Fictitious Nonfiction: A Tale of a Ghetto City Part II

By Leigh


Things were good. Too good. The calm before the storm. The weather started changed as September came to a close. Jaime made it a point to prove that he was in charge; went from dressing like a normal 23 Year old to Don Juan. His oversized white tee had outgrown him but the flamboyant satin ones that he bought at the swapmeet fit just right. The white linen pants that he wore had to be creased and cuffed; like Tupac, the goal was to always look like Tupac.

He needed to show people that he was a boss. My half brother, Robert, had a friend that knew someone who’s cousin could help them get pounds of their own. They started transporting from San Diego around Christmas. I’ll never forget the first time they came home after a hit.

“C! Ay, C!” Heavy knocks pounded my bedroom door so hard I could have sworn it was the police. Before I reached the knob, the door flung open. Two clumsy giants stumbled into the room with black duffle bags. They were too eager to tell me what was going on, before I knew it, my bed was covered in bricks of light green marijuana. And it was all theirs.

“Now who the boss?!” Jaime gloated as he tore open one of the firmly compressed packages and began rolling up.

“Shut up stupid.” Robert packed their investment back into the duffle bags.

Somehow, they were able to move 6lbs in about a month. Once they ran out, the plan  was to take the money and reinvest but unfortunately the partners didn’t have the same intentions. Robert wanted out. It wasn’t really his thing anyways. I feel somewhere deep down he made that first move just to help Jaime.

Now Jaime was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He didn’t have the money to get another 6lbs or anywhere near that amount. The little money that he had made was quickly splurged on girls and alcohol. He needed a plan, fast.

Six months passed in a blink of an eye. My brother moved out of the house with his baby mama to the East Side. We stopped seeing him as much but we knew he was alive. Jay took a small leap of absence but I kept things afloat while he was gone.

Jaime started buying from Jay once he was back on the scene. This was keeping his image afloat but it wasn’t a forever thing. His regulars started disappearing. The crips two blocks over were picking up the slack where Jay wasn’t.

Jaime befriended one of my childhood friends, Christian, but everyone called him Tiny. Tiny was a cool guy; about his family and money. He got caught up in the gang life when he was 10 years old. He’d done a few bids in juvie and 3 years in prison for robbery. His name did not reflect his reputation; Tiny was well connected.

I’m not sure how it happened because around this time I met the girlfriend from hell and had my own drama. From what I heard, Jaime was able to convince Tiny to hook him up with his connect in Sinaloa. Jaime played the roll perfectly. He gained the trust of some smaller guys in the Mexican mafia.

“So are you ready to get that?” Tiny asked Jaime.

He had arranged for Jaime to pick up 6lbs of the best weed that Mexico had to offer. The agreement was that Jaime would meet with their friends from Mexico, give them $5,000, flip the weed, pay the connect. Because of his connection with Tiny, Jaime was finally going to be the hood Tony Montana.

“Yeeep. I’m more than ready nigga. Look at this.” Jaime pulled a stack of hundreds out of his pocket in a rubber band. He smiled, stuffed the money back into his pocket and took the last swig of his beer. He needed liquid courage. He got into his car, giving Tiny one more reassuring look before taking off.

The pick up was between Hesperia and Las Vegas. Usually a busy road, the 15 highway was eerily empty due to massive amounts of construction, plus who is driving to Las Vegas at 4am on a Tuesday. Behind him red and blue light began flashing. As he slowed the car and began pulling over, a black dodge pick up truck pulled beside him.

“Sigue el desvío!”

Follow the detour the driver yelled as he pulled ahead of Jaime’s car. About three miles down the road was a broken down, hand made detour sign with a guy waving it like it was a ad for a nail salon. He followed with caution, the dirt road came to an end shortly. The driver of the truck that had flagged him down was standing behind his truck bed. He seemed much older and taller inside of the truck but in reality, he couldn’t have been more than 19 years old. Before Jaime could come to a full stop, the young man walked over to his car, yanking open the back door.

“Aqui?!”

Jaime couldn’t move fast enough for the anxious young man. Before he could open his trunk, two overstuffed black Jansport backpacks sat in his back seat.

“Donde está dinero, cabrón?!”

Jaime shoved the money into his palm. Without counting it, the younger man shoved the money into his pocket. He walked with haste to his truck, started it and took off before Jaime could turn the key in his ignition. After picking up his accomplice, the two men headed towards Las Vegas.

Jaime pulled off the detour road, heading back to the hood with the biggest score of his life. It took everything in him not to call his boys for a smoke sesh but if he’d learned anything it’s TRUST NO ONE.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

A small diner was the first well lit place to stop and count the money. The two men in the pick-up truck knew what their responsibility was; make the drop, get the cash, bring it back to jefe.

Though they were alone, they whispered.

“Is it all there?” The passenger asked anxiously through a thick spanish accident.

The driver pulled the large wad of money from is pocket and began counting…100…200…300…320…340…390…400…401…402…403…404…

It was dollar bills. The entire stack was one dollar bills.

