Chapter 1

Kenneth Delane Exum Jr life

My name is Kenneth Exum Jr but I go by K Exum. I am from Landover, Maryland. I’ve lived in Maryland mostly all my life. I am 18 years old at the moment in time. I graduated from Fairmont Heights High School in 2O15. My life is a story to tell. I can just start with the basics.

Football was a big part of my life at a moment. I played ball in high school. Football made me tough. I didn’t like it at first, but as time went by things changed. It was just something about being out there with my brothers. It was the bond we had. The brotherhood made me.

When we first got to the school we wasn’t nothing. The team was not good at all. We took something that was nothing and made it into something. That’s something I plan on doing with my life. We made people switch up and join us while we did battle. I will never forget the coaches. They were like another father to us. I will always miss them. Go hornets!

My family is everything to me. My mother will go through anything to make me happy. She never let anybody walk all over me. My mother is my number one woman in my life. My dad tries every day to hustle for the money. He showed me many things about life. His advice is worth a thousand words. My pops show me what hard work looks like.

My uncle Kip is a special dude. He the funniest dude I ever seen. But at times he can be real. Talk that real to me about life and what he been through. He taught how to be the man of the house through it all. Showed me that no one is over top of you in the house. Taught me to protect and be the alpha male to the house no matter what. My uncle is the true pimp. I look up to him some times. The stuff he go through makes him a true man and father.

My auntie is like a second mom to me. She can hold me down any day. My aunt is always there for me even when no one is. My uncle Eric can guide me to different things. He is like my friend. He is my uncle, game partner, and my gym partner everyday. He may not be blood but he’s close enough.

My sister is a little over protective, but I love her. She taught me a lot about writing. She is a true writer. My sister always got my back. My cousin Diamond can be a real teacher. Them cold times when I was down she taught me a couple of things.

My brother is simply my brother. Ride or die for real. I got his back and he got mines. I never thought we could be this tight all the time. We been tight since we was young kids to young adults. I am my brother’s keeper.

Then there’s my grandma’s. Both of them can keep me happy. Both can cook better than anyone in the world. I mean they know just what to say when I’m down. I love to hear what they have to say. Its something about the old folks wisdom that make me want to write about it. The biggest thing one of them said is “Do you and don’t let nobody stop you”. That quote led me to writing more and more.

Last but not least there is my stepparents. My stepfather has been around for a while now. He shows me how to do some handy man work around the house. My stepmother helps me with my writing. She knows more about it than me. She supported me with it since day one. She has helped through a lot of stories. There’s many more that has an affect on me but I’ll leave that for another time.

Dreams Quote:

“I have a dream that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

I remember the first time I heard that. I was young I didn’t know anything about it. As I got older it made me realize what that meant. It meant to me that people shouldn’t be judge by their skin but by their content. Meaning by their personality and what’s on the inside.

It’s as if we’re living in a world where we are judge night and day. Not just black because behind closed doors they judge every race out there no matter what. They say don’t judge a book by its cover. So what have we been doing all along? It’s crazy to me that we can be this stupid. I see how they judge white people as being racist. But you know what it’s true. See I can tell you as a black man, when I walk near a white person their whole mood change. Its like if you had seen Godzilla or something. They get scared and back away.

They say black people are violent. It’s true though. Black people shoot at each other every day. But you know what’s crazy? All races shoot each other. They don’t get put on media that often. Another thing is that we are all different. I’m from the suburbs and I have never even held a gun. The African American race and the Caucasian race have been going at it for so long. The other races can coexist. I use to say that it’s racial profiling but now its not. It’s being you. Most people are faking for someone else. They see someone doing something and copy it because it looks cool. I have a dream that one day we can all be equal.

The Journey Collection:

The journey collection comes from a lot of spare time. I have been working on this book for some time now. I have put my heart into it. Some things in here relate to me and some things don’t. Its all fiction but can really happen. Hope you love it. Enjoy!

Brother’s Keeper:

“Pow Pow Pow!” Out of all the things in the world I didn’t think this would ever happen. I couldn’t believe this could happen to my brother and I, I think to myself as I sit here on my knees and hold my little brother, Joey. Joey is the only one who didn’t deserve this. I hold my little brother and watch his life slowly fade away. My little brother is everything to me.

We’ve been through it all, from our parent’s death to Grandma’s death. She was all we had left. That left me, at the age of 18, to be the provider and man of the house. I had just graduated high school. Life was going good until Grandma had an outing with cancer. I had a full scholarship for basketball to one of the biggest colleges in the country. But it all went away when Grandma died. I had to become the man to feed my little brother.

Remembering all these moments I had with him had me in tears, knowing this was the last time I’d see him. We had our moments because he was always been hard headed. All I did was try to give him all I could and keep the lights on. My brother was the only person I had left in my world. Now he’s gone as he speaks his last words, “I’m sorry”. I had no intentions of just letting his killer live. They’d be seeing me soon. As I left the scene, I told some bystanders to call the police. As I fled the scene.

5 Hours Earlier:

I woke up to the sound of my television telling the forecast. I took a shower, brushed my teeth and all. I stood in the mirror, looking at what I had become in the last few years. The deaths in my family had become too often. I lost my mom and dad in a car accident when I was 15. They were on their way home from work when a drunk driver hit them at an intersection. The impact killed them instantly.

I was devastated from that moment on. My grandma stepped in to raise my little brother and I. At the time of my parent’s death I was 15 years old. My brother Joey was 8. My grandma died when I was 18 years old. She had been fighting cancer all her life. She was an amazing woman. All she wanted was for me to be successful in this lonely world.

After she died, I knew it was all on me to take care of my brother. As time went on, I watched my little brother turn into a young man. He’s not the perfect kid, but we’re going to do just fine once he goes to college. So I stand here at this moment at the age of 25. As I stand here I realize that I look just like my father. I remember the times when he used to look just like this; all beaten up and wounded. My name is John Anderson Jr. I work nonstop every day to support what’s left of my family. My dad was a workingman quite like myself. We both used to work night and day to keep food on the table.

I finished getting dressed and walk out the room to find my brother on the couch with some girl. I don’t usually cock block but he could have told me. I walked in and said, “ Who is this?” He looked at me like I was the problem. He then got up with his chest out and said, “Go back in the room”. So I did like any normal person would. I kicked the girl out and grabbed him and took him to his room. See Joey is a want-to-be thug. He has a little bit of muscles so he thinks he’s the boss around here. He works out a lot so he thinks he runs the place.

Joey put on his clothes and came out the room. He sat at the table with a glare. I asked him, “What you got something to say?” He said, “Why you got to cock block all the time?” I said, “I just want you to make the right decisions, so you don’t have a baby at your age”. Joey was an 18-year-old high school graduate. He had some things going for him. He had just graduated high school three weeks ago. He always has girls all over the house. I mean who wouldn’t; these good looks run in the family. But he was different; he always picks the little fast ass girls. I don’t want him messing around with the wrong girls. The wrong girls can get him in trouble.

So I went ahead to work. I worked hard all the time to keep this business going. I moved shipment parts from one side to another, making 18 dollars an hour. Then after I left there, I went to my second job where I did the same thing, in another warehouse. This was my daily schedule everyday. While on the way to my second job I got a call from the hospital. Turns out Joey got jumped.

When I heard the news I hit a quick U-turn. I almost crashed just trying to turn around. I sped up the high way, trying to get to the hospital. When I got there I bum rushed through everyone to try and get to the desk. Once I got there I seen the same girl that was at my house this morning and him lying there with bumps and bruises. I asked her what happened. She said, “Joey and I were at my house making out when my ex-boyfriend came in and went off. He called up some of his friends to jump him. I tried to stop him but he was too strong.”

I turned my attention to Joey and asked him, “And what you do, sit there and wait for the dude to get his friends?” He said, “Yeah he got his boys and I was not going like no sucker. So I did what any real man would do”. I said, “A real man, you don’t even know the definition of a real man”. It shocked me of what he had fixed his lips to say, “I know you’re not a real man. I don’t need you brother. I’m a man on my own without you.” So I left his little ass in that bed and went home.

I sat at home and thought about what to do next. He just disrespected me like that. He’s lucky he was already hurt because I was going to hurt him even more. I got up to go take a nap. Maybe if I rest my eyes for a while then I’ll be okay. So I went to sleep. I woke up 2 hours later to the sound of music. I went out my room to find a big ass party going on in the living room.

I yelled, “Everyone get out!” They all left, and then here comes little Joey. He said, “Aye you going to stop doing that shit to my peoples or I’m going to knock your old ass out bro.” Before he could say the next word, I punched him in the chest, knocking his little ass down. Well that was the end of that. He got up and went to his room. Then I went back to my room.

It was about 6:00 pm when I heard the door open. Joey was leaving out again but this time he had a bag on. So I grabbed my blade out my pants pocket and followed him. He went back to that same girl’s house. Except she didn’t answer the door; her big bad ex-boyfriend did. That dude was huge. Dude was like a super thug. He had to be like 6’4 with straight muscle.

I watched from behind some bushes. He said, “Fool you back again you must have not learned from earlier.” I watched the big dude punch my brother in the face. I then sprinted into action. I went over there and grabbed Joey and put him behind me. I pulled out my blade and told him to pick on me. Then all of a sudden I heard a gun shot. I turned around to find Joey with a gun in his hand. Joey was crying loudly as he pointed the gun at the guy. Joey kept shouting about putting a hot one in him. I took the gun from him and put him in the truck and left.

When we got home Joey didn’t want to talk. I told him to stay in his room but he didn’t want to listen. I came in his room five minutes later to find out that he went out the window. I didn’t know what to do. I grabbed the gun and got in the truck.

I started to drive around looking for him. As the day was going, anything could happen. Then I heard something I didn’t want to hear, “Pow pow pow” I stepped on the gas hard and pushed up the street to find a car pulling off. I looked and I saw joey falling down. Joey had 3 bullet wholes in his chest as he fell. I got out with the gun in hand and started shooting at the car. When they started shooting back, I tried to move and caught one. They then pulled off as I fell.

I got up a few moments later. They had shot me in the arm. I went over to find Joey; he had 3 bullet holes in his chest. I looked him in his eyes and said, “It’s going to be okay.” He said, “I’m sorry.” I can tell those were his last words. I got up and told a few bystanders to call an ambulance. Then I went on and got in the truck and drove off.

I went home and pulled the bullet out my arm with some tools. I bandaged myself up. I looked at Joey’s phone. It was a text from a girl name Amber. It says to come to 504 Avenue. I realized it was a set up to get him to come there. They had just killed my little brother. He didn’t deserve this. I went in the closet and grabbed my dad’s old shotgun and loaded it. My dad always kept this gun for protection. I put on a hoodie and some sweats and left. It was time for revenge.

I went to the girl’s house but dude wasn’t there. I talked to Amber and she told me that she never sent that text. In fact, her phone has been missing ever since her ex-boyfriend came around a few hours ago. So I knew the dude took it. All of a sudden I heard a car door close. Her ex was back. I told her I’m going to end this and go upstairs. She went upstairs.

I stood here with the shotgun raised at the door. I felt my heart pounding harder than a base drum. He walked through the door and I let fire go. He dropped as I seen his boy come in with a pistol. I hid behind a wall and shot him in the head. I pulled out the pistol and waited for the last guy.

Then I felt it. A gun was pointed at the back of my head. I turned around to find the last man with a Desert Eagle pointed at me. He was the super thug from earlier. I had no options at the moment. Then I heard the girl yell stop.

The guy shot her then I swung on him. The gun fell and it was a foot race to the gun. I kicked the gun. He tried to go for it. I put my arm around his neck and pulled my blade out and killed him. I was standing in the middle of a massacre. I heard sirens coming down the street. I went out the back door and jumped a fence and headed home.

I sat there for a few hours just thinking about my brother. He died then I killed the people who killed him. What’s next now? Wherever God takes me is where I’ll go. I had a few thousand dollars saved up. I was saving it for Joey’s college fund. I guess some will go to his funeral.

After I attended the funeral it was time to go. To much heat around I didn’t see my life going to prison. So I moved out of the Bronx and into a big house in Maryland. I met a girl. I guess this is where my story will begin. My brother will forever be with me.

It’s been five years since my brother’s death. Today would have been his 23rd birthday. October 1st is the date I will always remember. I have moved on since then. I own a warehouse where we move and ship goods for the state. I have a big house and a wife now. Her name is Maya James-Anderson; she is so good to me. She is so good to me that she had my first kid. November 12, 2018 is when my daughter Angel stepped into the world.

Life has been good for me. I still cry sometimes when I think about Joey. Joey was everything to me. I sit out here in my garage working on my American Muscle and think about how I could have tried to prevent this. I feel like it’s my fault from time to time. It feels like I had something to do with his murder. The cops never found out what happen.

Suddenly a car pulled up out front. A girl got out with a young boy with her. The closer she got, the more I started to remember her. I think back to the day Joey got shot. There was the girl that saved my life when I was looking down the barrel of that gun, the girl who yelled, “Stop!” and got shot. Could it possibly be her?

I remembers Amber, was her name so I got close and said, “Is your name Amber?” She said, “Yes it’s me, and I know you’re wondering how. Well, back on that day when I got shot I thought I was a goner until I seen the flash of a light. The light came from an officer named Mike. He was checking on me. He called an ambulance and got me stitched up.”

What she said had me in great shock. I remember when she got shot but I never checked on her. I just left because the cops were on the way and I’d just murdered 3 people. I had a reason but not a good one. Not good enough to keep me out of jail.

Then she said, “You may not have known but Joey and I had been going out for a long time. My ex-boyfriend Anthony and I was a couple at first. Then I met Joey and it all changed. I broke up with Anthony for Joey. When Anthony found out, he resented Joey ever since.” She said some things I didn’t even know.

She said, “It made Anthony go crazy when he found out I was pregnant. He thought the baby was his. That’s why he came back around. But it wasn’t his because I went behind his back a few times while we was together.” As tears rolled down her pretty little face she then said, “I slept with Joey behind Anthony’s back. Before Joey knew it he had a target on his back. That’s why he bought the gun.”

She continued, “After the whole shootout and the investigation, I had my first child by Joey. I know he’s not here today to see his son. But I at least wanted you to see your nephew, Joey Anderson Jr.” I tracked you down. I searched for months after my son was born for you. Once she said that name I shed tears and hugged her. I held my nephew for the first time. When I looked at him I saw Joey in his eyes. He was so cute. I invited her in and welcomed her to my family.

