Hustler’s Way {3/3}

I had to make a choice.

A choice that determined who I loved more.

My future wife, or my self adopted brothers.

The life I was living was always thrilling, rewarding, I had everything I ever wanted.

But at what cost?

My whole family disowning me. Me contributing to the corruption in my city. My own little sister being caught up in the very drugs we distributed. And now the woman I loved more than anything, nearly wanting nothing to do with me so long as I continue my life of crime.

The thought of having a life with her seemed to overpower the life I had. A life with her meant peace, tranquility, a new beginning with no risks being taken. It was a life I would have had if I never met my brothers. It almost made me regret doing so.

I had to come up with a plan. If I was to want out, I’d have to cut ties with everyone & give up everything I had worked hard & put my life at risk everyday to get. My money, my respect, my fame, power, all of it. But the worst thing about that was, how in the hell would I be able to tell my brothers that I’m done? They saw us doing this shit for a lifetime. If I were to tell them about me wanting out, they would question my loyalty to them. Along with maybe thinking there was something I was hiding. Switching up on them. I been rocking with them for so long to where me suddenly saying I want out would make them suspect some sored of betrayal.

So I had to be lowkey about my moves. The only person I feel I could even talk to about this situation was Alonzo. I hadn’t returned his call, let alone been present in the business within the past few day after the hospital. But I gave him a call after I woke up one day, & told him to meet me down at the riverfront.

“Whats going on man? Everyone is getting mixed feelings about where you be at.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Bro, we know you been out with that jawn Anika. You was never gonna tell us you been hittin that?”

“It isn’t the way you think. I don’t look at her like one of these other bitches out here.”

“You know how it be nigga. You start feeling them, thinking they different, when they just want you for what you got. We said no bitch would ever come between us bro, especially business. You smarter than that.”

It upset me inside that he referred her as a bitch. But I was still trying to lay low. He was truly right about me being much smarter than I been all these years.

“Right…” I responded

“I been tryna call you man. Since you weren’t around, me, Darrell & Mitch been keeping in contact with these Cubans that been on their way into town to cut a big ass deal with is. They tryna hit us with some big kilos, & I mean BIG kilos. Talkin 20 keys at $30,000 thou.

“$30,000 thou?!”

“Bro, do you now HOW MUCH MORE we can expand with that shit? I’m talking expending throughout the state. They’re out here tryna find a new market & since we been the top dogs, they tryna have us putting out that real heavy shit. The people ain’t gonna resist it at all, you know how them Cubans be bro. They got that good shit, probably even better than ours no lie. We all agreed to meet up today for the trade.”

I shook my head. “Without me?”

“Nigga you been mia, someone had to step up & start calling shots. Ayo wassup with you man?”

“Like, how long do y’all plan on doing this?”

“Bro, we been stated this. We hustlers til we die. We hustle for as long as we ride. We brothers who ain’t leavin nobody’s side. Remember that?” Nigga we all about to make some big money, we’re about to damn near run the tri-states with this. Now’s not the time to be folding.”

“I ain’t folding.”

“You better not be. Look, I told them you’ll be there. Darrell & Mitch were boutta go through with the deal without you. Probably was gonna leave you completely out of the loop thinking you was about to quit or something.”

“Nah man, I’m still in.”

“Aight then, we gonna meet at my crib in 5 hours to load up & head to where we set up the deal. Don’t be late.”

I wanted to be late, but I figured they would suspect something. Given the fact that they know about Anika & I, they’d think my attention would be too much on her & interrupt our business. We made a promise to never let any woman come between us nor our business. I’d be breaking the code choosing her. They’d look at me as a traitor.

While I was on my way, I gave Anika a call.

“Hello?” She answered

“I’m sorry….” It was all that came to mind to say

And then she started going off. “Are you serious?! You’re going to choose them over me?! Over our child?!”

I nearly slammed on my brakes in the middle of the highway. I had to swerve over to the side of the road & stop. To take a breather after what I just heard. “Wh-what did you just say?”

“Yeah you heard me!”

That changed my mind nearly instantly. I had a family to protect. A child that would be in need of a father.

“Are you…sure its true?”

“No I just decided to pull something like that out of my ass. Now I know whats more important to you!”

She hung up. I did not call back. But I still had to take care of one last moment of business before I ended things.

I pulled up to Alonzo’s crib where him, Darrell, Mitch & the Mambas were waiting for me.

“Bout time you showed up nigga.” Mitch scoffed

“Yo chill.” Alonzo said. “So we bringin the Mambas with us cuz i’m sure them Cubans got some heavy fire with them. Its gonna be a quick trade, bing bang boom, & we out.”

“Are you sure we can trust these guys?” I asked

“Look, as far as we know, they’re only here as a one time thing strictly for business. We make the deal & we get hella more business. More business, more muthafuckin money nigga.”

The Mambas were in the corner loading up their weapons along with Darrell & Mitch. I pulled out my Beretta 9mm, my trusty piece. Alonzo handed me some extra clips to reload & an extra pistol for some more firepower. The way we were about to walk in there you would think it would be a shakedown.

We all pulled up to this warehouse that was on an abandoned dock a couple miles south from the city. We kept our straps tucked away in our coats so we didn’t make them too suspicious. They never been to this part of the country, so we had an advantage over them as far as knowing our way around.

I held the briefcase filled with money. Retaining my role as the leader despite my absence.

