The following is Chapter 4 of my soon to be released book titled "An Unspoken Struggle"
Tuesday June 16
It felt like the drive to the hospital took forever. It was weird riding in the front seat of a cop car. I never thought that would happen to me. This cop was cool; he helped me find Daunte's room. He told the nurses that I was family so that they would let me in to see him. Before I walk into his room one of the nurses pulls me aside. She’s a young girl but still older than me, she's probably in her mid-twenties.
“The first thing that you should know Andre is that although Daunte is going to survive he does need to be hospitalized for at least a couple of days. He was very lucky that both of the bullets went straight through his left shoulder. Another bullet grazed the same arm. We had to sedate him because he became uncontrollable, he ripped out one IV and was trying to walk out. So don’t be alarmed if he isn’t very coherent it’s normal. If he is able to communicate I need you to convince him to stay here.” I understand what she’s trying to do but Daunte is every bit as stubborn as I am. At the end of the day he’s going to do what he wants to do. I guess that it can’t hurt to try. These people know more about what he needs than either one of us. Hopefully I can get him to see that.
“I’ll see what I can do ma’am, thank you.” I tried brace myself for the worst that way I won’t be shocked by what I’m about to see. He doesn’t even appear to be conscious. He’s on oxygen and has bandages covering his left shoulder and the rest of his arm above the elbow. I was ready to just turn around and leave until I heard Daunte trying to say something. He speaks slow and soft as if it’s taking a lot out of him to have to speak.
“Andre, call my cousin, Hector did it.” He starts coughing and blood comes flying out of his mouth. The nurse that was talking to me before comes into the room in a hurry and leads me back out to the hallway. Another two nurses come in behind us as I am walking out the door. I try to plead with her to let me stay but she isn’t having it.
“Just go home, your friend is going to be all right. The only thing that he needs right now is rest. I have to get back in there. Call tomorrow and someone will be able to tell you if Daunte is up to having visitors yet.” I have no choice but to leave. Making a scene will just get security down here and then I’ll be back in handcuffs. I’m not calling Mookie tonight, it’s two in the morning and I have to get up early for Allies cousins funeral. I’ll call Mookie afterwards and then we can take care of this. All I can do is call Allie and ask her to pick me up. Hopefully she didn’t go home and she waited for me at my house.
“Hey baby, yeah I’m fine and Daunte is going to be all right. He’s fucked up right now but he’ll be good in a few days. Can you come pick me up I’m stuck up here at Mercy. Yeah I’ll be outside waiting for you, thanks baby, bye.” I made a promise to Allie about going to the funeral with her and I intend on keeping it.
Before I know it she’s here and I can’t wait to get home. The first thing she does when I get in the car is hand me a blunt. She doesn’t smoke anymore but she used to so she knows how to roll up. I light up the blunt before I say anything to her. It wasn’t intentional but I just spent close to six hours at the police station not knowing anything about what’s going on. I’m pretty stressed out right now and this blunt is hitting the spot. I have so much shit on my mind I would probably end up cussing her out if we did have a conversation right now. Not because she would do or say anything wrong but because I have a nasty habit of taking out my problems on the people that don’t deserve it.
I finished the blunt a few minutes before we got to the house. We go inside and sit on the couch. I grab my pistol off the coffee table; Allie must have been scared and got it out just in case. I cock back my pistol and turn off the safety. If they want to bring that bullshit over here I’ll be ready. Allie gently grabs the pistol and slowly takes it out of my hand. We make our way back to the bedroom so we can at least get a little bit of sleep before the funeral. Allie is asleep after maybe ten minutes at the most. I’d like to sleep but I just have too much shit on my mind. Maybe tomorrow after it’s all over I’ll be able to get some rest.
The funeral was somber to say the least. I did the best I could to just go along with everything. No one really had much to say, who could blame them? Words won’t change anything and that’s the cold hard truth. I’ve never seen so many people crying like this. I’ve lost my share of people and crying about it never once crossed my mind. Some people might say that I’m cold hearted and there allowed to have their little simple-minded opinions. Just because I don’t show my tears doesn’t mean that they’re not there.
The more I think about it the more I realize that she had to have seen that brick in the house when I was at the station. So when we pull up to the house I decide to clear the air before we say our goodbyes.
“The dope that you saw at the house. That shit was fronted to me so don’t go around talking about it. That’s my life right now, that’s our life. It is our present and our future. I love you but you know that I can’t just sit around here all day. Rent will be due in a couple of weeks so I got to make this money.” After everything she’s been through today, I knew that she wouldn’t be in the mood to argue with me.
