Authors: Author Saundra
Her Sweetest Revenge
By. Saundra Jones
Her Sweetest Revenge
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© 2012 Delphine Publications
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Sometimes I wonder how my life would’ve turned out if my parents had been involved in different things, like if they had regular jobs. My mother would be a social worker, and my father a lawyer or something. You know, jobs they call respectable and shit.
Supposedly these people’s lives are peaches and cream. But when I think about that shit I laugh because my life is way different. My father was a dope pusher who served the whole area of Detroit. And when I say the whole area, I mean just that. My dad served some of the wealthiest politicians all the way down to the poorest people in the hood that would do anything for a fix. Needless to say, if you were on cocaine before my father went to prison, I’m sure he served you; he was heavy in the street. Lester Bedford was his birth name, and that’s what he went by in the streets of Detroit. And there was no one that would fuck with him. Everybody was in check.
All the dudes on the block were jealous of him because his pockets were laced. He had the looks, money, nice cars, and the baddest chick on the block, Marisa Haywood. All the dudes wanted Marisa because she was a red bone with coal-black hair flowing down her back and a banging-ass body, but she was only interested in my dad. They had met one night at a friend’s dice party and had been inseparable since then.
Life was good for them for a long time. Dad was able to make a lot of money with no hassle from the feds, and mom was able to stay home with their three kids. Three beautiful kids if I must say so. First, she had me, Mya, then my brother, Bobby, who we all call Li’l Bo, and last was my baby sister, Monica.
We were all happy kids about four years ago; we didn’t need or want for nothing. My daddy made sure of that. The only thing my father wanted to give us next was a house with a backyard. Even though he was stacking good dough, we still lived in the Brewster-Douglass Projects.
All those years he’d been trying to live by the hood code: “livin’ hood rich.” However, times were changing. The new and upcoming ballers were getting their dough and moving out of the hood. Around this time my dad decided to take us outta there too.
Before he could make a move our good luck suddenly changed for the worst. Our apartment was raided by the feds, and my father was taken to jail where he received a life sentence with no possibility of parole.
My mother never told us what happened, but sometimes I would eavesdrop on her conversations when she would be crying on a friend’s shoulder. That’s how I overheard her saying that they had my father connected to six drug-related murders and indictments on cocaine charges. I couldn’t believe my ears. My father wouldn’t kill anybody. He was too nice for that. I was completely pissed off; I refused to hear any of that. It was a lie. As far as I was concerned, my father was no murderer and all that shit he was accused of was somebody’s sick fantasy. He was innocent. They were just jealous of him because he was young, black, and borderline rich. True, it was drug money, but in the hood, who gave a fuck. But all that was in the past; now, my dad was on skid row. Lockdown; three hots and a cot. And our home life reflected just that.
All of sudden my mother started hanging out all night. She would come home just in time for us to go to school. For a while that was OK, but then her behavior started to change also. I mean, my mother looked totally different. Her once healthy skin started to look pale and dry. She started to lose weight, and her hair was never combed. She tried to comb it, but this was a woman who was used to going to the beauty shop every week. Now her hair looked like that of a stray cat.
I noticed things missing out of the house, too, like our Alpine digital stereo. I came home from school one day and it was gone. I asked my mother about it, and she said she sold it for food. But that had to be a lie because we were on the county. Mom didn’t work, so we received food stamps and cash assistance. We also received government assistance that paid the rent, but Mom was responsible for the utilities which started to get shut off.
Before long, we looked like the streets. After my father had been locked up for two years we had nothing. We started to outgrow our clothes because Mom couldn’t afford to buy us any, so whatever clothes we could get that were secondhand, we wore. I’m talking about some real stinking-looking gear. Li’l Bo got suspended from school for kicking some boy’s ass about teasing him about a shirt he wore to school with someone else’s name on it. We had been too wrapped up in our new home life to realize it. When the lady from the Salvation Army came over with the clothes for Li’l Bo, he just ironed the shirt and put it on. He never realized the spray paint on the back of the shirt said Alvin. That is, until this asshole at school decided to point it out to him.
Everything of value in our house was gone. Word on the streets was my mother was a crackhead and prostitute. I tried to deny it at first, but before long, it became obvious.
Now it’s been four years of this mess, and I just can’t take it anymore. I don’t know what to do. I’m only seventeen years old. I’m sitting here on this couch hungry with nothing to eat and my mom is lying up in her room with some nigga for a lousy few bucks. And when she’s done, she’s going to leave here and cop some more dope. I’m just sick of this.
Li’l Bo, Monica,” I shouted so they could hear me clearly, “come on; let’s go to the store so we can get something to eat.”
I don’t want to go to the store, Mya. It’s cold out there,” Monica said pouting as she came out of the room we shared together.
