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Rated: 13+ · Novella · Thriller/Suspense · #2296349
Nolan finds the conditions of his probation overwhelming.
Chapter 3 - The Diamond
My court appointed lawyer got the intent to distribute charge dropped since I didn't have any of the tools a dealer would possess.
"Your honor, the marijuana was for his own personal use."
A line formed between the judge's eyebrows. "He was going to smoke an entire pound?"
"Yes, your honor."
The judge aimed his disapproving glare my way. I shrugged and nodded in agreement.
My lawyer also got the driving without a license charge dropped since I was only sitting in my car at the time.
"Okay, I find the defendant guilty of felonious possession of a schedule one narcotic and sentence him to six months, suspended, a two hundred dollar fine, supervised probation, and sixty hours of community service. I also order for him to resume his education."
Just before he put the hammer down, he looked at me and said, "Son, you need to get back in school."
Mama was about to lead me out of the courtroom when a tall Black lady stepped in front of us.
She smiled at Mama, extended her hand and introduced herself.
"I'm Belinda Davis. I'll be Nolan's probation officer."
"Nice to meet you, Ms. Davis."
What a nice lady, I thought. I also smiled and when I extended my hand, she placed a business card in it. Her smile disappeared as she literally looked down at me.
"My office. Three o'clock Thursday."
"So nice meeting you, Ms. Kirby."
"Thank you. You too."
I held the card and watched the tall lady walk away, her heels clicking loudly on the tile floor. Mama had a satisfied expression.
"I like her," she said.
On Thursday I was nervous sitting in the probation officer's waiting area. I didn't like the looks of her clientele. It was supposed to be juvenile probation but some of them looked like full grown adults who did nothing but lift weights.
A guy with a tattoo on his face kept staring at me. I looked at my watch and it was 4:30. She told me to be here at 3:00 and I was a half hour early just to be safe. Now it was going on two hours I sat in that small room. One by one, each kid was called in until I was sitting alone in the waiting area.
At last, she stepped out and said, "Nolan Kirby."
I felt small as I sat in front of her desk. She was reading my file and unwrapped a dum dum lollipop and placed it in her mouth. I looked around her office and saw her college diploma on the wall. There were a couple of plaques which might have been awards of some type and a filing cabinet which had seen better days. There was a picture of her in a martial arts outfit attached to the cabinet with a magnet.
She closed the folder and looked me in the eyes.
"Jefferson High School doesn't want to enroll you this late in the school year and I don't blame them. To comply with the judge's order, you can enroll in Providence Correspondence School. Here's the information."
She handed me a brochure and when I flipped it open my eyes moved to the tuition cost of sixty dollars.
"Your fine is two hundred dollars and I need to collect a minimum of ten dollars per week. Understand?"
I nodded.
"You're nodding, Nolan, but I know you can't afford that. Your Mama is working two jobs to keep a roof over your head. What are you going to do? Sell dope to come up with the money?"
I told her I'd never sold dope in my life, which was the truth because I'd been arrested before I ever got the chance.
She had a skeptical expression. "Here's the deal. I got you a part time job bagging groceries at Ferguson's Food." She handed me a post-it note. "You call this number tomorrow, ask to speak to Mr. Ferguson and tell him Belinda Davis sent you."
"Now, about these sixty hours of community service. I've arranged for you to volunteer at the public library three hours a day."
"But Nolan, that's also where I want you to do your correspondence work. I want you to be in that library every school day for the same amount of time you would be at Jefferson High School. I'm going to check on you to make sure that's where you are."
I started rubbing my temples and lowered my head. All of this was becoming overwhelming.
"Do you have a problem with any of this, Nolan?"
I was staring at the floor and shook my head.
"Look at me, Nolan."
I complied.
"If you run into problems following up with any of this, you come to me. Do you understand?"
"If you blow off any of this, if you don't take this seriously, I'll revoke you and you'll spend six months at Robert E. Lee Detention. Do you know who's at Robert E. Lee?"
