True to the game iii, p.10
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       True to the Game III, p.10

           Teri Woods
 
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  Rik stepped into the shop and waved to the owner’s son, Anthony. Anthony was a typical young Italian. He wore the flyest tailored suits out there, but fucked them up by wearing too much jewelry. He had a Rolex on one wrist, a Rolex bracelet on the other, three rings on his left-hand fingers, and four rings on his right-hand fingers . . . way too much.

  Rik headed for the suits. He was going to find something on the rack and have it tailored to his specifications. Charcoal was the color he needed, something in a really dark gray color, not too close to black, but none of that light gray shit either. Something that looked fly. He already had the shoes and a tie that would go perfectly with what he had in mind.

  “Well hello, Tyrik!” Detective Ellington greeted him from behind.

  “Spending a little bit of that dope money today, are we?” Detective Davis asked, stepping to the other side of Rik.

  Rik saw that the detectives had him boxed in. “Man, what y’all want?”

  “We’re putting together a greatest-hits mix tape,” Ellington told him. “We got your soundtrack from the dope deals you made.”

  “And your conversations with your cellmate while you were in jail,” Davis added.

  “And of course the best one of all, your conversation with Ms. Scott,” Ellington told him.

  “You know, the one where she offered you the money to make a two-million-dollar bond,” Davis added, placing his arm around Rik.

  Instantly Rik became nervous. How the fuck do they know that?

  “I don’t know what y’all are talking about,” Rik told them.

  “Ah, ah, ah, ah. Let’s not play stupid, Tyrik,” Davis said. “Don’t make me pull out my little tape recorder and play it back for you.”

  Ellington shook her head and whispered into Rik’s ear. “You really don’t want him to pull out the tape recorder. It really pisses him off when he has to do that. Besides, if we listen to all those tapes of you discussing drug deals and drug money, we might find reason to indict you once again.”

  “Okay.” Rik lifted his hands in surrender. “What do you want from me?”

  “The offer your little friend made to you . . . do you think that you can get her to make it again?” Ellington asked.

  “What, the offer to post my bond?” Rik asked. “Why would she do that? I’m not in jail.”

  Davis produced a pair of handcuffs. “That’s not a problem. I can definitely make that happen.”

  “I haven’t done shit!” Rik protested.

  “You think that means something to me?” Davis asked with a crooked smile.

  “Let’s just say, we have an arrangement to make with you,” Ellington told him.

  “And that would be?” Rik asked, lifting an eyebrow.

  “We want you to borrow some money from her,” Ellington told him.

  “For what?”

  “To keep your black ass out of prison!” Ellington snapped. “However much you want, just so long as it’s an emergency, and she’ll loan it to you. She offered it to you once, right?”

  “What, you want to get her on tape offering me some money?” Rik asked. “I ain’t wearing no wire!”

  “No, dipshit, we already have her on tape offering you the money!” Davis told him. “Can you get her to loan you the money or what?”

  “Maybe,” Rik said, looking at the pair of oink-oinks standing in front of him. “What’s in it for me?”

  Davis and Ellington exchanged glances. “Um, like besides staying out of jail, you get to keep whatever you can get her to loan you,” Ellington replied.

  “Bullshit!” Rik said, looking at Letoya as if she were out of her mind. “This is a setup.”

  Davis shoved Rik up against a clothing rack. “This ain’t no bullshit, boy! You either cooperate with us, or we’ll make your life a living hell. You got that?”

  Rik nodded.

  “Good.” Ellington stuffed one of her cards into Rik’s pocket. “If she agrees, you contact me ASAP. You got that?”

  Rik nodded.

  Ellington and Davis turned and exited the store. Davis turned to his partner. “There ain’t no way in hell we’re letting him keep that money.”

  Ellington nodded. “I know, but it sounded good, right?”

  Davis laughed and climbed into the car.

  Inside, Rik straightened out his clothing. What the fuck is wrong with the police? Those two must be out their minds. If they think for one second that they’re getting in on my meal ticket, they can forget it. There was no way he was calling them, or doing anything else for them or with them. He pulled the detective’s card from his pocket, tore it up, and tossed it over his shoulder. He was here to enjoy himself, relax, and shop, and that was exactly what he planned to do.