Look, put your shoes on. I’m not leaving you here without me or Li’l Bo. Besides, ain’t nothing in that kitchen to eat so if we don’t go to the store, we starve tonight.”
Well, let’s go. I ain’t got all night.” Li’l Bo tried to rush us, shifting side to side where he stood. The only thing he cares about is that video game that he has to hide to keep Mom from selling.
On our way to the store we passed all the local wannabe dope boys on our block. As usual, they couldn’t resist hitting on me. But I never pay them losers any mind because I will never mess around with any of them. Most of the grimy niggas been sleeping with my mom anyway. Especially Squeeze, with his bald-headed ass. Nasty bastard. If I had a gun I would probably shoot all them niggas.
Hey, Mya. Girl, you know you growing up. Why don’t you let me take you up to Roosters and buy you a burger or something?” Squeeze asked while rubbing his bald head and licking his nasty, hungry lips at me. “With a fat ass like that, girl, I will let you order whatever you want off the menu.”
Nigga, I don’t need you to buy me jack. I’m good.” I rolled my eyes and kept stepping.
Whatever, bitch, wit’ yo’ high and mighty ass. You know you hungry.”
Li’l Bo stopped dead in his tracks. “What you call my sister?” He turned around and mugged Squeeze. “Can you hear, nigga? I said, what did you call my sister?” Li’l Bo spat the words at Squeeze.
I grabbed Li’l Bo by the arm. “Come on, don’t listen to him. He’s just talkin’. Forget him anyway.” I dismissed Squeeze with a wave of my hand.
Yeah, little man, I’m only playing.” Squeeze had an ugly scowl on his face.
Before I walked away I turned around and threw up my middle finger to Squeeze because that nigga’s time is coming. He’s got plenty of enemies out here on the streets while he’s wasting time fooling with me.
When we made it to the store I told Li’l Bo and Monica to watch my back while I get some food. I picked up some sandwich meat, cheese, bacon, and hot dogs. I went to the counter and paid for a loaf of bread to make it look legit, and then we left the store. Once outside, we hit the store right next door. I grabbed some can goods, a pack of Oreo cookies for dessert, and two packs of chicken wings. When we got outside, we unloaded all the food into the shopping bags we brought from home. This should get us through until next week. This is how we eat because Mom sells all the food stamps every damn month. The thought of it makes me kick a single rock that’s in my path while walking back to the Brewster.
When we got back to the house, Mom was in the kitchen rambling like she’s looking for something. So she must be finished doing her dirty business. I walked right past her like she ain’t even standing there.
Where the hell y’all been? Don’t be leavin’ this house at night without telling me,” she screamed then flicked some cigarette butts into the kitchen sink.
We went to the store to get food. There is nothin’ to eat in this damn house.” I rolled my eyes giving her much attitude.
Mya, who the hell do you think you talking to? I don’t care where you went. Tell me before you leave this house,” she said, while sucking her teeth.
Yeah, whatever! If you cared so much, we would have food.” I got smart again. “Monica, grab the skillet so I can fry some of this chicken,” I ordered her, then slammed the freezer door shut.
Mom paused for a minute. She was staring at me so hard I thought she was about to slap me for real. But she just turned around and went to her room. Then she came right back out of her room and went into the bathroom with clothes in hand.
I knew she was going to leave when she got that money from her little trick. Normally, I want her to stay in the house. This way I know she’s safe. But tonight, I’m ready for her to leave because I’m pissed at her right now. I still love her, but I don’t understand what happened to her so fast. Things have been hard on all of us. Why does she get to take the easy way out by doing crack? I just wish Dad was here, but he’s not, so I got to do something to take care of my brother and sister and get us out of this rat hole.
Lying in bed too lazy to get up, I kicked the covers off me. This always helps wake me up because if I keep lying here I will never get up. Waking up early in the morning is always tough on me, but I have to wake Li’l Bo and Monica up so they can go to school.
I couldn’t tolerate school anymore so I dropped out about a month ago. I got tired of going to school, being the butt of people’s jokes because my clothes looked like I stepped right out of the Salvation Army. Last month alone I had to beat the shit out of two bitches for just lookin’ like they were talkin’ about me.
My best friend Rochelle would try to get me to wear some of her gear, but she knows that isn’t my style. If it doesn’t belong to me I don’t wear it. The one thing I don’t engage in is stuntin’. But that’s not the only reason I quit school. I have other stuff on my mind, like how I’m going to feed and clothe my brother and sister.
I don’t want to get caught up stealing food and end up in juvenile detention. Then who will Monica and Li’l Bo have? I need to come up with something else legit and quick.
I used to do hair at home, but our house started to look like the city dump since Mom sold our furniture. The county brought over some couches, but they looked like they came out of the Dumpster. So I just gave up doing hair at the house.