Southern Fork. They had copies of it. Two bloggers at Tully’s coffee house were raving about Terrence father’s memoir; and doing it so loud that he could hear it 20 feet away at the counter
“You know, I just found this book at a swap meet” said the man on the left side. “I’ve never had a book speak to my life like this.”
“I feel you on that brother” said the man on the right.
“I didn’t come from the briar patch, but I know something about coming up from nothing. Freddie Steele foster homes, dawg. Had to fight and claw my way to get that diploma and this degree” the man on the left said before he took another sip of his chai. He was wearing a tweed jacket with black rimmed bottle capped glasses and had a short-cropped afro.
“The whole part of him reading every book in the negro library, then taking abuse to read in the white one? Nigga… Nigga” said the man on the right. he was bald with a beard, wearing a da-shiki. “That’s how I made my way out of juvie. Reading their library and as much of the downtown branch as I could.”
Terrence got his Iced Mocha, then sat two tables away from them. He had never seen people rave about his father like this . He had walked two blocks from the hotel to get fresh air to plan his article. He thought he would jot down some random thoughts about gentrification and his city while seeing if anyone in the Tacoma Police Department responded to the messages he sent about his brothers case. Yet, as he sat down, he was face to face with this imagined vision of his father that he had never seen before. A vision that came from faces wearing afro centric costumes. A vision constructued of ideas and actions that were completely foreign to his historYet they were so young, so eager, and so unknowing that Terrence had a hard time getting angry at them for creating it.
“And the shit he went through being bused to school?” Said the man on the left. “The day his teacher died when someone threw a Molotov cocktail in a room aiming for him?
“And how he dedicated to being a teacher after that? “Said the man on the right.
“This is witness, brother.”
Terrence struggled to think of a time when he had heard of his as anything but a cudgel. His whole life he had heard people wield the book as a excuse for his behavior. Yet for the first time, he was listening people talk about the book itself. More than that, he was hearing people talk about the person once behind it. The young man they described, young, compelling, with the capability of heroism, seemed like a different person that the father he knew his entire life. Terrence wasn’t filled with wonder as much fascination. They had taken in history so clean, so unfettered by any cost, so different from any experience he had in his life that he couldn’t help looking at them as they were some sorts of aliens.
“It’s such a tragedy that he could overcome Jim crow, but Couldn’t deal with politics, academia, and the pipe.” The man in the tweed jacket said
“I heard he’s been off the stuff for a while. “said man in the dashiki. Terrence notice he wore a medallion, a shiner replica of the ones he saw afro centric students wear as a kid. “what did Cheryl say about him when you got a hold of he
“that sometimes he likes to go to the library”
“PERFECT! Comeback story! The black writer is in the gym.”
The young men quickly folded their laptops, and left the coffee shop. Terrence watched them up the steep hill on 11th street on the way to the library. It was an overcast day, but from tint of the clouds, he could see that the sun was trying to break. He looked at the professionals going in and out of the coffee shop, the donut shop across the street, and the subway in front of him. He remembered when his father would hang out when these buildings were dope apartments. The last time he saw him here, Cheryl drove Sarah, Rodney Jr and himself to a northwest black journalist conference. She and taken the car through early evening traffic right up the hill to the stop lights when he saw him . He was wearing a dirty dashiki and fatigue pants, yelling with a group of men at the policemen who patrolled the Pantages theater before Showtime. It was a picture that he had a hard time getting out of his head, so much so that to see the buildings around the bottom so shiny, clean and colorful gave him a shock.
Terrence finished his Mocha and went up the hill to the library. He thought of his plan to shadow then men and see his father. The hill up to the downtown Tacoma public branch is steep for a healthy person, and Terrence labored and panted to get to middle main road of Tacoma avenue. The library was two blocks down, renovated since he had seen him last, making it look less like a college hall, and more like a mauve colored office building. He walked in to see the place renovated, with computer labs, interactive media exhibits, and comfortable tables and chairs. He saw his father on one table surrounded by books, flanked by the three young men, trying to get words out.
“How long you been off the stuff, brother?” The one in tweed jacket said.
“Thirteen…Thirteen years now.” said his father.
“And I can see you are on that comeback trail with the books” said the one in the Da-shiki.
