Saturday, July 15
“Hello?” I answered my phone without looking to see who was calling because I knew it was probably only my aggy ass best friend at this time of night. I opened up my packet of soy sauce with my teeth and then poured it over my food.
“What your homey ass doing?” Adrian, or Diego as he was called around the way, asked.
“About to kill this crab lo mein I got from Eddie’s.” I mixed my noodles around before taking a big ass bite.
“Fat ass,” he clowned me and I shrugged as if he could see me. Always a hater in the crew. “I heard there’s a party going down in Fairlawn tonight. Come roll with me.”
“Cause nigga I don’t want to go out and it’s probably some kiddie shit.” I stuffed another fork full into my mouth as I picked up my remote and turned on Netflix. I had been meaning to watch this one documentary and tonight seemed like the night.
“Alright bet,” he said and the call ended. I threw my phone down and went to go unlock my front door because I already knew what would happen next. I wasn’t even back on the couch good enough before Adrian did his signature knock and came bursting into my apartment. Cons of living in the same building of a close friend is that they think they can just pop up when the fuck ever. “We leaving in thirty minutes,” he announced coming up and looking in my bag to see what else I had ordered ‘cause he knew that I didn’t just get one thing when I went to Eddie Yums… which was often cause ain’t nobody got time to be behind a stove. “So you might want to change cause you look like a bum.”
“You leaving in 30. Ima be right here looking like a bum.”
He just nodded and grabbed an eggroll, putting half of it into his mouth before pulling out some kush and then rolling it up.
About an hour later we were getting out of his car and was about to start walking up to the party but got distracted cause some nigga’s Diego knew were shooting dice out on the sidewalk leading up to the house a couple houses down from the party and his ass just had to join in. I propped my ass up on the hood of his car and got comfortable ‘cause I wasn’t about to go in the party – I already didn’t want to go to – by myself and besides I’d rather watch my nigga take these dudes money like it’s nothing.
I was in my own world vibing, lying back on the hood of the car, because I had hit another blunt when I saw a car pull up and park in the middle of the street like he owned the shit. I didn’t pay it any mind until another pulled up shortly thereafter parking not too far behind the first. I looked up in time to see the dudes exchanged words quickly and the first one that was there went to his trunk and then headed towards the house. Sitting up a bit more, I jumped down off the car just as Diego reached out for me as he came back over.
“Let’s hit up the party.” He stuffed the money he had won into his pockets and started down the sidewalk.
“Wait,” I said just as we got closer to the house. “I think some shit about to go down.”
“Why?” he asked as a few girls walked out of the house.
“I can’t believe your brother is making us leave!” this one girl said loudly to the other two.
“I’m sure there has to be a reason,” another one said as they got into the second car after passing us by.
I looked at Diego just as his phone went off and I saw that Kayona was calling him. I rolled my eyes a bit. I didn’t have an issue with his girl but she didn’t fuck with me so that rubbed me the wrong way because I had never been disrespectful to her or their relationship. He answered and stepped off to the side a bit to probably get away from the party noise as I leaned up against a car, waiting for some shit to go down cause I just knew it would.
About a few minutes later, Diego had walked further down the block and dude from earlier that pulled up second was walking out and pushing out some other guy who favored him. I pushed myself off the car about to walk back down to Diego’s – because I wasn’t going in this party – when gunshots rang out and on instinct I crouched down for a second as I whipped my head around to see people hauling ass coming from the party. Standing back up, I shook my head because this is why I hated coming to shit like this.
Diego yelled my name and I looked back to let him know I was good and then when I turned back around my eyes fell onto dude who I was sure had something to do with what had just happened. Not hiding my gaze as he walked by, I finally realized I knew who he was. I didn’t actually know him but Kacey, my other best friend, had a file with info on just about every major drug dealer in the DMV and I had somewhat been studying it because I would be doing business with a lot of them now that Kace was definitely going to prison. I couldn’t remember his name but I knew he was the nigga that ran the Highlands.
“Let’s roll,” Diego said snapping me back into reality as he gripped me by my elbow. I turned in his direction as we headed back to his car with people still running crazily past us as if the gun shots ain’t stop. I was so use to this shit now that once I see they ain’t in my direction, then I’m good.
I had been living in Ward 8 of DC for 5 years and I had probably seen it all and after a while you really do get use to it and you either can handle it or you’re constantly fearing your life. Me, personally, I really didn’t worry too much. If it was my time to go, it was my time to go but I wasn’t going to be walking around scared. That being said, my defenses were really never down and I had learned to stay very aware of my surroundings thanks to Kace who had taught me everything I knew about life in the hood because though I had become accustomed to this environment, I didn’t grow up in it. Now it was like second nature to me and I loved every bit of it.
“Wassup baby?” I answered as I stepped away from Devin.
“Where you at since you can’t text me back?” My annoying ass girlfriend, Kayona, asked me.
“Just got done shooting dice, but I’m about to slide through this party what’s up?” I scanned my surroundings.
“What’s up is, I don’t like how you’re ignoring me. And what party? You ain’t tell me about a party.”