If she needed anything I was always here for her. I gave her a place to stay. I even gave her a job. I thought I lost my family but I didn’t. Even though my little bro was above us. I will continue to take care of my nephew and my daughter. I will raise him as if he was my little brother. I will try to keep the girls away this time. My nephew Joey Jr was here to stay. As I look to the sky I see my family looking down on me. I will forever be my brother’s keeper.

The Snitch:

January 23, 2015 was the day I saw a man get beaten and shot. I remember it like it was yesterday. The memory will forever be in my mind. Some things are just hard to forget. As I sit here in the diner reading the paper. I was on my way home from work that night. It was a stormy night. It was about 12 pm on the dot.

I was walking home from work. My job was only a block away so I liked to walk. When I came down the street I noticed a man screaming by my apartment. I hid behind a dumpster as the man continued to get beat. There were three of them. One guy look Caucasian and tall. The other one was a little chubby guy with a mustache. The tall one I can tell he was the leader. He was talking in some Russian accent. I took out my phone and recorded the whole thing.

I felt bad for the man as he screamed loudly. No one was listening to him. The Russian man finally pulled out a gun and pulled the trigger. Leaving the man dead. As the men got in their car and left. I snapped a couple of photos of their tags. After they left I walked past the man lying there. I checked for a pulse, but it was clear to me that he was dead.

I quickly ran upstairs to my apartment. I looked out the window to make sure they weren’t coming back. I then picked up the phone and called the police station in Queens, New York. I spoke to an officer name Detective Gonzalez. I told him about the man lying outside my home. Also about what I saw and recorded. They told me to come in tomorrow. Then I went to bed just thinking about it.

I dreamt about everything I saw. I laid there as I heard the sirens coming down the street. The sirens were so loud it kept me up half the night. I finally drifted off to sleep around 3:00 am. I woke up the next morning at about 11 o’clock. I went in the bathroom and took a shower and got dress.

I look in the mirror at myself. I am John Payne. I’m a single man at the age of 27 years old. I live alone and work at my parent’s local store. It’s about a block away from my home. I am a college graduate in communication. I work at the store until I finally get a better job.

I then left the apartment and got into my 2001 Toyota Camry. A rather old car, but it ran well. I pulled up to the station downtown. I went inside and walked to the front desk. I told them whom I was meeting with. “Detective Gonzalez is the guy that told me to come down here”. The lady just looked at me and dialed his line.

On the way to the room I noticed a cop walking in the opposite direction. He kind of bumped me and smirked at me. I went on and kept walking. “Detective Gonzalez at your service. Please sit in this room.” We walked into an interrogation room. A rather average height man. Hispanic seems to be his race. He had on a suit with his badge around his neck.

Detective Gonzalez:

“So you saw everything happening”. The man replied yes. I asked him if he seen it happening why didn’t he call to prevent everything. He said he was scared of the possibility of them hearing his conversation. I asked him where is his evidence of the situation. He handed me a flash drive. I can tell by his sweaty palms and his foot shaking that he was nervous.

I asked him if he ever seen the people again would he recognize them. He said yes. So I took him to the next room where the men were behind a glass. They had been apprehended last night right around the time of the shooting. I asked him to point out the men. To act as a criminal informant. Or as the streets call it “A snitch.”

John Payne:

As I walked in the room I saw a glass window. Only I can see out but they couldn’t see me as the other officer explained. I looked at the four gentlemen to see which ones are they. One guy was a rather short black male. So I knew he wasn’t the one. The next man was the right color but not the right size. He was very large. It was on to the next man. The other officer kept telling me to hurry up. I looked at him and noticed his name was officer Warren.

The more I looked at him. The more he tried to move his head. I just ignored it. I took another look at the third man. He was a little short guy with a big mustache. Right next to him was the guy. The man who pulled the gun out. The leader of it all was there. But how could the leader be the one arrested? I showed the detective the man.

Detective Gonzalez:

I took the man in the interrogation room with my partner Officer Warren. I had some files pulled on him. It turns out he is the same old local street punk. He has been charged with multiple grand theft autos. Also a few assault charges. His name is Derek Grimes. I don’t know what happened between his group and the man last night. But I intended on finding out.

I sat down with him face to face and asked him what happen. He was very happy for a change. He had a smirk on his face. I then said, “Wipe that stupid smirk off your face”. He replied smiling and saying “You stupid cock sucker. You can’t arrest me. I will kill you. Stupid Americans think you can take me down. It’s not possible.

Detective Gonzalez:

“Sir calm down. We have footage of you killing Bill Marker. Also a witness that seen you do it along side two other associates. Now all we want you to do is identify the other two members. Or you can await your sentence trial on Monday.

The way he looked at me was as if he was looking through me. He gave me a nod and asked if he can make a phone call. I granted his wish and gave him his one phone call. So I took him to the phone. As he was talking I noticed his language was Russian. Whatever he was saying was aggressive. It was as if he was shouting through the phone. Once he finished I asked him was he ready to confess. He told me no. So he left me no choice but to cuff him.

John Payne:

I seen the guy gets put behind bars. He looked at me with a serious grin. As I was walking officer Warren told me “See you again slick”. The more I looked at him gave me an idea. I grabbed detective Gonzalez and pulled him aside. I told him I think I know who’s the other guy. We stepped in the room and I told him.

I left after the talk I had with detective Gonzalez. I was on my way home when I heard the sirens behind me. I pulled over a half a block away from my home. The cop got out and walked up to me with a nightstick in hand. Before I can look at his face bam…

I woke up tied to a chair surrounded by machines and people working. I looked around to see officer Warren with the other man from the last night. They had a big stick in hand. Before I knew it they struck me twice in the chest.

Officer Warren:

“You stupid motherfucker. I told you I was going to see you again. You had my friend locked up. Now look at your life. You’re about to die. I see you like to snitch. How about I let my gun talk? Are you going to snitch about that? Your going to be dead just like the last guy that seen us do business. Beaten and killed.”

John Payne:

I looked at him and just laughed. He looked at me curious of why I was laughing as if he was a comedian. He then said, “What’s so funny?” I said, “You just snitched on yourself. Now who’s the snitch now? You think I didn’t know about you. I remember you from that night. You were the man yelling at the man to stay down. I remember your voice and that stupid mustache.” He then gave me three more hits to the chest.

“So let me guest Bill saw the three stooges do business. He saw it all and he was a threat to you. So you took him out before he could do anything. Then came me ready to tell it all. I got your boy locked up and soon you and your friend will be joining him.” The look on his face was priceless when I told him the last part.

“See while at the office when you were too busy threatening me. I went back to Gonzalez and told him that I had a hunch about you being one of the men. Him and I were on the same page about you. He then looked at me and said “We should do something before they come for you”. So Gonzalez thought it was a good idea for me to wear a wire. He was shocked and quickly ripped my shirt open. To see the wire strapped to my chest. I looked at him and said, “Bingo”.”

Bingo was the secret word to let Gonzalez and the rest of the agents know to come in. Then SWAT and FBI agents busted in. Some came through the roof. Others came through the door busting everyone. Warren was so surprise by the outcome of the situation.

3 Months later:

I John Payne earned a 500-dollar pay for helping out. I now stay in Richmond, Virginia. I had to switch up from that environment. I ended up writing a book on my experience and earning a good amount of money. I am now working as a reporter for the local news station. Detective Gonzalez was awarded the key to the city after taking down the biggest drug dealers in Queens, New York. I see us one day meeting again. Being a snitch wasn’t so bad after all. We put away some bad people for good.


“How could you do this to me Baby.” Is what she said to me as I packed my bags and moved on. I couldn’t believe how quickly this marriage went. It was like she had no feelings for anybody but herself. If I wasn’t home then she found anybody to please herself. I left out and went to the car. Then I left to start a whole new chapter in my life.

4 Months Earlier:


“ Hey baby, what’s for dinner?” As I walked, I noticed the sweet smell of some homemade yams. Tonight was a little different from the usual. I came in and their was food but and no wife. I usually come home from the job and see her in the kitchen. As I sat my bag down and went upstairs. I hear a sound that I wasn’t too familiar with.

Derek walked up the stairs very quietly. Trying not to make a single sound. Every step was softer than the next. As he got closer he noticed the sounds was his wife. When he got to the door of his bedroom. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Victoria was cheating on him with another man. Derek bust through the door heated. It was as if he had flames coming out of his head.

Victoria was quite frightened by him. She jumped out the bed holding the covers crying. The man got up shouting, “I’m so sorry sir”. The man scrambled to put on his clothes. As the man put on his clothes, Derek stood there yelling at Victoria. Derek was madder than ever before.

“How could you cheat on me with this clown. I take care of you and everything. We had been living together for seven years. I put a five thousand dollar ring on your finger. I go out on that field everyday to make a living for us. You are my everything baby”.

Victoria then looked at him and said “Sorry”. He then just got up and left. Derek walked out the door and went to a hotel for the night. The two barely got any sleep. Derek was up thinking about what he should do next. While Victoria had other thoughts.


“I wonder if he will leave me. I had cheated on my husband. But this wasn’t the first time. It was just the first time he caught me red handed. I got to make it up to him somehow. I can’t get put out on the streets. I was just so horny and the mailman was right there. Shit it wasn’t my fault he wasn’t home in time.”

Victoria went on and fell asleep. The next morning Derek came home like nothing happened last night. They went on with their lives. Victoria made it up to him with a gift. Derek was on and off the field. Derek was a NFL football player. He was always working. Leaving Victoria in the hands of other guys. After catching her three more times since the first. After long hours on the field he had to come home to his wife with many more men.


“Hey babe, I have something to tell you. You might want to sit down for this one. I’m pregnant.” Derek hopped up so happy for their baby. But when she told him the other news it went south. “The baby is not yours though. The baby is his.” As she pointed towards the door, things got intense. Along walked in Alfred. Alfred was Derek’s fellow teammate and childhood friend.

Alfred walked in and hugged Victoria as if he belonged. Derek was at his limit. Derek grabbed Alfred by the neck and started choking him. Victoria had to be the referee in the situation. Derek started yelling “ How could you do this to me baby?” He started talking about all the things he did for her. Then he left out to start his new chapter.


Striking out for weeks. He wanted a new woman. Someone fine as hell in the body and face but also real. I came from nothing. My mom and dad weren’t there for me at times. I found Victoria when I really started making it in college. She was the cute girl in class that I had no choice but to talk to. She was all that until I made it.

Once I got drafted to the Dolphins. Things changed between us. Victoria started spending endless money. I had no problem because she was my queen. I felt like she could do as she pleased. I took care of my parents needs. I then spent money on myself. I thought Victoria was the one until she showed her true colors.

I had the whole offseason to get my head straight. So I decided to pack up and catch a flight out to my hometown. When my flight landed I was home. I felt so alive when I got to Atlanta, Georgia. I went straight to my momma house. My mom and pops was separated ever since middle school. They had got into a big argument that left them apart for a long time.

When I got there. My mom wasn’t home yet. She must have run out to the grocery store or something. Walking through the house reminiscing all the good times I had here. I was a little bad ass when I was a kid. I was the only child growing up. It was my mom, Buddy, and I. Buddy was my childhood dog. Speaking of him led him to walk in the living room. He was a nice golden retriever. I haven’t seen him since I got drafted seven years ago.

After about an hour mom’s arrived. She was so excited by her surprise. She came in and started cooking dinner for me. While waiting for dinner, I decided to walk Buddy. While I was walking down the street, I noticed a familiar face. I walked up to this sexy redbone. She was a little short thick girl. It was Angel. Angel was my high school sweetheart.

When they saw each other it was like a movie encounter. They just locked sights on each other. They decided to catch up over dinner. Angel and Derek went out all throughout high school. They were practically married. It all changed when he went off to college.


Angel and I got real close after first meeting up. I brought a house in Atlanta. We stayed next to our roots. We dated for a year before I put a ring on her finger. It was love between us. Chemistry was on a high note for us. It was like we never lost a step.

“Honey, I’m home.” I came in the house like any other day. My wife wasn’t in the living room. Was my past coming back to me? It couldn’t be this again. I search through the house before hitting the bedroom. I went to the bedroom. As my heart raced the closer I got the more I sweat. When I got there I saw Angel in the master bathroom crying. She had a unfamiliar device in her palms.

She started to explain what it was. She said, “Baby, I’m pregnant. I have tested three times already and I don’t know how you’re going to take this.” I gave a huge hug. Then I traced back and said, “is it mines”. She looked at me and laughed. “Of course it’s yours. I haven’t been with anybody else in my lifetime but you.” I laughed as we sat in the bathroom happy.

9 Months later:

November 17, 2015 was the day my handsome son Ricky James Johnson came into the world. He was my pride and joy. I was so excited to see him. We lived happy ever after. I retired early and became a coach for the young ones. I had seen Alfred get hurt on the field the other day. He didn’t ever play a game ever again. As for Victoria she still fast. It turns out the baby wasn’t Alfred’s either. It was the mailman’s baby. I guess all along I was searching for the right one. When the right one was in my face all along.

As for Derek and his family they are living a peaceful life. Alfred is still trying to figure out life being injured. Victoria is bouncing from man to man. That goes to show that you have to be true to the person you love. When you have someone don’t ever let him or her go. Once they’re gone then there is no coming back.

Change of Pace:

Once upon a time there was a family. A woman that gave birth to a child that one day will be great. That child is Joseph Parker. As a child Joseph was a good kid. He was always happy about everything in the world. The only person in the world that put him down was his father.

Joseph and his father never got along. His dad was always smoking and drinking. Michael his father kept his distance from everyone. Michael often was out doing his thing. Work was something he always cared about. Michael wasn’t a bad dad. Michael was the provider so he did all he could do to feed his family. Joseph just didn’t see it that way.

Michael and Joseph had a falling out when Joseph was in high school. Michael had an affair and got caught up. Chanel, Joseph mother kicked him out after finding out. After that day Joseph started seeing even less of his father. Michael came around off and on throughout his life. Joseph continued to push him away. After awhile Michael got tired of it and moved on. Joseph did the same.

After Joseph graduated high school he moved on to college. Joseph went to college and got his bachelor’s degree. Then he was off to Law school. Joseph soon became one of the top lawyers in the country. Joseph moved out to be on his own. Joseph left and went to the nice city of Miami, Florida. Where he started his path to success. Joseph started off with little small petty cases. Which turned into something even bigger than ever.

Joseph soon spotted a new lover. Sarah Smith was a lawyer at his law firm. In fact she was his boss there. After a little bit of charm and a few gifts things picked up. They really hit things off. They dated for about two years before Joseph pop the question. Joseph and Sarah kept a really good relationship.

Joseph then became the top lawyer at the firm. Joseph was one of the fiercest lawyers around. Defendants just knew they were guilty once he entered the courtroom. He just had that power and knowledge to get the job done. No matter what odds was stacked against him. Joseph put in the time needed to make a impact during every case.