“fifteen, fifteen years since the mark of the beast” he said, looking at Terrance for the first time
He looked better than Terrance thought he would be, and for the first time Terrance became angry at his presence. He was wearing green and brown colors instead of fatigues and a fisherman’s hat. He donned a white beard that was cleaner than any Terence had seen of him. And now, 15 years since Terrence had gazed him last, his father conducted himself among the young men like a tendentious buddha. Terence could barely control his shaking. His brother had died, his mother had died, and here he was, he thought, a gentrifying city’s radical magical negro- carrying along better than any of them.
“Brother Shannon, what is your opinion of ‘Burn That Bitch Down’ the Assassin’s song that got re-released last month? “said the one in the tweet jacket. “Critics have hailed it as a lost classic of the gangster rap protest genre”
“Bo you see it as a response to or an outgrowth of your anti-capitalist activism in Nisqually university and the black action network” said the one in the dashiki.
“and why hasn’t the general or black media given you credit for what you’ve done for the community.”
“The spirits” Rodney Sr said, backing from the table.
“We’ve been thinking about this and we want to help-.” The one in the tweed jacket said.
“The spirits’ he said to the men stammering “The spirits say I ain’t shit.” He pointed to Terrence. “The spirits are coming to get me.”
Terrence suppressed his laughter as the two young men tended to him. A crowd of young and old people looked around him sternly. How am I the enemy in this situation, he thought to himself. This is another act from the old man. He’s nice hustling all these white folks the way he tried to dope hustle everybody on the hill. This bullshit about the spirts is just a way for him to say that it wasn’t his fault. Library assistant and patrons huddled around Rodney Sr, and Terrence held his hand over his head to keep himself from giggling. A librarian came to put her hand on Rodney Sr’s shoulder. He was a young man, white, wearing a black lives matter pin on his V-neck sweater “He’s a good man. He’s only had a few of these breakdowns.”
“I understand” said the one in the tweed jacket looking at the librarian and then looking at Terrence. He then turned back to the librarian to shake his hand. “Damien Gossage. I teach black history at Seattle U. I just found out that he used to be a writer. Southern Fork is one of the great lost memoirs of the black migration, and I wanted to see the man in person.”
“Jim Watford. I heard he used to be a writer but he would get unstable if he’d tell me. I’ve heard stories about him and how He fell on hard times, but I’ve never seen him use here, and I’ve seen people use. “
“Kimani Wallace, “said the one in the Dashiki, shaking his hand. “I run soul people coffee house. We just found brother Shannon, and want to give him the right networks. See if we can get some medicine and get his mind working again” he then quickly and sharply turned to Terrence ” HEY BROTHER! I see you are making my man nervous. What’s you deal.”
“Do you have any business with Brother Shannon.” Said Damien.
Terrence looked at his father, his mouth wide open and right index finger pointing at him “The spirits have come for me” Rodney Sr said
“The Brother SAID to you have any business brother Shannon” said Kimani.
Terrence gave a shrug “I’m with Rap Maandeliske” he said. “I have a piece to finish”
The hill from the library to the east end projects is steep; but Terrence hid his lack of lung power. Damien and Kimani walked him home very slowly. They crossed and went left on every other block while trying to talk to him about his past. Through condominums next to boarded houses and hole in the wall food joints, they peppered him with bullet points about his history.
“Brother Shannon” said Damien. “your story- how you got out of the Jim crow south, how you acquired knowledge, how you fought for your people to have representations of themselves-that can help a lot of black men”
“and it’s not over” said Kimani as they got to the top of the hill on 19th and Martin Luther king Boulevard “ it doesn’t have to be over.”
“I can’t think anymore” Said Rodney
“Let’s see if you can get your mind working if you get the right medicine” said Kimani
“no no …it’s my fault.” Rodney responded
“Brother, it’s the dynamics of the era. Nobody knew how the crack game would harm people”. Said Damian.
“Nobody knew what crack was “Said Kimani.
They got to the intersection of 19th and Hillcrest, the one Terrence went to catch the city bus to take him to Nisqually as a kid. He had faint memories of this place in the day time: the block had its midnight to 6 energy blackouts and his routine-in catching the 5:10 bus-was to strain to see enough light from the downtown skyline to get to the bus stop. He remembered those winters, walking on a sheen of frost that made every step seem like he was wearing tap shoes in an ice rink, balancing himself with his calf ligaments while taking perilously slow steps hidden from the downtowns off white glow. The rows of rickety houses that he did remember didn’t gradually improve and blend into the suburbs of division street as much as they stood out like a patchwork quilt of re-models.
