True to the game iii, p.15
True to the Game III, p.15Teri Woods
Michael swung open the door as Bria held the screen door for Gah Git. Out of nowhere, the darkened living room lit up and all the family popped out of nowhere.
Everyone yelled in unison as Gah Git stepped through the door. Gah Git looked around the room at her family and thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. There were “welcome home” balloons and ribbons, and flowers from neighbors and well-wishers filled the tiny living room. Paula had cooked for two days and two nights, and if you didn’t know better, you would have thought it was Thanksgiving.
“Malcolm? Malcolm, is that you?”
“Yeah, Mama, they done let a black man be free.”
“Malcolm, oh, son; I can’t believe it.” Gah Git used every bit of strength she had in her and embraced her son. It had been so long since she had seen him. Tears rolled down her checks.
“I been praying, son, praying that you would come home. I’m just so glad you’re here. You just don’t know,” she said, still cradling her firstborn son in her arms.
“Yes, Malcolm, that’s all she’s been talking about: you coming home. We’re glad to see you,” said Paula, giving her older brother a hug as Gah Git finally passed him over.
Gah Git’s heart lit up like the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza as all her grandbabies ran over to her.
“You been sleeping in that bathtub, boy,” said Gah Git, joking with Khaleer.
“No.” He laughed at her, knowing darn well that he had been.
“Yeah, brother; good to see you,” said Gwendolyn, looking as if she had partied like a rock star all night long as she gave her brother a long embrace.
“Yeah, man, congratulations on coming home,” said Royce, extending his hand. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that his sister and Royce had a habit, a bad habit. Maybe later he would talk to her about it. Let her know that no matter what, he had her back.
“Come on, Mama,” he said, helping Michael get Gah Git over to the couch.
“Look who’s here, your grandbaby Gary,” said Michael as he moved Gary’s wheelchair over to his grandmother.
“You can’t walk, Gary?” said Gah Git as she noticed the wheelchair and was about to get upset that no one had told her.
“Of course he can walk, Gah Git. We stole that chair from the hospital and brought it home for you. So, this way, we can roll you around,” said Brianna, bending over and kissing Gah Git on the face.
“Mmm-hmm, roll me around all right. I can see you rolling me too, right down a flight of stairs.”
“Gah Git, nuh-uh, we love you,” said Bria, standing next to her sister.
“Hey, brother, we got to talk. I got some big things planned out for you,” said Michael as he patted his older brother on the back.
“Yeah?” Malcolm replied.
“Hell yeah, don’t worry, big brother; you gonna be just fine, just fine and dandy.”
Malcolm looked around the room at all his family. Their smiling faces and warm embraces and love filled him with joy. He didn’t know what to say. Everyone acted as if nothing had happened. Michael had visited him many, many times. He knew his brother had forgiven him a long, long time ago. He thought of all the time he had missed, all the time that had passed him by. He was just glad to be home. At first he was scared, but when he saw his little brother waiting for him outside those prison gates, he knew everything would be okay. He knew he’d be all right. He looked at his family, laughing, joking, eating, and sharing one another’s company. Just about everyone was there—everyone except Gena.
Gena pulled up to the motel room and extinguished her headlights. She saw Rik peeking out through blinds as she parked her car. It made her smile, and she waved back to him. She looked around the parking lot. Rik’s car was parked out in front where she could easily see it. Unknown to her, Rik and Quadir used to meet at this same hotel back in the day when they did business. Rik had chosen the motel for sentimental reasons.
Gena turned off the ignition, climbed out, and headed for the motel room with the plastic bag of money in her hand. She imagined what it must have been like to do a dope deal. All of the sneaking around, the intrigue, the secret locations, the peeking out of the windows. They acted like they were James Bond or something.
Rik opened the motel room door and embraced her tightly. “Hey, baby girl!”
“Hey, Rik.” Gena hugged him.
“How have you been?”
Gena shook her head and then burst into tears. “It’s too much, you know. I’m just going through it. You just don’t know what I’m going through.”
“What’s the matter?” Rik asked.
“Markita, my friend, something bad happened to her.”
“What’s going on?”
“She’s dead. I just found her body,” Gena blurted out. Her tears fell more rapidly.
Rik wrapped his arms around her. “I’m so sorry to hear that.”
Gena wrapped her arms around Rik and began bawling. “And Gah Git, my grandmom, someone beat her and raped her, Rik. She’s still in the hospital. And my cousin Gary tried to save her, and the guy shot Gary, and Bria’s boyfriend.”
Gena shook her head. “I don’t know. He’s trying to kill me. They all said the same thing, that this guy is looking for me.”
Rik pulled her close and walked her into the motel room. He shut the door and locked it. “Gena, what’s going on? Why would someone be trying to kill you?”
Again, she shook her head. “I don’t know.”
“You have no idea?”
Gena shook her head. “I don’t even know what he looks like. He just showed up one day asking where I was and started attacking people.”
“But why you? Why now? Why all of a sudden? What do you have that he would want?”