One evening when Joseph came home. Sarah was in the living room crying. The unknown item in her hand had Joseph in shock. She took a pregnancy test. Joseph noticed that it was positive. They were getting ready to bring a child into the world. Sarah said, “Baby I’m so glad you’re happy about this. I didn’t know what your reaction would be like.” The look on Joseph face was so excited he was speechless.

Then Sarah told him to sit down. She exclaimed that she had some bad news. Sarah said, “Baby your father is sick. He has had several heart attacks and strokes. Your mother called and want you to come visit before he goes.” Joseph just simply said okay as if nothing was unusual. Sarah didn’t know how to come about that response. Sarah just left it alone.

That night Joseph didn’t get any sleep. The confused feelings he had for his father. Joseph has grown and moved on since he last seen him. Joseph soon just decided to go on and go. The next morning he took on some of his vacation days. They packed their bags and caught a flight out of town.

They arrive to Greensboro, North Carolina five hours later. They went ahead to Joseph old home where he found his mother. She was so happy to see her son after all these years. Sarah and Ms. Parker got to know each other. She had only heard about her but never seen her before. After awhile Joseph had a little talk with his mom about dad. She told him about him being a diabetic after all these years. Needle after needle he took for over 20 years and counting. After awhile he got tired of them and took a break.

Which led him to the multiple heart attacks and strokes. He just started taking his medicine again after 26 years. Michael has been a diabetic since birth. Michael has been having trouble over the years with drinking and drugs. None of it has been healthy for him. He really just let Jesus take the wheel of his life. So far he has been crashing. Now he’s 46 and has had 3 heart attacks. Doctors said one heavier heart attack could shut him down for eternity.

The news about his father had him in shocked. “My dad hasn’t been in my life but it’s still hurting me.” After a few hours Joseph and the family went to the hospital. As Michael laid on the bed with tubes up his nose, had Joseph sad. Joseph finally went in and introduced himself and his wife to the conversation. The joy he had on his face when he seen Joseph was priceless.

Despite the fights they had when he was younger. At the time Joseph tried to fight him. The time when Michael left with another woman was their worst time. They had multiple fights because of their trust. “Despite everything, I see a man fighting for his life. I have pushed him away to speed up the pace of life. I see that I need to slow down and really live life”, Joseph said.

After thinking about the changes through life, we decided to move up the wedding. I didn’t want my pops to miss my wedding or childbirth. I couldn’t speed up childbirth so it had to be the wedding. We ended up getting married 3 days later in a church that I grew up around.

The next few months Joseph and his dad their last days together. The feeling was mutual. When he was younger he didn’t understand him and his ways. Now it’s like a big part of life that he missed. When Christmas came Joseph had his first kid. They named him Michael Parker. Michael eventually died a few days later. Joseph said at the funeral that he will always love him.


“Life’s too short for a grudge. You have to cherish each and every moment you have with someone. Life goes at it’s own pace.”

Pace~ Delane Exum

True Love:

The lavish lifestyle every woman dreams about. When you find the man that can provide for you. The one that can give you everything your heart desires. To have babies with a man that will actually stick around. The romantic life with a great man that has money. A life with real love.

My life has been partially that. I have the big house and a husband. I have a professional basketball player for a husband. I married him after college. He was such a sweetheart back then. In college it was something about him that lead me to him. Was it his smile or the way he talked to me? He always knew what to say to put a smile on my face. He was very tall with big hands. I loved his swagger. His clothes and shoes were on point all the time.

My man name was Jamie Jones. He used to take me on dates most of the time. Living life with him couldn’t get any better. That’s what I thought until he got drafted. It took flight from there on. He was drafted to the Miami Heat. I had my English Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State. I packed my bags and moved on with him.

I left all my family and friends in the past. My friends and family all was left back. My hair was in the wind once he got drafted. Especially after he brought me my first car. A white 2010 Mercedes convertible. After that I knew we was on to better things. He brought the mansion of my dreams. He was my prince charming and I was his Rapunzel. I was waiting on his every dying moment.

After about two wonderful years, things went downward. The love connection slowly began to die. My husband was a little too deep into his career. Suddenly his work became way more important than me. It was like I was some old gym sock’s he left in his lockers. I use to go to all the red carpet events until about a month ago. It went a little something like this.

“Babe don’t you want to stay in and make love”. Is what I said to my husband as he walked out the door. He did this everyday no matter what I tried to do to stop him. Truth is I was lonely, just me alone in a big house. I would never have affair but the thought of him having an affair was a thought I couldn’t take. We have been together for 6 years and married for 2 years.

As Amber got dress she thought to go ahead and take a bath and relax. Amber went for the bath to remove her clothes. Amber was a little skinny tight light skin girl. Her body parts were filled in all the right places. She was like a 9 on a scale of 1-10 in rating. As Amber got in the tub she threw on some body wash and washed up. Once she got out the tub she went on and threw on her panties and went to bed.

Meanwhile in another part of town was Jamie. Jamie was doing a little sneaking. Jamie went to his car with Angie. Angie Sanders was one of the top actresses in the business. Angie had the hot’s for Jamie ever since he got drafted. Amber has always stood in the way of that. Jamie and Angie went to the car and then left.

When Amber woke up, Jamie was laying next to her sleep. She got up and looked at the time. Amber went for the kitchen to make breakfast. The only smile she seems to give her man was when she cooked for him. Even on the off-season he was always out. When asked he would say, “Got to keep working on my jump shot”. The same old line every single time. This morning was a little differently. As Amber was eating she decided to turn on the television.

When she turned on the television it was left on TMZ where they were talking about Jamie and Angie. They had video of Jamie and Angie leaving the club together in Jamie’s 2 million dollar Bugatti. Amber couldn’t believe what happened last night. While she was in the house being loyal, Jamie was out having an affair. The thought of that brought pain to her.

So she decided to take manners into her own hand. So she surprised him with some ice-cold water while he was sleeping. Jamie awakens as soon as that ice-cold water hit his smooth skin. Jamie was knocked out from his late night actions. When the ice water hit him he woke up as if he was drowning. He woke up and said “What the fuck you doing bitch?” Amber replied with a smooth slap to the face. “You slept with that dirty hoe Angie and came home to Me.,” she said. Jamie went off and said, “I didn’t sleep with her. I simply dropped her off because her car broke down.” Amber looked him in his eyes and “Mmhm”. “I swear I would never cheat on you. Now get me a towel before I get mad” he said.

Amber grabbed a towel and threw it at him. As she went in the bathroom to rinsed off her face. She was pissed at the fact he lied straight to her face. He had also called her a “Bitch” for the first time. It was like a spark was beginning to go off. Amber started tracing back to her life. She looked through old photos to see where time went. What had happen to Mr. Prince charming? Now its like she doesn’t even exist in his life.

Jamie shortly left the house to work on his jump shot. So with Amber worried about what he been doing, she followed him. She went after him with precision. Jamie stopped at some house along the road first. Some blonde chick came out and hopped in. They went to a few stores. It seem as though she was just a gold digger. Until they went back to her home, it was on. I was so astonished by what had gone on in that house. He didn’t come out for five hours.

Later on Amber took a little visit to the marriage counselor to see about a divorce. The divorce counselor explained to her that if she gets a divorce then she’d be broke. The reason was because Amber signed a prenuptial agreement. At the moment she signed it because she felt like they were going to last forever. By her signing that paper agreeing that if she decides to leave then she will get nothing. The tears rolled down Amber face. Feeling sorrow for signing that paper. Jamie is cheating on her with several other women.

The only thing she can do was go through it. If she leaves then her rich life is over. No more mansion life for her. The joint bank account will be done for good. No more money in her pocket. The luxury cars and the billion-dollar husband will all be gone in no time. As Amber went for a drive around the city to think.


I don’t know what to do about this. I can’t just sit around while he cheats on me night and day. I have to just pack my bags and move on. I don’t want to be broke with nothing.” Amber was driving full of sorrow and tears. She decided to stop at a local bar and café. It was poetry night. So she sat down a nearby table and just listened to the poems.

I use to love poetry back in college. I was listening to the poems that inspired me. It was like receiving some healing from all the drama in my life. The true plan before the draft was to become a poet while Jamie was on the court balling. It all changed when I was exposed to the spotlight. The money and the fame changed me into this spoiled rich girl. I have the biggest house that any girl could imagine for. This all could change in just a moment.”

While sitting at the table some gentleman walked over to the club. He was about six foot two. A nice body with an amazing physique with lovely hair. He smiled at me as he asked to sit with me. As he spoke I started to blush. His name was Kenny. Kenny Johnson he said he was a game designer. The way he talked to me that night mad my heart race faster then a Nascar driver.

After that night I knew I would be seeing a lot more of him. We exchanged numbers as we split ways. I went home to a lonely house. I went straight for the bed to get some rest. I woke up the next morning next to Jamie. I turned over and I could smell the other woman on him. It was so filthy. I never said anything to him because I don’t know if I want to leave this life.

Amber went on for weeks secretly dating Kenny every night. Until a local television show started creeping on them. While she was enjoying time with Kenny on the beach, she was being recorded. When the season came back around Jamie was back to work. Amber was still leaving every night to be with Kenny. The more they got serious the more footage to come.

After Jamie’s first game, he had an interview. In the interview the host asked how’s your relationship doing. Jamie being a cocky dude said, “It’s doing great, my wife and I onto bigger and better things.” The host said, “How bout we show some footage that has been put together. The footage showed Jamie and all the women he been fooling around with. Jamie replied, “They were accidents my wife has forgave me”. The next video was of Amber and Kenny kissing on a beach. Jamie was fierce and decided to leave and go home.

Jamie went home angry at what he had just seen. When he got there it was nobody home. While Amber was over Kenny’s house having dinner and a movie. It wasn’t until Kenny turned on the television when Amber seen what had been happening over the past few months. When Amber got home Jamie was going off.

Jamie said, “You made me look like a joke. Being on the court balling and thinking that I have a loyal wife at home. You out there being someone else girl.” Amber replied, “I’m the one cheating. You have been cheating on me for who knows how long. Then you come at me. I have to deal with you coming home every night smelling like another woman. This life isn’t what I signed up for Jamie.” Jamie started getting even louder yelling, “You chose some nobody over me.” Amber said, “I love him more than anyone in the world”.

As the argument got even louder Kenny came in from outside. He had been sitting in the car waiting on Amber to come out. Kenny came in the door and things kind of went bad. Kenny first choice of words was “Amber is you okay.” Then Jamie replied, “Dude what are you even doing in my house. You have been cheating with this guy. He can never match up to what I got on. I should punch you in the face for this.” While Amber continue to shed tears. When Jamie raised his arm like he was going to swing, Kenny stepped in. Kenny replied by saying, “I don’t think you want to do that”.

Jamie just smirked at him and said, “Get out my house before I call the cops.” Amber then said, “You can go outside because I got this.” Jamie then asked the question that been in Amber head for sometime now. “You can give up everything I have for the one you claim you love. Which is it going to be?”

1 year later:

After all the confusion in the past year I moved on with my new husband Kenny. I am currently looking to have my first son in a couple of months. The name is undecided but I love my new family and life. Kenny recently created the most loved game ever called “True love’s curse”. Many people have loved it. As for Jamie, he is still playing ball and sleeping around with many. As life goes on I don’t ever look back to the past.

As months went by Amber gave birth to her son Luther Ali. Their lives took off with their new addition to the family. After childbirth Amber took some time to get back to her poetry. She is now one of the top poet’s in the country. Kenny has taken part in creating some of the top video games in history. Luther will soon grow up around a lot of wealth. As for Jamie he’s doing him. True love can be defined as loving the one that truly matters to you. Despite the money and the fame, the heart is what really matters in love.

Suicide Note:

December 12, 1996 was the day I Todd Grossman was bought into this world premature that is. I came in this world no clue of what’s going on. As an infant I didn’t know anything. As all of us was when we was first bought into this world. In fact if I knew this what my future would be like I would have climbed back in. Its crazy how it is in the world today.

As I grew older I began to see the world for what it truly is. Through my life I see the way people act towards things. I have seen how angry my father got with me. He struck me multiple times as I cried. I saw out the corner of my eyes, my mother. She was there edging him on. As if she was cheering for a football game or something. I just laid there as he beat me till I had bruises on me. He really thought he was accomplishing something. All because I showed my inner self.

I remember the time when I was about six years old. I had seen my mother and dad being all romantic and stuff. They said they love each other and all. They felt like nothing can touch their love. I remember the exact day when my mother cheated on daddy. It was January 12, 2002 when I seen my mom has sex with the landlord. I was 6 years old when my mom brought in the landlord man for some special rent. I seen her start it all off.

I sat there watching. She told me to go in my room after awhile. The look on her face was as if she was enjoying every moment of it. She had no shame of what she was doing. She kept screaming I love you. “I love you” was the same words she told my father. So therefore what is love? Is it when you really like some one? Or is it when someone really pleases you?

As life went on I seen the unworthy moments in life when two so call friends. Or “bestie” would be a slang term for someone really close to you. When girls thought they had a good friend until they see their friend with their man. When all hell breaks lose. They start fighting. Like I just don’t see what you gain from that. A bloody nose and no self respect. The women of today think its “cute” as you would call it. They would pull each other hair out to prove a point.

“Bad Bitches” What is that? I have seen this phrase being used more often in life. The true definition would be a “bad female dog”. So that’s what women label themselves today. Some women still have self-respect. But other females label themselves as “bad bitches”. Then they get stuck up and rude. They think their cute when they with friends with the same attitude. Then attract boys that only want what’s in between their legs. But when a nice educated guy with a bright future come around. No, they’re labeled as “thirsty”. Meaning they too press or eager for something. As if you was thirsty for a drink.

I have seen women chase the guys with the bad attitude and saggy clothing. Then once they get pregnant and want a father in their baby’s life. No one is there. See they push everyone away for this one guy. They push away friends that try to warn them of this guy. They think that the male love them. But all they want is what’s in between.

Once they have that they are on to the next one. One thing I can never understand is “Pimps and Hoes”. A pimp is a guy that has sex with a lot of women. A pimp gets respect for that. But a hoe do the same thing and is called dirty and a slut. Like you both wrong so deal with it.

What you think they going to come back because you have their child? That gives them even more of a reason to get away. The women then look for someone to give them help. They see that one guy that they called thirsty once before. The one they thought they were too cute for. Now they got the green which they got from doing right. Do they come back to being thirsty, as you would call it? But no, you become the thirsty one. The women then regret their past and try anyway possible to get money.