  The Clam Bar and Pat’s Cheese Steaks in South Philly was where everyone hung out on the weekend, especially after the clubs closed down at two in the morning. Grabbing something to eat and hanging out on the smaller streets of South Philly was a longstanding Saturday night ritual for Philly’s young hip-hop partygoers. Showing off their new clothes or skimpy outfits and their souped-up cars with shiny rims was the thing to do.

  And if you were a female, being with a hot boy was also the thing to do. Kevvy Kev’s 5.0 Mustang Convertible GT made him a hot boy, and that was one of the reasons Bria made him her boyfriend. Kevvy Kev’s 5.0 was burgundy, with a ground-effects kit and a massive whale tail in the back. It was sitting on seventeen-inch all-gold Daytons that matched the car’s peanut-butter interior and gold trim. And Kevvy Kev’s stereo system was off the chain as well. Without a doubt, Kevvy Kev had the cleanest ride on the scene every weekend. Bria loved to be seen inside that car, especially when the top was down and the system was booming. They would joyride for hours, riding around the city aimlessly.

  Tonight Kevvy Kev had the top down, and everybody was out and about. The weather had finally cleared, and for the first time in a long time the stars were visible.

  “What do you want outta here?” Kevvy Kev asked.

  “Get me a cheese steak with fried onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, and salt and pepper. And get some cheese fries and a Pepsi,” Bria told him.

  Kevvy Kev climbed out of the car, and Bria caressed his behind. She loved herself some Kevvy Kev. And so did a lot of other girls, she knew. She had already gotten into four fights over him, but that was okay, because to her he was worth fighting for. Kevvy Kev had the most dreamy brownish-green eyes that a girl could ever imagine. She loved it when he sat between her legs while she cornrolled his long hair, and he would stare up at her with those damn emeralds he called eyes. And those lips of his were the sexiest lips she had ever come across. She loved to suck on them; they felt like orange slices in her mouth. She was getting wet just thinking about how fine and how cute he was.

  “Hey, Bria!”

  She turned to see who was calling to her. A car filled with football players from her high school pulled into the parking lot next to her.

  “What’s up, baby?” one of them, a guy named Troy, asked her. “When you gonna drop that half-breed zero and get with this hero?”

  “When that hero gets his own car and stops riding in the backseat of somebody else’s.”

  “Oh, it’s like that, huh?” Troy asked.

  “Troy, you not even riding shotgun yet; you still backseat, right passenger side window.”

  The rest of the guys in the car started clowning Troy.

  “Bria, you know you fine as hell,” the driver told her.

  “Marcus, don’t even start, ’cause you know me and Stephanie is friends. And you know I’ll tell her everything that you say to me.”

  “Girl, why you tripping?” Marcus asked.

  “Where is Brianna’s fine ass at?” J-Roc asked.

  Bria shrugged. “I don’t know; what I look like, her keeper or something?”

  “Here come your busted-ass nigga!” Troy told her. “You need to come and get some of this pure black Mandingo, and leave those Vienna sausages alone!”


  The boys cranked up their car and pulled away laughing. Kevvy Kev returned and passed Bria her food.

  “What the hell they talking about?” he asked.

  Bria shrugged. “Nothing, as usual.”

  Kevvy Kev climbed into his car and closed the door. Bria opened up her food and began eating.

  “Bria, right?”

  Bria peered up from her sandwich. She had never seen his face before. And he was way too old to be in high school. “Do I know you?”

  “No, but you know the person I’m looking for,” Terrell told her.

  “Do I look like the Yellow Pages to you?” Bria asked, craning her neck.

  “Cute.” Terrell smiled. “Real cute.” He pulled out the picture of Gena and held it up. “Where’s your cousin?”

  Bria’s eyes flew wide. Instantly, she knew that this was the man who had hurt her grandmother. “I don’t know where she is!”

  “Say, man! Go on with all of that bullshit!” Kevvy Kev said forcefully. “Can’t you see we eating?”

