BrotherFuture Part 3byLiclovely©
"Shit is mad real out here in this battlefield."
Method Man (1999)
* * Chapter 1
As the bus continued on its way, Hakim stared at the card Tony had given him. Hakim realized at that moment that he had a very serious decision to make. His pockets were too fucking light for his taste! Since he had been released from prison, he realized that things had changed. Somewhere along the way, crack cocaine had become the obsession of an entire generation of people. Selling, using, cooking it up—all exploded. It seemed like everyone he once knew was into crack in some form or other.
When Hakim had been younger and living in the projects, he had been enamored with the thought that sixteen and seventeen-year-old dropouts could earn thousands in hours without ever leaving the comfort of their own street corners. He remembered staring enviously at the shiny Jeep Cherokees and Volvos that boasted exorbitant sound systems and how the girls flocked to the dealers when they walked into the clubs and skating rinks with their glittering jewelry blinding the crowd. He had been amazed at how, seemingly overnight, brothas he'd been chucking dodgeballs at on the elementary-school playground only eight years earlier now had their names spoken in awed whispers.
Though he had partied with some of the dopemen, ran the streets with a few; he could never bring himself to join The Game. Not that he had been noble or opting instead for some moral high ground. It had been simple: he had been afraid. Afraid of going to jail. And once closer scrutiny of the rulebook made him realize that murder was standard operating procedure in drug dealing—afraid of dying.
But time had changed and so had he. He had had the opportunity to witness the mass incarceration of Black men, young and old alike, because of drugs while it seemed that whites who committed the same crimes were given a second chance to prove their worth to society by receiving probation and community service. Although Blacks make up only 13.5-14% of the total population in the United States, their numbers are reaching 55-60% of the total population in America's dungeons! He had stopped believing the lies of American society and so had many other young Black men.
Hakim had talked with many people and witnessed many things while in jail and he had come to realize that "The Drug Game" gave truth to all those wonderful lies American schoolkids are fed about all the joyful opportunities America holds for them. "Just go to school, get a good job and make good money" had become the mantra for a society unwilling to face up to its true legacy of cowardly racist acts and beliefs, and it's exclusionary attitude towards others who were/are not white. 'The Game' was about Black kids mimicking power brokers, about Black youth showing just how right-wing George Bush and his cronies could make the rest of us. It was about rugged individualism ("I gotta get mine"), megabucks ("Make money, money, make money"), about eschewing the welfare of the collective in favor of hoarding wealth for a few ('Don't ask me for shit!"). What was fucked up…what was incredulous was that white America viewed crack dealers as the scourge of the Earth while minimizing the impact of white- collar crimes, institutional racism, and politicians! But crack dealers aren't the only American men to be tempted by the dollar. Capitalism corrupts thoroughly, across CLASS and RACE lines, across professional boundaries. Corruption, cashing out on principles, they are very much the American way!
Hakim realized that the decision he had to make would change his life, dramatically. He had to think deeply and seriously about it. He realized that if he did decide to get involved in The Game, it would have to be short term. Get in, get money, and get out. The bling-bling of the drug culture held no interest to him. That was the same ignorant ass mentality that had gotten so many stupid jackasses locked behind bars. Selling…whether it was crack cocaine on the block or advertisers on television telling you why you had to have the next new fuel-wasting truck…it was business, never personal. He surmised that if was able to keep the 'drug game' as a business venture and not an ego trip, he might just be able to pull the shit off. He had grown while in prison and had learned three important principles: kill hard and fast without hesitation, never trust anyone where your life is concerned, and, when you want something done right, do it your damn self!
* * Chapter 2
"Fate is determined by what one does and what one doesn't do." Ralph Ellison
Scene: A transit authority bus lumbers to a stop in a clean, residential street corner.
Hakim exits the bus and pulls a piece of paper out of his shirt pocket and begins to unfold it to view it. He chuckles at the event that had caused him to possess the paper and his first date with a female since he had been released from prison three months prior.
Two weeks ago…
Hakim had had the day off so he decided to go to town. He planned to walk around for a bit and then get a haircut at one of his old hangouts. The downtown area had changed dramatically. A spanking brand new county jail lockup had been built while he was away and its' ugly shit-colored bricks contrasted sharply with the formerly attractive skyline of the city. Anything to keep the bucks rolling in, he guessed.