I shook my head. She stay reaching. “Ignoring you?” I laughed. “Baby I just left your house this morning, and we been texting all day. The party over in fairlawn, pull up.”
Watch she shut my ass down. “Ummmm so what, you haven’t replied since almost three hours ago. You must be with Devin that’s the only time you really ignore me. And you know damn well I don’t do parties.”
I ignored her lie about not going to parties because her ass stayed at one while on campus or whenever she was with her girls. The real reason she was bugging out had to do with Devin. “Why you always bringing her into something?” I asked.
“You know I don’t trust her. I don’t understand why you feel like you need to be around her so much. Ain’t that much friendship in the world.”
I ran my hand down my face and groaned. “You not about to blow my high so I’ll talk to you later.” She stayed on this bullshit.
“Adrian you better not ha—”
I slide my phone back into my pocket and turned to Devin just as shots rang out from the house. Ducking down behind a random car I went to reach for my own and instantly got an attitude when I realized I had left it in my car. Fuck.
“Devin!” I called out right as my eyes met hers and relief ran over me. I know her ass gon’ chew my ass off like this shit my fault.
“Fun party,” she smirked as I pulled off as the sound of sirens in the distance drowned out my music.
“Don’t start,” I laughed, “I was just trying to enjoy my Saturday.”
She rolled her eyes. “We could’ve stayed in and watched the firestick for all this.”
“Everyone doesn’t want to stay trapped in the house like you do.” I glanced over at her as I pulled up to a light. Dev loved that homebody shit but with me as her favorite person, I managed to get her out every so often by force.
“Nothing wrong with staying home.”
“What else is there to do?” I asked, ignoring her last comment. Looking over as a car pulled up beside me, rolling down the passenger window a familiar face smiled back at me.
“Hey Diego baby!”
“What’s good AV!?”
“Hey Devin!” She waved. Avery, or AV as she was called, was a little cocoa cover beauty from around the way she was cool peoples and she had no shame when it came to flirting with me. She also kept a nigga with the freshest shoes since she worked at the sneaker spot. “What y’all doing tonight?”
“Just coming from Fairlawn looking to get into something. Why? What y’all about to do?” I asked noticing her other friends in the car.
The light changed and she called out, “I’ma text you!”
Devin cleared her throat. “Weeee about to go home!”
“Sure mom.” I pulled into a gas station shortly after to run in and grab something to drink and a wrap for this blunt. At least the weed would cheer my little homebody up as I read the text from AV.
“Soooooo,” I dragged as I got back into the car. “Kickback over in Douglass? This one is our age I promise.” I laughed. Completely unaware that the party in Fairlawn had a good amount of young ass kids.
“Do I have a choice?” Devin looked over at me.
“Nah but still.” I shrugged, as I peeled out the gas station and headed over to the address AV had given me.
Sunday, July 16th
I had maybe been asleep for twenty minutes or maybe it was two hours – it all felt like nothing to me these days – when I felt someone shaking me awake.
“Cici,” My friend, Serena, said calling out my name as I felt her hand on my shoulder again, lightly shaking me.
“Hm,” I mumbled.
“Sorry to wake you boo but my mom just called and said they’re coming back in a couple hours instead of tomorrow afternoon.”
“Okay. I’ll be up in a second.” Serena left me alone in the guest room and it took about ten minutes before I tricked myself into getting out of the bed.
Groaning a bit, I dragged my feet over to the portable crib that my little munchkin was sound asleep in. She – well we – had a rough night. She just wouldn’t sleep and was so fussy. I almost went to the hospital because I didn’t know if something was wrong but finally she settled down and dozed off. Probably from tiring her own self out.
Every time I looked at her I wanted to pinch myself. I still couldn’t believe that she was mine. That I was someone’s mother. And as hard as these last four months had been since she was born, I wouldn’t change the decision I had made to keep her even though it meant I had lost just about everything I had known and dreamed of. But Karsyn was my new everything.
About an hour later, I was dressed and downstairs eating a large bowl of fruit with Serena.
“I’m sorry again. I can’t believe they’re coming back earlier than they said.”
I waved her off. “It’s all good. I’ve overstayed my welcome already.” Serena’s parents had gone on a 14 day cruise to Alaska and they were supposed to stay in Seattle where they docked from for a couple days but I guess they were tired and ready to get back home. Serena hadn’t gone because she was doing an internship this summer. So she had been kind enough to let me crash for the last 15 days. I was grateful but I hadn’t found another place to go yet so I didn’t know what I was about to do when I left here.
For the last month and a half, I had literally been hopping from house to house after my funds got low from staying at hotels and airbnbs. The DMV was way more expensive then I had any idea about and the five grand my parents gave me before they cut me off was dwindling and dwindling. Luckily going to Sidwell Friends School had allowed me to be friends with people who had big houses and parents who weren’t home a lot or pool houses that their parents never went into anymore. So I had been utilizing my connections.
“Girl please. I love having y’all here! Karsyn is a little angel. But you know my mama will freak.”
