposite of a committed person and I am afraid

of commitment. But I truly believe now more than ever, for you, I’m ready

for love and commitment. I want you to be open minded and ready too,

because I want us to learn love together. All I’m asking for is a chance to

love you. I want us to one day become one.” I heard her sniffle and I laughed

and said, “Damn, I didn’t mean to make you cry. I’m sorry baby.” She laughed

and cleared her nose. Our hearts connected and it truly felt as if we began

the process of becoming one. “It’s a good cry, relax yourself. Those were

happy tears. That was really sweet baby. I really never knew or would have

guessed that you felt that way. How many other girls you told that to? (LOL)

I’m just playing but damn I was asking for something sweet and you got deep.

Thank you baby, I love you. I really needed to hear that. I didn’t know I was

gonna get so much out of you. (LOL)- “YO”- “Just kidding calm down. You

know I feel the same way and I have always loved you, yo. (LOL) But

seriously I do love you Andre, I don’t really gotta tell you because you
already knew that. I loved you seen the first day I saw you in the courtyard.

I don’t care what anyone says anymore. I love you and we’re gonna get

through this together. It’s a blessing from God and some people don’t get

this blessing, we should be thankful. Don’t get a big head but your right; this

is something that you and I need to decide together. My family loves me and

I love them too. But this will affect and change our lives more than anyone

else. My mom’s gonna kill me when I tell her I’m not having an abortion. And

my dad’s gonna go crazy when he finds out. You promise and sure you will be

there with me through all that? I’m really going to need you, Andre. Because

you know everyday until you get back they’re gonna try and change my mind.”

I took a breath of relief for the life of my child, “first of all, if they kill

you, or if you was to die, you wouldn’t be alone. I would commit suicide in

hopes that there is an after life so I can find you and love you again. So

don’t worry about that, whatever you go through in life from here on out,

you’ll never be alone. I’ll always be there to go through whatever with you, in

this life, the next and however many follows. I love you; your pain and stress

are no longer just yours. They belong to us; I would take them all from you if

I could. So if me being there is what you were worried about let go of your

fears. I will always want to be apart of our child’s life, My little man (LOL).”
she interrupted, “or girl. U never know.”- “yea, yah right, or my little girl. I

don’t care; I just want a healthy baby. I’m gonna love you both so much. I

promise I will always be there for and with you. To you my heart will forever

stay true.” She replied, “I miss you so much baby. I wish you were here

holding me. Damn I’m so horny, I can’t wait till you back next to me. I’m

gonna fuck the shit out of your sexy ass. It’s 6:30 babe, and I’m getting

tired. I’m about to go to sleep. My mom is about to wake up or she might

already be awake. I love you so much baby. I miss you and I can’t wait to see

you. Goodnight baby. Kiss.” We exchanged kisses over the phone and said

goodnight. But we were both waiting on each other to hang up first. We

spent another 20 or 30 minutes saying, “Goodnight, I love you. Ok you hang

up. No I don’t want to hang up on you. I can’t hang up on you, you first. Ok I

love you goodnight. Ok, let’s do it together on three. Kiss. One-Two-Three.

You were supposed to hang up. (LOL) you were supposed to hang up too. But

seriously I can hear my mom, I love you baby, night. Kiss. One-Two-Three.”

She hung up but when you have two-way, if the other person doesn’t hang up

you can always click back over. She waited about ten seconds and picked the

phone up to see if I hung up. “Hello. What you still doing on the phone? Baby

I miss you too, but get some sleep. It’s funny cause for some reason I knew
you were still there. Funny, huh? Anyway get some sleep, I love you. Three

kisses goodnight. For real this time, Love you.” I had the best sleep I could

ever remember having.

      In one phone call, once again my life changed for the better, I

changed. I just gave life to my child, who I thought I had lost forever. I

found my love, the one, my other half. Destiny. I felt a great rush of

completion. I just spilt my heart with my soul mate and she says and seems

to feel the same. Their love gave me a reason a new found reason for a

seemingly lost life. I reason for hope. Yea most of all, their love gave me

hope. Before them, it was as if the sun and moon had been taking out of my

life and out of nowhere God has given me this beautiful bright light, a light

that shined through my dark and painful life. I love her so much and I

honestly believe after tonight, she loves me too. Now known where I think

we stand, I don’t think she will ever hurt me. I can trust her; I know life has

taught me not to trust anyone. I don’t even trust my own mother. And as far

as my dad, if my life depended on him being there or even a phone call, he

would let me die, to go play golf and front in public like he not a dead beat

who got kids he don’t even talk to often, much less see. Life’s been fucked up

as far as I have come to know it. Everybody, excluding an elite few, I have
trusted, love, gave a chance or even thought was family has let me down one

way or another. I’m not speaking of everyday accidents or bullshit because

no one is perfect. I’m speaking of the things you don’t do, or let be done to

someone you’re suppose to love and care about. But despite past experiences,

I’m willing to take a chance with her, something says be careful but fuck it

she’s different. I love and believe her, I really trust this girl, I mean,

“woman.” Even my thoughts have begun to change; this has to be my truth.

I’m going to open up and give her my whole heart and just let our love grow.

I’m going to be to her and our child, what my father wasn’t for me, a man. A

real man, no matter what I’m going to make this work.

      Everything was back on track and for once life was going the way I

planned and want it to go. But as usual in my life my feet are never on the

ground for too long, I have to stay on my toes. It’s always in my short live

times of happiness that life reveals its hardest lessons. I came to find out

Rosaline was still passing time with her new friend. I mean, yea she said they

were just friends and she just needed someone to talk to. He was new and

didn’t know anyone. She even went on to say, “You can trust me. Don’t worry;

he’s not even my type. I think he’s ugly.” Pause. I know I said I loved and

trust her completely and I know I should believe her. But I’m not stupid and
Robin might have been a lot of things but she thought me not to be a fool.

Come on like they say, “you can’t out hustle a hustler and you can’t out play a

playa.” I knew she was being deceitful and I saw right through her lies. Lets

be real, she’s pregnant with my kid and out late nights spending time with a

guy she doesn’t like, mmm? I’m sorry but, “bitch please, tell that story to a

Marc or a Steven, I’m a Dre.” If a girl every tries to convince you before you

ask that a male friend is not her type or ugly. She’s lying or trying to hide

something, that’s a rookie mistake. I never really doubted her until she said

that. I wonder what the unprepared feel or think when they try and beat me

over the head with bullshit stories. I said, “I love you.” Not, “I’m stupid.” It

was a tough situation because I couldn’t really argue with her too much about

that situation because I was afraid of her changing her mind and killing my

child. So I just spoke on it ever so often, just to see if her story would

change and little by little it did. I would ask how she said bye to Ricky. Her

story went from a wave, to a half hug, then to a full hug. She fought and

held her grounds at all she ever did was give him a hug. I didn’t believe her, I

really wanted to but I just couldn’t. Not being able to believe her was a

tough hurt and pain to bear. Here I am, loving this girl, all the while she is

just saying she loves me as she thoughtlessly throws away my love just like
that. I knew about it and caused it for others plenty of times. But I never

felt it. How am I supposed to feel when the one I love is lying to me and I

can’t trust her? Yea, we were never officially going out. But I said, “I love

you”, and I really meant it. Doesn’t that count for something? I was so

confused and lost. I started to question my feelings and if I was getting too

far ahead of myself. Are these feelings real? Are they true to me? I

started to rethink Hiram’s questions. Can I really see myself with this girl

forever? Can we trust each other? It was as if she got the biggest boulder

she could find and just dropped it on my heart. I dropped a tear or two for

the unknown. But even through the hurt I had to keep cool, until I got back

to Georgia, for the life of my child to be. So I fell back with all my emotions

and arguments. I just kept it cool and played the game. I just played the

front of a fool. Girls at summer school gave me a lot of attention. At first I

would just smile and stay faithful. But now I’m back in the game and my train

rides home came with regular detours. From Harlem to the Bronx I would be

every other day after school. But even while I spent time with these girls a

part of me didn’t want to chill with anyone else. I knew she was doing wrong

but I still loved her. (But my pride stood in the way, and I mean I have a lot

maybe too much at times.) My pride wouldn’t let me just sit back and take
that. My belief system is, “if someone hits me with a punch. Shake it off,

and hit them with three.” I couldn’t stand for the idea, or even the idea of

the thought itself, that anyone, much less the one I gave my true love to,

getting the best of me. Her continuous late nights with her new friend, led

to my late night in the park with track star Sherryann. Summer time in the

park sprinkles stay on for the heat. Late night in the park that’s near empty,

sprinkles in the park, my game was tighter than Chamberlin’s. We spent a

few nights in the park, playing around in the sprinklers. I spent a lot of time

in the park. So she would come and watch me bust ass in the afternoon and

we spent time after dark.( When it was only The Goat, maybe Vladimir,

Goose, Chestnut, Ruddy, or some of the other old hommies chopping it up

about NY basketball, rap, money, and bitches.) That summer I got my first

tattoo. I was under age so I used Anthony’s College ID. I got “one more road

to cross”, on my left shoulder and on my right shoulder, “one more risk to

take.” It represents and symbolizes to me where I’m with my life. It was my

reminder of hope and to stay focus on my dreams. But being that I was using

my cousin’s ID, I didn’t want to cause a scene and I got jerked. I got it done

in the Village with Erica and Anthony. It looked nice when he did it but after
it healed it seemed too small so I went and got two flaming Basketballs

around the words. I got my second series of tattoos down town Brooklyn.

      The day I got my Tattoo’s the park was pack. There was about two

fights and fifty arguments. Goat and Ruddy were the two nicest ball players

in the park. So when they played it seemed easy and some people take that

as they trying to embarrass them. On this day I took next with some Big

Hommies this was the first time they ever came to play ball in the Terrace.

Their game is to play for fun, but we were playing on the serious court, the

middle court, were people are playing like they in the NBA. Goat got at one

of them a couple of times and I guess he called a foul or two and that

hommie disagreed with. He called Goat a bitch and that let to an argument

and hommie wasn’t as quick with his words so he felt embarrass when people

laughed at Goat’s jokes. After the game he dap me, “yo, good game hommie,

you nice and shit. My fault I know you wanted to win. But that nigga cried

like a bitch. Yea he nice. I wasn’t trying to tell hommie he wasn’t nice. I was

telling dude he too nice to be calling all them bitch calls against somebody

like me that’s just playing for fun. I hustle hommie I don’t play ball; I leave

that for brothers like you. But this nigga gotta act out his face. I’ll be back

lata. Stay up hommie. Keep working on your game but don’t turn out like
these BITCH ASS NIGGAS. YEA I WANT NIGGAS TO HEAR ME. Ight

hommie. I’m out.” After the usual late night talks about NY’s hottest thing,

it was only Goat, his friend, and me. I was on a court by myself and Goat’s

friend was rebounding for him. About 10pm the big hommie came back to the

park, “yo you still here? Ight hommie keeping working on your game.” He

walked to the next court where Goat was at. They exchanged a few words

and he walk away, “yo hommie I’m bout to come back through and air the

park out. Don’t leave right now you can finish you workout. But get off the

courts before I get back.” I swear the hood is like a video game, Grand

Theft Auto. I asked Goat if he was ight and he laughed and said he was good.

Ten minutes later I left the court and went and sat on the bench in front of

the handball courts. Just like big hommie said, he came back, he came back

with four red eye dudes in all black and red with red and black bandanas over

their face. They walk up to me on the bench but big hommie told them it

wasn’t me. “You still hear? Damn hommie you going to the NBA?” I laughed,

“I’m trying, and that’s the hope.” He dapped me, “Ight, yo, get out off here.

Good that bitch nigga is still here.” I got my Basketball and started to walk

out the park as they walked over to Goat. They started arguing and I heard,

“What’s popping now. You still tough you bitch ass nigga?” Another voice said,
“Yo, yo come on chill. Don’t do that.” The last voice I heard said, “Over a

basketball game come on.” Then I crossed the street and went up Utica to

get some Jamaican food. It go to show, you got to watch the way you move in

hood because a killer in the streets always got something to prove. You

always got watch the way you move and the words you choose, when in the

presence of the real. It’s crazy what we would kill each other for as fellow

black men. I think at times when we have and are exposed to so little as

young black men we let our pride get in the way of doing what we know is

right. It show’s how a different class of life represents a different world.

Because in Westport my pride is nothing and I can just let go. But in the

hood my pride is everything and I can’t let go of it for nothing. Maybe if we

all shared equal opportunities and changes to really experience life the world

would be different. Because when you see and expose yourself to certain

things, you at times come to realized that some things just don’t have to be.

There really is a better way, a better life. It’s a life I pray all mankind may

experience, live and see. In the hood people don’t know any better because

all they see and receive is the back end of life. So at times there is no

better way than the so call wrong way. Whenever an opportunity appears for

the poor it right away becomes so hard because you have basically everyone
in the community fighting for something that most times only a few can

achieve, so even the slim opportunities presents a problem within itself. It

presents another reason for rivalry within the community amongst the

people. Because everyone is not able have the same chances, the few that do

make it are now envied and hate by the those would didn’t or couldn’t get

those opportunities. (Unlike the wealthy world, in the hood when envy

presents itself it over flows turns into violence.) It’s sad but it’s the life,

every single day no holiday or compromise. Being exposed to so many places I

look at people differently and it’s funny at times. Because when you tell

someone you’re from Brooklyn some start to act funny and put on disguises

of their “hoodness”. It’s funny because everybody in the hood wants out the

hood and out that life. Nobody in the hood wants to sell drugs, pimp, rob, or

kill. We want the grass and the lawn and the good schools with no metal

detectors or guns in the locker. But the school shootings in these places

aren’t seen on the news. But no hustler or gangster in New York wants that

life. It’s funny because people outside of the real hood don’t realize how

good they have life. They don’t appreciate what they don’t have to go

through daily and the unseen luxury they have been given. That’s why I don’t

befriend myself with everybody because not everyone knows themselves so
some wear (hood guise.) The way I treat them is not disrespect, I just don’t

recognize their foolish ways. To me, they seem to be young men caught up in

the mainstream idea of the hood. They wear these guises to gain respect,

but they have no idea because the hood is realer than you see on TV, read in

the books, or listen to in music. If your not from that world and you have

never really experienced the ins and out of it of the life you sometimes get

caught up and fantasy about a life that the people who live it daily, if

they could, would gladly disclaim. The differences in the worlds are at times

amazing. The people in the hood and the struggle going through hard times,

dream and fantasy about life with trees, grass, and two story houses. While

the people with these fortunes dream, fantasy, and even emulate their idea

of the hood life. If only they really knew or seen the things I saw and heard

daily. Maybe then they would grow up, be themselves and start working for

the progress of their people. Whenever surrounded by people of such, I

always ask myself, “Who am I?” That question always turns me away from

the simple minded. Not that I’m better but I know and seen better. Just

I’ve seen worst and I know better and my thoughts would be too wise for

them to feel. The untold life I’ve seen and lived with everyday is torture so

it was always hard for me to dumb down and change my mental levels for
people who were trapped in their own brains. One day maybe we can all see

and understand what we all experience and see, with true understanding of

each other. We can start to live and grow as a people and not as a race. No

colors, or social communities, just human beings. The idea that,” a good life

for you, is a good life for me. It’s not bad for you to do well; I want to see

you shine. The sun is hot enough for everybody to shine.” We know and see

what happens when we live to destroy life. I sometimes ponder about what it

would be like if we did the opposite and live to preserve life. The day when

everyone world wide does the opposite of their hate, and social biased

towards another social group. The day when we live through the love within

all human beings and let rest our hate. Why wouldn’t we want life that way

for the children of the future? Why are we more concerned with our pride,

envy, hate, and greed that we leave behind examples and a world of turmoil

and a future of self destruction? It’s sad to be part of mankind at times, a

part of an on going destructive cycle. Sometimes I have to wonder if life on

earth is an afterlife and we’re all really living in hell. Maybe that’s why we

self destruct over things as simple as pride, beliefs, and the idea of being

right. The one with the only right answer, but truthfully no one person has

the answer, everyone as individuals have a part of the answer to life. So until
full acceptance and understanding from all mankind for all mankind, the true

answer will never be obtained.

      I ran into the hommie from the park on my way back down Utica Ave.

“What’s good hommie? Yea man that nigga ain’t want it. He a bitch started

begging and shit. Talking bout he sorry and shit was a misunderstanding.

That’s all he had to say when shit first popped off. Then it would have never

came to that. I told that nigga stay in his character and face before he

loses himself. He got the point so I said fuck him. Ight yo. Stay up hommie.”

I was glad Goat got pardoned because he was a good dude. It shows what

talking and taking the time to understand where each other are coming from

can do to change life. If hommie didn’t feel like he had regained and fully

flexed his pride. Goat would have been another unfound ghost mineral to the

earth. Just another dead black youth, no news or investigation, cased with

the unsolved less important files. If we stop every once in awhile and think

about the way we live, and then think about our families and kids and how we

really want to see them live. Maybe then we might elevate our minds and

realize life is easer when we live life with a positive mind. Achieving the life

that we all dream of and want to live is only as hard as we me make. A person

is never really happy, sad, negative, positive, hurt or any other emotions that
control how we live our daily lives. We choose to feel all these emotions

whenever faced with different situations. These things that we think we

feel or become are all just mental thoughts we feed to ourselves. Yes

circumstances for different classes are harder than others and it’s really

stressful at times. (I understand that, but I think in an American society

and generations, we feed into the victim role and become held down.) But I

personally lived and grew up with less than the most unfortunate of America.

I know fifty people in Jamaica for each homeless in America that would

trade places without a second thought. Americans are so fortunate, before I

came to America I was using the bathroom in bushes wiping with leafs. Toilet

paper, wow what’s that? Food and fruits out the store?, I grew where people

hunt and gather, like in your history books, to eat, provide and survive. Here

in America there are apartments, with bathrooms, showers and toilet and

running water. Growing up, you wanted a roof over your head you had to build

it with your hands from scratch. So you had no bathroom, showers you would

take in the community lake where everybody would walk by and see you. Kids

in America have all the toys and video games in the world. Growing up, if you

didn’t have family in America or England, you played with a truck tire and a

stick. We made our toys. Out of juice boxes, we made cars made with used
bottle caps and sticks to make the wheels. A long piece of cord tied to the

end from of your car and you were good to go. In America as kids you have

water slides, like those lawn slip and slide toy. Growing up, we had to use

buckets of water to soften up the mud and that was over slip and slide. Mud

was so dirty; Anthony caught ringworm in his arm. I just had to stop and

think about the true survival times when I hear Americans complain about

how hard and unfortunate they are, when not having fresh flowing water

becomes second nature to your way of life. Or using the bathroom in the

bushes and wiping with leafs, seems normal to you. Or not being able to

break a bone, because if you break a bone, no 911 or Medicaid you just have

to grow it out. Maybe then I could sympathize with the complaints of the

seemingly more fortunate than what I have know. The one thing I had

growing up that was more fortunate than American life, was the ability to

appreciate and love life throughout hardest of times. Growing up they use to

say, “Never let your problems get you down. You gotta stay focus and hold

your ground even when it seems hopeless.” It’s through positive mental

reinforcements like those, which a nation of people carries on through hard

and stormy times with a smile and an ire vibe. I laugh as I open the door to
my building. If only I could shear my thoughts with everybody in Brooklyn,

maybe we would have fewer coffins.

      The last week of summer school went by fast, a lot of walking in the

hallway, cutting class after attendance, and chilling out by the (14th Street)

Footlocker with my dudes from up town and some nice girls. Somewhere in

the midst of having fun I caught a magnetic vibe from one of the nice girls.

It wasn’t a vibe of lust but more like a vibe of maybe she could be faith.

Sometimes we come across people and it feels as if you have already met.

Kariane was one of those special people. Through Rosaline’s (untrue ness), I

started to have mix feelings, with my love for her. But I just ignored the

strange undeniable attraction I felt from Kariane. Rosaline and I kept

getting into little arguments about Ricky. After one of these arguments

Erica came over, after work, to do my hair. I would get my hair braided two

to three times a week to keep them fresh and clean for school. So I

would be seen with about three new hot designs every week at school. I

wouldn’t have said nothing to her but I was feeling played by the situation

with Rosaline that I kept to myself. I kept it to myself because if I told

Erica or Anthony she was trying to play me. They would change up and say, “
Word? Don’t worry Andre. Fuck that Bitch, you don’t need her. Tell her to

have an abortion. I know you don’t want to but don’t worry you’ll find better.

