Authors: Keisha Ervin
Tags: #Fiction, #General, #Urban
P.O. Box 2535
Florissant, Mo 63033
Copyright ©2008 by Keisha Ervin
All Rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the consent of the Publisher, except as provided by USA copyright law.
Edited by: Terra Little
Proof Reader: Lynel Johnson-Washington
Cover Designed by Sheldon Mitchell of Majaluk and Brenda Hampton
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Control Number: 2008933631
ISBN 13: 978-0-9816483-4-7
ISBN 10: 0-9816483-4-7
For information regarding discounts for bulk purchases,
please contact Prioritybooks Publications at 1-314-306-2972 or
You can contact the author at:
Published by Prioritybooks Publications
Jay, you came into my life at the perfect time. I prayed for years for someone like you to come along. Who would’ve thought that the whole time you were right underneath my nose? I’ve truly been blessed by your presence. You’ve changed my life in ways I never thought imaginable. My heart’s dictionary defines you. If heaven had a height you’d be that tall. With you I feel a deep and tender, inevitable feeling of undeniable oneness.
Lord, in the past year you have seen and guided me through some of my most trying times. There were moments when I thought I was being punished or I didn’t think I could go on, but your strength carried me. Thank you for helping me through the storm. Now I can humbly say that the light is shining through. I pray that I can continue to live my life according to your word and not my own.
Kyrese!!! You’ve grown so much, my beautiful baby. You’re my angel. My heart couldn’t love another person on this earth more. Every time I look into those big ole brown eyes of your eyes, I melt. No one loves you more than I do. You’ve been my sidekick throughout this journey and I wouldn’t want anyone else to be by my side. I LOVE YOU, WOODA!!!!!
Mama, thank you so much for standing by my side and helping me when I’m at my lowest. I know that if I can’t count on anyone else, I can always count on you. You always have my best interests at heart. I love you.
Daddy and Keon, I love you!!!
To my girls, Locia, Sharissa, Monique, TuShonda and Ashley, words can’t describe how much your friendship means to me. I love you all.
Mike, you are truly my brother from another mother. Love you, kid.
Rose, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this opportunity. This project fell into my lap when I needed it most. Thank you!!!
Brenda Hampton, not only are you my agent and a colleague, but my friend. You have had my back when some didn’t. You are a truly blessed and gifted person. I love you and thank you.
Last but certainly not least, are my fans. You all don’t know what your words of encouragement do for me. You all are the reason I can continue to write. Thank you all for riding with me these past four years. I pray that we can continue down this journey of discovery together. I love you!!!
It was one of those rare days where everything seemed to be perfect for Koran McKnight. The sun was in full view, shining brightly, emphasizing the pearl colored hue on his Range Rover. Rick Ross’ smash hit, “Boss,” thumped loudly through the Pioneer speakers, sending shockwaves into the city streets. There wasn’t a cloud in sight and the forecast for the day was seventy degrees with no chance of rain.
Koran was invigorated. A blunt filled with the finest weed hung from the corner of his lips. He had a fresh haircut and the fat wad of money that lay folded in his pocket reminded him that struggling was a thing of the past. For years he’d endured hell on the streets, only to finally see heaven. Like most, Koran was searching for forever, that feeling of everlasting bliss and tranquility. But since as far back as he could remember all he knew were long nights under the streetlight.
So in his mind every now and then he deserved the right to floss. With the kind of life he led, it was a miracle he lived to see his seventeenth birthday. Growing up in Wellston, one of the most poverty-stricken sections of St. Louis City, wasn’t a fairytale. It was either go hard or go home. If you were soft the streets were sure to take you under. Koran knew that the world was a cold and bitter place, but the block was as hot as a stove.
Niggas banged over sets and colors. Innocent bystanders were robbed and killed. Young women lost their souls and prostituted their bodies for the euphoric sensation of heroin being shot into their veins. Koran could vividly remember the nights when his stomach ached and growled from hunger as he hustled to make dough. He’d witnessed the fiends he sold rock to overdose on the poison that afforded him new jewelry and clothes. He could envision walking in on his mother as she lay on the bathroom floor in a comatose state, with blow up her nose.
The corner was no joke. For years it was his monument to success. It afforded him the finer things in life, but it was also a place where struggle and greed fought on a daily basis for victory. He’d played with the idea of going the square route and attending college, but Koran was a street nigga to the heart. Getting money the illegal way was all he knew and after years of hustling, Koran no longer had to battle the block for supremacy.
He now had a small crew of niggas who worked the corner for him. At the age of twenty-five, Koran had things that most dope boys only dreamed of. At night, he lay comfortably in a three-hundred-thousand dollar crib in the heart of South St. Louis City. He possessed three expensive cars and stayed dipped in the latest fashions.