They end up back home with their parents reaching out for help. Then their mothers take care of the kid while the woman goes out for a job. To make money to support they’re new born. Seeing herself as single mother.

They try there hardest to bring money home. Live off their parents till they can get a place to raise their kid. Then when the kid gets older. He grows up as a rough neck because he didn’t have a father figure in his life. Or she will grow up ready to open her legs to any and every body because she never had a father figure. A man to tell her which man is right from wrong.

I had often seen guys be rough necks when they use to beat on women. They literally hit on girls to make them like them. I often have seen my high school friends do it. I knew this one kid name Reggie does these things. Reggie was a little skinny brown skin guy. He use to have multiple women in and out his house. Guys are some unfaithful people. They always cheat and then have the worst lie to make up for it. Reggie use to get caught in the act and would say this famous line “It’s not what it looks like”.

In high school I remember seeing a lot of people living a lie. People often pretend to have money to make themselves better than others. They act like if they wear designer then that gives them more power. Like putting on a Fendi belts will make them better. Leaving the less fortunate to feel some type of way. Just wishing they were like that.

I remember the day my mom came home walking, she got robbed at gunpoint for her car keys. I hate seeing people pull out guns robbing people for their hard earn money. I see working people work for money. They take because they don’t have. They are too lazy to work for anything they want. So they feel as though it’s easier to just rob someone.

They just like to take like the Grinch. They run up to them when their not paying attention. They take out their gun and point it at them. Some just give up easily. But others want to be brave and end up with a whole in their chest.

The one in front of the gun is gone but never forgotten. The one who pulls the trigger spends his days looking at bars and another man that wants to get in them. Do I see myself there one day? Is something I ask myself everyday. Will I ever be that greedy and want to take a life to get a life? Or will I always do things the safe way.

The other thing I see is homosexual people. I hate when people give them the cold shoulder because of their decisions. They don’t get mad when you kiss a girl. So why can’t they show their love. Like coming from a straight perspective. If a man go out with another man. That’s two men taking away from all the women in the world. Like I don’t care if they go out with nine men. That’s just more women for me. They can take them all I will just love the women by myself.

This world is not for me. It took 18 years for me to see the world for what it is. I see these police officers killing everybody moving. Why because they black? I stand as a white male. Looking down at these tragedies on the TV screen. I see these suspects dying because of their skin color. I can tell these police officers don’t care. They have cameras on them and that don’t scare them.

The world is so split that when a black person get killed no one cares. Only that specific race. But when you flip the script and it’s a person that’s white that gets killed. The black people turn their head as if they didn’t see that. The world today can never come together. The main topic in the world is police shootings. The way the world is split. I don’t see how anything is going to get solved if we don’t work together.

Just the other day I remember seeing a white kid get arrested with a vest on. If it had been a black kid they would have been slammed on the ground. Its crazy how they always have a dumb excuse and be okay. I seen cops shoot a teen on video and all he said was sorry. That’s like me robbing a bank and saying I’m sorry for taking the money. Then get no arrest with any charges. I love seeing people take charge in a non-violent way.

Non-violence is the way. But is that really the way to go. I know the quote “Two wrongs don’t make a right”. So if an officer shoots us is that really a wrong. Or isn’t that something they’re paid to do. So responding violently would only be one wrong. I mean their job is to serve and protect. They are allowed to shoot someone and still get paid. So that counts as their job and also a right. So coming off violently will be just one wrong.

Non-violence is supposed to be the key to every situation. But through history non-violence always turns to violence. Look at Martin Luther King Jr. A social activist who led the civil rights movement. He stood up for a change and attempted to make us equal with no violence. Although others wanted to use violence, he didn’t. Leading everyone who follows in a march. What led to violence from the opposing side. The police are like bullies. Someone who pick on you until you have had enough. The police pick on the Black people. Until they have enough of it. But that day hasn’t come.

How long will it take for them to take a stand? When will all come together and make a difference? When will everyone stop acting as teams and come together as one. I’m talking all races working together against the political, to make a difference. Life has always been unequal. I don’t understand how the white race went and got the Africans just to abuse and use them. That’s like getting a dog to beat it all day.

African American’s never going to get a break. I see how they shoot each other because of where they live. What is a hood? It used to just be a friendly neighborhood. But no the hood is some place where you live and fight for? Why that though? If you get killed in the hood nothing happens. The hood doesn’t like you. If you die in the hood you will just become another statistic. If you leave the hood then you would actually make something of yourself.

They shoot each other all day and wonder why people look at them differently? They look as if they surprised by their acts. I have seen how black people look at the police. Like not all cops are bad. Some are decent cops that are looked at differently just because of their co-workers.

It’s funny how the media take truth and twist it. The media is the death of many. The media can make and break people now days. You can become very popular from it or it can hurt you in other ways. Every time I look at the news they always look down on people as if they did something wrong. The media hurts this country a lot now a day.

So I wonder what the story going to be on me. As I finish writing my letter to the world. I just finished my letter to you all. As I tie the rope around my neck really tight. I then wonder how heaven will be. As I jump off the table.


“Will I become another statistic like all the others? Or will I become something more? I see myself one day being something great. But this is a lonely world. But that won’t stop me from making a change.”

Statistic~ Delane Exum

*No More:

I have been bullied all my life. My name is Matt Carter and I’m 15 years old. I have lived with my mom for mostly all my life. I have seen my father only once in my life. I have no memory of him. My mother said he was a bad father. He was reckless of everyone around him. She said she kicked him out after he had been beating her. I don’t remember the beatings because I was so young at the age.

I live in California. My mom and I have been trying to live a peaceful life since the incident. My dad was put behind bars for domestic violence. Looks like I won’t be seeing him any time soon. I’m in the 10th grade now. I have been getting bullied ever since birth. It started out with my family. Then came the kids at school.

It was a little family love taps to make me tougher. But it then turned into an all out war with my cousins. Now I’m in high school going through the same things. As far as girlfriends go. You can forget that. None of the girls like me because they think I’m a pushover. Someone they can get over on.

They always tell me that they want a real man that can take care of them. A man that can serve and protect. You’ll never know if a robber runs up on us. They might try to rob or hurt us. Every girl wants the guy to stand up for her. But the man they want is not I. I’ll probably tuck my tail and run like insane bolt. Leaving them in danger with no savior.

Well as far as grades go. I got that. Nobody in my class has better grades than me. I’m at the top of the charts in school. Most kids in my class are failing compared to my scores. They see me in class and automatically want to copy or for me to do their work. I always say yes because I’m just friendly like that. But it does get out of hand at times. Especially when the big bad jocks try and abuse me. Just for me to do their homework.

On my spare time I like to read books. I often like to read heroic books. Books that show a well-known hero taking over an incident to bring happiness to the world. I dream about doing something like that one day. I often talk to my mom about the bullying in school. She always tries to help. Even though she not my dad. She still tries to toughing me up for the real world. She does things like give me speeches about life and how it goes.

I have been told all my life to just tell the teacher. But as always it’s been hard to just snitch in high school. Seeing how high school teachers don’t be caring. I hate that they don’t take control of situations. Mostly all schools have kids being bullied with no help from the teachers. I have even seen teachers edge the kids on to fight.

So tomorrow is the last day of my tenth grade year. I wonder how things are going to go. All year I have been pissing off many. I try sometimes to take others advice and just talk back to the bullies. Especially this bully I have. His name is Jeffrey Thomas. He is your average football jock. He sits in the back of class everyday and throws paper balls at the back of my head.

I remember the memories from getting bullied through school. In elementary I had my head shoved in the toilet. It all started when I was in the first grade. I got bullied on the first day with a kid and it didn’t stop from then. Ever since then it has went downhill. In Junior High school I had been shoved in lockers. Beat out of my mind. It doesn’t just stop there physically. But even when I get on social media it happens. I try to ignore the messages. They get worse by day its crazy how people feel of my existence in the world. Sometimes I wish I could get away from it. Like have you ever had a big ass spit ball hit the back of your head. It’s really disgusting at times.

Yes very painful and embarrassing. One day he called my name and I turned around and caught one right to the face. It was so disgusting that I wanted to get up and murder him. He was really big and buff. He is the defensive end on the football team. So the coaches always kept him working out. He is one year older than me. So I only have a year left with him. He is such a jerk to me and everyone else.

Time to get rest for school tomorrow. I hate the last day of school because it always gets hectic on the last day. Its like everything you wanted to do during the year gets done on the last day. Kids start to fight like its no tomorrow. There are no rules for the last day. Kids always roaming the halls. Fights break out between students. Sometimes even students versus teachers. I have seen it all during school. Well it’s three in the morning and its time for me to sleep.

Time for school as I get up and throw on my robe. I walked across the hall to the bathroom. I turned on the shower with some tunes to get my day started. I jumped out the shower and threw on my skinny jeans and my nice Ralph Lauren polo shirt. I always like to look fly when going to school. As I finish lacing up my Air Force 1’s. I went downstairs to the breakfast area.

I ate breakfast and got on the bus. I was off to school. When I got to school it was going good. After all it was a good day until I hit last period. Last period was always the hardest for me. I had Biology class. It’s an easy class but it was just the people in the class that gave me a hard time. It was all the needy people asking for the answers. Then there was Michael in the back throwing shit at me. When I got in class I sat in my regular seat. Since it was the last day we started watching a movie.

It was going good up until the point when Michael threw a book at the back of my head. Everybody turned around ands started laughing. When something came over me. It was as if a voice in my head was saying no more. Over and over I kept hearing those two words. I then turned around and said, “Look throw something else and I’m going to whoop you”. He then took a piece of paper and threw it square at my face.

I got up as I noticed all camera lights was pointed at me. The teacher had his feet on the desk with a newspaper over his face sleeping like a baby. I took the book off the desk and swung it as hard as I could. I had seen Michael quickly fall to the floor as everyone chanted my name. It was like I was one of those hero’s in the books I been reading. Michael got up and snatched the book out my hand. I put my hands up and started swinging.

I had never fought anyone ever before. But I knew that I was hitting something because I could feel his jaw on my knuckles. I was like Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson because I was connecting with every shot. After a while the teacher woke up and called security.

After that I went home. I told my mom what happened. Surprisingly she wasn’t mad. In fact she was glad. She told me she have been patiently waiting for the day that I finally took control and stood up for myself. I did it all on my own. After that day no one else messed with me.

All the kids have seen what happened to Michael and thought that I shouldn’t be messed with. After that year Michael went on to the next grade. He stopped picking on me and actually became my friend. He ended up graduating and going to college. He studied in sports management and became a football coach.

Well you know me I went on and graduated and went to Howard University. I am now a counselor at the same school I graduated from. Teaching kids how to stand up for themself was my destiny. Our friendship has grown even stronger. Since that day when I showed the world that I couldn’t take any more. The world has seen me threw. My dad finally got out and we are making up for our lost time.


“In your life time you are going to have bullies. Someone is going to try you. But you can’t back down from it. When you back down then it’s going to keep happening to you, until you stand up for yourself. You have to take charge of things in life. Don’t let anyone back you down.”

Bravery ~ Delane Exum

A Hustler’s Story:

My name is Trey Johnson but on the streets of Compton my name was TJ. I am 17 years old about to graduate high school and be in these streets for real. I have been living in Compton all my life with no remorse. I am in a crew called the Viscous 4. I chose the name because we’re one of the most viscous crews and its only 4 of us. When it comes down to my squad I’ll die for them niggas.

Well, graduation is tomorrow and I have only myself to thank. I have been living with my mother all my life. I play football and I have a full scholarship to Penn State University. They offered me a full scholarship just to play for them as a wide receiver but that’s not for me. I don’t want to catch balls all my life. I want to catch this money in the streets with my boys.

My mother tries to lead me to the ball but I don’t listen to that nonsense. Well anyway, I don’t believe in a father, seeing how my dad left me when I was only a cub. Ever since then, my mother and I have been living on our own. I heard my father moved into a big house in Chicago.

With graduation in a few hours I got to stay out of trouble. But we all know that’s not going to happen. Out on the block with my homies Jerome, Mike, and Terrance. Our crew came around a while ago. I was the second to last person to join. Mike started this. Just an average thief, good with locks. That kind of stuff was his specialty. Terrance was the joker but when danger came he was quick to shoot. Terrance used to be an amateur boxer. He was real sharp in the ring. But all that went away when he joined the crew.

Then there was Jerome the last to join. He moved around the hood months ago. Doing a few drug dealings that brought the attention to us. So we hooked up with him. We became the plug for the hood. Jerome was also sharp with the shooting. We never knew how but he use to shoot like he was on Call of Duty or something. But anyway, there was me a young kid with a lot of heart.

On the block my boys and I was walking when suddenly a bad ass Beamer pulled up. 4 Joints got out. I couldn’t help but stare at this special looking one she had it all. She was a nice brown skin with a nice body. But she didn’t look like her friends. Her friends were more ghetto she was quiet.

So you know me I had to holler. “Hey baby, what’s your name”? She said, “Shelby”. “So where you from”, I said. Shelby said, “I’m from D.C and I’m just visiting”. TJ said, “So are you trying to have some fun because you look fun”. Shelby replied, “What kind of fun?”

Then she gave me that look that every man loves. So I said “how bout you come around my house at 7”. She said, “okay what’s the address”. So I gave her the address while my boys was trying to get the digits from her friends. Then we left.

The crib:

So when I got back to the crib I had to get ready for Shelby. My mother always working crazy hours. It was hard sometimes but we got through it. I usually don’t bring girls over I just usually take them to my homie Jerome crib because he was older. Everybody in my crew was way older than me. There’s Jerome he’s 24. Then my main man Mike was 26 years old. Then it’s Terrance and he is only 19.

My squad isn’t perfect but we got each other back. I can’t even go back to where we met. I met the crew when I was a petty thief in the local convenient stores. They were always older than me but I kept in touch with them. My mother always said they were going to get me in trouble but that’s not going to happen. She never had anything to good to say about my boys.

My crib is a 2 bedroom single-family house. It used to be my grandmothers house until she passed. It feels like just yesterday she was here telling me how I should to get a job. But I never listened. I know the streets got my back and that’s all that matters. I got my whole life in front of me. I don’t know what I’ll be doing but I know there’s money and bad bitches involved.


When suddenly I heard a knock at the door it was Shelby. She came in with a black leather coat on. I know I had just met her about 2 hours ago. But how your boy was looking she better give that up. So when she came through I started complimenting her just to see her smile.

She said to me “boy you a fool now come over here and take my jacket off ”. I took off her jacket nice and gentle. Gentle enough to get a little feel on her while I removed the jacket from her backside. She said to me “where’s your bathroom”. I told her it was upstairs to the left across from my room. She just smiled and walked upstairs.

