by Zane Castillo
Mike D opens the front door and fishes in his pocket for his cigarette pack. He pulls a cigarette out and lights it. He takes a huge intake of it and let's the smoke out slow. He sits down on the stoop and looks down the block to the street corner and sees his friend AJ and some other guys standing in front of the corner store. A red Ford station wagon pulls up to them and stops. AJ takes a quick look around and quickly approaches the car. A few exchanges and then the car pulls off. Mike D gets up and walks down the block towards AJ.
"What up A.J.?" Mike D says to AJ.
"Same old, same old," AJ replies.
"Business is good today?"
"Yeah I can't complain. I made about a quick five hundred already," AJ says with a big grin on his face.
"Jeez! Who you been selling to man?"
"You know, the usual clientele."
"Hmm...white kids in the station wagon?"
"Yup. They always buy in bulk. Shit I am already out. Hold down this spot while I re-up" AJ says. Mike D nods as AJ walks off. A car rolls up and the passenger window goes down. A man in his early twenties looks over at Mike D.
"Yo let me get a dime bag," the man says to Mike D.
Mike D does a quick look around before giving the man the drugs. The man gives him the money then the car pulls off. Mike D spends the rest of the morning into the afternoon dealing on the corner. The sidewalks become populated when the schools let out. Mike D's younger brother Chris comes walking up to him. His book bag is filled to capacity as it hangs off of his shoulders.
"What up, Mike D?" Chris says loudly.
"What up shorty. How was school? Ms. Washington still fine as hell?" Mike D asks with a chuckle.
"Man, school sucks. Same shit every day. Some of the other guys have been skipping and hanging out at the park. I might start skipping to. Aint' learning shit" Chris replies.
"You know Mom ain't gonna play that. You the genius in this family so you better keep at it," Mike D says.
"So how much you made today?" Chris asks quickly to change the subject.
"When you gonna put me on man?" Chris asks.
"This shit ain't for you man. You too young," Mike D says.
"Young?! Man like you old. You only 19!"
"Well your 15-year-old ass is gonna get that education."
"Come on Mike D. Just start me off with a little. I know some people at school who constantly get high," Chis pleads.
"Get out of here kid. I said no," Mike D says firmly,
"Forget you then," Chris says then storms off.
"Make sure you get that homework done before mom gets home," Mike D calls out after him. Chris keeps walking till he enters their apartment building. The school kids hang out in the store but clear off after a while. AJ returns just as it is starting to get dark.
"I got something for you man. Just in case some shit ever pop off around here," AJ says to Mike D as he approaches him.
"Come," AJ says as he beckons to him and they enter the alley behind the store. AJ looks around and hands Mike D a nine millimeter gun.
"Whoa, where did you get it?" Mike D asked him as he quickly took it and tucked it inside the back of his pants.
"Tyrell hooked us up. The serial numbers are shaved off and everything. He wants us protecting ourselves out here. He told me that this other crew is trying to steal territory and might try to start shit around here," AJ says.
"Let them try. I'mma kill all those fools," Mike D says with bravado.
"Most definitely brah. Keep that safe and wear it whenever you come out to the corner," AJ says.
"Alright," Mike D replies.
"I'll catch you tomorrow man," AJ says and they do a handshake before they walk their separate ways.
Mike D walks into his apartment and heads up to the third floor and opens the door. His mother is in the kitchen cooking. She turns to face him as he enters.
"Hey Michael. Did you stop by the Food Mart to speak to the manager about a job?" she asks him.
"Yeah. He said he'll call me and let me know if something opens up," Mike D lies.
"Good. I don't want you hanging on that damn corner with AJ and them," she says sternly.
Mike D ignores her and walks to his room and takes the gun out from his pants.
"Yo where did you get that?" Chris whispers as he enters Mike D's room.
"Get out of here man," Mike D says.
"Damn it looks mad nice. Let me see it."
"I said get out of here," Mike D says as he pushes Chris out of the room and locks the door behind him. He puts the gun on the top shelf of his closet and put a few shirts on top of it. He heads out into the kitchen to eat. Chris sits at the able eyeing Mike D as he enters.
The next day Mike D wakes up and goes into his closet to get the gun and sees that it is not there. He searches frantically then slams the closet door shut angrily. He knows that Chris must have taken the gun. He goes into Chris' room and starts searching for the gun but doesn't find it. He takes out his cellphone and calls Chris's cell number. Chris does not pick up. Mike D heads out and hits the corner. He ignores the other guys who question why he is late. It is business as usual as Mike D deals and anxiously wait till the school lets out and he could kick Chris' ass. He sells off his stash and is counting his money when he hears gunshots. He ducks and starts to run. He sees other guys running in all directions.
He sees a couple guys running from up the block towards his direction.
"What the fuck is going on?" Mike D asks one of them from the safety of an alley.
"These kids were over in the park playing with a gun when the cops show up. Cops run up and they start shooting," the guy says out of breath.
"I don't know a bunch of teenagers," he says.
"Shit!" Mike D yells as he starts running towards the park. He runs without stopping as he sees flashing lights and a crowd of people standing around something. He frantically moves through the crowd and sees a dead body on the ground. He feels his mouth go completely dry and his heart is racing as he moves closer and sees that it is Chris. There are several gunshot wounds in his torso as his body is sprawled out on the grass. His eyes are open and seem to be looking out past everyone. Mike D falls to the ground next to Chris and gathers him in his arms as people call out him and a police officer tries to stop him. Sobs come forth from Mike D as grief hits him.