“Puta madre…”

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Fictitious Nonfiction: A Tale of a Ghetto City Part I

Please leave your thoughts/predictions in the comments. I appreciate all the love!
-Leigh
It’s funny to think back to a time before weed became so widely available. I remember when you could make an entire city jump if you had a bag. Me, being the hood entrepreneur that I am, found it a convenient form of currency. I could get anything; especially bitches, bitches will do anything to smoke. I was lucky enough to meet my connect at the right time. Before everything went to hell…
One unfortunate truth of living in the hood is that when you start doing better than the next, there will be haters; friends, family, EVERYONE will hate you and want to be you. You know mockery is the greatest form of flattery but flattery can easily become obsession.
I’ve been smoking since I was young, some say too young but what the hell? Can’t undo what’s done. It wasn’t uncommon to find me on my front porch surrounded by any number of people, smoking, drinking, living a ghetto fairy tale.
“You need weed? I know a guy.”
Everyone one knows a guy. But not like this guy. Jay was a lanky framed man in his thirties though his voice told a different story. His warm gap tooth smile was the first thing that I noticed as I walked to his van. As I got into the Astro Van, he stared at me with a cheeky smirk on his face.
“So you need weed? What you want?” Jay opened a small backpack with a large bag of weed and a scale stuffed inside.
“Ummm just a dime, I gu-”
“Nah I don’t do dimes. This is kush. It’s $25 a gram.”
KUSH?! I was used to smoking chronic at best. Though I’m heavy smoker, kush had eluded me.
“Oh, well give me 5.”
As he packed up my order, his grayish blue eyes peered up at me, his surroundings, then back to the mound of green gold in his lap.
“Ay! You want to buy some fireworks?”
That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Jay was always there when I needed him. He went from weed man to confidant. There was no male figure in my life so anytime a older man paid me attention, I held on. He was there when my ghost of a father came home from a 5 year long “work trip” with more baggage than he left with. The night he returned my mother broke the space heater on his head.
I ran.
I knew if my mother was standing up to the man that was so quick to strike her down, I had to run. I ran until my legs were no longer attached to my body. The wind splatter the tears on my face like rain on a windshield. As I ran past the liquor store on the corner of my block, a familiar voice stopped me in my tracks.
“My boy Charlie, where you goin’ in such a hurry?”
He wrapped his arms around my shoulder, guiding me to his van. We got in. Jay grabbed his portable DVD player and popped in the latest bootlegged film. The opening credits began to roll as I explained my troubles.
“I can solve all of your problems, but you have to be down. Don’t get yourself into something that can’t get out out of.”
My thoughts bounced between my dead beat dad, being poor and everything in between. I couldn’t afford to sell drugs but I couldn’t afford not to either.
“Look ma boy, I can’t help you with your issues with your pops. But I can help you bring in some extra cash. Want to sell for me?”
“Hell yeah Jay! I’ll sell for you!”
“Look lil nigga, this is big money involved. I don’t want to have to hurt you over this weed. If you think this is too much for you, it’s best for you to quit while you ahead.”
Jay reached behind my seat, handing me a black backpack. I didn’t need to look inside to know what was up. I was a drug dealer now.
Once word got around the neighborhood that I was selling weed, a sudden wave of popularity over came me; all of my friends loved me, I had more girls over in a week than I could count. I was the man! But soon, it became a “thing”. Meaning, everyone wanted to sell weed for Jay. Luckily, he knew better.
Not everyone was so smart. One of my closest frienemies, Jaime, found someone dumb enough to trust him with waaay too much product. Looking back on it, I was a small time dealer in comparison. Jaime went from the guy that always needed to borrow five bucks to having the flyest car on the block. Rumors were that he was working with some guys from Mexico with major connections. Nobody wanted to get involved because if there was anything we all knew about Jaime, he was trouble.
Everything thing was great. I had my clientele, as did Jaime. I wasn’t trying to make it rich from selling weed but he was. Jay was allowing me to make a huge profit; he only want $300 every Sunday. I made double that in a good week. It was a JOB: Just Above Broke.
“Yeah, he’s letting me do the pick up Monday. A kilo, dawg! You ain’t never seen that much weed in yo life!” Jaime boasted as he walked back and forth across my front porch.
It was mid August but it felt like the early days of summer. Guys on the block took the opportunity to walk around, no shirt only tattoos, bullet wounds, and prison battle scars.

All of my closest were packed onto my front porch, drinking and smoking. Our all day ritual.

“Nigga…you still gotta give most of that money to your guy. Stop boasting on someone else’s money.” Eddie, the oldest in the group spoke firmly. His chubby fingers rolled the best blunt in the city.

You could see the thoughts racing through Jaime’s mind as he mustered up a come back.

“Nigga, I’ll take the whole shit! What the fuck you think?! I ain’t got no dick and balls?!”

The porch fell silent; no one endorsed that idea. Jaime stopped in his steps. He didn’t even believe what he had said.

“Maaaan sit yo dumbass down!” Eddie waved him off, sparked the blunt and changed the subject. He started shadow boxing. His short arms moved as fast as the could, mimicking the professionals.

We changed subject but we knew. We knew that Jaime would do something dumb, it was a matter of time. That’s the unfortunate curse of the hood: if you say it, you gotta do it.

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