  “I wasn’t talking to you,” Terrell told him.

  “Yeah, well I was talking to you!” Kevvy Kev opened his door and started to climb out of the car.

  Terrell pulled out a handgun and shot Kevvy Kev in the groin. The sound of gunfire caused pandemonium, and people began to flee.

  Terrell grabbed a screaming Bria by her hair and pulled her face closer to Gena’s picture. “Where is she?”

  “I don’t know!” Bria shouted. “I haven’t seen her but once since she moved out!”

  “Where did she move to?”

  “I don’t know! I think she moved in with her friend!”

  “What friend? Give me a name.”

  “Markita!” Bria shouted. “Her friend Markita!”

  Terrell let go of her hair. “Are you lying to me?” He pointed his weapon at a squirming, crying Kevvy Kev.

  Bria leaned over and shielded her man from the gun. “No! I’m not lying! She moved in with her friend!”

  Terrell nodded and tucked his gun away. He could hear the faint sound of sirens in the distance. “If you’re lying to me, I’ll find you, and next time, it’ll be you that I bend over and fuck like there’s no tomorrow. You understand me?”

  Bria nodded, scared as all back doors as she looked into the eyes of a madman.

  Terrell leaned over and stuck his tongue into her mouth for several seconds before rushing to his car and peeling away.

  Gena rose to her feet and looked around the hotel suite she had been staying in now for the past several weeks. After her visit to the hospital to see Gah Git, Gena had decided it was best not to go anywhere near her family or anyone else she cared about. She walked into the bathroom and turned on the sink faucet. She looked at herself in the mirror. Today is the big day, no turning back, she thought as she splashed some water across her face and reached for a washrag.

  Gena showered and dressed, packed up a small carry-on, and left the room. A continental breakfast was being served in the hotel’s lobby, but Gena would have to pass on that. I wish I could just have something to drink. My mouth is so dry, she thought, knowing that food and water were out of the question. Gena made her way out to the parking lot where she had parked the Mazda rental. She got into the car, exited the lot, and drove over to Thirty-eighth and Lancaster. Across the street from a bar was a women’s health clinic. She looked at her watch. It was 8:42 in the morning, her appointment was scheduled for nine. Are you ready? She couldn’t help but ask herself this question. Her mind roamed constantly as she parked the car and walked into the clinic.

  “Hi. Your name?” asked the receptionist behind the counter.

  “Gena Scott. I have a nine-o’clock appointment,” Gena said.

  “Okay, here you go; have a seat and fill these papers out. Make sure you sign the bottom of each form where indicated.”

  After Gena completed the forms and gave them back to the receptionist, she went back to her seat. Minutes later her name was called and she followed a woman to the second floor of the clinic.

  “Have you eaten or had anything to drink since midnight last night?” the woman asked.

  “No,” Gena responded.

  She put Gena in an examining room, and took her weight, blood pressure, and temperature. She asked her one hundred and one questions and finally told her to undress and put on a hospital gown. She said the doctor would be in shortly and then she left the room.

  Gena lay on the table and rubbed her belly. She thought of having a baby, and the thought alone scared her half to death. Then she thought of her grandmother. Gah Git would cry a hundred and one tears if she knew Gena was having an abortion. She thought of Jerrell and the times that they did have sex, how gentle and loving he was. She thought of the night he tried to kill her and realized she had been tricked by a horrible monster. Then she thought of Quadir. I know if I have Jerrell’s baby, there’s no chance, no chance at all, that he’ll ever be with me again. He’d only hate me even more. No, Gena knew that if she had a baby by Jerrell Jackson, she could kiss Quadir Richards good-bye. He’s mad enough at the fact that I was messing with Jerrell—to have his baby, no way. No, Gena knew she was doing the right thing. She just wished that it was over.

  Dr. Amerson entered the room and sat down at the end of the table that Gena was lying on. Quickly, she went through a series of questions—basically the same questions she had already answered. Then she asked her if was she ready.

  “Yes, yes, I am.”