“I ain’t shit” said Rodney . They turned into hillcrest. In place of the playground and the basketball court in the middle of the buildings was a field and a series of stones to take a form of a cross. Rodney Sr pointed to it
“is that what you take care of, Brother Shannon” said Kimani. Rodney Sr nodded.
“what a thing you are doing for the community, taking care of the monument of the people who have fallen. You are doing some penance here” said
“I ain’t shit” said Rodney Sr, looking at Terrance
“It hurts me to hear you talk about that elder. Do you know how many people have come back from?”
“I ain’t shit, boy. I know I ain’t shit boy” He said, shaking his hands and crying in a voice voice higher than Terence could ever remember from him” “. I know I ain’t nothing. I know I fucked me over! I fucked my life over I did. I lost my job, my wife, every friend I ever had.”
Terrence looked on the sidewalk was shocked to see the water on his cheeks. For a second, he struggled to remember if he ever saw him cry ” Look at me, boy,” Rodney said, pointing to him. “ look at me. I ain’t nothing. Ever since I touched that pipe, I ain’t been nothing. I know I ain’t been nothing.”
Terrence looked at his father face to face. Though it was clearer than he could remember he could see the underlying scars in that covered his face
“What’s your deal, man.” said Damien “Are you his “
“it ain’t his boy” said Kimani “ His boy is a crackhead in the nuthouse. This nigga is just some contrarian asshole”
“I’m the asshole” he turned to the two men “ I’m the asshole I’m the asshole I’m the asshole. I’m tired of being the asshole. I’m tired of putting everything on Alabama and the election. I go…I go to the library every day. You know, they got those posters of famous black folks to let the kids know they can be somebody. And I was looking at a picture of Sonia Sanchez” he paused, looked away and looked back at me “And I forgot her name. I taught a class on her for 8 years. And my brain is so smoked out that I always forget her name. Worse off, there are days I can’t even recall I used to teach, That I had a life of the mind. I have lost the right to be a man. I am not a black warrior, an educator, a leader of men. I am a monster”
“But we can help you, brother.” Said Kimani “ That was years ago. We can help you.”
“ You can’t help me” said Rodney “ because I’m dead.
The men stopped 50 feet in front of his house. “Brother. Brother” said Damien. “ You ain’t lost, you just gone. You just far gone, man. Come on back.”
“I’m dead “ said Rodney “and the spirit has come to get me.” He put his hands out to Terrence, chest together, like a prisoner.
“ Brother what is wrong” said Damien
“ you are very very much alive and we want to help you” said Kimani“ You just broke your brain and you need to come back to the world. Come back to the world, Elder.”
“No no, I am dead and I am in purgatory.” Said Rodney Sr. “ I died the night after my boy died. I was smoking down by the docks with my boys and the devil came to me. I was passing the pipe around not thinking of nothing with Clarence my good time buddy. See I had thought I had kept Clarence and his boys around in honor of my past, the niggas who were there for me when I was a bestselling intellectual and stayed down with me when I had fell to the gutter.
“But that night we were all smoking and talking that big shit, and Clarence said, I heard your boy hung himself. I just thought it was bullshit and passed the pipe around, and Clarence lit the pipe and I saw the devil. I saw his crimson black face, I saw the most intense features I ever seen, and I saw the fire. I saw burning and burning cauldrons in his eyes and me and all the niggas I was hanging out with burning in them. I saw myself in eyes in the fire, crying, crying to get out, crying ‘Father I stretch my hands to thee’ but the sky played every time I put my hands on my woman and my babies. I got up and got out of the room and I heard his voice, so heavy, so twistedly choral intense and dark “ Your baby done hung himself nigga” he said and I looked and all the partners in the room were gone and it was just me and Clarence, and his —”
“Brother, brother” said Kimani ” let’s take you to a center : We need you to get you to a place where you can heal, where you can mend.”
“No no it’s fine. I’m not crazy. All my partners said I was crazy because I saw the devil in Clarence. They told me how not fun was and how I wasn’t the life of the party no more but I couldn’t be what i was. All them banker niggas and old ass factory niggas just going to houses chasing rock after rock. I couldn’t do that anymore. I heard the devil’s voice in tone in everything.”