From dead on I knew it was on. I went upstairs and got some rubbers out. It was a great night. We had sex. She had the body of a goddess. She knew all the right things to put me in the mood. I was the man for the night. She knew it too. It was love at first lust.

After sex we just laid there naked under the covers. She slept like a baby after that. I went on to sleep with her. It hit like 11:00 pm when I heard the door open. Then a loud yell from downstairs it was my mother. At that moment I woke up and looked in shock. I got up and threw on my clothes and woke Shelby up. She got up and put on her clothes. I had to get her out the house without moms knowing. I went out and ask my mother what she was about to do. She said she was going to take a shower. It was a relief she needed a shower.

When my mom went for the shower I took Shelby out the back and left. I took her to her cousin house. I gave her a goodbye kiss and headed back home. When I got back my mother was in the kitchen making breakfast. I came in and ate breakfast. Then she told me she wanted me to go out and get a job or something. I could feel us getting into again. She always wanted me to do some positive and get out the streets. I think about it sometimes but I don’t know what I want.


I see myself one day with a lot of money. I don’t know how but I’m all about the money. Only thing I want is the money. That’s why I’m in the streets to get this money. It’s easy in the streets to make money. I also want a bad girl. A beautiful girl with a body like no other. A nice Spanish girl or white girl to have. I’m tired of these other ratchet chicks. But if I can find a nice black girl then I would have her.

I then want to get married and have kids. Another TJ and maybe a daughter too. I want a family but I’m going to be a better father than my dad. I’m actually going to be there. I told my crew that and all they did was laugh at me. So my dreams just faded away like smoke in the air.

The Store:

So my boy Mike hit me up and said lets hit up the pit stop. It’s a little store up the street. So we walked up to the store when we saw Dave and his crew. We had been beefing with them for some time. Dave had his crew at the store on our side of the block. That could only mean one thing.

They wanted trouble. So Mike walked up to Dave and pushed him against the wall and said, “hey fool what you doing on our side”. Dave was quick to pull out a knife and said, “what’s sup homeboy”. Then Jerome pulled out his 44 Magnum. The barrel was just as long as an arm. Then Dave main man Ralph tried to pull his strap but Jerome had already knocked him out.

There were only two guys left to come out the store. When all so a sudden a loud gun shot came from behind me. Terrance had got shot by one of the rival crewmembers. I was so scared the only thing I had on me was a glock but I have never used it.

Then another guy came out the store with an automatic pistol and started letting bullets fly. I jumped over a car and sat on the ground. Jerome then let two off in Dave chest and one in the other guy head.

With one left I knew it wasn’t over. He started firing off at Jerome. Jerome got shot in the arm before he started running for his life. I pulled out my gun and took the safety off. My heart was pounding. I had never used my gun ever before. I watched half of my homies die in my face. Jerome was shot and ran. I knew he wasn’t coming back. Then I heard something…

The guy came around the car and said “hey lil bitch you ready to die”. He snatched my gun out my hand and said “you not using this anyway, oh and its fresh. You aren’t nothing but a scared little boy in a mans game.” Then it happened I heard six shots from the side. Jerome had came back with the AK and laid the dude out. He said “ You good lil man come on I seen some cops on the way here”. We left.

I don’t know what’s next from here. Do we rebuild? But we couldn’t do that. We can’t just replace family. Jerome was the only one I had left. He had been through a lot today like me. So I called up Jerome. I said “what’s next for us”.

He shocked me with what he said, “It’s over bruh all over”. “What you mean over this isn’t any video game this life”. “ You not listening all of this violence and shooting for what. No reason for it. It’s time to get out the game. I got a few thousands saved up move out the hood and start a business”. It hit me like what was the point of all this fighting maybe he’s right.

So I got together with Jerome in an alley. He gave me 10 thousand to get out the hood. Then all of a sudden Swat arrived. It was snipers on the building. Cop cars pulled up. Jerome pulled out his gun and pointed it at me.

My heart started pounding like what’s going on. Heart started beating fast. He said, “It’s a dangerous game you got to know who your real friends are. Now hands on your head. You’re under arrest. Charged with manslaughter drug possession and drug dealing.

I started to put my hands up then I punched Jerome in the face. Then went for my gun. I grabbed it when a bullet from up top hit me in the chest. I tried to shoot Jerome. I shot him in the arm as I got shot a second shot this time in the left side of my chest as I dropped. Lying on the ground as I slowly bleed. I saw my life flash. If I would have only listened and stayed out the streets. When my mom told me to take on that football scholarship I should have listened. Now I’m dead.

Wake up

“Beep Beep!” Was the alarm I heard when I woke up from my dream. I guess it was all a dream. So the store incident never happened. I had sticky underwear so I know the Shelby thing was real. I couldn’t believe that dream was that intense. I had died in my own dream. None of that happened. I must have blacked out after I came back from seeing Shelby.

It’s 8:05 am I was late for my graduation. I went to graduation feeling good for the first time in a long time because I was still alive. I had a crazy dream last night that made me rethink life. I walked across the stage with my head held high. I was excited. I guess god had to give me a reality check because without him I probably would have never made it here.

After graduation I got out of the crew and stopped all the gang activities. I went on to Penn State. I was the star receiver for all four years. I went into the draft and now I’m the star player for the Atlantic Falcons.

Looks like I did still catch money. Seeing by how much I get paid. For my crew they locked up. It turns out Jerome was a undercover cop. Rumor has it that it was some drop they made when he turned on them and got all of them arrested. Even though Jerome knew I used to be with them he didn’t rat me out. So he cools with me for that. I live happy ever after. It’s just me, Shelby and my son Trevor and my daughter Miracle Johnson. And this right here is my story. A hustler’s story.


Rap Game: Changes

Their once was two young teens whose shared the same similarities. They love to rap. At the age of 16, they started a rap group. As years went by they got more serious. One was name Mike also known as Killer Mike. The other was James. James went with his real name. They were good rappers. They had a couple of hits that got them really out there. They really started getting publicity until Mike rapping started getting weak. They started to fade apart because of it.

James took his skill and moved on. Mike started to resent James for it. James use to be the sidekick to Mike but after they dropped the song “I’m Done. James threw shots at Mike in his verse. He said something that was just the same as telling him we broke up.

“I’m done with that nigga. I’m the shit that nigga can’t even hit a lick. I took his bitch and his fame. Now it’s just a damn shame. He used to call me his sidekick. Now I’m kicking him out the door like Luke Kane.”

After that Mike packed his bags and moved on. He went ghost for some years. Now today James is at the top of the rap game. He drops hits like its nothing. He really came far since that young kid. James was over top Jay-Z. James had so much money from rapping and investing.

All of his rapping on the top came to an end. When the Ghost came back. Ghost was his stage name but his real name was Mike. He came back out with a different name. He started rapping better than ever. He put bars to the people. Rapping as ghost brought him to the top.

As Ghost got bigger James got smaller. He had his crew with him. Ghost had a crew of nothing but little rappers coming from the bottom with a lot of heart. He brought up a couple of guys to feed on to his rain. His mission was to take back what was originally his. He threw shots in freestyle with his crew at his mansion. It was caught on video.

“Nigga you still a side kick. I got your girl on her knees blowing more than a kiss. Play with me and imma send my goons at you. You a funny nigga, Looney Tunes. Nigga you ain’t kicking nothing but a message. Get it kik message. I’m top of the line. In my prime. Can you see the ghost? No nigga you can’t see me like John Cena. Bitch. ”

Tensions rose higher after a brawl broke out at a show. Ghost crew tried to fight James. James security got beat up while James escaped out the back. James allegedly called one of the guys a bitch from on stage and Ghost tried to get him but security held him back. Then his crew jumped all over the security.

After that Ghost and one of his crewmembers Trey put out a song called don’t run. They were talking about James in the video. They even had someone in the video that looked like James. Where they beat up the guy. Trey talked about how he beat up security. He rapped about how weak they were in the fight. Trey was Ghost best rapper. He had a little bit of shine but not as much.

The Amazing show was the biggest show in the state of California. Everybody was there. James and Ghost were performing. When a shooting started in the show. Ghost and his crew left out the back. James followed behind. Then all hell broke loose.

A guy was waiting for Ghost outside the show. The guy put the gun to his head and said give me all your money. James seen what was going on and stood to the side hidden. James had a gun on him ever since the fight. But how things were going between them he didn’t want any parts.

The masked man said, “ Hand it over now before the ghost really become a ghost.” Ghost wasn’t having it. He tried to swing on him and take the gun. Ghost was fighting the man when “Bang was the last sound he heard”. The shot didn’t come from the robber though. It came from behind ghost. He was shot in the back by Trey.

Being behind the spotlight wasn’t working for him. He had watched long enough. He wanted the fame. So he shot ghost. The man took the money off ghost and ran. Trey looked at Ghost laying there looking at him in shock. Trey said “You couldn’t let me shine now look at you”. “Bang bang!” was the sound of a gun firing off in Trey back and head. Standing there looking at him was none other than James. James called an ambulance.

Ghost got out the hospital 3 months later. James and Ghost became friends again. They started rapping together again. They ended up back on top. After about 2 more years they retired. But they now lead the top rap industry in the world. They have so many veterans in their group. Making them rich forever. I guess that was the dream all along to be rich forever. Their heart and passion lead them to great hits. Their money leads them to building a empire.

Tim Story:

Tim was a young kid growing up in the streets of South Central. Tim had been through a lot all his life. His mother passed away from cancer when he was 12. She had been fighting cancer for 5 years. After that day he was forced to stay with his Dad and older brother. He was his mother’s only child. His dad was a worker. He worked for everything he had. His dad had 3 jobs and he barely ever got sleep. Leaving him on his own. His brother was always in the streets making money the hood way.

At the age of 18 he graduated from high school. Stepping into this world knowing barely anything. He was book smart but not street smart. So he started hanging out with his big brother Rodney. Rodney taught him everything about the streets. Taught him how to roll dice and flip money. With Rodney going back and forth to jail. Some stuff just came naturally. His father tried to keep them out the streets. But they continued to turn the other cheek and do their own thing.

With all the fame he had in the hood. It brought the attention of the girls. Especially this girl name Megan. She was all that brown skin nice body and a onion booty. Tim went after her and knocked her up. He had a baby on the way. Messing around in the streets brought him good money at the age of 20 he started really selling coke. Then he started buying cars and jewelry. Trying to look fly him and his brother started messing around with the wrong people. Brought them a lot of attention. Until one lonely night his brother and him was driving home. They came to an intersection and it happen.

A big truck came across and hit the passenger side putting Rodney in a terrible spot. Then 4 guys jumped out of the truck. It was an ambush. Rodney realized it but couldn’t move because his leg was broke. Then Tim grabbed his gun and shot one dude while rolling out the car. He shot the next dude. It was two left.

One guy came around the car while the other went the other way around. Tim didn’t see it coming the guy had the gun pointed at him. When Rodney grabbed his gun out his boxers. He suddenly yelled out “Bro watch out”. Then he shot the guy that was aiming at Tim. The other guy came around noticing that his friend was dead. When he started letting the whole clip out on Rodney. Then Tim had a glare in his eyes. He quickly shot the guy and then started beating the guy with the gun. He went to Rodney.

Rodney with his last breathes said “Goodbye lil bro I love you”. Rodney was gone and Tim was next if he didn’t stop living this life. So he set out to stop being in the game. He decided since he had twins on the way that he would take his money and get out of the game. He wanted to make one last job. So he pulled one last job. Sell the rest of the coke to this buyer. While in a dark alley making the deal. An all black car pulled up. A guy jumped out and said freeze.

It was a cop. The buyer pulled out a gun and started shooting. The cop opened fire on him. The buyer was sharp he ducked and moved leaving Tim right in harms way. The last thing Tim seen was a bullet coming his way. Then the Cop killed the buyer and called an ambulance.

There’s a saying “A bullet don’t have a name on it”. Were the words he heard when he woke up to his father telling him those few words. Megan was there in tears as he woke up from being shot in the head. It was a miracle that he woke up. A cop had shot him. He was sentenced to jail for drug possession and gun possession. He was sentenced to do 3 years in prison.

Rodney always said that this is a dangerous game and you will soon leave the game when its time. He did just that. After he got out he brought a house. He started his own business to keep food on the table and his kids happy. He later married Megan and lived happily ever after.

Dropped from Book:The Middle Man:

It was the 9th grade when I discovered my new friends. I was the one of youngest ones of them all. There was my friend Derek, Jamie, Michael, Devon, and then there’s me Timmy. My friends all came together when I was in 9th grade. I didn’t know or seen them ever before until I walked into the school 2011.

Derek was this fat guy. He was a little tall. He had glasses and he was the color of the sun. So that’s how he got the nickname Sunny. Then there was Jamie. He was a little short guy. He had fat earrings in all the time. At the time he thought he was the shit. He was cool though.

Then Michael wasn’t actually in the class but he hung out with us. Big Mike was his nickname. Then there was little Timmy. He was the youngest one. At the time he was in the 8th grade. A young kid with a lot of mouth and no ability to fight. Also their was Davon a little skinny kid we barely seen him in class everyday. Then there was me. Big Timmy was my nickname, but my name is Timmy.

We all had Biology class as first period. That’s where all the fun began. My first day, I decided to sit in the back. I was in the cut. That’s where I always sat in every school I attended. So I wasn’t about to change up. We sat back their everyday just chilling. We were talking. We were the class clowns. We use to talk shit about each other. It was the funniest times I had. Just having that vibe in that class was fun.

One day the guys were like how about we hang out after school. The date was April 20, 2012. At the time I didn’t know anything about this date. I was young. Hell if I knew I wouldn’t have went. So the special day is Bob Marley’s birthday. So to drug attics this is the day you get higher than a cloud. I didn’t know anything about my friends outside of school.

So after school we cut across the football field and walked up the cut and went to Jamie house. He had wanted to change and get something. Before we went to Davon house to play NBA 2K11.

While on the way we were going to go through another cut. This one you had to hop across a little river. Plus the river had a lot of mud and stuff. So Jamie and Black jumped across with no problem. While Big Mike tried to walk across a stick and fell in. Now imagine a little stick and a 400-pound man walking across it. It was ridiculous to try. So I walked around. I had some new shoes on and I was feeling that.

They went on and did their thing to the side. I stuck to the old saying “Don’t do drugs”. Jamie tried to persuade me but no that was my answer. I saw what happen when they did these drugs. A truck almost hit one dude. His eyes were barely open. When we got to Davon house we played the game. I beat him off ease. I was just good at basketball games.