  Dr. Amerson explained the procedure and attempted to make her feel comfortable with the knowledge of what would be happening. Once the procedure was complete, she would be moved into a room and placed on a recliner, where she would have to stay for at least two hours before she would be permitted to leave. The anesthetic would make her drowsy, and the rule was that she would have to call a cab to come and get her. Her intention was to have the cab take her around the block and right back across the street to her car. She knew to be careful driving, but she wasn’t going far. Her plan was to have the abortion and then go check into the Sheraton Hotel on Thirty-eighth and Chestnut, just a few blocks away. She could definitely make it there.

  A nurse entered the room with a needle and small bottle. Dr. Amerson explained that they were going to mildly sedate her. She wouldn’t be asleep during the procedure, but she wouldn’t feel a thing. Gena turned her head away, not wanting to watch as the nurse injected the anesthetic into her bloodstream.

  Gena began to feel light, as if lying on a cloud. She looked around the room and it was as if an angel appeared right in front of her.

  “Sahirah?”

  And just like that the angel was gone.

  “Okay, I’m going to lift your feet and place them in the stirrups. I’m going to insert my fingers; okay, Gena. I just want to examine your uterus before we get started.” She could hear Dr. Amerson’s voice.

  “Dr. Amerson, I don’t know. I don’t know if I should go through with it.”

  “Gena, just give me one minute.”

  “Is everything okay?”

  “Well, everything seems to be okay, but . . . Nurse, please hand me her chart and prep the sonogram machine.”

  “What, what’s the matter?” said Gena in a state of semiconsciousness.

  “Gena, your uterus feels normal. Just let me finish examining you, okay? Now, let me see, you were here three weeks ago, right? Yes, and you were six weeks pregnant. Let me count and make sure, yes, you were here and you were definitely pregnant.” Dr. Amerson turned on the monitor of the sonogram machine, only to find that Gena’s uterus was intact. She wasn’t pregnant.

  “Gena, I’m so sorry. You’ve obviously suffered a miscarriage.”

  Gena heard what Dr. Amerson said and the strangest feeling of relief came over her. She didn’t feel sad. She had no remorse. Actually, she was ready to celebrate. All she could think about was the possibility of winning Quadir back.

  Using all her strength, she snatched her foot out of the doct
or’s hand. Gena tried to lift herself up, but was too groggy.

  “Here, here, it’s okay. I got you,” said Dr. Amerson, helping her off the table. “Let’s see if we can’t get you into recovery and you can wait there for the anesthetic to wear off.”

  “Do you believe this? Isn’t this the most wonderful news?” She started crying. “You just don’t know what this means for me.”

  This was probably the only thing Gena knew for sure. Maybe, just maybe anyone else’s, but Jerrell’s child, for Quadir to have to look after, was the last thing on this earth that would ever have happened, and Gena knew it.

  “It means you don’t have to have an abortion,” answered the nurse. “Come on, we have crackers and juice. I know you’re hungry. Come on, hold on to me and I’ll get you situated.”

  Gena held on to the nurse and followed her into recovery. She lay on a recliner and was given a blanket. Within minutes Gena nodded off to sleep.

  Wires

  Dick Davis rushed through the halls of the police department like a schoolboy who had just received his first kiss. His smile was uncontrollable, and he pushed aside police officer after police officer, making his way back to his partner’s desk. His excitement was electric.

  “What?” Detective Ellington asked, peering up from her desk. Her partner’s smile made her smile. It was infectious.

  Davis held up a cassette tape. “Hot off the presses! I just came from the recording room. Guess what our wiretaps just intercepted?”

  “What?”

  “She’s leaving!” Davis told her giddily. “She blowing town! Which means?”

  “She’s got to get the money.” Ellington stood and grabbed her purse. “How soon do you think she’s leaving?”

  “Who knows. You figure she’s probably got to tie up a few loose ends, but trust me, she won’t leave that money behind. If she’s got it, then it will be going with her.”

  “Call Cornell and fill him in,” Ellington told him. “Do we have anybody tailing her right now?”

  Davis shook his head, “Nah, not that I know of.”

  “We need someone on her twenty-four-seven from now on.” Ellington threw her purse onto her shoulder. “I’m going to see Mark and let him know.”

 
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