That’s fucked up, you’ll be ight. Fuck it, let’s get twisted and go out.” I would

then have to take away the perfect image of her I painted for them

mentally.

      But just thinking what if as Erica combed my hair I asked, “Yo, you

believe in soul mates and all that shit?” She laughed, “Yea. Your cousin’s my

soul mate. Why you ask?” It took me a second before I answered, because I

had to clinch my teeth to bear the pain as she started to braid. See I’m

tender headed, but I always wanted the hottest and most exclusive braids.

The trick about nice braids is beauty is pain. “Damn, yo you pulling mad hard

on my hair. That shit hurts” She laughed, “Andre come on now, you know the

deal. How long I been braiding your hair? You always want some hot shit but

you can’t take the pain. You want hot braids, you gotta pay the cost, so take

the pain and stop crying. If you keep complaining I’m just gonna do your hair

straight back. (LOL) Plus your hair was already done up nice. I just did it two

days ago. Nigga, who you think you is, AI? You ain’t even wash your hair, you

just took it out and asked me to redo it. That’s why it hurts so much. But yo,
stop complaining or I’m just gonna stop. Yea, now go ahead with what you

were saying?” I replied, “I was just asking? I met this girl at summer school

and I just felt a crazy attraction to her. You know, like we were supposed to

meet. I don’t know, it just felt like I met one of my soul mates.”-“Isn’t

Rosaline your soul mate?” I really wanted to tell her the truth about what

was going on at that point. I wanted to tell her I wasn’t really sure about

Rosaline and our love. Because as we sit here and speak, she probably doing

wrong right now. But I just took a second to swallow those thoughts and

replied, “Yea, she my soul. Everybody has three or some shit, right? I was

just saying I got a weird feeling I met number two. I don’t know, it ain’t

nothing I was just asking.” I had conversations like this with Erica all the

time. She was like my older sister, I trust her as I do my own blood. So to

confide in her was second nature to me without worries. I knew her since I

was in middle school and at times she’s more compassionate to me than my

own family. A lesson Erica always told me about friends, “Don’t rush to trust

too many. Be careful where you place your trust.”
Chapter 19
      Summer school was finally over and it was time To go back to GA.

Robin mailed my passport, so I wouldn’t have to use a fake ID in the airport

again. New York City airports employees are more on point than Atlanta, GA

airport employees. I would have got caught at check-in. I love flying, it gives

my mind, soul, and body an elevated rush of peace. For 2 hours and 14

minutes, I soared above the clouds steering out the window looking for my

silver line. I guess I never looked hard enough because I never found it. I

got off the plane and Rosaline and Julius were waiting at the gate for me. I
fell in love with Rosaline all over again, as we made eye contact from a
distance. Her smile moved my heart and made it shake, which in turn brought
a smile to my face. We hugged and kissed. Afterwards I lift up her shirt to
look at her slightly visible stomach. It was a very fulfilling feeling to see my

unborn child for the first time. I was looking a my future in her stomach and




it felt good. I felt good about what I had fought for her to do. Now

everything became realer than ever, that sexy little bulged in her stomach

is our life together. That’s our baby, an actual person that we have created.

It was an amazing feeling, my first life. She looked so sexy and had a

luminous glow around her. She had on short blue jeans skirt, a tight black

shirt, with some black soldiers (ATL for Reebok classics). It was good to be

close again.

      When I got to the house, I called Hiram and told him to wait until my

birthday to tell Robin. It was cool having Julius live with us, it made dealing

with Robin easier. Because now with someone else around she couldn’t really

be her true aggressive self. We both worked at the same K-mart for about a

year and now he was about to experience life with my mom. Our first day of

school, Senior year, we road to with Mia, Camila and Rosaline. Mia was one of

those nervous drivers, the type of driver that would get scared take her
hands off the wheel and close her eyes. It was during that ride to school

that Rosaline and I became official as a couple. We were sitting in the back

holding hands. When Camila turned around and said, “ So Andre, you and

Rosaline going out now? Or you just playing games with my sister?” Before I




could say anything, Rosaline quickly replied,” Ruby, shut up.” but I stopped
her and smile as I replied, “ No I ain’t playing games with your sister. She my
girl and yea we together. Matter a fact that’s my wife.” Everybody laughed
and Rosaline smiled and squeezed my hand as she leant over and gave me a
kiss. Everything was good for the first week of school but came weekend

once again life had yet another surprise for me.

      Rosaline likes to go to Kennesaw Mountain and walk the trails, that was

something we did together. It was her way of getting away. That Saturday

morning she called Julius’s cell phone at about 8am in the morning. She asked

if we wanted to come to Kennesaw Mountain with her. Julius didn’t want to

go but after hearing the rest of Rosaline’s funny story I bugged him to

come. She said, “ oh, yea my friend Ricky wants to come with us. He’s really

nice, do you mine? I think you guys would like each other. I want you and

Julius to meet him. He’s new and he has no friends.” I took a second to look

at Julius and laugh. I mean if you don’t know game, giving the situation what’s

she’s really saying is, “ You being played. You been played. Everything you

thought in your head was true.” See if your girl is trying to introduce or

befriend you with a guy yall had problems over, that means she played you or

she’s about to. But I just laughed and said, “ O, word? Ight come and get us.

We coming. (LOL)”

      She came and got us five minutes later. It took Rosaline a little while

to catch on and realize, we didn’t want to know, meet, or befriend her

hommie. She called him and before she could tell him, “never mind.” He heard
Julius and I in the background laughing at him and he told her he was coming

anymore. After hearing Ricky change his mind Julius said, “ Yo fuck it. Take

me to get some breakfast and drop me off at the house. Yall can go walk up a

mountain together at 8 in the morning. I’m good.” After we got breakfast,

we dropped Julius back off at the house and went to Kennesaw Mountain.

Kennesaw Mountain is a huge historic mountain in Kennesaw, GA. Rosaline

loved nature and out doors activities. I loved the same things at one point,

but I became Americanized and fronted like I didn’t. On our walks we talked

about the whole Ricky situation and I clearly expressed to her that the

whole situation was fucked up. I gave her a chance to put everything out in

the open, so we could work it out, before we went any farther. “ Rosaline, you

don’t got nothing else to tell me? I’m just saying, your stories don’t sound

right. I know you and you know me. You was spending mad time with this




dude. He even had you drinking, while you’re pregnant with my baby. Yo, you

even brought this dude here. I thought this mountain was our thing. You

spending all this time with a guy you don’t like? Even if you didn’t, I know he

liked you and he tried something. I just need you to be honest with me. Yo,

you ain’t fuck this kid, kiss him or anything?” She took a second before her
story changed, “ Andre, promise you won’t be mad. I’m serious promise,

because I don’t want you to get mad.” I Looked at her funny, “ Yo, what could

you have to tell me that would get me mad? Ight, yea whatever I promise. Go

ahead and say what you got to say.” She continued her new story,” He didn’t

know I was pregnant until a few days before you came back. Whenever I saw

him and said hello or goodbye, we kiss on the cheeks. Like a lot of spanish

people do. It’s a Latino tradition. It was nothing sexual. Like I told you when

you where in NY, I just needed someone to talk to. I thought about and

missed you the whole time I was around him or anyone else. I really missed

you. He tried to kiss me one night after I drop him off at his house.”- “

What? He tried to kiss you?” “ Baby, you said you wouldn’t get mad. Plus I

didn’t kiss him back. I stopped him as soon as he touched my lips. I told him

about you and our baby, and that you meant too much to me to mess with

him. I told him we could only be friends. I think I hurt his feelings when I

said that (LOL).” We shared a laugh as we held hands and walked up

mountain, before I got serious and replied, “ Yo, you know you should have

said something to me before I asked you. We can’t start out lying to each

other. I love you and I will give the rest of my life to you. But I gotta be

able to trust you. So if you have anything else to say, now would be the time.
Whatever it is, if your honest now, I’ll look past it and we can move on

fresh.” She had a funny look in her eyes as she looked me in my eyes and

replied, “ I’m sorry for not telling you that before, I really wanted to tell

you. But we were arguing so much and I thought you would have got mad and

stop talking to me. But now I see I and understand I should have been

honest. But that was it. I don’t have anything else to tell you. I’m really sorry

baby. I’ll make it up to you.” I heard her but I didn’t feel her. When someone




you love speaks to you and their words have no feelings, nine of ten times

they’re lying to you. If something looks and sounds funny, I never believe it,

it has to be funny. I mean at this point in my life I’m an expert liar, I had to

be. I use to have to lie to Narine plenty of nights when I was younger to save




myself from beatings. So if you came at me with a sloppy lie, I always laugh

and play the fool but I got you.

      I got back to the house and chopped up the story with Julius. Julius

said, “ Yo she might be telling the truth. But at the same time I mean you

know her better than me. So giving the situation if you feel she lying then it
could be.” We laughed as I stuck to my believes and got back to my old self.

It’s stupid to every try and play because like I said before,” No matter what

level or school I was at. I always got crazy love from the females. Since my

Holly Cross days, ask and you we’ll hear ain’t now truer playa than Dre. You




might be reading or see this and your girl or best friend was one of those

females. You just ain’t know.” That night I called up Amber. She had fat sexy

lips, a fatty and nice waist and thighs. She had a boyfriend and they been
together for awhile and he loved her and all that good stuff. At first she
fronted on some, “ Dre, I love my boyfriend. I think you sexy and cute, I
mean you already know that. Cuz all them damn girls that be all over you at
school. But I can’t do that to my baby. I love him.” It took me about two
minutes to switch all that up to, “ Ok, I guess I could come outside and talk

to you for a little bit. I feel really special that you even thought about me

enough to call. So I guess I can do that much for you.” I could hear her blush

as she gave out her address at like 11:25pm on a school night. A funny joke I

use to always make to my friends back in my true playa days was, “ I don’t

get numbers. I get addresses you can’t see my game.” I went into Julius’s

room and told him what was popping. Robin went to sleep by 10pm every night

since she gave birth to my little brother Ean. So that meant the alarm was
set. Julius was knew to this, it was funny. I called Lance and told him to meet
us by the pool. Then came Julius’s question, “ Yo Dre son, how the fuck we
gonna get out the house? Your mom’s gonna hear the alarm when we open and
close the door.” I looked at him and laughed as I walked over to his window
and said,” We jumping out your window god.” He cracks up and says, “ you
wilding son. Yo Dre, we on the second floor son. You about to break your

neck.” I took out the screen and placed it under his bed before I broke it

down to him, “ Na son we good. I got this down to a Science my nigga. Yo we

ain’t jumping out. Climb out legs first and let your body hang. That’s gonna

make the fall shorter. Yo just watch me son, it sounds crazy but it ain’t shit.”

He looked out the window and looked at me, “ Yo Dre son, you about to kill

yourself god. But yea ight, you go first and let me see. If you good I’ll fuck

with it.” I laughed as I threw my right leg out the window, followed by my

left. After I dropped down and he saw I was ok and how easy it was. He

stood in the window for about two minutes before he said fuck it and hopped

out the window. “ Yo Dre you fucking crazy. You got us jumping out the

second floor and shit. Yo you a wild ass nigga.” Lance was already parked in

the pavilion by the time we got out the house. When we got in the car Vance

asked, “ Yo what took yall so long son? I was out here for like 20 minutes.” I

laughed, “ This nigga was scared to jump out the window.” Julius laughed and

replied, “ Scared nothing nigga. I just ain’t want to kill myself. I ain’t no

professional window jumper like Dre.” We got to Amber’s house and parked

across the street under a big tree in the shadows. The perfect spot. We call

her and told her to come outside. I met her at the side of her house. She
came outside with her house phone in a long t-shirt and panties. She saw the

car across the street and asked who was with me. She knew and saw Lance

but she didn’t know Julius so we told her his name was Jason (LOL).

Everybody cracked up every time she said Jason but she still didn’t catch on.

I walked her back to her driveway and started fingering her on her dad’s

car, gave a quick five second kiss. After I pulled away from her face, I felt

the moist on her underwear. Then I place her hand on my dick and ran the, “

Yo just kiss it. You don’t even gotta suck it. Just kiss the head”, game on her.

She blushed and fronted for about 10 seconds before she pulled my dick out

and handed me her house phone. She looked up with a smile ans said, “ just a

kiss.” I laughed and said, “ yea ight.” She gave me a quick two seconds kiss.

But I laughed and ran more game on her and flipped two seconds to thirty.

After that I knew it was on and I’m a true believer in the saying, “ It ain’t

fun if the hommies can’t have none.” So I brought her back to the car and

passed her to Jason. He took her in the back of the Jeep, while Lance and I

chilled outside. After Jason got done it was Lance’s turn. All she every said

when we switched was, “ haha, yall crazy. So we just passing me around?” We

laughed and I told her, “ no we ain’t passing you around. I just want you to

meet and know my friends. You’re so special that we all just wanted a
moment with you to appreciate you and express that.” She blushed, “ So

what your saying is, I should feel special. Yall not trying to take advantage of

me? I guess I see your point.” We laughed, “ You are special and should

always feel that way. We’re just trying to help you to see that. We would

never ask you or make you do anything you don’t want to do. Whenever you

want you can say stop. You said you liked me and my friends are a part of me

so I just wanted you to become acquainted with them. We mean no

disrespect. We loving people.” She laughed, “ Oh, yall loving people? (LOL) I

feel you. I was just asking to see if you lay games and lie. I’m not doing

anything I don’t want to do. I would have been went inside if I was

uncomfortable. Who’s next?” After everybody went and it was time to go.

She started giving me crazy head on the front of the car. Other than

Rosaline that was one of the best blow jobs I ever had. She had the crazies

lips. She bent over and wanted me to fuck. I would have and I want to after

Jason and Lance both slapped condoms on the front of the car. But I

couldn’t do that to Rosaline, I was mad at her but I said fuck it. I told her

just kiss my dick goodnight. After she was done we told her we would holla

at her later. Then we drove off laughing the whole way home. After Lance

dropped us off at around 4:30am. Julius and I had to sit outside until like
6:30am. Because the cops were parked across the street doing a two hour

traffic stop. We were gonna climb back in through the window but now we

had to wait until morning to just use the door and tell Robin we were playing

basketball.




      The alarm went off and I stood by the door with my basketball waiting

for Robin to come out her room. She saw the basketball and me putting on

my sneakers and she went back into her room. The next night I went on a

dolo mission to Jasmine’s best friends house. She was a rich Indian or

Pakistani. Her parents owned some hotels and gas stations. They got her and

her brother their own apartment and cars. I went home and Robin

complained about the alarm. Next night ended even quicker after Amber’s

dad came outside. It was four of us that night after about 20minutes things

got dead. So we dropped of Mark at his house. At this point it’s 11:15pm and

Robin thinks we’re inside the house and if the alarm goes off she’s going to

flip. So I called Rosaline and told her we needed to spend the night at her

house. When we got to the parking lot Lance said, “ Fuck it yo, I’m coming

too. I don’t feel like going home. I could spend the night too? I’m saying we

boys come on.” Julius and I started laughing at him, “ nigga you stupid. Yo if
you want to, you can come. But you got to be on some real quiet shit. If her

or pops wake up we done. So yo B E Z.” Rosaline was waiting with the door

cracked open. When I got to the door she saw Lance and whispered, “ three

of yall? Damn, I thought it was just you and Julius. Whatever you better tell

them not to make any noise and hurry up and go into my room.” I gave her a

kiss and replied,” Ight, I will.” She snuck us into her room and Julius and

Lance slept on the floor. One on each side of the bed. But Rosaline and I

didn’t get much sleep. We stayed up making love until the wee hours of the

morning.

      That Friday Rosaline got her car back after her father took it away

after hearing about her pregnancy and her decision to keep the baby. So

Rosaline Took us to school. After school billy got a ride with someone else

and I rode home with Rosaline. After the last bell I walked with Camila to

the parking lot to find Ricky chilling by the car with Rosaline. Camila and I

had a funny relationship the few moments when we weren’t going at each

other, we got along really good. She saw the little situation and said, “

Andre, don’t get mad. I know you about to get mad. They just friends. Yo

chill son (LOL)”. I looked her and said, “ I’m good.” But it wasn’t hard to see I

wasn’t good. I gave Rosaline a funny look when she introduced Ricky to me
and told me we were giving him a ride home. The whole time she was talking I

saw right through her. Inside my head I thought,” O that’s your word? Wow

I feel you and now I know all that shit you told me wasn’t true. You did more

than you said, with this funny looking dude. Fuck I hope what I’m thinking
ain’t true. Honestly I don’t want to know. But fuck I gotta know. I can’t get
over this shit unless I know. Ight so I’m just gonna keep pressing this
question in different ways. If she lying, at some point she will get tangled up
in her stories. Yo, if this nigga don’t stop trying to talk to me. No I don’t
want to be your friend. Enjoy it hommie because this is your last ride home

with my girl. Bitch ass motherfucker. Fuck I’m getting tight, I should snuff

this dude. Yea ight shut up and get out.” That was the first and last time he

got a ride from Maribel after I got back. I stopped all that giving him a ride

home as soon as he closed the door. I wasn’t about to stand for that kind of

disrespect. Her little funny games let to a lot of confusion and fighting.

Whenever I spoke to Julius about the situation he always said, “ yo, but yall

wasn’t even together. She wasn’t your girl. So I wouldn’t care, son. I would

just let that go. Plus you was doing you too (LOL). She wilding trying to bring

son around you though.” What he was saying was true but I just felt it

should have been different, “ Yea I hear you god. But yo she ain’t start

fucking with son until after she told me she was pregnant. Yo son I was

sitting home in BK telling shawty I love her and all that shit.” he busted out

laughing, “ You was telling her you love her (LOL)? O shit. But yea son I feel

you. Fuck all that though come downstairs let me show you something.” We

went and he walked over to the window next to the TV. “ Yo Dre, set the
alarm.” I looked at him like he was bugging, “ set the alarm? For what? You
ight nigga?” He laughed, “ yea ight whateva. Yo set the alarm.” after I
turned on the alarm system he opened the window but the alarm didn’t go
off, “ yo, now we don’t gotta jump out the second floor on some crazy shit.
Now we can just go and come whenever. No more staying outside all night
(LOL). Whatever time it is we can just come back in and go to sleep without
waking your moms or Ean up.” I was still surprise the alarm didn’t go off. I
thought about taking out the sensor in the window before. But I was afraid
Robin or Ean would notice it. “ Yo dun, you broke that shit?” He laughed, “ o
na, I’m nice come here. See when you open and close the window it beeps or
the
alarm goes off. That’s because of the signal the system picks up every time

the window open. I just taped over the bottom part, so the alarm won’t get a

signal from this window. So we can always just take off the tape after we

use the window. Matter a fact, yo Dre take that off everyday. Ya heard? Cuz

you never know, your moms might use this window while we at school.” Julius

never used that window, because I once again laid aside my old ways. I

started preparing myself for the day Robin get news of the pregnancy.
                          Chapter 20




      Rosaline and I spent just about every night together. I mostly slept at

her house. I would hide in the shower, Camila’s closet, and under Rosaline’s

laundry at the side of her bed until everyone went to sleep. When my

birthday came, as previously planned Hiram called Robin while I was at

school. When Julius and I got home from school, Robin stayed in her room.