After that we all went our separate ways. As the rest of the school year went by we was just chilling. Mike dropped out of high school and started going to night school. Davon disappeared from school. We don’t know what happened to him. Some say he moved because one day he was there. Then the next day he was gone with no return.

After 9th grade along came drama. Apparently over the summer something happen. The whole gang was at Sunny house chilling. Sunny iPod was sitting outside. Between all of them somebody took it. While Sunny was in the house they took it. Sunny seen that it was gone and had some questions. Nobody answered his questions. So he went inside and got his big ass machete and came back. Everybody tried to run.

He never got it back so he didn’t know whom to trust. They tried to coexist as one. But with the iPod missing everything went south. Jamie and little Timmy went one way. Big Mike and Sunny went the other way. Then there is me the middle man. I often hanged out with both crews. Tried to get them back together. One day it even got a little violent. Sunny was walking alone. Little Timmy cousin Dave followed behind him.

Sunny was thinking ahead and picked up a brick. Mike was on the phone at the time. So Mike went in his closet and grabbed his big gun with a scope and aim out the window at Dave. When Dave tried to touch his pockets Sunny showed the brick and Dave ran home. Then it got crazier when Little Timmy tried to come after Sunny. It got crazier when I started to hang more with Sunny. He started to come for me. It was his worst mistake. I wanted to fight him but he kept on running like a sucker.

After that year we let little Timmy back in. He hung out with us for about a month or so. That was until Sunny stole his IPhone. He knew Timmy took his IPod and when he needed his screen fixed that was his chance. See Timmy messed up when he showed the IPod to Sunny. Sunny didn’t trip though. That was the end of Timmy.

After all that I still hung with Jamie sometimes. We still stayed close. He had my back no matter what and I had his. As for little Timmy nobody hang with him any more. He just a lone soldier out here. For Sunny, Mike and I, we still tight. We hang out all the time. We graduated and we out here as grown men.

Brother’s Keeper 2: The Dawn of Truth

It was a stormy night when two people was seen dropping off a package. Not just any package. They were dropping off two babies. They had on some old jeans and some old torn up hoodies. It was around midnight when they dropped off the package at an orphanage. The orphanage was still open at the time. After a couple of knocks someone answered and took in the babies. As the two people fled the scene. It was too dark for anyone to see the license plate. The babies were wrapped up in a SpongeBob themed blanket with papers at the bottom of the basket. It was a letter explaining the situation. The letter read.

“Hello this is someone you would probably want to meet. I am the mother of this here baby. It has come to me that my family is too big to handle this. I have taken on too much pressure and we can’t take care of all our children. I can’t afford to take care of them right now. I’m sure they will find a home. I leave my regrets and tears at the end of this letter. Can you just please make sure they is taken care of by a good family.”

Miss Linda came in for work the next morning. She was the one to put kids into a home. Linda was a rather middle age woman with no kids. Once she seen the babies she had to go to work. The first thing was to get these babies checked up. Linda put the baby through child protective services. The hardest thing was to not have them split up. Linda made it her mission to do this right.

23 Years Later:

“Beep Beep Hey I’m here to drop off the kids” John was making his annual drop off. He drops off his daughter Angel and nephew Joey off to school everyday. After that then he would go off to work. But today was a little different. Today was his off day. So he needed something to occupy his time. So after John dropped off the kids, he headed home.

“A whole day off from work with pay. There is a god out there.” Today was the day John’s job was under construction. “I look forward to looking through my parent’s old things. I have sold mostly all the big stuff. Just trying to get their old scent off me. Just to get a clean start on life.”

While going through some files. John found Joey’s birth certificate. It showed his date of birth and all. While looking at the certificate he noticed something a little awkward. It stated that it was a multiple birth. Meaning that Joey was a twin or triplet. The news had John in shocked. John had no idea of that. By the fact that this can be true had him scrambling through all the paperwork trying to find something that can add to this.

“While I went through the papers I noticed some notes. I started reading them. One note seemed like my mother wrote it. It was a list of things to do before her and my father died. As I read it I chuckled a bit at the crazy things they wanted to do. One thing stood out to me the most. It said that they wanted to find Antonio.”

“Antonio” The name he heard over and over in his head. Like I never even heard them speak of him.” After that John rushed out the house to find answers. He went to the library downtown to do some research. He tried searching the name up so many times. Wasting so many hours doing so. He had to go pick up the kids.

Later on when his wife came home he never mentioned it. Just kept it to himself. Trying to avoid discussions. Avoiding the idea that someone out there can be his possible brother or brothers. The time he wanted not to think about was cut short by bedtime. Maya noticed how he was acting in bed. Maya said, “Babe what’s wrong, you not acting like yourself.” John explained the situation to her. The further he got into the story, the more Maya got into shock.

“I have told her about Joey. That’s how we connected so much. We showed the same connections through our loss. She had just lost her father around the same time. We just found some special connection.” Maya then explained that I should find out what’s going on. “It’s a small world” was her exact words to my mystery. I had to make a change tomorrow.

After work I went straight to the library to find some answers. I had the rest of life to find out. I started researching the name “Antonio Anderson” until I couldn’t get it out my head. I worked night and day to find him. I was coming up with nothing. Then I realized something. Maybe I’m searching for him in the wrong state. He could be back in my hometown. Knowing that place I could still be wanted.

So I went back to the papers to see if I missed something. I did miss the fact that he had to be in foster care. He had to be if he has to be found. I went down to social service to find answers. After about 3 hours I got to talk to someone. Some lady her name was Miss Brown. I told her my story. She searched the name up in the system. She told me to go home and she’ll call when she find something.

John went back home to his family. They ate dinner and talked about their day. John finally confessed to the family that his research was finally paying off. Amber was shock that there could be another Joey look alike in the world. She in fact was even excited to see this mystery man. John told his family that he was going to book a flight soon out the state and back to the Bronx. Amber then said, “Wait you can’t do that”. It was blurted out with so much fear in her voice. As if she seen a ghost. In fact john didn’t tell Maya about how he took care of Joey’s killers. He just said, “They got what they deserved”. Maya assuming that they were arrested.

“I looked at Amber like she was stupid. I know I should tell my wife that I have killed some men and may be wanted. But I don’t want to lose her. I could have called the cops that day but it was so much adrenaline going for me. I just had to do something. I was in the moment when he first got shot. Even at the funeral I had so many officers eyes on me. I knew if I stood around I would have been locked up.”

The next day I went to visit Miss Brown to get the news. Miss Brown said, “I managed to find a few Antonio’s around. I only found one that was born on the same day. He was in a group home until someone took him out the system at the age of 6.” I asked, “What happen to him”. She said, “You would have to ask a lady name Miss Linda Jenner. Located in Queens, New York.

After getting all the information he needed he went home to pack. Told his wife he was leaving. The family was shocked but Maya agreed to go with him, “I was okay with her going. I took the next flight out by morning. I left the kids with Amber.”

When they got there John dropped Maya off at the hotel that they were staying at. “I went to the foster care to ask about Miss Linda. I end up talking to her when I asked.” She explained to John that she never heard of him. Miss Linda said, “I don’t know who your talking about. In fact I never heard that name before.” The more I argued with her the less information I got. I went back to the hotel in disbelief.”

John disappointed in his results had him tired. John took a nap. The visions of his past haunted his sleep. Thoughts about his brother’s death. This happened to him often. The memories about his brother’s blood in his hands. As his life was drifting off. The thoughts of possible jail time he could get if caught. Losing his family was his main thought. He wanted to get help but he couldn’t so it rocked in his mind back and forth. “It was like visions in my mind. I couldn’t sleep at all. I got up and went downstairs. I found a computer to do some research.”

“I looked up the name and I got a hit. A businessman name came up “James Antonio Anderson”. I went on and looked for an address. Lead me to a business downtown. I went looking for him. He appeared to be there. I went up to his office. When I got closer to him I started to have visions about Joey. It was like I was seeing a second version of him. It was almost scary to me. He was a rather big muscular Joey.”

I showed up and talked to him about it. He was shocked and scared by the fact. He said it was a lie and that I should leave. He said, “I know my mother and brother. Everything you say is all lies.” I knew in his mind that he knew something. I left him my number and left.

Later on I went to see my wife. We sat around and just talked. I was confused about my parents keeping this secret away from me. I just wanted to talk it out with somebody. “Baby is this the right thing to do? Should I really be looking for him? Maybe they don’t want to be found.” With her sweet and soothing voice she just said, “Stop doubting yourself. They deserve the truth and you deserve to know.”

The next morning John got a call from James to come meet him at the park. They met up and discuss things. James said, “Antonio is my middle name that’s why you couldn’t find me. I don’t know my parents and I want to know them.” I explained that they were both killed in a car accident. James said, “Wow do you know who hit them?” I told him no because it was a hit and run at an intersection when I was young. The case was thrown out for some reason.

So as they talked, James mentioned about walking to his mom’s house. As they walked I up to the house, there was a familiar face outside cutting wood. He was a rather average height male. He was fixing up the house. Look more like a handy man than anything. The closer he got he realized that they were triplets. The boys all got together and talked. The third brother looked just like Joey. He had cornrows and he was a little muscular. His name was Derek. As the brothers was all together just talking things out.

They were feeling invincible. Then a car pulled up. The two boys said “Hey, Mom”. John noticed that it was Linda. She was furious by the fact of John appearance at her home. John told his brothers about how she acted the other day. Linda went in the house. About ten minutes later they heard sirens coming around the block. A cop got out the car and grabbed John. Slammed him against the car. James tried to help but the man said “James move back”. Like he knew him. They threw John in the back like some animal. The officer said he was arrested for manslaughter.

James walked into the room to talk to Linda. Linda was mad at John for coming around. James said, “Why did you call officer Terrance? You and I both know that you tipped him off. You and Terrance has been together forever and you are the reason my brother is in a cell”. She replied with a smirk as she sipped her 2-year-old Ciroc. She said, “That’s not your brother. He is not family. I am family and you know that.” While they were arguing, Derek snuck over to listen through the door. She said, that she went to the extreme to keep them away.

James had tears rolling down his cheek when he asked her what did she do. She said, “Yes your real parents started looking for you and your brother when you were six. I had to keep them away. I told them they couldn’t have you back. They threatened to sue is when I took matter in my own hand. I was young and I couldn’t have kids. So I kept you two. I took yall out the system and raised yall as my own.”

Linda then grabbed James and said, “I did this for you.” James freaked out and said, “What did you do? I know it’s more to this.” Linda explained it all when she said, “When they left my office, I followed them. I had seen them at an intersection. I crashed my car into theirs. I killed them and drove my car into a river to get rid of evidence. I used Terrance. I convinced him to throw out the case.” James just walked off angrily. Derek fled from the door when he heard movements.

After a month it was time for John’s trial. Amber, Maya and the kids was all there to see. James and Derek came into the courtroom. James brought in his lawyer to the mix. The case went well. John was pronounced not guilty for the murder of three men. He couldn’t be arrested because there was no evidence. The only witness was Linda and Amber. Amber refused to testify.

Linda said, “I seen him running out the back of the house. He had bloodstains all over him.” She explained that she almost hit him when he ran across her car. She had no pictures to even put up a fight with the judge. While she was about to get off the stand, the judge brought up another case. Before Linda could get away she was on trial for the murder of Becky Johnson Anderson and John Anderson Sr. Her guilt was coming to her. She had a confused look on her face. Derek brought up a recording.

The recording explained everything. Linda and Terrance was both sent to prison. Linda served a life sentence while Terrance had 15 years on the inside. John and the brothers were all together again. They all went back to Maryland to be close. John started his own business with his brothers called the brother foundation. It was about mentoring young teens. Keeping them out of trouble. James with in accounting background took care of all financials. John ran the actual place. He mentored the kids every day. Derek worked as a handy man for the place. Derek was real good with fixing things.

“After the big chase around the world I now know the truth. I still want to know why they called him Antonio instead of his first name. Well I now know the truth about my family.” John and the brothers went on to enjoy their life.


“Beep Beep” The sound of my alarm that I hear every morning. I wake up everyday to an alarm and a baby crying. Not just any baby my son. My junior. I look at him everyday. Thinking did I fail myself. Am I ever going to be rich? I just want the best for him. What I have now is just not enough to keep him happy when he gets older. I stand today as Calvin Thompson Sr. A young father and truck driver. I drive big trucks everyday all day to keep my family full.

I am a workingman. No cut cards. No big house. I live in a 2-bedroom apartment. It’s my son, baby mama, and my mom and I. We have been living here for as long as I can remember. It used to be my mom, dad and I. I had no siblings. I was the only child. After my father passed I became the man of the house. I think about stuff like this everyday.

As I hop in the shower and get ready for work. It’s like a million flashbacks in my mind. Everyday life has been a pain. I put on my clothes and leave out. My mom is my love but she has only a few months left could be days till she flies high. My mom was diagnosed with cancer a long time ago. I love her and will always miss her. Every time I think about it I shed another tear. As I drive to work thinking.

When I got to work, I clocked in and drove off with the shipments. My job was to drive this truck all around the world with different merchandise in it. It was an easy job with a fair pay. It’s funny how my pops use to take me on these long rides around the state. Then tell me these crazy stories about his memories. I use to ignore every word he said. I was a teenager I didn’t realize what I had until he was gone.

Thinking about him reminds me of how he passed. My pops also had cancer too. But he didn’t die from it. He died in a car accident. It was a 6-car accident. One drunk driver crashed on the bridge. With my dad driving such a large truck. When he hit the brakes he still crashed and the truck flipped over multiple times. I remember seeing him on the hospital bed as they pulled the sheets over his head. Left me in tears for months.

I wonder what life what have been like if he was still here. Maybe I wouldn’t be in such deep shit right now. I used to look up to him and his advice. He was truly a great man. When I say deep shit. I mean all the things I did before I walked across the graduation stage two years ago. As I shake my head. I remember it all, like it was yesterday.

2 years earlier:

I was in the 12th grade about to graduate. My graduation was in May. So it had to be March, when I got busted for dumb shit. It was dumb but it was totally my fault. I had gone to a party where there were drugs and drinks. I was with my so-called boys. I was drinking knowing I was only 18 years old. I took drugs and I was hammered from it. I got pulled over for a DUI. That wasn’t even the worst part. They pulled me over and told me step out and I started to resist arrest.

I got a hard judge and was locked away. I lost my graduation and my college opportunity. It all slipped through my hands like quick sand. I was in to deep to get out on bail. Resisting and driving under the influence was serious. I got out with no diploma. It was a struggle to get my GED. I then got my license to drive big trucks like my dad. When I thought I was getting back on my feet. Here came my ex-girlfriend pregnant and all.