A red Philly cap rested low, covering his Asian inspired eyes and long locs hung past his shoulders. Three carat diamond stud earrings gleamed from his ears, highlighting his peanut butter colored skin. Chiseled cheekbones, a button nose and soft, kissable lips made up the rest of his facial features. A sleeve of tattoos covered both of his arms, while a huge portrait of a flying eagle decorated the right side of his neck. Koran was that dude and although he was very humble you couldn’t tell him he wasn’t the shit.
Bobbing his head to the beat, he pulled up to the stoplight slowly. Inhaling smoke from the blunt, Koran took a look over to his right and spotted the finest woman he’d ever been blessed to see. She was everything the corner was not, overwhelmingly beautiful with skin the shade of golden wheat grass. From what Koran could see of her she looked to be voluptuously thick. And, yes, there were circumstances in his life that should’ve prevented him from pursuing her, but at that moment all he knew was that he had to have her.
“Excuse me, sweetheart,” he said as he leaned his left arm out of the driver side window to get her attention.
“Yes,” the girl replied, turning down the volume on the radio.
“I don’t mean to bother you, but I just had to know what your name and number are, so I could call you sometime.”
Never forgetting a face or a voice, the girl removed the shades shielding her eyes and smiled.
“Whitney,” she laughed before pulling off.
Caught off guard by her reply, Koran sat dumbfounded. It had been eight years since he’d laid eyes on her, but the name Whitney would forever be embedded in his memory museum. She was the definition of the truth. The time they spent together was equivalent to being able to fly. No other women in life would ever compare. She was his first love and his best friend. She was his encouragement when the world put him down.
She loved him when he wasn’t loveable. She consoled him when his mother overdosed on his stash. Whitney gave him money when his pockets were low. But all of that came to an abrupt end on a cold November afternoon when they were seventeen.
They were outside waiting for her bus when she suddenly broke down and cried. Koran pressed for answers as to why tears fell from her eyes, but the words Whitney wanted so desperately to convey would not pour from her mouth. It was as if they were stuck on pause in the center of her throat. Still perplexed as to why she was upset, Koran requested that she give him a call when she got home. Whitney agreed, knowing fully well that after that moment the two would never see each other again.
For months Koran wondered why. He couldn’t understand how she could just pick up and leave with no goodbye. To the world, he cursed her name, but deep down inside he was internally sick. How could he love her so much and live with the fact that she was gone? Fate couldn’t be that cruel. Or could it? These were things that Koran struggled with as dreams of Whitney’s sweet lips engulfed his mind. Everything from the memory of her perfume to the way she wore her hair plagued his soul during those lonely nights under the streetlight.
It took time, but Koran’s frozen heart finally unthawed and healed. Now, eight years later, here she was and all the questions he’d stored up could be answered. Eager to catch up with her, Koran pressed his foot on the gas and followed Whitney down Delmar Boulevard and into the Delmar Loop. The Delmar Loop was a six-block area with boutiques, specialty shops, restaurants, galleries and live entertainment. After parking his truck behind her car they both stepped out into the warm spring air.
Koran couldn’t deny her sex appeal. Whitney looked even better up close. Her long black hair was set in big wavy curls, accentuating her doe-shaped eyes. Just as he remembered, ocean deep dimples sank each of her cheeks. Whitney’s lips were so pouty and pink that he wanted nothing more than to spend hours kissing them.
Koran wasn’t the only one to take notice of her beauty. Every man in the vicinity admired her frame. She was a size fourteen and curvy in all the right places. That day she was dressed casually chic. A pair of oversized gold hoop earrings swung from her ears, and on her neck she wore a gold necklace with a leaf pendant. A white racer-back tank top showcased her 36C breasts, while dark denim pencil-leg capris enhanced her thighs and calves. On her feet she rocked a brand new pair of gold BCBG heels.
Activating the alarm on his truck, Koran watched as she moved to open the back door to her car. The way she moved was like something straight out of a music video. Whitney’s hips swayed with the wind. After releasing London, her two-year-old rottweiler, she happily made her way toward him.
“Goddamn, I ain’t seen you in a minute,” Koran stressed as she approached.
“I know. I was just thinkin’ about you.”
“Yeah, I was wondering if you still wore the same cologne,” she replied, taking a whiff of his neck. “You don’t, but you still smell good.” Whitney smiled nervously. “It’s been a long time, Koran.”
“Give a nigga a hug then.” He spread his arms wide for a hug.
“You know I got you.”
“I missed you, girl.” Koran inhaled her scent and pulled her close. Whitney smelled just as heavenly as he remembered. “You look good.”
“Thanks, so do you.”
“Where you been?” he asked, reluctantly letting her go.
“Word? And you couldn’t tell me that eight years ago?” he shot back, unable to hold his feelings back.
“Koran, believe me I wanted to but . . . there was a lot of stuff going on back then that I couldn’t talk to you about.”