Whenever she did come out she just glared at me, but she wouldn’t speak a

word. I Spoke to Hiram and he explained to that she felt hurt and upset, so
just give her some time and everything will be fine. There wasn’t any

birthday love at home for me, my day is yet again just another day. After

Rosaline got off work we met at the gazebo. “ Happy birthday baby. Don’t be

mad but I didn’t get a chance to get your present yet. I didn’t get my check

yet so I’m kinda broke. So for now I got you a cake, card, and me. If you ask

me, you shouldn’t need more than me. Just joking, no I’m not. What’s the

matter with you?” I sucked my teeth and replied, “ I ain’t get shit for my




birthday, from nobody. My mom knows your pregnant and she ain’t talking to

me. She ain’t even say Happy birthday. I don’t know. I just never seem to

have a good birthday. I can’t even remember the last time I had a happy

birthday. What the fuck?” She hugged me and smiled, “ I’m sorry baby. I

promise your next birthday will be better.” She walked me to my house for
me to put the cake inside before I walk her home. Julius and Ean were in the
kitchen. Ean said happy birthday and before he could finish, Robin came
down for a drink of water and started saying random things about me having
a
baby as she walk away. After hearing the news Ean says,” Wow. Lets have a

drink together Andre. We should be celebrating, your birthday and a

baby. Congratulations. Where is the mother? I want to meet her. Call her on

the phone and tell her to come over.” I looked at Julius and I laughed, “ she’s

outside.” Before I could say another word Ean rushes over to the front
door with his drink in hand and tells Rosaline to come inside. Soon after

Rosaline entered the kitchen Robin went crazy after she heard her voice, “ I

don’t want her in my fucking house. This is not Andre’s house. Get the fuck

out and I don’t fucking come back. You little bitch, you need to go have an

abortion.” Ean tried to talk to Robin but Rosaline was long past

uncomfortable so I walked her home.
      When I got back to the house Ean and Julius were still in the kitchen.

Ean placed a hand on my shoulder with his new drink in the other hand, “

Andre, I’m sorry. Tell Rosaline I’m sorry and that your mom didn’t mean what

she said.” I just laughed, “ yo, you don’t gotta apologize for her. You good. I

already spoke to Rosaline.” Seeing that I didn’t really want to have that

conversation with Ean, Julius interrupted, “ yo son. What’s good with that
cake?” He already had a knife and plate ready, “ do you son.” he laughed, “ I

was already gonna do me. I was just asking if you want to cut the first slice.

Seeing that’s ya birthday cake from your wife and shit. Damn this is good.
She made this herself?” As soon as he said that Robin came downstairs, “ so
you a big man now? If you want to ruin you life, go ahead. But don’t think for
a second you hurting me. And I don’t want ya little duty gal ina mi house. You
want to have pitney, a wah di bloodcloth? Look at you. You little wokless
dronco, a wah do ya?” I just sat there and listen. Ean tried to intervene, “

Robin, that’s your son. You guys love each other.” She got even more furious

after he said that, “ He is not my son. He’s a disrespectful piece of shit.”

Julius took his cake and went upstairs. Ean speechless, gets another drink

and walks away from us. “ Hold on. So mummy you a say mi a no ya son? A so

you deal with mi in front of people? And a them dey things a come out ya
mouth? Guess what? Me never needed a father and I can survive without a

mother too. You was never really a mother to me anyway. I was never your

son. Remember you didn’t want me. I just never thought I would live to see

the day when you look me in my face and tell me I’m not your son. I didn’t

think you had it in you, much less to say it in front of other people.” her eyes

were so red and her fists clinched tight. She grabbed my right arm and
squeezed as tears came down her face, “ Andre please don’t have this baby.

Tell her to have an abortion. You have your whole life ahead of you. Please

don’t throw it away over no girl. You see how hard life was for us before,

that’s not what I want for you Andre. We both know you can do so much

better Andre. She’s a fast gal, sneaking in and out of her house. That’s not
the type of girl you need. Andre you’re a handsome guy, you need a nice,

pretty girl with class. This is going to fuck up your whole life.” After the

situation with Ricky, I understood and wanted to agree with her. But being

me for some reason I always had to do the opposite of whatever she said or

thought, just to prove her wrong. “ I love her and she isn’t fast. I was

sneaking out with her too and she was sneaking out because of me. You don’t
know her so don’t say things like that. I’m going to make this work. I don’t

care what you say or think. I haven’t felt like your son in a very long time.

And you just told me I wasn’t. So I don’t care. Whatever !” She walked away

and went upstairs talking, “you love her? You’re in love? Poor you. You have no

idea what love is. But whatever waste your life.” If she had not screamed out
I wasn’t her son, in front of Julius and Ean, that conversation might have
ended differently. But it’s too late to go back on my word. I told Hiram and
Rosaline I was ready, so I have to be ready. Too late for regrets or second
thoughts. I went up to Julius’s room to use his cell phone. “ yo god, you ight?
I’m saying though, you knew and expected her to get mad. Your baby and
your little brother is gonna months apart. So she got a reason, god. So just

let her say what she want.” He had a point, Julius always has a point no

matter what the issue is. But I was too upset to take his point of view, “ no

son, fuck that. How she gonna be saying I’m not her son in front of you? She

wilding. But yo my fault you had to see that (LOL). But yo whatever let me

see your phone.” He looked at me crazy, “ yo Dre, this is not a house phone
god. Go ask your mom to use her phone. Tell her you need to call your wife

(LOL).”- “ yo, whatever nigga. Let me see your phone.” He laughed, “ yo Dre.

No (LOL). Yo you and Rosaline be on my phone more than me. Matter a fact

call her and tell her I said to get you phone. She calling right now. Hold on.

Hello, yea I’m sorry Dre can no longer be reached at this number. You gotta

call him on that new phone you getting him (LOL). Hold on.” I went to sleep
that night stressed but with no ideas or directions for the path in which I

have chosen to travel. But I knew I had to take this path no matter how

rough the road.

      After school when Julius and I got home, Francisca and Robin were

sitting in the kitchen talking. After I said hi to Dawn, she says, “ so Andre

what’s going on? What’s this I hear bout you having a baby? You know that’s
going to mess up your life, right? Don’t think for a second having a baby is a

joke. You have your whole life ahead of you. Andre you do not need a baby

right now. Plus you a very handsome guy and you need a nice hot girl. Ya

mother say she see her and say she a regular gal. Julius, you can’t talk some

sense into him? Maybe he’ll listen to you. You’re his friend, talk to him.”

Julius replied, “ I mean, I told Dre what I would do. I know what you saying
and I’m sure he do too. He making the choice he can live with. I can’t stop

him.” After he said that we went upstairs. On the way up Robin says, “ See

even Julius understand and see what’s going on. He’s lost. But make him go

dash way his life. Who cares.” Rosaline called Julius’s phone with the

craziest story to tell. “ Andre your mother is crazy.” I had a funny look on

my face, “ what you talking about?” She replied, “ that crazy lady came over
to my house today, with her friend. They started arguing with my mom.

Telling her that I have to have an abortion. Calling Me and my mom bitches

and all kinds of names. My moms was about to call the cops on them. I’m

never coming to your house again. Your mom said she gonna kill me if she

catches me on her property. My mom said she felt stupid and left after she

told them you were the one that stopped me from having an abortion. I don’t
know everything is so crazy.” I couldn’t even say much, to that, “ wow. Yo tell

your mom I said I’m sorry. Meet me at the lake in 15 minutes.” I got off the

phone and told Julius what happened. It wasn’t funny but we had to laugh, “

yo son, your moms and Francisca is gangsta. They was about to ride on

Rosaline’s moms. (LOL) Word son, tell Rosaline she betta watch out.”
      Things in the house got crazy after Robin realized I was serious about

having my baby. Out of nowhere she started having problems with

Julius. Whenever she spoke to his mom she would tell her, Julius’s not

listening and he’s misbehaving. After that didn’t work she tried something

else. We would come home from work to find all the food in the kitchen

gone. Only thing that was left was the meat and ice in the freezer. It didn’t
really matter to us because we eat fast food after work everyday. We had

money to eat so we just laughed at it. The kitchen always smelled like a

Jamaican restaurant and we would walk over to the pots on the stove with a

smile in our stomachs. But when we uncovered the pots on the stove all we

found was
traces of food, samples. It was as if she was trying to let us know they were

eating good. She was trying to starve us out. That was a funny experience,

we got punked. But we got her back. We waited for them to go out, then we

picked her lock and stole all her snacks and most of the snapples she had

under her bed. But that movement was short lived after Robin realized and

got a better lock. After that, I don’t know why, but Ean stepped in and
placed a block on the computer. We couldn’t even turn the computer on or

off. That’s crazy. Not long after, Robin made up her mind and told Julius he

had to go. Out of nowhere one morning she just told him to start looking for

somewhere else to live. I felt bad because I knew she was kicking him out as

retaliation to my choice. We started looking for apartments but I thought

about it and gave him my back up plan, Lance. For the past year and a half
Lance and I went to Crunch every weekend to workout and play basketball.

After the situation with my grades and basketball, we both ran track for the

girls and the fun of it. Lance was the one friend I knew I could count on if

ever I needed somewhere to go. I ran the idea by Julius and he agreed that

to be the best situation for him. We called Vance and told him the situation

and said he was cool with it. He ran it across his mom, she spoke to Julius.
that same day, a few hours later Julius moved out. Now I was once again

alone in the crazy house.
Chapter 21
      Now that Julius was gone, Robin started to set new rules. I had to be

home before she went to sleep and set her alarm at 9:30pm. I couldn’t use

her phone, computer, or TV. She took my TV out of my room while I was at

school one day. Even with all the stress and problems, I was finally eligible

and thinking about trying out for the basketball team. After working out one
afternoon I lost track of time and got home a little after 10pm. When I

opened the door, the alarm went off. What happened next, I honestly would

have never expected this from even Robin in a million years. It hurts me to

my heart to even think about it.

     Robin came downstairs as I disarmed the alarm. “ You don’t own this

house. You a big man and you want baby. So get out. I don’t want you here.
But if you’re gonna be staying here, you gonna have to live by my rules. I

warned you, so now I need my key.” I was not trying to argue, so I just

ignored her and continued taking off my shoes. “ I was playing basketball and

me didn’t see the time. Sorry. What you mean you want your key? I didn’t

use your key, I used mine.” I should her my keys in my hand and she tried to
grab it out of my hand, “ ya no have no key here. A fe mi key. So give it to

me.” She kept trying to grab the key from me until she realized she couldn’t

take them from me. So she punches me twice in the back and once in the
chest. I caught my breath, then I glared at her and smiled as I went to my
room laughing. As I walked away she says,” a who you a look pon so? Give me
my fucking key.” I didn’t even get to finish changing my sweaty clothes

before a series of flashing lights bounce off my window. I looked out my

window, “wow.” Two cop cars in the driveway. I put on my shoes and was

about to run out the back door but they were standing inside the garage

with Robin ( my mother). She pointed at me as I walked downstairs and they

said, “ hey, come here. We need to talk.” I walked over slowly, “ what you
mean we need to talk? We don’t got nothing to talk about. Wrong house.” I

walked into the garage with Robin and her friends, “ oh yea smart guy? So

what’s this we hear about you fighting your mom and not following her rules.

Why you doing this to this poor lady. We got places for kids like you.” I

looked at them like their assess where on their faces, “ You got places for

kids like me? Listen to you. You don’t even know me. Yo, first of all I wasn’t
fighting her. I ain’t touch her. She was fighting me for my keys and I just

walked away. I’m seventeen years old, she is responsible for me. This is my

key, she can’t take my key or kick me out.” After I said that, I received a

GA state law lesson. “ Well technically those are her keys. You’re 17years old

and in the state of GA you are a legal adult. She can kick you out if she

wants. It’s her house and those are her keys. She called us here for those
keys. So I’m sorry but you have to hand them over.” I dropped the keys on

the floor, “ mummy, you call police fe mi? Mi a ya bloodcloth fost pitney.

When you use to hurt a mi alone was there with you. Take ya damn keys, see

dem de. Eat them.” She started crying after I said that and one of the cops

proceeded to grab my hand, “ you need to calm down. Don’t talk to your

mother like that, have some respect.” I snatched away my hand, “ Don’t
touch me. She ain’t no mother to me. If she was my mother then you wouldn’t

be here. What kind of mother calls the cops on her own son? Not for a

problem but to take away his house keys.” I started to walk away, “ Hey,

stop. Where are you going? Come here.” I turned around and replied,” if I’m

not under arrest I’m going for a walk.” I jogged to my neighbor, around the

corner, Hakeem’s house. I wiped my face before I ran his doorbell. His wife
beeped out the blinds and looked at me like I was crazy. She opened the

door, “ what’s up, come in. Dre you ok? It’s kind of late. Ain’t it past your

bedtime, little boy (LOL)? Hakeem, Dre here for you. He coming down.” Kaine

was always cool and very nice to me. She looks like a skinny Ashanti. Hakeem

comes downstairs, “ Eh little hommie, what up with you? Before you even say
anything. I seen them boys parked outside your house. What happened, you

and your moms boyfriend went at it?” He stopped laughing when I wiped the

smile off my face, shook my head from side to side and replied, “ yo, my mom

called the cops on me to take back my house keys. I don’t know I guess she

mad Rosaline’s having the baby.” He quickly replied, “ What? That lady done

lost her fucking mind. How she call the cops on her own son? That’s crazy.
Why her husband ain’t step in and say something? Yo this shit ain’t right

man. You still a kid and she needs to grow the fuck up and be your mother.

We got blankets upstairs and you can sleep on the couch. You gonna be ight

little hommie. Just stay focus on your dreams no matter what. Well you

already know, make yourself at home. Use the phone call your girl. Yea

brother I know what you thinking (LOL).” I called Rosaline and we met at the
lake. I told her what happened and I reassured her and myself that we would

make things work no matter what. I loved her and I was determine and ready

to prove Robin and everyone else wrong. But before I went on, I had to ask

one more time, “ yo, I’m about to give up a lot for you. Is there anything you

haven’t told me, that you need to tell me? I won’t be mad, I just need to
know. There ain’t no turning back after this point. I need to know, whatever.’

She looked me in my eyes and said, “ No. I told you everything. Baby I love

you and I’m sorry for what I did. And I’m sorry for messing up your life.” I

looked at her feeling reassure I was making the right choice.

      Now that Robin had my keys, if I wanted in the house I had to do it on

her time. Whenever I was in the house with her, she kept telling me, “ get
out. You are not wanted here. Why don’t you just leave?” I heard that every

time I saw her or she walked by my room. I don’t know how to explain the

feelings and emotions that ran through me hearing that everyday. I’m so far

from any family and I have nowhere else to go. So I have no choice but to

just stay here and take the abuse. What happens next is truly where this

story begins. Everything you have read or felt up to this was just for you to
see and understand the man I became and the choices I made. You can never

truly understand a person and the things they do until you know where that

person is coming from. Some people believe nature turns a person good or

bad. While some people believe it’s nurture that’s responsible for a person’s

outcome. I was both natured and nurture wrong as a young child growing up.
Is there no hope for the unfortunate people who were raised as I was? In all

reality I could see how it might seem as if I wasn’t ready to have a child. But

ready or not, I couldn’t let my first child die. I was already in love. Ask

yourself, if you were 17 and living my life. Would you be willing to give it all

up or put everything on the line for the life of your child? Now I’m about to
take you inside of my mind as I travel on a journey in search of my truth. A

truth that is true for me; one that I would live and die for. The reasons for

all my misunderstood actions and choices, you will soon understand.

      Monday, October 22,2001, at 9:30pm. I wipe the tears of my Bible and

grandfather’s picture. Today is the five year anniversary of my

grandfather’s death. Just as every other year since he has past, I always
take that the day to morn and reminisce on his life. But this year was all

different. I couldn’t pay respect to my grandfather in peace. Outside of my

door was the heart shaking sound of Robin’s voice and words, “ when the fuck

are you leaving? I’m tired of you being in my house. I’m tired of seeing you.

If you’re not having an abortion, I want you out. You a big man, so get out.” I

could have sat in my room and took it like I have for most of my life.
But something was different tonight as I got down on my knees and asked
God and my grandfather for forgiveness and guidance for what I’m about to
do. I had to go. I had to get away. I couldn’t take this life anymore and I’m

not about to give up my child. I wiped my face got up and opened my door. I

forced the words out my mouth, “ you want me? You really want me to leave?

If you really want me to go, let me use the phone and you will never see me

again.” She looked at me and laughed as she walked into her room. I was

really hoping she would have say no, but she came back and handed me the

phone. “ Yes, I want you out. Here. A where you think you a go? Nobody no go

want you or let you stay with them. The one place you had where you could

have went, you gave it to Julius. You a idiot. Go ahead make your call. HA.”

She stood there laughing as the tears ran down my face and my fingers

shaking with every number I dialed. “ Yo Lance, what up? I need you to come
get me. I need to leave my stuff at your house. My moms said I gotta go. Yo,

I’m serious come get me now.” I forced those words out my mouth with my

tears in mouth and Robin laughing in my eyes. In my mind I was hesitant to

make this call because being me once I said it I had to do it. I couldn’t turn

back and give Robin the satisfaction. Hearing how shaken up my voice

sounded, Lance replied, “ yo son, I’m at work. I get off in like a half hour.

Pack your stuff and I’m a come get you after work. Ight yo, I got you.” I

gave Robin the phone and went to the kitchen and got too big black garbage

bags. I went back to my room and began to clean out my closet and draws.

Would you believe the nerves of this lady? She comes into my room and tells

me to unpack my stuff and give her back any gifts her or Ean bought me. She
didn’t even let me get my CDs out the stereo they got me for my 16 th

birthday, before she yanked it away. After she got all her stuff, she just

kept coming back and forth, “ where is your friend? He lied to you. He’s not

coming to get you. (LOL) You a idiot, look at you.” Lance was taking longer

than he said he would so she wouldn’t stop throwing it in my face. So I call

him again, “ yo son, where you at?” he heard Robin in the background and

replied, “ damn. Yo I’m about to be at your house in two minutes be ready.” I

laughed, “ yo, you hear that in the background? I been ready.”- “Yo I’m

pulling in your neighborhood right now.” As I hand Robin the phone and she

saw Lance in the driveway, her whole attitude change. After I handed Lance
my first garbage bag of belongings. Robin realized I was really going. She

broke into tear, “ Andre, where are you going? Who are you gonna stay with?

Andre you don’t have to go.” With the last of my stuff in my hands, halfway

out the door I replied, “ you said you don’t want me here. You called the cops

on me and took back your house keys. You even said I wasn’t your son. So I’m

gone. Don’t worry about where I’m gonna stay. Just know that’s it for us now.

You don’t gotta worry about me anymore mummy. Goodbye. Let me go.” She

was clinched on to my arm, “ Andre a where you a go? A where you a go?

Don’t go. Andre me sorry don’t go. ANDRE.” I pulled away and slammed the

door behind me. It felt good to slam the door and be done with her for good.

But the walk to Lance’s car was a hard and heavy walk to take. I was scared
as fuck, I just slammed the door on security and walked into uncertainty. I’m

17 years old, soon to be a parent, and now homeless hundreds of miles away

from my family. Here I am running away into a world in which I can’t perceive

the future. I felt a new overwhelming feeling of loneliness as I walked to

Lance’s car and listen Robin crying behind me. I thought about turning back,

as I began my life long journey to where I did not know.
                           Chapter 22




     That night laying on the floor in Lance’s room, I felt free. I thought I

walked away from my hardest days but little did I know harder days weren’t

far away. After school the next day, Lance came to me and said, “ yo my

moms asking questions and shit. You don’t got no where else you can go? She
said you can leave your stuff her. But she don’t have space for Lacey, Julius,

You and me. I told her you was only here for last night.” My stomach got an

empty nervous feeling. I knew I didn’t have no where else to sleep. All of a

sudden, my runaway idea wasn’t feeling or looking too good. It’s fucked up

but my pride wouldn’t let me go back. I wanted to go back home so bad, I

just couldn’t. “ Yo son, I don’t got now where else to go.” He went upstairs

and told his mom, he was going to drop me off. He came back to the room

and grabbed his car keys, “ yo, come on.” we got in the car and I gave Lance a

fucked up look. I got nowhere else to go and he won’t let me sleep in his

room. As we pulled out the driveway I started to question if he was really my

man. Because the type of friend I am, would never leave a true friend lost or
without anything I can give. Before I could say anything we pulled in the

McDonald drive-thru, “ yo, you want something? Order what you want. But

yo,

when we go back to the house, you gotta be quite. My mom can’t know you

there. I just told he I was about to drop you off. I don’t know how long we

can do this for. So try and switch it up. Find somewhere else you can stay

during the week, so my mom don’t notice. We good on the weekends, because

we ain’t never really there. But you know if you don’t have anywhere to sleep

nigga, I got you. We boys and shit. But if Bev-o finds out she gonna get

crunk
and kick me, you, and Julius out. (LOL) O shit we all about to be homeless

son. Living out my car and sneaking into Rosaline’s house to take

showers.(LOL) yo hold the food.” I felt at ease again knowing I had a friend

that had my back to that extent. “ yo good looking. I really appreciate this.”