After Hakim got his hair cut, he headed into an upscale department store to purchase a scarf for his mother. He had missed the shit out of his mother while locked up and he realized since he had been home just how much his mother had missed him. She had been very supportive of him, as she knew that it would be hard for him coming out of jail. She looked out constantly. He wanted to thank her for all she had done for him. Right now it would be something small, but ultimately he wanted to make good on the promise he had once made about purchasing her a dream home.
Walking around the department store…a 6'2", 210 lb. muscular Black man drew the usual attention. Security and nervous stares from white patrons followed him throughout. As Hakim walked past a row of women's blouses, his eyes scanned a familiar face at the sales counter…Keisha. The woman who had taken his virginity!! She looked good…damn good! And her co-worker was a stunner, also. Maybe even more so. She seemed to be Asian mixed with European heritage. And the woman had a body that resembled the movie and television actress, Vivica A. Fox!
"How the fuck they got both of these fine motherfuckers working the same counter?" Hakim asked himself.
As Hakim walked towards the counter, Keisha bent forward at the waist to pick a receipt off of the floor. Her ass cheeks under her skirt spread invitingly. Hakim remembered the fact that Keisha liked her ass cheeks rubbed and smacked hard when she was getting dicked doggystyle. He also remembered how soupy her pussy had been! She stayed wet for an extremely long time and left extremely large wet spots on his bed, he also remembered. After the first time he had gotten between her thighs, she had allowed him to fuck her whenever he had the desire. She had been hooked! But her problems began when she ran her big mouth to her girlfriends about the new, big dick in her life. After that, they had to find out what she was bragging about. She had learned a lesson she would find hard to forget in the coming years.
As she straightened up, she glanced in his direction and immediately recognized him. He appeared to be thicker and somehow more muscular than he had been before entering prison. Her eyes sharpened and she sucked her teeth, slightly. She had not felt the least bit sorry for him when he was charged, tried, and convicted for possessing drugs. Though some people felt that Hakim had been set up, she wasn't worried about the facts of the case. Hakim had hurt and humiliated her by fucking her and then banging her closest friends. Then, he had the nerve to start fucking a white girl!! After that, he had virtually ignored her for the rest of the year! That little fact hadn't sat well with her then, and she damn sure was going to let him know about it! Keisha remembered that during that time she had practically begged Hakim to be with her and he had spurned her advances. It had been the first time in her life that she didn't get what she wanted. She didn't forget shit like that easily!
Hakim smiled, waved, and began walking toward the counter Keisha was standing behind.
"What's up Hakim?" Keisha said as he reached the counter.
"Hello, Keish. How have you been? Damn, it's good to see an old face…uh…er…I mean a pretty face," Hakim said.
"Sorry I can't say the same." Keisha mumbled.
"Keisha…" Hakim began.
"No, wait! I realize that you probably just got out or escaped or something. But that don't mean shit to me! You played me, Hakim. You played me like Shaq played Dikembe in the Finals…HARD!! You come in here after four years and expect me to be happy to see your ass? Excuse me if I don't fall down and kiss the fucking floor!" Keisha said heatedly.
Keisha's supervisor, Erin, rounded the corner to see her rude ass, ghetto employee once again cussing out a customer. Since she had began training the girl two weeks ago, it seemed that at least once a week she was arguing with someone! The girl had come from another store but her employee record stated that she was in need of some serious conflict resolution skills.
"What the fuck is her problem, now?" Erin asked herself as she eyed the man Keisha was venting on.
"Hmmm…he looks kind of fine! Girlfriend is tripping," Erin said to herself as she walked closer to the action.