“It’s all right I understand. You know I’m just not comfortable around that shit. Just call me and please be careful I don’t want to have go through this again because you got yourself killed. Don’t you see what this life is going to do you?” It took some time but I was finally able to calm her down. I’ve been out here for the last thirty-five minutes trying to convince her not to worry about me. At the end of the day I know what I have to do and I can’t let this petty shit fuck that up.
The last thing she said to me was “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” I don’t want to read too much into it. She is probably just overwhelmed by everything that’s been happening. Although I act like the funeral didn’t faze me. You’d have to be the dead one to not feel something from seeing so much heartbreak in one small church.
I wont lie, there were times during the funeral service that I knew if I had allowed myself to I would have probably lost my composure. The hardest thing was watching his dad and seeing how torn up he was. His mom was so distraught that she could barely walk she just kept falling to the ground and crying hysterically. This isn’t something that I am used to being exposed to. I’ve always been told that showing your emotions means that you’re weak. Weak people get their shit taken. Considering that I barely have any possessions as it is. If you do try to take something from me you’re going to have to take it out of my cold dead hands, I’d rather be dead then a victim. Either you’re going to die for your principals or you’re going to live for nothing, since I can’t seem to do anything to please the world, I’m going to live for myself. There’s never any disappointment if you approach all that you do by expecting nothing in return. If you do it for yourself you can spread it to the rest of the world. I’d like to help her but I can’t even help myself. Right now she needs time to grieve and I am no counselor. I got enough on my own plate right now.
I left my cell phone at home; I didn’t feel right about bringing it to the funeral. Despite Allie’s insisting, I still felt in my heart that it would have been disrespectful. Obviously the first thing I did when I walked through my front door was to get my phone and call up Mookie. That way I can figure out what’s going on with Daunte.
“Hey what’s up Mook? This is Andre, yeah Daunte’s boy. What do you mean what do I want, nobody told you? Hector shot him up last night, three times. He emptied the whole clip but luckily he can’t shoot for shit. Yeah he’s going to be all right. You already know I will, call me when you’re on your way. Yeah I can get some soft, it’s eight hundred an ounce. Yeah it’s some fire, the same shit Daunte got you yesterday. Yeah my dude has got plenty of it.” It’s hard to believe that Mookie doesn’t know anything but he better figure something out by the time he comes over to get his dope. I’m not going to sell him the shit if he doesn’t. I don’t care if it is sixteen hundred dollars. Someone just tried to kill his cousin, I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be worried about his money but it shouldn’t be the only thing on his mind.
A lot of people don’t realize that selling drugs can be just as addictive as using them if not more. I don’t give a fuck about what Allie or my dad has to say. There’s nothing better than the high that you get from money. Having money put into your hand and into your pocket all day every day. That shit can go to your head real quick. All I know about my future is that I’m either going to be making money or I’m going to be dead. I’d rather be rich for a few years and get killed then to have to live poor for an eternity.
Money is the one topic that Allie and me are always bumping heads over. I met her at the High Street mall up north, that’s where the rich do their shopping and the poor do their robbing. That was the plan until I saw her and I was hooked as soon as I laid eyes on her. I couldn’t believe it when she said that she went to the same school as me. We grew up in completely different circumstances. Money was no option and her family always made her feel loved; I grew up poor and alone. She should be grateful that she has both of her parents together every day and they both work hard to take care of her. That’s why I get so pissed off when she tries to tell me how to live. I have no support system in my life. If I need something I’m not going to just sit around like a fucking bum. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get it. I’m not taking any handouts from nobody. I don’t care if people think that I’m living the right or the wrong way. This is my life and I’m going to live it my way. I understand that Allie is worried about me, especially now since her cousin just got killed. It’s not like I want to live this way, I just really don’t have a choice.
Mookie should be hear soon so I need to get his bags weighed out. I figure I’ll just continue to put in one ounce per bag. I’m getting sick of having to do this every time already. I go ahead and weigh out another eight ounces giving me ten total until Mookie gets here to re-up.
I stick my pistol down the front of my jeans and then cover it with my shirt. I see Mookie pull up in his white chevy caprice so I go ahead and unlock the door for him. He comes and locks the door behind him. He’s got a fat blunt in his mouth, some brand new white Jordans, and three gold chains. I guess when I’m making money like he is I can afford to do the same. He hands me the money and I immediately count it out. It’s all there so I get the two ounces off the counter and hand it to him. Now that our business is out of the way we can get to more important matters. I didn’t even have to ask him about it, once he weighed out his two ounces on his digital scale he starts filling me in on what happened to Daunte and why.