He looked at me and laughed, “ yo it was like $4. You don’t gotta thank me.” I

laughed, “ na nigga. For letting me stay at your crib.” He stepped on the

break in the middle of the road and just sat there laughing, “ yo, Andre shut

up nigga. What you thought I was gonna drop you off outside? (LOL) So you

was ready to sleep outside? Yo you crazy. But if you want I can turn around

and drop you off by the bushes somewhere (LOL). When we get back to the
house don’t be too loud. You was ready to sleep outside, oh shit.” Without

even knowing he just gained a level of friendship that I only extend to few.

He’s now my brother and I would live or die for him, from now until the day I

die. That’s my way of showing unconditional love for the few people that

make it to my heart.

      I didn’t sleep comfortably that night. I might have slept for two hours,

most of the night I laid their trying to figure out where I was going to sleep
the next day. It was so hard for me to swallow my pride and continue living a

lost life. Every time I tried to swallow my pride, I regurgitated. But I had to

swallow my pride for the life of my child. Even if it means living outside of

myself and giving up my pride, my child will be born and I will be right there.

Wednesday night was different. Lance dropped me off at Paces Club and I

went to Hakeem’s house to call Rosaline. She met me at the pavilion with a

blanket. We slept outside in the kids playhouse in the sandbox play ground.

If you never had to involuntarily sleep outside, you can’t understand what I

felt. This was a new low in my life. Such a low, I wouldn’t even wish this on

my worst enemy. I could see Robin’s house from where we slept. I needed

Rosaline now more than ever. If she wasn’t there I don’t know how I would
have made it through my first real homeless night. We laid hugged up in the

playhouse and I felt at peace even with all my pain. Just being there with

her

made everything feel like nothing. I don’t know how she does it but when

she’s around my troubled world and pain all seem to disappear. “ I hope you

see and realize how much I love you.” our foreheads stuck together she held

me tigher and replied, “ baby I know you love me. Us. I’m so sorry things




gotta be like this for you. I know it’s hard but you know I’m here for you.

Even if I have to sleep outside every night with you. Baby I love you so much
and I hope you see and understand that.” I ran my finger through her hair, “

I needed to hear you say that. Thank you. But please don’t worry yourself.

I’m gonna be ight. Thanks for the offer but you ain’t about to be sleeping

outside in the cold with my son in your stomach. If he catch a cold, we gonna
be fighting.” she laughed, “ yea and I’m gonna beat your ass (LOL). Plus we

having a girl (LOL). I love you baby, hold me closer. I’m cold, warm me up.” As

I held her tighter and rubbed her, at this point I was so driven to finish

what I have started. “ I love you and our baby, boy or girl, sooo much. If I

had a chance to do it all again, I would still choose you guys over that lady. I

love you and our baby. This is what I wanted. This is what I was begging you

for. So don’t blame yourself for my situation, I’m gonna be ok. I just need




you to always love me and know that tomorrow is gonna be a better day. I

need you to trust and believe that I will make tomorrow a better day. Today
and everything before is now just a memory. Lets forget about it and fucus

on our future together. I’m gonna give you the world and be the best man I

can be for you. I promise, just belief in me. I love you so much” with her

eyes

half close she kissed me and replied, “ I love you so much too baby. I believe

in you baby and I know we’re going to be ok. Goodnight baby. I love you.” I

kissed her and replied, “ goodnight. I love you more.” her eyes opened and

she smiled, “ I love you more. I love you a million infinity more.” we went at it

for another five minutes until she won and fell asleep. I laid there with my

life and future in my arms. But now that she fell asleep and I’m laying here
looking at Robin’s house, my true feelings came out. I felt so fucked up and

mad at myself. I had my future sleeping outside in the cold, in a playhouse. I




couldn’t feel like a smaller person, much less a man. This wasn’t how I had

imagine my new life would start. I promised her tomorrow will be a better

day but in reality I had no idea what I was I going to do tomorrow. Or what

new situations or problems it might bring. I didn’t know how or where I was

going to eat and sleep. But this is the hand I’m being dealt, so I had to take




it for what it is. But laying here with her in my arms I realized, there is

nowhere else in the world I would rather be than here in this playhouse
holding my love tight. Once in a while you find someone who changes yours

world around and picks up when you’re feeling down. Tears ran out of my eyes

while I stayed up thinking about our future and watched her dream.

     Rosaline dropped me off at Lance’s house after we woke up at about

6am. I took a shower and got something to eat. The K-mart Julius and I
worked for went out of business, so we no longer had jobs. But Julius’s

family helped him out and sent him money when he needed it. I had nothing,

any

money I had, I borrowed from Julius, Lance, or Rosaline gave it to me. That

Thursday night after hanging out at Lance’s until the last possible moment,

he dropped me off at Paces Club. Rosaline brought me dinner at the gazebo. “

My mom cooked and I saved you a plate. I didn’t eat any but it looks good

and my mom’s a good cook. You better like it because you got a lifetime of

Mexican food in your future (LOL). I love you. Where are you sleeping

tonight?” I was so hungry by the time she was finish talking half the food

was already gone. “ The food’s good. Thank you. I’m sleeping at Hakeem’s
house tonight. Don’t worry you don’t gotta sleep outside.” She smiled gave me

a kiss, “ that’s good, baby. But I wasn’t worried if you had to sleep outside
you know I would too. I love you.” What I just told her couldn’t have been

any farther from the truth. I didn’t want to lie to her, but I also didn’t want

to stress her or have her sleep outside. After I walked Rosaline home, I

stayed outside and played basketball all night. It made the hours go by

faster, it helped me to block everything out. In the park back home the few

late night ball players use to say, “ yo Jordan don’t sleep. He be up all night,

working on his game.” Yea, I could have rang Hakeem’s doorbell and ask to

spent the night. I know he would have said,” yes.” But it’s just something

about begging people or even asking for help that hurts my pride. It made

me feel weak and outside of myself to let someone know I need them. So I
to keep my pride for another day I stayed outside and workout with Jordan.

From 11:30pm-6:20am Jordan I went at it. Talking out loud to my invisible

Jordan, helped me to ignore the morning cold and keep going. Every time I

felt cold or stopped because I was cold I spoke out loud as Jordan to

myself,

“ You cold? I don’t get cold. Rain, sleet, hail, snow, or sun I don’t feel nothing

but basketball. You wanna be like me, you gotta fight it. Only the strong

survive.” Words like that out loud gave me the push I need to workout all

night through the cold. The only break I took all night was to use the

bathroom in a plastic and wipe with magazine paper. There was bathrooms by

the pool but after the shootings and other little incidents the locks where
changed from code to key. If you were born in Jamaica you would consider

me lucky, I had a plastic bag. But if you were born American you would

consider me unfortunate and having to use a plastic bag nasty. I felt the

point of view from both sides. I couldn’t complain because I grew up going to
the bathroom in the bushes and wiping with leafs. But my more Americanized

self, felt embarrass even though no one else was there. I didn’t come to

America to go to the bathroom outside down round my mother’s house. I

should have thrown the plastic bag on her front door. I did what I had to do

and went back at it with Jordan. I think I got him on the last game, he must

have fell asleep because I couldn’t miss. I called Lance to come and get me

after I was done working out.

      I got in the car with my basketball and Lance looked at me crazy, “ Yo

Dre, where the fuck you slept? You smell like a fucking locker room, yo you

stink.” I looked at him and laughed, “ yo shut the fuck up nigga. I ain’t sleep.

I just stayed outside and played basketball.” As we drove by Robin’s house
we both looked at it with a funny face and he says, “ yo what the fuck? We

need to figure something out. But we can’t be having you sleeping outside.

That shit ain’t cool. Andre why you told me to drop you off if you ain’t had no

where to go? I thought you was good last night. But yo today Friday so you

can stay at the house for the whole weekend. We ain’t gonna be there so my

mom won’t notice. But we’re gonna all try to think about people you can stay

with.” I just sat there and listen to the music for a moment as I warmed up.

I think we were bumping Blue Print, “ Never Change”, track. “ Yo V go

through the drive-thru. Good looking, you know. But yo where we going

tonight?” He paid for the food and replied, “ I don’t know. But this nigga

Murry spending the night too. So we going somewhere. Yo but you need to go
in the shower right now.” We got to the house and I said what up to Julius, “

yo Dre you stink son.” We all laughed as I ran upstairs to the shower. I don’t

know why but I have always felt uncomfortable using someone else’s shower.

But here I found myself happy for the water. It was in this shower that I

started to understand, even though I still didn’t want to, I had to swallow my

pride. When all you have left is your pride, it’s really hard to let it go.

Without my pride I had or felt nothing. My pride was all that kept me going

over the years, it’s the only reason I made it this far. I let my tears run

free with the water from the shower.
Chapter 23
      This part of my life showed me, no matter how dark or painful life may

seem. There are great people out there that want to give you a helping hand.

There is a hidden good for every bad. I never believed in angels before I ran

away and became truly lost to life. The following series of families are true

Angels and Saints. If it was not for their loving and open heart for a lost

stranger, I wouldn’t have survived. I owe my very breathe to them. “ Thank

you. I’m forever grateful and in debt to the love and compassion I have

receive from all of you.”

      The weekend went by quick, as it always does when you want time to

slow up. I spoke to Rosaline about the situation and she said she would try
and find somewhere for me too. But if we couldn’t figure something out she

will talk to her mom and have me stay with them. But my first set of angels




saved me from living with her family, that would have been real

uncomfortable for her dad and myself. Lance dropped me off at Paces Club

to meet Rosaline. I didn’t have anywhere to go so I was going to spend the

night at Rosaline’s house. He dropped me off at the basketball court, “ yo




call if you need me to come back son. Don’t fucking sleep outside. One.” I

dapped him and got out, “ ight, one.” My young hommie Andrew Butler was
working on his game, getting ready for tryouts. He was a sophomore. But

since I moved to Paces Club I always worked out with him and helped him on

his game. I felt funny asking but I really didn’t have much of a choice. I

started rebounding for him while he worked on his jump shot, “ yo Drew son ,

I gotta ask you a favor. You not following through. You gotta follow through

on all your shots” I threw him the rebound, “ ight I’m about to start

following through. But what’s that favor?” I caught the rebound, “good shot.

It’s a big favor yo. I wouldn’t ask you this unless I really needed to. You feel

me?” He stopped shooting and laughed, “ eh Dre, just go ahead and ask. I got
you, if I can help.” I felt my pride slipping down to the bottom of my

stomach, “ yo I need somewhere to stay. I got into it with my moms about

Rosaline being pregnant. Now I’m homeless. Yo you could ask your mom if I

could stay with you?” he dribbled around me and went for a lay up. He

laughed when he came down, “ that’s it? You was scared to ask me that? I’ll

talk to my mom when she comes home tonight. But don’t worry, I know my

mom and if you have nowhere to go she won’t leave you on the street. Where

you at tonight? Cuz if you need to you can come stay tonight. I’ll talk to my

moms.” I felt a well appreciated moment of relief, “ yo son I appreciate it.

You a lifesaver, yo. But I’m good for tonight. I’m a sleep at Rosaline’s house.

But yo, fa real good looking. I owe you a big one. Word.” He threw me the
basketball, “ I gotta take a couple more jumpers. But don’t worry about that.

I got you. Matter a fact there goes my moms right now. Yo I gotta go but

I’m a talk to her.” He got into the car and I started to walk away towards

Rosaline’s house. Then I heard, “ Dre, come here.” I turned around and
walked over to the car, with heavy feet. I felt ashamed to be asking so much

of a person I didn’t know. “ Andre, this is my mom. Mom this is my friend

Andre.” His mom looked at me and I said, “ hi mam, it’s nice to meet you. How

are you doing?” She held my hand and replied, “ I’m doing good, thank you.

It’s very nice to meet you too. Andrew told me about your situation. I don’t

have much. I’m a single mom. But I would be more than happy to help you out.

As long as you can follow my rules, then you are more than welcome in our

home. So Drew said you have somewhere to sleep tonight. If anything

changes feel free to call. So come by tomorrow after school and we’ll start
from there. Ok? Don’t worry baby. God has a plan for you. I’m here holding
your hand for a reason. It’s going to be ok, keep your head up young man.
You’re going to see better times.” It was one of those moments that sent
chills to my heart. It felt like I was running a 1,000 miles a minute and finally
I get a chance to stop and catch my breath. “ Thank you so much. I really

appreciate this and I really want you to know that. God bless you. Thank you

so much.” I felt weird walking away, I felt ashamed. I was across the street

from Robin’s house begging for help. My pride was now at an all time low.

         I got to Rosaline’s house and hid in the bathroom shower until

everyone went to sleep. Then we laid hugged up in her bed talking about my

living situation. I told her about Andrew and his mom and she said, “ baby

that’s

good. I mean I know you don’t want to and you might feel uncomfortable at

first. But it’s something and it’s not for long. Only until graduation, then we’ll
get an apartment. Don’t worry baby, I’m sure it won’t be that bad. You will be

ok. I’m sorry, I mean we’ll be ok.” She tried to tickle a smile out of me, “ yea

it’s gonna be ight. But she got rules (LOL) so that means curfews and shit.

So I ain’t gonna be able to be with my babies. I be missing yall as it is

already.

Well at least now we back in the same neighborhood again. I missed you guys

so much today.” She smile as I rubbed her stomach, “ I love you baby. We




love you so much. We are always going to be here with you, through

whatever. So don’t worry everything will be ok.”

      The next day after school I got my two garbage bags of belongs and
went to my new home. Julius and Lance came inside to meet Drew’s mother
and say thanks for helping me out. After they left, we had a family meeting
and went over the rules. They weren’t as bad as I expected. I had to split
the house choirs with Drew and be in the house by 11pm on school nights.
Church on sundays and finish my homework before tv, video games or
basketball. When we woke up in the morning, she had breakfast ready for us.
That’s a sight I haven’t seen since Damian’s mother. A mother’s love is a
beautiful thing to see and feel. Even though it wasn’t my mother, it was good

to feel wanted by a mother. Before she went to bed every night, she came to

my room and prayed with me. She prayed for and with me everyday. She said

if I placed my trust and faith in God. I can overcome anything. Because God

is strong and he sees me. Even when it feels like I’m alone, he’s always with

me. Hearing these things gave me strength and hope to carry on. Before my

first Sunday at the Butler’s house, it has been quite a while since I have

been to church. It felt as if the pastor build the service around my life.

Because everything he said felt like he was speaking directly to me.
      I was very excited as Rosaline and I anxiously waited for Wednesday

afternoon. On Wednesday, November, 7, 2001 after school at 4:25:26pm. I

saw and found out for the first time what I was fighting for. To this point,

this was the most amazing and beautiful experience and moment of my life.

Our first OB-GYN sonogram visit to Kennestone. The doctor rubbed gel on

Rosaline’s stomach and then she took our video tape and started to record.

Rosaline’s mom and Camila came with us. The doctor started, “ ok, are you

guys ready to find out what your having?” I looked at Rosaline and smile, “ we

already know. It’s a boy.” She smiled and replied, “ it’s a girl.” The doctor

smiled at us as the picture became clear on the monitor. “ Well, it’s seems

like mommy was right. It looks like a girl. But the way she’s laying on the
umbilical cord, I can’t be too sure. We’ll know for sure on your next visit.”

Rosaline and I looked at each other and smile as we held hands, “ we’ll be




happy with a boy or girl. We just want a healthy baby. That’s what’s

important to us.” Everything I was going through didn’t matter at all, it’s all
worth it. That was all I thought and felt as I steered into the stomach of my

love. Where lived my even deeper love. I was looking at my own flesh and

blood inside of another, it’s one the most amazing feelings in the world. At

least it was to me. When we got back to Rosaline’s house, everyone got upset

with the doctor. The video tape was blank. She didn’t record anything, we




were so mad. But that was a great day (11/7/01), a day that will live in my

heart with a smile forever.

      I began to embrace life with Andrew and his mother. Drew became like

my little brother, so I looked out for him when he needed it. He was starting
to catch feeling for his new girlfriend. But come to find out she’s was one of

those freshmen girls that’s always grabbing on me. She was bad, I think her
name is Stacie. But she had lunch with me and her girlfriends and her always

be trying to holla at me. They were crazy, whenever they caught me in the

halls by my locker they would grab and pull on me crazy. Talking crazy hot

sex talk, in my ears. After he told me who she was, I told him how I

knew her. She called about 15 minutes later and I answered the phone and

told her Andrew wasn’t home. We went up to his mom’s room and mute the

other phone. “ Is this Dre?” Drew looked at me and laughed as he signaled

me to go ahead and see how far she would go. “ How you knew it was me?”

She laughed, “ Drew told me you was staying with him. I didn’t know if it was

you. That’s why I asked. I thought it was Pat or one of his other little
friends playing on his phone. I was hoping it was you. If that means anything.

I know it might not mean much because you must hear that a lot. Plus I’m a

freshman. But trust that don’t mean nothing. I just want to let you know

that. Now I’m embarrassed.” I laughed, “ no don’t be embarrass. I could

never hear that too much. It means something coming from a beauty such as

yourself. Why did you want me to answer? Why you think you being a

freshmen means nothing? It can mean a lot cuz you would probably act young

about certain things. You know, things you have yet to experience.” She

giggled, “ damn, your voice sounds so sexy over the phone. I wanted you
answer, so I could see if your voice sounded as sexy as you look. And damn, it

do.” Drew covered his mouth and started laughing. I told her to hold on and




mute the phone. “ Yo you want me to go ahead?” He looked at me, “ eh man do

you. Go ahead. Unmuted the phone.” I unmuted the phone, “ yea, I’m back.
You missed me (LOL)? So how sexy do I sound?” She giggled, “ you sound real

sexy. Your voice turns me on.” I laughed, “ what about your boy? What kind

of things you like to do when you turned on?” She took a moment, “ let me

get comfortable. You’re alone right? For real Dre. Don’t lie because this

conversation is about to get real serious. You betta not say nothing to Drew.

Dre is he there?” I quickly replied, “ yo if he was here, I wouldn’t have

answered the phone. B E Z I won’t say anything. We about to have a grown




conversation just between you and me.” She eased up, “ my bad. Ok. I like my

boyfriend’s voice but yours is more grown and sexy. (LOL) What do I do
when I’m turned on? That’s a good question, I don’t get turned on that often.

But for you, when I’m turned on I’m willing try anything once or twice (LOL).”

I looked at Drew like wow then I replied, “ word? Anything? I feel you but

anything could be a lot of things. So let me know what anything means to

you.” She laughed, “ I mean anything you want me to do, try or you want to

teach me I don’t mean to be too blunt but if you were here right I could

show you what I mean. I would strip down to my leopard thong and let you do

whatever you like or please with me. I want you to teach me things Dre.”

Drew laughed and shock his head, “ you know I got a girl right? What about

her? I don’t keep secrets from her. What about your boy? He won’t like
that.” She replied, “ what he don’t know won’t hurt him. Your girl can watch

or join us. I told you, I’m willing to try anything with you.” Andrew hung up

the phone and signaled me to end the conversation. “ Yo that’s what up. You
got me sitting her fantasizing. But yo I gotta go meet my girl. We’ll finish

this conversation lata. Ight bye.” Andrew went and got his sneakers and

basketball. He gave me dap and said, “ yo get dress and lets go to the

basketball court. Good looking man, that trick is a hoe. That’s mad funny

though.” I told him, “ yea I know. But yo she bad son. Don’t break up with her

yet. Just do you on the side until you get tired of her. Don’t feel bad yo. It’s

just part of the game. We all play it, you just gotta always stay ten steps

ahead of the game. With what you know now, you got five steps on her. It’s

on you, how you use that knowledge.” After he got a new girl and got tired of

her, he broke up with her.
      Basketball was already a few days into try out. I didn’t have a parent

so I couldn’t get the need physical for try outs. Murray’s mom was a doctor

and she did my physical over the phone. Curry always hung out with Lance,

Julius and I so he knew the situation I was going through. So he begged his




mom to do my physical so I could try out. She did the physical but we had to

call Robin on three-way for her parental permission and consent. At first she

didn’t want to give the ok. But I begged and pleaded with her, and she

finally said ok. I started try outs on the last day of conditioning and the

first day of in gym try outs. After each day I had to stay after and make up
all the conditioning I missed. My body lasted two days before it was too

much to bare. Being that I had to make up more than everyone, by the time I

was done everyone was already gone home. So I had no ride. Couch had to

give me a ride one afternoon, “ so if you make the team, what’s gonna happen
on game days? You need to have a dependable ride. Maybe basketball is too

much for you to focus on right now, with your situation. This is another

commitment you would have to make. I like you but I can’t make special rules

for you. Because it wouldn’t be fear to the other guys. So make sure you

figure out your ride situation.” Physically, with my lack of condition and all

the things I been going through, I wasn’t ready. After I finally caught up

with conditioning, there was only two days left for try outs. My whole body

was swore and aching. After try outs couch just kept the team as it was

from the year before. He cut all four of us that tried out for varsity. He

came outside as I waited for my ride and spoke to me, “ hey keep you head

up kid. You got a bigger game to play. Basketball just wasn’t meant to be
right now. Good luck with your new baby. You’ll be a good father and you

know I’m always here if you need me.” I smiled as he squeezed my hand, “

thanks. When I have a boy he going pro out of high school.” It was hard

thing for me to swallow but I really didn’t have any time to feel bad or think

about not making the team.