“but the devil ain’t here.” said Damien ” We ain’t the devil. You are a writer who is about come up and who deserves attention to car”
“you can come back brother”
“But I can’t come back” he said “ I can’t come back. I cheated the ancestors. When I picked cotton and was left for nothing as a boy, my aunties told me to believe in the spirits. The women who would pick cotton with me, who would pick the cotton I was too young to pick, who tended and took care for me when no one else would. They told me believe in the spirits because we didn’t have nothing else. And I didn’t have nothing else. But I had this need to escape through books. And I just listened to the spirts and they told me that books could keep me, and I rode with what they taught me I listened and read and read and read until it got me out of there. Until it got me to the college. Until it got me to the bestseller and the nice condominium”
“Mr. Shannon” said Terrence “I’m from Rap Maandeliske. Did the spirits give you your family?”
“But I stopped listening to them.” He said, ignoring him “I stopped hearing my channels. I got the bestseller and I thought I had to be a nationalist institutional man. I wasn’t supposed to believe in old folklore shit, I was supposed to believe in revolution! I had to believe in rationalism I had to ignore the white man’s spirits because I had to be a nation man. So, I ignored the spirits. I ignored what the aunties told me. I thought I could fly by myself as a star.
But I slowly lost everything. The tide of the school turned against me. The campaign failed. All these warning. The spirits were giving me all these warnings. And I didn’t listen, I was a god. And then I smoked and became a monster. I raged. I hurt my baby I hurt my child. And the spirits sent me to hell”
Terrence started laughing and Kimani pushed Him ” Nigga you are crazier than he is”.
“Listen, you just need to rest, man, “ said Damien to Rodney. He turned to Terrence “ Brotha, you need to leave. I don’t like the way you are working this elder’s nerves.”
“No no he isn’t working me. He is the spirits coming to take my debt because of my new good fortune. I know we live in the spirit world and I know the Cheryl you talked to isn’t the Cheryl I knew. Because I abused her and my women out of their head. And the Cheryl I saw saw me in the lower world not eating and not functioning and in my filth, wasn’t the real Cheryl. She was an extension of the spirits giving me room and shelter for the good I did when I was a scholar. And I tended to that. And I tend to the gravesites of the dead of the after world. I thought I could come back., and I thought I could talk to Cheryl about the past some, I thought I was of this world but she would just not even acknowledge me.
“ brother brother you are breaking my heart, man.” Said Kimani
“No, no. I tended to the gravesites for years. I believed I was a normal person and we are in the normal world like you “
“No brother we are in the normal world”
“No, you aren’t of the normal world. You are spirits. You are aspects of my best self to remind me of who I used to be before he comes to remind me of what I had done”. He said in a pitch above a whisper. I tried to do my penance with the grave sites but it wasn’t enough. I didn’t use. I kept me a low profile as the groundskeeper. I’ve been doing it for 7 years. But I still can’t escape my shit. I try to not be seen, but these white kids with money that come in here says nice things to me. It sets the people that used to know me as a junkie in a rage. When I’m healthy I try to go to the library and read some of the books I love, but I can’t hold concentration together. I thought it was me being a drunk and ex junkie but I also know it’s god punishing me for Sarah and my oldest. And you, spirit. It’s god punishing me for what I did to you.”
“Are you his boy?” Said Kimani.
“The last month I’ve been so stressed that I honestly don’t want to go out at all. I was so scared this day would come” Said Rodney Sr. “Music journals from Seattle and Vancouver found me here. They bombard me with these questions about me and my life and I don’t recognize the person they are talking to. White boys offering me deals again. One white boy offered me a recommendation at a school to get me to teach again. And my baby is gone. And my babies are gone. And I might as well have killed them.
Rodney stumbled toward Terrence ” You can take me to hell now, spirit.“
“Nigga just who the fuck are you?” said Damien
“He is the ghost of my second dead son.” Said Rodney SR “ My second dead son who OD’d. Please have mercy on me, ghost. I didn’t mean to ever become me when I first got high . But I thought my worlds was ending. Ending. I lost the election. I was losing my teaching job, I was going to be homeless, I couldn’t take care of my family , and nobody was going to give me a goddamn break because I wasn’t a tenured academic. Conservatives at the school were coming for me. And I remember going to the community center and seeing the old heads in the corner. Every day I went by those niggas smoking they little pipe. Decrepit old playas fucking around by the garbage can, telling me “Hey nigga, we just getting fucked up” And every Sunday I would shoo off, tell em to stay away from the kids. But one day I was in so much pain…so much pain. I looked at them, glazed, stupid, not a care in the goddamn world, and I wanted to be like em. For a second….I wanted to be that happy…I wanted to get “fucked upp
“I was out of my head, sprit. I had given everything to that community and stretched my hands to white folks as far as I possibly could. I had built their black studies department from nothing but the regions of my mind, and they were going to take it away because I didn’t have proper accreditation. They didn’t give a good goddamn about accreditation when I led the protests for the studies department and they gave me the job as a Joke, but after 9 years of me doing something, 9 years of holding those classes in the janitor’s lounge, 9 years of me building it up, they wanted proper accreditation.
