"So, tell me about yourself."


 She said that shit calmly, casually as if she wasn't pointing a loaded pistol at me. I felt compelled to try her resolve by rushing her and taking the gun. But the beautiful bitch had a just as beautiful sidekick packing a pretty big gun. They were strategically spaced apart probably in case I did try some dumb shit.


 "Are you serious?"


 I asked seriously. I mean, I just cleaned my apartment, smoked some good weed after a long, hot shower, and was eating some takeout on the couch when these bitches walked in. The only person besides me with a key is my sister. I had to wonder how they obtained the key from her.

  "And how did you get a key?"


 "Do you need to ask where I obtained the only other key, Rendell?"


 She gave me a small, sweet smile like I was retarded. Instead of getting mad I relaxed inwardly. This bitch wanted to play cool and cultured so I would be upscale. Besides, my time to be rude would have a chance to present itself eventually.


"Did you hurt her?"


 I asked with a straight face and even tone. Somehow, some way, either way, these bitches were going to get it. And whoever sent them.


 "She's fine. Just a little rattled that's all."


 She said reassuringly, leaning in a little as if she wanted to pat my knee.


 "So I assume you, whoever you are, still have her?"




   "What do you want?"


   "I want to talk to you. I'm sure I asked you to tell me about yourself. I want to know about your life."


   Something in the way she said that gave me pause. Who goes through all this gangster shit to hear somebody's life story? Was this bitch really crazy?


   "I have a journal if you want to read it."


    I suggested. Sidekick bitch made a move towards me but nonchalant bitch waved her off. Nonchalant bitch looked into my eyes and I saw arrogance, rejection, anger, and resolve. She was used to getting what she wanted. Also, she wasn't a bitch by nature but life, or people, encouraged her to become one. Why are the beautiful ones mostly mentally or emotionally screwed up?


    "Do you believe in the great unknown, Rendel?"


    She shifted the conversation easily.

   "I'm too old to worry about the great unknown. I'm sure I'll be there when I really don't want to be anyway."


    She laughed easily, comfortably, at my answer. It was honest, my answer, and if I could keep her laughing I would be honest all night. I just wanted an opportunity to disarm one of them and I'm sure the night would turn out right.

    "You always did have an adorable wit."


    She said distantly. I doubt she meant to say that out loud.


    "Am I supposed to know you?" I asked truly curious. "I'm sure I wouldn't have forgotten."


    I decided to keep it conversational. I wanted my sister safe.


    "I'll give you a hint."


    She had a mischievous glint that contradicted her sweet smile.


    "You gave me some good advice a while ago when I needed a friend and had none."


     'Needed a friend and had none.' That phrase struck a cord with me. I looked deep into her eyes attempting to connect on the memory. Her features changed in my mind and I started to see her for who she used to be. She used to be fat as a motherfucker with acne and chipped teeth. One of my old road dogs used to go out with her. Her family left her a lot of money before they returned to Ecuador to live. Her name was Tamela.

    Tamela was in love with my roadie, Monsoon. Me and monsoon took a lot of money and made a lot of money together. When he got together with Tamela he commandeered her condo and it became our clubhouse. We cooked and bagged crack, smoked bud and freaked off with hoodrats in the jacuzzi. He even was busted by her a few times but she was retardedly in love with him and only God could save her. She had no family on her side of America and was too reclusive to make friends. Her being my Roadies' woman I always treated her like a homegirl/sister. That's who he went home to every night so that was home. We were in our early twenties, Monsoon and I, so the concept on all of the ways to protect home escaped him more than me. I had a little more experience so I knew, and often told him, that he had to stop violating somebody that knew so much about our illegalities. Like a true friend he didn't listen. So I played middleman/peacemaker until Monsoon decided he wanted to move to upstate New York. They moved to Buffalo and eight months later Monsoon was murdered. That was five years ago. Before they moved Tamela and myself had a lot of real talks. The talk I'm sure she was hinting on had to do with monsoon, a barely legal puerto rican girl, and two used condoms in her mercedes.


    "What should I do Rendel?"


    Tamela asked me crying and distraught.