      Rosaline and I would skip school once in a while and get a hotel room.

To escape from the world and everything that was going on. I didn’t live with

Robin so I wasn’t too concern with the school calling my house. But I was

more wrong than ever. Thanksgiving break was only a few days away and

Robin was having dinner at her house. A phone call from the school
presented an opportunity to once again interfere with my life. See Robin’s a

funny person, in front of her friends she turns into something from her

favorite show, Oprah. She’ll do anything to keep the illusion of a perfect life.

So in her mind she couldn’t have everyone at her dinner asking, “ Where is

Andre?” So she got back to her old tricks and called Andrew’s mother crying.

I came home that afternoon to hear Andrew’s mom say, “ Andre, we have to

talk.” I thought nothing of it or at least I never imagined it had anything to

do with my mom. “ I received a phone call from your mother today. She told

me you weren’t in school today. What’s that about? Talk to me, what’s going

on?” I was speechless for a second as I searched to find the words, “

Rosaline has minimum day and we weren’t doing anything in our classes.
Because vacation is coming up. So we spent the day together to get away

from all the stress. I’m sorry.” she looked at me and shook her head, “ well

thank you for being honest with me. But you have to go to school to stay

here. We spoke about that. I’m a single mom trying to raise Andrew to do

the right things. I don’t want him to see you do these things and think it’s

ok. I was very disappointed to hear that. I still love you but I need you to

understand how I feel. Because it looks bad to have your mom calling me as

if I’m not taking good care of you. It made me look and feel bad as a parent.

She started crying and asked if I could send you back home. I told her I

would speak to you first and that it was up to you if you wanted to go back.
She wants to come over and talk. She sounded sincere and I think she is

really sorry and misses you. I think we should call her back. What do you

think? I’m not kicking you out. You’re still welcome to choose to stay here. I

just think it would be the best thing for you to try to forgive and work

things out with your mom.” I wanted to say no but I really didn’t have a

choice. She already had her fingers on the number pad. “ I guess. I mean

yes,

you can call her, if that’s what you feel is best.” She called and two minutes

later Robin was at the door. She sat on the couch and pretended to be a

changed loving person, a real mother. Through her tears she begged for

forgiveness. She even brought miss Butler to tears. But I have seen this act
before, so I wasn’t believing a word. I was just steering at her and bracing

myself for whatever trick laid ahead for me. I didn’t want to be rude or

disrespectful in front of miss Butler or in her house for that matter. So I

just said whatever and went along with Robin’s game. It’s always a game with

her, never real love.
Chapter 24
     After successfully getting me out the Butler’s home and back with her.

Robin wiped her tears and started her Oprah smile game. She had dinner

made, one of my favorite dishes. Oxtail and rice and pees, with Francisca’s

potato pudding. Thanksgiving was close so she wanted to be on my good side.

When Thanksgiving came she told everyone that asked, “ oh no Andre didn’t

move out. He was just spending the night at his friends house the last time

you were here.” But the day after thanksgiving her plot unfolded. “ Andre,

we’re moving to Saint Louis and we want you to come with us. I know you
don’t like living with other people. I know you don’t feel comfortable sleeping

in a stranger’s house. You’re my son and I love you. You don’t have to live in

GA to have your baby. I just don’t want to see you throw your life away. I

don’t want you to have to struggle like I did. Andre you remember how life

was for us before I met Ean? That’s not the life I want for you. How’s it

going to look if we move and you don’t come with us? Where are you gonna

go? You can’t go back to your friends house.” I looked at her and shrugged

my shoulders, “ I don’t know. I appreciate you saying that and you know I

love you too mummy. Regardless at the end of the day, no matter what I do

or say. Mi love you mummy. But I can’t leave her to have the baby by herself.

You remember what it was like for you when you gave birth to me and my
father wasn’t there? I told her to have the baby, mummy. So I can’t just

leave her. I don’t want to do to someone else what my father did to you and

me. You should have spoke to me before you called and messed up my

situation. Because now I don’t have anywhere to stay.” Francisca was sitting

in the kitchen and she agreed with me. Given the situation, Robin asked her

to let me stay with her.

      As planned, two days later Robin and Ean rented their home and move

to Saint Louis. Now I was stuck down south without a guardian, waiting to be

a guarding myself. I was so lost, but I had to hold it together. I had to stay

focus on the family I’m about to start. So I ignored the hurt and pain I
felt and carried from my personal life. I truly believed I was doing the right

thing and making the right choice. I’m only going to live once, and the way

life has been going to this point I don’t know how long this one life will last. I

don’t believe I have the right to deny my daughter her life. I am young and I

heard all the warnings and advice from the people I knew cared for me with

the best of intentions. But I felt her with every beat of my heart and after

Hiram told me there is a slight chance that I can have a child at my age and

still go on to finish my life as one of the few that made it out my situation.

That was enough for me to role the dice on my life for my daughter. That

been said inside my head, I took staying with Francisca for what it was.

Lance and Julius took turns coming to get me in the morning for school
because Francisca lived 20 minutes away. Francisca is my favorite chef, no

one makes better Jamaican food than her. So I eat familiar and good at this

rest stop, I liked that. But I only stayed with Francisca until Christmas

break because Julius, Lance and myself started getting to school too late.

      When Christmas break came Julius and I took the Greyhound from

ATL to NYC Port Authority. It was suppose to be about an 18 hour trip. But

after the bus broke down twice, 18 turned into 21/23. I wouldn’t advice that

trip for anyone. It felt good to be home and breathing fresh New York City

air. Fresh shape up from Brownsville and braids from Bushwick and it was

like I never left. After I went to see some old faces William, Chanel,
Vanessa, Roseann, Anisea and Lisa. It felt like I was home for two days.

Christmas came and went. Now Julius and I were back at the bus station for

yet another long trip. Anthony and Erica came with me to the bus station and

they met Julius while we stood on line. Erica and I went shopping for the

baby but I forgot the stuff I bought in Brooklyn. I didn’t notice until we got

on the bus.




      Lance picked us up from the bus station in ATL. Now I was back where

I started, trying to find somewhere to live. After Francisca’s house I spent

my nights in Rosaline’s room and my days and weekends at Lance’s house. It

was easy to hide and sneak into Rosaline’s room. But I got tired of the on the
go lifestyle, so once again I went outside of myself to find and beg for

another rest stop. I needed a break. Every time I thought it was over and I

found somewhere, something always change. Hakeem and his family were

always good to me, even before I was homeless. So I waited for him to come

home for his work break at midnight. He pulled up in his Lexus Jeep on 24's.

he knew something was up when he saw me sitting on his door steps. He

rolled down his window and lowered the music, “ Whad up hommie? Get in.” I

got in and closed the door then he said, “ you don’t even have to say anything.

I was wondering where you been at. I even stopped Rosaline in the road the

other day when she was driving by. To ask her where my boy at. She said you

was staying with her and your boy because you had to move out of where you
was at before. Then I seen your mom’s for rent sign went down. And a new
group of hunkies moved in. I don’t know why it took you so long to come to
me. But brother you welcome to stay here until you figure out your next
move. I spoke to the wife already because I knew you was coming at some

point. Hold your fucking head and stay focus on your dreams. This shit ain’t

the end of you. It’s fucked up that you got to go through it but it don’t gotta

be the end of you. Stop trying to understand what you’re going through.
That’s what they want you to do but you’re only gonna hurt yourself doing
that. You have to learn how to overstand your situation and build from it to
move on. You gonna be ight Dre.” the only time I ever heard of black men like
Hakeem was my time at the Renaissance Rights of Passage program. They
thought us about Unity (umoja) within the black community. The idea that, “
no man is an island.” and “ it takes a village to raise a child.” Hakeem was a
true man, a true black man. He had no relations to me and here he is
extending himself to me. Even as I tried to thank him, “ yo Hak, good looking.
Thank you so much.” he stopped me, “ eh man save it. I know you appreciate
it. I know and I overstand your situation. You want to thank me? Then finish

high school and stay focus on your dreams. Couple of years from now, I just

want to hear you call and tell me where we going. Stay focus on your dreams.

Can’t nobody take that from you unless you let them.” It says a lot about a

man’s character at 27 years old, for him to help me without reasons or

questions. If he wasn’t there for me when he was, I don’t know if I could

have survived much longer.
Chapter 25
     Julius and I both got hired at Lance’s job, MBNA America. But before I

could start I had to find another ID. The only ID I had was my Jamaican

passport, Robin kept everything else. So Rosaline and I went down town

Atlanta to the official fake ID spot to get my ID for work. They laughed

when I asked for my real age and information on the ID. My ID worked and I

started selling credit cards over the phone. We made $380 without

commission and about $560 with commission on every check. I started making
enough for Rosaline to stop working and get off her feet. She didn’t want to

but eventually she said ok. So after Julius, Lance, and I cashed our checks I

kept $70 for myself and gave Rosaline the rest. Her mom would send me

dinner every night while I stayed with Hakeem. Hakeem and his wife decided

to intrust me with a key to their house so I wouldn’t have to wait outside in

the cold when they weren’t home. They excepted me into their family and

showed me more love and support than I felt from Robin. It says a lot when

two young adults with two young kids of their own, Ieliyah and Emahni, still

find space they don’t have for a stranger. Sometimes our hard times and

struggle brings out and show the good in other people. Good people really do

exist in this seemingly bad and dark world. I couldn’t help but believe in faith
after my second encounter with a family of angels. But still I didn’t feel at

home, no matter where I slept. I only felt comfortable resting wherever

Robin was. The son in me, through it all, missed her and was constantly

worried about her. It felt funny not knowing if my mom was ok. Even when we

fought and I ran away, she was still right there and I knew where she was.

But now I had no contact what soever with her.

      Rosaline’s stress started to have and affect on her pregnancy. Her

cervix was dilating too fast, so she had to stay off her feet as much as

possible. In school she had to use a wheel chair so she wouldn’t go into

premature labor. She also had to pump milk in school. I knew it was hard for
her to go through her days but she kept strong. She started to truly believe

that together there isn’t nothing we can’t do. Our late nights in the car after

9/11 became more risky. We would park her car in random neighborhoods and

sometimes people would call the cops on us. While we were in the middle of

having sex once, a bright flash of light shine through the foggy window and

knocked. These cops asked us if we had anthrax or bombs in the cars. We

laughed because I was in my boxers and she was in my shorts and t-shirt.

Another time right as we threw the napkins out the window and started to

pull out the park, the cops pulled in. They said, “ we don’t even got to ask
what’s on those napkins, right? How about one of you get out and threw them

in the trash.” Rosaline got out and threw them in the garbage. After a few

standard questions we drove off.
Chapter 26
      My anger and frustration kept me on a short fuse, for bullshit, in

school. I was running on an empty tank. On January 28, 2002 that fuse

burned out and I paid dearly for my actions. But the story starts on the

Friday of 1/25/02. That Friday after the last Bell Demarcus and I were

walking from the Science building to the front by my locker where I met

Rosaline. It was the last bell so the hallways were packed shoulder to

shoulder. But I always made my way through the crow like we at 42ndst train
station morning rush hour. But on this given day stood a young man and his

friends with different intentions for my day. His friends saw us pushing pass

a lot of people and moved out the way. Four steps away I hear the young man

say, “ fuck that. He ain’t about to push me out the way. I ain’t scared of that

nigga.” Classic case of a dude trying to score points of me, not knowing I kept

it scoreless as if I was one within Mike. He didn’t listen to his friends and

when I got to him I asked him to move. But he tried to stunt and act like he

didn’t hear me. So I moved him to the other side of the halls. He friends

caught him and Demarcus and I laughed and kept walking. He tried to talk

shit as we walked away and I stop and told, “ shut the fuck up and B E Z.

Fallback young’n, you don’t want a problem with me.” Rosaline was waiting for
me and his friends were talking to him so we just kept it moving. Camila’s

boyfriend had class with Rosaline so he pushed her to my locker after class

everyday. A few of her other friends and him pushed her around school when

I didn’t. Weekends Rosaline and I always I went out for dinner, a movie, and

ice cream. We watch every movie that came out during her pregnancy. Some

we saw a few times. I might have even lost a tear or two, in the dark, when

we saw “ John Q.” It’s amazing how much your feelings and thoughts change

when you’re expecting a baby. Before I was expecting my daughter I would

have felt or been able to connected to Denzel’s character situation to the

point of tear drop(s). I looked forward to having that kind of love for my

daughter. I went to Morgan’s house to get my hair braided that Sunday. Her
family and her were all Jamaican so it was a cool place to be. Morgan did my

hair every week, at first she didn’t know how to braid. But after her sister

did my hair and showed her, she became nice from practicing on my head. She

was always

good to me, whenever I went to her house, I always got good home cooked

Jamaican food. Before I left I went downstairs to say what’s up to her little

brother Mikey. He was friends with the young dude from the hallway. He was

on the phone with one of the kids from the hallway and they said the kid was

talking shit. He gave me dap and laughed as he told his friend to talk to his

man. Because Dre wasn’t thinking about him. Once again I forgot about the

whole little situation.
      Monday after Julius, Lance and I stopped for breakfast, we got to

school late. We got our late slips from the office and went to class. I stopped

at my, the halls were empty, an as faith would have it the same young man was

also late. I was bent over getting my books when he walks by me with his

tough face on. I gave him the stupid face and laughed. The nerves of this kid,

he gets halfway down the hallway and then turns around, “ I got you. You

think I’m funny? I got something for you.” I close my locker laughed as I

walked behind him to my class, “ yo shut the fuck up. Ain’t nobody in the halls

but me and you, nigga. Don’t talk, do you. WHAT? That’s what I thought, you

herb ass nigga.” He said nothing the whole walk so I just went into my class.

Once again I forgot and let go of the whole situation. He had lunch with me
and his boys. I call them the battery team, cause he needed them to hype
and charge him up. With his gangsta tough guise battery fully charged he
steered
at me the entire lunch period. But still I paid him no mind I just point at him

so he knew I saw him and laughed. He walked by my table and mumbled

something but I still wasn’t paying him any attention. But of course a fool

always mistakes kindness for weakness. You would think after I kept walking

away, he would have just took his self thought verbal win and just let it be.

After the bell ran I stop at my locker with Demarcus and Deshaun. Hallway

full, he thought it to be a good time to start a scene. Now that the

hallways are filled and everyone is listen it becomes harder for me to walk

away and let them think I took a lost. I have never been one for the back and




forth arguing. So once again I warned him to chill before things get out of
hand. In Jamaica I grew up playing cricket, it’s much like baseball, it’s played
with the three strike concept. So I always try to give those who wish harm
to
me, three chances to walk away. Because once we cross that line, regardless

of what it’s about, my mind is art of war. I can’t take a lost and I knew if it

every came to taking a lost, I would bring it to life and death. I’m not a bad

person, that’s just how I was thought and raise growing up in the struggle.

With that in mind I always tried my best to control myself and avoid simple

arguments. I thought he got the point that I wasn’t paying him no mind as he




started to walk away. But I think the shine he felt from the crowd cheering

him on, had him feeling good. I think his boys charged him up with Duracells

in

his back. Still paying him no attention just laughing him off, I got my books

and we started to walk to class. The majority of the crowd was moving in the
same direction. Then this young man turns around and stops in the middle of

the hallway directly in my path, with his arms folded. I guess he was feeling
like his favorite rapper or something. Ten steps away from this kid I told

Demarcus, “ yo hold my books son. I’m about to fuck this kid up.” I got to him

and I guess his guise didn’t know where to go beyond this point. Because he

just remained standing there with his arms folded. Yea, I could have walked

around him. But I don’t believe in changing routes because of another man. He

stood directly within my path so when I got within arms reach. I grabbed him

with the saint (my left hand) and brought him together with the sinner (my

right hand). Then I followed up with my 2,1,2 five hit combination. He rushed

us into the locker and I then I began to bang his head into it. I pushed off

and backed up, giving him a chance to take his beating or walk away before




any teachers came. But I guess after his shine turned to darkness and the

hype from the crowd turned into laughs, his battery recharged. He rushed at
me swinging crazy, and no lie he got off two. One to my shoulder and one to

the side of my head. Then I gave him three with pressure, all to the face.

The last punch sent his head into a classroom door. Now I’m furious not only

because he hit me but mainly because I gave him so many chances to walk

away and he still didn’t get the point. Sometimes it’s hard for people to

except and understand that I will not lose. I started screaming at him as he

stumbled and everybody laughed. When I get to the point of screaming, it

can

make your heart shake. At this point a teacher runs out into the hallway to

see what the commotion was all about. He was the only teacher on sight so he

proceed to grab who he perceived as the aggressor. Which from his eyes

turned out to be me. So he grabs me by my wrist to prevent me from
swinging. But while he’s holding me, no one was holding the other student. So

he decided he wasn’t done fighting, I guess he wasn’t satisfied. So once again

he starts swinging around the teacher. I leant back and started weaving

behind the teacher that was still holding my wrist and standing between us.

He was trying to hit me around the teacher, but he wasn’t hitting me. I raised

up my hands, teacher still holding my wrists, and started to swing back

around the teacher. Like a father teaching his son how to punch. I didn’t at

any point and couldn’t have, given the way he was holding my hands, hit the

teacher. I was punching straight forward and our hands, the teacher’s and my

own,

where touching the kid. After about a minute or two fighting like an old white

administrator ran over to the fight. For some reason even after clearly
seeing the other teacher hold me, she runs over and grab me as well. Now

with two teaches holding me back, this kid finds heart to talk shit. The

nerves of this kid, so I get even more angry and tried to pull away, not push,

from the teachers. That’s when one teacher got off me and finally grab the

other student. A few more moments other teachers came to assist and take

us to the office.

      Just a school, five day suspension was all I thought as I sat and waited

in the office. I couldn’t have conceive what was about happened next. I went

in and spoke to my administrator, Mr. Coney, and that’s when he told me




the teacher take was holding me got hit in the head a few times. I explained

to him that I couldn’t have been the one who punched him because he was

holding me by the wrist. I’m not proud but over the years we had developed a
relationship from all my visits to his office. So he believed me and started to

fill out my suspension form. Miss Stuy the assistant principal or something

along that line, came in to speak to me. We also had developed a relationship

from my regular visits over the years. “ Andre, again your getting suspended?

Your going to break Rosaline’s heart when she hears this. You just got back
from suspension a few weeks ago. Let this be your last suspension, Andre. I’m

rooting for you, Rosaline and the baby. I really want to see you guys make it.

I truly believe you guys can do it. But Andre you have to stay out of trouble.