But these guys were the real deal. There were eight of them, & they didn’t give a damn holding their glocks & AK-47’s waiting for us to make a false step. We were equal in headcount

As we were walking over to the tables for the exchange, there I heard. Police sirens from a distance. And the sounds were closing in fast on our location.

How did they find out about this?

Someone tapped our phones & the deal was eavesdropped on by someone. Maybe those detectives. Or someone who was trying to dime us out.

The Cubans shouted out something that we couldn’t understand. But right after, they started unloading their clips at us believing we set them up. The Mambas were hit first. None of them were able to react fast enough to avoid speeding bullets. Darrel & Mitch ran behind some cover & returned fire. I dropped the briefcase & ran behind some cover that was opposite from them. I had my gun ready to fight back, but I had too much common sense to know this was a fight we weren’t going win.

Then I noticed Alonzo wasn’t there. They too noticed right after I did.

“WHERE’S ALONZO?!”

I knew something wasn’t right. There was a door nearby that led back to the docks. I rushed to it, leaving Darrell & Mitch trying to fight off the Cubans.

And then I saw Alonzo on the phone.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” I screamed

He was alerting the police, he was setting us up. He started running away hiding around a corner of the warehouse. I wanted to chase him, but I saw the cops coming from a distance.

They were about to close in on all of us, we were outnumbered & outgunned, we all were about to me either captured or killed. I thought about Anika, our future, the life I wanted to live & knew my time would come to an end if I stayed any longer.

My only options were to stand & go out guns blazing, or flee like a coward. Darrel & Mitch were going out guns blazing while Alonzo took the cowards way. That was, until I heard a barrage of gunfire from around that corner. Like an AK-47.

I rushed back to the car. One of the Cubans was coming from around the corner & started firing at the windshield. I ducked while putting the key into the ignition & blindly steering my way away from the gunfire.

I sped away from the fray. A few cops saw me pull off & reported me as a fleeing target. Any nearby police personnels would be subjected to apprehend me on sight. It quickly evolved into a high speed chase. Several cops behind me, sirens blazing through my ears, a helicopter in the air to keep eyes on my move. I was speeding up 100+ mph on the highway. I was trying my absolute hardest to not get locked up so my child would not grow up without a father. But I was going to die before I’d even get behind bars. So it was going to happen regardless.

While I was speeding, I was saying prayers, screaming & crying for a second chance.

The cops behind me started shooting at the car. I heard the bullets piercing through the windows & the body. Then they started shooting at the tires, popping the back tires. I started swerving hard. I was bumping & crashing into other cars, God bless the souls of those I injured or killed. My car spun around & before I knew it, it flipped over & over.

Windows shattered, car totaled, my body bleeding, bones broken, arteries punctured, I was dead.

Or so, thats what I thought. I woke up in a hospital bed. It seemed like it was only a day after. I was wrapped up in a body cast with hardly any recollection of what happened to me.

The car chase was all over the news. Anika happened to be watching the news on that same day. She too thought I was dead, until it was reported that I was alive. She had been keeping watch on me at the hospital ever since.

I was in a coma for six months. It sure as hell did not feel like six months. I don’t know how I survived, I don’t know how I could still be able to open my eyes. I wanted to kill myself after. But the doctors & everyone there prevented me from doing so.

I let out a bunch of screams after a flashback of what happened. Me abandoning my brothers leaving them to die at the hands of either those Cubans or the police.

Anika was informed of me finally waking up & rushed to the hospital. She was so relieved. Her belly was much bigger. She told me we were having a boy.

But my son would not be able to grow up with his father. When I was discharged, it was time for me to answer for my crimes. Since I was not dead, I still hard to suffer for being the main cause of the city being ruined by all the drugs we created. And since it was only me alive, all of the punishment would be tied down on me.

I was arrested shortly after, & was locked up in jail without bail. I was to remain there until my day at court. After the police intercepted the deal we were suppose to make, they later raided out business attempting to arresting everyone that was in connections with us. They took all of our products, all of the money made, destroyed our equipment, & condemned the building.

On the day of, I stood in the court room awaiting my sentencing. I was guilty of all counts & felonies. This was what Alonzo was trying to do. He was the mole that tapped the phones so the deal could be heard by the cops. He wanted all the money & drugs for himself because the in all actuality, I was the main target. He sold us out & they made a deal that would let him go scott free with everything while we were locked up.

Bastard. And we once killed someone as revenge for what they did to him. He played us so smoothly. I was wondering how he even knew about Anika. It must have been the detectives filling him in when they spied on me. Makes me partially glad he got what was coming to him for doing that.

But the judge, a familiar face, someone who I was once in class with during high school before my fall, someone who would have became my closest friend had I not dropped out, spared me.

He saw Anika sitting in the crowd in tears, eying the fact that she was pregnant & would soon be due. He could not believe that after all these years, I had become such a person despite being at the top of my classes. I was already destroyed physically & mentally, literally went through hell & back, so off the strength of the little friendship that could have became a brotherly bond, he told me to leave the state & to never return by any means. I would maintain my freedom & the charges will be dropped as well as having the opportunity to be present in my son’s life.

I lost my family, I lost my way, I lost my brothers, & I even lost the will to continue with my life. But the second life I saw, the life with Anika, was brought to me. This life could have already came first had I not followed this hellish path. I had a chance to start fresh, to repent for my sins, & to show my son the right way to live.

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