“Yeah your mama is a drama queen,” I joked and we both laughed. I had been good friends with Serena for years and her mom used to adore me. But then I became known as the girl who got knocked up and now parents don’t want their perfect daughters anywhere near me. But if Serena mom only knew that Serena and most of the girls I knew from Sidwell were far from perfect. Hell, Serena was the reason I even ended up at the party where I met Karsyn’s father. “Speaking of which,” I checked the time on my phone. “I should probably get going in case they pop up even earlier.”
“Where are you going to go?”
I shrugged as I went to put my bowl into the dishwasher. “T.B.D.”
Serena frowned a bit. “Charlie I know you don’t wanna hear this but maybe you should consider going back home. I’m sure by now your parents have come to their senses. It’s been four months.”
“No. It doesn’t matter if they’ve realized how messed up they were or not. I’m not going back there. I’m going to figure this all out and hopefully get a job soon or something.” I grabbed a bottle of water out of the ‘fridge. “But I’ll be damned if I let them see me fail.”
My parents were everything to me all of my life. I knew they weren’t perfect because of other situations but I never expected them to turn their back on me. They had been my biggest supporters and were always there for me but I guess that was only as long as I was their perfect little daughter. The one that stayed at the top of her game when it came to education, sports, and everything in between. But one mistake – and clearly it was a big one – and that all went out the window and all these ultimatums were thrown my way. It was me choosing between accepting my mistake or as they said ‘fixing’ my mistake which meant either aborting or giving up my daughter. They ultimately gave me the decision of money or motherhood.
I chosed my daughter.
So with that came me losing out on graduating as Salutatorian from Sidwell because once I told my parents that I was pregnant, they forced me to finish out my senior year through homeschooling. Then though I’d gotten accepted into three Ivy leagues (Harvard, Yale, and my dream school Columbia), I had to turn down my acceptances because my parents refused to pay and really how was I supposed to attend school and be a new mother.
But I was trying my best to stay positive and know that everything would work itself out and my dreams were only temporarily on hold.
“Have you asked Kaylin for help?” She asked as I slid back onto the stool at the island. “And how have things been in general because I know it was rocky during your pregnancy.”
I rolled my eyes thinking back on the hell Kaylin put me through during my pregnancy.
Kaylin and I met at a party that Serena dragged me and a few of our other friends to on a night we were supposed to be having a girls night in. But instead we ended up going to a high school basketball playoffs game that her little boo thing was playing in (against Kaylin’s HS) and then she made us go to the after party. I didn’t party much so I was just vibin’ in a corner taking in all the wild and crazy high school kids from all over when Kaylin came bothering me. I had recognized who he was because my eyes had been on him all night at the game. Not because he was cute but because his skills on the floor were watch worthy but he had been showing off that night and made a couple dumb mistakes that I jokingly called him out on when he approached me like the jerk he was.
The fact that I knew so much about basketball seemed to grab his attention and by the end of the night we’d went from dancing, cracking jokes and taking shots together to being up in some random guestroom ripping off each others clothes. I had never had a one night stand in my short lived life prior to that but I charged it to the tequila and now I don’t drink that anymore.
By the time I woke up the next morning, Kaylin was gone like most people at the party and I was left with a little surprise when plan B failed to do its magic since the condom broke the night before.
I was halfway through my pregnancy before I even told him I was for the simple fact that I found out in the summer and the only way I could get in touch with him was to show up in person at his school because I wasn’t about to DM him on social media even after I found him on there.
So he showed his entire behind and I couldn’t even believe I had found his assholeness sexy the night we met because for the remainder of my pregnancy I really regretted ever meeting him. However he did a complete 360 once she was born and he realized she was indeed his daughter.
“Well now that he has graduated, he has her a couple times or days a week but I don’t know how things are going to work once he starts school. But he’s been good as her dad but I don’t ask him for anything.”
Serena scrunched up her face. “So you’re saying he don’t know about your living or financial situation.”
“Well when we met he called me Bands all night like a jerk after I told him I lived in Georgetown. And after I checked the meaning of ‘bands’ on urban dictionary… I’m pretty sure he assumes that I got money and live at home or something in a fancy mansion.”
“Bih, no you didn’t say urban dictionary.” She started laughing at me. “You not that damn sheltered.”
“Shut up,” I chuckled. “I had to confirm what it meant. You know Google never fails me.”
“Okay but girllllll” Serena sang cocking her head to the side.
“I know S,” I said holding my hand up to stop her. “I gotta tell him I need some help but I need to first find a place to stay and that’s priority.”
After talking to Serena some more, Karsyn and I finally packed up and headed out and now we were at one of my favorite cupcake shops, Georgetown Cupcakes, because I needed something to take the edge off. So I had ordered a half a dozen of red velvet cupcakes and we were just sitting at one of the tables while I stuffed my face and took pictures of my yellow muffin munchkin pie and sent a few of them to Kaylin as I mostly did everyday probably aggravating him.
I pulled up my bank app and checked my account. I ran my hands through my hair as I sighed.
Available balance: $732
Maybe if I lived some place like Iowa this would be fine but in DC, this probably wouldn’t even get me through a month in a roach motel. Sighing, I closed out my app and grabbed my third cupcake. I probably shouldn’t have just spent eighteen dollars on some cupcakes.