Isn’t the baby due any day now?” As she finished her last word, the old lady

that was holding me back came in the room with a different story. She said I

was the aggressor and it had to have been me that hit the teacher. She said

I was trying to fight with her too as she tried to hold me back. When the

teacher that got hit was asked would hit him. He said he wasn’t sure but he

doubt it was me because he was holding my hands. But for some reason his

statement didn’t seem to matter to anyone. Now the talks went from
suspension to suspension and jail. They spoke to the principal and the decision

was made to make an example out of me. The campus police was asked to do

the arrest but after hearing the other teacher’s statement he refused. He
didn’t think it was the right thing to do. You would think if the campus police

said no then everything would stop but it didn’t. They called a different cop

and I had to sit in the office until the last bell and wait. The bells rang and




hearing the news Rosaline came straight to the office. “ Andre what

happened? Are you ok? Are you getting suspended again?” I held her hands

and replied, “ I got into a fight with some kid. I didn’t start it but I threw

the first punch. They said the teacher that was holding my hands got

punched in the head. I said I didn’t hit him and he said that too. But they

don’t believe

me. So I’m getting suspended and arrested. That’s why I’m still here. I’m

waiting cops they call to arrest me because the campus police wouldn’t do it.”
She hugged me and squeezed and before she could say a word. In walks a

black ex-military looking and sounding cop. “ Are you Andre Moore? Up
against the wall and place hands behind your back.” He took his leather cloves

out his pockets and was putting them on as I replied, “ can’t you wait for her

to leave? She’s pregnant, she don’t need to see this.” He slapped the cuffs on

my wrists and replied, “ I’m doing my job. This is how I arrest everyone. You

should have thought about the affects of your actions before you acted. I’m

not hurting your girlfriend, you are.” He checked my pockets and I told him

to




give everything to Rosaline. Then I replied, “ I ain’t do nothing. This is

bullshit.” He walked me out into the crowed hallway and to his cruiser parked

in front of the school. I told Rosaline to look for Hiram’s number in my phone
and call him. I got a blue three way from Erica and Anthony when I was back
in Brooklyn for Christmas break and Rosaline turned it on in her name with
her credit. I also told her to go to Hakeem’s house and talk to him and he’ll
figure something out. She started to cry and kissed me before I got stuffed

into the back of the cop’s car. I hated myself for having her see me like this.

It was hard to watch her stand their and wave as the tears ran down her

face and I wasn’t able to wipe her face or even wave back. I have always, even




before she was pregnant, tried my best to keep my anger and demons away

from her. I don’t even as much as talk about fight someone with her. She

stood there slowly wiping her eyes as we drove away.
                          Chapter 27




      Now here I am, being driving off to a life of sin. I have never been

arrest before so I was sitting without a clue to what was about to happen. So

I started talking to the officer, “ so what’s going to happen to me?” He
replied, “ well your 17 years old. And here in Ga you’re considered an adult. So

right now were are going to Cobb County Jail. I don’t know what’s going to
happen to you but you’ll find out when we get there and you get booked. “ I

shook my head, “ why didn’t the other kid get arrested too?” He replied, “ I

was only called for you. His mother came and got him from what I know he

only got suspended. I know it’s messed up but sometimes that’s how it goes.

Why were you fighting and don’t say a girl.” I laughed, “ na, no girl. Young boy

was just trying to act tougher than he was. I gave him three or more chances

to walk away. But he didn’t, so he got what he got. I guess he was thinking, he

would gain points and popularity if he could beat me. Silly kid. But now sitting

here with you, I realize now it wasn’t worth it. But it was too many people

watching, I kinda had to.” He chuckled, “ you’re about to be a father. Your

girlfriend was hurt, heart broken and embarrassed as she stood there

watching me take you away. You didn’t have to do anything. The only thing you
should be doing is loving that girl and being a father. You have to think about

them before you act, because your actions sometimes leads to meeting me.”

      We pulled into the county jail parking lot and my stomach felt empty

and my mouth dry. I got out the car and he escorted me inside to the left




hand of the injustice system. Here I am only 17 years old and expecting a

baby while I’m walking into jail. But I wasn’t in a place to show those feelings.

So I took my first experience with my chin up. I went up to the booking

window and gave my information to the young lady working at the window. “

Oh girl come look at this one. He cute. Your braids are nice. You look like one

a them cute thugs. What’s your name? Ok, hold on let me get your papers.

What you here for?” I smiled because I just finished telling her I was a nice
guy, “ I don’t know why I’m here. I just got into a little school fight. I had to

put a young boy in his place. Why what the papers say?” Her and her

girlfriend both laughed, “ you can lick your lips all you want. You cute but the




papers say different. That wasn’t no little fight. You beat up a teacher and

another student. Who is a year younger than you, so he’s still a minor. You’re

charged with 2 counts of assault on a minor and 3 counts of assault on a

government employee. That’s messed up, they called the cops on you and just




let the other kid go. Hold your head, you’ll be aight hun. At least can’t nobody

say you anything win, because you got the charges and papers to prove it.”

After she took my information, I had to go sit in a holding cell with about 28
or 30 grown men, waiting to be processed. Some drunk, pissed off and at a
lost for life grown men. So I tightened up my face and stances. After the
first 2 hours went by, I became more comfortable. I gained my acceptance

and respect from the other men in the holding cell after I held my ground

against a much older drunk man. He was about 30 years old, give or take two

years. “ Eh what the fuck you looking at shawty? You know me nigga? You ever

been to the chain gang? Don’t go to the chain gang.” I can’t front, I was

shook. But locked down and out of town I had to represent where I am from.

I think I might die one day from repping my hoods, Jamaica and Brooklyn. I

do it everywhere I go, by myself or in a group. So I put on the monster face

and screamed at him, “ YO I AIN’T FUCKING LOOKING AT YOU. SO DON’T

FUCKING PLAY WITH ME. DON’T LET THE BRAIDS AND YOUNG FACE

FOUL YOU. I’M FROM BROOKLYN NIGGA, SO WE CAN GET IT POPPING.

FUCK WAITING TO JOIN THE CHAIN GANG. GOD BODY NIGGA, DO YOU

NOW.” A guy that use to go to North Cobb and the boyfriend of one of
Camila’s spanish friends. He knew me so he stepped in and told me to chill. 15

minutes later I got to make my phone call. I called Hakeem because I knew, if

anyone was, he would be on the outside trying to help me out. “ Yo Hak, what

up? I’m locked up. Did Rosaline come through and tell you what’s up?” He

replied, “ yea man. She came by looking heart broken because her baby’s

locked up (LOL). I called the jail and they said your bail $2,800. Rosaline

called your cousin and got your mom’s number. That lady is crazy. I’m sorry to

say it yo but there is something seriously wrong with that lady. She answered

the phone and I said. ‘Hi how you doing? This is Hakeem, your son has being

staying with me. He got arrest at school today for fighting. I’m trying to get

him out of jail right now. His bail is $2,800.’ She said, ‘I think you got the

wrong number. That’s not my son. I don’t know who you’re talking about.’ Yo I
started laughing and said, ‘Your first son Andre. Listen lady I ain’t about to

sit here and play games with you while your son sitting in jail. You know who

I’m talking about, Andre Moore is your son. He’s locked up and he’s living

house to house. You’re a horrible lady, for having your son like that. I’m sorry

for saying it but you need to her it.’ She got mad and said, ‘so what the fuck

you want me to do? He wants to throw his life away, let him. He lives with you

and I’m a horrible person. So fuck you and him, deal with it yourself.’ Click.

That’s crazy, now I see first hand what you going through. It’s fucked up

little hommie. But some people have to do without both parents. Sometimes

it’s the best thing you can do for yourself. Hold your had man. But you gonna

have to spend the night. The wife ain’t gonna go for putting up $2,800 cash.

So I gotta go see the bail bonds man before work tomorrow and put my car

up. So you betta not go back home to Brooklyn when you get out. Have a good
night son. The experience will be good for you. Don’t drop the soap (LOL).

Maybe spending a night in there your hard headed ass will learn how to
control your temper. Because you don’t need to be in jail. But don’t worry, we

gonna talk about that when you touch down. I gotta go to work. Hold your

head.” I replied, “ yo my bad. But good looking. Damn I wanted to get out of

here today. I almost had to fuck some old drunk nigga up. Talking crazy out

his mouth.” He laughed and replied, “ Damn Dre. Try not to catch anymore

charges while you in there. But if shit pops off, it’s art of war, anything goes.

Just get him before he gets you. Man you’ll be ight. Well as yal say in

Brooklyn. One.” I replied, “ Ight yo good looking. One.” No officers were




watching the phone, so I quickly made another call. The phone rang three
times and Rosaline’s father answered. After he found out about the
pregnancy he went numb and didn’t really say much to Rosaline. So obviously
he hated me. I felt for him and I really understood his position. His second
oldest daughter is growing up to be like her older sister. Who also had her

son at age 17. When he picked up the phone and said hello, I replied, “ hi,

good afternoon. Can I speak to Rosaline please?” I heard Rosaline in the

background as he replied, “ no she’s not here (Click).”

      Now it was back to the holding cell for about another four and a half

hours. Old dude was still drunk and kept mean mugging me. But I steered

back and watched as he got into it with someone else. After the holding cell

they took us out in groups of fours to get processed. I got finger printed,

one




finger at a time. Then four at a time and the thumb and pointer finger twice.

Afterwards came my mug shot. I had some fresh braids and a clean shape up.

So my mug shot was hot. I got a wristband with my picture and id number on
it. After that it was time for a TB shot in my left forearm. I hate needles I

even hated the bump after a TB shot even more. Now I was taken to a new

holding cell, with processed psychos, killers and lifetime felons. Through it all

I kept thinking to myself, “ yesterday I had no idea I would have been sitting

here. What if Rosaline have the baby tonight? Damn, I fucked up.” Outside

the cell a older black man started fighting with a CO. He set off his alarm

and within seconds four other Co(s) rushed to the scene and threw him into

an empty cell. They laughed and walked away as the guy kept screaming and

talking shit. I thought it was over but ten minutes later, ten Co(s) came

dressed in S.W.A.T. gear. Packed with mase, clubs, shields and a video
camera. They started to mess with the guy who by this time had already

calmed down. “ yo look at him. He pussy. I told you, he was just acting up. He

scared.” If you tell a real Georgia boy he scared, he is going to get crunk. So

sure enough he tries to get crunk then they turn the camera on showing him
resisting and causing a scene. Nine of the Co (s) ran into the cell while the
camera man stayed at the door and recorded their backs. They proceed to

beat and mase the inmate. He didn’t say another word or cause a problem all

night. After two hours in my second holding cell it was time to join the chain

gang and general population. Shackled and connected to a group of arms, legs,




and whist, like the slave from Roots. We lined up in front of the changing

room and a big black co came out the door, “ alright now listen up. We gonna

go two at a time. You come in here and do as you are told.” I was fourth in line

and nervously waiting. I went into the room and he said, “ ok get naked. Open




your mouth. Lift up your tongue, turn it to each side. Bend over and spread

your ass. Hold your balls and coughed three times. Ok step over there and

get
your new outfit. That’s that fly gear. You’ll get your clothes back when you gt

out. Enjoy your stay.” my new outfit was a blue shirt and pants with brown

sandals. But the best part was my new underwear. I think it was suppose to




be white or off white. But it was more like brown with off white spots. It

took me a few minutes to put them on. The co laughed, “ it’s your first time,

huh? You got a good pair. We got worst. What you here for? (LOL) A school

fight. Don’t worry you will be ight.” I got my bag of inventory a; finger size

tooth brush, plastic coffee mug, hotel size bar of soap, hand size towel, and a

plastic mattress with build in pillow.

      I walked down a series of halls to my new bed in G-block. It was crazy

because when you see jail on tv, inmates are in cells. But G-block was one big
open cell with 60 bunk beds, all in the open. They brought us to the door and

signaled the co in the control tower to open the door. After the doors opened

the co handed us over to the two inmates that controlled the cell block. A big

white dude name, Little Red and a big black dude name, Big Black. They looked

like they working out in the yard for 20years. I got a bunk next to the

Muslim brother reading the bible to other inmates. I felt a little safer being

next to

him but the openness of the beds still kept me awake all night. Laying face up

and sealed under the blankets, looking at all angles. I borrowed a pen from
the Muslin brother before I went to sleep, supposedly to write a letter.

Every time I hear a noise or movement I gripped the pen tight. Not really

because I was scared but more the fear I would get caught slipping, I’ve seen
the movies. If you have ever seen Scarface, in the beginning at the detention

camp where they started out. We slept in the same open bunk beds type

arrangement. About 6am in the morning a co came and got me. We went down

to a dungeon like area of the facility under the ground. I sat around in a

holding cell with other inmates for an hour. At which point we all receive

quick state legal advise. Then we went into a room with a tv and video

cameras set up for a live video arraignment with the judge. When it was my




turn, I got mistaken for the other inmate that share my last name, Moore. “

Good morning Mr. Moore. So this is a routine for you, huh?” I rolled up my

face and looked at him crazy, “ no this my first time being arrested. Check

again.” He held up a long sheet of paper, “ it says here. Break-in and entry and

grand theft auto at 14. Assault with a deadly weapon and robbery at 17.
Force entry and assault at 21. You must have a good lawyer.” I laughed and

stopped him,” no. Yo, I mean your honor. My name is Andre Moore. I must

have had a real good lawyer and a twin. Because I haven’t served a day and

I’m only 17.” Everyone laughed when the inmate he spoke of stood up and said,

“ That’s my record you’re reading. Andrew Moore.” The judge took a second

to stop laughing, “ I’m sorry. Ok here we go. At this time I’m entering a plea

of not guilty on your behalf. The earliest court date I can give you is next

Tuesday. Your bail hasn’t been reduced, it’s still $2,800.” After seeing the

judge, we were escorted back to our cell blocks. It was after breakfast when

we go back, so I eat breakfast chained to a bench with the other inmates

that missed breakfast.

      After breakfast we went back to our cell blocks. I slept for what felt

like forever but was only a hour. For lunch we had some nasty looking egg
salad meal. I wasn’t about to eat it, so I trade for an apple and a oatmeal

cookie. Trading with other inmates is an important part of incarcerated life.




The inmates at the table laughed when I asked where the tv was. They told

me there was a tv but there was also too many inmates for one tv. People

were fighting over what to watch everyday. No basketball for G-block

because of too many fights whenever we go outside. People ran and walked

around the room repeatedly for exercise.

      A fight brook out a half hour after lunch. One inmate stole another

inmate’s commissary and got caught. They got into it but unlike tv no co(s)

rushed in to stop it. The two big inmates were in charge of keeping the peace.

After seeing two grown men go at it for five minutes over a bag of Ramon

noodles soup, I was ready to go. This is a crazy and hectic way to live day to
day life, it isn’t for me. After the fight Big Black came over to me and said, “

yo you doing ight little hommie? You handling yourself ight so don’t worry

about them little things. You just gotta always remember whenever you

locked up. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Treat every man with

respect and don’t step outside of yourself. Cause once you say something in




here, you better be able to back it up. Ain’t no I’m sorry in here this ain’t the

street all we really have in here is our pride. When down grown men will die

before they let another man hurt their pride. But don’t worry yourself, I’m

sure you got somebody on the outside that cares about you. You got locked up

at school yesterday. I say you’ll be out of here in a couple hours. You probably
already made bail, sometimes a takes a little while for them to get to you.
But yo when you get out man. Stay in school and out trouble. I don’t care if
people laugh walk the other way. Cause at the end of the day little hommie
whatever
gets you here ain’t worth it. I’m tired of seeing young black boys in here with

me. I hate seeing myself and other black men here but if hurts more to see

our future following in our fucked up footsteps. Believe me little hommie I

did it all but if I had a chance to go back. I would choose to do the uncool

things like study my books and listen to my parents. It ain’t fun not being able

to live your life. What you see right here, I know you fresh in so it doesn’t

look like much. But this is to me what your hood is to you, this my home little

hommie. And that’s sad, I been in here longer than I free. I’m telling you

little hommie this ain’t cool. It’s cool to them dudes outside living life that
ain’t never live five years of mine. But once you get in here for a stretch you

see getting locked up differently. I just wish I had someone to tell me that

when I was your age and headed down a lost path.”

      At about 2:22 pm, the co came to the door and yell out, “ Andre Moore,

get your stuff. You made bail.” I packed up my stuff leaving everything that I

could for whoever needed it. Soap, toothpaste, juice and an apple. I was then

escorted to a changing room where I got back my clothes. I wanted to keep

my wristband but I was told, “ only way you keep that is if you want us to

keep you.” He snipped off my wristband and I walked out the door to the

waiting room. Hakeem was on his laptop waiting for me. He turned around and

saw me come out the door, “ ight, my nigga free out this bitch. Whad up man?

I know you happy to be up out of there and see the sun light.” after the
smiles and friendly greetings we walked out to the car. I closed the door and

as he pulled out I said, “yo I really appreciate this. Thanks.” He turned down

the music, his cd Third World, “ you don’t gotta thank me. You got in a jam

and your brother is here for you. I’m not your mother, I can’t just leave you
out to dry stuck. Man that lady said, ‘ fuck you’, and hung up. Man I’m still

dripping off that shit. But fuck all that. Your ass don’t need to be going to no




jail. You need to be in school with your heads in them books. Working and

preparing for your new family. Working on your game and staying focus to

your basketball dreams. Not going to jail. That shit ain’t cool. Make a name




for yourself on the basketball court not from fighting and going to jail. That

shit ain’t cool. It’s ok to walk away Dre. What you worry about what people

might say if you walk away? You know what I say to that? Fuck them, if they

want to see you in this situation they ain’t your friends to begin with so fuck

em. That shit is not cool.” we went and saw the bail bonds man to sign papers.

He said make sure I go to my court date or Hakeem will be walking to work.
      I thank Hakeem again and explained to him what really happen. He tod

me he overstood but not to let it happen again. Because next time he’s going

to let me stay longer until I learn my lesson. He laughed about the underwear

I told him I had to wear. I ran upstairs and took a nice long shower before

Julius and Lance came and got me for work. Life is crazy, I went from a jail

uniform one day to a shirt and tie the next day. It’s amazing how at any giving

moment life can just change. On any giving day you can lose any control of

your life you thought you had. I got in the car with my tie in my hand. Julius

and Lance said what up and asked if I was good. As I told them what
happened, they started laughing about the dirty underwear I had to sleep in.

After they were done cracking their jokes, while driving Lance did his version

of what he thought really happened. “ Eh, yo Bill this what I heard happened
and I ain’t lying nigga Bug eye Brandon my best friend (LOL). He told me

himself. Eh, Bug Eye Brandon was poppin shit and Moore was scared (LOL) so

he ain’t say nothing. So he stopped in front of Andre Moore. Moore got crunk

shawty and stole on Bug Eye. (LOL) But hold on, wait here go the best part.

That nigga fucked Dre up so bad he got locked up. (LOL) Moore you got

fucked up. Word son that’s the truth. Well that’s how I’m telling it. Ha.” We

always get on each other. Julius and Lance are amongst the few people that




could say anything to me without me wanting to fight. Lance and I had the

same supervisor at work so he made up an excuse as to why I was absent

from work. I still haven’t seen Rosaline, so all through work she was I all I

thought about in my cubical.
                            Chapter 28




      After work Julius and Lance drooped me off at Rosaline’s house. She

came to the door with a kiss and a tight hug. “ Baby you ok? Please don’t do

that to me again. I was scared and worried. I could have had the baby. We’ll

talk later. I love you. I got your homework from school and don’t worry I
already did it. I figure you was going to ask me anyway and I was bored

thinking about you so I did it. I’ll turn it in tomorrow.” We walked into the

kitchen where Camila, her boyfriend, and their mom were talking. Her mom

really warmed up to me after the whole situation and they spoke freely inside

their house. “ Andre what the fuck are you doing going to jail? You got

Rosaline here stressing and crying worrying about you. You need to do better

than that. Come on.” Rosaline was leaning on my shoulder as I replied, “ I

didn’t start it. I walked away three times. I was walking away again but he

just stopped in front. So I hit him before he hit me. Then the teacher that

got hit. He was holding my hands and standing between me and the kid. And

the kid was still swinging but he wasn’t hitting me. But they said I did it and

that’s why they locked me up. I told Rosaline I’m sorry. I know I don’t need to

be doing that.” Camila laughed and said, “ fuck that Andre you could have
walked away. You hurting my sister and the baby.” Her boyfriend told her,

“shut and mine your business. It wasn’t his fault.” The funny thing about the

situation between me and them is that there really wasn’t a situation. They




just thought I said or felt some sort of way and if you know me. You know, I

will never apologize or take back something I never said or did. So I just

went

along with the way they felt. It’s funny what young black men dispute over

amongst each other. Are we afraid of excepting each other and our

differences? Everybody agreed and said, “ yea, shut up Camila.” Rosaline

walked me back to Hakeem’s House to change my clothes. Hakeem was in the

driveway, “ ight man. See you tomorrow. Yal don’t hurt the baby.”
      We went back to Rosaline’s house and I snuck into her room. She got
me a drink and snack then went back downstairs as if everything was normal
and waited for everyone to go to sleep. Her father came home and stayed up

longer than usual. He was the last one to go upstairs. I hid in the shower as

he checked his daughters room and said goodnight. I went back to Rosaline’s

room after he closed his door. I locked the door behind me and got

comfortable on her bed. A few minutes later the door knob turned and then a

knock. I hid under Rosaline’s laundry and a blanket. It was Camila. Rosaline




asked, “ what do you want Camila?” She laughed, “ damn, I can’t come say

goodnight? Why you rushing me? What you hiding?” Rosaline quickly replied, “

I’m not hiding anything. I just wanted to know what you want. Ok, goodnight.”