Gena pulled away. “I don’t know, Rik! He just showed up. Why are you questioning me like this?”
“Gena, you offered me a lot of money when I was in jail.”
“Is he after the money?”
Gena shook her head. “I don’t know.”
“Where did you get that kinda money?” Rik asked. “And be honest with me, Gena.”
“What does it matter where the money comes from? What difference does it make?” Gena lifted the plastic bag and tossed it to Rik. “Here’s the money you asked me for.”
She turned and headed for the door. Rik grabbed her.
“Gena, did you find Qua’s money?”
“Rik, let go of me!” Gena yanked her arm away and unlocked the door. Rik pulled her back.
“Gena, do you have Quadir’s money?” Rik asked more forcefully.
“Rik, let me go! What the hell is wrong with you?”
Rik slung Gena back onto the bed. Gena fell onto the bed and rolled off onto the floor. This shit can’t be happening again. Not again; not Rik! She rose and charged at Rik, digging her nails into his eyes. Rik howled, pulled her hands out of his face, and backhanded her. Gena stumbled back a few steps, then raced for the door. This time, she was able to get it open before he grabbed her.
“Help me!” Gena screamed. “Somebody help me!”
“Shut up and just tell me where the rest of the money is,” Rik shouted. He slung Gena onto the bed and tried to kick the motel room’s door closed. The door flew back open. Rik turned to see what was blocking the door. Quadir was standing in the doorway.
Rik’s eyes bulged from their sockets and he backed up into the room.
Gena jumped onto Rik’s back. He flipped her off him onto the floor.
“Son of a bitch!” Gena shouted. She spat at Rik, missing him by a couple of feet.
“Now, now, Rik. Is that any way to treat a lady?” Quadir asked. He leaned forward and helped Gena up. “Especially your best friend’s girl?”
Rik reached for his weapon, but Quadir already had his drawn.
“Uh-uh, don’t even think about it,” Quadir told him, pointing his Glock at his friend.
“You sorry muthafucka!” Gena tried to go at Rik again, but Quadir held her back.
“Quadir, what the fuck is going on here?” Rik asked nervously. “What the fuck’s going on? This ain’t right, man. This shit ain’t right.”
“What’s not right is trying to rob Gena for my dough, nigga. Now, that ain’t right,” Quadir told him.
“Qua, man, this is some twisted shit. I saw you, Ock. I went to your funeral. I was a pallbearer. This ain’t no real shit.”
Quadir nodded. “Oh, yeah, I’m real all right, which is a whole lot more than I can say about you, Ock.”
Rik shook his head. “Man, you not understanding. I’m doing bad, Qua. Them Santero motherfuckers is going to kill me, man. If I don’t give them they bread by yesterday, I’m a dead man.”
Gena tried to spit on Rik again. “I was going to give you the money, you son of a bitch!”
“This ain’t enough, Gena!”
“I woulda given you anything you asked for!” Gena shouted.
“So, you were going to do Gena in?” Quadir asked. “Instead of being a brother to her, and protecting her, and helping her, you were going to kill her and take the money that I left for her? Damn, nigga, that’s some fucked-up shit. I can’t believe you.”
Tears fell from Rik’s eyes. “Quadir, you were dead! And she had already moved on! She moved right on to the next dope boy. She wasn’t coming around us no more; she wasn’t being part of the family! She started fucking with that same nigga that did you! What the fuck, Qua? She wasn’t family no more, and she had betrayed you with them Junior Mafia muthafuckas!”
“Regardless, you ready to kill her, Rik?” Quadir asked.
“She betrayed you, Ock! For all we know, she set you up for them niggas! She could have been setting you up the whole time! Qua, she’s brand-new to the game! But me and you, we go back to the sandbox, homie! It was us who used to be break dancing up in my yard on cardboard boxes; it was us who got our first piece together! It’s me, black.”
The three of them turned toward the window when they saw the flashing red and blue lights outside. Gena raced to the window and peered outside. The patrolman was walking into the motel room office.
“It’s just one car,” Gena told him. “Somebody probably called about the disturbance.”
“I got a plan, Quadir,” Rik told him. “I got a connect who’s willing to send us so much snow, it’ll be like January the whole year around. All I need is the money to square up what I owe. After that, they cut on the faucet, and the dope runs like water. We just set up another crew and rake in the bread.”
Quadir clasped Gena’s hand and shook his head. “Thanks, but no thanks.”
“Quadir, what is you doing? I need that money!” Rik shouted.
Gena lifted the bag of money off the floor.
“Don’t tell me you not down, Quadir. I know you, nigga, I know how you get down for that paper, homie. Come on, baby boy, ride with me. I’m your brother, Ock. You gonna let me die, Qua? What part of the game is that?” asked Rik, not realizing that Quadir was going to murder him himself.
“Qua, we gotta go,” Gena said softly. She pulled him toward the door.
“Whatever happened to being true to that game?” Rik shouted.
Gena opened the motel room door.