I shook my head.
"Did you like the looks of those boys you spent the afternoon with in the waiting room?"
"That's who you'll be living with at Robert E. Lee. Boys like that."
I felt the walls closing in on me and all I wanted to do was get out of there.
"Nolan, listen to me. This is the most important thing. If you're in any trouble, call me first."
My head was spinning as I pedaled my bicycle away from the Junction Heights courthouse. A new job. Correspondence school. Community service. A fine.
A wave of anxiety washed over me and I headed to Extra Space self-storage. I checked the money and I was down to four stacks of twenties which added up to about eight thousand dollars. I wanted to take the money and run away, however my Civic would be easy to trace.
This meant I'd need to buy a different car and I realized eight thousand dollars wasn't enough to go on the run. That's when I started thinking about the diamonds Grandpa left me. I couldn't remember what he said about them so I opened the briefcase and reviewed the letter.
"You'll notice the diamonds are not necessarily large, but it is the clarity that makes them so valuable. Find a reputable jeweler to certify the diamond before trying to sell it. And only sell one at a time! You'll draw suspicion if you show up with more than one of these."
I opened the velvet sack and fished out one of the diamonds and put it in the little tiny upper pocket of my jeans. That's when I remembered about the diamonds that fell beneath the dresser and made a mental note to bring a flashlight next time.
Running away was definitely on my to-do list but I wasn't ready. I needed more money. The next day I called Mr. Ferguson and told him I needed a job and Belinda Davis had recommended me. He told me to report to the store at five o'clock the next day.
That night I held the diamond up to my bedside light and stared at it. It was indeed the shiniest stone I'd ever seen. It sparkled so brightly that it seemed to generate light rather than simply reflect it.
I had no idea what a diamond was worth. Grandpa told me to find a "reputable jeweler," so the next morning I took it to Honest Eddie's Gun and Pawn Store.
I was disappointed when Eddie studied it with his loupe beneath a bright light and began laughing.
"Nice try, kid. There's no color. It's too clear. It's cubic zirconia."
"So, what's it worth?"
Eddie studied it with his loupe. "Ten dollars maybe."
There had to be a mistake. Grandpa may have been a criminal, but he was a good one. They wouldn't have locked him up for life unless he knew what he was doing. Maybe Honest Eddie wasn't the right person for this job.
Mr. Ferguson showed me how to clock in and clock out. He showed me how to bag groceries so that I didn't smash the bananas or bread. It was really boring work and I rode my bicycle home in the dark when my shift was over.
The next day I filled out the application for Providence Correspondence School and selected Art Appreciation as my elective. I got a money order at the post office to pay my tuition.
I wanted to keep Belinda Davis happy. I intended to comply with everything she ordered, right up to the moment I would disappear.
I decided to get another opinion on the diamond and took it to J.J. Blinks Jewelry in the Cloverdale Mall. The jeweler was a lanky guy in a tan suit and as he studied the stone, I watched him gasp and swallow.
"Where did you get this?"
My first instinct was to lie. "My grandmother."
The jeweler seemed to be in another world as he studied the diamond under the light. It was as if he'd never seen anything like it before. He asked me to wait at the counter as he stepped away. He said he needed some type of measuring instrument but I found out minutes later it was a lie.
Drumming my fingers on a showcase, I noticed none of the diamond rings for sale displayed prices. I was anxious to find out how much mine was worth. I glanced up in a security mirror and was puzzled when I saw the lanky jeweler walking out into the mall area. Where's he going with my diamond?
I turned to get a better look and saw him waving down the mall cop. The jeweler was holding the diamond in the palm of one hand and pointing at me with the other. I couldn't hear what they were saying but I didn't like their suspicious glares.
The mall cop hoisted up the waist of his trousers and marched in my direction. I decided not to stick around and bolted out of the store and out into the cavernous mall corridors.
The cop shouted at me, "STOP, YOUNG MAN!"
All eyes were on me as I sprinted away from the jewelry store.

End of chapter three.

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