“So, I escaped. I escaped from my woman my babies and my life. I know I ain’t shit, spirit. I will never have ascended to the above spirit world. Ever since I had heard that Rodney hung himself, I know I was sent to the fallen places of hell .I am a fallen man who is being punished for my sins, and I understand that. But please sir, please have mercy on me
“Mr. Shannon” said Terrence “ I…”
“I don’t use, I don’t mess with people and I keep the monument tidy. Please don’t send me to the burning world. “
“nigga for the last time, who are you” said Kimani
“Mr. Shannon.” Said Terrence,
“what’s your name, nigga!” said Damien
“And I just want to know, how you are dealing with the new-found success and interest in your life.” Terence said ignoring him “ Your ex has died, your son has died , do you feel alone in your triumphs?
“oh with this bullshit “ said Kimani, getting in his face “ You contrarian woke niggas don’t know a goddamn thing about history, creatives or art. You don’t know the demons back geniuses face. You don’t know the prices a writer has to pay to make it and you damn sure don’t know what the nigga had to go through to get here “ to which Terrence laughed and pranced around.
“This nigga is as gone as brother Shannon” said Damien
“ But for what cause” said Kimani ” Have you read this book? Did you know what he went through in his life to be here? I’m not saying this nigga is a saint. I’m saying he’s done good in his life and does good for his community. Can’t he have a chance to do good for his community again?”
“I would like him to answer the question” said Terrence, before cackling in a guttural tone.
“But it’s a leading question” Said Kimani “ and I’m damm sure the nigga on crack at this moment is you.”
“Brother. Or whatever writer you are, let me tell you something.” Said Damien, now in his face “Creators are flawed. You can’t judge a man’s actions back then by today’s standards, and you can’t act like he hasn’t done some”
“Please don’t take me demon” said Rodney Jr
“All right brother we’re gonna take you to bed so you can rest” said Kimani
“Give me a chance to pay my penance to at least not live in the world of fire”
“Brother, you have been through so much, you just need to sleep and get your right said” Damien “ the things you have been through”
Just then Terrence snapped. He went toward him got in his face, played the game, and hissed “ I lied. I liked I am the dead demon son. I was there with the seraphs when you hit your son with a cognac bottle. I was there when you were yelling at your son all those times on MLK. I was the spirit that animated Clarence’s face to tell you your youngest child had died and I am here to.
Just then Damien punched him, knocking him on the ground. He grabbed him picked him up and drug him next to the tree thirty yards by a cliff. “That’s enough, you crazy bougie nigga”
Obvlious to the pain, Terrence laughed and screamed out loud “Why you so sad, old man?” he said “You gonna make a comeback out of the Assassins, huh? I They’re gonna do the NWA psycho fake protest bullshit, and pretend that their psycho killer records had some poignancy. White folks and Niggas are going to eat it up. And you’re gonna turn out the best out of all of us. All these rich radicals will think you a sad beleaguered scholar broken because of activism? Your fighting the system. And you can blame everything on…” Just then Damien punched him again knocking his head against the oak and by curled by the grass above the roots.
Terrence lay there, hearing his father moan and Damien and Kimani rant inaudibly. His left eye was burning and swollen. In the hours, he had just laid there, turning with his Right to see Kimani and Damien setting chairs up and helping his father out in the garden. He remembered the garden shed on the side as a shed where only crackheads slept. The movements of the people there would startle him every morning when he would go past it on the way to school; so much so that he braced himself every dawn when he had to walk by. He bristled with rage, then remembered the drug he was addicted to for the last 7 years.