“I need that money, Qua!”
“I need that money!”
“I need that fucking money!” Rik reached for his weapon.
Quadir squeezed the trigger of his weapon several times, sending Rik flying back onto the bed. Just as the gunshots rang through the silent night air, the officer ran out of the motel office. Gena yanked him out of the motel room, and they raced through the parking lot toward her car. The officer spotted them, Gena with a bag of drug money and Quadir with a loaded weapon in his hand.
“No, we’ll never make it past that cop!” Quadir shouted. He yanked her in the opposite direction. “My car is parked around back!”
“Freeze!” yelled the officer, and without hesitation began shooting at his runaway targets. What the fuck? This guy is trying to kill me, not capture me, Quadir thought as a bullet skimmed right by him. He could feel the bullets in the air zooming by him as he made his escape. As they made their way through the dark parking lot, they wove and ducked as the officer aimed directly for them.
Quadir and Gena raced around the rear of the motel, disappearing as the police officer ran over to his squad car and yelled through the radio for backup.
The race was now on. They both had to get out of town, and they had to do it tonight—Gena because she had a killer lurking somewhere in the city desperate to find her, and Quadir because he had just murdered his best friend in a motel room.
Gena climbed inside Quadir’s black Range Rover, and they raced down the street. She peered out the window, thinking about how many other lives would be lost because of that fucking money. She wished that it would all just burn to ashes.
“I loved him like a brother,” Quadir said softly.
“I know,” Gena told him. She placed her hand on top of his. “I did too. I never thought he would hurt me though.”
For the first time in a long time, she and her man were together once again, helping each other, comforting each other, and being down for each other. For the first time in a long time, the old Quadir and Gena were back.
Crime Scene 101
Davis strolled into the motel room, followed by Ellington. Lieutenant Miles rose from his knee and gave them a cynical smile.
“Well, well, well, here we go again. A regular fucking family reunion we’re having. You two keep showing up at my crime scenes; I’m going to have you reassigned to homicide. So, what gives this time?”
Ellington and Davis exchanged glances.
“Don’t tell me, he was the other victim’s long-lost uncle, who also happened to be a coke dealer whom you were investigating.”
“He was our CI,” Davis told him.
“He was a confidential informant for Vice. Well, isn’t that just convenient. Could that be the reason that he’s no longer with us? I wonder. I mean, working for a couple of numb nuts like you two could definitely get somebody killed.”
“Lieutenant, may we take a look around?” Ellington asked.
“Don’t disturb anything; don’t touch anything. Forensics has just started their work.”
Ellington nodded. “Anybody check his pockets?”
Miles shook his head. “Forensics will handle it. He was DOA when the first officer arrived on the scene. Seems there was a disturbance call about the room. So a patrolman was already at the motel office when the shooting went down.”
“Do we have anyone in custody?” Ellington asked excitedly.
Miles shook his head. “The police officer ran out of the front office when he heard gunshots. He exchanged gunfire with the assailant before the assailant fled the scene. The police officer called for backup, then ran in here to the motel room, found the victim, tried CPR, and had someone call the paramedics. The police officer says that he couldn’t resuscitate the victim, so he immediately secured the room.”
“Which was rented to?” Davis asked.
“What kinda commotion?” Ellington asked.
“A huge brawl. Thumping, crashing, banging, screaming, shouting.”
“Screaming? Like a woman screaming?”
Miles nodded. “You got it.”
“Any eyewitnesses?” Ellington asked.
“We’re running down leads right now, but besides the officer, none,” Miles told them. “And since you two are so interested in this case, why don’t you make yourselves useful and go and help interview some of the motel guests and see if anyone saw or heard anything?”
Ellington and Davis exchanged glances.
“And I want to know everything you find out,” Miles hollered.
Agents Covington, Harbinger, and Stokes str
“Well, well, well,” Miles shook his head and smiled. “Last time I checked, Philadelphia was not part of the District of Columbia, so murders here are within the jurisdiction of the state.”
“Right you are about that, Lieutenant.” Harbinger smiled.
“Then why in the hell do you keep showing up at my homicide scenes?” Miles asked angrily. “You know, they say that the perpetrator always returns to the scene of the crime.”
“Are you accusing me of something, Lieutenant?” Josh asked.
“If I was, you’d be in handcuffs,” Miles barked back.
“The day you try to slap handcuffs on me is the day you decide that you want to spend a long time in a maximum-security federal penitentiary,” Josh warned.
“Sir, we have something,” an officer informed the lieu-tenant.
“What is it?”
“We have a witness who saw a man and a woman fleeing around the back of the motel.”
“A man and a woman?” Miles asked.
“Any descriptions?” Ellington chimed in.
The officer shook his head. “No, too dark.”
“Any description of a vehicle?” Ellington asked.
Again, the officer shook his head.
“She has a man with her?” Ellington asked.
“We don’t even know if it’s her,” said Davis.
“It’s her. But who in the hell is with her?”
True to the Game III by Teri Woods / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes