Authors: Allison Hobbs
“Execute!” Brick reared back in indignation. “That’s kind of harsh. You weren’t there, Thomasina. You didn’t hear Misty begging and crying. You have no idea—”
“I’m the one giving her those stretching exercises that cause
her to cry out in agony, so don’t tell me that I don’t know. I can’t count how many times she’s told me she wanted to end her life, but I wasn’t foolish enough to listen to her.”
His wife’s words hit him in the gut. “I’m sorry. I realize that I should’ve talked to you about it. But Misty begged me not to.”
“She played you, Baron. Can’t you see that after all this time, Misty still has you wrapped around her finger?”
“Nah, it’s not like that,” Brick objected.
“I sent you into my baby’s room to cheer her up; not to kill her.” She looked him up and down sneeringly.
The look of disgust on his wife’s face filled Brick with shame and remorse. He hadn’t seen her wearing that repugnant expression since the days when she had disapproved of his relationship with her daughter.
“Hand me my son,” Thomasina demanded, as if their young child was no longer safe in his father’s arms.
“I got him,” Brick protested, holding Little Baron tightly.
“Hand me my child, you monster!”
She hates me!
The room began to spin. Feeling lightheaded and defeated, Brick relinquished their child. “I’m not a monster,” he protested.
“It’s over, Brick.”
“Baby, please. Don’t talk like that.” He reached for her.
Repulsed, Thomasina recoiled from Brick. “Misty has never been an angel, but she’s my daughter and I’ll always love her, whether she’s right or wrong. But you…” Thomasina twisted her lips in disdain. “I can’t bear the sight of you.”
“I wasn’t thinking straight, baby,” Brick said desperately. “We’ve built a strong relationship. Don’t throw it all away.”
Thomasina made a chortling sound. “You threw it away. A strong relationship is built on trust and I can’t trust you, nor can
I forgive you. Not after this.” She shook her head emphatically.
“It’s asking a lot, but you have to let me prove myself. Misty caught me in a weak moment.”
“I know what you’re capable of, Baron. I watched you maim and kill a man right in our kitchen.”
“I was defending my family.”
“You didn’t have to take that man’s life. I begged you to let the police handle it.”
“He was reaching for his knife. It was self-defense,” Brick said without a trace of remorse.
“You kicked the knife away, so why’d you have to strangle him to death?”
“The nigga deserved something way worse than death,” Brick responded. “Suppose that junkie had made it upstairs and had a knife up against Little Baron’s throat?”
Thomasina gasped at the thought. She kissed her son on the cheek and gently patted his back. “Well, thank God, that didn’t happen. Look, I’ve tried to put that night out of my mind. I’ve made a lot of excuses for your cold-blooded tendencies…”
Brick couldn’t hold back a wounded, guttural sound. He couldn’t help it; his wife was throwing all kinds of hurtful slurs at him.
“I’ve also tried to convince myself that you’re a normal human being,” Thomasina continued.
Deep frown lines creased Brick’s forehead. “Whatchu saying? You think I’m an animal or something?”
“I’m calling it like I see it,” Thomasina said coldly. “I had hoped that you would cheer Misty up, but I made a big mistake; sending a heartless killer into my precious daughter’s bedroom.”
“You got it twisted, but that’s cool. I’m through begging. Whatchu gon’ do, Thomasina—have me arrested? I hate seeing
you suffer, but I’m not going to keep apologizing for trying to help Misty get out of her miserable life.”
“I don’t need to call the cops on you; the Lord deals out the best justice. In the meantime, make sure when I get home, you’re not there. Pack your shit and find a new home. I don’t want you anywhere near me or my son!”
His worst nightmare had come true. He was being cast out into the cruel, cold world. Alone again. No family. No home to call his own. Terrifying childhood memories flashed across his mind. Then Brick pulled himself together, reminding himself that he was no longer a child. He was a big, grown-ass man, and he had no choice but to make it on his own.
“I’ll move out today,” Brick conceded. “I’m sorry we had to end up like this, but seriously, Thomasina, you can’t stop me from seeing my son.”
“The hell if I can’t, you ruthless murderer,” she spat.
Brick flinched, but he didn’t contradict her.
At that moment a female doctor emerged from behind the set of double doors. She approached Thomasina, acknowledging Brick with only a brisk head nod. “Mrs. Kennedy, your daughter made it, but I’m afraid she’s comatose.”
Thomasina squeezed her eyes shut briefly as she absorbed the information. “How long will she be in a coma?”
The doctor shook her head. “There’s no way to know for certain. It could be days. Weeks. And unfortunately, she may never come out of it. The good news is that she survived. At least she has a chance.”
“Oh, my God. Can I see her?”
“Yes, but only for a few minutes.” The doctor turned around. Walking briskly, she pushed through the doors designated for hospital staff.
Without giving Brick as much as a glance, Thomasina rushed behind the doctor, carrying Little Baron in her arms.
Brick’s eyes followed his family until they disappeared behind the restricted set of double doors. He stood motionless for a few moments. Reluctant to leave, he wondered if he should stick around and give Thomasina a ride home.
Nah, she’d rather take a cab than look at my face.
Resigned to the idea of a future without his wife and son, Brick dragged his feet toward the exit sign.