He looked at his father, in the midst, in the dirt, only seeable in the streetlight but very visible in a gentrified development garden, tending to a row of greens as if he had seen the last scene in The Color Purple and thought if it as some sort of life hack. He stayed out and on the ground till nightfall and the sound of the chain link fence opening, he turned to see crowds of young people wearing the garb one could suspect in a black spoken word coffee house. The street lights went on, one by one, and he remembered how aunt Cheryl would compare them to the lights of the Apollo when the Temptations would come on the stage. Terence thought of her when he saw them at the casino next to a Christian convention that Helen and he skipped; and though they seemed like feeble imitations, he went there for her and the lights went on exactly like she said he did. He turned and his father had gone into the shed. He went across the mulch and opened the door to find him on the plastic floor in a fetal position, praying and looking to the sky
The kids had filled the field and were surrounded by the brother in a da-shiki, a fire was lit, and 5 or six men were playing drum. “spirits who you are, fathers who have guided is, rivers over my fathers, rivers in my fathers, pray for brother Rodney. Give him the courage to come back and come to give to us. Spirts, Fathers establish your good guiding hand to keep him the way his book kept us. The way the spirts of the elders kept him before, spirits come to the brother again.”
“Spirits lift up the assassins who are speaking brutal truths of oppression and what it can do the community. Lift them to focus and lift the black community to see these brothers through and see these brothers to glory and to represent their community to the fullest.”
As the crowd started to exhort and chant, Terrence got up to try and interrupt them. He walked to the fire they had started in a garbage can. He thought of screaming at them that he was their motherless child, the ghost of death past or future, and that he was here to scare them into being black republicans. He wondered how many what he could do if he spun his head around and quoted supply side economic He stated to rush them. He instinctively grabbed his wallet to find a picture, memento or something of his mother, and remembered what he done. He realized that he would have nothing to prove in his vigilance of her. That he had denied her as well as his father. That he had cursed her when he wrote the papers about abolishing black studies. That he had denied her name and every tie to her and became just as much of a junkie as he was.
He sunk his head and looked at his father, still there in the shed. Across the fire, they locked eyes. He waved his hand softly and Terrence waved his, then kneeled down and collapsed.
At about midnight Terrence could open both his eyes. He looked at Cheryl’s apartment at the front of the building and saw the new sidings were burnt red instead of brown. Her management complex was unnamed, surrounded by plastic brush upon real brush, that encompassed the back of projects on the hill. He looked and saw her light was off, and thinking she was asleep, thought to call an uber to the hotel.
Laying on the ground, seeing small speckled of light in the clear sky, Terrence ran the story that he would tell aunt Cheryl: I was a scared child. Abandoning you was the callus on his soul that has scarred my 20’s. My success as a black conservative is marked by his subsequent failure in almost everything else. I am a a lonely, lonely man with nothing but a jones and my girlfriend’s money. I can’t turn back time, I understand this . I understand that you don’t want anything to do with me for the rest of my days.
Just then he felt a soft kick on his leg that startled him ” Mister. Mister” said a young woman.” Mrs Cheryl says she ain’t gonna call the cops on you, but you got to get your ass home.” She was wearing two black robes, and a shower cap that bundled her long-processed hair.
“I’m sorry to bother you. Is Cheryl here, I come in peace.”
“Cheryl don’t want to hear about no damn Assassins tonight, man. ”
“No no please. I owe her an apology.”
“I help take care of her at the church from when she had the stroke. You and these niggas are the fifth group of motherfuckers this week on Mrs Sheryl’s door
Terrence’s face went pale. “A stroke? Is she okay? I have access to money”
“Are you going to school, do you need help with school? I can help pay. I used to be her family until I turned her away” she turned his back on him and went back to the Cheryl’s apartment. “Do you need to go to a better school? I used to go to Nisqually prep. I could make some phone calls for you. ”
She went inside then came out, with the same box aunt Cheryl tried to give him at the train station. She sat down in on the ground front of him, her face half brown and black in the shadow of the light, and he waited for her to say something. A slight gust of wind ruffled the drapes of her apartment. He nodded as if to ask if he could come in. The sister emphatically nodded no and put her hands on her shoulders”
“Listen, sister, I want you to know that I know I’m nothing. I know you know about the assassins and my reputation, and the way they talk about me is wrong, their substance is right. I have some money but I’m nothing. I made my lot and threw my family away under circumstance. Whatever you do in life, please don’t measure it by monetary gain. I have a monkey on my back. I turned on my loved one when she needed me. I’m gonna go, but here is my number. If you need any money, sister.”
“Her name is J’nessa” said Cheryl.