“Man I’ll be honest with you Dre, this shit is all my fault. I’m going to choke the life out of that little skinny motherfucker when I see him. This is what happened, Hector and me have been cool for a while. He seemed like he had his shit together so I fronted him some work to help him get his money up. I gave him a quarter of soft and I showed him how to turn it into crack. I figured I could show him once and then he could handle it on his own from there. He made his money but he decided that he wasn’t going to pay me. I told Daunte about it and we went out looking for him. I caught him in the alley behind the liquor store on Brice Road. I beat his ass and ran his pockets so I could get my shit. Daunte didn’t even do anything but watch. I never thought that Hector was going to come back like that. You’d think that he would at least be man enough to bring it to me instead of to my little cousin. I only know one thing about Hector and that is that he goes to the liquor store every night right before they close. If we go up there and just stake it out from that corner stores parking lot that's across the street from it. He doesn’t know you, so all that you have to do is drive across the street once we see him and you can just act like you’re just a desperate crack head looking for a few extra bucks. We’ll take him down to Elaine Avenue and take care of him. We can just make him lay down on the ground and put a bullet into the back of his skull. This shit ain’t chess it’s checkers. We find him and we kill him that’s it. I’ll be over around ten thirty to pick you up cause you know the liquor store closes at eleven.”
Mookie and his boys are always getting into it with people. Mookie runs with the 10th Street Crips. They don’t play about their money, they’re actually good people to have around in this business. You can’t take a loss from anybody cause if you take one from one person you’re going to end up taking them from everybody until you put a bullet in one of them for doing it. That’s the only way it’ll stop. If you don’t defend what’s yours you’re not going to have anything left to defend by the end of the day. Unfortunately for Daunte he got caught up in it. Now Hector is going to live to regret that decision. Hector might not be man enough to take his revenge to the people that deserve it but I am.
We have a plan and now we just have to execute it and just like Mookie said, this shit is checkers not chess it’s plain and simple. We find Hector, we drive him to the spot, and then we kill him.
Mookie pulled up right on time, 10:30 on the dot. Punctuality is a rare trait amongst a majority of the people that I associate with. The closest thing I have to family that isn’t in prison is lying in a hospital bed right now. Mookie gets out of the car and gets into the backseat of his ride. Hector won’t recognize me; my plan is just to act like a strung out crack head that’s desperate for a couple dollars to get a hit. Mookie is going to hide in the back and once we get over to Elaine Avenue we’ll take care of him. Mook has his ski mask on so as long as he lets me do the talking we’ll be ok. Mookie was smart enough to borrow this car from one of his fiends. When you are trying to get away with a crime you always have to cover your tracks. You don’t use your own car for one thing because that’s pretty fucking identifiable. The idea is to be a ghost so no one will have a clue as to who it was that was doing the shooting. We want the police to just write this up as another drug deal gone bad.
There’s no time to waste, I get into the drivers seat and put the car in drive. It only takes about ten minutes to get to the parking lot across the street. I take a good look around but so far no Hector. Just a few homeless people hanging outside the liquor store waiting for a customer to beg for their change. I don’t care how bad I’m doing I’ll starve before I’ll beg. Scratch that, I’ll rob before I beg anyone for anything. The minutes go by and it draws closer and closer to closing time. If this is all for nothing I guess we’ll have to do the same thing tomorrow night and every night after that until we find him. There’s no free passes or second chances out here. He’s marked for death and there’s no way that he's going to weasel his way out of it.
Three minutes before closing time, Hector comes running down the street. Probably hoping to make it to the liquor store before it closes. Once he makes it to the parking lot the lights go off and the closed sign goes up. I can hear him screaming and cussing from here. He turns around and sulks as he walks away from the liquor store. His bad night is about to get a lot worse. I take the initiative and drive across the street. I pull up right next to him. He jumps when he sees me and looks ready to run. I don't think that he saw me coming and that's why I startled him.
“Hey man I ain’t going to hurt you. You need a ride? I know a corner store down the road that sells liquor all night long. You ain’t no police or nothing are you? Do you have a couple dollars that you can spare?” The man smiles and then replies.