I had a son on the way. The day November 17, 2014 was the day my son was born. Also the day my dad died. He was rushing to get to the hospital. When the accident happened. He didn’t even get a chance to see my son. I was happy and sad that same day. My feelings was so confused and misunderstood.

As I got to my first drop spot. I sat there and look to the sky. I came to a complete stop in my life. My life was just about to take off. If I could go back to that night. I would have never gone to that party. It’s crazy how I have to breathe in a tube to start my own car.

As I wait for the truck to get unloaded I went off and took a nap. I woke up to some guy at the window saying we’re done. I left after about 3 more stops it was over. Another day another dollar. I took the long drive back. Sometimes I just want to go head and join my pops.

I got home to my baby mama trying to teach Junior to walk. As soon as I came in I picked him up. She caught a little attitude because I did that but I didn’t pay her a mind. She stormed off into the bedroom talking about I’m always doing something. I went in the room to my mom. I talked to her. She told me how she felt like she wanted to die right now on the spot. I looked at her in great shock. As her body was being drained away.

People with cancer look like a lifeless skeleton with skin. Mom stayed in bed all the time. She ate little and said less everyday. She was just a lifeless form. She used to be a sweet innocent woman. Always happy and moving around. So swiftly moving around being generous to all. My mom was always a great cook. Now she doesn’t even look at the stove any more.

I told her your going to be okay. She got even louder and shouted, “ I want to leave this world”. I told her to calm down and held her. I put my son in his crib in my room. I lay down. As my baby mama rolled over with an attitude and said move. She was so mean to me. She is only around because she doesn’t have anywhere else to go.

She was only around because her parents kicked her out when they found out she was pregnant. She was so angry all the time. We never worked out when we was in high school. I was going with her from 9th to 11th. We broke up when I found out she had slept with the whole basketball team. Even the water boy and managers. I thought I was in love with her. She broke my heart and she was still here. It’s like sleeping next to the devil. She swears if I kick her out she taking my son too.

I knew one thing. I didn’t have full custody over Junior. So I couldn’t let her walk out those doors with him. Knowing her she never worked a day in her life. She was so controlling over everything. I don’t even know why I went with her. She didn’t use to be like this though. She was sweet at first. I just wish I could see the girl I was dating before the party.

Brianna James was her name. We were going out. She told me not to go to the party. But I was a fool and went anyway. This is what it got me. A baby and an annoying baby mama. Brianna was something special. We had dreams together. We wanted to go to college. Live in a big house and have two kids and a dog. I just want to see her. Well goodnight for now.

Off the early morning I went to work. I got to the job and clocked in. I went to the first stop. I stayed there for a while. It was a lot being moved in. So I had to get out to use the restroom. I went inside to use it. When I noticed this girl. She looked so familiar. Were my eyes playing tricks on me? I got closer and closer to her. She turned around and said Calvin.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was Brianna James from high school. She said, “I thought you was on lock down”. I said, “ I been got out. I haven’t talk to you since I …” She said, “Since you was being cuffed and thrown in jail.” I said, “How you doing we should get back to our old ways.” She said, “What old ways? The ways where you were hard headed. I told you not to go. See what happened you got locked up and left me alone.” I said, “ Things are going to be different this time.” She said, “I’m going to take you up on that offer.”

We exchanged numbers and left. I went on and got in the truck and left. Made my annual stops and went back to the job. I called Brianna while clocking out. She said she had just got out the shower with no plans. So I told her lets go catch a movie. She told me yes and gave me her address. I picked her up and we were off.

After the movie, I took her home. She didn’t invite me in. So I went home to a nagging baby mama. She ask where I been. I told her none of your damn business. She said, “I’m tired of you. You leave me with the baby everyday.” I told her “ You can leave at any moment. I leave to keep food in my son mouth. But you can roll out.” She said, “Maybe I will.” I said, “bye”.

A few weeks went by as Brianna and I got even closer. It wasn’t until my birthday when things got uncomfortable. I started bringing Brianna by the house. My mom was feeling better than ever. She told me, “The smile that girl gives you makes me feel good.” It was one thing about my mother that she loved. She loved to see me happy. My baby mamma was there as usual. Annoying as hell.

After that day I woke up to an empty bed. She was finally gone. I walked around the home happy to see her gone. Until I realized that she took my son. I was pissed. I started calling her phone. I even called in sick for work. I never missed a day at work. I went looking for her. I found her on a street corner with my son in the cold.

I got out and took my son from her. She yelled at me about all this stuff. How she hated me? I didn’t even talk. I just pulled off on her. She was mad. After a few weeks, I got a letter. I was being sued by baby mamma for child custody. I was in court nervous for my life. My son is everything to me. I had to take a DNA test and everything.

In court the judge said that after the test results from you both. Something has came up. He said I can’t have custody over Junior. I was shocked. The depression was rising through my veins. The reason being was that I wasn’t the father. I looked at her like I wanted to kill her. The officer had to hold me back. As the judge yelled, “order in the court”. It was all over.

They told me the real father is Alfred Griffin. The name went through my head for several moments. As I noticed that’s my old friend from high school. They said that Alfred died in a house fire around the time of the baby’s birth.

Shayla admitted that she knew he wasn’t the father. She needed a man to take care of her child. The judge said that she was in no position to take care of the baby. Also that child protective service will be taking him away, until Calvin offered to adopt him.

The court allowed him to do so. After a few weeks he had full custody. Calvin decided to propose to Brianna. She said, Yes. They had a small wedding to live out their dreams. Lisa, Calvin’s mom died shortly after the honeymoon. Her retirement money was left to him. Calvin used the money to get a new home. Brianna brought their first baby into the world a year after their marriage. They named her Lisa, after his mom.

Life throws obstacles at you all the time. But you have to know how to handle them.

Obstacle ~ Delane Exum

6 Shots:

Just another Saturday night. It was about midnight when my day one homie Dominick was leaving work. These nights coming from the club are crazy. It was always so dark and foggy. You wouldn’t see any thing coming out here. I have been working at the club for the longest. For about 3 years I have been working here. I skipped college and started working here. My promotion to manager is coming soon. I can’t wait to I get them bigger checks. So I can finally move out of my parent’s house.

After work Dominick and I always take I annual walk back home. We lived a few houses down from each other. The club was a cool job. Tonight was a little different. Dom had been nagging all week about a short cut. He swears it was shorter than our usual route.

Dom said, “Come on bro this the way. Through the alley then we hit the second alley”. As we were walking everything seem to get darker and darker. It was as if the lights were going off. It was almost pitch black. Through one alley then another. It was like a giant maze. The more we walked the quicker Dom speeded up.

It was like we were running from something that we couldn’t see. All of a sudden I had seen a fist. My head was spinning all around. I opened my eyes to 3 guys talking. Dom was on his knees with his hands behind his back. The two guys had some serious weaponry. They look like some solider. They look like some semi automatic guns that I seen from a video game of some sort.

As they were talking I noticed something unique about them. They had on the same clothes from earlier. Even with the mask on I could tell it was Dom’s brother Kevin. I blurted out Kevin like a idiot. The whole mood changed. Kevin pointed the gun at my chest. “I will kill you for saying my government name like that.” Dom took the gun from Kevin. I thought it was a game because Kevin always played games like this.

Kevin was the oldest. He had been in prison so many times. Kevin used to be in the army. So he just tried to teach us to be alert in different situations. Today felt a little different. Kevin kept screaming and Dom. He said, “If you want something in life. You have to take it. Here’s a gun now handle your business.” Dom took the gun and pointed it at me. “With you gone I can finally get that promotion to manager” he said.

Thoughts were roaming through my mind. I was pissed and scared at the same time. It was all a set up. The big maze was to lead me here. I was thinking light on my feet. I tried to take the gun from him. The gun went off. I fell bullets being lodged into my body multiple times. As I fell all I seen were people running.

It was a matter of seconds when I heard sirens and yelling and gunshots going back and forth from a distance. I was just lying there holding my wounds. It was like I was dying slow. It felt like a dream. The only thing I could do is lay there because I could move anything. I cop came running through the alley and found me. It was the last image I saw.

“Knock Knock Hello I’m Dr. Terry Miller and I’m your doctor for this such situation.” While trying to wrap my head around everything, I introduced myself. “Hello I’m Michael Thomas.” He said, “I know who you are. I talked to your parents and they have been checking up on you. They stayed a few days but had to go to work.” The word “days” kept roaming through my head. Like how long has it been? I thought I was dead.

The doctor said I had been in a coma for two weeks. The doctor notified the nurse that I was up. As the nurse then called my parents to tell them I was up. Lying in bed just thinking about that night. I couldn’t believe they actually shot me. The doctor left my x-rays to look at. It showed that I had 6 shots in me that night. So many emotions I was feeling at the time. I had been shot twice in my left leg. Then showed four more shots to the body all the way up to my chest.

“Baby, how are you feeling? We came as soon as they called.” My mom soothing voice always made me feel better. My dad chimed in and said, “Son who did this to you. I swear to god I will kill anybody that did this. Do you remember what they look like?” The anger and passion in his voice let me know that he was very concerned. My mother just hugged him to calm him down. The room was heartfelt. I couldn’t even speak. I was so emotional about even still being alive. The only thing I could do is put out my arm for a hug. As tears continued to roll down our cheeks.

After a few moments the doctor and a police officer walked in. The officer was the same one from that night. It hit me like a flashback as soon as I seen him. It hit me like a truck. He said, “Officer Jack reporting for duty. I just want to speak with the patient alone please.” Everyone left the room immediately. The officer came over and stood next to me. Officer Jack explained the situation to me. I had to put away the people that were there. I was informed that one was still out on the run.

Jack said, “One man shot at me as he ran down two alleys. That man I didn’t get a good look at. Kevin Valentine was one guy who was shot by my partner. A man we identified as Joe Black was shot also. He died at the hospital moments later. The last man came back for some reason. My partner tried to get him and well my partner and make it back.” By the tone of his voice fading in and out, I can tell he lost someone close to the heart. He at last asked me who was the last man.

I froze for a moment in time. I was thinking about telling on him. I just simply said, “No, not a clue. I think he had a mask on.” The officer then left the room. The doctor came in a moment later and notified me of my circumstances. My parents then came in. The doctor said it will be at least five months till I recover. My mother started pouring out with tears. My dad was trying to comfort her. I was to remain in physical therapy to further notice. After the long day I went to bed.

“Rise and shine sleepy head” was the sound I heard when I woke up. The nurse came in to give me my daily shot. She was a rather older woman. She had to be in her mid 40’s. She didn’t seem like the older woman type. Rather happy all the time. It was a shot in the arm. The doctor came in and told me I had to rise out of bed. It was going to be the first time I got out of bed. Since I have waked up I have felt like a noodle. No feeling in my left side of my body.

I was rolled into a cafeteria in a wheel chair. I had to eat something before I got started. After that I was onto the gym. I met my trainer for the first time. My trainer was a nice caramel skin girl with an hour glass figure. Her name was Kim. When I saw her my heart jumped out my body. I was in amazement by her beautiful blue eyes. Kim had to be at least 3 years older than me. Kim had the softest voice.

“Hello Michael, I’m Kim your new trainer. I will be training you until you until your ready to walk.” My reaction was as if I was a kid in a candy store. It was like I was ready to unwrap her on the spot. I knew it was professional, but I was ready to make it unprofessional. I just reached out for a normal handshake.

The next couple of months were all the same. I had the same schedule everyday. I was to take my shot in the morning. Then I had breakfast in the cafeteria. Then I had to workout with Kim. That was my brightest moments I had all the time. Each day I got closer and closer. Then I had to talk to a therapist. My parents were very supportive. They came almost every week. The officer came by a lot also.

I just kept telling him that I didn’t remember anything from that night. Dom is like my brother; he just made one bad decision. I knew he didn’t mean it. I couldn’t snitch on him. I just kept on recovering in the mean time. Over the last 2 months Kim and I got closer than ever. It was almost like love we had for each other.

After 3 months I was getting healthier. I had started moving a little better. For the first time I stood on my own. I eventually fell but I made it back to my feet on my own. The world was turning back around for me. The case was still open. I was starting to crack even though I didn’t want to.

“Hey son how are you?” my dad said. The police continued to send my family in. I replied, “Not too well”. My dad explained that he was there for me no matter what. In the back of my mind I wanted to tell him but I couldn’t. I thought about it but it just couldn’t come out to him. It hurt me because I could usually tell him anything.

The next day I was with Kim working on me walking and jumping. I took a few steps and some jumps. Kim was excited for my accomplishments today. It was a matter of me being in the moment when I leaned in for the kiss. We were sitting there kissing for 2 minutes. It felt like a movie.

Things went well for the rest of the time after that. I was dating Kim now. My first real relationship went well. It has been 6 months since the incident. The doctor’s order lasted a little longer than expected but it was all good. I am walking and running now. Today was my final session with Kim. While I we walking out, she asked about the incident. It was the first time she ever asked. I couldn’t lie to her. I said, “Hypothetically speaking, what if you had a best friend who made one mistake? Would you give them up? Or give them a second chance?” I left her off with those questions. I went back to my room.

The officer came by the next day. I asked him what would happen to the man if convicted. Jack replied, “He will be arrested and awaited by trial. If you press charges he will get life with no option of probation. Right now he has life with option of probation.” I told him the same thing I told Kim. Then I laid down for a nap. I heard some arguing by my doors a little later.

It sounded like Kim, Jack, and my parents were talking. Kim and Jack combined their minds with my parents to try and figure out whose I was talking about. My mom then blurted out Dom. Her voice sounded as if she was crying when she said it. My mom was like a second mom to him. My dad said, “Of course it had to be him. He hasn’t come once to check on him. They are like brothers. I hope it’s not him but he has been dodging me a lot.” Jack told my parents to stay here while he goes looking.

I heard one of them trying to open the door. I leaped into the bed. I was laying down faking like I was sleep. My parents were crying while looking down at me. They just couldn’t believe it could be someone they knew and trusted. My dad was putting everything together out loud. He said, “Dom had to be with him that night. They had just got off of work together. That’s when it probably went down.” My mom was crying loudly. Eventually they left and Kim came in.

Kim said, “Baby, I know your not sleep right now.” I couldn’t fake it forever. I awaken to her sweet voice. She was trying to comfort me. Kim said, “All your worries will soon be over.” As she then undressed and got under the covers with me. The bed was so small. She kissed me over and over until we both fell asleep. It was comfy with her on the bed with me.