Camila laughed, “ Andre is here isn’t he? Maribel don’t lie. You acting mad

weird, I know he here. Yal stupid. You know pappi is here. Rosaline don’t lie,
I’m not gonna tell. Where he at? Andre where you at?” I heard her checking

the closet and I laughed as Rosaline replied, “ ok Camila. He’s here, shut up.

He’s not in the closet. Camila don’t say anything, you know I lie for you all the

time.” She laughed, “ Whatever, I’m not gonna say anything. Where he at?”

Before Rosaline could answer I replied, “ goodnight Camila.” She still didn’t

know where I was she laughed and said, “ Rosaline he under the bed? Andre

where you at? Come out.” I came out and we all laughed, “ goodnight Camila.”

She laughed, “ yal stupid. Yal better hope pappi don’t hear yal. Goodnight.”

Rosaline locked the door and turned on a R&B cd. She laid in my arms and

said, “ Andre, promise you will never leave again. I was so stressed I really

thought I was gonna have the baby. I was scared and you weren’t there to

hold my hand. Don’t ever do that to us again. I love you and I want you to be

there for our special day. I hope she stays in until March,3. It would be really
nice if we have the same birthday. But I don’t think she’s going to wait. She’s

coming any day now. I was having really bad contractions yesterday. That’s

why you need to stay out of trouble and be here with me. I love you and you

know that. But that was very selfish and stressful what you put me through

yesterday. You need to make me feel better.” I kissed her forehead and




replied, “ I’m sorry for putting you through this. I should have done a better

job of walking away. You and our daughter are the most important part of my

life. I will never leave you again. I love you so much. I’m sorry.” We kissed and

she went to the bathroom to take out her contacts. Only this time when she

got back to the room she forgot to lock the door. We started having sex and

when she got on top. She turned on the lamp. “ I want to see you. Talk to me
pappi. Fuck me.” I quickly told her keep her voice down before her parents

hear us. We kept it quiet for about five minutes then in the heat of the
moment we both forgot as the noises got louder. At this point we’re really

going at it and then she started screaming, “ Fuck me pappi. Te amor pappi.”




the last pappi she said was extra loud and it added a lot of fire to the

moment. But before I could replied my erection when away and my heart

stopped to the sight of the door nob turning. Then enter a huge shirtless




Mexican, “ ROSALINE! What the fuck are you doing? Nigga you better get
out of my fucking house. I’m gonna kill you.” After that it was like he forgot
how to speak English. He started screaming in spanish as he turned and ran
to his bedroom. I heard, “ gun”, and I put my boxers on and ran for the door
with the rest of my clothes in my hand. Rosaline’s mom came out into the
hallway and that gave me enough time to get a head start on her father to
the front door. He was right behind me screaming in spanish. Before I could

step out the door, he slammed the door with me halfway in it. “ If I ever

catch you in my house again. I’m gonna kill you nigger.” I ran up the street

getting dress. I got to Hakeem’s house and he was garage with some of his

friends sipping on some gac and herbal meditation. It was about 2:30am, they

were in the studio recording. They laughed as I walked up the driveway out of

breath. Hakeem said, “ what you doing here? I thought you was gone for the

night. Oh man don’t tell me her parents caught yal. (LOL) That’s what happen

ain’t it? They cracked up as I told the story. It was while before I slept at

Rosaline’s house again after that night.

      My suspension was up and I got back to school to hear all the different

stories. It was funny because what I heard showed me sometimes no matter
what your intentions you can’t win. When people spoke to me about the fight

it wasn’t just I won. But more like, “ Dre was bulling Bug Eye Brandon.” I

always felt, from a young age, people don’t like to see me walk away but at the

same time they don’t want me to win. If I had walked away the stories would

have been, “ oh Dre you got punked. This nigga got you shook.” whenever I

walk away somehow I’m never seen as being the bigger man and whenever I

fight I’m always seen as a bully. But at least everyone that witness the fight

backed up the fact that I didn’t hit the teacher. The campus officer told me




to plead not guilty and take it to court. Because he spoke to the teacher that

got hit and he couldn’t and didn’t say I was the one that hit him. He told me
he was really sorry he couldn’t help because if he did he might lose his job. I

went to court and got offer completing and anger management program and
the whole thing will be erased from my record. Never to be seen again. I got

a month before I had to go back to court and make a decision.

      When Valentine’s day came, that Thursday after work, we stop to get

cards and gifts for our Valentines. I came across many wonderful cards but

one card stood out and said everything I was feeling inside for Rosaline. It

read, “ You are the love of my life and my forever Valentine. You show me you




love me by your commitment to me. Your actions speak the truth and they

agree with the words you say to me. Your expressions tell me yours feelings.

You define your love for me by the way you treat me. You’re the person who




shares my purpose in life and helps define my happiness. You are the one in
whom all my dreams and hopes and plans are committed. In our private world,
we talk about things no one else will ever hear. No one but you will ever know
this place with me and I will never know this place with anyone else but you.

Although things are not always perfect between us, we know that our love will




always help us find a way to work things out together and it will grow

stronger over time. I am thankful for our blessed relationship. We are

together in every way. Our love is not a place we came to and left. We stayed.

It is not something that will go out of style or that we feel just for today or

tomorrow. It is not dependent on any conditions. To us, our love means

forever and no matter what, and because of our faithfulness, we have a

scared trust. I believe in our love. It not only fills our present and future,

but it creates our destiny together. We are soul mates, lovers, and friends,

and you are the love of my life. Be my Valentine forever.” It was writing by

Donna
Fargo. After I read this card I knew right away it was the one. After I
picked up some flowers and chocolate I went to Rosaline’s house. The
funniest
thing happened as we exchanged gifts and opened our cards. We both bought

the same card for each other. It brought a warm smile to our hearts to know

we were feeling and thinking to same things. She made my favorite, red

velvet, cake in a heart shape. It was a good Valentine’s day despite all the

personally things I was dealing with it was a great day. A happy one.
Chapter 29
     A few days later on February 19, 2002 my whole world changed. A new

heart was born and beats inside my chest. This was the greatest and most

amazing change my life has ever had. I became a father and I finally got a

chance to be the man I always wanted my father to be. I have never truly live
a day of life until today. On this day I became truly complete. I have seen

and smelled death in many forms throughout my short life. Now for the first

time I’m seeing, smelling and experience life in its truest form. Pure,
untainted, not programed, beautiful, and amazing natural form of life.
Rosaline started having close and long contractions all throughout the day at

school. After she got home form school the contractions came closer and

more painful so I took the afternoon off from work. We called the hospital

and asked what we should do. They told us to have Rosaline sit in a warm bath

for an hour and if the contractions don’t slow done we should call back.

Because they didn’t have enough rooms for her to wait to go into labor. We

ran Rosaline a warm bath in her parent’s tub. She sat in the tub from 6pm to

7:30pm. During which time I sat on the floor next to her and Camila and her

mom kept calling the hospital. Finally they said we could come in. We got to

the hospital at 8pm. It was hard to watch the doctor put the IV needles in

Rosaline’s arms so I had to turn away. They offered the epidermic shot to

ease and take away must of the pain from giving birth. But after they

mentioned the slight chance of paralyzing her if she moved, we both said no.
Her contractions came longer and more painful as the minutes went by. We

finally got a private room for the delivery at 8:45pm as we waited for her

water to break. Nervously waiting for my future to start.

      She went into labor at 9:05 and as soon as she screamed and grabbed

my forearm. Everything and everyone faded away as time pause while my

heart stopped. It was really happening, I was happy but at the same time I

mourned because I knew a child at birth wasn’t fully prepared for this new

world order. She squeezed my hands as her water broke and we looked at

each other and smiled as the doctor said, “ don’t worry when your pushing if

anything else comes out. It happens and it probably will so don’t feel

embarrass.” Camila and her mom stood beside the doctor to watch the

delivery. I went back and forth from Rosaline’s side and to watch the

delivery. It’s a great feeling as a man and a father to be standing by
Rosaline’s with a hand for her to squeeze. It’s a hard feeling to explain but if

you never been there for yours, you could never truly understand. I saw the

pain in her face but still through it all she kept a smile as she steered deep

into the windows of my soul. “ Andre come look. We can see her head. Damn

that’s a lot of hair “, Camila said with a big smile on her face. It brings water

to my eyes and an unbreakable smile to my face as I watch the face of my

child appear into the world for the first time. I went back by Rosaline’s side

for the rest of the birth. The doctor said, “ You’re doing really good. We are

half way there. Give me three good pushes.” Just like that a few moments

later, my purpose in life came. I kissed Rosaline, “ good job baby. You did it. I

love you.” Before she could reply the doctor says, “ here daddy”, and handed a

scissor and held up the umbilical cord. I nervously laughed and replied, “ No

I’m good. I would rather you do all the cutting. I’m not a doctor. I don’t want
to make a mistake and hurt my daughter.” everyone laughed and the doctor

replied, “ don’t worry you won’t hurt her. All you got to do is cut right here by

my hand. It’s the father’s job.” I nervously cut the cord that which

connected my two hearts together. After the cord was cut the doctors had

to clean the baby. They started slapping her butt and I bugged out, “ yo, yo

hold up. What you doing? Don’t be hitting my daughter.” Everyone laughed.

It’s my first time witnessing birth so I didn’t know they had to slap all the

fluids out of the baby as they clean them. Rosaline’ s mom said,“ Andre its ok.

They have to do that.” Then Camila agreed with me, “ I was thinking the same

thing. Yall slapping her little butt kinda hard.” They cleaned her off and

placed her in my arms. Holding my reason for life in my arms, I became teary

eyed as she opened here angel eyes. The first thing she saw was her father.

I brought her over to Rosaline and just like that, there they were. The two
reason for which I would live, die, and kill for without a second thought. It

was one those moments in life that took my breath away and froze time. All

my mushy feelings quickly got interrupted by the sight of the placenta. That’s

by far the nastiest thing I have ever seen. After delivering the placenta,

Rosaline got up and ran to the bathroom like Robin use to when I was younger.

      My life is now complete. I will do everything in my power and within my

brain to protect them from the world and keep them away from pain. I can’t

explain the strange feeling I caught as I once again changed. Since my date

of birth I felt, knew, saw, and brought nothing but pain. But now with the

birth of my beautiful rose and her strong and beautiful creator in my arms,




heart and soul. Nothing else matters its time for a positive change.

Everything from my past is now forgotten. It’s as if I was reborn at 9:54pm
on 02/19/02. A new life. My family. My focus point and the reason for

everything I do and think. To the world I may have just been one person. But

to my new family I am the world. I always promised God and myself that

whenever I had my own family I would steer them right.

      A hour are so after the birth Camila and her mom went home. I got a

wristband from the hospital that allowed me to stay the whole three days

Rosaline and Aayanna had to stay. They gave us a new room and brought us

our baby in the middle of the night. Our beautiful rose, Aayanna Tasia Moore.

Rosaline wanted to name her Aaliyah but out of respect for the late great

Aaliyah, the R&B singer rip, I said no. So Rosaline came up with her own name

she got from a book she was reading. She change the spelling but the name

means, beautiful rose. As I steered at Rosaline holding our child. I realized I
was seeing a female in her most amazing form, creator. The giver of life. I

changed her name to mommy and she change mine to daddy. Best friends turn

lovers, turn parents. I’m going to love her the way she wants me to. Forever
and always for her my heart constant screams, “ I LOVE YOU.” We will never

separate I’m going to give her all the love she wants. I will never leave her

lonely. For she is true to my heart and destiny, I will always let her love

surround me. Just when I was about to give on my painful life she comes along

and brings me joy. With her shining rose she sits in the mist of the darkness

of my soul. My little girl, “ Daddy’s little girl.” Now that I have her in my arms

and my soul mate beside me, I have found my reason in life. I will never let

them go. I have never felt this strong or complete, at the age of 17 I feel

like I can do anything. No one can stop me, young or old, I’m going to give my

girls the world. This night has touched me in a very good very good way. The

love I received tonight is more than words can say. Our hearts now intertwine

for all time as three of a kind. We hugged and kissed then said, “ I love you.
Thank you for giving me the greatest gift I have ever received. You are my

life from here on out, everything I do is for us.” She smiled and replied, “ I

know daddy. I love you. We trust and believe in you. I know you will always do

the best you can for our family. I love you so much. Sit down.” She just gave




birth to our child and she is still thinking about my pleasure. It was this

moment I realized I created to be in her life and I needed her like never




before. She is my queen and through honesty and commitment we will stay

strong and beat all the odds together. We will be together in this life, the

next and however many more follows. Moments later we laid hugged up on the
bed as I broke her off a piece of my heart and told her just how much I was

loving her. “ My love for you is sooo much more than you will ever be able to

imagine or see. Your exactly what I needed in my life. Your love makes all my
pain disappear. I promise forever I will keep you first on mind and in my
heart
and always treat you so kind. You make me complete because of how real your

love is. You’re the beat of my heart. I’m so glad I found you. If ever I was to

lose either one of you I don’t know what I would do. Because no longer would

my heart beat. Because my heart belongs to my family. (LOL) I like how that

sounds, my family. Thanks for the upgrade in life. You are as good and

beautiful as good and beauty can be. I’m so thankful for you. I just want to

love you, for as long as life last forever we shall be. You will never understand

the joy you have brought to my once unhappy world. A real good woman is

hard to find and as your man and future husband I’m very thankful of you and

all the joy you bring. I love you baby.” We kissed and she replied, “ I love you

too baby. So if I die you die? Right that’s what you said. I’m your heartbeat.
So you better make sure you treat me right or I’ll just go crazy and kill

myself to kill you. (LOL) I’m just playing or maybe I’m not. I love you sooo

much baby and I’m very thankful to have you as my husband and my other

half. Since the first day I saw you I knew this was what I wanted. You’re my

dream and destiny. I love you daddy. I’m going to do my best to be the

perfect woman for you and the best mother for our child. And I trust and

believe with all of me that you will do the same for us. We are going to be the

perfect family. I can’t wait until she starts school and we get to go to parent

teacher meetings. I love you baby. Goodnight.” As we kissed and said




goodnight she curls up tight in my arms. The future started to look clear and

for the first time in a very long time I look at the future with a smile. The

last time I remember anxiously awaiting life was 1993 when I got news of
going to America. I was filled with big dreams of creating a new life for my

family and all that I could help. But those dreams met pain and emotional

destruction and died because it was thought to be naive to hold such dreams

when compared to reality.

      The next morning Rosaline’s parents came to see Aayanna and how

Rosaline was doing. Her dad and I just looked at each other and nodded our




heads. Things were still kind of shaky between us. Before leaving Rosaline’s

mom turns to me and says, “ Andre, you taking today off from work too? Love

can’t take care of Rosaline and the baby. You need to go back to. Rosaline is

fine. You can see her after work. Don’t let Rosaline talk you into staying.

She’ll be fine. You guys need money.” Before I could say more than, “ I know.”

Rosaline stops me and says, “ mommy, stop. Goodbye.” I went back to work
that afternoon and went back to my family afterwards. On the third day

after work it was time to take our baby home. It was an amazing feeling

pushing my new future out the hospital, in a wheelchair to the car. I’m the




happiest man in the world and no one will ever be able to take this joy away. I

adored my life so much as I steer at the beautiful little woman I have

created with my strong warrior partner. I’m going to love them the best I

can. I call her a warrior because it takes a warrior to give natural birth and

I’m very proud of her for that. She showed and let me experience the

greatest part of a female. She gave me the greatest feeling of my life and

never will I share this special feeling with another. It’s funny because there

was a time when we both thought we would never be more than friends. Now

for each other we have the deepest feelings as we drive our first baby home.
It’s a weird feeling to be done with the pregnancy stage. I thought I would

have been scared when the baby was born. But to my surprise I was more

motivated than I have ever been in my life. But like every other good moment

in my life a change wasn’t far away. My life is like a giant magnet for hard

times.
Chapter 3o
       Two weeks later after work my life changed agin. It was after 12am

when Hakeem came home for his break. I was going through my stuff in the




garage sing,” Rainy days” by Mary J and JA Rule. When he came over to me

and said, “ Yo me and wifey having some problems and she said you gotta go.

You still singing (LOL)?” I didn’t know what I was going to do so I just kept

sing then I replied, “ I will figure something out. Thanks for the time and

help you gave me. When I gotta be out?” He told me I had until the weekend

then

he gave me dap and left back to work. After he left and the thoughts sank in,

I once again felt lost. I have no idea where I’m going next. All I see is back to

the play house in the sand box by the pool. Outside is all I have. Graduation is
only a few months away so fuck it I got to swallow this and bear it out. I got

a family to live for, that play house is better than nothing. As these thoughts

ran through my mind it hurt my pride. But still I smiled as the thought of my

beautiful new family ran parallel with my homeless thoughts. It’s always at my

darkest moments in life in which loving angels bring me hope and a light

towards a path out of the darkness and shadows.




      I called Julius and told him what my new situation was. He was one of

the few people I could count on to walk with me and give me good advice when




times are good or bad. “ Yo god, I gotta move out this spot by the end of the

weekend. Homie just told me that just now. I don’t know where the fuck I’m
gonna go son.” Julius replied, “ Damn Dre. Give me a minute let me think.
Matter of fact. Yo son just talk to Lance and tell him to talk to his moms.
Then you call her yourself and talk to her. She mad cool son. On the real god
I think if you come at her right she will look out. Plus she know you and its

only for a few months until graduation. Just tell her our whole situation and

what you trying to do. Yo here go Lance talk to him.” Lance took the phone, “

Yes Andre Moore (LOL). What up?” I hesitated as I replied, “ Yo I need a

place to stay until I graduate and then me and Rosaline moving. I got to move

out of here by the end of the weekend.” Lance replied, “ ight yo I’m gonna

talk to my moms. But she gonna want to talk to you. So you better not be

cursing cause you know how you do sometimes. And she heard you mad times

before. She calls you Andre the curser. I’m a call you back after I speak to

her.” I sat down picking at my brain searching for a moment of clarity. I

didn’t expect but it came. Clarity in the mists of confusion and depression.
      Lance called me back and handed the phone to his mom. “ Hello, Andre

talk to me. Tell me what’s going on, what you need and what your plans are.” I

took a moment to gather my thoughts and swallow what was left of my pride

before replying, “ I just had my daughter a few weeks ago. After Julius

moved out I had to move out too. I’m now at my third house. But I have to

move out of here by the end of the weekend. It’s a young couple with kids and

they’re having problems. I’m moving back to New York with Rosaline and our

baby to go to school after we graduate. We both already have a school to

attend. I just need a place to sleep until I finish school. My only other option

after you is outside.” She stopped me and replied, “ well you can stop thinking

about outside. We can’t have that. God sent you in my life for a reason. You
and Julius both. You guys and Lance became friends for a reason. God has a
plan for you boys. I don’t have much space but I’m more than happy to help
you out. Just make sure you get that diploma on time and take care of your
business with Rosaline and the new baby. God has a plan for you and its just
time for me to play my role in God’s mater plan. So just remember though it

might seem rough God sees and has a plan for you. He knows what he is doing.

