Hustler’s Way {2/3}

I chose this path. 

I knew what I was doing. I knew what I was doing was wrong. 

But it still felt right because I was gaining things that I wanted.

Yet, it wasn’t earned the right way. It was all earned through dirty work & sacrifices. 

And in the end, I would face my biggest regret.

The regret of making that choice.

After we smoked that nigga & his crew, took their money, weapons, & narcotics, we began to selling the dope rather than smoking it all up ourselves. We were making fast money, & wound up making up to & more than what people made doing everyday jobs.

Darrell started learning how to produce more from what we had taken, & soon we were selling kilo after kilo & making even more money. We all said fuck school, & decided to split our earnings to get our own place where we continued our work.

I never returned home. I was too ashamed to even try. My parents were calling my phone, filed a missing person report, had a search team looking for me. I had to duck & dodge especially after what I had done. I called them back one day & told them I could never come back home & that I was sorry. I knew once they find out what I was they would all disown me.

As years passed, we became notorious in the streets. We had niggas that used to sell weak shit on the corners selling our shit & had them working for us. For some reason, ever since we took out that nigga who come to find out his name was Dante, people started looking at us with respect. I don’t know why, but we loved it. Old heads respected us. Some people knew of what happened with Alonzo getting jumped & when they heard of them being murdered later, they figured we had something to do with it. We were four brothers that wouldn’t let anyone fuck with even one of us. And thats what gave us power.

All of the bitches from around wanted us. We knew not to ever let them come between business, so we would just pass them around the circle. Most would try paying us with pussy instead of money for a couple bags. Of course, my brothers would never pass down easy pussy. But me? No. I could never do sloppy seconds.

We started making a business out of it. We had people working for us & a very small amount of people working with us. A small but strong arm group in case anyone got out of line. We called them the “Mambas”.

We would have it set to where the people working for us would be the ones to take the calls, orders, & head out to make the sale & come back with the profit. If they didn’t return, it was either two reasons. One, they got sent to the grave. Or two, they’d try to run with the money. But we had eyes all around the city, no one was ever safe. Within a short time, they would be found & be demanded back the money. If they refused or did not have it…..well you know what the first reason is.

Darrell, Mitch, Alonzo, & I, now in our late twenties, deep into the drug game, had it all. The fame, the respect, the power, the money. All the things that the average nigga wants. But at what cost did it come to? I had no one to trust or turn to but them. And even then, could trust start to seem so rocky. Especially when it comes to the things a nigga wants. You start to see the corruption once they have it all. You see them change, & you see them slowly become they enemy you doubted.

It wasn’t just me either. Someone else had a crave for more. And a crave to have it all to himself.

One day, I found myself meeting a woman whom I laid eyes on back in high school at the mall which was away from the city.

Anika.

The last time I saw her was ten years ago, right before my brothers & I started our path to hell.

She looked even more beautiful than before. At the time, I was afraid to get to know her better, mostly because I thought she was the type that loved the hood niggas. I flexed with my money a bit, told her she could get whatever she wanted & I’d cover it.

She asked where I had gone during high school. I lied & told her I moved.

We sat & had a cup of coffee together. Catching up, talking about how I used to have a big crush on her.

She asked: “Why didn’t you make a move? I actually had a crush on you too.”

And I said: “Because I thought you didn’t like nerds.”

I had thought me being at the top of my classes was a turn off for her. But I was wrong. She was never the type to even look at hood niggas. She was always disgusted by them. She had been single all her life because of her constantly being surrounded by them. Many have tried to talk to her, but none succeeded. Until me that was.

She had graduated from college a few years back, got her Masters Degree in Pharmacology, owned a nice car, nice home, lived on her own in the suburbs. She kept a bag secured no doubt. She secured it the right way. The way that I should have.

She gave me her number, & from that point we starting building a bond. We hung out, went on dates, took her out to dinner, & soon we fell in love quicker than we thought. She was so gorgeous. But one thing I never did was tell her what I do for business. I just told her I work, & left it as that. She would ask where & I would leave her in suspense. But I kept trying to cover up by getting her the things that she wanted so she’d stop worrying about what I do. She would never look at me the same.

Though, the more I spent with her, the more I felt an urge of wanting a peaceful life. Because I knew sooner or later, she would find out about my dirty job & disown me just as my family did.

We eventually started making love. I was her first, & she couldn’t imagine a life without me. I couldn’t imagine one either. I saw a life with her. A life with a family, living in peace. A dream that could be my new reality away from the hell I was in. But there was no way I could fully escape the life I made for myself. There’s never a way to escape. Once you’re in the game, your life is locked in until death do you part.