’m finally outside the prison gate. I look around, but I already know what it is. It’s not like I had my hopes up for anything. I wasn’t expecting to see a big welcoming committee, but I did expect to see
After ten years behind prison bars, seems like at least one person would be out here to meet me. But nobody showed up. Nobody! Not even my own mother. My mom only visited me three times in ten years. Always complaining that the trip takes too long, and her health isn’t up to par.
Everybody can kiss my ass. My family and so-called friends let me sit and rot in prison. Once I get shit poppin’ in Philly, I ain’t tryna hear nothing from nobody. If they ain’t talkin’ money, then I can’t hear ’em.
After I get my cake up, the first thing I’ma do is throw myself a welcome home party. Yeah! With strippers! Only pretty bitches that got their head game tight can get in. I’ma see if I can get a liquor company to sponsor my big bash.
I plan to go holler at Evette as soon as I hit Philly. The last two years of my bid, she was the only person that consistently wrote me. Sent me cards and letters. Kept a little something on my books, and accepted my phone calls, while all these other mufuckers counted me out.
At first, Evette was only a prison pen pal. Then we got closer.
Started talking about having a future together. She’s thirty-six years old; she got ten years on me. The weird thing is, Evette and I have talked on the phone and communicated through the mail, but we ain’t never met in person.
I asked her… Nah, lemme keep it real, I pleaded with her to send me some naked flicks. She refused. In fact, she refused to send me any pictures at all. I asked her if she was tryna hide the fact that she’s a big girl. I really wouldn’t give a fuck how much she weighs. Pussy is pussy—as long as it’s wet and juicy. That’s my philosophy.
She claims that she’s a normal weight. I asked her to describe herself. According to Evette, she’s average-looking, and slightly visually impaired.
Slightly visually impaired! What the hell does that mean? Is the bitch half-blind or all the way, ugly?
One day we were on the phone, and she asked me how I felt about marriage. Wanted to know if marriage was in our future.
She had a nigga on the spot. All I could say was, “Uh…yeah, sure, we can do that.”
But now that I’m out, I hope we can kick it together without her bringing up the topic of marriage. I’m not tryna marry anyone right now. Matter fact, I don’t wanna be with one chick. I got to make up for lost time and spread this dick around. Ain’t no one keeping this dick on lock; especially not a handicapped broad.
Evette used to end every letter by saying she was holding me in prayer.
Well, being that I’m not incarcerated anymore, and I don’t need her to hold me in prayer, I hope she realizes that the only thing she needs to hold now is my dick. In her mouth. ‘Suck it, bitch,’ I’ma be saying. Then I’ma slide it deep inside her coochie.
I hope I don’t have to knock no cobwebs outta no dried-up pussy. I want that pussy to be so hot, that it’s sloshing and dripping. Saturating her panties.
That’s all I wanna hear while I’m deep-stroking.
My mind drifts back to the last time I had sex with a female, and I can’t help from twisting my lips in disgust. The last piece of pussy I had was as dry as the Sahara Desert. Even that bitch’s mouth had a drought going on. Her tongue felt like sandpaper. Scratched up my dick.
Merely thinking about the night of the crime is extremely disturbing. I can feel my chest beginning to tighten in outrage. They shouldn’t have sent me up over no pussy and a little bit of horseplay. Shit! We were only fucking around. It wasn’t about nothing. That ho’s dehydrated pussy wasn’t even worth ten years of my young life.
The therapist I was seeing in the joint told me I should distract myself from negative recollections by thinking about my most pleasant memory.
But I don’t have any pleasant memories. I bullshitted that therapist, made up a bunch of happy shit so he’d recommend me for parole.
Nope, I’m tryna do the exercise, but I can’t think of no good memories. The only thing on my mind is bodying any bitch that looks at me the wrong way.
I lost a whole decade over a ho, and I’m mad as shit about it. That bitch had it coming; the real crime is I spent ten years in a cage over some bullshit.
That ho’s dehydrated pussy wasn’t even worth the kind of time they gave me.
At home, Brick peered inside Misty’s bedroom. Heartsick, he stared at her empty bed.
I tried to help you, Misty. I fucked up. I never meant for you to end up in a coma. Now I have to live with that guilt.
Your mom’s through with me. She called me a monster, but only God can judge me. The only thing that’s gon’ keep me from going crazy is finding the muthafucka that ran you over. You said it was a female, right? But I don’t care…man or woman, I’m serving up some stiff justice. I’m not giving out any express tickets to hell. Whoever tried to kill you is gonna suffer a long, horrible death.
Inside his and Thomasina’s bedroom, Brick began packing, pushing as many items as he could fit into an oversized duffle bag. From the top of the dresser, he grabbed a family portrait. He stared briefly at himself, Thomasina and their adorable son. Taken before Misty got hurt, it was a photo of happier times. Swallowing back sorrow, he pressed the picture frame to his heart and then quickly stuffed it deep inside his bag.
He’d have to rent a room somewhere. A cheap hotel or a boarding house. Brick shoved a hand in his pocket, pulled out a wad of bills and counted them. He had a little over seven hundred dollars. That would get him through until his next payday.
There was a nice chunk of money in his savings account, but Brick refused to touch it. He was proud of the nest egg that he’d manage to put away for his son’s education. He told himself that
no matter how hard it got out there, Little Baron’s college fund was off limits.
Using his cell phone, Brick looked for affordable accommodations. He tapped on an icon and accessed a list of hotels. Moving his finger swiftly, he sped past the high-end hotels, and perused the bottom of the list. He nodded when he spotted a place where he could rest his head without breaking the bank.