Erin stood 5'7" and weighed 140 lbs. Her frame measured 35-24-37. She was 24-years old. She was of Chinese, Black and European descent. Her mother was Chinese and her father was half-white and half-black. She had oval shaped eyes and fair skin. Her hair hung to the middle of her back. It was black-colored with auburn streaks. She was built for fucking but most men, black, white, or other, seemed to be intimidated by her looks and her straightforwardness. She also had the same problem with women. When she walked into a room, all eyes turned to her. She had that effect on people. Her fair skin and moon face gave her an exotic cipher that was hard to miss, yo! She was a beautiful woman trapped somewhat by her own beauty. It had been so long since a man had taken control and made her feel like a woman…a real woman. Most of the guys she had dated in the recent past treated her more as a trophy piece than a person. She was tired of that shit! She wished for a man to see her as a conquest and conquer her…bring down her defenses and fears. Make her submit to his loving will. She was looking for a man to share her love with. A man to satiate the constant burning between her brain and thighs!!
"K-Keisha…look….all I wanted to say was hello. I saw you over here and since I haven't seen or heard from you in four years, I decided to come over and say hello. I had no idea that you felt this way about me. I'm sorry if I did anything in the past to hurt you but that shit was four-five years ago. A lot has happened since then," Hakim tried to explain.
"Whatever motherfucka. I know that you used to be someone I knew until you started banging that white girl. After that, you head was in the clouds and that's why I didn't and still don't feel bad for your ass!! You got what you deserved!" Keisha said venomously.
Hakim just stood and stared at the mental midget standing before him! Apparently, she had never gotten past the notion that HER pussy wasn't the only one created on Earth. She was STILL talking about that way-back shit! What the fuck? He had been a kid, then. Apparently, that was where she was…still with that kid shit. He realized that she had enjoyed everything that had happened to him because he hadn't chosen her for his one and only. Her vindictiveness was pathetic and misplaced.
"Is there a problem here?" Erin asked as she came and stood next to Keisha while looking directly at Hakim. One of the qualities that Erin possessed was honesty. If she saw a handsome man, black, white, or other, she took notice. The Black man standing before her was breathtaking! His sweater barely hid his lean, rippled physique. His skin was the color of dark chocolate. His teeth were bright white. And he was tall! His eyes never wavered from Keisha's face. Erin could see the hurt in his eyes as her employee continued to berate him
"Naw, ain't no problem. This ex-con doesn't have enough money to be in this store and I was just informing him about where he can take the little bit of money he got and go fu-." Keisha said wryly before being interrupted.
"Keisha!" Erin said quickly and authoritatively. "What is your problem? You do not talk to customers that way! Please take a break!"
"Keisha…I'm sorry if I ever hurt you, boo. I didn't mean to ruin your day. I never knew you felt that way but I can respect your feelings. Know this, despite how you feel about me, I still got love for you. I apologize again," Hakim said calmly while trying to hold back his hurt and surprise from Keisha's statements.
Erin didn't know what had happened but as a fellow woman, she felt the sincerity and utter honesty in the gentleman's apology whether he was an ex-convict or not. Black or not. Wrong or right. But, unfortunately, Keisha wasn't feeling a truce.
"You can take your tired ass apology and go…" Keisha began before Erin cut in sharply.
"Keisha!! For the last time, PLEASE take a break. I will take over. That is the last time I'm asking you," Erin said icily.
Keisha turned towards her supervisor and realized that ONCE-again, she had let her ass take over her brain. She shot Hakim a hateful look, turned on her heels and walked towards the rear of the department store talking to herself.
"I'm sorry about my employees behavior, sir…." Erin began before realizing that the man was paying no attention to her as he was still looking at the posterior of Keisha as she continued to walk away. She thought she detected a tear in man's eye.
"Huh? I-I'm sorry…were you talking to me?" Hakim asked as he suddenly came back from the cosmos. "Where the fuck did THAT come from?!", he thought.
"Yes, I'm the store manager and I was just apologizing for the behavior of my employee. She will be appropriately reprimanded, of that you can be sure," Erin said, as she could not help staring at the man's profile. He had kind eyes and an easy demeanor. He didn't seem to be paying the least bit of attention to her and that excited her all the more, somehow.
As Keisha began to fade from sight, Hakim brought his attention to the lovely creature standing before him. He had been in jail for four years so the sight and smell of women still caught him off guard. This woman standing before him was breathtaking! Though she had to have at least three layers of clothing on, Hakim swore he could make out the indentations of hardening nipples through her clothing. It was as if a light shone from the inside of her. He couldn't stop himself from smiling as she looked at him quizzically.