    "I can't tell you that Tamela. You have to find that conclusion on your own. I won't speak against him and I won't speak for him. You're my friend too and whatever happens won't change that."


    "But I love him so much! I would do anything, anything! All he would have to do is ask."


     She was getting hysterical and I was losing my tolerance. I wasn't angry with Tamela but Monsoons' dirty ass for leaving me here with her like this.


      "Look Tamela, just because you put people on a pedestal that doesn't mean they're going to represent the throne you built for them. People make moves to gain pleasure, advancement, or to avoid pain. Only when those factors are satisfied or compromised will people even consider what you might think or feel."


       I remembered how her tears stopped and the rapt attention she gave my words. I remember her hugging me tightly, thanking me softly before kissing my cheek and walking me to the door.

A few months after that they moved.




      I said her name out loud in the present.


     "You do remember me."


     She said pleasantly surprised.


     "What's this about Tamela? I'm sure I would have been happier to see you if you had knocked."


     "That's what I always liked about you. You were the wits and Monsoon was a loose cannon.


     She smiled wistfully.


    "You always had more class than him. You were always decent to myself and others."


     She stopped talking and I decided not to say anything. A half a minute passed before she spoke again.


      "Do you remember what you told me the last time we talked?


      "I remember."


      I admitted.


      "I took your words into my soul and made them my Bible. I never forgot one of our talks. I say all this to say 'I adore you.' You gave me the strength to get past my own emotions and delusions. You made me feel human when the person I loved made me feel like shit. You truly were my friend."


     She smiled at me and again I reflected on the connection between beauty and madness.


     "You have a hell of a way of expressing your gratitude."


      I said dryly.


     "You'll understand soon enough."


     She said cryptically.


     "I'm sure you always wondered what happened to your friend?"


     She jumped again to another subject that was more than likely the heart of this whole shit.


     "Of course."


     I told her casually indignant.


     "And after you tell me that we can get to the true purpose of your visit."


     I was ready for the games to stop. My food had gotten cold, my high was gone, and I was tired. All of this mental and emotional shit was draining me.


     "It's all one and the same thing love."


     She said almost teasingly.


     "Don't you see? I killed Monsoon."



      I just stared at her. I wasn't in shock or anything, I just truly didn't have a comeback for that one. I was now beginning to feel a sense of urgency about the whole situation.




     Was all I asked.


     "Do you really need to ask me that?"


     She countered. She would of had a point if he was blacking her eyes or putting cigarettes out on her ass cheeks or something. All my boy ever did was lie and cheat on her, as far as I know. I'm not justifying his moves, just taking in the fact that if he was that bad to her she could have left him.


     "What did he do for you to kill him?"


     I really didn't care what answer she gave me. All I knew at this point was that she was out of her mind and needed to be stopped.


     "For many reasons."


     She waved me off.


     "The straw that broke the camels back was when he impregnated one of those upstate bitches and expected me to be cool with the bitch."


     She gave me a look that had so much heat behind it that I just listened. I was waiting for sidekick bitch to slip up so I could make my move anyway.


     "My most powerful reason for removing him from my life was because I had eyes for another."


     I guess she stopped talking in order to allow me to ask the obvious questions. I hope I disappointed her by remaining silent.


     "Aren't you going to ask me who? If you know him? Anything?"


     I looked at her a long moment before breaking my silence.


     "I would ask them things if you were still my friend. This is some unfriendly shit you're doing to me."


     I was getting into my 'fuck it' mode and soon I would take a couple of shots to kill sidekick bitch and torture coocoo bitch into telling me where my sister is.

     "That's only because you don't understand my motivation. I truly do understand why you would feel that way. I kidnapped your sister and killed your friend. You knew him before me and we only became friends because of him. In case you haven't noticed I'm not in the habit of taking chances any more."


      She drew attention to her gun then nodded at her armed sidekick.


      "If you're not into the habit of taking chances why would you put me on point by performing in this little game?"


      I said letting a little bit of heat slip into my voice.


      "You could have told me that he died in a car crash and I would have believed you."


      It was true. I never would have thought of her as being deceptive. Can't say that anymore huh?