“Hell yeah I need a ride, I’ll even give you five for gas, let’s go. Hell no I ain't no fucking police. Look at my bloodshot eyes, I'm fucked up.” He hops in the car without asking any more questions. Elaine Avenue is just right down the street, no further then five minutes away especially this time of the night. We turn onto Elaine and there’s not a soul in sight. We pull in behind one of many abandoned houses. Back in the day Daunte and me used to stash our guns here, I’m sure plenty of other people did the same before and after us. Living in a group home, it’s hard to get away with hiding a pistol without somebody snitching on you. Plus the staff does random searches and they’re quick to call the police.
Mookie gets up off the floorboard and shoves his pistol into the back of Hectors head. Mookie cocks the pistol as Hector bursts into tears and begins pleading for his life.
“I don’t have any money man, just twenty dollars that’s it. You ain’t going to kill me over twenty dollars are you? Just take the money and you can let me go. I’m not going to call the police or nothing. I promise you just let me go man please just let me go!” I give him a hard elbow to the face and Mookie then responds to Hectors pleads.
“This ain’t about no fucking money, this ain’t no robbing shit! This is some murder shit, you know what I’m saying?” Hectors crying is becoming hysterical, he tries to hide his face in his hands but Mookie grabs him by his hair and pulls him back hard, smashing his head on the seat. Mookie leans in close and whispers to Hector.
“This is what we call karma, tell her hi for me when you see her.” I get out of the car and go to the passenger side so I can let both of them out of the car. Mookie tells Hector to lie down on the ground and he complies. Mookie kneels down and places his pistol against the back of Hectors head. After a few seconds he takes a deep breath and fires one shot. Mookie stands up and empties the rest of the clip into him.
With that done we quickly get into the car, this time I’m letting Mookie drive. That way if we do get pulled over by the police I can hop out and run without having to worry about stopping the car first. If I see cop lights I'm running, I don't care if we're going fifty mph. I'm bailing out and I don't care if I land on the road, gravel, or grass. It's not going to be anywhere near as bad as letting the police arrest me. This is a cold-blooded murder in the eyes of the law and that means a life sentence, possibly even the death penalty. Both ways you’re going to die in prison and I’m not going out like that. I’d rather die in the streets then die in the penitentiary.
Mookie gets us back to my house in a flash. Taking every possible shortcut along the way. Gunshots are routine out here at night but that doesn’t mean that people won’t call the police if they hear them. Fuck it though, we made it home and the deed is done. For now we’re good and that’s all that matters. I’m just living for today anyway. Nobody saw us so unless Mookie gets caught with that gun we’ll be fine. I know he's smart enough to hurry up and sell his strap as soon as possible. Shell casings are a shooters worst enemy. I didn’t even think about picking them up but then again we didn’t have enough time to. We’re already taking a big risk as it is. I trust Mookie but I still need to make sure that we’re on the same page before we go our separate ways.
“I know that we can trust Daunte but he still doesn’t need to know all of the details. All he needs to know is that we handled this for him. Some things are just better left unsaid, you know I mean?” I don’t expect Mookie to disagree with me but it still can’t hurt to check. Ill be honest, it’s more for my own peace of mind than anything.
“You already know Andre; but hey before I go can you get me some more of that coac? I need to re-up that was some good shit.” If I weren’t a true friend I would just cut Daunte out and take his customers for myself. Luckily for Daunte I am and I’m not going to cut him out just so that I can make some extra money. I’m already doing good there’s no reason for me to get greedy. I’m not going to be rude to Mookie about it but I am going to tell him the truth.
“You’ll have to call Daunte, he has the hook up. I sold you all of what I had left.” Mookie puts the car in drive and goes to do his thing. What that is, I don’t know and I don’t care to. I’m not the type to be getting into peoples business. All I care about is making my money I’m not looking for friends.
Tonight I didn’t do anything wrong, I did the right thing. At least that’s how I see it through my eyes and my perspective is the only one that matters to me. The world can think and say whatever they want about me cause I don’t care about what they think. I’m not perfect and I don’t pretend to be. I am what I am, hate it or love it. I’m living my life the best way that I know how too. If you don’t like it you don’t have to, just deal with it. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone so stop wasting your time worrying about what I’m doing or not doing with my life. Take care of yourself cause nobody else will if you don’t. Do what matters to you and stop worrying about everybody else. In the end everyone is going to look out for their selves so I suggest that you all do the same. Call me a robber, call me a killer, call me whatever you want. All I ask is that after you get done judging me, look in the mirror and remember all of the terrible things that you’ve done and think about what everyone would say about you if they knew all of your deepest darkest secrets. The difference between us is that I’m not ashamed of my sins because I know in my heart that I did them for a reason. I did it because I know in my heart that what I did was the right thing to do. Agree or disagree I really don’t care; only God can judge me.