"Excuse me. May I ask why you are smiling after practically getting your head tore off by your girl," Erin said as she head nodded in the direction Keisha had taken.
Hakim recognized the gesture as a gesture only a woman secure enough in herself that she felt comfortable going there with him. He liked her immediately and it wasn't just her fabulous body. She didn't act like a typical white woman. She wasn't intimidated by his black male presence. It was her eyes and the playful way they teased him. Her whole demeanor was tantalizing. He couldn't figure out if it was being done purposely or had he just been in jail so fucking long, everything concerning women confounded him, now.
"Oh…me and her…we go back…way back. I-I really don't know why she went there with me, but she doesn't have to ever worry about me bothering with her again. Damn! And to think, I really thought she was a friend of mine," Hakim said regretfully.
Erin realized that the gentleman before her was looking directly into her eyes as he spoke to her. He held her eyes…not lasciviously but definitely checking her out. She began to feel a little self- conscious in the presence of a man for the first time in many months! She was enjoying the way he calmly but deliberately checked her out! He had that take it or leave it persona. He was so fucking sure of himself! It turned her on!
"Like I said before, I'd like to apologize…" Erin began.
"Don't worry about it…she's just a little upset about something that happened long ago" Hakim said.
"Well, you don't seem to be too worried about it, what is her problem?" Erin asked not wanting this fine ass Black man to end the conversation and walk away and out of her life forever. She was intrigued, to say the least.
"I learned long ago that the past is just that. The past. It's gone and you can't do a damn thing about it except learn from it, ya know? It amazes me that there are still adults out here who have trouble with that concept" Hakim said.
"I agree. Too many people live in the past and not in the moment," Erin said while looking directly at Hakim.
"I-I'm sorry. Where the hell are my manners?! My name is Hakim. And yours is…" Hakim said while offering his hand.
"Erin. Erin Westlake. It's nice to meet you," she said as she quickly took his hand and shook it.
"Well, Ms. Erin Westlake, I don't want to keep you from your job, so I'll just…" Hakim began.
"No. No. I'm not really busy or anything. I just came over to head off a potential fistfight," Erin said playfully while continuing to look him directly in the eyes.
"I would never put my hands on a woman…unless she asked me to," Hakim said as he smiled. Erin returned his smile.
"That's nice to hear. There are too many psychos running around these days masquerading as decent men. A woman needs to know that before getting serious about a man. At least I do," Erin said softly while holding his gaze, softly.
Hakim didn't know what the fuck was going on with this white woman(?) but she was making it obvious that she was interested in him. He looked at her and immediately assessed that she was one of the finest women he had ever held a conversation with. out of his league and decided right then and there that he was going to just walk away with his pride. Asking her out on a date would surely be a big mistake.
"Well, I better go…before she comes back and does me in," Hakim said.
"Oh…okay. Well if you happen to stop back in to my store, come and say hi," Erin said while trying to decide if she should make a play for this man. Hakim was thinking the same thing.
"Look…would you like to…" they both said at the same time and then recognizing their dual intentions, they both bust out laughing.
"Let's make this easy. Here's my phone number…cell phone number is on the back…okay?" Erin asked as she dug a card out of her dayplanner that was on the counter and handed Hakim her business card.
"C-Cool. When is a good time to ring you?" Hakim asked.
"Whenever you get to thinking about me…okay? Erin said teasingly.
"If that's the case, your phone will be ringing nonstop for the next week!" Hakim said playfully.
"As long as it rings," Erin said seriously while looking directly at Hakim.
"Don't worry, Erin. There's something about you I dig. I can't put a finger on what it is, but I won't be forgetting about you no time soon," Hakim said.
"Likewise," Erin answered back.
Hakim walked out of the store after purchasing a beautiful scarf and mitten set that Erin recommended. He smiled to himself at the irony of meeting such a fine assed woman. Keisha had unwittingly given him an opportunity to get with another white woman because of her goofy ass antics. She would be one pissed off sista when she if she ever found out the resulting effects of her tirade towards him!