      "So what I want to know is why did you come at me and why did you involve my sister?"


      She gave me that smile for the retarded kids again before answering me.


      "Don't you get it?"


      The question was rhetorical, I'm sure.


      "Its all about you. When we moved and fell out of contact with you I was miserable. You were all I had and he took that from me too. That's the reason that he died. After he was gone I spent my time getting my shit together. Look at me."


      She stood up and did a slow turn showing off her enticing figure. She definitely had her shit together.


      "For four years my only motivation was and still is you. Why am I doing this? Because I have a question to ask you and I will not let you tell me no."


      She said the last part so calmly that I knew this was it. I was about to find out my standing with karma.


      "What is it?"


      I asked calmly. Soon as she said some crazy shit I would make my move.




     She looked me dead in my eyes.

     "Will you marry me?"


 _____________________________________  INTERMISSION:

                  (Futile Frenzy)


While walking through my mind

I stumbled over thoughts that weren't mine.

I fell face first into garbage,

Placed in my mind by others over time. My beliefs aren't mine, they're not even real

An illusionists trap to lock my mind in steel.

When I steal, its because I was convinced I was hungry.

I'm not balanced,

I love who hates me and hate who loves me.

It's funny, before I ever sinned I felt shame,

I'm not as cold as I act it's just prevention from pain.

My life, trying to seduce a celibate destiny

Embracing fruitless passions not really meant for me.

It's strange- the things I tricked myself to believe

I guess all the tricks of others put some tricks up my sleeve.

Sometimes I grieve for all the pure minds that are murdered

Everyday I bear witness to the psychological slaughter.

It's all a lie, this world, the quest for status and name

Like a war to prove religion we create our own pain.

On this plane, I go against the grain to conquer my pain

What I crave is to live free and let others reign.

It's like rain, all the tears that I've seen in my lifetime

Born a bastard to a bitter moms, a hell bound bloodline.

This karma, it aint mine

This life, it aint mine

I'm suspicious in a jungle of wishes that aint mine.

I try to find the truth in a maze of sadness

In my mind, where the biggest obstacle is madness...




       What the fuck could I say? Who does this type of shit happen to? Obviously me but how can this bitch tell me she murdered my friend, kidnapped my sister, and now wants me to be the star in a shotgun wedding? Saying yes could save me and my sister but I had a feeling that things were a lot deeper than what I was seeing right now. I resorted to my best weapon in an unsure situation: sarcasm.


       "Do I get time to think about it?"


       I could tell by the look she gave me that she wasn't amused. Almost instantly she started smiling again.


      "Take as long as you like in the next five minutes."


      Sidekick bitch slipped out a cute little laugh who's innocence clashed with the moment. I looked at her and she looked back. There was no anger or malice in her eyes. If anything her eyes were calm and comfortable. She smiled and my antennae went up a little higher. This broad was comfortable with violence.


      "What's your name?"


      I asked her nuetrally. She smiled again but didn't answer.




      Tamela muscled my attention away from sidekick bitch. I looked at her in response. She stood up and approached me. When she was in front of me she kneeled down, using my lap for balance, her gun close to my groin.


       "Think about this baby, you always told me that opportunity comes when desire and duty meet. I desire you and my duty is to my desire and this is the opportunity. Say 'yes' Rendel. Please don't make me kill you. Say yes. "


         Her voice broke a little and her eyes became watery but no tears fell. I slowly cupped her face in my hands then kissed her lips.


          "Yes. "


          I answered. It was time to get a glimpse of the bigger picture of her intentions and how that information might serve me.


          "I want to see my sister."


          "Of course. You can have anything you want after the wedding."


          She gave me a genuine smile that gave me a glimpse of the sweet and homely Tamela. I won't lie and say I miss the old visual of her. The new her was more than appealing. I did miss her shyness, her inability to be phony, and her eagerness to see me. Yet I knew that when someone re- creates themselves they stand the risk of losing the most precious parts of themselves. Or at least compromising their morals and principles. I was going to play along long enough to find out how much of herself Tamela already lost.


To be continued....







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