The next day it was time to go. All my hard work in this place really helped. I was in a better place in my life. I have a new soul mate. I was ready to move on out of Harlem. Time to get my own place. I am 21 years old living with my parents. I had to go and enjoy the world. Kim and I have been talking about it for about it for a while. Maybe we will move to Los Angeles or something. Get a big house one day. Have a few kids.

As I was packing my bags the door opened up behind me. I turned around to find Dom. Dom had a gun pointed at me. The visions started coming back harder. It was the same gun that put me on this bed for months. My mind was going crazy. The only thing I knew was the button to call for help was on the other side of the bed.

Dom said, “You snitched on me brother. Now the cops are looking for me. I couldn’t even go to work today. I hate myself for shooting you and the cop that night. I wish I could take it back. I wanted the money so bad I shot my only true brother. Then my real brother died too. Kevin put me up to it. He designed the whole set up. Kevin told me that you have to take what you want in life.”

The straight look in his eyes was crazy. He never even blinked. It wasn’t Dom I was looking at. It was a stone face killer. It then hit me like this guy doesn’t care about me. I have been protecting a stone face killer this whole time. I replied, “ Did you even get the job you wanted with me gone?” He said, “No, our boss said I didn’t qualify for it. He gave it to some new guy. So I made sure it was no new guy. After he was gone I then got the position?

I needed to get to that remote so bad. I said something that set everything off. “Well I’m glad your dumb brother is gone” I said. Bullets started flying all over the room. I jumped across the bed. I pressed the button on the way down. I was dodging every shot. Officer Jack came in the room. I was held hostage. A gun was being pointed at my head.

Dom was screaming out commands. My mom and dad were both in the room. Kim and the doctors were in shock. Dom said, “I’m taking him and leaving this facility.” My mom tried to calm him down. Nothing was working at this point.

My heart was racing faster than ever at this moment. We took steps toward officer Jack. His gun was on his hop. I made up a plan so quickly in my head. It was just time for the action part. I kicked my leg high up into Dom’s groin. I took the gun off Jack hip. I dropped to the ground and let fire go. A bullet to the leg then four to the chest. The last bullet hit him square in the head.

As he dropped to the ground, I ran towards him. The memories I had with him were crazy. It all ended here. I realized I was losing my brother. Dom was the brother I always wanted. I sat on the floor crying loudly for hours as my family held me. I was trying to protect him but things went south. I never thought it would all end like this. Dom was my best friend in every way. My family was always there for him when he needed help. If his brother had left us alone, maybe he would still be alive.

The funeral was very sad. Just standing there talking about all the good times we had. Dom and I had been friends since we were four years old playing in a sandbox. In high school we had each other’s back all the time. When he fights, I fought too. We were a team out here. In the neighborhood I was the scrawny black kid. Dom was the little Mexican kid. Dom and I planned on being roomie’s in our first apartment. I was like his only family he had left. His mom and dad died awhile back.

After that Kim and I moved out of Harlem. We started a new Journey in Los Angeles. After a few months, I had my first son. I named him Dominick. I also published my book. It was based off of my story. Six shots couldn’t hold me, and then I wonder what can. I wonder what life got installed for me now.

Trust- Delane Exum

You can’t trust everyone in the world. Everyone who smiles in your face is not your friend. If they are your true friends then nothing can ever change that.

Die by the gun:

“See this gun son. You can do a lot with this piece. You can get girls with it. You can get money with this. You can also end someone’s life with it. Now son if you get in the game. You are going to need at least two soldiers to do battle. The guys you got with you now, need to go. They soft out here and I can tell. Remember the purpose of the game. The green is always your friend. Get money all day is the motivation. To step into this game think about this one question. Are you willing to die by the gun?”

The speech my pops told me the last time I seen him. My pops was the kingpin from the 90s till 2009. After the lessons he taught me I’m grateful. The next day he was shot. They shot my pops so many times; we had to have a close casket funeral. Pops went out like a true original gangster. The people came hard though. My mom and I had to escape. I picked up a chopper for the first time. I was 16 running out the back of the house. It took at least an hour for them to kill him. Pops stood tall with an AK-47 laying everybody down.

As I was telling my homeboys the story, I always told these stories to them. Derek and Brian were my day one homeboys. My pops once told me to cut them off. I just couldn’t do it. Derek use to be a crybaby when he was younger. The army made him stronger. Brian has never been a slouch. A little bit of a pretty boy but shit changed later on.

We all were petty thieves before we got serious about the game. Always stealing some stuff as kids. We hit up our first store at 13 years old. Old man Chen didn’t see it coming. Ran in there with a baseball bat. Knocked him out and took all the money. Derek fat ass was stealing gumdrops and skittles. “I was hungry”, Derek said.

Just a couple of thieves ready to take things to the next level. Too much petty stuff I have done in my lifetime. If I go down again, I’m not coming back from it. It’s all about the money. The last thing we said before we threw on our mask. It was go time.

We ran up on one of the top drug lords. Victor Medina was at his 3rd baby mama house just slipping. Snatched him out the house. Put him in the trunk of my car. Derek shot his bodyguard quick. Took the kids and girl and tied them up. Lit the house on fire and left.

Victor was an old Mexican drug lord. This guy had connects all over the world. With him gone we don’t have to worry about no one stepping on our money. Victor was the key to the money and we were the locksmiths. Night and day we tortured him for answers. We needed to know where the drugs were coming from so we could take over.

After about a month or so, we had answers. Vic had 3 places to hit up. It was going to take a lot though. Vic had hundreds of soldiers. It was time to recruit some soldiers. There were many young cats around. We went to Harlem then the Bronx. Everyone was willing to risk their life for some spare change. I guess everyone does have a price.

The first place was on 12th street in a secure warehouse. It was a secret place that no one would bother to look at. There were many guards and so much money. It wasn’t going to be easy as we do battle. We had a time limit. It was a 30-minute window that we had. Derek took a couple of guys and led a police chase. While they were away we could get down to business.

Brian had some old buddies from the army on a couple of roofs. They were like camouflage. No one could see them until it was to late. I took a few guys in on the ground. The plan was working to excellence. I know my dad would be proud of me today. Derek pulled up with some garbage trucks and moved the money to a secure location.

Vic was a handful himself. Just all talk with no action. The old coupe said a lot while being tied to a chair. We had him on a tight leash. All his baby mama and son could do was watch their father take pain. We was going to let them loose but they might be a problem. After Derek slapped him a few more times. He gave up the last two spots.

Life was going good over the next two months. The boys were working to perfection. Brian continued to pick apart Vic’s whole crew. Brian would take them apart one by one with one shot. It was like having cheat codes to a game. None of them could ever see it coming. Derek took a small crew to each of the cartel spots and cleaned house. Money was flowing in. Cocaine was being flipped on the streets.

I Christopher Graham was sitting at the top as king. I was running things around this park. I have only two more crews to eliminate. Our dynasty was growing more and more by day. The crews was sleeping on us.

“Thump Thump Thump, off the early morning. Who is it?” I knew that knock anywhere. It was one time. The pigs were outside my crib. I was just waking up from a night with my baby momma Michelle. I woke up her little fine Latina ass.

Michelle was yelling at the officers outside. “He’s not here. I don’t know where his punk ass at”, she said. I had to hide the drugs. Once that was done. I went out the back. I walked right into my surprise. A gang of officers was standing out back. They had machine guns pointed at me.

Michelle and I were both busted. Word got around that I was coming up big. Facts pointed towards me after Vic went missing. Their whole crew was put in the ground. The officer’s informed Michelle that her father was missing. The look on her face told it all. I had to do something fast.

“Did you take my dad? Cause I swear I will take Joey and leave you. Don’t make me snitch on you”, she said. I had fucked with the plug daughter. I remember the first time I met her dad. He was always intimidating. I guess its no more of that considering; we ended his life just the other night. She had to go.

“Latoya I need you do this for me. You can then have Joey to take care. We can start a family now. Just take out the threat so we can continue to make this money girl”, I said. Latoya was the home girl. Latoya was dark chocolate thick girl. I have been fucking around with her since the 10th grade. I never really tried to wife her though. I just like to explore my women.

Latoya was a trained assassin. Latoya moms taught her how to kill people without making a sound. Latoya was on the low when it came to her work. Never made a sound with it. There was never a mess to it. Just to clean to ever get caught. The hood knew her as a myth. They called her Blade. No witness has ever lived to testify.

It has been an exact month since Michelle had her accident. I still feel for Michelle sometimes. She had my first child. It was no stopping me from now on out. Until the cops came knocking again. They brought me in on some charges with murder. There was no evidence. So I was getting off free.

Although they did send my parole officer in on my ass. Heather Taylor has been my parole officer for some time now. Heather threatened me all the time. “I will lock your ass up, if I find out you killed that girl. You hear me. This time you won’t get out at all. No father for your child’s life”, she said. I brushed her off and left.

When the king returned to a standing ovation. It was time for action. The Russian was next on our list. The Russians was lead by Abram Gael. Abram is a former assassin. So killing him will take some skill. “We got to take out his main go to guy. Which is his wife Angelina.” As I finished my commands it was time to go.

The progress I made with this crew was crazy. Started out with 3 now I got an army. Each man was getting paid better than any job. The men were to get in position at the restaurant. We were coming in hard. So Angelina can flee right into our grasp.

The only thing that went wrong was who was there. A few men went down. We also got a two for one special on this day. Instead of just getting Angelina. We also got Abram. Turns out it was their anniversary. Abram tried to put up a fight, but Brian snipping skills came into play. A bullet to the leg really changed his attitude.

We then brought them back to our factory. Right back to square one. The same place we interrogated Vic. Abram tried to play like he couldn’t speak English until I chopped off his finger. Now he has a lot to say. “So Abram where is your locations” I said. “I know you. I can tell who you are. Just by looking at your eyes. You mind as well take off that mask Chris”, he said. I was shocked for a moment.

I took off my mask and punched him in the mouth. “How do you know me?” I said. “I knew your dad. I still remember the day I joined forces with the V-boys.” The V-boys was the last crew left. They were like family to me. I grew up with half of those guys. The leader of the crew is one of my cousins. I was going to take them out, but they were family. It wasn’t in me.

Abram then said, “Yeah we joined forces to take out your dad.” At that moment a light went off in my head. I punched him over and over until my crew had to pull me off of him. I said, “What do my family have to do with my father’s death?” He said, “You stupid child. Your cousin Calvin set your father up. All his bodyguards were took out before the day even started. You were so young trying to fight your father’s battle. Remember your house was a secret location until you cousin gave yall up.”

I was shocked by the news. I asked him who pulled the trigger. Abram said, “Your cousin Calvin took out your father. That day when we busted in, it was a peaceful day. You cousin took your father’s side just to fool him. Then he took out your dad, with one bullet to the head. Then I shot him multiple times after that. I guess it was teamwork.”

The money didn’t matter at this point. Brian continued to ask them question while I cooled down. Latoya helped me with that part. I was so close to taking him out. Could my cousin really be the killer?

I left moments later to go see my other girl up in the hills. I walked in the door to a sweet smell. I came in and ate some dinner. My girl must been tired after a long day of work. I came upstairs to my girl putting on some lotion. My baby was always had smooth skin. She was so thick and plump. Just hot at all times. It was always good to come home to Heather Taylor. Yeah my dad always taught me to be ahead of the game.

The whole night had me thinking about who killed my dad. I knew I was going to find out in the morning. As soon as I woke up I went to the factory. Abram was talking shit as soon as I came in. I tried to get his information on his money where about. I was getting no luck. I had to do it differently. I asked Angelina for the money. Abram blurted out, “Why would I ever trust a bitch with my money? You are stupid just like your father.” I pulled my gun out and blasted Angelina. I then put my Desert Eagle to his head and asked one more time. Abram told everything. I let my boys do my dirty work. Before I left I ended Abram’s life on my father’s behalf.

Calvin was next on my hit list. I knew him since I was a baby. Calvin must have got greedy and wanted to take over the crew. Of all people in the world I would have never pictured him to be the man who killed my pops. I need to get on the inside of his establishment. I called up his sister to talk to. Megan was his older sister.

I knew she would tell me the truth. I also knew that she would tell her brother also. I wanted him to know his life was coming to an end. After I got the information, I was waiting to tell my crew. Brian said, “Why is we going after them? All because your punk ass father couldn’t put up a fight.” I struck him off a quickness. Derek had to play peacemaker in the situation. Derek said, “Yo we not fighting about this. Its time to get pay back on these punks. Lets give them something they will never forget.

We booted up by morning. It was like we had a chip on our shoulder. I had my gun strapped on my back. It was time for me to get my hands dirty. All for my father I’m willing to take out anyone for that matter. There was no planning for this day. They knew we were coming. Megan snitching ass had already told him.

We were going to war in that place. I shot over half a dozen men. I caught Calvin running. “Calvin, why did you kill my pops?” I said. He said, “I killed him to become king. I didn’t want to be in the shadows forever. I had to take him out. I joined forces with Abram and took him out. You happy now there’s your truth.” It was crazy what he told me. I was happy then on. I took my machine gun off my back and blasted him.

After about three months of running the hood. I had my girl Latoya and my son. I have my first baby girl on the way. I went out to check on all my workstations. Just to see if all my drug dealers were up to date. Make sure no one was trying anything behind my back. I now see why my pops was all about the game. It’s addictive in many ways. Derek and I were set to have a meeting about investing in a store. Something we can take to the next level.

We met up at the store. Derek said, “We can buy this store right here. I can see us having our own clothing label. Make my dreams come true.” Derek was always into fashion. Brian was the one always into cars and merchandise. The hood felt different without any more crews to fight. Everyone in the world knew that we weren’t the ones to be messed with. Brian was too good with the guns. Derek was a great driver. I was a strategist in this whole thing.

The place was crazy huge. Derek showed all his ideas of how we could make this place work. I just didn’t see it though. I told him we should check out another place. Derek said, “I knew you would say that. You know Brian and I been talking about you a lot lately. I think its time to put our plan into action.”

When I turned around to confront him. There it was my own boy had a pistol pointed at me. My eagle was tucked away on my waste line. I didn’t see this part coming. I always thought it would be Brian to do it. I had no options at the moment. Derek said, “Are you willing to die by the gun?”. “Bang” Derek said, “Yo Brian we clear the boss has been tossed.” Brian said, “Are you willing to die by the gun?” “Bang”

Dear Kids:

Kids this is your father. I have done some crazy things in my lifetime. I don’t know where I will be when you read this. I could be in a cell or a box. I don’t know but I do know you got big dreams to accomplish. I made sure you and your mom will never be broke. I love you all. In this game you have to know who your real friends are. So if you enter the game. Just remember what you doing it for. Also, Are you willing to die by the gun?

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