All you got to do is keep faith. Well I’ll see you tomorrow. Welcome to the

family. Things might seem rough now but it will only get better and always

know I’m here for you. I love you and I’ll say a prayer for you before I lay

down. Keep your head up young man.” I pause as a silent tear fell inside my

heart, “ thank you so much. I know I’m asking for a lot. I want you to know I

really appreciate this and I’m very grateful. Thank you, goodnight.” she gave

the phone to Lance, “ yo son you good now? We coming to get you and your

stuff tomorrow. I’m trying to get something to eat. Here go Julius. “ yo god

you good?” I felt at ease as I replied, “ yea she said I could stay with yal
until I graduate.” Julius replied, “ o ight so you good son. Yo Dre make sure
you follow her rules and you good god. Don’t be on some cursing shit around
her. Just stay on your respectful shit and you good god. I’m holla at you
tomorrow
god. Hold ya head up homie. One.” “ One.” As I hung up the phone my heart

vibrated as my new angel saved my life. I was facing homelessness and once

again out of nowhere a stranger was there with open arms ready to take me

in. I don’t know if his name is god but it’s moments like these that reminds me

someone or something is out there looking over us.




      That Saturday after work Julius and Lance helped me move my garbage

bags. Hakeem and his family assured me they were still there for me if ever

I needed anything because I’m still apart of their family. Now moving to my




fourth rest stop, though I was very grateful, my pride and spirit are lower
than ever. The idea of me begging or asking for help. Or even the act of
receiving and needing help, took so much out of me. My pride and overbearing

confidence, which at times get mistaken for arrogance, was my magic blanket

to cover and hide my pain and struggles. With my blanket everything seems

perfect. The perfect illusion of what many want to and try so hard to be. But

now I no longer had my blanket I don’t feel proud anymore and my pride is

hard to find. As if it crept into the depths of the corner of my soul. Now all

I’m is humble and thankful. I felt weak and outside of myself. But for my

loves and future I will do and or go through anything. Even if it means giving

up all my pride. I love them and there isn’t a part of me I wouldn’t trade or

sacrifice for them. My new bed is a mattress on the floor of a carpeted

garage. Having Julius and Lance there made it easier at my new home. The
compassion and warm open heart and arms of Miss Patton helped me to

rediscover my pride and blanket. It was through her love for a lost stranger

that I rediscovered myself and a rest stop became a home and family. Beyond

that which I have ever experienced or been exposed to.
Chapter 31
     Though still overbearing the stress and pain was easier to drive

through living at the Patton’s. Rosaline and I discussed moving to New York

and going
to school upstate in Plattsburgh. Anthony and Erica went both PSU students.

They thought it would be a good idea for us to move up there and start over

fresh. We both agreed it sounded like a good idea. This way we get to raise

our family the way we felt best, without outside interference from our

families. We decided to learn parenthood, family, and forever together. I

kept revisiting questions of any secrets that may still lie between us. I

wanted to share my secrets with her but first I want to see if she would be

fully honest with me. She kept to her same old stories until about a week

before prom. On my way to work as we spoke about secrets and honesty she

told me she had a confession, “ Baby please don’t be mad. But I have

something to tell you. Promise you won’t be mad.” My heart vibrated as I

searched for the words to reply, “ As long as you’re honest with me I will
never be mad at you. Go ahead say what you got to say. We starting over new.

So lets get rid of all the secrets and mistakes that stands between us.” we

pulled into the parking lot as she began her confession, “ Andre I’m so sorry.




But you’re right we should get the past out of the way. So we can start fresh

on building our future. Baby I’m so sorry. Remember I told you Ricky tried to

kiss. I kissed him back a few times.” It replayed in my mind a few times

before I stopped her and replied, “ Yo you couldn’t tell me that all this time?

Before I was homeless. And that’s your word you tried to bring this dude

around me and you even gave him a ride home with me in the car. So you kept

secrets with someone else and had me looking stupid? Yo I can’t fuck with you

shawty. Go to the rom with Ricky. One yourself (click).” I felt my whole world
shake as I hung up the phone on Rosaline. Trust is the most important factor
in a relationship with me. If I can’t trust you I can’t walk with you, friend or
other half. After I told Julius and Lance they both thought it was fucked up

she did that while she was pregnant and didn’t say anything. But Julius

reminded, “ Yo Dre son, fuck it. You did ten times worst with more people. I

would just say fuck it. You already gave up mad shit to change your mind now

would be stupid and a waste.” I laughed as we walked into the break room to




get drinks, “ yea god but I can’t kiss her like that no more. That shit is always

gonna be in the back of my mind. This is gonna me not like her no more son.

(LOL) Word. I think I’m gonna tell her about the shawties I fucked with.

Maybe then I’ll feel better and be able to let it go.” Julius looked at me and

laughed, “ yo you bugging. Kept that to yourself and just say fuck it. Yo go sell

some credit cards and stop thinking bout that. My name is Andre Moore. Bla
bla bla thank you (LOL). This nigga dre be speed talking on the phone.” Lance
jumps in, “ Scott recorded this nigga and had a fucking meet. He asked
Andre
Moore if he understood the words that was coming out his mouth? (LOL) yo

son slow down its not a race.”




      We went into work and Rosaline’s words kept replaying in my mind.

Denice worked in the cubical across from me and she stood up and said, “

damn yal I don’t got nobody to take me to prom. I’m gonna have to go by

myself. Yal think that’s gonna look bad?” Without meaning or much thought I

jokingly said, “ I ain’t going with anybody either. We should go together.” She

laughed, “stop playing I’m serious. You going with Rosaline.” I replied, “ na she

got somebody else to go with.” I sat down as manger walked by and the

conversation ended. I wish I could take back the loose words I just uttered.
It all just slept out but I know it going to get back to Rosaline as something

more serious. During breaking I called Rosaline back. She started to cry and

explain why she did what she did and what happened. But I stopped her and
told her I will come speak to her in person after work. She cleared her nose

and stopped crying to say, as if asking, “ Andre. Baby I’m so sorry. Ok see you

later right? It’s still never goodbye, right? I love you (?).” Without a word I

just dropped the phone on her. I pause for a second after realizing what I

just did by hanging up on her. Within seconds I caught myself and called her

back, “ hey it’s me. I love you too. See you later. And yea it’s still never

goodbye.” Without giving her a chance to reply I hung up again. I felt better

hanging up on her that time. I just keep hanging up on her to let her know I’m

not happy with her at the moment. But we still share one heart and soul so I

had to call her back and let her know she is still forever the keeper of my

heart.

      After work while back at the house changing to go see Rosaline. I came
to the decision to confess I have done to her. Julius dropped me off. He
thought I was crazy if I told her but I care about her and for me to move on

I got to get everything out in the clear. Also to let her know I ain’t get

played, if you try me you will always lose. With that being in the open I can

keep my pride in the relationship and that makes it easier for my to forgive.




      Rosaline and I met at the lake. Her confession burned deep into my

soul. But I love her so much and I’m so in love with her that just this once I’m

willing to go outside of myself to find a way through this. My heart and soul

stood in front of me holding my hands with tears running out her eyes, before




any words were even spoken. “ Rosaline stop crying. Come her wipe your eyes.

I love you regardless of whatever you did. I can’t stop loving you. All I ask is

for you to be fully honest so we can really let all this become the past. So
just tell me whatever you got to say and I’m gonna say what I got to say.” She

looked me dead in my eyes and replied, “ baby it happened when I thought I

was gonna have an abortion. The last time we kissed was two weeks before

you came back. I’m so sorry. I know I should have told you before. I didn’t do

anything but kiss him. The whole time I was always thinking about you. So

what do you have to say? Oh, and I heard you telling people you not taking me

to the prom. That’s part of the reason I was crying. You made me feel like

you didn’t love me no more.” I love her and maybe against my better man

judgement emotional it has taken over me. So I replied with the truth, “ yo I

knew you was lying. I heard it in your voice when I was in New York and I say
it in your eyes when I came back. After you started hanging out with your

friend I fucked with three people. I didn’t have sex with any of them. I
kissed one and got head from two. Before you say anything remember I didn’t

have to tell you that. I just want to show you I’m true to my honesty with

you.

I kissed one girl when I was in Brooklyn and it was after you drinking beer

with your homie. I got head from Amber and Laya Jasmine’s friend. After I

came back and you looked me in my eyes and tried to lie to me. Then you tried

to befriend me with the person you was messing with. That’s crazy fucked

up.” She starts to cry again and squeezes my hands, “ baby I was wrong and

I’m sorry. But you really hurt me. But we made it through worst than this.

This is just another test of our love’s strength. Love is hard but like you said,

together we can overcome anything. This is our fresh start from here on out

no more lies and secrets. We need to keep focus on move that’s coming up
soon. I love you baby and we’ll make it through anything together forever. I

am you and you are me and together we are one. I love you baby. Lets move
on, this will only make us stronger.” I wipe her eyes and reply holding her

tight in my arms, “ I felt like I was about to die from the thought of losing




your love. I know by you being in my life I will be able to grow to be as close

as possible to the perfect man for your love. You make the world look so

brand new and full of possibilities with you by my side and in my heart and

soul. It’s the mos important thing to me that we are fully honest with each

other. I love you sooo much baby. I’m very sorry we had to go through this. I

promise you this will be the last time I put you through any hurt at the hands

of another female. I just want to focus on my beautiful life and future with

you and our Aayanna.” all her tears stopped as she smiled and kissed me, “ I

love you baby. I can’t wait until we move. I got my dream man and baby,

together we’re gonna create our dream future.”
       A few days later I went back to court and got sentenced to anger

management classes. I found a program in a wealthy area of Georgia. Rosaline

drove me and waited for me for every class. The psychiatrist said he couldn’t

find a reason for me to be in anger management. After my third session he

wrote me a completion letter for court and wished Rosaline and I good luck

with our move. After every class Maribel and I would drive around and look at

the big mansions. “ I’m gonna build you something like that on your own island.

I will make sure our family live and experience all the pleasures this world

has




to offer. By age 27 we’ll be rich. All you got to do is what you already do,

have faith and support in me. O yea and keep loving me the way you do. We’ll

make
it.” she would lean over and kiss me with her sunshine smile, “ I know you will

give us the world. Make sure you don’t forget my Jaguar. I can’t to move and

start our new life together.”
Chapter 32
      By the time prom came around we fully recovered and moved on from

our setbacks. We wanted to rent an Explorer or Navigator but couldn’t due to

their age police. So we had to settle for a black cougar. I wore a black tucks

with a black and grey vest to match Rosaline’s sexy black dress. Julius’s girl
went to a different school and her prom was on the same night as ours. So he

decided to go to her prom. But before any of us could leave we had to meet
Miss Patton at the church to take pictures. Lance and Julius dropped me off

at Rosaline’s house. She looked so beautiful in her sexy black dress. We took

picture of me putting on her corsage and her pinning on my rose. Then we

took pictures with our beautiful baby rose, Aayanna. After all the pictures we

went and got our room at the Marriot. Then went to dinner at Justin’s in ATL.




Julius and his date where leaving when we got there. A great dinner at

Justin’s and a few pictures later it was time for prom. The theme was a

midsummer night in the garden of Eden. We did the senior walk, a lot of

pictures and our prom pictures. About a hour and a half of dancing and it was

time to go tear the hotel room up like rock stars.

      A few weeks later Rosaline had her graduation party slash don’t move

to New York intervention. They had people crying on my dreams telling my
heart that we wouldn’t work. That’s when my heart looked me in my eyes and

stays by my side and our dreams and plans. It was a hard couple of hours to

sit and take in but it showed me again why in my heart she will always be.

Miss Patton held a graduation party for Julius, Lance and myself. Rosaline

came as well but at this party we received support and encouragement for

our future and plans. The days are getting closer and closer.

      Graduation practice came and it all began to really sink in. A few days

from now my whole life will change, never again to be the same. I was happy

to see my name on the list of graduates posted in the gym. I barely made it in

my science class. It was so serious that one morning after Julius and Lance
tried to wake me up and stayed asleep. I woke up 45 minutes before my

Astronomy class and walk to school. One more absent and I would have failed.

Everyone got four tickets for their family members to come to graduation. I
called Hiram to see if he was coming to my graduation. But he couldn’t

because he just closed a deal for a couple million dollars and had to go away

on a business trip. But he explained to me how proud he was and that he will

get me a car before go off to school. He thought it would be a good idea to

ask Robin if she wanted to come. It made me feel good and real proud to have

this chance to show her I did it without her. I gave Rosaline one of my

tickets for her family. I was going to give Lance my other extra but when I

called Robin she said she wasn’t coming unless she got three tickets. It would

have looked really bad for no one in my family to come to my graduation, so I

just gave her the tickets. Lance ended up having to buy an extra ticket. On
the day of graduation I rode with Robin and Ean. Francisca had to work so
we didn’t need the third ticket. I felt so proud to hear my name, “ Andre
Moore”, and to walk across the stage receiving my diploma with my left hand
and shaking with my right. When my baby’s name got called I stood up yelled
and
clapped for her. Look at my boo graduating with honors. After the ceremony

we met outside in the courtyard to get our real diplomas and grades from our

councilors. Then everyone got ready to throw their caps in the air. Tight

before I was about to throw my cap, Robin interrupts me to take a picture.

When I turned back around everyone’s caps were falling to the ground. Camila

was standing next to me and she saw what happened and knew I was upset. So

she says, “ Andre don’t be mad. Here I’m grab that cap on the ground and we

can throw them together. Ight I got Steve’s cap lets go.” So my cap toss was

with Camila pretending to be Steve. She was cool sometimes, like that time. I

needed that, that was real cool. She’s my sometime little homie. Ean and

Robin left and drove home after graduation. I was happy they came. I spent

my next two days with and around Miss Patton and our family saying my

goodbyes. She prayed for me and wished me good luck on my journey. I
couldn’t sleep on the night of the 26th. I stayed up packing watching tv until it

was time to go to the airport.
Chapter 33
      May 27, 2002 the beginning of my new life. My first step into a new

world for which I had no nurturing. I have only seen and know the life I don’t

want for my family. So my main focus from here on out is walking around the

footprints left for me to follow. Rosaline’s mom drove us to the airport.

Everything became so real once we checked into the airport. As we walked to
our gate and got to the point where Mrs. Santiaga could no longer follow. She

gave me a tight hug and said, “ Andre promise me you gonna take of my




Rosaline and the baby. We are always here if you guys need anything. I love

you guys. Good luck. Take care of my Rosaline.” without hesitation I made her

promise. Rosaline said her goodbyes and we continued on to our new life. We

buckled our seat belts and there was nothing to take back. This is it the

start of another young black family and a young man’s journey towards his

beautiful life. We held hands and kissed as the plane took off. I have never

felt more alive. It was as if my soul rose with the plane and glided amongst

the clouds.

It was beautiful and in powering to see my heart put her tomorrow on the

plane all in the name of our love. I’m so in love with her and she is so in love
with me, there isn’t any way we won’t work. I already know the way life

shouldn’t be so can’t nothing stop us from achieving the life we desire. No
more lies or secrets stand between us. A fresh start at our new beginning,

the Moores.




      My little sister and Orlando came to get us from JFK airport in New

York. He was late as usual. This is the first time my soul ever connected with

a woman to the level so it was important for her to meet, see, and know all

sides of my. So having the man you gave me life there with my little sister

Tiffany was very important. We eat dinner at the Chinese buffet on

Nostrand AVE in Brooklyn. We showed pictures and got acquainted over

dinner. After dinner we went to my house, my aunts apartment in Crown

Heights. My aunt was happy to meet Rosaline and Aayanna. Everything was

coming together how I have in vision it and want it to. The next day we went
to the Starbucks on Fry st in the city, where Sherry works. Sherry wasn’t

home when we got in last night so my aunt and all of us came to her job so she

could meet Rosaline and Aayanna before we left for Connecticut. We took

picture with everyone and the baby and Rosaline. Then Sherry told us on 9/11

all the windows in their store shattered. We walked over to the 9/11 ground

zero sight around the corner. We saw all the memory and missing people’s

posters on the walls and along the floor of the observation board walk.

Rosaline is into history and life so it felt good to help her to experience

ground zero first hand.

      Later that day after we went back to Brooklyn we packed our stuff got

ready to make our final stop before our new life. It’s funny my new journey

took me back to my past. As I use to with Robin when I was younger, we took
the #4 train from Utica and Eastern PKWY to 42 st Grand Central. Again
having Rosaline ride the subway for the first time was a good experience to
bring us closer. She now see better where I’m coming from. Grand central
within itself was an experience for her. Because most people that aren’t from

New York only get to see Grand Central in the movies. We got one way

tickets on the Metro-North to Westport on the 6:07 train to New Haven. As

we laid hugged up on the train looking at the scenery pasting by outside. I

told her stories of my past, when Robin and I use to make the very same trip

together.

      We got to Westport and was time for my hearts to see my more

amazing side of life. Hiram was waiting for us at the train station when we

got there. We all hugged and greeted as we welcomed Aayanna and Rosaline

to Westport. If ever I bring a girl to Westport you know I’m for real. This is

a deeper level of my life I only allow to be seen by few eyes. So this is me

saying how much I love her and showing her all of my heart. Hiram spoke and

got to know Rosaline better on the ride to the house. That night after
meeting everyone and take a tour of the house. I explained to Rosaline that

this was the life I want for our family. This is the life we are going to have. I

got a 96 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited for my first car. I didn’t have a

licence or a permit so I put the car in Rosaline’s name. It isn’t a big deal, she

is my future and we have our family together nothing can go wrong. We are so




in love and on the same page of life. Rosaline’s licence had to be changed from

a Georgia to a New York. So we could get insurance and plates for the car and

leave. The next day the family driver took her to a DMV in New York to get

papers and change her licence. She got the papers but had problems changing

her licence. Two days later she went with Susan and they figured everything

out. Rosaline’s parent’s and her cousin Chris drove to Plattsburgh to drop
furniture off at our new apartment. On their way back they stopped in

Westport to say bye to Rosaline and Aayanna. They took a tour of the house

saw our car took some pictures and said bye. But to everyone’s surprise on

their way down the hill, they stopped at a garage sale and bought us an




entertainment center. Then they drove back to Plattsburgh and dropped it

off before driving back to Georgia. The next morning in the kitchen over




breakfast Hiram and Susan told us, “ it’s going to be hard. But don’t ever let

money come between you guys. Always support each other and stay focus and

remember you can fight through anything together.” Later that day we called

and got insurance from Geico and Rosaline went with Susan to get plates. Now

everything was in place.
      June 6, 2002 day of our life and new beginning. We went out to dinner

and afterwards everyone said their goodbyes. We packed all our stuff into

our new car and gave our final hugs. Hiram gave me $2,500 and full payment

of all my college tuition and expenses for as long as I’m in school. We hugged

and he wished me good luck, “ Good luck kido. This is it. Make me proud. Call

us when you get there. Love you be safe.” I got that feeling you get when the

plane begins to take off. As the garage door open and slowly pulled out into

the night. The night welcomed us on our five hour journey to our new life. As

we merged onto the high we held hands and Rosaline turns to me and says, “ I

love you so much baby. I love you guys so much. I’m going to be the best
mother ever. We are gonna have the best family ever. I love you baby. You’re
everything I dreamt of and wanted.” I kissed her hand and replied, “ I love
you so much more. I promise you I will be the best father, husband, and lover

for you. You guys are my world and inside my heart is where yall will always

live. I’m you and you are me and together we are one. There isn’t anything we

can’t survive and overcome together. I love you baby.” we listened to the NBA

draft after the hip hop and RnB stations went out.

      This is my new life. Without any past guidance or nurture I will beat

the odds. I won’t continue the cycle of young black unknown fathers of

daughter and sons. I have been waiting for this my whole life. My own perfect




family. My chance to correct all things that made me ask why and just could

see how my own parents did it to me. As I look over my shoulder I wonder if

they know they’re my dream come true. This is the greatest moment of my
lifetime. To finally find one of my dreams really coming true. A happy ending

for us is inedible, (right?). Am I not still mother’s and never really seen
father’s son? Destiny to be dead beat having kids to which I don’t see or

speak. A domestic violence future? Cheating, hanging out late night doing my

heart wrong? Ending conclusion I wish I had known better? No fuck that I’m

different, we’re different. That’s just the story of most, it can’t happen to

us. My heart is in the right place and breaking her heart is a thing of the

past. I truly love her. Written somewhere in the book of life we shall live

together forever in the presents of our love. I know I won’t make the same

mistakes that my father made.
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