Unbeknown-st to me, I was being watched somehow every time when I was out with her. I thought being away from the city would at least have me clear from danger, but being part of the game means there are eyes on you from all over. Word spreads fast. People from outside of the city wanted in on the products we had. We had big deals coming in that would make us over hundred thousands. These big dealers were Cubans. They do mean business when it comes to this shit.

But not only was I being watched by others, I was being watched by a couple detectives. Aching to find evidence that connected us to all the shit thats been going on in the city so they could lock us up. We were smart on covering our tracks. Though, some that worked for us were unfortunate & had to take the fall. If they snitched on any of us, we’d make sure they wouldn’t see light again.

There was one dreadful night however, that made me reach the edge on wanting out of the game. And that was the day I was out driving when I saw a man pulling a raggedy looking woman into an alleyway. He was abusing her as he pulled, & I could only imagine what would’ve happened if I didn’t intervene. I pulled up to the sidewalk & rushed out my car to them with my gun out telling him to get the hell off her.

The guy was completely strung out on drugs, he turned around & saw me with the gun yet still tried to charge at me. I fired a couple bullets in his chest without hesitation. Down he went twitching for his last moments of life.

I looked at the woman, who was strung out herself, but I recognized the face. My face was torn when I realized it was my sister….Elisa.

She was shaking, her skin was pale, eyes were red, clothes were dirty & torn, smelled like she hadn’t showered in weeks. I was speechless.

She hardly recognized who I was, but when I said her name, she recognized my voice even though I was much older than when she last saw me. She asked if I had anything to get her on. More drugs. She was aching to put a needle in herself to destroy her body even more. She was mumbling & stuttering.

“P-p-p-pl-please, I just n-n-n-n-neeed a little bit! Just a little!” She started scratching herself like a typical crackhead.

I had no words to even say after seeing the sight of what my sister turned into. I had to hurry & get out of there before the cops arrived. I grabbed her by the arm & pulled her to my car. She kept trying to resist thinking I was about to take her home to where she started spazz out. Yelling, screaming, & then almost immediately fainted after doing so for a couple seconds. I had to toss her in the back seat & rush to the hospital before the worst happened.

I rushed her in the emergency room begging for someone to help. She was coughing violently. Nurses responded by quickly pulling up a stretcher to lay her on & they went down the hall to do whatever they could. I was forced to stay back & await the outcome.

Time went by, I had not heard of her condition. Alonzo called me while I was waiting, but I didn’t answer. But when Anika called, I answered & told her the situation. She came rushing to the hospital almost immediately after getting off the phone. She was so worried to where she couldn’t just sit home without making sure everything was ok.

Shortly after she came, a doctor arrived & told us her condition. Whatever she was taking weakened her body severely, she was suffering from internal bleeding from a hole in her esophagus which caused her to faint. They were able to cease the bleeding but they needed to keep her to keep an eye on her condition should anything else come about. We were relieved, but I wasn’t shortly after when I spotted my parents rushing in.

When they ran her name through, the contacted them to make them aware of her presence in the hospital. When I saw them, I didn’t know what to even say.

My father saw me & instantly yelled at me. “THIS…THIS IS YOUR FAULT! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!”

Nurses & security rushed in front of him to calm him down & keep him away. I could still hear him screaming down the hall.

“THIS IS YOUR FAULT! WE GAVE YOU EVERYTHING! WE GAVE YOU EVERYTHING! YOU RUINED HER LIFE! YOU ARE A SHAME TO THIS FAMILY!”

My mother was on the side crying. He was right. My sister was strung out on drugs that me & my brothers were making. She was turned out. And without her big brother there, she took no shit from our parents. She became wild, reckless, & eventually ran away. Kinda reminded me of myself.

Anika stood worried & confused as to what my father was saying to me. I couldn’t cover my tracks any longer. My mother suggested I leave & that they would look after Elisa. When we left, I had no choice but to reveal to Anika about my life choices.

I told her everything outside. That I dropped out, became a drug kingpin, & been living a treacherous life of crime making dirty money with my brothers all these years.

She backed away, almost looking disgusted by what she heard come out of my mouth. She exclaimed at me about how she could not ever be with someone with such a dark past. She thought I was different, & thought that I would never do such things because of how smart I was. And she also cried out about how much she actually loved me all this time thats passed between us.

But I cried out about how I can’t take anymore of this. I told her ever since we connected, I’ve been falling in love with her. And that I’ve had a vision of a future together away from all of this shit in my life. I cried out apologies to her for lying & keeping this hidden from her so she wouldn’t look at me as something less of a human.

When she heard me say I was in love with her, she gave me an ultimatum:

Clean up my act, eliminate myself from the game, & move on to a life with her.

Or.

Remain loyal to my brothers until the death of me, keep all the fame, power, respect, & money for as long as I stay, but constantly have my life & others at risk each passing day.

She told me to give her a call when I decide, & drove off. If I don’t call, she’d know my answer then.

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